Best to just stay home, really…

9 comments March 14th, 2005at 06:47pm Posted by Eli

One of today’s NYT editorials is about a Mexican citizen who was arrested for murder in the US, assigned an incompetent (and suspended) do-nothing attorney, and sent to death row, all without ever being given recourse to any kind of consular aid. In fact, the Mexican government didn’t even know about the case until the guy had been on death row for three years. Nor was he the only one:

In a case brought by Mexico, the court said Mr. Medellin and 50 other Mexicans on death row in the United States should get new hearings because they were not given access to consular officials, as required by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Washington has been a signatory for decades.

Well, this is sounding vaguely familiar so far…

Initially, the Bush administration flirted with sanity by recognizing the reciprocal implications for Americans abroad and promising to abide by the court’s ruling. But eventually, hotter heads prevailed, and someone finally remembered that this is, after all, the “Fuck You!” administration:

Last week, just days after accepting the court’s judgment, the administration revealed its hand: it said it had withdrawn from the optional protocol. Apparently forgetting its concern about citizens arrested abroad, the State Department said it wanted to end the court’s meddling in the American judicial system.

I just don’t get this. Are the Bushies deliberately trying to put Americans overseas (or across the border) at risk? Do they believe that other countries will give Americans a higher standard of treatment than we guarantee to their citizens, out of either goodwill or fear? Do they simply want to make Americans afraid to leave the country, or foreigners afraid to enter it? Or have they simply not thought it through beyond the shallow macho satisfaction of telling the rest of the world to get bent… again?

My bet is, this isn’t really about fifty hapless Mexicans; this is preparation for when they start snatching and grabbing Saudi or Iraqi or Iranian or Egyptian citizens off the street here, and they want to make sure they can’t call their embassy for help, because it might hinder The War On Terrorâ„¢.

Coupled with the Administration’s use of the Geneva Conventions as a urinal, and our electoral endorsement of a narcissistic, power-mad thug as our supreme maximum leader, the world is becoming a very unsafe place for Americans. On the other hand, if current domestic trends continue, only the very rich will be able to afford to travel overseas anyway. Let them worry about whether Turkish prisons are really as bad as everyone says.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Favorites,Prisoners,Republicans,Wankers


  • 1. V  |  March 14th, 2005 at 7:49 pm

    Two words, dude: Midnight Express. Gah.

  • 2. Eli  |  March 14th, 2005 at 7:51 pm

    So, V… Do you like movies about gladiators?

  • 3. V  |  March 14th, 2005 at 7:51 pm


  • 4. Aquaria  |  March 15th, 2005 at 5:24 pm

    Things like this make me so embarrassed to be from Texas.

    Our judicial system is so messed up that some days, I think we need to level it, and start all over. Maybe an Electric Kool-Aid infusion in the reddest necked areas, too.

    Of course, anything Texas progressives do won’t be good enough. When we’re not having to battle the enemy, we’re having to take crap off the blue-staters who preach on high but do too goddamned little except tell us we’ve done nothing. Uh–how would the problems become known if we were doing nothing?

    Molly Ivins was right: The working definition of a masochist really is a Texas liberal.

  • 5. Eli  |  March 15th, 2005 at 7:48 pm

    You have my condolences, LJ. I can’t even begin to imagine: Pennsylvania is easily the reddest state I’ve ever lived in.

    My hat’s off to you; I don’t think I could do it. I’d have to either move or shoot myself.

  • 6. charley  |  March 15th, 2005 at 8:01 pm

    did you say electrical endorsement?

    what? extaordinary rendition, torture, making people disappear, just another light day at the office in the bush administration.

    the true work is ahead of us.

  • 7. charley  |  March 15th, 2005 at 8:01 pm

    did you say electrical endorsement?

    what? extaordinary rendition, torture, making people disappear, just another light day at the office in the bush administration.

    the true work is ahead of us.

  • 8. charley  |  March 15th, 2005 at 8:02 pm

    sorry, i blame blogger.

  • 9. Eli  |  March 15th, 2005 at 8:10 pm

    We need to educate people on some Central and South American history, is what I think. BushCo seems to be patterning their economic and criminal policies after Argentina or Chile, and look how well *those* worked out.

    I would love to see someone make the case that the Bushies are acting like America is a third-rate banana republic, not to be taken seriously by the rest of the world. Well, except for having nukes. So maybe we’re more like North Korea.

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