Thursday, January 26, 2012

When is kidnapping not kidnapping?

Today's big story -- vying for the top spot with Obama's State of the Empire speech -- was the daring Navy SEAL operation to "rescue the hostages":
Somali captors holding an American move their hostage 3 times after deadly SEAL rescue - The Washington Post: "U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said U.S. officials have been in contact with the family of the latest American kidnapping victim.

“We are also working with our contacts in Kenya and in Somalia to try to get more information,” Nuland told reporters in Washington.

“Obviously we condemn kidnapping of any kind and call for the immediate release of the victims — any victims. We also would note that our travel warning for Somalia does caution U.S. citizens about the risk of travel.”"
Such a meme still resonates with the US public, even decades after the Iranian students held the US embassy staff in Tehran back in '79. Shades of the "helpless giant" are useful to drum up support for military operations to prove the mettle of US forces -- it's a pride thing.

There's also a tiny bit of irony about the whole kidnapping thing, however, but you won't read about it in the WaPo.

The US has had a quite active program of what's euphemistically called "extraordinary rendition" -- which is simply justice department jibber-jabber for... kidnapping.

As in, whisk some guy off the street in Rome, for instance, put a bag over his head and fly him to Egypt to be tortured.

Eventually he may end up in Guantanamo, or dumped out of a car somewhere in Bulgaria or other swell tourist destination, and forced to make his way home. That's called good old American hospitality.

So let's condemn kidnapping if we're really against it, but not do our own version with smug indifference to the ethical consequences. This is the powerful force that's warping the mind of the USA's minions.

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