The right course

THAT the War on Terror has gone overboard is common knowledge. So is the fact that many innocent lives have been shattered/lost in what has begun as an exercise to rectify a bad situation, but has progressed into another ‘terror’, or ‘state-sponsored terror’ as many call it now. Under the circumstances, the order by the Italian court for a trial of 26 Americans and five Italians over the abduction of an Egyptian cleric, deserves praise.

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Published: Sun 18 Feb 2007, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:52 AM

Allegations, supported by believable evidence, are that men identified as ‘terror suspects’ were flown by CIA to countries in Europe and the Middle East, and subjected to torture. Which was what has happened in the case of the Egyptian cleric as well. Instead, why were the normal routes of interrogations not taken? If countries like the US should adopt torture as a legitimate means to elicit evidence, how could it have found fault with the likes of Saddam Hussein?

This also happens to be the first criminal trial over CIA’s highly-criticised “extra-ordinary rendition’ programme. There, in fact, should be nothing extra-ordinary about criminal investigations. Nor are ‘abductions’ the right way to make headway in investigations. Yet, this was how things happened, and right under the nose of the White House.

Rules are well laid down, and more so in America, which only need be followed in normal course by an administration or its law enforcement/investigation agencies.

In recent times, past 9/11, there was no extra-ordinary situation requiring an emergency response.

Circumventing the normal routes of legal procedures is by itself a criminal act, and democracies like the US or Italy cannot be doing such things even under extra-ordinary situations.

The Italian court has taken the right course.

It is only that the court must stand firm and take the case to its logical conclusion, namely of punishing the guilty, be it Americans, Italians, or anybody else.

In a civilised society, no nation and no individual should have the right to take law into their hands.



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