Rumsfeld flees France fearing arrest

Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years.

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.

According to activists in France, who greeted Rumsfeld shouting "murderer" and "war criminal" at the breakfast meeting venue, US embassy officials remained tight-lipped about the former defense secretary's whereabouts citing "security reasons".

Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court. But activist point out that under the Schengen agreement that ended border checkpoints across a large part of the European Union, French law enforcement agents are allowed to cross the border into Germany in pursuit of a fleeing fugitive.

"Rumsfeld must be feeling how Saddam Hussein felt when US forces were hunting him down," activist Tanguy Richard said. "He may never end up being hanged like his old friend, but he must learn that in the civilized world, war crime doesn't pay."

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed the complaint on Thursday after learning that Rumsfeld was scheduled to visit Paris.

http://wor.ldne.ws/node/8596

So now we have war crimes and resisting arrest.

Surprised the French government didn't do that on their own. Also, it doesn't seem to be resisting arrest, as they are only obliged to open a case and possibly arrest him. Think of the possibilities though, arresting him and Bush declaring war on France. At least it would be a war against the caucasians this time.

God how I loathe Charles deGaulle (sic) airport.

I'd make a comment about fleeing to Argentina, but, y'know... Godwin.

God how I loathe Charles deGaulle (sic) airport.

I'd rank it above the old Detroit airport, but that's about it. The only place I've ever had to double park a rental car in traffic because there was nowhere else to put it.

Quite a few world leaders can't go to certain countries in Europe for a variety of reasons. Pinochet was very nearly arrested in England and Kissinger has a warrant out for his arrest in Belgium. Recently both premiers of Ireland and Britain faced questioning from the judicial side of the government with both cases still open. At least here in Ireland former TDs, bit like a Congressman, get tossed into jail on a regular basis. As it stands our Taoiseach has to deny any knowledge of what has gone on in Shannon or could find himself an accomplice to a crime i.e.: torture.

You see clemency isn't something European leaders enjoy. While US presidents leave office and toss out a ton of pardons, European leaders can be made answerable to their actions years after they have left office which breed a culture like you see in the article. I'm willing to bet that you'll see more of this as time passes and members of the Bush administration travel the world on the lecture circuit. Rendition is too much of a sore point with many Europeans for it to just to be forgotten.

And the US wouldn't go to war with the EU over Rumsfeld and Bush. I'm sure quite a few Americans wouldn't mind at all.

Charles de Gaulle is the second largest international airport with Heathrow being the largest and both are a nightmare but thats what you get for being the crossroads of the world. Heathrow is a special kind of hell though.

Anyway, good on them and I wish more would follow there lead. Remember, if he has nothing to hide then whats wrong with answering a few questions?

Time to arrest all French officials in the US and send them back home. Whoops, the plane landed in Saudi Arabia instead of France.

Sorry, I question the validity of this article. Its sources are "unconfirmed reports" and "activistis in France"?

http://www.reuters.com/article/polit...

CannibalCrowley wrote:
Time to arrest all French officials in the US and send them back home. Whoops, the plane landed in Saudi Arabia instead of France.

Huh? What crimes did the French officials in the US commit?

edit: Another source. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...

Edwin wrote:
Huh? What crimes did the French officials in the US commit?

Conspiracy of fraud in regards to the Oil for Food Program. They're just as responsible for that as Rumsfeld is for torture. Neither one is really responsible; but I'm a firm believer in tit for tat when a foreign entity wants to play hardball. Attempting to arrest a visiting former US official for actions that he may have committed while in government is playing hardball when you don't have solid proof of his wrongdoings.

Ah, thanks I didn't know about that. Yea, if they are responsible put them through the justice system like everyone else.

As for Rumsfeld, it looks like there is some evidence of his wrongdoings.

http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_l...
http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/3...
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture...
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general...

These are non-online resources.
*Seymour M. Hersh, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib
*The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua L. Dratel , Introduction by Anthony Lewis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)
*Mark Danner, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (New York: New York Review Books, 2004)
*Waldron, Jeremy, 2005, "Torture and Positive Law: Jurisprudence for the White House," Columbia Law Review, Vol. 105, No. 6, pp. 1681-1750.

Here is the chain of command of everyone involved.

edit: I'd love more information on the fraud in regards to the Oil for Food Program. Do you have anything you can give me with regards to that?

Edwin wrote:
http://www.reuters.com/article/polit...

CannibalCrowley wrote:
Time to arrest all French officials in the US and send them back home. Whoops, the plane landed in Saudi Arabia instead of France.

Huh? What crimes did the French officials in the US commit?

edit: Another source. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...


Okay, these confirm that a complaint was filed, which I never really doubted. They don't back up the assertion that an arrest was imminent or that Rumsfeld fled France to avoid being arrested, which were kinda the key points of the original article.

Edwin wrote:
edit: I'd love more information on the fraud in regards to the Oil for Food Program. Do you have anything you can give me with regards to that?

Or how the current diplomatic core in Washington has a connection to it and why would you connect and independent party to the current French government?

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Edwin wrote:
http://www.reuters.com/article/polit...

CannibalCrowley wrote:
Time to arrest all French officials in the US and send them back home. Whoops, the plane landed in Saudi Arabia instead of France.

Huh? What crimes did the French officials in the US commit?

edit: Another source. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...


Okay, these confirm that a complaint was filed, which I never really doubted. They don't back up the assertion that an arrest was imminent or that Rumsfeld fled France to avoid being arrested, which were kinda the key points of the original article.

The law in question says

French courts have universal jurisdiction -- allowing them to try foreigners in cases that occurred abroad -- under the 1984 Convention Against Torture.

According to Rueters. Does that not give them the right to arrest someone to put them through the legal system?

So far, nothing has conclusively shown Rumsfeld to be responsible for torture. Multiple cases have been filed and none have been ruled against him. Furthermore, it's hard to pin this on Rumsfeld without successfully prosecuting his subordinates first. You need a chain to link him to the event and without his subordinates that chain is broken.

Edwin wrote:

I'd love more information on the fraud in regards to the Oil for Food Program. Do you have anything you can give me with regards to that?

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Pa...
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Int...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m...
http://www.iic-offp.org/documents/II... PDF

CannibalCrowley wrote:
So far, nothing has conclusively shown Rumsfeld to be responsible for torture. Multiple cases have been filed and none have been ruled against him. Furthermore, it's hard to pin this on Rumsfeld without successfully prosecuting his subordinates first. You need a chain to link him to the event and without his subordinates that chain is broken.

Edwin wrote:

I'd love more information on the fraud in regards to the Oil for Food Program. Do you have anything you can give me with regards to that?

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Pa...
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Int...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/m...
http://www.iic-offp.org/documents/II... PDF

In the links I posted I showed the chain of command in how he was linked as well as the lower subordinates of his that were indeed prosecuted and found guilty while the higher ranking ones were actually promoted. Please check them out again as you might have missed that.

Thanks for the links CC.

Cannibal, do you now support the idea of the International Criminal Court? That's where you'd have to try the French officials.

I'm a lot more disturbed by the idea of "tit for tat". Rumsfeld, if arrested, would be investigated before any charges were placed. Are you proposing the traditional response of dictatorships, where if one of our guys is picked up or threatened, the authorities just pick up some representatives of the other state on bogus charges? Because there is no way that the French diplomats here - who are protected from arrest anyway - were involved in the Oil for Food abuses. That occurred at a much higher level. What bothers me is the offhand idea that we need to simply behave like the Soviets, or some tin-pot dictator, rather than deal with the issue itself. Is that how we should conduct ourselves as a beacon of freedom and justice for all?

Who's the cheese-eating surrender monkey now?

Edwin wrote:
The law in question says
French courts have universal jurisdiction -- allowing them to try foreigners in cases that occurred abroad -- under the 1984 Convention Against Torture.

According to Rueters. Does that not give them the right to arrest someone to put them through the legal system?

But that's not being questioned either.

Were French authorities actually planning to arrest Rumsfeld at that time?

Did Rumsfeld "flee" France to avoid this?

There's been no evidence presented to back either of these two particular assertions.

Robear wrote:
Cannibal, do you now support the idea of the International Criminal Court? That's where you'd have to try the French officials.

We could simply extradite them to Iraq and try them there.

Robear wrote:
Rumsfeld, if arrested, would be investigated before any charges were placed.

Wait, so you support foreign countries arresting US citizens without charges in order to investigate a crime which may have happened in another country entirely? You'd be screaming bloody murder if we did such a thing in the US with one of our own citizens; so why is it okay for France to do it?

Robear wrote:
Are you proposing the traditional response of dictatorships, where if one of our guys is picked up or threatened, the authorities just pick up some representatives of the other state on bogus charges?

Then what should a country do if another country arrests one of its former officials on bogus charges? I see it like a fair trade agreement, you put a tariff on our products and we put that tariff on yours as well. You arrest one of our officials for a crime which may have occurred in another country, and we do the same.

Robear wrote:
Because there is no way that the French diplomats here - who are protected from arrest anyway - were involved in the Oil for Food abuses. That occurred at a much higher level.

We'd just be holding them for questioning and investigating the charges for the crimes as well as conspiracy charges for possible knowledge of the crimes.

Robear wrote:
What bothers me is the offhand idea that we need to simply behave like the Soviets, or some tin-pot dictator, rather than deal with the issue itself. Is that how we should conduct ourselves as a beacon of freedom and justice for all?

The issue itself is one of our officials being arrested in a foreign country for crimes he allegedly committed while in our government. Crimes which have been brought before multiple courts without his conviction.

It's almost an act of war and France would be getting off easy with a few officials being detained. It would certainly be less bloody than an extraction mission.

Edwin wrote:
In the links I posted I showed the chain of command in how he was linked as well as the lower subordinates of his that were indeed prosecuted and found guilty while the higher ranking ones were actually promoted. Please check them out again as you might have missed that.

I looked through it and there are serious gaps above Brigade level. At the Brigade level they couldn't get anything to stick besides simple dereliction of duty charges. Successful prosecutions for torture would be needed at Task Force and Command level.

Le Monde is covering it. Seems there is actually a fairly decent case with his signature on a memo approving methods of torture.

I know it wouldn't mean much in a court of law, but I find the "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?" note scrawled on one of the memos authorizing forcing detainees to stand for up to 4 hours pretty damning.

Axon wrote:
Le Monde is covering it. Seems there is actually a fairly decent case with his signature on a memo approving methods of torture.

My French is horrible; but from what I read it didn't seem like they had any more evidence than the litany of memos that have already been paraded through court on more than one occasion. If the memos they have are so damning, then why not release the full memo along with the article?

Anodyne wrote:
I know it wouldn't mean much in a court of law, but I find the "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?" note scrawled on one of the memos authorizing forcing detainees to stand for up to 4 hours pretty damning.

You consider it damning to ask a question that would come into the minds of most people?

CannibalCrowley wrote:
Axon wrote:
Le Monde is covering it. Seems there is actually a fairly decent case with his signature on a memo approving methods of torture.

My French is horrible; but from what I read it didn't seem like they had any more evidence than the litany of memos that have already been paraded through court on more than one occasion. If the memos they have are so damning, then why not release the full memo along with the article?

Anodyne wrote:
I know it wouldn't mean much in a court of law, but I find the "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?" note scrawled on one of the memos authorizing forcing detainees to stand for up to 4 hours pretty damning.

You consider it damning to ask a question that would come into the minds of most people?

Problem is, in the rest of the world that is torture. What he approved was torture. The guy is as guilty as sin.

CannibalCrowley wrote:
We could simply extradite them to Iraq and try them there.

No you can't. There diplomats that the US can't touch as much as the French can't touch the US's.

CannibalCrowley wrote:
Wait, so you support foreign countries arresting US citizens without charges in order to investigate a crime which may have happened in another country entirely? You'd be screaming bloody murder if we did such a thing in the US with one of our own citizens; so why is it okay for France to do it?

He isn't supporting arresting without charge. Robear is clearly saying that if Rumsfeld was arrested he would be investiaged first and charges brought. Like everyone else.

CannibalCrowley wrote:
Then what should a country do if another country arrests one of its former officials on bogus charges? I see it like a fair trade agreement, you put a tariff on our products and we put that tariff on yours as well. You arrest one of our officials for a crime which may have occurred in another country, and we do the same.

Noone has or was going to be arrested. They wanted to ask a few questions regarding the charges brought. Fairly standard stuff. What you are proposing is boiler plate Soviet Union stuff.

CannibalCrowley wrote:
We'd just be holding them for questioning and investigating the charges for the crimes as well as conspiracy charges for possible knowledge of the crimes.

Fail to see what the guys in the diplomatic core in Washington have to do with the Oil for Food scandal. If you want to pursue the people involved in the Oil for Food, I'm sure the courts can help you. Cooking up charges for the French diplomats is hardly anyway for a country to conduct itself.

CannibalCrowley wrote:
The issue itself is one of our officials being arrested in a foreign country for crimes he allegedly committed while in our government. Crimes which have been brought before multiple courts without his conviction.

It's almost an act of war and France would be getting off easy with a few officials being detained. It would certainly be less bloody than an extraction mission.

France isn't or hasn't arrested him. An independent party, FIDH, has brought the charges. Under French law the states is forced to investigate any claims made about torture and in the eyes of French law he has a question to answer. Remember, regarding rendition, over here what the US did or is doing is highly illegal.

As far as act of war, the US has been snatching people, torturing them and returning them without any charges. There are arrest warrents in France, Italy and Germany for CIA agents who have done this. A very good example is Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen, who was detained, tortured and then dumped into Albania.

The US is in no position to occupy the high moral ground here.

Robear wrote:
Cannibal, do you now support the idea of the International Criminal Court? That's where you'd have to try the French officials.

Just repeating the question.


Wait, so you support foreign countries arresting US citizens without charges in order to investigate a crime which may have happened in another country entirely? You'd be screaming bloody murder if we did such a thing in the US with one of our own citizens; so why is it okay for France to do it?

This is worth saying; I would not. I was happy when the Oil for Food perps in the US were arrested under a similar situation. You are dead wrong here. Please don't put words in my mouth.

Here's the legal underpinnings for the action. US law provides penalties for not reporting violations of the Convention, by the way, so the same thing could happen if, say, Pol Pot had come to the US at some point.


Article 1

1. For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

...

Article 2

1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

Article 3

1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

...

Article 6

1. Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present, shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence. The custody and other legal measures shall be as provided in the law of that State but may be continued only for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal or extradition proceedings to be instituted.

2. Such State shall immediately make a preliminary inquiry into the facts.

3. Any person in custody pursuant to paragraph 1 of this article shall be assisted in communicating immediately with the nearest appropriate representative of the State of which he is a national, or, if he is a stateless person, to the representative of the State where he usually resides.

4. When a State, pursuant to this article, has taken a person into custody, it shall immediately notify the States referred to in article 5, paragraph 1, of the fact that such person is in custody and of the circumstances which warrant his detention. The State which makes the preliminary inquiry contemplated in paragraph 2 of this article shall promptly report its findings to the said State and shall indicate whether it intends to exercise jurisdiction.

Feel free to cite any international agreements which allow us to arbitrarily detain diplomats and render them to hostile countries.

Yeah, so, let me follow the conversation so far...

Rumsfeld flees France fearing charges of war crimes...
So now we should torture all French diplomats in America, and besides, what he did couldn't be a crime because France was involved in Oil for Food.

'Kay.

Anyway, what's French for "LOL?"

LobsterMobster wrote:
Yeah, so, let me follow the conversation so far...

Rumsfeld flees France fearing charges of war crimes...
So now we should torture all French diplomats in America, and besides, what he did couldn't be a crime because France was involved in Oil for Food.

'Kay.

Anyway, what's French for "LOL?"

" Le LOL"

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Edwin wrote:
The law in question says
French courts have universal jurisdiction -- allowing them to try foreigners in cases that occurred abroad -- under the 1984 Convention Against Torture.

According to Rueters. Does that not give them the right to arrest someone to put them through the legal system?

But that's not being questioned either.

Were French authorities actually planning to arrest Rumsfeld at that time?

Did Rumsfeld "flee" France to avoid this?

There's been no evidence presented to back either of these two particular assertions.

Some other places just copied the original link. http://www.alternet.org/story/66425/ Others actually give more details to him leaving. http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumy/20...

The NYTimes doesn't mention him leaving. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/27/wo...
Neither does AHN. http://www.allheadlinenews.com/artic...

CannibalCrowely wrote:
Robear wrote:
Rumsfeld, if arrested, would be investigated before any charges were placed.

Wait, so you support foreign countries arresting US citizens without charges in order to investigate a crime which may have happened in another country entirely? You'd be screaming bloody murder if we did such a thing in the US with one of our own citizens; so why is it okay for France to do it?


That's really hypocritical considering we are doing the very same thing with our secret prisons and Gitmo. It's wrong either way.

CannibalCrowely wrote:
Robear wrote:
Then what should a country do if another country arrests one of its former officials on bogus charges? I see it like a fair trade agreement, you put a tariff on our products and we put that tariff on yours as well. You arrest one of our officials for a crime which may have occurred in another country, and we do the same.

How can say they are bogus? Let the police do what the law says, which is investigate the matter. The United States signed the 1984 Convention Against Torture on 18 Apr 1988 along with 75 other countries.

CannibalCrowely wrote:
Robear wrote:
What bothers me is the offhand idea that we need to simply behave like the Soviets, or some tin-pot dictator, rather than deal with the issue itself. Is that how we should conduct ourselves as a beacon of freedom and justice for all?

The issue itself is one of our officials being arrested in a foreign country for crimes he allegedly committed while in our government. Crimes which have been brought before multiple courts without his conviction.

It's almost an act of war and France would be getting off easy with a few officials being detained. It would certainly be less bloody than an extraction mission.

No court has ever put him on trial for these crimes. The only one to every say anything was Germany which ruled it was for the US to decide. This isn't even close to an act of war because we also agreed to uphold the very same law as mentioned above. If this was an act of war then we have made the first move when we kidnapped, falsely imprisoned, and tortured a German citizen by the head of the al Qaeda division of the CIA's Counter-terrorism Center.

More and more examples of hypocrisy.

CannibalCrowely wrote:
Edwin wrote:
In the links I posted I showed the chain of command in how he was linked as well as the lower subordinates of his that were indeed prosecuted and found guilty while the higher ranking ones were actually promoted. Please check them out again as you might have missed that.

I looked through it and there are serious gaps above Brigade level. At the Brigade level they couldn't get anything to stick besides simple dereliction of duty charges. Successful prosecutions for torture would be needed at Task Force and Command level.

It reads to me you are associating the actual act of physically torturing someone with the act of ordering someone to be tortured. I would expect him to be investigated on the conspiracy and ordering of torture, not that he actually, physically tortured the prisoners.


How can say they are bogus? Let the police do what the law says, which is investigate the matter. The United States signed the 1984 Convention Against Torture on 18 Apr 1988 along with 75 other countries.

I was referring to the idea that a random selection of French diplomats posted to Washington today would somehow be tied to the Oil for Food scandal of the former French Foreign Minister.

Also, the quote starting "In the links I posted..." is Edwin's, not mine.

Sorry, my mistake. Also yes, if those French guys who were caught red handed with the Oil for Food are here, have them thrown through the international justice system just like anyone else who has committed an international crime.

I find it funny that he was heading there on the hush-hush and then when confronted with this runs like a little girl.