News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

August 29, 2006

Letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee re: Treaty

On September 7, 2006, the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee will vote on the pending Extradition Treaty
between the United States and the United Kingdom (Treaty
Document 108-23). I am strongly opposed to ratification of
the treaty and request that you vote against it.

Ours is a sovereign government comprised of three separate
branches that check and balance the exercise of power. We
live under the protection of the Bill of Rights that was
adopted specifically for the purpose of protecting the
people from the excesses and abuses of government. The
treaty presently under consideration abandons America’s
sovereignty, abrogates the separation of powers and
neutralizes important rights assured by the Constitution.

Under the terms of the treaty, all that the United Kingdom
need do is to demand that a person within the United States
be delivered over. The relative merits of the demand, the
provisions of United States law and the interests of
America are irrelevant. In such circumstances, our
sovereignty is non-existent. The Government of the United
States would essentially be naught more than an agency of
the British Government, which does not represent any
American and is not answerable to any American.

The treaty also denies the courts any ability to examine
the British demand, thereby eliminating altogether any
oversight as to whether it complies with law or results
from an abuse of executive power.

And, by eliminating the courts, it conclusively denies
individuals the fundamental right to be heard and to be
accorded due process of law.

The recent case of Monique T. Mwembie is an excellent
example of why America should never grant any foreign
nation the powers as the treaty now under consideration
grants to Britain. Were it so, the Congo would need only
crook its finger and Ms. Mwembie would be reflexively
handed back to her abusers, all questions of political
asylum to be fallen on deaf ears.

Nor is there is anything special about the United Kingdom.
It is as infamous for human rights abuses as is any
country. Its abuses in Ireland have been well-documented
and have resulted in numerous official inquiries into
Governmental collusion into numerous bombings and murders
in Ireland. British courts have found that country’s
police agencies to be rife with institutional racism. And
the cases of the Guildford Four, the Maguire Seven and the
Birmingham Six are typical of cases in which Irish men and
women have been wrongly imprisoned for crimes they did not
commit, despite the Government knowing their innocence
fully well.

There are other unconscionable provisions in the treaty,
also. It eliminates statutes of limitations altogether.
It eliminates the traditional extradition requirement that
the accused crime must also be a crime in America. It
denies bail. It ignores all appeals for asylum. And while
the treaty supposedly was made as a part of anti-terrorism
efforts, its application is much broader, as evidenced by
the recent extradition of two men in connection with Enron-
related events.

The United States already has a highly effective
extradition treaty with the United Kingdom. Neither
country needs more. We can ill-afford yet another tool
that is so destructive to the fundamental structure of our
American way of life.

Please vote no.

Graydon Wilson
Burlington, Vermont

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?