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

Ten Days to Stop the US UK Extradition Treaty

Ten Days to Stop the US UK Extradition Treaty

by CoolOnion

Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 07:59:17 AM PDT

On September 7, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on whether or not to send the US UK Extradition Treaty to the full Senate for ratification. Last week, I wrote a diary about this proposed treaty, Stop Bush/Blair and John Ashcroft's Extradition Treaty, which contains information, links and talking points, and urges readers to email the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanding a "no" vote on September 7.

The treaty applies retroactively, has a loose interpretation of "probable cause," has no statute of limitations, and leaves the definition of "political exception" up to the prosecutor.

The U.K. has already signed on to their half of the treaty, and Tony Blair's constituents aren't too happy about it. Read on to find out how the Treaty is being misused by the U.S., and how stopping the Treaty in the Senate will help our friends overseas...

CoolOnion's diary :: ::

This blog post, Friends Extradited, compares our government's misuse of the treaty to Russia's Federal Security Service, which used extradition treaties to persecute political enemies:

It's sad to see, therefore, that the use of extradition as a political and judicial weapon is not confined to states like Russia. The West, too, has its own political ideologues and agents whose commitment to personal liberty is shaky, to say the least - and this is particularly true of Britain and the United States.

On March 31 2003, David Blunkett, the then UK Home Secretary, signed an Extradition Treaty on behalf of the UK with his United States counterpart, Attorney General John Ashcroft, which was promoted on the basis of the need for a streamlined extradition process to deal with the new global terrorist threat after September 11. One of the first cases to arise for consideration under the new treaty was that of three British NatWest investment bankers, who were charged with having conspired to commit "wire fraud", sending faxes and emails across US federal borders in furtherance of an alleged conspiracy to defraud NatWest. If convicted, the men face up to 35 years in a US penitentiary.

As the Friends Extradited website makes clear, no charges - either criminal or civil - have ever been lodged against the men in the United Kingdom, and all three protest their innocence...

Over two centuries ago, our Declaration of Independence enumerated many grievances against King George III, among them "transporting us beyond the Seas to be tried for pretended offenses." That's how this treaty is being used by our modern-day "King George," submitting extradition requests for British citizens who were not charged with a crime in England, to be tried for "pretended offenses" in the United States.

The current "lopsided" extradition arrangement between the US and the UK is an embarrassment to Tony Blair, and he is putting tremendous pressure on the Senate to ratify this treaty. But as I wrote in my previous diary, Tony Blair's embarrassment is not our problem. Tony Blair should have known this Treaty would take awhile to make its way through the Senate. It's not our fault that the treaty was fast-tracked into UK legislation in 2003 without formal consultative parliamentary process, scrutiny or debate.

Right now, activists in the UK are gathering signatures on a petition to put an end to the UK's grossly unfair and one-sided extradition arrangements with the U.S.

Activists in the States need to support our activist allies overseas by demanding that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cast a "no" vote on September 7. If the Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes "yes," it will go to the full Senate for ratification, which will drag this thing out even longer. But if they reject it, that's the end of it. The UK can save itself further embarrassment by revoking their end of the Treaty, and our two countries can resume extradition arrangements under the perfectly good treaty we already have with the UK.

My other diary, Stop Bush/Blair and John Ashcroft's Extradition Treaty has talking points from the ACLU, links to individual members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and ideas for appealing to the patriotism of Senators who voted to protect the symbol of Democracy--our flag--from being desecrated. If you think they'd serve our country better by defending Democracy itself, send an email today.

Below is a list of Committee members. I've put an asterisk beside the names of those who voted for the flag burning amendment, because I thought Kos readers would like to challenge these Senators to show how truly patriotic they are. Since they voted to protect the symbol of Democracy, tell them to cast a vote to protect Democracy itself, by voting no to the US/UK Extradition Treaty on September 7.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee (* = voted for flag burning amendment)

Richard Lugar
Chuck Hagel
Lincoln Chafee
George Allen
*Norm Coleman
*George Voinovich
*Lamar Alexander
*John Sununu
*Lisa Murkowski
*Mel Martinez *


Joseph R. Biden
Paul S. Sarbanes
Christopher J. Dodd
John F. Kerry
Russell D. Feingold
Barbara Boxer
Bill Nelson
*Barack Obama

Your Senators need to know this is on the horizon, just in case the Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes to send it to the full Senate on September 7. Write your two Senators today, asking for a "no" vote, should the Treaty come before the full Senate for ratification. And, again, we especially want to target those Senators who voted to protect the symbol of Democracy--our flag--and ask them to stand up for Democracy itself by opposing this anti-American "fast track" treaty:
Senators who voted for flag burning amendment:

Republicans * = member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Lamar Alexander *, Wayne Allard, George Allen *, Kit Bond, Sam Brownback, Jim Bunning, Conrad Burns, Richard Burr, Saxby Chambliss, Tom Coburn, Thad Cochran, Norm Coleman *, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Larry Craig, Michael Crapo, Jim DeMint, Mike DeWine, Elizabeth Dole, Pete Domenici, John Ensign, Michael Enzi, Bill Frist, Lindsey Graham, Charles Grassley, Judd Gregg, Chuck Hagel, Orrin Hatch, Kay Bailey Hutchison, James Inhofe, Johnny Isakson, Jon Kyl, Trent Lott, Richard Lugar *, Mel Martinez *, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski *, Pat Roberts, Rick Santorum, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby, Gordon Smith, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, Ted Stevens, John Sununu *, Jim Talent, Craig Thomas,John Thune, David Vitter, George Voinovich *, John Warner

Max Baucus, Evan Bayh, Mark Dayton, Dianne Feinstein, Tim Johnson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Robert Menéndez, Bill Nelson *, Ben Nelson, Harry Reid, Jay Rockefeller, Kenneth Salazar, Debbie Stabenow

One more obvious point--we actually do have an extradition treaty with the U.K. already, which is good enough to bring any criminals to the U.S. for trial, assuming we have just cause. We don't need another treaty, especially not one endorsed by John Ashcroft.

To Index of Monthly Archives
To August 2006 Index

To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.

To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE
(Paste into a News

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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