Thursday, March 10, 2005

DISENGAGING THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY


More of the same here...the Daily Progress Report has the skinny:

FOREIGN POLICY – RETHINK THOSE TRAVEL PLANS: The Bush White House announced yesterday it was pulling the United States out of the international agreement that protects citizens who are imprisoned in foreign countries. The rationale: the White House wanted to stop other countries from being able to fight the execution of its citizens by the United States. The result: Americans living or visiting abroad are now at great risk. The United States, you see, drew up the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in 1963 as a way to protect Americans living in other countries; the protocol was ratified in 1969. It requires countries to allow the International Court of Justice to intervene when citizens say "they have been illegally denied the right to see a home-country diplomat when jailed abroad." In fact, the United States was the first country to use the protocol, suing Iran for seizing 52 U.S. hostages in Tehran in 1979. The Bush administration withdrawing from the protocol shouldn't come as any surprise, unfortunately. President Bush and his right-hand man Alberto Gonzales have long been foes of the Vienna Convention. In 1997, Gonzales wrote a legal memo for then-Gov. Bush to try to get the state of Texas out of complying with the Convention. At that time, Gonzales sent a letter to the U.S. State Department in which he argued that the treaty didn't apply to the State of Texas, as Texas was not a signatory to the Vienna Convention.

If you aren't reading the Progress Report regularly, what are you waiting for?

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