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Arresting People Leads to a Lot of Legal Hassles

Carl Bildt again bends to the US, betrays Swedish interests. From an op-ed by Jan Guillou.


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Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama's already made history as the US president ordering the most assassinations ever.

Now of course they're not officially called 'assassinations' but instead 'targeted killings'. The technique is cheap 'n' easy. Drones constantly patrol the airspace over Pakistan and occasionally fire Hellfire missiles against targets in the form of 'known terrorists'. According to US data, which is not believed to be exaggerated, they've so far assassinated 3,325 people in Pakistan, including 881 civilians and 176 children.

So there's a certain 'waste' in the technique. So the White House invented a new term to describe the assassination not of 'known' terrorists but only 'suspected' ones. And that new term is 'signature strikes'.

Obama expanded his form of the war on terrorism to Yemen several years ago. The most successful signature strike so far focused on the village of al-Majalah on 17 December 2009 where the missiles killed 41 people, including 14 women and 21 children.


[According to the Telegraph, cluster bombs were used and only 14 of the 41 victims were associated with al-Qaeda. The primary target seems to have been the al-Qaeda leader Mohammed Saleh al-Kazimi - he and his entire family were assassinated. Fragments of the weapons found on the ground were traced to the 'Kansas Army Ammunition Plant'. The Yemeni government of course insisted the attack was their own, in keeping with their agreement with the US to prevaricate about what was really going on, and imprisoned the journalist who attempted to expose them. That journalist (Abdulelah Haider Shaye) was to be released from prison after massive protests, but it was a personal telephone call from Barack Obama that kept him locked up. Ed.]

The biggest signature strike in Yemen last year hit the village of Jaar, where 26 people were killed.

The reasonably sceptical critic may wonder if the above is anti-US propaganda. But the above figures are taken from the conservative Times from 4 January.

The strategy for the continued US war against terrorism after their failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as prepared by Obama, is called 'kill or arrest' and means the United States now has jurisdiction over the entire world. They can now kill or arrest suspected terrorists anywhere. The easiest way is of course to kill them because arresting people leads to a lot of legal hassles. Which is why a highly placed foreign ministry official in Washington recently declared that they're now focusing on 'kill or kill', according to the Times.

Save where in some special cases the killing can also lead to squabbling. For example it is difficult to conceive of US assassinations from the air in France or even Sweden. Another special case is if you or an uncooperative nation already captured the suspects alive. For there's is a big difference between assassinating from the air and going in and killing them in a prison cell. For arresting suspects means a lot of legal hassles.

So two Swedes on the run from the terrorist organisation al-Shabaab were arrested in Djibouti this past August. If they'd been extradited to their native Sweden, they wouldn't have been prosecuted, let alone convicted of a crime. SÄPO already failed in four trials to get people convicted of inappropriate political beliefs or weird thoughts and fantasies. The terrorist legislation of former minister for justice Thomas Bodström is simply not enough to convict on such grounds.


  Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama has ordered more assassinations than any president in US history.

But the US can do it. And so when two Swedes, instead of being sent home, are extradited to the US where there's a 'guarantee' they'll be sentenced to prison, the op-ed page of Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet says contentedly 'they'll get thirty years to life'.

But the Swedes have committed no crimes against the US, US citizens, or US interests. But that doesn't matter because the US proclaimed worldwide jurisdiction. And in the US you can be convicted of unsuitable political positions if you belong or have belonged to an organisation that at least the US branded as terrorist. 'That's a tool Sweden chose to dispense with', lamented Svenska Dagbladet. But Svenska Dagbladet note there's light in the darkness: 'in Djibouti, it is convenient to expel members of al-Shabaab to a guaranteed prison sentence rather than to a Sweden where we can't do a thing'.

The question is whether it also was 'convenient' for Carl Bildt's ministry for foreign affairs (Anders Jörle, SOP, and others) and Sweden's security services to let the US take over. They certainly didn't try very hard to get the Swedes back to Sweden.

Aside from Svenska Dagbladet, I've not seen a supportive reaction to Carl Bildt's deceitful conduct. The liberal Dagens Nyheter and Expressen are both highly critical, and I assume Aftonbladet is as well. Not a word is heard from the politicians.

One might ask a simple question of Svenska Dagbladet: what happens if Russia and China also adopt the US policy of worldwide jurisdiction?

And we could ask of our politicians: is it appropriate to send our own citizens to a country whose legal principles we consider contrary to rule of law?

The easiest way of course is to simply kill them. Arresting people leads to a lot of legal hassles.

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