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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:15 AM
Original message
Spanish Judge Issues Warrant for Three GIs
Spanish Judge Issues Warrant for Three GIs

By Associated Press

October 19, 2005, 8:45 AM EDT

MADRID, Spain -- A judge has issued an international arrest warrant
for three U.S. soldiers whose tank fired on a Baghdad hotel during the
Iraq war, killing a Spanish journalist and one other, a court official
said Wednesday.

Judge Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant for Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt.
Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, all from the U.S. 3rd
Infantry.

Jose Couso, who worked for the Spanish television network Telecinco,
died April 8, 2003, after a U.S. army tank crew fired a shell on Hotel
Palestine in Baghdad where several journalists were staying to cover
the war.

Reuters cameraman Taras Portsyuk, a Ukrainian, also was killed.

The Spanish judge said he issued the arrest order because of a lack of
judicial cooperation from the United States regarding the case.
<snip>

More: http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-...
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. Good! No man, nor nation, is above the law. NT
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don954 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. aw shit... god dam bush & rummy.. isnt this the 1st War Crime
Indictment from another nation on the USA for the Iraq War?
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Julius Civitatus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
3. Spain issues warrant for 3 U.S. soldiers (in killing of reporter)
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 09:21 AM by Julius Civitatus
This is not good. A judge in Spain investigating the accidental killing of a Spanish journalist has issued a warrant for the 3 US soldiers involved, due to the poor cooperation of US officials in this matter:


Spain issues warrant for 3 U.S. soldiers


By CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman

Wednesday, October 19, 2005; Posted: 9:20 a.m. EDT (13:20 GMT)

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish judge has issued an international arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers for alleged participation in the death of Spanish TV cameraman in Baghdad as U.S. forces advanced to take control of the city in April 2003.

National Court investigating magistrate Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant Wednesday for the arrests of the soldiers and will seek their extradition to Spain, a National Court spokeswoman told CNN.

The arrest warrant says the U.S. provided "no judicial cooperation" in trying to resolve the death of Jose Couso, who worked for Spain's Telecinco national network.

Couso died at the Hotel Palestine on April 8, 2003, where he was working as a TV cameraman to shoot images of war-torn Baghdad. (...)


In my opinion, this is the wrong approach, likely to become unpopular since it keeps playing the "blame the pawns" game. The judge should have call for Rummy Rumsfeld, as the ultimate responsible for the blasting of that hotel.
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rainidame Donating Member (46 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Here, here, well said.
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moodforaday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. I disagree
In my opinion, this is the wrong approach, likely to become unpopular since it keeps playing the "blame the pawns" game. The judge should have call for Rummy Rumsfeld, as the ultimate responsible for the blasting of that hotel.

I disagree, for one specific and one general reason. The specific reason is that, when there is an accident and someone gets killed, you investigate and try whoever caused or was invovled in the accident. The trial might show that soldiers acted recklessly - but it's never going to show Rumsfeld ordered them to shoot journalists at will. By going after the soldiers they can at least achieve something (although even this is pretty unlikely), but by going after Rumsfeld the Spanish judge would get himself ridiculed. The way he acted, he at least has a case.

My other, general reason is that, sorry, they did what they did. A soldier must not obey illegal orders. They should be thinking for themlseves too, they're humans with brains. I have absolutely no compassion for any soldier who killed or tortured a civillian in this war, ragardless of whether orders were given or not. Most likely there were no orders anyway - because they would be traceable. The most you can suspect is some implication - "we're not going to come after you if you kill a civillian", so that soldiers feel empowered to do so.

Someone once said, what if we waged a war and nobody came? Bush and co cannot fight this war without willing soldiers. The way I see it, there really is no reason to refrain from holding accountable those who pull the trigger.


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toopers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
66. I disagree
The reporters put themselves in harms way. Whether you like it or not, or whether it is legal or not, this is a war that we are involved in. The reporters chose to go there. If the troops were being fired upon from the hotel or the vicinity of the hotel you have to expect that the US troops would return fire -- which they did. To start putting individuals on trial because a civilian was killed while in a military target (once people started firing from the hotel,it became a military target) is a slippery slope.
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Freedomfried Donating Member (684 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #66
71. When you look thru the aiming optics of your M1 Abrams tanks gun
At a large and modern hotel that you know is the home of the international press corps covering the war.
Than you gauddamn better think twice, or have good, clear and verifiable orders before pulling the firing trigger.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
4. Easy to issue.
Can they enforce it? Probably not. It's just posturing. Maybe said judge should posture grand and issue a warrant for Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. The PR value would be enormous.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. try telling that to pinochet...or even kissinger...
who is afraid to travel to many countries of the world.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Just when,
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 11:03 AM by Burning Water
did they arrest Kissinger? Sorry, being unable to travel is not the same thing as being under arrest. Pinochet wasn't from a country able and willing to protect him.

Also, people, even civilians, get killed in war. Accidents happen, misinformation happens. Unless they can show that these individual soldiers knew that they were shooting at civilians, and that there were no terrorists shooting at them from the spot they aimed at, I don't see that they have a morally, or legally, justifiable case. When you enter a war zone, you are taking risks. Just like when you choose to speed while under the influence of alcohol. These journalists knew the risks and willingly accepted them. Shit happens.

But, they might have a case against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all the senators (including numerous Democratic ones: Kerry and Clinton spring to mind) who led or voted for this immoral, illegal, unjust war of aggression that we were lied into. So, why not issue warrants for them?? Because this is just posturing, and the judge knows it. But, again, as long as we are posturing, posture on a grand scale. At the least, this would cause conversation about the war and its leaders. Good PR.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. It didn't look like an accident. That's the point. n/t
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moodforaday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. This is whay there should be a trial
Also, people, even civilians, get killed in war. Accidents happen, misinformation happens. Unless they can show that these individual soldiers knew that they were shooting at civilians, and that there were no terrorists shooting at them from the spot they aimed at, I don't see that they have a morally, or legally, justifiable case

This is why these soldiers should be put to trial, isn't it? So they can be pronounced innocent or guilty by the court. The reason for the Spanish judge action is that the Pentagon, as always, investigated self and found no wrong.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Again,
what authority does this man have? Spanish law doesn't apply to to United States citizens in the United States armed forces, regardless of what Spain thinks. In fact, unless I am mistaken (and I could be) didn't congress pass a Armed Services Protection Act, or something?

Be that as it may, nothing makes Spanish or international law, or anything else, look so ridiculous as giving orders that it cannot enforce. And let's say they did manage to nab (perhaps like the Israelis nabbed Eichmann, i.e., kidnapping) these men. What kind of pressure would the government of the United States bring to bear? Perhaps the Marines would land in Barcelona? Can you put anything past this administration, 'cause I can't?

The men have already been cleared by the military. Maybe wrongly. Maybe the military can't be trusted to investigate its own. But, do we want to give up the protection against double jeopardy?? I don't.

IMO, the men and what they did are not the issue. This is like, if we assume their guilt, going after low-level SS camp guards before driving on to get Hitler. Both can be done, but there should be priorities, and to my way of thinking, this is a low-level one.

I'm just wondering how Spain is going to feel about it when US courts start issuing warrants against Spanish judges. A new law might be passed any day, or a federal judge can just assume jurisdiction.

I still think that this is posturing, and I still think the judge should posture big.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. he has the authority of a spanish court...
that's what authority he has.

and spanish law apples to u.s. citizens the same as spanish citizens...if they happen to be standing on spanish soil.

if i were these guys, i'd make a point of not going to spain. ever.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Well, you're right about that.
But he has no authority in the US. Posturing, and posturing small.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. i don't think he or anyone else has claimed that he has authority...
in the u.s.

talk about a strawman.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Not a strawman.
What the man is doing is a useless piece of theater. He has at least twice petitioned the US to take the men into custody and permit Spain to interrogate them. The US courts did not do so.

So he issues his silly little warrant. This is theater, posturing. You, sir or madam, as the case may be, are erecting the strawmen, and avoiding the point. If he wants to make a case against the war, let him issue a warrant for Bush, Cheney, & Rumsfeld. That I could support.
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PunkPop Donating Member (847 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. I'm sure it's a low level priority with you.
But the families of those killed probably have different priorities. They'd probably like to see justice - ANY justice - done. If this warrant can make the slightest headway towards that goal than good for this judge.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. You might be right.
But I have sincere doubts that this will do them any good at all. In fact, it is liable to increase their frustration level. Besides, it would be hard to prove, I think, that it was not an accident. They do happen, you know, and in a war zone the soldiers are entitled to defend themselves. So how about, in the extremely unlikely event that this ever comes to trial, the soldiers are acquited for lack of evidence?? Frustration squared.

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PunkPop Donating Member (847 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #24
39. Are you aware of the extensive reporting that Democracy Now
has done on this event?

There is a great deal of evidence that this attack was completely unwarranted and that there was significant negligence amongst those involved. The Pentagon investigation was a whitewash. There is absolutely no evidence that the soldiers involved were receiving ANY kind of fire.

Brother of Slain Journalist Jose Couso Calls for Prosecution of Those Responsible for U.S. Attack on Palestine Hotel
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/23/145...

Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness - Documentary Exposes the Truth Behind the Attack
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/23/145...

Wounded Spanish Journalist Olga Rodriguez Describes the U.S. Attack on the Palestine Hotel That Killed Two of Her Colleagues
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/23/145...
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #39
59. thanks for pulling this together.
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blackhorse Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #15
29. If the Spanish choose to take the issue to heart,
... they could boot us out of their base that they let us operate out of in Rota.

My 2 cents is that it is worth remembering that Spain has a vastly different national culture and attitude than the U.S. If Spanish national pride gets involved, there could be all sorts of unforeseen consequences. And frankly, I think the U.S. would go a long way to compromise with them, because the U.S. likes the ability to operate out of Rota.

Cheers

BH
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #29
38. That's a good point.
The United States, however, also has a lot of national pride. I don't think they would let their soldiers be tried by a foreign court for something that the US has already cleared them of. Also, there could be unforeseen consequences for the Spanish. US military bases are good for the economy of wherever they are located.
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blackhorse Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. Only ...
time will tell, but I don't think the Spanish would worry too much about giving us the boot at Rota, especially seeing how they've already spit in our pudding regarding the Iraq deployment in particular and the response to terrorism in general.

While I doubt that the three U.S. soldiers will actually stand trial in Spain, the Spanish can use this to leverage us for other concessions. Kind of doubt U.S. national pride (the real kind, not the manufactured flag-waving, yellow-ribbon-fever mania generated by the lamestream media) will get involved -- most of the negotiations on any kind concessions will be done at a low volume and get lost in the daily uproar over the war, the economy, and the weather.

BH
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. Still
the manufactured flag-waving, yellow-ribbon-fever mania generated by the lamestream media kind of pride is a real force in American politics, and it might get involved. Closure of a base will have real economic consequences for Spain, and they might take that into consideration. However, you are correct, most negotiations will take place at a low level.

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blackhorse Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. Doubt this statement -
" ... is a real force in American politics"

Strong disagreement. The real forces in American politics are the ones who pump money into the corrupt elites. That is where the power emanates from, and the elites don't care a whit for what the people think, other than to keep them distracted with truckloads of fluff.

The flag-waving is done by individuals who have been encouraged by the system to believe that such behavior is somehow real patriotism: It is not, it is only a painless show that demands nothing from the one waving the flag. Not to mention that most people have no idea of how to care for the national flag, much less really grasp what it represents to the men and women in whose name they are supposedly waving it so much for.

Pride? Where was this so-called pride when the Spanish told the U.S. to get bent over the Iraq war? It wasn't manifested - because the real powers that be didn't see any worth in it, and because, dog gone it, Rota sits in a location that the U.S. considers strategic. Sorry, aint buying, call me jaded if you please.

BTW, the base in Spain won't close. It is a Spanish base, the U.S. is nothing more than a tenant there among many Spanish military personnel.

BH
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. So you're saying,
The real forces in American politics are the ones who pump money into the corrupt elites. That is where the power emanates from, and the elites don't care a whit for what the people think, other than to keep them distracted with truckloads of fluff, that the corrupt elites cannot demagogue their way into rousing up the sheeple? I really think we should define terms to carry on this discussion as we don't seem to be speaking the same language. If the corrupt elites did not need the people, they wouldn't have to keep them distracted.

The people can be led, to where they want to go. Sometimes they can be led where they don't want to go. I suspect that most Americans feel that Spain is entitled to its own foreign policy, as is the United States. So why would they worry if Spain disagreed with us?? What I am afraid of, however, is that there might be a severe backlash against those who encouraged or applauded a foreign government trying American soldiers for events in which they had already been cleared by the American government. Somehow I suspect the people who did so would once again be tarred with the "unpatriotic" or "treasonous" slur by the modern McCarthyites who run the government. Why give them the ammunition??

And, as we seem to have diverged from my original point I will repeat it. The Spanish judge is posturing and grand-standing. He will never see these soldiers in court. As long as he is doing this, why not do it big?? Why not issue an international arrest warrant for Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld?
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blackhorse Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #48
60. I guess ...
... where we diverge is on why the corrupt elite might "need the people". My take is simply this - they do not need the people to have and exercise power. They keep the people distracted so that the people do not become a problem for them. The need? Well, someone has to man the army and someone has to report to work at the low-income and middle-class jobs to keep things going.

Worry about those who might generate a backlash if you want to. The far right has been subjecting the U.S. to a backlash for four years now. My POV - the time for worrying about such things is past because the backlash has already started. And the far right will invent all the ammunition they need if any isn't readily available.

To the original point? OK - the U.S. had to a large extent a free pass in the world after World war II. A lot of that goodwill got squandered in 'Nam and what was left over has disappeared because of spectacularly ill-executed foreign policy prior to, and the conduct of, the current war in Iraq. But the U.S. still has this grossly unrealistic expectation that somehow the U.S. shouldn't have to ever answer to anybody else for *anything* the U.S. does. That flew with a lot of countries after WWII who feared the communist powers, but that era is over. Other nations realize it, but the U.S. refuses to admit it. If the U.S. would ever try to handle these situations with something other than the finesse of a bull in a china shop, then actions like that of the Spanish judge probably wouldn't happen.

Is the Spanish judge grand-standing? I don't know -- as you point out, if he wants to grand-stand, it would be more charged politically to go after the big politicos.
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #60
63. I think I can agree
to a point with you.

It just rankles my sense of justice that they would go after these soldiers. If they had proof that these men were deliberately targeting civilians, that would be one thing. But just because a civilian was killed by a soldier, that does not mean that a war crime was committed. Shit happens, especially in war, and the journalists knew the risks they were taking.


Also, I have a little trouble, philosophically, with countries claiming extraterritorial jurisdiction, no matter what the crime. The USA does it, too, but that doesn't' mean it's either right or wise. But that's a whole 'nother discussion.

Cheers
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #15
42. Cat among pigeons
"What kind of pressure would the government of the United States bring to bear? Perhaps the Marines would land in Barcelona? Can you put anything past this administration, 'cause I can't?"

Yes, that would certainly put the cat among the pigeons. I have actually had to listen to this kind of threat here in Western Europe before now.

I wonder what reaction would follow such unprovoked and unjustifiable overt or covert aggression by one member of NATO on another...
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #42
46. It wasn't a threat,
it was an observation of what might happen. And naturally, trying American soldiers would be considered an unprovoked aggression by many in the United States.

Just to clarify matters, I'm not condoning or suggesting anything of the sort, only observing that there are two sides to every question. One side may be wrong, but they will still hold their beliefs passionately, anyway. This has to be taken into consideration when actions are proposed that trample upon another's turf, such as trying American soldiers who have already been investigated and cleared by American authorities. As I understand the applicable Spanish law, and I would welcome correction on this point, Spanish courts only assume authority if the "crime" is not investigated by the government in whose jurisdiction it took place. "Investigation" does not guarantee that charges will be filed.

And, as a final point, in America a suspect doesn't have to talk to the authorities in any case. He can tell them to go straight to Hell. So, if he doesn't have to answer the questions of American authorities, how can Spain presume that they will answer her questions?
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. Peace. But Justice.
Edited on Thu Oct-20-05 01:40 PM by EuroObserver
No, of course not a threat on your part, Burning Water. You are a progeressive DUer, after all. But, as you say, it is the kind of threat looming over the entire world now with the current gang in power in Washington.

I'm busy working on other issues, but I'll more thoroughly inform myself and attempt to come back on the Couso, (without forgetting Portsyuk and other journalists) issue.

My impression gleaned from background Spanish radio during the day is that the judge's international arrest warrant has provoked quite a fuss; that maybe he somewhat jumped the gun (but this is a judge of the Audiencia Nacional, one of the high central courts of Spain); that the main problem is that the US (military?) justice system (or, let's say, under orders from their political bosses) have simply not responded to formal requests for information; that we suspect the Colonel who assumed responsibility in fact checked and received orders from higher up, and in order to hopefully follow that trail to the higher-ups we would for a start like to 1). receive a judicial report on any legal proceedings in the US and 2). question these men ourselves.

And: good point there. Without ever having had to check out in detail such legal issues myself personally here in Spain, I do have the impression that this (post-Franco) country tries to be very respectful of human rights, having learned by experience; has a clearly-written constitution (which I have read), unlike the UK for example; and that one certainly has the right to say nothing in any interrogation or court.

In the meantime, here's today's Guardian (balanced, truthful, as usual) report:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/spain/article/0,2763,1596149,...

<snip>

Judge Pedraz said he had issued the warrant because the US government had not replied to his requests for help as he investigated Couso's death.

It was "the only way of ensuring the suspects became available to Spanish judicial authorities, given the complete lack of cooperation," from the US, the judge explained in a written document.

<snip>

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists, after talking to journalists in the hotel and embedded with the US army, concluded that the attack was not deliberate but could have been avoided.

The CPJ said the Pentagon knew the hotel housed journalists but failed to tell the tank unit. "There is simply no evidence to support the official US position that US troops were returning hostile fire from the Palestine Hotel," it said.

</snip>
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. On Principled Justice (Steve Bell):
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blackhorse Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #42
62. Gee,
... it would be kind of silly for the U.S. to land in Barcelona, on the -Mediterranean- coast of Spain! Heck, in that case, Spain just might overrun Gibraltar and bottle up the U.S. fleet in the Med!

Ludicrous scenarios aside, I wonder if the judge's decision will affect Spanish / U.S. relations at Rota. Is there any mention in Spain regarding the Spanish military's take on this issue, EuroObserver?

BTW, I got to visit Barcelona last summer. VERY nice city.

Cheers

BH
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #62
70. Nope. Of course not. n/t
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Stockholm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. No one is talking about a trial
It is an arrest warrant nothing more. It is of course a long shot but at least the judge has pentagons attention now.

I dont know the statute of limitation on such a warrant but I would probably stay away from territories under EU control until the warrrant is revoked.

Personally I want to see more of these aimed at the * cabals.

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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
6. I remember arguing with a Bush-lovin' soldier and saying that Bush was
going to turn them all into war criminals.
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
8. It's a miracle! Go Spain!
Someone is actually enforcing laws! I wish the whole damn world would start doing this. Granted, I think it is a shame the rap is falling on the shoulders of the GIs, but it is a start, and maybe it will start to expose where the orders are coming from. The fact that our 'review' of this event said force was justified implies to me that the responsibility clearly lies somewhere higher up. I hope that this is the beginning of a trend.
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Orrin_73 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. What about the people who sent these
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 12:20 PM by Orrin_73
soldiers to Iraq, will they be indicted too.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Good point!
He should arrest Rumsfeld too.
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Dark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
61. What about the Spanish soldiers who were in Iraq before?
I'm sure they accidentally killed Iraqis. Does the judge intend to arrest them?

Arresting people for accidentally killing civilians is idiocy in a war.

Not unlike war itself. . .
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. Nobody expects such a thing!
I keed, I keed.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
20. Read the story in El Pas (in Spanish)
http://www.elpais.es/articulo/elpporesp/20051019elpepun...

(Free to view for I believe the first 24 hours from posting).

The text of the judge's order is there too.

See summary on the Jos Couso site in English here: http://www.josecouso.info/english.php3

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. "... La Justicia de EE UU no responde ... El militar tambin ha afirmado
.. que el Departamento de Defensa 'se toma en serio' las alegaciones y que el asunto ser tratado 'por los canales apropiados.'"

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termo Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. dead or alive !
:nopity:
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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
25. Universal Jurisiction.
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. kick
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:37 AM
Response to Original message
30. Spain orders arrest of US troops
A Spanish judge has issued an international arrest order for three US soldiers over the shelling of a Baghdad hotel that killed a cameraman.

Judge Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant for Sgt Shawn Gibson, Capt Philip Wolford and Lt Col Philip de Camp, of the US 3rd Infantry Division.

Jose Couso, of Spanish TV network Telecinco, died in April 2003 when a US tank fired on the Palestine Hotel.

Reuters news agency cameraman Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian, was also killed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4357684.stm
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Alien8shon Donating Member (9 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Ten.... Nine.... Eight... Seven....
I'm counting down on the O'Reilly "Spain Boycott".

Six....Five....
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SalmonChantedEvening Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #31
36. And according to the Madrid Business Journal
It's working even before it's begun!!

:D
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. Major controversy over that attack.
All the chickens are coming home to roost, and they've got spurs on their feet.
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pinniped Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. It's too bad they didn't use one of them precision 105mm laser-guided...
smart tank projectiles. Like their air dropped counterparts, they are capable of targeting these so-called insurgents and so-called militants with a 100% success rate.




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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #30
35. Can't wait for the "Terror Tapas"
I wish I had some now, in fact. A relative is over in Seville right now. It'll be interesting to see what he has to say about the news from that front.

Thanks, Spain! At least someone has the nerve to try to do something.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #30
37. Mark my words, Chili's, Zantigo, Taco Bell, etc, will soon be boycotted...
Yes, they ARE Mexican and not Spanish... but look at the nimrods getting off on boycotting anything that's anti-America. For one thing, they thought the French invented French Fries (whoops)...
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #37
52. NOT anti-America, ANTIFASCIST!
Edited on Thu Oct-20-05 03:43 PM by EuroObserver
ed: more finely stated: Just like there are "2 Americas", there are also "2 Spains".

And, please DO mention the civil war...
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
41. Useless posturing. Also many here don't understand war.
Soldiers in war ARE NOT POLICEMEN. Most people here have only dealt with and are familiar with how the civilian police operate in the application of deadly force. With civilian cops, it is a last resort and used carefully.

With soldiers in war - DEADLY FORCE IS THE FIRST RESORT AND USED FREELY - AND LEGALLY SO. And there is absolutely no requirement to get the civilians our of the way before you can shoot at the enemy. Nor do you even have to be absolutely sure that there is actually enemy where you are shooting.

So all the soldiers have to say, under US law is: "I thought there was an enemy where I fired." and they are cleared. In fact, they don't even have to say that. The fire can simply be softening up or suppression of a suspected enemy position, AND IT IS LEGAL.

Dead civilians are simply - regrettable collateral damage - and nothing more.

Nor can the US afford to hand the guys over. If they do, the effect on morale on all US forces would be drastic.

If the Democratic Party were to take a position of handing the guys over, we would be a sub-minorty party. Fortunately, I am not away of any national office holders in the Party that take that position.

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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #41
43. The people above are not representative of the rank-and-file
on this issue. Most average Democrats don't approve of scapegoating soldiers. If these soldiers were tried in Spain, but then aquitted, some of the above posters would call it "an injustice".
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #43
45. True. NT
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PunkPop Donating Member (847 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #41
49. Really? Don't the Geneva Conventions dictate the laws of war?
According to the Geneva Conventions:

  • Civilians are not to be subject to attack. This includes direct attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks against areas in which civilians are present.

http://www.genevaconventions.org /

Now, soldiers might be able to claim just about anything to avoid punishment, but civilians are most certainly not 'nothing more' than collateral damage. The Geneva Conventions have specific rules to protect them (and journalists).

Also, I don't think there's anything about a soldier's word being the final say. I believe there are mechanisms for discovering the truth of a particular wartime occurence.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #49
54. Damn right PunkPop:
What's more, we real-people citizens are in charge here and let those brainwashed trigger-addicts, of whatever nationality, not ever again forget it.

(I had more to say but it's gone now on account of the great anger I feel, have been feeling these last years...)

More soon.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #54
55. Ah yes, that was it:
What the fuck do those (some) people up-thread mean when the speak of law in a time of war?

What war?

We're talking ILLEGAL INVASION here, and consecuent ILLEGAL OCCUPATION, and we're talking about CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.

End of message. (As usual, I find myself, Europe-time (hello Makka-time) at the bottom of a thread apparently playing with myself)... But at least Rory Carroll's ok.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #55
57. The legality of the war itself is a different question. NT
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. There is more to it than that.
It that were absolute, then in a war the side that put anti-aircraft missles on the roofs of clearly marked hospitals and schools would gain a strong advantage. Such a side could use a wall of civilians in front of their firing positions and your side would be frozen into inactivity. Every enemy soldier would grab a civilian to drag around with them. It would be perfectly safe for the civilian because you would NEVER be able to return fire.

Real war isn't like that.
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PunkPop Donating Member (847 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #56
64. That doesn't really address my point.
Then the side dragging civilians around and putting them on rooftops would be in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #64
67. And they would also win the war by freezing you into inaction.
And how would you enforce the Geneva Convention on them? You would have to win a war against them to do it.
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EuroObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #41
53. No, no: In this case, captured on film,
Who will post here that film?

There was relative calm. There was a pause. That Tank commander waited, we suspect checked, listened, checked again, received instructions, then carefully aimed and fired.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #41
65. "DEADLY FORCE IS THE FIRST RESORT AND USED FREELY - AND LEGALLY SO."
You might have a point - if the war were legal.

It's not.

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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #65
68. That is a different topic.
In the real world, the so called laws of war are enforced on losers, not on winners. To enforce it's ruling, that court will have to win a war against the US.

There is no way those soldiers will be turned over to Spain. Even a Democratic POTUS with a Democratic Congress would not do it. The political damage would be too great. It would guarantee a solid Repub victory in the next several election cycles.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-05 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #68
69. Different, but related.
NT!

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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
58. Spain issues arrest warrants for US soldiers over killing of journalist
Spain issues arrest warrants for US soldiers over killing of journalist Jose Couso

20 October 2005


The tragic events of April 8th 2003 when three journalists were killed by American military in Baghdad will haunt the United States until it carries out independent inquiries into the deaths, says the International Federation of Journalists today following the news that Spain has issued warrants for the arrest of three soldiers.

The IFJ says that there are 18 deaths of journalists and media staff at the hands of US soldiers since the invasion of Iraq that still require proper investigation. One of those cases involves ITN Cameraman Fred Nrac who was killed three years ago, but whose body was never found and whose death was confirmed yesterday by French authorities.

The events in Baghdad on April 8th when a US tank fired on the Palestine Hotel, a media centre in the heart of Baghdad, killing Spanish cameraman Jose Couso and Reuters journalist Taras Protsyuk and an earlier attack on the offices of Al-Jazeera television which killed reporter Tareq Ayyoub were highlighted yesterday when Spanish judge Santiago Pedraz called for the extradition of three soldiers to face charges of murder and a "crime against the international community."

"This decision is a victory for those campaigning for justice and the truth behind the killings of media staff," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "There must be an end to the arrogant disregard by the United States authorities of the outrage felt by many in journalism over the sense that these deaths have not been fully explained and that the responsible authorities have not been made accountable."

http://electroniciraq.net/news/2180.shtml
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