Wednesday, January 05, 2005

And now, news you may have missed: the United States Coast Guard is sinking boats which they believe are involved in smuggling. Right on the coast. The coast of Ecuador.

You might think that this would require the cooperation of the Ecuadoran government. But you'd be wrong:

The crackdown fits into a new worldwide strategy that U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials describe as "pushing our borders out." Enforcing U.S. laws abroad is crucial, they contend, to control record illegal immigration, estimated at 500,000 a year, and close security gaps terrorists could exploit.

"The president has authority to secure the borders of the United States," said Lt. Cmdr. Brad Kieserman, operations legal chief at U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. Not only off Ecuador, but "anywhere in the world", Kieserman said, Coast Guard and Navy ships will "go to the source of transnational crime and interdict it before it gets to the United States."

Ecuador protests to the extent it can...

At least they're consistent. The "torture" memos released last year claimed that as Commander in Chief, the President had the "intrinsic authority" to order any action, even if it flatly violates our treaty obligations or the law. A claim that the more recent "we think torture is a bad idea now, for as long as the author of the 'torture' memos is up for Senate confirmation as Attorney General" memo rather pointedly did not retract.

via MFL's diary on the Daily Kos...


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