A tale of two pities

A plethora of non-bloggy obligations has slowed posting down to… none-existent, come to think of it! Well then…
The Grey Lady gives us this op-ed comparing the judicial reactions to two “extraordinary renditions,” one from an Italian court that convicted nearly two dozen defendants for the (unbelievably brazen broad daylight) kidnapping of Abu Omar off of the streets of Milan (to a dungeon in Egypt), and the other in my fair city, where the Second Circuit of Appeals dismissed the civil suit brought by Canadian kidnap victim Maher Arar (to a torture chamber in Syria). Let’s just say that the Times prefers the Italian court’s decision to the American one’s.
Interesting… the Obama Administration did not miss a beat in asserting precisely the same defenses as its predecessor, and the Second Circuit did not miss a beat in rubber-stamping the notion that when it comes to ordering innocent people to be tortured abroad… the American courts just head straight for the fainting couches, and simply “cannot” step in to “create rights” that they don’t want to.
(Discussions of the background of Marar’s case may be found in my interview with Jonathan Hafetz; background re Abu Omar may be found in my interview with Joanne Mariner).
The Grey Lady urges the Supreme Court to accept review and then reverse Marar’s case; I see that as “unlikely.” Indeed, not much is going to happen until a genuine political groundswell of more than a few activists develops… if Americans want our halos back (as doing the work of the angels on the world’s human rights issues, and otherwise enjoying the reputation as the gold-standard in international behavior)… we’re going to have to demand that we get them back. Until then… we just won’t.