In a case brought by Mexico, the court said Mr. Medellín and 50 other Mexicans on death row in the United States should get new hearings because they were not given access to consular officials, as required by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Washington has been a signatory for decades.Well, this is sounding vaguely familiar so far...
Initially, the Bush administration flirted with sanity by recognizing the reciprocal implications for Americans abroad and promising to abide by the court's ruling. But eventually, hotter heads prevailed, and someone finally remembered that this is, after all, the "Fuck You!" administration:
Last week, just days after accepting the court's judgment, the administration revealed its hand: it said it had withdrawn from the optional protocol. Apparently forgetting its concern about citizens arrested abroad, the State Department said it wanted to end the court's meddling in the American judicial system.I just don't get this. Are the Bushies deliberately trying to put Americans overseas (or across the border) at risk? Do they believe that other countries will give Americans a higher standard of treatment than we guarantee to their citizens, out of either goodwill or fear? Do they simply want to make Americans afraid to leave the country, or foreigners afraid to enter it? Or have they simply not thought it through beyond the shallow macho satisfaction of telling the rest of the world to get bent... again?
My bet is, this isn't really about fifty hapless Mexicans; this is preparation for when they start snatching and grabbing Saudi or Iraqi or Iranian or Egyptian citizens off the street here, and they want to make sure they can't call their embassy for help, because it might hinder The War On Terror™.
Coupled with the Administration's use of the Geneva Conventions as a urinal, and our electoral endorsement of a narcissistic, power-mad thug as our supreme maximum leader, the world is becoming a very unsafe place for Americans. On the other hand, if current domestic trends continue, only the very rich will be able to afford to travel overseas anyway. Let them worry about whether Turkish prisons are really as bad as everyone says.