Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
Apparently not content to see its own justice system befouled, the U.S. government has tried to corrupt courts in other countries.
That is one of many nauseating lessons from the recent WikiLeaks dump of cables from the U.S. State Department. U.S. officials, under both the Bush and Obama administrations, have tried to corruptly influence the outcomes of three criminal matters pending in Spain's national security court, according to a new article from Scott Horton, at Harper's.
The cases involve the death of a Spanish cameraman from the U.S. shelling of a Baghdad hotel, the torture of Spanish subjects at Guantanomo, and the use of Spanish airfields and bases for extraordinary-renditions flights.
Do U.S. officials want these cases handled in the manner required by our own constitution, which involves due process and equal protection guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment? Not at all. In fact, it appears the U.S. wants the cases to get the kind of treatment they might receive in a banana republic--complete with compromised prosecutors and judges.
These cables reveal a large-scale, closely coordinated effort by the State Department to obstruct these criminal investigations. High-ranking U.S. visitors such as former Republican Party Chair Mel Martinez, Senator Greg Judd, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were corralled into this effort, warning Spanish political leaders that the criminal investigations would "be misunderstood" and would harm bilateral relations. The U.S. diplomats also sought out and communicated directly with judges and prosecutors, attempting to steer the cases into the hands of judges of their choosing. The cables also reflect an absolutely extraordinary rapport between the Madrid embassy and Spanish prosecutors, who repeatedly appear to be doing the embassy's bidding.