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November 5, 2009

‘Italian Job’ Verdict: That’s Not Justice

Filed under: Torture and Abuse — kevinfenton @ 2:38 am
Tags: , , ,

The verdict is in in the trial of CIA, US Air Force and Italian military intelligence personnel over the kidnapping of Islamist extremist Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (a.k.a. Abu Omar). 22 low-level CIA officers got five to eight years, the air force officer got five years and two low-level Italian officials were also convicted. Three CIA officers were acquitted, including Jeff Castelli, the station chief who dreamed up the whole operation. The acquittal was on the grounds of diplomatic immunity. Other Italian officials were acquitted on state secrecy grounds. Former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and CIA Director George Tenet signed off on the operation, but were not even put on trial.

This is not justice by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. Some low-level people got sentenced to prison, the higher-ups stay free. Some of them weren’t even put on trial because they ordered their subordinates to keep their mouths shut and take the fall. As the Americans will not go to Italy, the only people who will be punished are the two low-level Italians, who will go to prison, and former CIA officer Robert Seldon Lady, whose villa near Milan will be sold to compensate Nasr. Lady actually opposed the operation and was not that heavily involved in it.

As I blogged a while back, the rendition made no sense.

Update: Soctt Horton has more at Harpers. Unsurprisingly, everybody is going to appeal.

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