How Should We Treat an International Criminal?

Shock waves ripple through the nation. A nefarious criminal, guilty of a heinous crime against the country, escapes prosecution merely because he is not a citizen. He hides in an undisclosed location, concealing his movements. But even if he were to be arrested, this could bring disaster and reprisals. The nation does the only thing it can do. A request for an arrest warrant is given to Interpol.
Should the nation harboring this criminal be forced to hand him over for prosecution? Should he be flown to court in handcuffs? Should Interpol have the right to go on foreign  soil and arrest this fugitive in order to bring him to justice? Should the complaining nation have the right to send its own agents to kidnap him? Should he be executed for the incredible audacity and massive scale of his crimes?

No, not Julian Assange. This warrant is for Dick Cheney. And the nation is America’s close ally, Nigeria.

The Nigerian Federal Government yesterday made good its threat to charge a former Vice President of the United States, Richard ‘Dick’ Cheney, to court over his alleged complicity in the $180 million bribe-for-contract scandal by approaching a Chief Magistrate Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for a bench warrant for his arrest. … Impeccable sources within government confirmed that government’s legal team yesterday [December 6] filed an application before the Chief Magistrate Court for a bench warrant for Cheney’s arrest.

In return for this massive bribe, Halliburton attempted to obtain $6 billion in contracts for a liquefied natural gas project. Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton at the time.

Vice President Dick Cheney

A former consultant to a U.K. unit of KBR Inc., Wojciech J. Chodan, has already pleaded guilty for his part in the crimes.

“Halliburton admitted to the charges in a U.S. court last year and paid $579 million in civil penalties,” writes Mara Gay of AOL News. The facts of the case are not in question, and not in doubt.

Nigeria is not a wealthy country. Corruption on this massive scale, while perhaps normal for a multi-national corporation like Halliburton, is devastating to the integrity and viability of a country like Nigeria.

The question is: if America can seek to arrest Julian Assange for embarrassing us, why should Nigeria not arrest Dick Cheney for such an enormous outrage as this? And why should Dick Cheney be treated any better than Julian Assange?

Ed. note: Scotland Yard arrested Julian Assange yesterday and he is being held without bail while awaiting trial for extradition to Sweden on charges of sex crimes.

About dcpetterson

D. C. Petterson is a novelist and a software consultant in Minnesota who has been writing science fiction since the age of six. He lives with his wife, a seriously affectionate pit bull, a cat, and a bearded dragon, and insists that grandchildren are the reward for having survived teenagers. When not writing stories or software, he plays guitar, engages in political debate, and reads a lot of history and physics texts for fun.
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21 Responses to How Should We Treat an International Criminal?

  1. filistro says:

    I’m sure any moment now, Sarah Palin will tweet that Dick Cheney should be executed for crimes against humanity. Much as I dislike the former VP, this is one of those rare instances where I will venture to disagree with the Quondam Governor.

    I don’t believe in capital punishment for anybody, so I think Dick Cheney should be confined for life in a Nigerian prison… and Julian Assange should be his cellmate.

  2. shiloh says:

    hmm, like cheney/bush did w/Osama bin Laden …

    For your amusement and future reference, here’s what Bush has said about bin Laden at various points in time, depending on how he was trying to spin things:

    “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” ~ G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

    “I want justice…There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, Wanted: Dead or Alive,” ~ G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

    “…Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he’s maybe in control of a cave. He’s on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we’re going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that’s what’s happening. He’s on the run, if he’s running at all. So we don’t know whether he’s in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open — we just don’t know….” ~ Bush, in remarks in a Press Availablity with the Press Travel Pool, The Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford TX, 12/28/01, as reported on
    official White House site.


    “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” ~ G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

    “I am truly not that concerned about him.” ~ G.W. Bush, responding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts, 3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)

    carry on

  3. shiloh says:

    btw, please don’t let my (((Republican continual ineptitude))) post re: international criminals stop the conversation in this thread! 😀

  4. shiloh says:

    Or we could follow Reagan’s lead re: international criminals as he cut and ran from Beirut, Lebanon after the Marine Barracks was bombed by terrorists and (241) American military personal were killed!

    After he said we would never cut and run …

    Never say never!

  5. shiloh says:

    military personnel

    C’mon people, work w/me here lol

  6. filistro says:

    I often think you can get away with any crime as long as it’s a big enough crime.

    Let’s say you have a surly next-door neighbor who is suspected of stockpiling guns, and you’d really like him out of there. So you call the police and tell them they have to go in and get him becase he has tons of weapons and he’s holding your four-year-old child, who is in imminent danger!

    The police rush over and send in a SWAT team. The neighbor (who, it turns out, only had an old shotgun and a small rifle) is killed… but not before also killing one of the police officers… and of course he never had your kid at all, you just made that part up.

    You would be charged and held responsible for the death of the policeman, and do serious jail time.

    But Bush and Cheney, who did essentially the same thing except their lies killed thousands of American servicemen and least a hundred thousand Iraqis (and cost a trillion dollars) ….they give speeches and write books and attend banquets.

  7. Mr. Universe says:

    My personal feelings about Cheney: Give him to Nigeria. But from the last photo I saw of Cheney it didn’t appear that he was going to stick around on the planet much longer.

  8. Bart DePalma says:

    The Nigerians are welcome to submit a request for extradition to a United States federal court with their probable cause to believe that Dick Cheney ordered an illegal act under Nigerian law. We generally do not hand over American citizens to corrupt third world nations without pesky things like actual evidence.

  9. shiloh says:

    Mr. U, when cheney was at bush41’s groundbreaking ceremony in Nov. someone at another forum said he looked like he was a shovel ready project waiting to happen!

    j/k Dick …

  10. shiloh says:

    bush43 ~ carry on

  11. shiloh says:

    pesky things like actual evidence cheney/bush attacked Iraq unprovoked er w/out evidence ~ solo estoy diciendo …

  12. Bart DePalma says:


    In the wikileak documents (not to mention Congress’ and Parliament’s several investigations of the slander), you will notice the complete absence of any evidence that the Bush Administration fabricated any evidence against Iraq.

  13. shiloh says:

    Bart, if nothing else, they embellished! er self-fulfilling prophecy!

    Again Bartles: as to diminishing returns ~ You get the last word …

  14. dcpetterson says:


    In the wikileaks documents, you will notice there is no evidence that Hitler invaded Poland.

    What’s your point?

  15. filistro says:

    I’ve been wondering about the name “wikileaks.”

    I understand that a “wiki” is a co-operative webpage built by a number of linked computers… hence “wikipedia.” But I can’t see in what way wikileaks is a co-operative multiple venture. Isn’t it a single proprietorship like any other one-person blog, and pretty much entirely controlled by Julian Assange?

  16. dcpetterson says:

    filistro, it could be 1) that when he first formed the site, Assange envisioned it as a cooperative locus of libertarians, anarchists, and others who worked together to reveal state secrets, or 2) that Assange wanted to use that concept for its advertising value, or 3) that Assange actually sees it as a cooperative venture, because he is reliant on people to leak stuff to him.

    Just guessing here.

  17. filistro says:

    @DC.. 3) that Assange actually sees it as a cooperative venture, because he is reliant on people to leak stuff to him

    That’s probably closest to the truth… but in fact he’s no more an actual “wiki” than any other blog that invites reader participation… including ours.

    It seems curious to me. Maybe he just liked the way it sounded :”wikileaks”… kind of modern and geeky, but with subtle overtones of mischief and friskiness.

  18. shortchain says:

    Actually, filistro, a “wiki” has a special meaning beyond what you discussed. Specifically, it involves a web page (or group of web pages) that can be interactively edited and added to by many individuals. Assange is merely the spokesman for wikileaks, rather like Jimmy Wales is the spokesman for wikipedia. They’re not that different, in design.

    In principle, anybody with information could upload that information to wikileaks, just as anybody can create or edit a wikipedia entry. Personally, I’m hoping this starts happening more.

  19. filistro says:

    shortchain… I didn’t realize anybody can upload info to wikileaks. In that case, how could Assange be specifically liable? Is a spokesman responsible for what happens at a community website?

  20. shortchain says:


    In this case, Assange apparently acted as the go-between for the person who obtained the material and the wiki. But it’s going to be darned hard to prosecute him for anything, as the material he’s published has also been published (in many, if not all, cases) in newspapers before being put on the wiki. Glenn Greenwald has been saying a lot about this over the last several days.

    As far as Nigeria and Cheney goes, I would insist on exactly the kind of evidence for extradition as was produced for Assange. Since that’s apparently already met, Nigeria can have Cheney to try and convict, for all I care. I just insist that they treat him as humanely as international standards require. Which is to say more humanely than he insisted on treating accused criminals.

  21. drfunguy says:

    Apparently BDP never got the memo that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Do you need that to practice that lawyer-thingy he claims as his proffession?

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