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.
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.