On the assassination in Woolwich

Given the significant impact of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich by two British converts to Islam, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, I’m moved to make a brief comment on what I consider its implications. The ethics of the attack itself can be debated until the cows come home; as ethics are essentially subjective and arbitrary, they cannot really be argued out, and nobody will convince anyone else of the ethical merits or demerits of such an action if they do not already share that view. I will therefore not say much about that, though this is not to say I have no ethical concerns about it. But the political and strategic consequences are real and should be debated widely. The first point is that an attack of this kind cannot simply be considered a blow against British imperialism, even if it is – as voiced by the assassins themselves – clearly a response to British foreign policy, not least the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Continue reading “On the assassination in Woolwich”

Italian court convicts CIA agents

Thanks to the persistent efforts of Italian procurator Armando Spataro, the CIA agents responsible for abducting Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, better known as Abu Omar, have been prosecuted for their crime committed with the connivance of the Italian government of Berlusconi. Just a few days ago, the court in Milano found 23 American agents and two Italians guilty of the crime, sentencing them to long imprisonments, mostly in absentia.(1) The CIA station chief in Milano, Robert Lady, got eight years’ imprisonment, whereas most others received five years, including a US Airforce colonel. Continue reading “Italian court convicts CIA agents”