22 United States agents have been convicted in Italy for the abduction and torture of a person who, although himself the subject of a criminal investigation by the Italian police, had been convicted of no crime.
Imagine if Italy did this on US soil. Should those spies be free of the consequences of US law? I remember when French agents blew up the Greenpeace vessel “Rainbow Warrior” in Auckland harbour, and were arrested in New Zealand. Should that country have accepted that the ship’s protest against French nuclear tests exonerated those French agents from culpability for its Captain’s murder?
If the United States acts as a rogue nation then creates and must expect a world of might makes right. The ‘rational’ response to oppression by a superior power is asymmetric warfare – terrorism.
Thus we must reject this, and as a matter of our own self interest insist on an ethical approach to international action. Negotiation, human rights, openness. All the things Obama was elected to uphold.
So when he calls this decision by the Italian court “disappointing”, in fact it is he who disappoints.