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INTERPOL Granted Diplomatic Immunity In the US

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the subcontracting-the-dirty-work dept.

Government 450

ShakaUVM writes "A couple of weeks ago without any fanfare or notice in the media, President Obama granted INTERPOL full diplomatic immunity while conducting investigations on American soil. While INTERPOL has been allowed to operate in the US in the past, under an executive order by President Reagan, they've had to follow the same rules as the FBI, CIA, etc., while on American soil. This means, among other things, the new executive order makes INTERPOL immune to Freedom of Information Act requests and that INTERPOL agents cannot be punished for most any crimes they may commit. Hopefully the worst we'll see from this is INTERPOL agents ignoring their speeding tickets." Update: 01/05 02:57 GMT by KD : Reader davecb pointed out an ABC News blog that comes to pretty much the opposite conclusion as to the import of the executive order.

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About time to arm ourselves (1, Insightful)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648216)

This country soverignty has been slowly eroded over the years. The founding father's effort is now all lost. Time to fight the 2nd Independence war in 2012.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (5, Insightful)

NaughtyNimitz (763264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648368)

By "this" i think you mean the US of A.
What about the 'sovereignty' of other countries? Our founding tribes would run amok if they knew their ancestors would bow for the pressure of the US.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (1, Troll)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648492)

"Hello, INTERPOL? Yeah, that's right. It's me, FBI. You know the story. Constitutional 'problem' the Exec would like to avoid if possible.

There's a little black-bag job we've got. Some problems with getting a 'citizen' disappeared. The way we have it figured, you can cover this - and we'll be sure and give you access to Total Information Awareness, in exchange.

Sure. Glad we all have arrangements."

Re:About time to arm ourselves (5, Informative)

thomasinx (643997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648584)

This summary is flat out WRONG. It's phrased to start a flamewar. Click the news link, and see what it says. He did not grant full diplomatic immunity to INTERPOL. I quote from the article: "Basically, recognizing a group under the International Organizations Immunities Act means officials from those organizations are exempt from some taxes and customs fees, and that their records cannot be seized." FOIA might be affected, but they are not immune to crimes.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (5, Funny)

alexhard (778254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648612)

There you go again, ruining a perfectly good flamewar with your fancy schmancy facts and logic and whatnot. We don't take kindly to your kind around here..

Re:About time to arm ourselves (5, Informative)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648694)

Reading the article, I would've agreed with you, but if you read the act, you'll see that immunity is what it grants.

(b) International organizations, their property and their assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy the same immunity from suit and every form of Judicial process as is enjoyed by foreign governments, except to the extent that such organizations may expressly waive their immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract.

That sure sounds pretty cut and dried to me.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (2, Funny)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648716)

It's cut and dry ... Reagon was an illuminati selling us out to the UN.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (1, Interesting)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648712)

It's wrong ... but it's wrong in an even more absurd way.

Interpol DOES have diplomatic immunity ... because REAGAN GAVE IT TO THEM.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (4, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648390)

Political party X screwed us, vote Y!

Seems like we've only got two valid choices here. Which is the one we hate and the one we like again?

Re:About time to arm ourselves (1)

LordofEntropy (250334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648512)

Political party X screwed us, vote Y!

Seems like we've only got two valid choices here. Which is the one we hate and the one we like again?

Ambrose Bierce sums it up nicely in my opinion:
"Conservative
(noun) A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others."

Granted he isn't referring to our two parties, however it seems appropriate since the two parties tend to label themselves as either liberal or conservative.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (0, Offtopic)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648638)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648704)

We're at war with the Republicans. We've always been at war with the Republicans.

Re:About time to arm ourselves (5, Informative)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648472)

These are the additional privileges granted to Interpol:

  Section 2(c), which provided officials immunity from their property and assets being searched and confiscated; including their archives;
  the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes;
  Section 4, dealing with federal taxes;
  Section 5, dealing with Social Security; and
  Section 6, dealing with property taxes.

That's it. How exactly does that make you less sovereign?

Re:About time to arm ourselves (0)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648786)

The power to tax is the power to destroy!--John Marshall =p

Funny this is flamebait. (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648616)

If George Bush would have signed the exact same executive order, this post would be modded +5, insightful, and with that said, the very people who are heading for the hills because Obama signed it would be trying to defend Bush in that onslaught.

So really, all that is changed is that we substituted one guy for another, but the erosion of liberty continues at pretty much the same or even accelerated pace.

Easy come.... easy go.... (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648252)

This is really a change of a default assumption than freedom to do anything without penalty. If INTERPOL starts going crazy, it only takes a presidential signature to take this exception back.

So if the INTERPOL guy says "I won't, and I don't have to!" and the fed guy says "It's a matter of national security!"... all he needs to do is get the message up to the top of the chain-of-command, and suddenly that fed guy can grab whatever info he wants.

Yeah, high standard, but it's not going to change things much.

Re:Easy come.... easy go.... (4, Insightful)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648360)

This is really a change of a default assumption than freedom to do anything without penalty. If INTERPOL starts going crazy, it only takes a presidential signature to take this exception back.

No one is taking this exception back, it was granted in the first place.

The question might be why was this ever granted in the first place? Easy - the government wants to make it easier to hunt terrorists on U.S. soil or any other citizen not following the rules. This basically allows to the U.S. government to go and ask interpol to conduct unconstitutional activities on U.S. soil and report their findings. Clap, fail.

Re:Easy come.... easy go.... (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648382)

Unless the INTERPOL goes crazy with the president's implicit/explicit consent. Mass violation of the constitution by the INTERPOL, no problem, these guys are free to go. Neither the fed or the states can prosecute them.

Re:Easy come.... easy go.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648670)

True, but diplomatic immunity does not extend to the citizenry protecting themselves from criminality. 10th amendment applies and the President can't abrograte that.

Recruiting Tool (2, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648256)

This means, among other things, the new executive order makes INTERPOL immune to Freedom of Information Act requests and that INTERPOL agents cannot be punished for most any crimes they may commit. Hopefully the worst we'll see from this is INTERPOL agents ignoring their speeding tickets.

I'm sold. INTERPOL, sign me up!

How's this different from embassies? (0)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648264)

My first reaction is WTH, but on the other hand don't embassy staffers have pretty much the same deal?

Re:How's this different from embassies? (4, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648332)

Indeed, and the reason that diplomatic immunity is not a "do whatever you want" license is that any laws you break result in embarrassing complaints to your home country, who will recall you and punish you in their own system.

Re:How's this different from embassies? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648336)

Read the article.
INTERPOL has not been given diplomatic immunity.
They've been granted a very limited immunity from certain taxes and from records seizure.
They are not, as the original submitter suggests but the article refutes, immune from "most any crimes they may commit".

Actually they already had diplomatic immunity (4, Informative)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648564)

They had diplomatic immunity since Reagan's executive order. The statement in the original post that "the new executive order makes INTERPOL immune to Freedom of Information Act requests and that INTERPOL agents cannot be punished for most any crimes they may commit." is factually wrong. The infallible mr. Reagan's executive order did that ... it and not the new executive order gave Interpol the following :

"(b) International organizations, their property and their assets, wherever located, and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy the same immunity from suit and every form of judicial process as is enjoyed by foreign governments, except to the extent that such organizations may expressly waive their immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract."

AND

" (a) Persons designated by foreign governments to serve as their representatives in or to international organizations and the officers and employees of such organizations, and members of the immediate families of such representatives, officers, and employees residing with them, other than nationals of the United States, shall, insofar as concerns laws regulating entry into and departure from the United States, alien registration and fingerprinting, and the registration of foreign agents, be entitled to the same privileges, exemptions, and immunities as are accorded under similar circumstances to officers and employees, respectively, of foreign governments, and members of their families.

        (b) Representatives of foreign governments in or to international organizations and officers and employees of such organizations shall be immune from suit and legal process relating to acts performed by them in their official capacity and falling within their functions as such representatives, officers, or employees except insofar as such immunity may be waived by the foreign government or international organization concerned."

Reagan gave Interpol diplomatic immunity, Obama removed their duty to pay taxes and extended their immunity to an immunity to searches.

Re:Actually they already had diplomatic immunity (4, Informative)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648626)

I should add that Reagan obviously didn't make them immune to FOIA requests ... not being part of the United States government did that.

Re:How's this different from embassies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648352)

Yes, but embassy staff are not here to function in a police role.

This effectively creates a (secret) police force that is above the law.

This should be the last nail in the coffin for anyone who believes in the illusion of a free society in the US.

Re:How's this different from embassies? (1)

jabbathewocket (1601791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648372)

Embassy staffers generally do not run around with guns 'investigating' crimes .. with carte blanche to break every local law.. up to and including murdering the suspect. "this guy fled to america, go shoot him while trying to escape, its cheapr than a trial here in anyhow.." I would say its a VERY far cry from giving ambassadors and their families immunity from traffic tickets/full body searches

Re:How's this different from embassies? (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648610)

Interpol doesn't investigate crimes, you moron. They don't have agents, they have bureaucrats who co-ordinate information sharing between police agencies. They're on the same diplomatic footing as the International Pacific Halibut Commission now, and about as dangerous.

Re:How's this different from embassies? (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648730)

Interpol doesn't investigate crimes, you moron. They don't have agents, they have bureaucrats who co-ordinate information sharing between police agencies. They're on the same diplomatic footing as the International Pacific Halibut Commission now, and about as dangerous.

No, actually, the fishing commissions are far more dangerous than INTERPOL. See Canada's infamous Turbot War [wikipedia.org] with the Spanish for a recent example. Shots fired! Ships seized! Speeches made!

Yes, I'm being silly, but this whole tempest in a teapot over INTERPOL (which really is probably one of the more innocuous international agencies around) is silly to begin with.

Re:How's this different from embassies? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648394)

Yes, except an Embassy is an area of land, and its Ambassadors have very few diplomatic immunities when they leave that area of land. And even SOME restrictions are imposed on that land (meaning I can't set off a Nuke in the Canadian Embassy and think I'll be free of all American Charges in California).

Interpol however, is an Organization of international police officers, and from time to time we've observed that police officers get corrupted. They've essentially granted a Gestapo Force in the States that is not directly controlled by the countries own government.

Now - I have nothing against Interpol, and as far as I know they're a great organization that go after drug busts and murderers. I just don't see why they can't operate under the same rules as the local Police (Essentially the same job) as the country they are working in.

Re:How's this different from embassies? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648800)

Interpol however, is an Organization of international police officers, and from time to time we've observed that police officers get corrupted. They've essentially granted a Gestapo Force in the States that is not directly controlled by the countries own government.

Except they don't have police officers, they have desk people who work to help each country police by sharing information and requesting assistance. They don't actually do anything directly.
http://www.interpol.int/Public/ICPO/default.asp [interpol.int]

How about the RIAA with no FOI? (1)

SubstormGuy (734016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648446)

Hell, all they have to do is say that filesharing is an international crime, pay off some corrupt UN bureaucrat to sic INTERPOL on folks, then all those pesky FOI suits go away. And that is only one of the least damaging outcomes. Obama just wants to kiss multinational UN ass.

Re:How's this different from embassies? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648450)

Embassy personnel are representatives of their countries. The diplomatic immunity is just something they threw in to benefit themselves. It also makes negotiating easier because the diplomats can't be beheaded like they used to be. If they screw up or get caught spying or kill some family in a drunk driving accident, they can be declared "persona non grata" and expelled. This happens regularly.

Also of note is reciprocity. America grants diplomatic immunity but also receives it at embassies abroad. Where is the equality with a non-state actor like INTERPOL? How do you declare them persona non grata and expel them? Where would they go to, they're an international organization just like the UN.

This is just a move towards internationalisation. The dream of the UN and other transnational progressivists [unc.edu] is sort of a Star Trek-type or Futurama-type "Earth Government". It's not like they're making a big secret of it, either. I mean, what the hell, US law has just been trumped! An in a very incomprehensible way, too. "deleting from the first sentence the words "except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act" and the semicolon that immediately precedes them." WTH is this crap? What happened to Obama's vaunted transparency in government?

Re:How's this different from embassies? (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648500)

My first reaction is WTH, but on the other hand don't embassy staffers have pretty much the same deal?

Yes, but embassy staffers aren't law enforcement agents. They don't have the job mandate or inclination to go around arresting people and removing them to foreign jurisdictions. With diplomatic immunity what's to stop Interpol agents from arresting U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and taking them off to the Hague to stand trial?

Classic slashdot summary (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648628)

How fucking classic is it that the submitter linked the words "granted INTERPOL full diplomatic immunity" to an article that explicitly states in caps and everything that this is NOT a granting of diplomatic immunity?

According to the article titled "Just What Did President Obama's Executive Order regarding INTERPOL Do?", what it didn't do is grant diplomatic immunity, and what it did do is grant a limited amount of immunity mostly related to taxes and document seizure. The idea seems to be to to allow international organizations like Red Cross, IAEA, IMF, and now INTERPOL to do their work without participating nations worrying that the U.S. will spy on them by reading these organization's records.

Now I'm not sure I like granting a police force any more immunity of any kind, but that's a hell of a lot less than diplomatic immunity and not as hard to revoke. Maybe other countries were getting concerned about the U.S.'s nosiness and this will enhance international cooperation. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I do know the summary was classic bullshit.

Re:Classic slashdot summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648666)

Not to mention that the news is about 2 weeks old *in addition* to the summary being horrible inaccurate.

Re:Classic slashdot summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648770)

Maybe cause every time we hear it won't happen, won't pass, and won't hurt people, yet suddenly it magically manages to destroy people, get sneaked through, and does pass. Where headlines have basically become a war for your mind. When people bite, the US govt tightens the screws.

Rendition of Americans from American soil in.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648282)

three... two... A shame really as from the outside it looked as if at least the rule of law existed in the land of the free even if its foreign policy was to deny it to the rest of the world.

Re:Rendition of Americans from American soil in... (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648736)

Interpol is basically an information exchange entity between national police forces of member countries. Interpol doesn't not have its own officers making arrests, extraditions, etc--they are not a police force.

but... (5, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648290)

But the question on everyone's mind is, can RadioHead expect the same deal?

Clever (1, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648292)

They spy on us with impunity and share the intelligence with our government. In return our government does the same for them.

Both countries get to perform full-scale spying on their own citizens without violating any laws or causing an uproar.

Re:Clever (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648328)

If it doesn't cause an uproar, who cares?

Headline is wrong (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648300)

the headline says:

INTERPOL Granted Diplomatic Immunity In the US

The actual article [examiner.com] says: "these privileges are not the same as the rights afforded under "diplomatic immunity," they are considerably less. "Diplomatic immunity" comes from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which states that a "diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State." That is NOT what the International Organizations Immunities Act is.

The headline seems to be wrong.

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

KW802 (764675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648442)

It is a bit disturbing how many are responding without bothering to read the actual article which goes out of its way to get people to understand that "diplomatic immunity" was *NOT* granted and that a slew of other organizations, some a bit more dubious then INTERPOL, already have the immunities in question.

Re:Headline is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648544)

It is a bit disturbing how many are responding without bothering to read the actual article which goes out of its way to get people to understand that "diplomatic immunity" was *NOT* granted and that a slew of other organizations, some a bit more dubious then INTERPOL, already have the immunities in question.

You must be new here.

Right-wing propaganda (4, Informative)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648518)

Why are you linking to this "article"? It contains no information, only the Obama-bashing expected from your American right-wingers and unsupported hypotheses.

If you care about facts, you can find them, a few seconds of searching revealed this [nytimes.com] for instance.

Quote:

Contrary to its portrayal in some movies, Interpol has no police force that conducts investigations and makes arrests. Rather, it serves its 188 member countries by working as a clearinghouse for police departments in different nations to share law enforcement information — like files on wanted criminals and terrorists, stolen cars and passports, and notices that a law enforcement agency has issued an arrest warrant for a fugitive.

...

“We don’t send officers into the field to arrest people; we don’t have agents that go investigate crimes,” said Rachel Billington, an Interpol spokeswoman. “This is always done by the national police in the member country under their national laws.”

When public international organizations are operating on United States soil, a law allows the president to grant them certain rights and immunities, just as foreign embassies receive privileges. More than 70 organizations — including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Bank and the International Pacific Halibut Commission — receive those rights.

...
But Mr. Reagan’s order did not include other standard privileges — like immunity from certain tax requirements and from having its property or records subject to search and seizure — because at the time, Interpol had no permanent office or employees on United States soil.

That changed in 2004, when Interpol opened a liaison office at the United Nations in New York City.

...
The State Department recommended approving the request, but the Bush White House did not complete the matter before its term ended, and so it rolled over.

In other words there appears to be nothing to get worked up about. Even if you believe whatever republicans do is right. Because they would have done the same.

You Americans are crazy.

Re:Right-wing propaganda (2, Informative)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648546)

Sorry, I meant to make this a top-level reply. I meant the article linked to in the summary. Sorry, geoffrey.landis.

Your Rights Online? (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648308)

Not quite sure this story got filed right. Nothing to do with our online rights... this has more to do with all our rights.

Re:Your Rights Online? (1)

ddxexex (1664191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648456)

Your Rights On (the) line?

Don't be silly. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648312)

Come on, you're telling me that INTERPOL now has the same protection as the "International Pacific Halibut Commission and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission".

Yeapsireee, gotta watch out for those rouge Halbut operatives. Goodness me.

More seriously, remember INTERPOL actually has very little power - they're a coordination agency. They have no powers of arrest. They don't even DO investigations. What they DO is if a cop in Australia is tracking down a criminal who's fled to Los Angeles and therefore needs the LAPD assistance, INTERPOL is the agency that makes that inter-police-force connection happen. There are no "INTERPOL" officers in L.A. that do the arrest - that's for the LAPD (or FBI).

Re:Don't be silly. (1, Insightful)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648436)

More seriously, remember INTERPOL actually has very little power - they're a coordination agency. They have no powers of arrest. They don't even DO investigations.

Er, then why do these people actually need immunity?

Re:Don't be silly. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648462)

And basically this is saying that records INTERPOL passes back are free from being intercepted by anybody in the feds who want them. If the feds need them, the correct call in your example should be to the LAPD.

Re:Don't be silly. (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648524)

Come on, you're telling me that INTERPOL now has the same protection as the "International Pacific Halibut Commission and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission".

I'm not worried, as long as they lack the powers of the British Dental Association. Those guys are freakin' crazy.

Re:Don't be silly. (1)

noz (253073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648548)

Frog dropped in boiling water jumps out.

Re:Don't be silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648732)

gotta watch out for those rouge Halbut operatives

Jesus Hernandez Christ, it is ROGUE. Pronounced ROWG, like row your boat with a at the end. Rouge is red in French or a light red makeup people put on their cheeks to give themselves some facial color. Pronounced rooj. Like rooster with a j and no ster.

The reason I go on about this is that it's so bloody common.

And it makes the ENTIRE THIEVE'S GUILD SIGH HEAVILY.

A police force fully outside the rules (-1, Troll)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648314)

And bounds of the Constitution?

Is this the hope and change you wanted? Imagine the reaction if Bush did this?

Thank you Obama (-1, Troll)

retech (1228598) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648316)

You are, officially, an asshole.

I wouuld say Unconstitutional (0)

badass fish (1254730) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648318)

If in the conduct of their business does that mean they can ignore habeaus corpus or bill of rights in regard to suspects?

Re:I wouuld say Unconstitutional (5, Insightful)

saihung (19097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648396)

And this is why you should not pretend to be a lawyer. Ready?

Interpol has no police force. It conducts no investigations. It doesn't arrest anyone. As an international organization it was not subject to FOIA requests anyway, because it's not a department of the federal government.

As a previous poster noted, this is NOT DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY. This is immunity from attachment of any property that Interpol may have in the USA. Any employees of Interpol, if any, stationed in the USA can and would still be arrested for crimes they commit. In summary, both the original submitter and basically every comment I've seen so far are not just wrong, they are comically wrong.

Re:I would say Unconstitutional (1)

AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648806)

Do you know where the text for the original Executive Order is? Why is it so hard to find? Why is the White House refusing to talk about it? Why should an international organization's rights differ from any domestic entity?

Re:I wouuld say Unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648808)

Well summarized, thanks. We've had to play this game on pretty much every message board I frequent over the last day or so.

Incidentally, had Interpol actually somehow been granted all-powerful Big Brother status by an executive order, it would have been laughed out of any court in the U.S. anyhow.

Her Majesty's Secret Service.... (0)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648324)

Bond's license to kill came from the British government. He understood the risks when performing assassination on foreign soil. If he was caught, he would be killed or at least tried for murder.

What INTERPOL has is *BETTER* than a license to kill!!! It says, you can use deadly force within the US, and can't be prosecuted by the US! It's a get out jail free card!!!!

Re:Her Majesty's Secret Service.... (1)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648526)

No, it just keeps their records from being seized and they don't have to pay some taxes/duties. The privileges granted to them have absolutely nothing to do with immunity from the law, or having a license to kill.

Re:Her Majesty's Secret Service.... (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648542)

What INTERPOL has is *BETTER* than a license to kill!!! It says, you can use deadly force within the US, and can't be prosecuted by the US! It's a get out jail free card!!!!

If International Organisation Immunity were actually diplomatic immunity, which it isn't, it wouldn't be a "license to kill". It would be a license to be expelled from the country and tried by your own country, possibly for treason (or whatever your own country does to people who cause international incidents) as well as whatever you did.

Diplomatic immunity is granted to ambassadors and an awful lot of embassy staff already*, including those of countries that don't get on well with the host country, but international organisation immunity is not the same thing. For a start, it doesn't grant immunity from local prosecution (except for official acts - which murder is most certainly not).

* This works fairly well, apart from things like traffic violations, which aren't really worth expelling ambassadors over and are therefore commonplace amongst diplomats the world over.

Change I can believe in (-1, Troll)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648340)

Obama literally gave a certain group of people a license to kill.

Obama is f-ing twisted. This is actually making me start to believe the Alex Jones NEW WORLD ORDER guys. Ugh.

Re:Change I can believe in (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648460)

Nevermind, this is more evidence the Alex Jones crowd blows things out of proportion.

Re:Change I can believe in (2, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648556)

Are you shitting me? Are you really so ignorant of 1) what Interpol is, and 2) what Obama signed that you're actually believing Alex Jones now?

Obama granted Interpol the same diplomatic status as the International Pacific Halibut Commission. Interpol has no agents; they investigate no crimes and bring no charges. They're an information sharing/clearinghouse staffed by international bureaucrats, and nothing else.

Now, go change your underwear, and quit listening to Glenn Beck, and to your coworker who repeats everything he says.

Insanity (0)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648344)

That is sheer insanity. So we grant a foreign agency extra-legal protections to operate within our borders. There must be some sort of protections for American citizens to prevent us from being subject to tyranny. We put limitations (with damned good reasons) on our own law enforcement agencies but we turn around and grant Interpol (not even responsible to any one particular government) near unlimited authority within our country.

The long espoused fears of a world government (something that has been claimed as a threat by right-wingers) suddenly looms much larger in the rear-view mirror.

Re:Insanity (2, Informative)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648482)

This puts them on the same diplomatic footing as the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

Interpol is not a police agency; it has no agents, and they don't investigate and prosecute crimes. They're an information sharing/clearinghouse organization that has bureaucrats and committee members.

You can come out from under the bed now.

Just like the FBI is not under local jurisdiction (4, Informative)

viking80 (697716) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648348)

This is not diplomatic immunity. This is just protection against searches, IRS, etc. This basically allows a law enforcement officer to carry out his duties. It is identical to when the FBI comes to a local town to investigate, they can not be hindered or stopped by the local law enforcement. This is obvious and should not raise any issues.

Uuuh... WTF!?!?! (0, Offtopic)

SkydiverFL (310021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648350)

So, basically, we trust foreign agents more than our own? HOLY CRAP! Exit stage left, already!

As for foreign officials having similar rights, that's more for political courtesy and to keep the whole cultural difference thing out of our courts. That's somewhat understood. However, there is a CLEAR difference from some over-the-hill politician getting pulled over for speeding compared to an amped-up INTERPOL cop on the verge of a conviction. The mindset, purpose, emotions... hell, the whole scenario... is completely different.

Re:Uuuh... WTF!?!?! (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648514)

There's no such thing as an "Interpol Cop". They have no police agents; they make no arrests and don't investigate crimes. They're an information sharing clearinghouse with a bunch of bureaucrats and a nationally designated committee members.

This can't mean what they say it means. (2, Insightful)

d474 (695126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648354)

Diplomatic Immunity doesn't mean they get to violate our laws, it just means they don't go to jail for violating our laws. If complaints start to pile up (thanks to the ACLU I'm sure) then they will loose their immunity.

Right? Or am I acting like a sheeple?

Smarter than taking off our shoes and underwear. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648358)

Think about this in context. We just had a near-disaster of a plane exploding in Detroit and US airport screening is worthless to block this threat because the attacker boarded elsewhere. So, the response is to give INTERPOL agents here more power, and most likely the hope is that our INTERPOL guys elsewhere get the same powers so they can do their job there are we don't have to worry about who's being flown in here.

Misleading title (4, Informative)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648366)

The title and summary are pretty misleading, it appears the only thing Obama did was exempt INTERPOL from certain taxes and provided them with immunity from search and seizure. The article explicitly states that it is not the same thing as diplomatic immunity.

Re:Misleading title (0, Troll)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648630)

So Afghan, Pakistani, Saudi, and Yemeni [interpol.int] INTERPOL agents are now allowed to carry weapons and explosives into the US with impunity? Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?

Re:Misleading title (1)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648676)

INTERPOL doesn't have agents. INTERPOL organizes cooperation between local police forces of member states.

Re:Misleading title (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648706)

INTERPOL doesn't exactly worth that way. There are no INTERPOL "agents". Officers from individual countries are "seconded" to INTERPOL for the purpose of facilitating international criminal investigations. Basically, there's never going to be a Saudi LEO wandering around the US fighting crime on their own.

It distresses me somewhat that most peoples' knowledge of INTERPOL is from a combination of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" and random international crime thrillers.

Re:Misleading title (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648744)

So Afghan, Pakistani, Saudi, and Yemeni [interpol.int] INTERPOL agents are now allowed to carry weapons and explosives into the US with impunity? Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?

What's the difference between US Interpol agent and Afghan, pakistani, Saudi, and Yemeni Interpol agent? Do they more likely to become rogue? Do you have any proof? number? statistic? anything?

Re:Misleading title (2, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648758)

>>The title and summary are pretty misleading, it appears the only thing Obama did was exempt INTERPOL from certain taxes and provided them with immunity from search and seizure. The article explicitly states that it is not the same thing as diplomatic immunity.

That's because they edited my submission and mangled it.

For the actual law in question, read this:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/International_Organizations_Immunities_Act [wikisource.org]

INTERPOL is already immune to suit and legal process (Section 7). This made them immune to search, seizure, and paying taxes. And their families, if I'm reading it right.

There's different kinds of diplomatic immunity, read this for more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_immunity#Diplomatic_immunity_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

They now have all the entries on that table, so if you don't want to call it full diplomatic immunity, you're welcome to come up with a better term.

INTERPOL is a police agency! (1)

SubstormGuy (734016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648370)

How would you feel about any other police agency that was immune to FOI requests or legal challenges to misbehavior? How about legal authorities working on behalf of the RIAA? Isn't filesharing international? Another brilliant move from this administration. What could go wrong?

Re:INTERPOL is a police agency! (4, Informative)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648444)

You are ignorant. Interpol has no agents; it's a clearinghouse for information sharing, and it has a bunch of committees. It has never been subject to FOIA requests. Legal authorities working on behalf of Interpol are subject to the same restrictions they always have been. The RIAA has nothing to do with Interpol.

This move by the Obama administration puts Interpol on the same footing as the International Pacific Halibut Commission. Oooh, scary!

Interpol was never subject to FOIA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648378)

Because it is not a US government agency, Interpol has never been subject to FOIA requests, therefore this change does NOT make them "immune to Freedom of Information Act requests."

Interpol agents?? What Interpol agents?? (5, Insightful)

Bazzargh (39195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648386)

There's no such thing as an interpol agent. They delegate to national agencies (ie the DoJ) who do /not/ get immunity. What they do have is a bunch of committees and advisors, and a (shared) database of people 'of interest'.

Somebody's been watching the man from UNCLE a few too many times

Re:Interpol agents?? What Interpol agents?? (2, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648620)

Somebody's been watching the man from UNCLE a few too many times

You can *never* watch the Man from UNCLE too many times.

Ah, frogmen emerging from wells in Iowa . . .

Black and white images of THRUSH villains with no faces, who look like something out of a bizarre Magritte painting.

. . . and gentlemen agents in nicely dressed suits with skinny ties . . .

Re:Interpol agents?? What Interpol agents?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648698)

Then WHO was this done for?

Print yourself an INTERPOL ID . . . ? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648406)

. . . there's an app for that!

WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648458)

What makes INTERPOL so special? Other rock stars like the who, avril lavigne have been ignoring US laws forever by trashing their hotel rooms

Very common for US troops in foreign soil (2, Informative)

stm2 (141831) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648476)

In countries like Paraguay, Argentina and others in South America, this is pretty standard. Now (since very few years) with left governments immunity is being revoked.
From 2005 in Paraguay:

"the U.S. troops in Paraguay could not be taken before the International Criminal Court if they were accused of crimes against humanity, genocide or war crimes. "

In Argentina, joint naval exercises like Unitas are cancelled because our government don't want to give immunity to US army.

Re:Very common for US troops in foreign soil (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30648648)

What parent said. The USA pushes hard to get its troops immunity from local laws. If you don't want foreigns to be above the law in your own country, you shouldn't try to put yourselves above the law when you cross your borders.

Just sayin', is all.

Hold the Phone, or even better Read the Article (4, Informative)

starseeker (141897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648490)

Here are the sections that were addressed by the order, according to the linked article:

  Section 2(c), which provided officials immunity from their property and assets being searched and confiscated; including their archives;
  the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes;
  Section 4, dealing with federal taxes;
  Section 5, dealing with Social Security; and
  Section 6, dealing with property taxes.

Whether or not they have criminal immunity (don't know offhand), there doesn't seem to be ANYTHING in the above executive order addressing such matters. Might have FOIA implications, but doesn't seem to have anything to do with punishment of crimes committed by agents. Summary is wrong.

Dawson? You logged on as someone else today? (2, Funny)

dtolman (688781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648494)

I mean... it seems like an article posted by him. Inaccurate headline (they did not get a grant of full "diplomatic" immunity). Inaccurate summary (agents? INTERPOL is a coordinating entity - there ARE no agents!).

More Importantly... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648508)

I didn't RTFA because I am on my way out the door, but does anyone know whether or not INTERPOL has to respect our Constitution while operating here? As in, no unlawful searches and seizures, no requirement to house troops (would an international police agency qualify as troops?), protection against self-incrimination, etc. What about Miranda Rights, does INTERPOL know about them? Anyone?

Diplomatic immunity (0, Flamebait)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648598)

Means they can break into people's houses to conduct illegal searches without recourse?

And kidnap Americans, to take them across the border, for interrogation, also without judicial recourse?

Doesn't it?

Congratulations Mr. President... you just made a successful end-run around the constitution's 11th, 14th, 3rd ammendment, 4th ammendment, 5th ammendment, 6th ammendment, and the rule of law.

Re:Diplomatic immunity (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648720)

See, now, you have a reasonably low uid. You should know better than to think an inflammatory article summary is accurate.

Re:Diplomatic immunity (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648776)

It would mean that, if that's actually what happened. I suggest reading the article misleadingly linked as "granted INTERPOL full diplomatic immunity", since it will inform you that this is definitely NOT what happened.

Gee, I suppose our police and CIA have the same? (0, Redundant)

meburke (736645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648656)

This is a dumb move; it undermines our sovereignty and diminishes our status in the rest of the world. It may be constitutionally unsound to the extent that it deprives citizens and residents of the USA full protection under the Constitution. Co-operation is one thing, but this may be an assault on our civil rights by giving Interpol powers denied our own law enforcement agencies under the Constitution.

On the other hand, we've been bullying less powerful countries into fighting our legal disputes for years. It is only fitting that a more powerful government entity than the USA would make us buckle under, too.

This is the most a**-kissing president in US history. Where's Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?

Re:Gee, I suppose our police and CIA have the same (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648756)

The order signed by Obama puts Interpol on the same diplomatic footing as the International Pacific Halibut Commission. Interpol has no agents; they don't investigate crimes or bring charges, and they certainly don't do anything that would deprive anyone of any rights. They're an information clearinghouse amongst worldwide police agencies. They're staffed by bureaucrats and hold a lot of committee meetings. That's it.

After Lethal Weapon 2, Diplomatic Immunity .... (1)

cpu_fusion (705735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648780)

After Lethal Weapon 2, the words "Diplomatic Immunity" will always sound a certain way when I read them in my mind's eye.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiXNUaSjXRY [youtube.com]

How is this different (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30648788)

... from domestic cops, who can pretty much do anything they like without serious fear of prosecution?

In theory, it makes for a handy way around Constitutional protections: the Interpol cops can tap phones, conduct illegal searches, etc. and then hand over the results to US authorities who can use it (if not admit it at trial.) However, in practice the Bush and Obama administrations haven't bothered with warrants for wiretaps, searches, etc. anyway.

Domestic cops can get away with crap like shooting an unarmed and unresisting "suspect" dead (on video camera!) and still avoid prosecution, so it's not like diplomatic immunity matters all that much either.

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