Sunday, May 14, 2006

Border Patrol - National Guard?

From the desert sand of Iraq to the desert sand of Arizona? That's the plan that President Bush will propose, but not if Governor Ahnold has his way. Talk about no rest for the weary.

Not-so-hidden Minutemen

Recently it was disclosed that the Federal Government had provided Mexican officials with detailed information on the location and operations of the Minutemen along the border. What happens if a Mexican citizen is apprehended by anyone on our side of the border after crossing illegally?

From National Review:
If the detainee does assert his consular-notification rights, the U.S. must advise the consulate of the fact of the arrest, pass along any communications the detainee addresses to his consulate, and allow representatives of the consulate to visit with the detainee.

That'’s it. If the foreign government is determined to educate itself about the case, it must do so by interviewing the arrestee (just like a defense lawyer) or by open source information (just like a reporter or any person curious enough to check the public record). It has no claim on investigative or intelligence information maintained by the United States government. Of course, our government may decide to share more information with the foreign government; but if it does, that is a function of choice, not a requirement of law.

The reasons for all this should be obvious. Americans themselves are not entitled to intelligence and investigative information from their own government, so foreigners clearly have no legal basis to demand it.

More to the point, though, let'’s say the U.S. arrests a terrorist from a rogue nation that happens to be a Vienna signatory. Would anyone seriously contend that our government should provide, say, Iran with background intelligence about the case? Of course not. We want to comply with our obligations to notify foreign governments about the arrests—after all, that is our best assurance that foreign governments will reciprocally comply and notify our government when Americans are arrested in their jurisdictions. We do not, however, owe them more than that.

However, it seems our government is providing much, much more than that. Hence the irony: on the one hand, the US Government spends millions of dollars a year on Border Operations (including building additional fences), yet bends over backwards to assist the government of the nation whose people flee it daily. Is it to convince Mexico that we're not all vigilantes? Too late - they already have that impression. On the other hand, I'd expect Mexico to bitch and moan about the Minutemen - any country that publishes pamphlets on how to safely (and illegally) cross into the US wouldn't hesitate to suddenly defend its citizens if they get caught.


A Day Withour Republicans

Somewhat of an oldie but goodie by now, DailyKos with "A Day Without Republicans."