Friday, February 16, 2007
War on Terror: European Edition
So Austrian sniper rifles are making it into the hands of Iraqi insurgents via Iran. And the usual suspects are asking whether the President has a right to go to war with a country that is supplying our enemies.
Well, here's an item that doesn't seem to have been manufactured by Dick Cheney. According to a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph, U.S. forces in Baghdad have recently discovered 100 high-powered sniper rifles made by Austrian gun-maker Steyr-Mannlicher. The .50-caliber Steyr can accurately fire an armor-piercing round at a range of 1,500 meters. The weapon is good against Humvees, helicopters and body armor.
In 2004, Iran purchased some 800 Steyrs, allegedly for use against drug traffickers. At the time, both U.S. and British officials urged the Austrian government to bar the $15 million sale, fearing the weapons would fall into enemy hands. Former Austrian Chancellor Wolfang Schüssel thought otherwise, and let the deal go forward. To better grease the skids, then-Steyr-Mannlicher CEO Wolfgang Fürlinger made the case that the weapons were basically harmless and that Tehran had signed "end-user certificates" guaranteeing they would not be re-sold, according to the German newsweekly Der Spiegel.
Next we have American intelligence agents in the middle of a Italian political fight.
ROME, Italy (CNN) -- An Italian court has ordered 26 Americans and six Italians to stand trial in connection with the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program.
The 35 are scheduled to go to trial June 8 for allegedly kidnapping and transferring a terror suspect to third countries. Three other Italians face charges of complicity in the kidnappings....
Prosecutors allege that a CIA team working with Italian intelligence officials seized him, eventually flying him to Egypt, and used torture as part of an interrogation there.
In an earlier interview, former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer said the Italian military secret service had approved the operation, and CIA sources who refused to be named told CNN in 2005 that the agency had briefed and sought approval from its Italian counterpart for such an abduction. [Emphasis added.]
It is getting easier to see the day when the U.S. and the E.U. go to war. This is not the first time that leftists have attempted to use European courts to go after members of the American military. I imagine some day they will actually gain custody of one of our citizens on human rights charges and we will have to read them the riot act. Better to save them and us the trouble now and spell out the consequences of such a show trial against the people who work to keep America safe.