Interpol Isn’t the New World Order12.30.09
It feels so wrong to be using the terms “liberal” and “conservative” to describe the various voices within the blogosphere because a majority of those really deserve to be classified as “certifiable” instead.
I have always considered myself a progressive, a liberal, and a Democrat, although I’ve never required that my thoughts and ideals strictly adhere to those three labels. Given the current state of these denominations – with the rigid believers denouncing anything the other says, it sure feels like competing religions more than political parties – I don’t know how to even start to classify myself anymore. Independent would be nice in theory, but then Sen. Lieberman kind of ruined that safe haven. Moderate probably fits me best given the options, but even that has a weird connotation, much like the political equivalent of an agnostic: someone who can’t commit either way, believer or non-believer, just somewhere in limbo.
The one thing I do know is that I can safely say that I am not a conservative nor a Republican.
Here’s the way the conservative blogosphere handles anything related to Obama and the Democrats do: start by declaring only the most extreme, worst-case-scenario rationale possible as the reason for everything they do, and then demand overwhelming evidence to prove otherwise (which they’ll never buy) so they can continue with their threadbare belief that there’s a massive conspiracy being perpetrated by the government against the American citizenry. It used to be the ultra-conservative, conspiracy theorist’s wet dream and now it’s just business-as-usual in the conservative blogosphere.
President Obama signed an Executive Order on December 17th that grants Interpol – the international police organization – certain immunities, including to search and seizure of its property. Conservatives read this as meaning that Interpol will now be able to come to America and capture any Americans they wish without due process or any ability to retaliate, essentially giving up US sovereignty. There are countless places to read about some of their deluded ideas, but here are a few choice spots:
ThreatsWatch – where all of this outrage started
Michelle Malkin – who only uses this to supply evidence for her claim of liberal bias in the MSM rather than actually weigh in on the news item herself
Reflections From a Murky Pond – who thinks that Obama doesn’t believe in US sovereignty and calls for him to be impeached, tried for treason, and punished to the full extent of the law.
These aren’t just some fringe outliers; this is a good temperature reading of the political right. Feel free to Google “interpol obama” and soak up the delusion. The culture of fearmongering and demonizing the Democrats has completely permeated the vast majority of conservatives, creating an extremely vocal minority of conspiracy theorists masquerading as patriots.
Once I caught wind of this development, I had to do some research. Even though I know that almost everything I read from certain sources online are beyond biased, there’s almost always a small fact nestled inside the cluster of paranoid fantasy and I needed to find out just how much was fact and how much wasn’t. And then, I needed to learn more about Interpol, the specific executive order itself, and what it all means. Now, I am not a trained constitutional lawyer, so I really can’t come to a definitive explanation for everything on my own, but with some research I deduced that the uproar from the Right is simply bogus.
On June 16, 1983, President Reagan signed Executive Order 12425, which designated the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) as a public international organization entitled to enjoy the privileges, exemptions and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act.
The International Organizations Immunities Act, signed into law in 1945, established a special group of foreign or international organizations whose members could work in the U.S. and enjoy certain exemptions from US taxes and search and seizure laws.
Experts say there are about 75 organizations in the US covered by the International Organizations Immunities Act — including the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Monetary Fund, the International Committee of the Red Cross, even the International Pacific Halibut Commission and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.
(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.)
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.
This, I’m told, is so these organizations can work throughout the world without different countries spying on each other by accessing the records of these groups.
My bold at the end for emphasis.
Here’s the deal: Interpol isn’t some shadowy, New World Order-style, fascist Gestapo unit. Interpol doesn’t have an international prison. Interpol agents don’t make arrests. From what I’ve learned, Interpol agents are essentially intelligence liaisons who assist police agencies from different countries who are tracking suspects across international borders. Up until 2004, Interpol didn’t even have an office here in America, and even now it’s part of the Department of Justice.
Seems that a large portion of conservatives embrace and perpetrate the culture of fear created by the Bush Administration and are convinced that everything Obama does is another step toward destroying the United States despite there being absolutely zero evidence or reason to back up this belief. Conspiracy theorists use the lack of evidence as evidence and that’s exactly what these conservative bloggers are doing.
The fantastical ideas the conservatives are conjuring up of Interpol agents as some sort of world police – like a global FBI or KGB – who will swoop down in the night and snatch Americans who dare speak out against the government and take them away, never to be seen again, are exactly that: fantasy.
Paranoid, delusional, political fantasy.