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Thank you for your comments. I can only say this: the problem is now that illegalities were committed, the problem is that the government of Spain was duplicitous. Politically, it could not publicly oppose the Couso prosecution, so all they did was underhanded while denying any pressure form the US. The Cables do give the impression that the Spanish government considered the Couso case impertinent or at the very least inconvenient. But that was never their public stance. So I am not sure that "Govt. of Spain attorneys had a case challenged or dismissed" ever. I don't think the Spanish government has actually been part in the proceedings - the Attorney General or the Chief Prosecutor at any of the courts are not part of the executive branch in Spain.

El Pais has published a bunch of material and written articles about how the Spanish government grovelled to the US government over the years. There is one cable in which the Embassy staff write that the "carrot and stick" strategy "is working" but shouldn't be overdone due to the risk of frustrating the Spanish government too much. There appears to be nothing the Spanish government would not sacrifice policywise to be best buddies with the US. And, of course, the fact that Obama has refused to visit Spain (even cancelling his attendance to a bilateral EU-US summit) to this date continues to bug the Spanish government, so they will continue to sacrifice policy to make good.

El Pais has just published an op-ed by its director (Editorials are unsigned, this is not). I'll translate some paragraphs of it in a separate comment.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 19th, 2010 at 07:21:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...the problem is that the government of Spain was duplicitous. Politically, it could not publicly oppose the Couso prosecution, so all they did was underhanded while denying any pressure form the US.

There appears to be nothing the Spanish government would not sacrifice policywise to be best buddies with the US.

My view is that most governments will usually give little more than lip service to matters that concern individual citizens and only really dedicate time and attention to broad issues of national concern.

The Couso family, I sense, would be far better off filing a wrongful death suit in US courts assuming there is solid evidence of wrong doing. Here their access to documents and major witnesses would be enhanced and some of the larger barriers they have faced that may involve face saving efforts by two governments would be minimized. I don't think they will ever get the accused soldiers before a Spanish court without some significant legal work in the US.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Dec 19th, 2010 at 02:14:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think they will ever get the accused soldiers before a non-US court, period.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 20th, 2010 at 04:06:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They could if Die Seriöse Leute weren't such a bunch of Quislings. They'll never get those who were politically responsible for the murder, but they might get the soldiers if they withdrew from NATO and told the US that they wouldn't come back in until and unless the US stopped murdering their citizens.

Which, incidentally, does not strike me as an unreasonable demand. Y'know, being allies and all.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 20th, 2010 at 04:25:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I agree with Gringo that there's a better chance of success in the US courts. For example:

Cavalese cable car disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The pilot of the military plane, Captain Richard J. Ashby, and his navigator, Captain Joseph Schweitzer, were put on trial in the United States and were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. Later they were found guilty of obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for having destroyed a videotape recorded from the plane and were dismissed from the Marines.
And, in this day and age, suing in another country is not as daunting a prospect as before.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 20th, 2010 at 04:33:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem is nownot that illegalities were committed

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 19th, 2010 at 06:40:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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