Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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Iran Appeals Interpol Red Notices in Argentina Bombing Case
Iran says it will appeal Interpol's formal finding that there is enough evidence to issue "red noticies" for five senior Iranian officials and one Lebanese in the 1994 bombing of the Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

Today's announcement by Interpol, formalizing the finding I erroneously described earlier as final, is a sharp blow to Iran and it's Hezbollah allies. The judicial committee had made the decision, but not the Interpol executive committee as a formal decision when I last wrote.

At a time when there is a fragile consensus on moving against Iran for its defiance on nuclear issues, further enlightening their status as a rogue nation cannot be helpful.

The evidence I have seen from the Argentine prosecutors is persuasive, although the case has been marred by allegations of corruption and other difficulties. That is what a trial can determine, whether it was rogue elements or a government decision by Iran to aid and abet the terrorist attack.

Iran's decision to appeal, however, puts the issuing of red notices (official international requests that those named be apprehended wherever they are and turned over for extradition to stand trial for the crimes they are accused of) on hold. It can likely be dragged out for a significant period of time.

This is one of the primary weaknesses of the international law enforcement system. It cannot act quickly and decisively. Indeed, Interpol said it would issue the red notices on March 31. That already would have given those named more than two weeks to prepare (disappear?) and does seem to eliminate the element of surprise.

Not unlike the 2002 gambit with Viktor Bout, when Interpol issued a red notice and Interpol-Russia announced he was certainly not in Russian territory. At the very moment the head of Russia's Interpol was saying that, Bout was giving a live radio interview a few blocks away in Moscow. The interview lasted two hours. Interpol did not seem to be able to find its way to the large radio studio where he held forth.

Still, I believe there is value in the name and shame campaigns, as with finding the government of Sudan liable for the USS Cole attacks. When these regimes fall, and they do, the record established is useful.

But that is far different from achieving justice, and should not be confused with that.
Why Geneive Abdo is Right and The Muslim Brotherhood Is Dangerous
Sudan Found Liable in Terrorism Trial in the Bombing of the USS Cole
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