Letter Re: Preparedness for Martial Law--Finding Gaps in Bilateral Rendition Treaties

Friday, Mar 14, 2008

James;
This might seem like an odd [question], but have you given any thought to the [possible] aftermath of a major WMD terrorist attack, in which martial law is clamped down on the USofA? In times like that, political freedom might just evaporate. For [those of] us that have been [politically] outspoken--(I'm one of those cranky old guys with hundreds of published Letters To The Editor, and with one of those big Ron Paul [campaign] signs in my front yard)--where could we go in the event of some sort of round up?

Now, in peril of sounding even more odd: Are there some countries with which there is no bilateral extradition treaty? I'd just like to know if there is someplace that I could go, from where I could still be politically active on the Internet, without fear of getting swooped upon, bound and gagged, boxed up, and shipped home C.O.D. to some [expletive deleted] Supermax prison? Thanks, - J. in the Desert

JWR Replies: While extremely unlikely, your scenario does pose an interesting mental exercise. Extradition--more properly called rendition--is not universal. If you look at the map on the Wikipedia page on US Extradition Treaties, you will see that every nation in the Americas can be ruled out, because of extant rendition treaties with the US. In Western Europe, only tiny little Andorra lacks a rendition treaty. But you will also notice some big gray gaps on the map in Oceania, Africa, and Asia. In all, there are more than 50 countries that don't have rendition treaties with the US. Just be sure to do your homework. Be advised that some nominally "sovereign" and independent countries, most notably in Oceania, are in part administered by foreign governments like France, Australia, and New Zealand, so as a practical matter you might be subject to a rendition treaty. Again, I consider such planning as nothing more than an idle "what if" exercise. Your chances of ever having to flee the country are highly remote.


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