Posts Tagged ‘david addlington’

April 2013

Putin’s Got a List

Wall Street Journal

They say history repeats itself as farce, but it usually takes longer than this. A day after the U.S. government published its list of Russians banned from travel to the U.S. under the Magnitsky Act, Russia responded Saturday with two lists of its own.

The first is what the Russian Foreign Ministry dubbed the “Guantanamo List.” It bans former Bush Administration Justice Department official John Yoo, former Vice Presidential legal counselor David Addington, retired Major General Geoffrey Miller and Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson from visiting Russia. Moscow accuses them of being “involved in the use and legalization of torture and indefinite detention” of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney must be wondering what they did to merit exclusion from this honored club. We also like Mr. Yoo’s response, which was to say there goes his judo match with Putin.

Russia’s second list is aimed at those deemed to have infringed the “human rights and freedoms of Russian citizens abroad.” But the Foreign Ministry appears to be concerned with the freedom of only one Russian abroad, convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison last year for conspiring to sell arms to the Colombian narco-Marxists of FARC in order to help them kill Americans. The 14 Americans on Moscow’s second list—including U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia and federal District Court Judge Jed Rakoff—have all been involved in prosecuting Bout or his co-conspirators.

This is Mr. Putin’s idea of establishing moral equivalence between U.S. and Russian justice, but no one outside the Kremlin will fall for that. Sergei Magnitsky died in a Russian prison in 2009, at the age of 37, having been jailed for investigating fraud, theft and corruption by Russian officials in their treatment of his client, Hermitage Capital, an investment firm preposterously accused of tax evasion.

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