Posts Tagged ‘wall street hournal’

April 2013

Russia Bans Americans in Tit-for-Tat Reprisal

Wall Street Journal

Russia banned 18 Americans from entering its territory over the weekend, responding to a list published Friday by the Obama administration that barred the same number of Russians from the U.S. for their alleged involvement in the death of a whistle-blowing tax attorney in a Moscow jail.

The diplomatic row heightens discord ahead of a meeting Monday between U.S. National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. Relations between the two global powers have grown tense, even as the White House tries to revive a “reset” in hopes of gaining the Kremlin’s support in dealings with North Korea, Syria and Iran.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry divided the list of banned current and former U.S. officials into two categories: four former U.S. officials that it alleges were involved in legalizing or authorizing torture at the Guantanamo Bay detention center and 14 U.S. officials that it alleges were involved in “violating the human rights and freedoms of Russian citizens abroad.”

The Guantanamo Bay list includes two former commanders of the detention center and former Bush Administration officials David Addington and John Yoo. The other list includes U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, as well as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara and seven current and former officials from his office. It also includes four Drug Enforcement Administration officials and a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.

“I have rarely received such an honor,” Mr. Rakoff said in response to a query from The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

Mr. Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and former Justice Department official known for writing a series of controversial legal memos on enhanced interrogation techniques, said he has never been to Russia and has no plans to go. “But there goes the Black Sea vacation home for the wife,” he wrote in an email.

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