kay1864 (1000+ posts) Thu Jun-26-08 12:42 PM
Would the Chimp indeed be arrested if he set foot in a foreign country?
For sake of argument, let's assume this post is correct, and the Chimp lands in Nice or Barcelona next March, not knowing there's an arrest warrant waiting for him for war crimes. Or arrogantly not caring, thinking he's immune.
A friend suggested that the Secret Service wouldn't allow him to be taken into custody. Here was my response (mostly guesswork):
AFAIK the Secret Service cannot prevent their arrest in a foreign country. It's not like they're taking the EX-president hostage--they are lawfully arresting him. Yes, the SS would do their jobs to protect him from imminent threat, but it doesn't extend to violating the laws of other countries.
There might be a shouting match etc. between the lead SS guy and the lead arresting authority, but the SS would be forced to stand down, and the Chimp (as a private citizen, he no longer has Air Force One etc) would be taken into custody. Or they might just arrest anyone in the SS who interfered. Once you're in a foreign country (even if you're an SS guy), you don't have "American rights". You can and will be arrested if you're interfering with a police officer doing his duty.
Also, as a private citizen, Chimp would not be allowed to even leave said country, since as a private citizen, he has to go through customs and immigration just like everyone else. His passport would be confiscated were he to try and leave.
Now, maybe there's a VIP line that's separate from the main customs and immigration. but even THEIR officers are beholden to THEIR country--they don't give a rat's ass about US laws, since they don't apply. So if there is an outstanding arrest warrant, he simply would not be allowed to leave, and his passport confiscated. And if the SS interfered, THEY would be arrested as well, and THEIR passports confiscated.
And the arresting authorities may indeed show up with a platoon (for sake of argument, let's say it's Spain) . The Spanish police (or whoever) would be smart enough to show up with enough officers to arrest every member of the SS present.
Remember, Pinochet probably had a security detail with him too (which ultimately all the SS is--it's not like they're carrying bazookas under their suits). Didn't keep him from getting arrested.
How would this work? Next March, as a former Head of State (even an illegitimate one like the Chimp), does he bypass Customs and Immigration?
And if arrest were attempted, would the SS herd him back onto whatever private jet he flew in on, guns a-blazin'? Or would they recognize the authority of officers?