Barking mad…”Dog” Chapman, Tom Tancredo and the State Department
An obscure bureaucrat in the first Bush adminstration’s State Department, Alan J. Kreczko, is somehow connected to Dog the Bounty Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Immigration, Mexican-American relations, the war on drugs and… all hell… let’s just hope the whole thing is an April Fool’s Day joke.
The Hawaii State House of Representatives wasted their time last week praising Dog and Mrs. Dog Chapman for their “hard work and dedication to catching more than 6,000 bail-jumping crooks.”
Dog, the last we heard, was still wanted for deprivation of liberty in Mexico… having “captured” (i.e., kidnapped) a fugitive who Dog’s fans say was protected by his (financial) status, Dog wants to be protected by his celebrity status from standing trial for his crimes:
Dog’s most notable capture was undoubtedly the collaring of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in 2003. The snare subsequently landed him his own A&E TV show, which is currently the cable channel’s most-watched program.
Last month, that particular case led a Mexican court to rule in favor of having Chapman shipped south of the border to face trial on one count of “deprivation of liberty” in violation of the country’s anti-bounty-hunting law. That decision was roundly condemned by Hawaiian lawmakers, fans and even members of Congress, who said the reality star was only carrying out justice when he apprehended Luster, who was hiding out in Puerta Vallarta after he was convicted of sexually assaulting three women in California.
Tuesday’s declaration praised Chapman for never using a gun while doing his job
Well, gee… I sure HOPE nobody would give a gun to a convicted murderer. I’ve written on the Dog’s background, and the Andrew Luster incident before. Dog’s defenders always complain that Luster enjoyed special protection for extradition… the same thing “Dog” now is seeking, using celebrity where Luster used money… if indeed Luster was even protected.
Lee Catrell of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin has done an excellent job of following the more serious aspects of the case… and the effect this has on extradition in general.
Chapman is seen by many Americans as a true hero who brought to justice a despicable serial rapist who had been on the run. Luster was in the habit of incapacitating women with the date-rape drug gamma hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, and was on trial in California when he fled the United States. He was convicted in absentia and now, thanks to Chapman, is serving a 124-year prison sentence.
The perspective from south of the border is somewhat different. Mexican law enforcement still might be smoldering about a 15-year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling that essentially made American bail-jumpers in Mexico fair game to be caught and hauled back across the Rio Grande. U.S. administrations since then have tried to reduce the friction.
The legal issues concerning extradition are controversial. Although bounty hunting is legal in Hawaii, “that doesn’t mean that a bounty hunter can go anywhere in the world to gather up his quarry,” said Russell Covey, an assistant professor at the Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, Calif. “A police officer is authorized to make an arrest in Hawaii but can’t go to another country or even another state and arrest people. That would be considered a criminal offense.”
The law on extradition is a bit murky:
The United States and Mexico collided over a capture stemming from the 1985 torture and bludgeoning to death of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, in Guadalajara, Mexico. The DEA hired several Mexicans five years later to kidnap Humberto Alvarez-Machain, a Guadalajara physician accused of prolonging Camarena’s life so others could further torture and interrogate him. Alvarez challenged the charge against him, maintaining that his abduction in Mexico violated the 1978 extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico.
The Supreme Court rejected Alvarez’s argument. In its 1992 ruling, then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that the treaty “says nothing about the obligations of the United States and Mexico to refrain from forcible abductions of people from the territory of the other nation, or the consequences under the treaty if such an abduction occurs.”
Mexican officials were angered by the ruling, and the White House tried to mollify them. President George H.W. Bush quickly gave his assurance in a letter to Mexican President Carlos Salinas that his administration would “neither conduct, encourage nor condone” such transborder abductions from Mexico in the future.
Alan J. Kreczko, then deputy legal adviser to Secretary of State James Baker, said in congressional testimony less than three weeks later that his boss and Mexican Foreign Secretary Fernando Solana exchanged letters “recognizing that transborder abductions by so-called ‘bounty hunters’ and other private individuals will be considered extraditable offenses by both nations.”
Two years later, the two countries’ administrations agreed upon such a Treaty to Prohibit Transborder Abductions. However, it defines such abductions as those “by federal, state or local government officials” from the country where the person is wanted “or by private individuals acting under the direction” of government officials. Not only are bounty hunters unaffected by such an agreement, it never was sent to the Senate for ratification.
While post-Bush I administrations might have honored the agreement between Baker and Solana, a judge might ignore it.
As it turns out, “Dog” — who is definitely not a police official, claims to have had a Mexican cop along (something that would have made the incident a little less problematic). One problem: taxi drivers are not policemen. Hey, the guy had a badge (he had once been a hotel security guard), so “Dog” — that upholder of law n’ order — is pleading… what… that he’s a dumb gringo?
Stupid, racist, a media whore and prayerful for the cameras — and somehow all related to Mexico — it’s time to ratchet up the weirdness and bring in Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo has started out with a bang, calling for deportation of aliens, but that’s not enough. To be a good candidate, he’s got to show some foreign policy experience: so, as Chris Good reports on The Hill (Washington, DC):
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) is questioning the legality of the ongoing extradition of bounty hunter and cable TV personality Duane “Dog” Chapman to Mexico. The lawmaker Wednesday contacted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about the case.
“News reports have come to light showing that the extradition agreement between the U.S. and Mexico may be nothing more than a wink and a nod between governments,” said Tancredo, who is running for president. “I hope that Secretary Rice looks into whether this agreement has the legal force before extraditing a man who put away a serial rapist.”
Tancredo based his inquiry on the congressional testimony of Alan J. Kreczko, deputy legal adviser to then-Secretary of State James Baker, who said the U.S. and Mexico had “exchanged letters” approving the extradition of bounty hunters for trans-border captures.
So… Congressvarmit Tancredo who makes an issue of extraditing criminals — wants to end Mexico cooperation with the U.S. “War on Drugs” and extradition agreements, based solely on the fallout from kidnapping a Mexican doctor who was acquitted in the murder of an American agent in our on-going “Drug War” which led to Mr. Kreczko’s legal opinion (and subsequent legal and executive policy) — to benefit a TV star.
This being April Fools Day, maybe we should all go out an “Savage” the Tancredo campagin… as in Dan Savage’s “help” for Gary Bauer in 2000. Savage had a bad case of the flu, and if he couldn’t get Bauer sick, maybe he could bring down the Republicans by supporting a lunatic .
I’d be saner and simpler to start a new reality show: “Dog the Bail Jumper”