The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

July 20, 2013

Ex-CIA officer sent to US, not Italy

(Continued)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica —

“We’re in a moment of extremely close relations with the United States. Panama is granting all of the favors that Washington requests,” political analyst Mario Rognoni said. “The DEA, CIA and other security agencies are here telling Panama what to do on its territory and along its borders.

“It makes sense that they would send him (Seldon) to the U.S. instead of Italy. I reiterate: they’re doing everything that the United States asks.”

The extraordinary rendition case caused tensions between Rome and Washington, two traditional allies. In April, Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, pardoned a U.S. Air Force colonel convicted in the rendition case, a move Napolitano hoped would keep American-Italian relations strong, especially on security matters.

Napolitano said he granted the pardon in hopes of resolving an affair that the United States considered unprecedented because a U.S. military officer for NATO had been convicted for deeds committed on Italian territory.

The colonel, Joseph Romano, was security chief of the Aviano air base in northern Italy, where Nasr was taken on his way to Egypt.

In issuing the pardon, Napolitano’s office said the president had taken into consideration that Obama, immediately after his election, had ended the George W. Bush administration’s anti-terror practices that both Italy and the European Union considered to be “not compatible with fundamental principles of rule of law.”

Seldon Lady, who was born in Honduras, left Italy early into the Italian investigation of the abduction. He also retired from the CIA. Interpol had issued a request for Seldon Lady’s arrest, reflecting Italy’s determination to get him back.

“U.S. officials who have thus far evaded any accountability for their role in a global torture program should take today’s development as a warning sign,” the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which has fought U.S. counter-terror programs such as extraordinary renditions and detention at Guantanamo Bay, said in an emailed statement.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • Senate approves new VA secretary

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate passes highway bill, sends it to House

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted to change the funding and timing of a House bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states in an effort to force Congress to come to grips with chronic funding problems that have plagued ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Israel targets Hamas infrastructures in latest round of bombing

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel unleashed its heaviest bombardment in a 3-week-old war against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group’s control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FedEx charges raising online pharmacy issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — FedEx Corp., the latest company accused in a federal probe involving illegal online pharmacies, says it will fight the charges that it knowingly shipped drugs to people who lack valid prescriptions....

    July 27, 2014

  • EU, U.S. seek to curb Putin’s Ukraine course

    BRUSSELS — Months after Russia annexed Crimea and stepped up support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, Europe and the United States are still searching for a way to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to change course....

    July 27, 2014

  • Fighting intense near crash

    DONETSK, Ukraine — Ukrainian armed forces mounted a major onslaught against pro-Russian separatist fighters Sunday in an attempt to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month....

    July 27, 2014

  • Gaza war rages despite truce pledges

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite going back and forth over proposals for a temporary halt to nearly three weeks of fighting ahead of a major Muslim holiday....

    July 27, 2014

  • Hamas fires rockets on Israel, ending 12-hour lull

    BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip — Hamas said it fired five rockets at Israel late Saturday after rejecting Israel’s offer to extend a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire by four hours, casting new doubt on international efforts to broker an end to 19 ...

    July 27, 2014