Travel writer’s legal nightmare continues

by Walter Olson on August 12, 2010

Joe Sharkey is said to have written with disrespect toward the sovereign state of Brazil and some of its institutions, and how much he’ll wind up paying as a consequence of that remains unknown [Blake Fleetwood, HuffPo, earlier]

{ 5 comments }

1 Bill Poser 08.12.10 at 1:55 am

I would hope that the US government would express its displeasure to the government of Brazil, whose Air Force obtains many of its aircraft and munitions from the United States.

2 wfjag 08.12.10 at 7:07 am

Interesting insight into international criminal law. It’s OK to drug and rape a minor, but, don’t write something, however truthful, that might offend, even slightly, a foreign government or nation’s pride.

3 Dennis 08.12.10 at 9:31 am

If we, as a nation, are not willing to defend our citizens rights against foreign oppressors, then we are not much of a nation.

There oughta be a law …

Any citizen of a foreign nation, foreign government official of any rank, sovereign, potentate, ot Tin Pot Little Dictator who shall indict, prosecute, or imprison any American Citizen for activities committed outside that foreign country, shall be considered to be waging war as an Unlawful Combatant under the terms of the Hague Convention. The United States may arrest, attack, or terminate said individual at its convenience. The Department of Justice shall establish a system of rewards for carrying out the arrests, attacks, or terminations.

Your law does not run, here.

4 blhlls 08.12.10 at 3:42 pm

Since the US has a significant number of laws allowing citizens of other countries to be prosecuted/sued for actions outside the US, such a law might be a little tricky to defend.

5 David Schwartz 08.14.10 at 1:52 am

It can’t be the fault of the Brazilian air traffic controllers who cleared two aircraft to fly on the same airway, at the same altitude, at the same time, and in opposite directions because they thought the two aircraft were 1,000 feet apart vertically. Never mind that ICAO regulations required at least 2,000 feet of vertical separation. (RVSM is not permitted without a continuous mode C secondary return from both aircraft.)

Blaming the pilots of the small jet because the accident might not have occurred if they had acted differently is akin to blaming the guy who gets hit by a drunk driver because he didn’t need to go out for a Slurpee. Even the loss of mode C returns, though originally caused by pilot action, should have been detected by air traffic controllers. Their failure to promptly detect and report the loss of mode C altitude information is inexcusable and swamps any fault on the part of the pilots in accidentally disabling their transponder.

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