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Penalizing American Torturers

Washington long has placed sanctions on other governments and officials of other governments.  Now Russia is striking back.  Reports the Moscow Times:

An unpleasant surprise might await the next White House or Pentagon official who decides to go sightseeing in Moscow or take a dip at Sochi's beaches: no visa.

The Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that it has banned entry for unspecified senior U.S. officials, "mirroring" a ban imposed by the U.S. State Department on Russian officials linked to the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

The ministry hinted that the blacklist tit-for-tat could endanger a U.S.-Russian reset in relations. But an independent analyst said Russia's ban was largely ceremonial because Moscow, if it were serious, would have targeted U.S. businesspeople in Russia.

The Russian blacklist includes officials implicated in "the legalization of torture in American special prisons, the abduction and torture of terrorism suspects, the indefinite detention of Guantanamo prisoners, and the uninvestigated murders of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

Of course, the Russians are play-acting.  And the authoritarian Russian government is not one to complain of human rights. 

Nevertheless, as U.S. dominance continues to fade, Americans are likely to find themselves subject to more of the policies which their government long has practiced abroad.  If that happens, U.S. citizens may come to better understand the problem of blowback, and the ill consequences of promiscuous and foolish foreign intervention.


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