After not hearing the word "INTERPOL" (which stands for The International Criminal Police Organization) for a VERY long time (probably since my days as a U.S. consular officer in Africa), it is now part of my daily lexicon, initially the result of the late Hugo Chavez' bombardment of international arrest warrants against any and all affluent and/or powerful Venezuelans bold enough to defy his dictatorial agenda. A few trumped up allegations ramrodded through a Chavez-owned court and presto: an obliging Interpol, without so much as an iota of due diligence, issues a so-called "Red Notice", a de facto international arrest warrant which triggers visa denials, detentions, and the end of travel freedom...irrespective of whether the flagged person is a bona fide criminal or a local politician running against a Chavista mayor in a pivotal election.
The problem is that INTERPOL is, well, very political, very profitable, and made up of many member countries whose respect for the rule of law is, ahem, somewhat lacking. Back when it was established as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) in 1923, it was a pretty good idea. Bad guys on the lam could be caught via the telegraphic issuance of international communiques. But fast forward almost a century and its 190 countries provide it with a budget of around €60 million (that's Euros) through annual contributions. These member states include some real beacons of liberty:
- Equatorial Guinea (where I was a consular officer and lived to tell)
- Syria and of course, my personal favorite,
As I continue my journey down the rabbit hole I fell into last week on US soil, I am swiftly coming to the conclusion that what I've called "ACLU Paranoia" for the past 3 decades may simply be what happens when you take the Red Pill and, like Neo in the Matrix, snap out of the fiction into a world where freedom is hardly assured, and where the government is not necessarily "here to help"
Check this out:
Great Article on How Some Governments Use Interpol to Pursue Political Agendas