The politically ambitious Indian-born US Attorney for the Southern District of NY has caused a perfect kerfuffle in the India-US relations. The US State Department’s agents arrested the Indian consular official for breaking employment laws when hiring a maid “in the most discreet way possible, and unlike most defendants, she was not then handcuffed or restrained”. She was transferred to the custody of US marshals with Attorney Preet Bharara presiding as judge, jury and executioner. The diplomat was subjected to a full cavity search courtesy of “a female Deputy Marshal — in a private setting — when she was brought into the US Marshals’ custody, but this is standard practice for every defendant, rich or poor, American or not, in order to make sure that no prisoner keeps anything on his person that could harm anyone, including himself. This is in the interests of everyone’s safety”, according to Baharara.
It turns out that this diplomat has “consular immunity”, not diplomatic immunity, and therefore only protected from a host country’s laws only when the offences are related to their consular duties. So it is open season on this lady.
Indian politicians have responded by snubbing visiting Congressional delegations and even removing concrete barriers in front of the US embassy in Delhi, which were in place to thwart terrorist attacks. Nobody should be surprised by any of this, as this is normal procedure in US. You can be subject to this even for running a stop sign.
David Eckert was pulled over by police in Deming, N.M., for failing to come to a complete halt at a stop sign in the Walmart parking lot. He was asked to step out of the vehicle, and waited on the sidewalk. Officers decided that they didn’t like the tight clench of his buttocks, a subject on which New Mexico’s constabulary is apparently expert, and determined that it was because he had illegal drugs secreted therein. So they arrested him, and took him to Gila Regional Medical Center in neighboring Hidalgo County, where Mr. Eckert was forced to undergo two abdominal X-rays, two rectal probes, three enemas, and defecate thrice in front of medical staff and representatives of two law-enforcement agencies, before being sedated and subjected to a colonoscopy — all procedures performed against his will and without a valid warrant. Alas, Mr. Eckert’s body proved to be a drug-free zone, and so, after twelve hours of detention, he was released.
For his efforts Gila Regional Medical Center subsequently sent Mr. Eckert a bill for $6,000. If that seems a tad unusual then here is another recent case.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and Texas said no drugs were found on the woman despite the intrusive searches.
“After enduring approximately six hours of demeaning and highly invasive searches, (the woman) was released without any charge,” the lawsuit said.
However, her attorney said she was charged $5,000 by the hospital.
If Indians are outraged now, then just wait till they get the bill! It is unlikely this is covered by Obamacare. And Rupees are not accepted. US dollar only please.
As for Bharara, he has assured himself another shout-out from “The Boss”.
At an October 2012 concert in Hartford, Connecticut, Springsteen shouted, “This is for Preet Bharara!” before launching into his song “Death to My Hometown.”