Tuesday, December 12, 2006
"Diplomatic Immunity" Incurs Big Bucks...
It seems the same people that cry about the money being spent in Iraq, the deficit and cuts in welfare and education are also the ones crying for immunity for illegals and that scoff at those that want the US out of the UN... Yet, if we had the money spent on illegals and the money incurred by a perverted interpretation of "diplomatic immunity"...we could fund a whole host of areas that have sustained cutbacks.
Take a wild guess how much foreign countries owe the United States in parking tickets alone...
19 MILLION dollars. That number is parking tickets alone --it doesn't figure in the approximately 2,590 speeding tickets issued to diplomats each year.
NYC's Mayor Bloomberg had a brilliant idea to combat this gross negligence. Any unpaid ticket would be charged off at 110% and deducted from foreign aid to that diplomat's country (Now this is unfair to the poor people of that country that may not even have a car let alone be amassing tickets in the Big Apple...but shouldn't the diplomats be concerned with that?)
The Vienna Convention is explicit that "without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State." (source)
Though I realize that diplomatic immunity is a necessary evil (God forbid our diplomats be subjected to Sharia law in some little province of Saudi Arabia...), it bothers me that we have tolerated the abuse of the privilege for so long.
There was a fascinating article in the NYT about a study that correlated the number of tickets incurred by various countries to the level of corruption in those governments.