In one of the greatest travesties of justice committed by the US courts, judgment has been decidedly against the US company, Odyssey Marine. Taking the side of Spain in one of the most outrageous impositions imaginable, the courts have basically stated that US companies are fair game for political favors.
WikiLeaks shared much of the communication between Spain and the US regarding this situation, apparently striking a deal against Odyssey before any court date was set.
Let’s get this straight: A US salvage company in international waters retrieves treasure from a ship that sank over 200 years ago, most of which was stolen from or gained from the backs of forced laborers in Central and South America (apparently Peru in this case). A Spanish military ship then claims that this treasure, the whereabouts of which they had no knowledge, is theirs by right? Then the US government agrees to let Spain have the treasure that they stole, then lost 200 years ago in international waters, completely neglected their responsibility to protect US citizens, property and pursuit of happiness, against foreign aggression.
Consider this quote:
Spain’s Culture Minister, Jose Ignacio Wert, told CNN in Madrid on Wednesday that the case was never really about the money.
“We’re not going to use this money for purposes other than artistic exhibition, but this is something that enriches our material, artistic capital and it has to be appreciated as such,” Wert said in an interview.
He said the coins would be exhibited at Spanish museums, and perhaps elsewhere.
Peru, too, has followed the fate of the coins, which came from Latin America when Peru was a Spanish colony.
“Formally, they haven’t claimed anything, but we are completely open to consider the possibility of distributing some part of the treasure also among the Latin American museums,” Wert said.
They need 600,000 coins for exhibition? If that’s the case, why not just ask Odyssey to donate samples to museums for posterity sake?
For governments to ask for some of the treasure in order to preserve part of their history, regardless of how tyrannical, is understandable. For the US to side with a government against a US company that was working within the law and certainly within its own rights is treasonous.
If there is a national claim, then Spain (and Peru, who actually has the stronger historical claim) should be told to work it out in private with the company. Furthermore, US protection of US vessels in international waters should never be in question. Policy should dictate that any threat against US vessels is a threat against US sovereignty, and will be met with US force.
Well, that’s how it should be. But the US hasn’t been a country ruled by the people for the people in a long, long time.
(CNN) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear an emergency application for a stay filed by a Florida deep-sea salvage company that wanted to maintain possession of a half billion dollars worth of gold and silver coins until a final decision is made about who owns them.
“Spain has now been victorious at every level in the United States courts, from Tampa to Atlanta to Washington,” said Jim Goold, who defended Spain’s claim to the treasure. “I am pleased and proud for all of us.”
Odyssey Marine Exploration had made an emergency appeal to the high court in an attempt to block a lower court’s order last week that it turn over the treasure to Spain.
Justice Clarence Thomas, who has jurisdiction over applications from Florida, denied without comment the motion in Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. v. Kingdom of Spain.
The company has filed at least one another stay request with the justices.
Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey’s vice president and general counsel, expressed disappointment, but said she recognized that the court “rarely grants” such motions. “How we proceed from here will depend on whether a mandate issues and what a subsequent order might look like, especially given the fact that the courts have determined they do not have jurisdiction in the case,” she said in a statement.
via High court rejects stay in Spanish sunken treasure case – CNN.com.