Friday, 8 June 2007

CIA ran secret prisons in Europe

The Gaurdian has seen a report from the Council of Europe that claims the CIA ran secret detention centres in Europe where they could employ "enhanced" interrogation techniques against terrorism suspects:

The CIA operated secret prisons in Europe where terrorism suspects could be interrogated and were allegedly tortured, an official inquiry will conclude today.

Despite denials by their governments, senior Polish and Romanian security officials have confirmed to the Council of Europe that their countries were used to hold some of America's most important prisoners captured after 9/11 in secret.


These European detention centres were operated "directly and exclusively" by the CIA, according to the inquiry's head, not proxies in far off places. Detainees in these secret camps were denied "access to the Red Cross [protected under the Geneva conventions] and many were subject to what George Bush has called the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation, which critics have condemned as torture." The American government is again directly implicated in torture. But the shame doesn't stop there.

NATO states also formally agreed to allow planes carrying suspects to cross airspace, as part of the "extraordinary" rendition programme, which is the clever idea of out sourcing torture to other states which aren't as scrupulous as our leaders like to claim they are:
The council has also established that within weeks of the 9/11 attacks, Nato signed an agreement with the US that allowed civilian jets used by the CIA during its so-called extraordinary rendition programme to move across member states' airspace. Its report states: "We have sufficient grounds to declare that the highest state authorities were aware of the CIA's illegal activities on their territories." The council's investigators believe that agreement may have been illegal.

If the report is accurate, then European political leaders been complicit in torture and perhaps murder, and made their citizens unwitting accomplices. The consequences of this will be borne by the long sufferring people of Europe, who will find themselves the targets of yet more rage and hatred. As a Brit, I was disgusted to hear that the government of my country has been helping the USA run its illegal detention and torture program. Those who were involved in this, or merely complicit, need to be named - people have the right to know what is being done in their name. But the whole thing is carried out in secret - the governments of Poland and Roumania still deny that this happened. We know our leaders lie and cheat, but there has to be an understanding that there are some things they don't do in our name - and massive violations of human rights are one of them. Why are people surprised that the West is hated? Reading things like this, I hate us, too.

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