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Friday, November 04, 2005 

This would be Rummy's "New Europe", then

AP (via Talking Points Memo):

EU, human rights group to investigate allegations CIA set up secret jails to interrogate terror suspects

Associated Press Writer

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The European Union and the continent's top human rights group said Thursday they will investigate allegations the CIA set up secret jails in eastern Europe and elsewhere to interrogate terror suspects, and the Red Cross demanded access to any prisoners.

Human Rights Watch said it has evidence, based on flight logs, that indicate the CIA transported suspects captured in Afghanistan to Poland and Romania. But the two countries - and others in the former Soviet bloc - denied the allegations. U.S. officials have refused to confirm or deny the claims.

Such prisons, European officials say, would violate the continent's human rights principles. At work may be a complex web of global politics, in which eastern European countries face choices between the views of the European Union and their interest in close ties with the United States.

The International Committee of the Red Cross expressed strong interest in the claims, first reported Wednesday in the Washington Post, that the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al-Qaida captives at Soviet-era compounds.

Red Cross chief spokeswoman Antonella Notari said the agency asked Washington about the allegations and requested access to the prisons if they exist. The Red Cross, which has exclusive rights to visit terror suspects detained at a U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, long has been concerned about reports U.S. officials were hiding detainees from ICRC delegates.
We don't get off lightly from this, either. As Senator David Norris pointed out on Wednesday night (in the Hist debate on the so-called "Global War On Terror"), we are complicit in the kidnapping and "extraordinary rendition" of US prisoners, through the deliberate blind eye being turned to these CIA aircraft using Shannon (see also Phoenix magazine issues passim). This isn't the transport of US troops by way of the airport, or the the over-flight by squadrons of American military aircraft at dawn, both of which we excuse through technicalities. This is an acquiescence in one of the most shameful episodes in recent Western history, yet another part of the Dubya Legacy.

If an EU investigation comes up with formal findings of what we know to be the case, what will be the consequences of involvement in such wrong-doing? What then for our international reputation as an honest broker? What then for the proud record of generations of painstaking Irish diplomacy, of service to the cause of peace and justice through the League of Nations and the UN? What then for the tarnishing of Ireland and the EU's credibility with respect to human rights and the protection of the law?

How much damage has this Government done to our State on the international stage? This is a hard question which needs to be asked of our politicians.

UPDATE 4/11/05: Fiona de Londras also has comments on this - see here and here.

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



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