Wednesday, January 24, 2007

European Parliament Names Names In CIA Rendition Probe

European lawmakers have named the names of those countries who knew the CIA was soiling on their soil and either looked the other way or held out a helping hand. Who's on the list? Britain, Poland Germany and Italy are among the 10 naughty nations listed in the report drafted by Italian Socialist Giovanni Fava. What's in the report? Not much in the way of hard facts. That doesn't mean there's no meat. Secret documents, confidential sources, including records of meetings between EU, NATO and senior U.S. State Department officials are in there. Plus, there are dozens of hours of testimony by those who said they were kidnapped by U.S. agents on European soil and transferred to secret prisons. Perhaps most eye-raising is what they got from Eurocontrol, the EU's air safety agency, according to which more than 1,200 undeclared CIA flights entered European airspace since 9/11. The EU lawguys "condemned the fact that European countries have been relinquishing their control over their airspace and airports by turning a blind eye or admitting flights operated by the CIA which, on some occasions, were being used for extraordinary renditions." The Europeans admitted they couldn't dig up enough evidence on Poland's alleged CIA torture center. The report also points the finger at the Germans for failing to accept a U.S. offer, made in 2002 to release Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen resident in Germany, from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. Kurnaz was picked up in Pakistan in 2001 turned over to U.S. authorities and held at Guantanamo as a terror suspect. He was released in 2006 after a federal judge deemed the evidence against him was too weak to hold him. The European parliament report was followed by another report, this one by Human Rights Watch which accused European countries of undermining an international ban on torture by accepting "empty promises of humane treatment" in justifying turning over terror suspects to countries where they risk being tortured. Human Rights Watch singled out Britain and Sweden, (yes, you read that right) as the worst transgressors in this respect. The land that gave us Abba handed over to the CIA two Egyptian terrorism suspects after the U.S. spooks gave their word -- who would think the CIA would lie? -- the two would not be tortured. And they weren't ............................. not, as Borat would say.

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