Fri Jun 8th, 2007 at 06:06:26 AM EST
The CIA secret prisons existed in Europe and those imprisoned there were likely tortured. The existence of the prisons was confirmed by Polish and Romanian security officials. From The Guardian:
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.
None of the prisoners had access to the Red Cross and many were subject to what George Bush has called the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation, which critics have condemned as torture. Although suspicions about the secret CIA prisons have existed for more than a year, the council's report, seen by the Guardian, appears to offer the first concrete evidence. It also details the prisons' operations and the identities of some of the prisoners.
Promoted by Colman
The report compiled after a 19-month-long investigation by Rapporteur Dick Marty, a Swiss senator and former state prosecutor, will be presented this (Friday) afternoon in Europe to the Assembly's Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Paris and will be posted in full at the Council of Europe website if approved by the committee.
The report presents evidence that NATO and leaders of NATO nations were complicit in allowing civilian aircraft to transport prisoners that were part of "extraordinary rendition" through NATO member airspace. The report states: "We have sufficient grounds to declare that the highest state authorities were aware of the CIA's illegal activities on their territories." Marty said:
What was previously just a set of allegations is now proven: large numbers of people have been abducted from various locations across the world and transferred to countries where they have been persecuted and where it is known that torture is common practice.
The Washington Post story, European Report Addresses CIA Sites, states:
The report -- part of a larger investigation into partnerships among the CIA, NATO and European nations in the capture, transfer and detention of suspected terrorists -- reflects European outrage over the secret operations.
"Large numbers of people have been abducted from various locations across the world and transferred to countries where they have been persecuted and where it is known that torture is a common practice," Marty wrote, adding, "The fight against terrorism must not serve as an excuse for systematic recourse to illegal acts, massive violation of fundamental human rights and contempt for the rule of law."
Marty wrote that he was "not ruling out the possibility that secret CIA detentions may also have occurred" in other European countries, adding that his investigation was hampered by the failure of the United States, NATO and many European countries to cooperate with the probe.
It appears from the report that there is an orchestrated effort on the part of the governments involved to cover-up any evidence of the CIA operations and secret prison program. This suggests to me that there is more dark secrets that are likely hidden. Marty concludes that these abuses are a result of the West refusing to develop a legal system to deal with terrorism crimes:
In his explanatory note, Marty concluded, "There is no real international strategy against terrorism. . . . The refusal to establish and recognize a functioning international judicial and prosecution system is also a major weakness in our efforts to combat international terrorism."
Personally, I'm unconvinced the "rule of law" would stop people like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. These are not men who view the existence of laws as confines to work within.
The UK's Channel 4 News has more details of the actual Polish detention facility used by the CIA:
The report says that using fictitious flight plans that gave no indication of what the destination would be, the CIA's highest value detainees were flown to Szymany airport in north-eastern Poland.
The jail itself is a nearby former Soviet-era military compound. The Marty report providing the first concrete evidence of the secret prison's existence.
Dick Marty said: "The Polish prison was focused on those considered the most important terrorists, the ring leaders of the movement. We think there were about a dozen people."
There existed a jail of the former-Soviet Union used to torture terrorist-suspects. Less than twenty years ago there would have been an outcry by the American president and the presidential candidates over the existence of such a torture prison. Today, the Republicans see torture as a good thing.TM
The AP via the International Herald Tribune also has a story about the report.
|Adapted from a diary at the Daily Kos.|
[UPDATE: June 8, 2007, 14:50 GMT]
Here is the report, etc:
The video will not link.