Wednesday, April 26, 2006

They're right about one thing

GWOT defenders have pointed out the hypocrisy of European Union countries tut-tutting American tactics in the GWOT when these same countries cooperate with these tactics. This is a valid point, made even clearer by today's report from the European Parliament:

The CIA has conducted more than 1,000 undeclared flights over European territory since 2001 — a clear violation of an international treaty, European Parliament investigators said Wednesday.

Lawmakers investigating alleged illegal CIA activities in Europe also said incidents when terror suspects were handed over to U.S. agents did not appear to be isolated, and that the suspects often were transported by the same planes and groups of people.

The report began as an inquiry into the CIA's secret prisons in Poland and Romania, whose existence has now been admitted by the US through the firing of CIA agent Mary McCarthy for her involvement with the Washington Post story about them. However investigators seem to have determined that the prisons were just a small part of the more disturbing rendition operation, and anyway the prisons have since been moved, more than likely to Algeria. Indeed one of the most notorious rendition flights -- the kidnapping of a German citizen in Macedonia -- had an intriguing flight path:

the plane transferring suspect Khalid al-Masri, a Kuwaiti-born German national, from Macedonia to Afghanistan in 2004 flew from Algeria to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on Jan. 22, from Palma de Mallorca to Skopje, Macedonia on Jan. 23, and from Skopje to Kabul via Baghdad overnight the following day.

The current news stories don't elaborate in the Irish connection, but Shannon will inevitably feature in many of these flights. However these investigations will not go anywhere until a groundswell of domestic political uproar makes it an issue. It's not clear what it would take to do that.

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