Friday, November 25, 2005

Don't mention the GWOT

Right before leaving for his Thanksgiving vacation at his "ranch" in Texas, the White House website popped up this announcement:

President Bush will meet with the Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Wolfgang Schuessel, at the White House on December 8, 2005. The President looks forward to discussing the Chancellor's upcoming Presidency of the European Council and the way ahead for transatlantic cooperation.

Which is interesting timing because it seems that Austria, unlike the Republic of Ireland, is serious about investigating illegal CIA flights that may have been using its territory --

In Austria, air force commander Maj. Gen. Erich Wolf told state radio that the flight in question — a C-130 Hercules transport plane that took off from Frankfurt, Germany, and headed to Azerbaijan — crossed Austrian airspace on Jan. 21, 2003.

Austria's army scrambled fighter jets to make contact with the plane's pilot but did not suspect anything wrong at the time, and the government lodged no diplomatic protests, Wolf said.

Since then, however, Austrian authorities have found reason to believe the flight was transporting captives, Wolf added. He did not elaborate.

Now there've been games before when a European leader is in town with an awkward set of questions swirling around bilateral relations, but if there is media event connected to the visit, one hopes that the assembled hacks will ask some pointed questions about this issue.

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