Thursday, November 10

The Atrosities of the United States Can not Go unanswered

Rather ominous tittle, and one that I hope to never see on a forigen newspaper I care about, such as the London Times or the Spain Herald, and yet we seem to be heading that way. The Bush administration has been accused of operating secret detention facilities beyond the reach of the law and outside official oversight at bases in two eastern European countries. The facilities - said to be located in Poland and Romania - are part of a larger "gulag" used by the US to hold prisoners seized in the so-called war on Terror.

"We do not torture," Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas.

"We're working with Congress to make sure that as we go forward, we make it possible, more possible, to do our job," Bush said. "There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again. And so, you bet we will aggressively pursue them. But we will do so under the law."

Cheney is seeking to persuade Congress to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from the proposed torture ban if one is passed by both chambers.

European officials have vowed to investigate reports that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency set up a network of "ghost prisons" in Poland, Romania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects, far away from the peering eyes of human-rights activists, the press and the courts.

"We have to find out exactly what is happening," said Friso Roscam Abbing, a spokesman for the European Union in Brussels, who said the 25 EU governments would be questioned about the reports. He pointed out that the existence of these prisons could violate EU human-rights rules and the International Convention Against Torture.

In the Czech Republic, Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan is reported to have said that his government recently turned down a U.S. request to build a prison for al-Qaeda captives.

Human Rights Watch corroborated the story and named Poland and Romania as sites for the clandestine prisons.

"They did it so they could abuse these people without anybody knowing," said Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch, who is concerned that the CIA is using unconventional interrogation methods at these facilities at a time when there is increasing oversight of the main prisons for terrorist suspects near Kabul, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Mr. Garlasco said that researchers at Human Rights Watch had been tracking the movements of aircraft chartered by the CIA for "extraordinary renditions," the practice of extraditing suspects across international boundaries without following normal court procedures.

A prime example of such a rendition was the arrest of Canadian Maher Arar in 2002 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, his transfer to Jordan and eventually to his birthplace of Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured for a year.

Mr. Garlasco cited the movement of a Boeing 737 aircraft that departed from Washington on Sept. 20, 2003, and stopped at the Ruzyne airport outside Prague, Czech Republic, on Sept. 21 before flying on the same day to a U.S. base outside of Tashkent in Uzbekistan.

On Sept. 22, the same plane flew to Kabul, and then to Szymany airport near Szczytno in Poland, Mikhail Kogalniceanu airport in Constanta, Romania and Salé airport in Rabat, Morocco.

On Sept. 23, the plane flew from Morocco to its ultimate destination in Guantanamo Bay.

"It's the torture shuttle," said Mr. Garlasco, who added quickly that he had no proof torture had taken place.

Whether all of this is true or not, whether there are toruture rooms with suspected terrorists facing thier deaths at the hands of terrorizing CIA agents, the fact are that Bush can't bring himself to deny the alogations out right and Chenny is running around trying to keep the CIA exempt from laws that dis-allow this type of action.

The only argument that I can come up with right now which might explain these actions by the President and Vice President is that they got it in their heads that by not denying the allogations and by not allowing a bill to pass which forbids Torture by everyone, including the CIA, that they are able to still portray to the terrorist groups, and some other countries, torture is an option if deamed nessesary by the CIA when dealing with them. Which is absolutely absured, and takes a twisted mind to come up with. I'll own that characteristic in myself, since I am a fiction writer, but not too happy that such a mind is making policy for the nation I live in.



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