Republicus

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)

Name:
Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Destroy All Who Disagree

The New York Times

December 10, 2005

Lieberman's Iraq Stance Brings Widening Split With His Party

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ
and WILLIAM YARDLEY

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 - Five years after running as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket and a year after his own presidential bid, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut has become an increasingly unwelcome figure within his party, with some Democrats seeing him more as a wayward son than a favorite son.

In the last few days, the senator has riled Democratic activists and politicians here and in his home state with his vigorous defense of President Bush's handling of the Iraq war at a time some Democrats are pressuring the administration to begin a withdrawal.

Mr. Lieberman particularly infuriated his colleagues when he pointed out at a conference here that President Bush would be commander in chief for three more years and said that "it's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that."

"We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril," Mr. Lieberman said.

Much of the open criticism has been from liberal groups and House members. But his comments have also rankled Democrats in the Senate. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, phoned Mr. Lieberman this week to express concerns with his views, Mr. Reid's aide said.

"Senator Reid has a lot of respect for Senator Lieberman," said Jim Manley, a Reid spokesman. "But he feels that Senator Lieberman's position on Iraq is at odds with many Americans."

An aide to another leading Democratic senator who insisted on anonymity said the feelings toward Mr. Lieberman could be summed up as, "The American people want to hold George Bush accountable for the failed policy in Iraq, and Senator Lieberman doesn't."

Mr. Lieberman, who remains immensely popular in his home state, is aware of the hornet's nest he has stirred.

"Some Democrats said I was being a traitor," he said in an interview on Friday, adding that he was not surprised by the reaction, "given the depth of feeling about the war."

(note by Republicus: Antiwar Democrats were pretty defensive about being called "traitors" because they opposed the war, weren't they?)

Although some Democrats are upset with Mr. Lieberman, Republicans are embracing him, with President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld singling him out, and his support for the war, for praise in speeches this week.

"He is entirely correct," Mr. Cheney said on Tuesday at Fort Drum, N.Y. "On this, both Republicans and Democrats should be able to agree. The only way the terrorists can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon our mission."

Concerns about Mr. Lieberman's coziness with the administration grew this week when he had breakfast with Mr. Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. Later, rumors spread that Mr. Bush was considering asking Mr. Lieberman to join the administration to succeed Mr. Rumsfeld next year as defense secretary.

"It's a total fantasy," Mr. Lieberman said. "There's just no truth to it."

In the interview on Friday, he said the two sides were making too much of his comments, and he argued that the overreactions reflected how politically polarized the debate over the war had become.

Mr. Lieberman noted that his positions on Iraq had not changed over the years, dating from 1991, when he supported the first Persian Gulf war. In 1998, he and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, proposed the Iraq Liberation Act, which made the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein official American policy.

"The positive and negative reactions may have less to do with the substance of what I said than with the fact that a Democrat is saying it," Mr. Lieberman said. "It reflects the terribly divisive state of our politics."

He has always been something of a maverick in his party. He was the first prominent Democrat to chastise President Bill Clinton openly for his affair with Monica S. Lewinsky.

More recently, Mr. Lieberman, a centrist, angered Democratic activists by expressing a willingness to work with President Bush to overhaul Social Security, an effort that ultimately stalled in Congress.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader, said the breach was deep.

"I completely disagree with Mr. Lieberman," Ms. Pelosi said at a news conference. "I believe that we have a responsibility to speak out if we think that the course of action that our country is on is not making the American people safer."

The question in some quarters now is whether the moderate brand of politics practiced by Mr. Lieberman, who is up for re-election next year, will hurt him when the electorate is so divided, particularly over some of the president's policies.

This week, for example, former Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. criticized his continued support of the Iraq war and said that if no candidate challenged the senator on it next year, he would consider running.

In 1988, Mr. Lieberman, who was attorney general of Connecticut, narrowly defeated Mr. Weicker, a Republican senator. Two years later, Mr. Weicker ran for governor as an independent and won. He served one term before retiring in 1995.

Mr. Weicker remains something of a fixture in state politics, well known for his independent streak. In 1999, Reform Party supporters encouraged him to run for president in 2000, but he ultimately decided against that.

Mr. Lieberman faces trouble in other quarters in his home state. Although few elected Democrats would criticize him publicly, several Democratic activists promised retaliation at the polls.

James H. Dean, brother of Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, lives in Connecticut and heads Democracy for America, a group that is gathering signatures on the Internet for a letter that criticizes the senator.

An aide to James Dean said he and others from the group would deliver the letter to Mr. Lieberman's office in Hartford on Tuesday. The aide said the letter had 30,000 signatures.

Other Democratic activists warned that they might try to organize a primary challenge against Mr. Lieberman, specifically because of his position on the war.

Tom Matzzie, the Washington director for MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group with 10,000 members in Connecticut, said it would consider a challenge if the right candidate came along.

"It's like a betrayal," Mr. Matzzie said of Mr. Lieberman's stand on the war. "He is cheering the Bush Iraq policy at a time when Republicans are running away from the president."

But for all the criticism that Mr. Lieberman faces, few people say they believe that he is vulnerable to a challenge.

For his part, Mr. Lieberman said he would run hard on his record.

"I'm not taking anything for granted," he said. "I know there are a lot of people in the party who disagree with me about the war."

***********************************************************************************

Name-dropping alert...Name-dropping alert...Name-dropping alert...

Republicus was walking down Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown just last week when he recognized a woman walking up towards him on the same sidewalk.

"Mrs. Lieberman," Republicus smiled as the distance closed.

"Yes?" she asked.

"How are you? Nice to see you," Republicus turned and bowed in passing.

"Oh, thank you!" she smiled.

6 Comments:

Blogger John said...

Have you noticed that Pro-War/Republicans/conservatives who switch to antiwar/Democrat/Leftists are lionized as "authorities" and people of "redemptive conscience" by the Left while Democrats/Leftists who switch to the Right and/or support the war(like the "Neocons," Lieberman, Miller, Hitchens, etc.) are demonized and ostracized by it?

Well, naturally, I suppose, but what is galling is all the noise that is made about the "fascist" Bush Adminstration SHOCKINGLY doing that sort of thing--i.e. demonizing, ostracizing, and/or "destroying" anyone who's not "towing the party line."

THEY'RE HYPOCRITES. It's projection.

And they're far more petty and vicious when doing precisely what they accuse the administration of doing.

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Is the Pentagon spying on Americans?
Secret database obtained by NBC News tracks ‘suspicious’ domestic groups

NBC VIDEO
• Pentagon spying?
Dec. 13: A secret Pentagon database indicates the U.S. military is collecting information on American peace activists and monitoring Iraq war protests. NBC's Lisa Myers reports.

Nightly News
By Lisa Myers, Douglas Pasternak, Rich Gardella and the NBC Investigative Unit
Updated: 7:51 p.m. ET Dec. 13, 2005


Lisa Myers
Senior investigative correspondent
WASHINGTON - A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the U.S. military.

A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a “threat” and one of more than 1,500 “suspicious incidents” across the country over a recent 10-month period.

“This peaceful, educationally oriented group being a threat is incredible,” says Evy Grachow, a member of the Florida group called The Truth Project.

“This is incredible,” adds group member Rich Hersh. “It's an example of paranoia by our government,” he says. “We're not doing anything illegal.”

The Defense Department document is the first inside look at how the U.S. military has stepped up intelligence collection inside this country since 9/11, which now includes the monitoring of peaceful anti-war and counter-military recruitment groups.

LINK TO SECRET DOD DATABASE, EDITED FOR CLARITY

Department of Defense database listing domestic ‘threats’

“I think Americans should be concerned that the military, in fact, has reached too far,” says NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin.

The Department of Defense declined repeated requests by NBC News for an interview. A spokesman said that all domestic intelligence information is “properly collected” and involves “protection of Defense Department installations, interests and personnel.” The military has always had a legitimate “force protection” mission inside the U.S. to protect its personnel and facilities from potential violence. But the Pentagon now collects domestic intelligence that goes beyond legitimate concerns about terrorism or protecting U.S. military installations, say critics.

Four dozen anti-war meetings
The DOD database obtained by NBC News includes nearly four dozen anti-war meetings or protests, including some that have taken place far from any military installation, post or recruitment center. One “incident” included in the database is a large anti-war protest at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles last March that included effigies of President Bush and anti-war protest banners. Another incident mentions a planned protest against military recruiters last December in Boston and a planned protest last April at McDonald’s National Salute to America’s Heroes — a military air and sea show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Fort Lauderdale protest was deemed not to be a credible threat and a column in the database concludes: “US group exercising constitutional rights.” Two-hundred and forty-three other incidents in the database were discounted because they had no connection to the Department of Defense — yet they all remained in the database.

The DOD has strict guidelines (.PDF link), adopted in December 1982, that limit the extent to which they can collect and retain information on U.S. citizens.

Still, the DOD database includes at least 20 references to U.S. citizens or U.S. persons. Other documents obtained by NBC News show that the Defense Department is clearly increasing its domestic monitoring activities. One DOD briefing document stamped “secret” concludes: “[W]e have noted increased communication and encouragement between protest groups using the [I]nternet,” but no “significant connection” between incidents, such as “reoccurring instigators at protests” or “vehicle descriptions.”

The increased monitoring disturbs some military observers.

“It means that they’re actually collecting information about who’s at those protests, the descriptions of vehicles at those protests,” says Arkin. “On the domestic level, this is unprecedented,” he says. “I think it's the beginning of enormous problems and enormous mischief for the military.”

Some former senior DOD intelligence officials share his concern. George Lotz, a 30-year career DOD official and former U.S. Air Force colonel, held the post of Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight from 1998 until his retirement last May. Lotz, who recently began a consulting business to help train and educate intelligence agencies and improve oversight of their collection process, believes some of the information the DOD has been collecting is not justified.

Make sure they are not just going crazy
“Somebody needs to be monitoring to make sure they are just not going crazy and reporting things on U.S. citizens without any kind of reasoning or rationale,” says Lotz. “I demonstrated with Martin Luther King in 1963 in Washington,” he says, “and I certainly didn’t want anybody putting my name on any kind of list. I wasn’t any threat to the government,” he adds.
Story continues below ↓ advertisement

The military’s penchant for collecting domestic intelligence is disturbing — but familiar — to Christopher Pyle, a former Army intelligence officer.

“Some people never learn,” he says. During the Vietnam War, Pyle blew the whistle on the Defense Department for monitoring and infiltrating anti-war and civil rights protests when he published an article in the Washington Monthly in January 1970.

The public was outraged and a lengthy congressional investigation followed that revealed that the military had conducted investigations on at least 100,000 American citizens. Pyle got more than 100 military agents to testify that they had been ordered to spy on U.S. citizens — many of them anti-war protestors and civil rights advocates. In the wake of the investigations, Pyle helped Congress write a law placing new limits on military spying inside the U.S.

But Pyle, now a professor at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts, says some of the information in the database suggests the military may be dangerously close to repeating its past mistakes.

“The documents tell me that military intelligence is back conducting investigations and maintaining records on civilian political activity. The military made promises that it would not do this again,” he says.

Too much data?
Some Pentagon observers worry that in the effort to thwart the next 9/11, the U.S. military is now collecting too much data, both undermining its own analysis efforts by forcing analysts to wade through a mountain of rubble in order to obtain potentially key nuggets of intelligence and entangling U.S. citizens in the U.S. military’s expanding and quiet collection of domestic threat data.

Two years ago, the Defense Department directed a little known agency, Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, to establish and “maintain a domestic law enforcement database that includes information related to potential terrorist threats directed against the Department of Defense.” Then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz also established a new reporting mechanism known as a TALON or Threat and Local Observation Notice report. TALONs now provide “non-validated domestic threat information” from military units throughout the United States that are collected and retained in a CIFA database. The reports include details on potential surveillance of military bases, stolen vehicles, bomb threats and planned anti-war protests. In the program’s first year, the agency received more than 5,000 TALON reports. The database obtained by NBC News is generated by Counterintelligence Field Activity.

CIFA is becoming the superpower of data mining within the U.S. national security community. Its “operational and analytical records” include “reports of investigation, collection reports, statements of individuals, affidavits, correspondence, and other documentation pertaining to investigative or analytical efforts” by the DOD and other U.S. government agencies to identify terrorist and other threats. Since March 2004, CIFA has awarded at least $33 million in contracts to corporate giants Lockheed Martin, Unisys Corporation, Computer Sciences Corporation and Northrop Grumman to develop databases that comb through classified and unclassified government data, commercial information and Internet chatter to help sniff out terrorists, saboteurs and spies.

One of the CIFA-funded database projects being developed by Northrop Grumman and dubbed “Person Search,” is designed “to provide comprehensive information about people of interest.” It will include the ability to search government as well as commercial databases. Another project, “The Insider Threat Initiative,” intends to “develop systems able to detect, mitigate and investigate insider threats,” as well as the ability to “identify and document normal and abnormal activities and ‘behaviors,’” according to the Computer Sciences Corp. contract. A separate CIFA contract with a small Virginia-based defense contractor seeks to develop methods “to track and monitor activities of suspect individuals.”

“The military has the right to protect its installations, and to protect its recruiting services,” says Pyle. “It does not have the right to maintain extensive files on lawful protests of their recruiting activities, or of their base activities,” he argues.

Lotz agrees.
Story continues below ↓ advertisement

“The harm in my view is that these people ought to be allowed to demonstrate, to hold a banner, to peacefully assemble whether they agree or disagree with the government’s policies,” the former DOD intelligence official says.

'Slippery slope'
Bert Tussing, director of Homeland Defense and Security Issues at the U.S. Army War College and a former Marine, says “there is very little that could justify the collection of domestic intelligence by the Unites States military. If we start going down this slippery slope it would be too easy to go back to a place we never want to see again,” he says.

Some of the targets of the U.S. military’s recent collection efforts say they have already gone too far.

“It's absolute paranoia — at the highest levels of our government,” says Hersh of The Truth Project.

“I mean, we're based here at the Quaker Meeting House,” says Truth Project member Marie Zwicker, “and several of us are Quakers.”

The Defense Department refused to comment on how it obtained information on the Lake Worth meeting or why it considers a dozen or so anti-war activists a “threat.”

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
By Jimmy Burns, Guy Dinmore, Daniel Dombey, Demetri Sevastopulo and Hugh Williamson
Published: December 14 2005 02:00 | Last updated: December 14 2005 02:00

It began as America's embarrassment. Now it is Europe's dilemma.

For six weeks the administration of President George W. Bush has been forced on to the defensive over prisons allegedly run by the US Central Intelligence Agency in eastern Europe and reports of "ghost planes" ferrying abductees across the continent.

Now a dispute over the alleged kidnapping, detention and mistreatment of a German citizen by CIA agents, and a court ruling in the UK banning the use of evidence obtained by torture, have prompted Europeans to confront a question avoided since the attacks of September 11 2001: how far should they co-operate with the US in the war on terror?

At the heart of the quandary lies extralegal abduction, or "rendition", which the US says is vital for taking terrorist suspects to countries where they can be questioned, held or brought to justice. Its critics allege it paves the way for torture, by allowing detainees to be flown to countries known for brutal methods of interrogation or to jurisdictions where it can be carried out by the US.

For 10 days, Germany's newly elected government has rebuffed questions about Khaled el-Masri, a 42-year-old German of Lebanese descent who claims (see below) that he was the victim of such tactics. Germany has justified its reticence on the grounds that public statements would endanger efforts to rebuild ties with the US.

The stances of governments across Europe - including anti-war administrations such as in France and Spain - have displayed a similar degree of realpolitik. "The fundamental principle in the fight against terrorism is that we are defending values," says Gijs de Vries, counter-terrorism co-ordinator for the EU. "That means we always have to strike a balance between protecting security in the broad sense and protecting other liberties."

Today, however - in Berlin, at least - the equivocation may have to stop. Germany's opposition has convened an emergency debate on the circumstances surrounding Mr Masri's detention in Macedonia on December 31, 2003, the experiences he describes at the hands of US agents in a prison in Kabul and his return home five months later.

Gernot Erler, Germany's deputy foreign minister, admits the US and Europe have "moved in separate directions" on tackling terror. "What's needed is a more fundamental discussion [with the US] on how to pursue the fight against international terrorism," he told the FT.

Across Europe a series of developments have highlighted the uneasy arrangement by which European governments have appeared to collude with the US in practices that they have rarely been willing to defend, criticise or even acknowledge. This week, after more than a month of denials, the Polish government launched an inquiry into claims that it hosted CIA secret prisons on its territory, while senior Romanian politicians - including Adrian Nastase, that country's prime minister in 2001-04 - have argued that Romania should do the same.

Yesterday the Council of Europe, the 46-nation human rights organisation that is conducting a formal inquiry into the case, said the allegations of illegal CIA conduct were credible and criticised the US for its refusal to confirm or deny the account. But Dick Marty, the Swiss politician leading the investigation, cautioned that it was "still too early to assert that there had been any in­volvement or complicity of [European] member states in illegal actions".

In Spain and Italy, as well as Germany, judicial investigations are focusing on alleged CIA abductions and the use of the countries' airports and airspace, despite government ministers' desire to play down the issue. In the UK, Jack Straw, foreign secretary, continued to insist last night in spite of growing pressure from opposition members of parliament that he can find no evidence the US transported suspects through British airports.

"We do not have a war against terror," says one senior EU official, highlighting Europe's less militaristic approach to the struggle to contain the terrorist threat. Yet the insider argues that neither the US nor Europe, as mutually interdependent partners, have any option but to co-operate with each other on the biggest issues.

Last week, European foreign ministers were comforted by an announcement from Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, on a visit to the region that, as a matter of policy, US personnel would abide by the same laws abroad as they did at home. However, her emollience cannot disguise the difference in perspective. European governments do not share Washington's more restrictive interpretation of torture, which permits practices such as "waterboarding" - giving detainees the impression of drowning by immersing them in water. Nor do they follow the US in classifying terrorist suspects as "enemy combatants" - a third class of detainee after criminal suspects and prisoners of war.

"There is satisfaction after the talks but I would like to stress that there are still things we look at differently," said Per Stig Moller, Danish foreign minister. "The existing international laws exist until the law has been changed." Christian Tomuschat, an international law professor and German government adviser, is blunter. "The notion of 'enemy combatants' is rubbish. It doesn't exist in international law," he says, adding that many aspects of US treatment of captured terror suspects "breach international covenants Washington has signed up to".

Rendition as a practice was authorised by the Bill Clinton administration in the 1990s, in parallel with other states such as France, which abducted the terrorist Carlos the Jackal from Sudan in 1994. But the US stepped up rendition in the Bush administration's war on terror.

"The European approach is relevant to the middle of the twentieth century, when the rule was state-to-state conflicts," observes an Israeli diplomat. "But it simply is not up-to-date when you are dealing with an enemy who has no uniform." Ms Rice says rendition is legally "permissible" and insists that the "US has not transported anyone and will not transport anyone to a country when we believe he will be tortured".

But while Washington has refused to return a dozen ethnic Muslim Uighurs from its detention centre on Guantánamo Bay to China out of concern that they might be tortured, it has rendered prisoners to countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Syria, which have been singled out by the State Department for poor human rights records. Ms Rice last week said that "where appropriate" the US sought guarantees that prisoners would not be tortured - but critics say those are not worth the paper they are written on. "These assurances are meaningless," says Amnesty International. "Countries known for systematic torture regularly deny the existence of such practices."

In one case, Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen of Syrian descent, was detained as a terror suspect in New York in 2002 and flown to Jordan before being transferred to Syria. Mr Arar, who was released a year later without charge after the Canadian government interceded, claims he was tortured while in Syrian custody.

What appear to be surreptitious attempts to move European practice closer to that of the US have so far come to grief. Despite the willingness of governments to co-operate with the US, judges and the wider public in Europe have been less willing to share Washington's perspective.

The Polish and Romanian governments would face outcry at home and recriminations abroad if their denials that they housed CIA prisons turned out false. ABC News of the US recently reported that Washington hastily transported 11 high-value al-Qaeda members from its European prisons to North Africa as soon as allegations emerged.

The importance of relations with Washington has meant European countries "have been ready to look away" when rendition and controversial detention practices at the Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib prisons were exposed, says Kai Hirschmann, an expert at the terrorism research institute in Essen, western Germany. The Masri case "breaks this perspective", Mr Hirshmann says, because the German government evidently knew about his detention only days after he was released but chose to preserve diplomatic and intelligence ties with Washington rather than stand up against clear abuses of the rights of a citizen.

Wolfgang Gerhardt, the foreign policy expert of Germany's opposition liberal Free Democrats, says the Masri case exposes the double standards of the recently ended government of Gerhard Schröder. "Despite the former government's strong criticism of the invasion of Iraq there was obviously 'back room' co-operation beyond what was normally expected," he says. "It is absolutely unacceptable that a [German] citizen is kidnapped and released and the [current] government acts as if it is perfectly acceptable for the US not to apologise in any way."

With Angela Merkel due to visit Washington for the first time as Germany's chancellor on January 13, how Berlin handles the issue in coming weeks will be the "crucial first test of our relationship" with the US, admits Mr Erler, the deputy foreign minister.

Meanwhile, the British government has been embarrassed by the ruling by the House of Lords, which rejected its plea to allow evidence from foreign intelligence services that may have been obtained by torture. "From its very earliest days, the common law of England set its face firmly against the use of torture," wrote Lord Bingham, England and Wales's former Lord Chief Justice, citing arguments that torture was not only cruel but also inherently unreliable and "degraded all those who lent themselves to the practice".

Senior UK security officials have in the past admitted to a dissonance between counter-terrorism methods used by the US and London's MI5, which prefers to lay the emphasis on building up informers and agents from within the Muslim community. But in the case before the House of Lords, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, MI5's director general, argued that information from detainees in third countries could save lives.

Lawyers and academics argue that the US and some of its allies have failed to learn lessons from how Britain initially mishandled the same issues when it dealt with terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland - before getting its house in order. UK government lawyers accepted as far back as 1972 that there was no defence in law for interrogation methods such as hooding and food and sleep deprivation.

Yet, according to a report published in March by the British parliamentary intelligence and security committee, UK intelligence officials witnessed their US counterparts using, in third countries, interrogation methods banned under the Geneva Convention.

"There was a lot of sympathy for the US when it set up this whole war machine after September 11 - with renditions and all of that," says one senior western diplomat. "But now, four years on, things have to change."

The US approach has come under increasing criticism at home as well. John McCain, a senior Republican on the Senate armed services committee, has spent months pushing for legislation that would prohibit the use of "cruel, inhumane and degrading" treatment by US forces anywhere in the world. Vice-President Dick Cheney's opposition to that proposed measure has helped turn it into a public relations disaster for the administration.

Many Europeans argue that the Bush team seems not to understand that maltreatment of prisoners can provide a rallying cry for terrorist movements. "If we want to win the war against al-Qaeda, we have to win the battle of ideas and show that we live by certain values which exclude torture," says Prof Paul Wilkinson, an expert on counter-terrorism at St Andrews University in Scotland.

Nevertheless, some US officials are irritated by what they see as Europe's attempt to evade its responsibility. Throughout her European travels last week, Ms Rice stressed: "The US has respected - and will continue to respect - the sovereignty of other countries." A senior US official says Ms Rice intended to emphasise that the US acted with the knowledge of, and together with, its European allies. The implication "that the US was acting as a lone cowboy, a rogue state" drove the US to that public statement, the official says. "That was the rub."

Before, while the US kept its European partners informed of its activities, neither side saw fit to advertise the relationship. Now, after weeks of revelations, the cover is blown. Rather than continue to avoid the issue, Europe will have to decide how far it is prepared to go in the battle against terror.

Additional reporting by DemetriSevastopulo and Guy Dinmore

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Investigator links Europe's spy agencies to CIA flights

Jon Henley in Paris and Richard Norton-Taylor
Wednesday December 14, 2005
The Guardian


A Boeing 737 BBJ with registrations N313P and N4476S, which may have carried terror suspects, has been seen at UK airports and is seen here at Palma, Majorca. Photograph: Toni Marimon/Airliners.net


CIA prisoners in Europe were apparently abducted and moved between countries illegally, possibly with the aid of national secret services who did not tell their governments, according to the first official report on the so-called "renditions" scandal. Dick Marty, a Swiss senator investigating allegations of secret CIA prisons for the Council of Europe, said that he did not think the US was still holding prisoners in Europe, but had probably moved them to north Africa last month.

Mr Marty said in a statement after a Paris meeting of the council that his information so far "reinforces the credibility of the allegations concerning the transfer and temporary detention of individuals, without any judicial involvement, in European countries". The council has set its 46 members a three-month deadline to reveal what they know about the transfers. Mr Marty said that if it was proved that European governments knew the renditions process, involving flying terrorist suspects to secret interrogation centres, was going on, they "would stand accused of having seriously breached their human rights obligations to the Council of Europe".

The senator acted as British MPs and peers were told by an international lawyer that their government would break the law if it did not investigate allegations that the CIA transferred terrorist suspects via Britain to secret camps where they may have been tortured. "Credible information suggesting that foreign nationals are being transported by officials of another state, via the United Kingdom, to detention facilities for interrogation under torture, would imply a breach of the [UN torture ] convention and must be investigated," James Crawford, professor of international law at Cambridge University, told the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition.

Yesterday in his interim report the Swiss senator criticised the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, for refusing to confirm or deny allegations, first published in the Washington Post last month, that the CIA maintained secret prisons in Europe, "The rapporteur ... deplores the fact that no information or explanation had been provided on this point by Ms Rice during her visit to Europe," he said.

The US state department said Ms Rice had no specific response to Mr Marty. A spokesman, Justin Higgins, said: "The secretary has made numerous statements on this issue and on these allegations starting when she departed for Europe on December 5 and on her various stops in Ukraine, Romania, Germany and Belgium, and she's said all she wants to say on this subject for the time being."

Human Rights Watch, a New York-based watchdog, claimed that Poland and Romania may have been sites for possible CIA prisons, but both countries have denied the allegations. Mr Marty has demanded air traffic log books, and satellite pictures of an airport in Poland and an air base in Romania.

The senator said he believed European secret services had collaborated over the flights well beyond exchanges of information. "I think it would have been difficult for these actions to have taken place without a degree of collaboration," he said. "But it is possible that secret services did not inform their governments."

The Foreign Office had no immediate comment on Mr Marty's statement.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Yeah, calling Lieberman a hypocrit is much worse heh?

8:30 AM  
Blogger John said...

Who called Senator Lieberman a hypocrite?

Republicus?

Because he's an Orthodox Jew who belongs to a secularist party that would call the wrath of Moses down upon their heads if he was around?

I can't judge that, and didn't mention it.

So what else are you referring you?

Are YOU calling Senator Lieberman
a hypocrite?

Why?

What do national security issues during wartime have to do with a desire to see Iraq Westernized?

6:43 AM  

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