Sunday, December 11, 2005

Offshoring takes a new twist

Secretary of State Rice has been touring Europe echoing Bush's words: "We do not torture." Although the claim is unambiguous about torture, Rice is more coy about the 'black sites,' neither confirming nor denying that the CIA is maintaining secret prisons in Europe. Nonetheless, to avoid embarrassment, CIA officials said that al Qaeda suspects were moved from detention in Europe to Africa before Rice's visit.

Although Hungarian officials were quick to deny the existence of such facilities in their country, il manifesto reported that the CIA was holding terrorists under "illegal conditions." The Polish prime minister is not so confident. While Polish officials repeatedly deny their existence, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz commissioned a detailed investigation into the existence of 'black sites' in Poland.

The Polish probe better go back a few years. It turns out the CIA was rendering terrorist suspects to foreign countries for interrogation at least as far back as 9/11. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was handed over to Egypt in January 2002, subsequently fabricating claims of ties between Iraq and al Qaeda (that the bush administration relied on to justify invading Iraq). The Defense Intelligence Agency issued a classified report in February 2002 expressing skepticism about Libi's credibility, saying he made the claims under duress of harsh treatment by the CIA.

The world has known for some time about 'black sites' in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Now it's becoming clear that the administration runs a network of secret prisons around the world. While the Democrats express concern about jobs being sent offshore, it seems the Republicans have been sending prisons and torture offshore.

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