Council of Europe slates European nations over their support for the CIA’s policy of extraordinary rendition.
Now you may remember that last November the CIA was “outed” for kidnapping people from around the world and transporting them to repressive regimes so that they could be tortured by proxy. Of course, when put in such stark terms it doesn’t sound quite like “motherhood and apple pie”; however, change the wording to being “rendered for the purposes of interrogation” and it seems far less menacing, more like an accountant balancing his books than a torturer brandishing his blades.
Following these revelations the Council of Europe began an investigation into the extent to which the nations of Europe had been complicit with their behemoth of a transatlantic bed-fellow. The conclusion, in a report published by Swiss Senator Dick Marty, is that there was “intentional or grossly negligent collusion".
It appears that Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the UK have been turning a blind eye to CIA flights through their territories, or have been actively assisting them with refuelling. Italy, Macedonia, and Sweden have been waving goodbye as their residents were being abducted. And Romania and Poland have been hosting secret prisons, a la World War II—you didn’t think that all that post-cold war largesse by the US to Eastern European countries was gratis, now did you?
Of course, the CIA denies that people are kidnapped for the purpose of torture—it’s just “more efficient” for them to be interrogated elsewhere. But why would it be more efficient? Is the CIA really claiming that countries like Syria and Egypt possess more sophisticated interrogation techniques than it does itself? If foreign countries had relevant information to put to suspects during interrogation, then does it not seem a great deal more “efficient” to send the “information” to the country holding the “suspect” than to send the “suspect” to the country holding the “information”? And we don’t doubt that the CIA could fly foreign interrogators to the US for a lot less effort—and without the accompanying unfavourable publicity—if they really needed to have them present at an interrogation.
The inescapable conclusion must be that the CIA finds the provisions of the US Constitution rather irksome, and looks wistfully to those regimes whose constitutional arrangements permit more flexible, creative, and informative interrogation procedures.