Europeans Cover Up for the CIA

European leaders can no longer feign ignorance about covert CIA flights to and from Europe. According to this op-ed article from Canada's Le Devoir, the latest report by Swiss Senator and Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty makes clear that European countries have engaged in a cover-up of their own.


Translated By Pascaline Jay

January 26, 2005

Le Devoir - Original Article (French)    

Swiss Senator Dick Marty Tells the Council of Europe
of 'Convincing Evidence that Washington sent Detainees
to Third Countries to be Tortured (above).

BBC NEWS VIDEO: European Governments Were
'Almost Certainly Aware' of CIA Secret Prisoner Flights,
Jan. 24. 00:01:45RealVideo

Friday's sentencing of Larry Franklin, the former Pentagon analyst who was convicted of communicating classified information to staffers at the America Israel Public Affairs Association [AIPAC] and to an Israeli diplomat, is only the first of the trials in the case, but it can serve as an indicator to what can be expected when the second begins in late April.

Judge T.S. Ellis of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, set forth two important principles when sentencing Franklin to 12 1/2 years in prison: The first was accepting Franklin's claim that he had no intention other than helping what he believed to be American interests, and the second was that no matter what the intentions might have been, the law is the law and whoever breaks it faces harsh punishment.

For former AIPAC staffers, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, this means good news and bad news. The good news is that the court does not seem to see the matter as an espionage case or as an act directed at harming the U.S. or assisting a foreign nation. The bad news is that this perception doesn't really make any difference on the legal level [the question of jail time].

Europe is in an awkward position. The reason is simple. Swiss Senator Dick Marty, who was is charge of investigating the transport of CIA prisoners, asserts that several members of the European Union (E.U.) and the Council of Europe, together with E.U. candidate countries, cannot feign ignorance. Even if it is possible that the leaders of certain countries may have been unaware of what the CIA was up to, the same cannot be said about the intelligence services. Without the collaboration of the latter, indeed the top-ranking officials of some ministries, the American agency would never have been able to act the way it did.

In his preliminary report, Senator Marty asserts that the number of flights is in the hundreds and not the dozens. He also asserts that about 100 of these prisoners, after stopping in Europe, were handed over to a third party, mainly Egypt, where they were tortured for the benefit of the United States. The Europeans who collaborated with American officials on this program knew they were doing so.


Eurocontrol and the E.U.Satellite Center:
Slow to Cooperate With Probe.

What makes matters worse for Europeans is that the Swiss Senator highlighted in his analysis their blatant lack of cooperation [with his investigation]. Indeed, only the day before he published his report did he finally receive copies of documents he had sought from Eurocontrol [Europe's air traffic watchdog [RealVideo] and the E.U. Satellite Center [Agency for space imagery [RealVideo]. Consequently, Marty is asking for an extension of his mandate so that he can check whether or not prisons like Guantanamo Bay, in other words places where human and civil rights aren't respected, existed in Romania and Poland.

Until the next addition, what this report puts forward is the lie of some European leaders who quickly denied the existence of such places, after the revelations in the Washington Post last November. We can say it again: according to the Swiss Senator, they were in on it.

As far as Great Britain is concerned, the Minister of European Affairs had the nerve to belittle Marty's work when one of the most important witnesses in this case is the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray. Before being fired by his bosses from the Foreign Office, this diplomat had the proof that the CIA and his British equivalent, MI6, had collaborated in many occasions.

On the subject, the Swiss politician justly reminded E.U. members of their duties, like to respect the European Conventions on Human Rights, which they must abide by in order to be part of the club. By acting the way they have, some countries have disowned the signatures they had put into these conventions.

Consequently, "it seems important to analyze, and even to improve, national administrative procedures for surveillance and parliamentary control of spy agencies to make sure that abuses can no longer be perpetrated under the cover of confidentiality and standard procedure."

Moreover, Marty denounced the abusive use of the famous excuses "State secrets" and the "superiority of the national interest," to such an extent that he encouraged members of Parliament to engage in a far-ranging and in-depth debate on these issues.

What is beyond doubt is that they ought to give Senator Marty the extension of that he wants, so that the principles so dear to Europeans won't be scorned again.

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