Cutting through the bullshit.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

'You can't prove anything!'

In his Council of Europe report, ‘Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: second report’, released yesterday, rapporteur Dick Marty begins

What was previously just a set of allegations is now proven: large numbers of people have been abducted from various locations across the world and transferred to countries where they have been persecuted and where it is known that torture is common practice. Others have been held in arbitrary detention, without any precise charges levelled against them and without any judicial oversight – denied the possibility of defending themselves. Still others have simply disappeared for indefinite periods and have been held in secret prisons, including in member states of the Council of Europe, the existence and operations of which have been concealed ever since.

Some individuals were kept in secret detention centres for periods of several years, where they were subjected to degrading treatment and so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” (essentially a euphemism for a kind of torture), in the name of gathering information, however unsound, which the United States claims has protected our common security. Elsewhere, others have been transferred thousands of miles into prisons whose locations they may never know, interrogated ceaselessly, physically and psychologically abused, before being released because they were plainly not the people being sought…These are the terrible consequences of what in some quarters is called the “war on terror.”

Marty’s investigations are a response to US president George W Bush’s admission on 6 September 2006

In addition to terrorists held at Guantanamo, a small number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives captured during the war have been held and questioned outside the U.S., in a separate program operated by the CIA. The detainees recently transferred to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay were previously held and questioned by the CIA. The CIA program focused on a number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives – dangerous men with unparalleled knowledge about terrorist networks and plans for new attacks.

In response to the revelations in Marty’s report, the BBC reports

A CIA spokesman said the report was biased and distorted…"operations have been lawful, effective, closely reviewed and of benefit to many people - including Europeans - by disrupting plots and saving lives".

Or, as Bart Simpson put it, ‘I didn't do it, no one saw me do it, you can't prove anything!’

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