Thursday, April 27, 2006

More Bush Lies: Bush's Transparent Dodge Exposed

An interim report of the Council of Europe exposes Bush lies about "extraordinary renditions". It is interesting that the Bush administration has always engaged in tortured, legalistic defenses of the very practice that it denies. It would appear, however, that the latest reports coming out of Europe prove that the Bush administration has been torturing the truth about "rendition". Clearly —the CIA has been flying "detainees" in and out of various locations —primarily eastern Europe —for the purpose of carrying out a program of torture. If the Council's report is accurate, the Bush administration is in violation of the Geneva Convention.
Article 13

Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.

—Article 13, Geneva Convention

From the MEP's report:

MEPs reveal extent of CIA flights

Kidnapping has "clearly" happened, the report says. The CIA has run more than 1,000 flights within the European Union since 2001, often transporting terror suspects for questioning overseas, MEPs have said.

The MEPs began a probe after claims the US flew suspects to secret prisons in countries that regularly use torture.

The US admits some terror suspects were flown overseas for interrogation, but denies sending them for torture.

Report author Claudio Fava said many EU states had ignored the hundreds of CIA flights that had used their airports.

Mr Fava, an Italian socialist MEP, singled out Sweden, Italy and Bosnia, which is not an EU member, for particular criticism.

A string of former detainees have come forward with stories alleging kidnap and transport by the US for interrogation in third countries - a process known as "extraordinary rendition".

Some have provided detailed accounts of alleged torture carried out in secret prisons outside EU or US jurisdiction.
The European report is "...full of frustration at American [torture] policy" and even more frustration with the idea that by flying detainees to friendly countries, the U.S. is skirting Geneva prohibitions on torture. The practice is a transaparent dodge that fools no one but tends to reinforce a growing perception abroad that the United States —under Bush —has become a rogue nation.
"In countries that pride themselves on being long-standing democracies that protect human rights, the revelation of these allegations should have sparked off reactions and categorical condemnations several months ago, but this was not the case..."

—Swiss MP Dick Marty

The report supports allegations that the U.S. program of "rendition" is part of a pattern of US policy intended to bypass the Geneva Conventions. Marty told a news conference that people have been kidnapped by the CIA, transferred to torture prison, and denied their rights under the Geneva Convention. Camps outside any legal system include well-known camps in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Other kidnap victims have been taken to camps primarily eastern Europe. Their treatment —outside the law —has been called "unacceptable", and, according to Marty, it is a case of the United States "outsourcing" in order to skirt international law —even those to which the U.S. is bound by treaty.

Pressure has grown since the Washington Post reported last year that the the CIA had orchestrated a rendition program that consisted of "...hiding and interrogating [what the CIA claims are] some of its most important al-Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe". The catch 22 is simply this: as long as the CIA is allowed to conduct such a program unsupervised and outside the law, there is no way of knowing if any of those tortured are or have ever been members of Al Qaeda.

Additional resources:

Bush, Torture, War Crimes
'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission

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