Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Iraq Cia Detention Centers
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 007491
DEPT FOR INR/R/MR; IIP/RW; IIP/RNY; BBG/VOA; IIP/WEU; AF/PA;
EUR/WE /P/SP; D/C (MCCOO); EUR/PA; INR/P; INR/EUC; PM; OSC ISA
FOR ILN; NEA; WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC/WEUROPE; DOC FOR ITA/EUR/FR
AND PASS USTR/PA; USINCEUR FOR PAO; NATO/PA; MOSCOW/PA;
ROME/PA; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - Iraq CIA Detention Centers
PARIS - Thursday, November 03, 2005
(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:
CIA Detention Centers
B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:
Continuing unrest in the Paris suburbs is once again today's
dominating front-page story, with PM Villepin announcing a new
action plan to "save the suburbs" as reported in Le Figaro and
International stories are dominated by the Washington Post
reports on secret U.S. detention centers overseas. Liberation,
La Croix, France Soir and Le Figaro pick up the Washington
Post story about "secret" detention centers held by the CIA in
Eastern Europe. Liberation comments: "The detainees have no
legal rights and can be detained their whole lives in these
centers." (See Part C)
Iran's stance elicits an analysis in Le Figaro while
Liberation comments on Ahmadinejad's recall of several
Ambassadors, including the ones from Paris, Berlin and London.
Liberation also publishes an op-ed on the Iraqi constitution.
(See Part C)
La Croix carries a story about the recruitment of mercenaries
in South America through a Chicago-based company called `Your
Solution' working out of Honduras. "The recruitment is made
easier because of the poverty and unemployment in South
America. At no time in the recruitment process are the
prospects told about the dangers of the job. In Iraq, this
outsourcing of security is now a marketable product bought and
sold with the complicity of the U.S. and the UN. One of its
consequences is that these human losses are not registered as
Several dailies carry extensive reporting on the sanctioning
of French military officers over murder and cover-up in the
Ivory Coast. Defense correspondent Arnaud de La Grange in Le
Figaro writes a commentary on the "Licorne Affair" in Cote
d'Ivoire and the sanctions against General Poncet. De La
Grange does not excuse the soldiers, but he writes:
"Interventions are by definition unclear operations. The
conflicts are ill-defined. Most often it is civilians who are
fighting. In these conflicts without a well-defined front, the
pressure is enormous."
(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:
"Iraq, Between Ballots and Terrorism"
Kendal Nezan, President of the Kurd Institute in Paris in left-
of-center Liberation (11/03): "The Constitution does not fully
satisfy the Kurds. It does not satisfy all the Iraqis, but it
does offer for the first time an institutional framework which
respects their cultural, linguistic and religious diversity...
It contains important counterweights. The Iraqi example has
raised the hopes of populations across the Middle East and
worries local governments, like Syria. Iran and Turkey. In
this hostile regional context one can expect that the Iraqi
political process will be slow in developing into pacification
of the country."
CIA Detention Centers
Right-of-center Le Figaro(11/03): "The Czech Minister of the
Interior Frantisek Bublan asserted that Prague recently
rejected an American request to establish detention centers on
its territory to receive Guantanmo detainees. Only a handful
of U.S. high officials are said to know about this system of
"Secret American Prisons Also In Europe?"
Catholic La Croix (11/03): "The Czech Interior Minister said
that Prague rejected Washington's request that his country
accept prisoners from Guantanamo: `Negotiations took place
about a month ago. The Americans made every effort to
implement something of the sort here, but they were not
successful' said the minister according to the on-line
"When the CIA Out-Sources Torture"
Thomas de Rochechouart in right-of-center France Soir (11/03):
"Why implement such a system? The reason is obvious: with such
a system the CIA can carry on interrogations without having to
answer to international legislation on the treatment of
prisoners. In effect this system means that the agency is out-
sourcing certain practices that could be construed as torture.
These revelations discredit just a bit more the Bush
administration. The White House and the CIA declined any
comment. In other words they did not deny the existence of
"Uncle Sam's Hidden Centers"
Bernard Guetta in government-run France Inter radio (11/03):
"Fearing the American justice system, these detention centers
were not established in the U.S. but in eight countries among
which are Afghanistan, Thailand and several newly-democratic
Eastern European countries. The good news is that in the U.S.
there are civil servants and newspapers that exist to denounce
these blatant attacks on the rule of law. The bad news is all
too obvious. The White House has not denied a single sentence
of the [Washington Post] article and this crime against Human
Rights is possible today in America with the help of the
former Communist countries."
"What Does Ahmadinejad Want?"
Alexandre Adler in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/03): "The
remarks about Israel combined with the growing tension
surrounding the Iranian nuclear crisis is forcing the
international community to act with more forcefulness and more
clarity. But it is essential to decode Ahmadinejad's new
isolation within Iran. The Iranian President has a strong
desire to trigger a controversy with his reformist
predecessors and also with the theocracy established by
Khatami. Ahmadinejad's comments about Israel followed
Rafsnajani's enthusiasm about the new Iraqi constitution,
which means praise for the political process and implicitly
for the occupation of Iraq. Ahmadinejad's principal enemy is
domestic. Therefore the best strategy is to denounce that
enemy as a docile ally of Zionism and trigger a major crisis
with the international community. With this in mind, the West
must be careful not to play into his hands."
"An Iranian Diplomatic Cataclysm"
Jean-Pierre Perrin in left-of-center Liberation (11/03): "In
the midst of international tension, Tehran announced yesterday
it was recalling some forty Ambassadors in the coming months.
Among them, the Ambassadors from Paris, Berlin and London, all
involved in the EU-3 negotiations. The initiative marks a
complete upset in Iran's diplomacy at this particularly
crucial time. This diplomatic cataclysm is without precedent
in the history of the regime. Ahmadinejad's doings are closely
observed by Rafsanjani who has already criticized his rival's
inability to have his ministerial choices approved."
Denis Jeambar in right-of-center weekly L'Express (11/03):
"Ahmadinejad's hatred against Israel is something that
concerns us all. Israel's battle for survival is our battle.
The relative indifference in the general population after the
worrisome declarations made in Tehran about wiping Israel off
the map is an indication of a passivity which should alert us.
If Sharon had made similar threats about one of its neighbors,
everyone would have been marching in the streets. When it
comes to Israel, we are blind. That nation is a dream, albeit
an imperfect one. It is nevertheless a dream that has become a
reality. Its enemies know it; its friends sometimes forget it.
Let us be careful not to let the dream become a nightmare."