Rice defends illegal “renditions,” threatens EU
Rice defends illegal “renditions,” threatens to reveal European complicity
By Chris Marsden - World Socialist Web Site
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has responded to Europe’s appeals for information regarding Washington’s illegal practice of rendition by making clear that the practice will continue. In an attempt to turn the tables on European critics, she has implied that should Europe continue to make such demands, Washington will expose the complicity of the European governments, which allowed their airports to be used by CIA planes transporting prisoners to third countries and secret CIA-run prisons.
Renditions involve the moving of alleged terrorists, without any judicial process, to countries where, according to the US government, American law does not apply. Washington routinely sends these prisoners to countries which have been cited by the US State Department for practicing torture. “Extraordinary rendition” refers to the kidnapping of terrorist suspects on foreign soil before they are spirited away to detention centres overseas.
Rice begins her tour of Europe in Berlin and is to visit Brussels for a meeting with NATO foreign ministers. Prior to her visit, at least eight European countries, as well as the European Union itself, requested clarification over whether the CIA had landed planes involved in rendition operations. German and British airports are alleged to have been used most frequently.
Speaking Monday at Andrews Air Force Base before departing for Germany, Rice stated that the US had indeed moved suspects by plane overseas and had done so for decades. She claimed this was not in order to facilitate torture and was permissible under international law. She refused to say whether the CIA ran secret prisons abroad, stating, “We cannot discuss information that would compromise the success of intelligence, law enforcement, and military operations. We expect other nations share this view.” Poland and Romania have both been identified as likely sites of such CIA facilities, along with six other nations….