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Marty: EU Knew About Rendition for 3 Years

1.16.2006

The Swiss investigator charged with inquiring into the allegations of secret CIA prisons in Europe and the CIA's alleged extraordinary rendition programme has said that European leader knew for two or three years what was going on.



"Since two, three years, the countries know what is happening. There are countries that have collaborated actively, and there are others who have tolerated. Others have simply looked the other way," Mr Marty told Swiss television channel TRS.

Marty argues that there is no way the the CIA could have ferried terror suspects through Europe without the European Governments knowing what was going on. Marty is due to hand in his final report to the EU on 23 january, but if the press conference is anything to go by, it is likely to have a great deal of damaging material in it.

Marty seems to be convinced that the programme is the result of a group effort, rather than the acts of a few single countries. Recent evidence from Switzerland suggests that the prisons are all but certainly running in Romania.



Mr Marty said on Friday however that it was unfair to single out member states as possible sites for the centres, as governments all across Europe had been "willingly silent" about the camps.

While the report mentions no specifics, the recent intervention by the Council of Europe calling for US planes using Shannon to be inspected suggest that the airport and its visitors are on the radar for an investigation team. Some may see this as weak minded pandering to liberal insitincts, but it was that similar liberal pandering that created Western Democracy in the first place.

And should I be accused of pre-judging the content and tone of the report, Marty offers his own take on the Rendition programme;


Washington's policy "respects neither human rights nor the Geneva Conventions," he added.


That in itself is a pretty damning condemnation. The guy has spent the last couple of months investigating it first-hand and has come to the conclusion that it breaks international law and also disregards human rights. I have always felt that an approach to Islamist Terror would be predicated on commitment to the values we point to as differentiating us from them. Any state who willingly engages or ignores in extraodinary rendition or secret prison programmes is questionable on these grounds to say the least.

I think that EWI's response to the Swiss memo is as applicable here:
[But it it is genuine,] Is the cat now firmly out of the bag as to this being an issue that the EU must face?

It most certainly is and the web of neglect that allowed the EU to reach this point must be unravelled and resolved. It is interesting to read in the Euobserver article that EU justice commissioner Franco Frattini had earlier indicated that EU member states as well as candidate countries such as Romania and Bulgaria could face sanctions if the allegations are found to be true.

From the above, it seems clear that Marty's report will set a number of states up for their role in the mess. Having information on this for 2-3 years is serious in the extreme. Most states who turned the other way should be outed and dealt with. There is no excuse for failiing in the responsibility of all UN Members to promote and protect Human Rights and the rule of international law.
RR

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