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World

Lies from the CIA

By Jacques Coubard; Translated by Laura Wheeler

Translated Tuesday 13 December 2005, by Laura

In actual fact, Condoleezza Rice came to Europe to play « Much ado about nothing ». But it was a flop. She only increased the level of anxiety and number of condemnations for intolerable practices. We are discovering that Europe has been transformed into a greater American territory, where secret prisons can be installed in eight countries (according to a report from the Washington Post), hundreds of CIA flights can be transited... Where Ms Rice topped it all off with a lie about the absence of torture in these detention centers.

Anything goes in the name of fact-finding

How could the United States embark on such an adventure without thinking about the consequences? The answer can be found in black and white in the founding document for the neo-conservative doctrine, the Project for a new American century (PNAC). The idea of "global American leadership" led them to believe that after conquering the White House, nothing could stand in the way of their adventures as leaders of the world. In their view, there were no more boundaries or limits to the new superpower. They placed the United States above international laws, launching the war in Iraq in spite of disapproval from the UN.

The use of torture is one of the barbaric metamorphoses of their dogma. It was given special attention so as to allow George Bush, the Commander in Chief, the opportunity to declare himself free of any international engagements. Five days after September 11, 2001, Dick Cheney asked a group of jurists in the Justice Ministry to prepare a text legitimizing torture. It was presented on August 2, 2002 to George Bush in the form of a 50-page memorandum which examines the "possible oppositions so as to avoid a declaration affirming that certain interrogation methods violate the statutes" of the Geneva convention. In other words, how to violate them?

According to these experts, the Geneva Convention only condemns "very extreme behavior". This memorandum, which was intended to remain hidden in the files of the White House, was published in its entirety on the Internet site of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post in the spring of 2004. If the person is subjected to an "aggressive interrogation", which is the term Condolezza Rice has been using lately, "without the express intention of harming, but in order to obtain information", the sky’s the limit, according to the document.

Thus, the president could act as he pleased without fearing public opinion. He did so immediately, giving orders to the Pentagon and the CIA to send torturers first to Guantanamo, and then to Abou Ghraïb. The secret was spread far and wide via the images sent by interrogators convinced of their impunity, by the testimonies of freed prisoners who were released because they had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, and also by leaks from the above-mentioned services. Thus, the United States deliberately stepped outside the boundaries of international law.

The sinister ballet of airplanes and torturers

This « legal » construction of illegality shows one of the reasons that led the « Commander in Chief » to outsource CIA centers as a discretionary measure in order to continue "aggressive interrogations". The prisoners were sent to Egypt, to Syria (in spite of the fact that this country is on the "delinquent State" list) where local police carried out the dirty work. CIA planes also delivered bodies for mutilation to Thailand, Morocco (they deny it), Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Dana Priest, who published these revelations in the Washington Post on November 2, mentions that she was asked not to name the European countries who acted as shelters, so as not to embarrass their governments. But, according to the Human Rights Watch, these unnamed countries are Rumania and Poland, who both have made official denials, and undoubtedly a Baltic State.

Thus, the sinister ballet of airplanes and torturers... the « extraordinary renditions » that Condoleezza Rice justified in Europe - forgetting that this practice is clearly forbidden by the Geneva Convention. The CIA airplanes carried out 427 flights in Europe, according to Amnesty International, and more than 600 in all, according to Der Spiegel. According to the American association Human Right Watch, there were still at least 26 "ghost prisoners" in the black sites, on the day the Secretary of State arrived in Europe. They apparently have now been sent to the desert of a North African country, to other secret prisons.

Outsourcing remains the rule. Right from the beginning, Guantanamo was placed outside American jurisdiction. The crime needed to be committed elsewhere, where US laws are not formally applicable, since public testimonies and an American jury would surely have raised outcries. Once again, the calculations did not pay off. Bush and his team must face up to a text proposed by Republican senator John McCain, which demands that the CIA abandon torture. This text has been approved by Congress. Vice President Dick Cheney’s maneuvers to make McCain abandon his proposal or empty if of its content, ran into a brick wall. The president’s threat to blackmail the proposal by means of a veto did not cause McCain to back down. Military generals such as Colin Powell, brought him their support. And the controversy hasn’t stopped.

An American empire drunk with its own (super) power...

A training center for torture is located at Fort Bragg, one of the largest military bases in the United States. Last week, it was home to a symbolic demonstration of pacifists requesting that it be shut down. The type of barbaric training that it condones was not introduced in the post-September 11th trauma. It was initiated during the Korean war of the 1950s, and continued during the Vietnam war, the Latin American wars, in interventions in Guatemala, in Honduras, in Salvador, in Chili and in Argentina. It was even codified into a written manual in 1967 (revealed by the NY Times on September 21, 1996: "The Horror Manuel").

It remains an instrument in the hands of an American empire drunk with its own power, which only recognizes the law of the jungle in the name of « promoting liberty and democracy » beyond its frontiers, according to the dogma for the Project for a New American Century. It’s the civilizing mission of American law in a world where it claims to ensure leadership to the "satisfaction" of the European ministers of the Atlantic Pact who convened to ask for explanations for so many lies. Accomplices of this barbarity.


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