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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Prisoners of Undeclared War

“You can file these under ‘Don’t they remember that we saved them from Hitler in WWII?’. Feel free to reference them the next time Europe seems a bit snippy with us.”

“Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice turned the tables on European critics of tough U.S. tactics in the war on terror Monday, maintaining that intelligence gathered by the CIA has saved European as well as American lives.
Responding for the first time in detail to the outcry over reports of secret CIA-run prisons in European democracies, Rice said the United States ‘will use every lawful weapon to defeat these terrorists.’
But in remarks delivered as she got ready to leave on a trip to Europe, she steadfastly refused to answer the underlying question of whether the United States had CIA-operated secret prisons there.
Reports of the existence of the secret prisons has caused a trans-Atlantic uproar. The European Union has asked the Bush administration about these reports.
ABC News reported Monday night that the CIA held captured suspects at two secret prisons in Eastern Europe until last month when the facilities were shut down after media pressure.
Eleven al-Qaida prisoners who were held in Eastern Europe were relocated ‘to a CIA site somewhere in north Africa,’ ABC reported, citing CIA sources.
The United States scrambled to get all of the suspects off European soil before Rice arrived in Europe, ABC said, citing the sources.
ABC said the CIA declined comment and an agency spokesman was not available when Reuters tried to contact him.
The European Union’s justice commissioner said such prisons and detainee mistreatment would violate European human rights law, and he warned last week than any host countries could lose voting rights in the powerful 25-nation bloc.
Secret prisons and many harsh methods of interrogation would be illegal on U.S. soil. It has been long assumed that the United States holds some of its more valuable and potentially dangerous captives — such as alleged terror mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed — outside the country and beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.”
-MSNBC, December 6, 2005

“In March 2003, the Italian national anti-terrorism police received an urgent message from the CIA about a radical Islamic cleric who had mysteriously vanished from Milan a few weeks before. The CIA reported that it had reliable information that the cleric, the target of an Italian criminal investigation, had fled to an unknown location in the Balkans.
In fact, according to Italian court documents and interviews with investigators, the CIA's tip was a deliberate lie, part of a ruse designed to stymie efforts by the Italian anti-terrorism police to track down the cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, an Egyptian refugee known as Abu Omar.
The strategy worked for more than a year until Italian investigators learned that Nasr had not gone to the Balkans after all. Instead, prosecutors here have charged, he was abducted off a street in Milan by a team of CIA operatives who took him to two U.S. military bases in succession and then flew him to Egypt, where he was interrogated and allegedly tortured by Egyptian security agents before being released to house arrest.”
-Washington Post, December 5, 2005

“You see, we’ve been lying to our allies and using their airports as a way of transferring illegally apprehended prisoners to places where we can torture them beyond the sight of those snoopy human rights people. You know, secret military prisons themselves are illegal per the Geneva conventions. Not just if they are used to torture, but if they exist at all. Its that whole ‘ghost detainee’ issue that got them in trouble at Abu Ghraib (ok, the other issue.. the one that didn’t involve glowsticks, ice packed bodies and naked dogpiles of prisoners). Elsewhere in the world they at least are trying to improve their human rights record, and they take this kind of behavior by the ‘moral leader’ of the world kind of seriously. Maybe sometime we’ll get it right.”

“Q She [Condi] also said that whatever the United States did, that the European counties had cooperated. By saying that, doesn't that just inflame the rift?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think what she said, was she talked about how we have and will continue to respect the sovereignty of other nations. The issue here really to focus on is, what are we doing to protect our citizens. That's the highest responsibility of any government. And that's how we have to look at this. We are engaged in a different kind of war against a different kind of enemy, and we have to be able to adapt in order to face that enemy. And each country has to make their own choices. And she emphasized that in her remarks. But we all should do what we can to work together in order to prevail in this war on terrorism and defeat the terrorists.
Q Sharing the blame with Europe then, it sounds as if she's --
MR. McCLELLAN: Sharing the blame? I'm not sure what you're referring to. We are acting to protect the American people and working with other countries to protect their citizens, as well. This is a global war on terrorism. We have seen terrorists attack throughout the world, and this is an ongoing battle. This is a very dangerous enemy. And we all -- all of us in government, around the world, have a responsibility to do what we can to protect our citizens.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, December 5, 2005

“’We have to be able to adapt in order to face that enemy’? I think that what Scottie is trying to say is that because our enemy hates our ‘freedom’ and our ‘way of life’ we need to sacrifice our ‘freedom’ and ‘way of life’ in order to protect them. We have to burn the village in order to save it. Charming.”

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
-Pogo, Walt Kelly


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