…but Marty smells a rat.
Dick Marty - head of the Council of Europe investigating team into allegations including that the largest of the CIA secret prisons in Europe was, up until last October, in Poland - can see the smoke but can’t find the fire.
Marty says that he can find "no formal, irrefutable evidence" of American ‘gulags’ in Poland, or Romania, the other country named in the original Human Rights Watch report.
But though no concrete evidence has turned up, he still thinks that there is something more than a little fishy going on. Marty thinks that there is "a great deal of coherent, convergent evidence pointing to the existence of a system of 'relocation' or 'outsourcing' of torture" by the CIA. And what’s more, "It is highly unlikely that European governments, or at least their intelligence services, were unaware."
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Marty is equally wary of Romanian and Polish denials of the detention center allegations, noting that both countries are part of the American-led coalition fighting in Iraq and "escaped long dictatorships thanks largely to the American intelligence services."
It was actually largely thanks to something the Poles, Czechs, Hungarians did (and their secret services!), but anyhow.
The Polish side wound up two investigations recently but is refusing to say what conclusions they came to.
Which, either way, is not much use.
Blair’s New Labour government (which has been telling some fibs recently about what it knows about all this) has said that Dick Marty’s interim report is "as full of holes as Swiss cheese" and "clouded in myth and motivated by a desire to kick America."
It is true that the Council of Europe is a big toothless pussycat these days. Since the Cold War ended it has been struggling to find a role for itself. What it's turned into - now that democracy has spread to eastern Europe, and everyone is in, or wants to be, in the EU, sort of, - is of yet another human rights watch dog. Worse, the EU is setting up its own Human Rights Agency, so what will there be left for the C of E to do?
Many think that it should do everyone a favour and close down so that everyone who works there can go and get themselves a proper job.
The C of E can find no concrete evidence of anything much at all is because it cannot penetrate secret service networks. It simply cannot get to the facts. It doesn’t have the influence anymore.
Governments such as Poland and the UK probably have been turning a blind eye (and sometimes one eye half open) to comings and goings of CIA transport and its exotic cargo. Outsourcing of prisoners has almost been admitted and justified by Condi Rice with the familiar get out clause, ‘Well, we are at war, you know?’, thereby justifying pretty much anything and everything.
Meanwhile, Dick Marty, super sleuth, is now studying satellite footage in the hope that huge, secret gulags in Poland will reveal themselves under infra red, or something.
The hunt for the United State's Auschwitz goes on…