Euro parliament fails to back Washington Post
14 months after the Washington Post article (see here) which claimed that Poland hosted CIA torture prisons, how far have we got to substantiating those claims?
Well, nowhere. In fact, the year long report by the European Parliament - just like the Council of Europe’s report before it - has failed to turn up anything new.
All we have in the parliament summary of the report is:
In an amendment passed with a narrow majority (356 to 323), MEPs noted that, in light of the available "circumstantial evidence", "it is not possible to acknowledge or deny that secret detention centres were based in Poland." However, notes the report, "seven of the fourteen detainees" transferred from a secret detention facility to Guantánamo in September 2006 coincide with those mentioned in a report by ABC News (published in December 2005) listing the identities of twelve top Al Qaeda suspects held in Poland.
The summary reiterates something we heard months ago after MEPs came to look for evidence in Poland that:
'Regarding the testimonies gathered during their visit to Poland, MEPs conclude that the investigation carried out by the Polish Parliament was not conducted independently and that statements given to the Committee delegation were “contradictory” and compromised by "confusion about flight logs [...] which were first said not to have been retained, then said to have probably been archived at the airport, and finally to have been sent by the Polish government to the Council of Europe."
The 'its not possible one way or another’ line is the one that the Council of Europe used, but a far cry from the aggressive allegations by Human Rights watch and the Washington Post that started this all off, all those months ago.
Journalists in Poland have turned up nothing new, and neither has anyone else, including the Washington Post and HRW.
Let’s conclude then that though CIA ‘rendition’ occurs, shamefully, the singling out of Poland and Romania was a mistake by the initial reporters, and that all the talk of US ‘gulags’ and even another Auschwitz in Central Europe was what I said it was at the time - nonsense.
Poland was main CIA European detention base -group, Reuters, December 2005