Friday, November 04, 2005

And so the Poland/CIA plot thickens…

Reactions to reports that the CIA has been putting terrorist suspects in secret camps in Poland.

The EU and human rights groups such as the Red Cross are demanding answers to the allegations by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that Poland is playing a crucial part in the US’s ‘war on terror’. HRW said that camps in Poland and Romania are being used to hold terror suspects picked up in Afghanistan and elsewhere. (see previous post).

Friso Roscam Abbing, a spokesman for the EU, said that the exisitence of these camps would violate the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Convention on Torture. Franco Frattini, the EU Justice Minister, said that he is ecnouraging member states to, “look into the matter.” The Red Cross – which has long suspected that the US is holding terror suspects in secret, somewhere - has asked Washington to clarify matters. And the Council of Europe is also investigating the claims.

The evidence…

HRW’s evidence seems to be based, only, on the flight logs of CIA aircraft from 2001 to 2004. "The indications are that prisoners in Afghanistan are being (taken) to facilities in Europe and other countries in the world," HRW’s Mark Garlasco, a former civilian intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency, told AP.

He said that in September 2003, a Boeing 737 flew from Washington to Kabul, Afghanistan, making stops along the way in the Czech Republic and Uzbekistan. On Sept. 22, the plane flew on to Szymany Airfield in Poland, and then to Sale, Morocco, and finally to Guantanamo Bay.

HRW would not say how they obtained these flight logs.

The planes…

Apparently, the CIA does not own any Boeing 737’s, the planes that HWR alledges that the prisoners are being carried to Poland in. But a CIA ‘shell’ company – Keeler and Tate, based at an address in Nevada, US - does own the planes.

The company, however, has no list of employers and no business partners. All business handled by the company passes through the well-known Republican lawyer - and ex-best buddie to Ronald Reagan (in the days when he was aware that he had best-buddies) - Paul D. Laxalt.

I told you the plot had thickened.

The theories…

Of course, this sort of story – with al-Qaeda terrorists being buried away somewhere in deepest Poland – is just the kind to stimulate theories and conspiracies.

My favourite, so far, is the one mentioned by Mr. Ost on the beatroot (see comment 13 on previous post). He wonders if all this is to with the new PM, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz’s announcement this week that heads of Poland’s intelligence services (WSI) are in for the sack. ''The WSI will be eliminated, and replaced by other structures to guarantee Poland's security,'' said Poland's new PM.

Marcinkiewicz’s party, Law and Justice (PiS), have accused Polish intelligence services of still being under communist control, 17 years after the fall of the regime. In fact, the insistence that agencies such as WSI should be overhauled has been one of the many areas of friction between Law and Justice and Civic Platform recently, when they tried to, unsuccessfully, form a coalition. (PiS have also just announced that they are closing down the Gender Equality Office - another nest of commies, apparently).

So might the allegations be coming, not just from a bunch of plane spotters at HRW, but also from pissed off Polish intelligence officers who are in for an unexpectedly early retirement?

The intrigue grows and the plots will thicken...