Monday, December 12, 2005

Pot, kettle, and black sites

Embarrassing notes to a meeting two years ago come back to haunt those principled Eurocrats.

EU Referendum blog points out an interesting article in the UK Sunday Telegraph. It seems Brussels’ indignation about possible US ‘gulags’ etc in Poland and elsewhere contradicts an offer they made to Americans a couple of years ago.

The European Union secretly allowed the United States to use transit facilities on European soil to transport "criminals" in 2003, according to a previously unpublished document. The revelation contradicts repeated EU denials that it knew of "rendition" flights by the CIA.

The EU agreed to give America access to facilities - presumably airports - in confidential talks in Athens during which the war on terror was discussed, the original minutes show. But all references to the agreement were deleted from the record before it was published.

The original minutes say that:

"Both sides agreed on areas where co-operation could be improved [inter alia] the exchange of data between border management services, increased use of European transit facilities to support the return of criminal, inadmissible aliens, co-ordination with regard to false documents training and improving the co-operation in removals.’

The EU is currently carrying out its own investigation into the 'black sites' affair and Polish and others involvment. We must presume, then, that its own offer to cooperate with ‘renditions’ will be included in the evidence.


beatroot said...

Hans. I see what you mean. But I think it's more to do with simplifying extradition of prisoners in general - and terrorist suspects in particular. Remember that they think of terrorists coming from someone elses country, not theirs. And not Europeans! July 7 changed all that. But the meeting that the notes come was from was in the wake of 9/11, so that is the context of what they were talking about.

They weren't talking about gulags and special prisons, though. But here must be plaxes where they are keeping theswe people.

But what annoys me is the language of the 'gulag' when talking about central/eastern Europe. There is no such camps in Poland. People would have seen them. Gulags are very big. Guantánamo bay is very big. It simply not possible to have those sorts of places in Europe.

I can see that it is possible to have small places where prisoners are held for a short time. But they are probably in lots of countries.

Poland, and central Europe in general, is being used by western European countries to bash Bush. And I don't think we need to drag Poland into it to do that.

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