Thursday, December 08, 2005

Condi: I think this issue is over....correct?

Politics: The Euros seem to think so, its amazing what a little watch yourself does to people.

BRUSSELS, Dec. 8 -- European foreign ministers attempted to make peace with the United States on Thursday over the controversy concerning treatment of terrorism suspects, with many saying they were satisfied with visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's explanations of U.S. policy. But lingering concerns were evident when Dutch officials said they would press to set up a prison of their own in Afghanistan so that any suspects captured by Dutch troops there would not be transferred to Guantanamo Bay or other American facilities. The controversy over secret CIA prisons and U.S. detainee policy dominated a gathering at NATO headquarters Thursday at which a plan to send as many as 6,000 alliance troops to patrol southern Afghanistan was approved, relieving some of the burden on U.S. forces. ....Rice had dinner with 31 of her European colleagues Wednesday in Brussels. Aides were not included, which officials said allowed for a fuller airing of concerns over U.S. policy without political posturing. Some ministers, such as Bernard Bot of the Netherlands, had indicated they still had deep concerns over U.S. policy, despite a week-long effort by Rice to defuse the tensions. But afterward, ministers reported that they were satisfied with the U.S. position. "Secretary Rice has covered basically all of our concerns," Bot said, adding that if the secret prisons existed -- which he called "pure speculation" -- Rice "has made it quite clear" that the United States did not violate international law in such facilities. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier added that Rice "has reiterated that in the United States international obligations are not interpreted differently than in Europe." NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer declared at a news conference that Rice had "cleared the air" and that he considered the issue closed. "You will not see this discussion continuing" at NATO, he said. Rice left Washington for Europe on Monday knowing that she would be pressed for explanations about whether the United States was maintaining a secret prison system in Europe in which suspects were being cruelly interrogated.
As Spiegel pointed out, the CIA can't operate secretly in the EU without anyone knowing. Rice dropped a bunch of hints to the EU to drop the attitude or their role in all this alleged secret spy stuff might get out. Eugene Robinson deliberately misses that angle to keep the Euros on a high horse, while bashing Condi.
In other words, all you sanctimonious Eurocrats, it's your choice: Keep your mouths shut about the kidnappings and the secret CIA prisons, or else one day you might find yourselves in a dark alley on the bad side of town and maybe the cavalry won't arrive in time. Tony Soprano couldn't have said it better.

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