Monday, December 05, 2005

Playing the role of Captain Renault: The EU.

EU: Article in Spiegel about the CIA running their own jail system and flights points out everyone knew at least in Germany.

Gerhard Schröder's government had detailed information on how the CIA operated in Europe -- and said nothing. The lower echelons of the administration even co-operated actively. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is likely to expect the same silent complicity from the new chancellor, Angela Merkel. In his heyday as leader of Germany, Gerhard Schröder was always ready to demonstrate indignation at how George W. Bush waged his war on terror. He loved to portray himself as the man who kept Germany out of Iraq. On his watch, Germany would have no part in the methods with which America waged its global campaign against al-Qaida. He liked to underline that stance by saying accusations against Washington should be held accountable for its actions. Schröder's time is over now. But questions about Germany's involvement in the methods of CIA agents operating in Europe are catching up with him as well as with the other political pensioners -- former foreign minister Joschka Fischer and especially former interior minister Otto Schily. Research by the Washington Post, SPIEGEL and other media show that neither the previous government nor the new administration under Angela Merkel should have been surprised about the reports in recent weeks about secret prisoner transports, secret prisons and CIA kidnappings. It is also becoming ever clearer that the Schröder government was informed in detail and at an early stage about the policy of so-called "extraordinary renditions" and "black sites" across Europe. Cabinet ministers in Berlin clearly didn't just know the dirty details about Bush's unrestricted war on terror by reading the newspapers. In some cases German intelligence officers even tried to profit from the controversial methods by questioning prisoners who were being held without any legal foundation. Schröder's stance on Iraq was popular and won him votes. But behind its anti-American veil, his government was quietly complicit and was occasionally rewarded for its silence.
No surprise Schroder was two-faced, but this "surprise" by the EU about CIA operations in Europe is a farce. Unless they have the worst spy agency ever created, they would know the CIA was operating there. The CIA couldn't do what everyone is saying they did without massive cooperation from other countries. This is the part where America does the heavy lifting and then gets the blame. But you would have to be naive to think it is a one country operation.

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