The CIA is recruiting, as this ad in this week’s Economist (p.17 of the European edition) shows (click on the pic for bigger version):

We are all over the story over at the European Tribune:

Torture, Deportation: What Did the German Government Know? by Saturday

CIA, Navy Seals and Military Intelligence Torture & Murder Ignored by Chris Kulczycki

CIA Black Prison on British Territory by Londonbear

And the European Breakfast (prepared by Fran) has an extensive cross section of press coverage in the English language.

So, do you have the required strong interpersonal skills to try “waterboarding” and have a high impact? Will you have the high degree of integrity required to send off pesky reporters, Europeans and other assorted enemies of freedom while maintaining ‘friendly’ relations with them?

Will you be experienced enough to know when to stop?

Independent: The torture files

At least one death has been reported elsewhere, however. In a CIA facility in Kabul known as the “Salt Pit”, an officer, described as young and inexperienced, used the “cold treatment” on a detainee, who was left outdoors, naked, throughout a freezing Afghan night. He died of hypothermia. The case is being investigated, along with several others in Afghanistan and Iraq where interrogators – CIA officers, civilian contractors or members of the special forces – went well beyond the guidelines and suspects died as a result.

Do you have the competence to obfuscate?:

US does not send suspects abroad for torture: Hadley
In an interview with CNN, Hadley said there are certain kinds of operations “one cannot talk about.”
“The terrorists threaten all of us,” he said. “You’ve seen terror attacks in Britain, in Spain, in Italy, in Turkey, in Russia, in Egypt in Jordan, in Saudi Arabia. This is a threat, really, to the civilized world.

“We need to cooperate together to deal with this terrorist threat that threatens all of us. We’re cooperating with a number of countries.

“That cooperation though is characterized by three things: One, we comply with the US Constitution. US laws and US treaty obligations. Secondly, we respect the sovereignty of those countries with whom we cooperate. And three, we do not move people around the world so that they can be tortured.”

Asked specifically whether Washington operates secret prisons in Europe, he repeated that Rice will address the issue.

But if such operations were going on “they’re the kinds of things that one cannot talk about. “Why? Because the information would help the enemy. It would compromise the operations and it would put countries who are cooperating with us at risk,” he said, stressing that it should not be inferred from his remarks that secret CIA prisons exist.

Are you able to play hard ball?

Independent: CIA ‘covert flights’ mar Rice’s German visit

Ms Rice has said that she will provide an answer to an EU letter of complaint on the issue complied by Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary. However, reports ahead of her visit suggested that she was in no mood to dwell on the issue.

One official involved in drafting her response in Washington was quoted in the Washington Post as saying: “The key point will be ‘We’re all in this together and you need to look at yourselves as much as us’. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

(Although I am not sure that such a frank admission that you are guilty is such a smart thing to do?)

Or will you do the right thing?

Independent: The torture files

CIA agents have broken ranks to reveal the ‘cruel and inhuman’ interrogation techniques they are ordered to use at secret prisons around the world, including freezing and near-drowning.

Details of the secret prisons and the methods used in them have emerged mainly from CIA officers themselves, who said the public needed to know “the direction their agency has chosen”. They broke ranks amid a furore in Washington over an amendment to the White House military spending package going through Congress. Senator John McCain (Republican), a former US navy pilot who was captured and tortured in Vietnam, wants an unequivocal ban on all “cruel and inhuman” treatment of prisoners in US custody, including those held by the CIA.

(btw, if I get the latest rightwing talking points, the fact that John McCain broke under torture is proof that it works…).

OK. Enough for the sarcasm. Here’s what we need to do:

BBC: CIA jail claim dogs Rice’s Europe tour

Tom Malinowski, Washington-based Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch, says Ms Rice is in an impossible position.

Mr Malinowski says she cannot confirm the allegations because they are true, and she cannot deny them because that would put European allies in an extremely difficult position.

This is a very interesting sentence, because you’d expect it to be the other way around : “she cannot deny the allegations because they are true, and she cannot confirm them because that would put European allies in an extremely difficult position.”

But it is right:

  • She cannot confirm them, because they are illegal, and she would thus be guilty of a crime if she admitted to (knowing about) it.

  • She cannot deny it because it would prove to us Europeans that the Americans can lie to our representatives without fear of consequences.

This is really what this is about. Legal fallout in the US, and political fallout in Europe. The legal fallout in Europe, unless a smoking gun is found, is unlikely to be conclusive. The political fallout in the USA seems, sadly, very limited so far.

You guys should of course make noise to make this a political issue, but the most promising option seems to be the legal route – so you should support the ACLU and other such organisations that are trying to build up legal cases.

Similarly, we should encourage the various institutions and judges in Europe that have started investigations, but the real battle is, for us, political – we have to make it clear to our politicians that they will lose more (from voters) by being nice to the USA than (from Condi’s blackmail) by pushing for information to come out.

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