There will be an interesting hearing at 2 PM eastern. The House International Relations’ Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight will be meeting with members of the European Parliament who investigated United States’ programs of ‘renditions, detentions and interrogations of terrorism suspects’. Here is their announcement. It is not listed on C-SPAN’s schedule, which is unfortunate because it is a very important topic. Today, Walter Pincus reported on DCI Michael Hayden’s recent complaints to European diplomats.

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden has taken the unusual step of complaining privately to European diplomats about officials in their countries criticizing U.S. intelligence programs that involve renditions, detentions and interrogations of terrorism suspects.

At a luncheon last month at the German Embassy in Washington, Hayden gave a frank report on the controversial counterterrorism programs and spoke of his concern about the inaccurate information surrounding them and the “unbounded criticism” directed at them, particularly from the European Parliament, according to Western diplomats and officials aware of his remarks. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

Hayden complained about hypocrisy since (he claims) the European’s have benefited from torture-elicited information. Then he blamed the Pentagon for most of the renditions.

Hayden said that renditions — the transfers of CIA detainees to third countries — have totaled fewer than 100, fewer than the 1,254 CIA flights that were identified in the European report. The report acknowledged that “not all those flights have been used for extraordinary rendition.”

Hayden said the renditions were undertaken with the consent and often the assistance of the countries where the detainees were located. He attempted to differentiate the CIA’s small-scale detention and interrogation program, targeted at the most dangerous detainees, and the larger Defense Department prison system, which is focused around 400 or more terrorism suspects who have been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

I suspect the big story that will eventually come out is that the Pentagon did a lot of (what shoud have been the CIA’s) dirty work to avoid reporting
requirements to Congress. Regardless, European investigators will be testifying to Congress about U.S. intelligence operations because we can’t get any good information from our own services. How sad it that?

The witness list for this hearing (chaired by Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts) is below the fold. Two PM. You might be able to webcast it once the meeting starts. Go here and look on the bottom right for a green ‘webcast’ box.

Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight
Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Chairman
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
2:00 PM
Extraordinary Rendition in U.S. Counterterrorism Policy: The Impact on Transatlantic Relations
Mr. Jonathan Evans, Member, European Parliament
Chairman, European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the United States

Mr. Claudio Fava, Member, European Parliament
Author, Report on the Alleged Use of European Countries by the CIA for the Transportation and Illegal Detention of Prisoners

Baroness Sarah Ludford, Member, European Parliament

Vice-Chair, Temporary Committee on the Alleged Use of European Countries by the CIA for the Transportation and Illegal Detention of Prisoners


Ms. Julianne Smith
Director and Senior Fellow, Europe Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies

***Mr. Michael F. Scheuer
Former Chief, Bin Laden Unit
Central Intelligence Agency

***Note: Witness has been added

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