Evidently the Europeans don’t understand (or do they) that the best way to make sure that the big stories get missed is to release them on Friday afternoon.

Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe PACE

Granted that Paris going back to prison, Bush too sick to participate in G8 meeting and Peter Pace not being re-nominated have dwarfed this story, it is now documented what this administration has been doing.

What was previously just a set of allegations is now proven: large numbers of people have been abducted from various locations across the world and transferred to countries where they have
been persecuted and where it is known that torture is common practice.

OK, we sort of understood this was going on…

The secret detention facilities in Europe were run directly and exclusively by the CIA.

OK, there was some complicity in some of the European nations

22. When President Bush decided on 6 September 2006 to reveal the existence of the covert programme implemented by the CIA to arrest, detain and interrogate overseas high-value terrorist suspects 1, he simply glossed over the most delicate aspects, such as the implementation means chosen and (not) obtaining the prior support from the United States Congress for his Administration’s “war against terrorism”.

23. President Bush’s disclosure was carefully worded so as to provide very little factual insight that was genuinely new or unknown. It was instead couched in imperative terms that portrayed the President as a strong Commander-in-Chief trying to prevent threats to the United States by methods – such as the CIA’s interrogation techniques – which were “tough… safe, and lawful, and necessary”.

24. The end was portrayed as paramount – “we’re getting vital information necessary to do our jobs, and that’s to protect the American people and our allies”; the means of getting there inconsequential – “I cannot describe the specific methods used – I think you understand why”.

25. Just under six weeks later, the US Congress responded to President Bush’s clarion call2 by passing the Military Commissions Act 2006 into law. As President Bush had expressly requested, the legislation draws distinctions between United States citizens and non-citizens, strips away the time honoured right of detainees to challenge the basis for their detention (habeas corpus), and insulates US service personnel from prosecution for violations of Common Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions. The process that lay ahead for captured terrorist suspects was thereby mapped out, whilst the Administration tried to cover the tracks that had led them there.

Ah, now that Bush has gone on record, the program must be over…

364. On the other hand, however, there can be little doubt that the Bush Administration is prepared to resort once again to some form of CIA detention and interrogation regime in the future. If President Bush’s claim on 6 September 2006 that “there are now no terrorists in the CIA program” represented the closing of one chapter, then his very next sentence heralded the opening of another: “But as more high-ranking terrorists are captured, the need to obtain intelligence from them will remain critical – and having a CIA program for questioning terrorists will continue to be crucial to getting life-saving information”.

365. Indeed, there are clear indications that the HVD programme has been reactivated in recent months. The transfer of Abd Al-Iraqi to Guantanamo Bay in April 2007313 bore strikingly similar characteristics to the 14 transfers in September 2006: during his several months in CIA detention prior to his transfer to Cuba, he appears to have been kept incommunicado and subjected to interrogation at an unknown site.

Where’s the media coverage? Where’s the outrage? Will Congress send the restoration of Habeus Corpus bill to Bush and what are they going to do if he vetoes it?

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