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Announcement :: Human Rights
Delahunt (D-MA) Democratic Congress and corporate media ignore Euro torture/rendition probe
25 Apr 2007
How can the U.S. Congress, despite testimony by the representative of the European Parliament, respond to CIA ops under Bush Administration using kidnapping and rendition in Europe, breaking Euro and U.S. laws, subversion of U.S. and Euro Democracy w/Delahunt's milquetoast "the people across the globe have admired our historical commitment to freedom and the rule of law. But they are appalled at our hypocrisy when we betray our values"? And the media just looks the other way! So much for the 4th estate!
saw this posted on NYC indymedia. b/c Delahunt ( hosted recent Europarl. delegation re. report of CIA kidnapping, torture, rendition and b/c he's from Massachusetts, thought boston folks should follow-up w/calls to urge him to fully investigate and hold accountable u.s.g. agents who participated in this illegal activity.

These findings of the Europarliament demand a mature response to illegal behavior by the Bush Administration. Will Delahunt and Pelosi step up to the plate? What about Clinton? Obama?

Below is "Extraordinary Rendition in U.S. Counterterrorism Policy:The Impact on Transatlantic Relations", testimony by Euro Parliament Temporary Committee representative in front of House Committee on Foreign Affairs,Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight.

Adopted final Europarl reoprt here:

Congressperson Delahunt (D-Ma) opening statement:

John Bellinger, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's legal adviser, said that their investigation into CIA activity could undermine intelligence cooperation between the United States and Europe.

Here's account of hearing by Col. Ann Wright which ignores Democratic Congressional mild response to findings:

Briefing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight Subcommittee on Europe“Extraordinary Rendition inU.S. Counterterrorism Policy:The Impact on Transatlantic Relations.”A Statement byBaroness Sarah Ludford, MEPApril 17, 2007
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Submission by Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPVice-chair, European Parliament temporary committee on the alleged use ofEuropean countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention ofprisoners (the ‘TDIP committee’)1. Overview of the committee’s activitiesAfter twelve months of hearings, more than 30 meetings, 7 official delegations todifferent countries, a large volume of testimony from witnesses including governmentrepresentatives and victims, the work of the European Parliament’s temporary committeeon alleged illegal CIA activities in Europe came to a close with the adoption of thecommittee’s final report on 14thFebruary 2007.Some facts and figures1:-33 sessions (more than 110 hours of meeting)-10 Bureau meetings, with the participation of political groups coordinators-7 official delegations: FYROM, USA, Germany, UK, Romania, Poland, Portugal-almost 200 witnesses and interlocutors heard in committee or in delegations-19 cases of extraordinary renditions analysed, with the direct participation ofseveral victims including Maher Arar and Khaled el Masri-almost 700 amendments tabled-thousands of pages of documents and flight logs read and analysed2. The setting up of the TDIP committeeThe European Parliament had been following the question of the compatibility of actionagainst terrorists with human rights standards with interest, even before September 11th2001. But after that date the interest intensified, especially with respect to GuantanamoBay where some MEPs had constituents detained. In subsequent years there were variousmedia and NGO reports alleging rendition, detention without trial and torture, but thiscame to a head in November 2005 with press reports of secret CIA detention centres inEastern Europe. These reports galvanised both the European Parliament and the EU’ssister organisation the Council of Europe (in which the US is an observer) to mountinvestigations to probe whether European human rights law had been breached.The European Parliament's Civil Liberties and Foreign Affairs committees, meeting inearly December 2005, urged the European Parliament to open its own inquiry into theallegations and a resolution of the Parliament as a whole called for a “parliamentaryinquiry”, which “should at a minimum be conducted through a temporary committee”.Some MEPs backed the setting up a 'committee of inquiry' which under the Parliament’s1More detailed information (list of all meetings, of all persons heard, of persons who have refused theinvitation, etc) can be found from page 37 to 77 of the final report, at:
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rules of procedure has some degree of power to oblige the provision of documents andappearance of Member States' representatives. But political group leaders decided insteadon a temporary committee which has no such powers, so any cooperation with it waspurely voluntary.The formal decision to launch the temporary committee on the alleged use of Europeancountries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners (with theabbreviation TDIP, based on the French title) was taken at the January 2006 plenarysession2in a resolution which also defined the cross-party composition of the committee,its remit and (as with all temporary committees) its maximum of 12 months duration.It is important to note that the focus of the committee’s work was, properly, to beactivities in Europe and the responsibility of European governments. It was mandated tocollect and analyse information to establish whether:1. third countries agents (CIA or others) have carried out abductions, “extraordinaryrendition”, detention at secret sites, detention incommunicado or torture or othercruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners on the territory of theEuropean Union, including accession and candidate countries, or have used thatterritory to those ends, for example through flights;2. such actions could be considered a violation of Article 6 of the Treaty onEuropean Union3, as well as of the European Convention for the Protection ofHuman Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and of other international treaties;3. citizens of the European Union or the candidate countries, or any other personentitled to protection from, or otherwise under the jurisdiction of, the EU, theMember States or the candidate countries have been among those involved in orsubjected to abductions, “extraordinary rendition” operations, detention at secretsites, etc in the territory of the European Union or elsewhere;4. Member States, public officials, persons acting in an official capacity or EuropeanUnion institutions have been involved or complicit in illegal deprivation of libertyof individuals, including abduction, rendition, transfer, detention or torture, eitherby act or omission.The committee was instructed to submit an interim report 4 months after the beginning ofits work – in order that the Parliament could maintain oversight of the value of its work -as well as invited “to submit to the plenary any recommendation that the committeedeems necessary in this matter, notably concerning the political, legal and administrativeconclusions to be drawn at European level as well as possible consequences for EUrelations with third countries”.2 6 of the Treaty on European Union states that ‘The Union is founded on the principles of liberty,democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which arecommon to the Member States.’
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The committee held its constituent meeting on 26 January 2006. It was composed of 46full Members and 46 substitute Members, from all political groups. It was chaired byCarlos Coelho (European People’s Party, Portugal), the rapporteur was Claudio Fava(Socialist Group, Italy), and the first Vice-President was Sarah Ludford (Alliance ofLiberals and Democrats, UK). In the European Parliament system, a rapporteur - leadauthor - is always appointed with the primary responsibility to produce the draft report.After a series of steering group meetings to agree on a common programme of activities,the committee then started its hearings of victims of renditions, their lawyers, journalists,former Ambassadors, prosecutors enquiring on specific cases of extraordinary rendition,ombudsmen, NGOs, of Swiss senator Dick Marty (rapporteur of the Council of EuropeParliamentary Assembly), of Javier Solana (EU Secretary General and HighRepresentative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy) and of Gijs de Vries (EUCounter-Terrorism Coordinator). Two delegations were also organised in this first periodto FYROM and to the US in order to have an exchange of views with the authorities.3. The interim reportThe European Parliament adopted the committee’s interim report on 15thJune 2006 by389 in favour, 137 against and 55 abstentions and endorsed the continuation of thetemporary committee’s work for the remainder of its established twelve-month term.This report was welcomed by most of the groups and judged by the President of thecommittee as “excellent”. It deplored the “the fact that the CIA has on several occasionsbeen clearly responsible for the illegal abduction and detention of alleged terrorists on theterritory of Member States and for extraordinary renditions and that, in a number ofcases, this has concerned European nationals”; condemned the practice of extraordinaryrenditions and that people have been deported to countries where torture takes place;“considers it implausible...that certain European governments were not aware of theextraordinary rendition activities taking place on their territory and in their airspace orairports”.The report also recalled international obligations concerning torture and underlined thatthe Chicago Convention on civil aviation has been breached. It took stock of theinformation gathered and criticised the unwillingness of EU Member States and ofcandidate countries - as well as of US authorities - to provide clear evidence that theywere not involved in these operations directly or indirectly.4. Second phaseThe committee continued its work of hearings and delegations in the second half of theterm, focussing on secret prisons, on collecting more and new information and on thepolitical and legal recommendations to be drawn for the future.
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On the issue of secret prisons, the committee analysed the information (ABC news of 5thDecember 2005) according to which former and current CIA agents confidentially statedthat 11 top Al Qaeda suspects were allegedly kept in secret detention sites in EasternEurope, and notably in Romania and Poland. A Human Rights Watch report also cited thesame countries. The TIDP committee sent a delegation to Romania, concluding that theinternal enquiry had been superficial (and unpublished), and discovered that a CIA planehad landed with persons inside carrying weapons, which had not motivated the Romanianauthorities to open any police or judicial enquiries.The TDIP committee also sent a delegation to Poland, which encountered a complete lackof cooperation from the Polish authorities. A week later the former Director of theSzymany airport came to the TDIP committee to explain that persons had been taken offplanes and carried away by law enforcement agents to be brought apparently to a secretservices headquarters nearby. The committee also sent delegations to Germany (to meetthe enquiry committee of the German Parliament), the UK (to meet governmentrepresentatives and authorities, MPs, lawyers and victims) and Portugal (to meetauthorities and MPs).The TDIP committee also heard Javier Solana and Gijs De Vries. Criticism was levied atMr Solana for his failure to disclose all the facts and discussions of which he was aware.Mr De Vries was equally criticised because his inability to answer the TDIP committee'squestions implied that the position he occupied lacks competence and substance.5. The final reportThe final report was the topic of lively debate between and within political groups. That itwas subject to 475 amendments, some aimed at strengthening and making more preciseits contents, while others aimed at diluting specific conclusions, is testimony to thecontroversy it generated.After having been endorsed in committee with 28 votes in favour, 17 votes against and 3abstentions, the final report was adopted in plenary on 14thFebruary 2007 by 382 votes infavour, 256 against with 74 abstentions (for breakdown of votes by political group see theannexed table).The report levied criticisms, of varying severity, against 13 EU member states and 4associated states, in respect of active or passive cooperation with extraordinary rendition.It asserted that over 1200 flights operated by the CIA (not all used for extraordinaryrendition) flew into European airspace or stopped over at European airports between2001 and 2005 and that European countries had either admitted flights or turned a blindeye when they may have been illegally transporting detainees. It accused officials ofseveral countries (notably Italy, UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria) of active involvementin, facilitation of or failure to prevent kidnapping or extraordinary rendition. In respect ofthe allegations of secret prisons, the final report (after tight votes) said that ‘no definitive
Page 6
evidence has been provided to contradict any of the allegations concerning the running ofa secret detention facility on Romanian soil’ and‘it is not possible to acknowledge or deny that secret detention centres were based inPoland.’A series of political and legal recommendations were made, such as on the need for fullnational-level inquiries, for proper oversight of security services, for correctimplementation of the Chicago Convention, for ensuring that overflight clearances areaccompanied by human rights guarantees, and for ratification and implementation ofvarious international legal instruments. It stressed ‘the necessity of political dialogue withthe United States….on security matters in order to combat terrorism effectively and bylegal means’ and called for an EU-US counter-terrorism summit to seek an end to illegalpractices of extraordinary rendition and secret detention.The report called on the Council of Ministers and the European Commission to meet theirresponsibilities under Article 7 of the EU treaty, which requires investigation andprovides for sanctions when Article 6 obligations (see footnote 3 above) are breached. Itconsidered that human rights law means a state has a positive obligation to investigatereasonable allegations. It instructed the European Parliament’s relevant standingcommittees to follow up and monitor developments, in particular to consider action underArticles 6 and 7 of the Treaty by the Parliament itself if there is ‘no appropriate action’by the other institutions.
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I had the same thoughts

Apr 24, 2007 02:26AM EDT

I feel this is really important b/c as an activist, whenever i hear about torture - whether in Nazi Europe or Guantanamo, in Guatemala or in Chile, - I think of activists being tortured. In Guatemala it was Sister Ortiz - and many more human beings whose torture was justified as part of a u.s.-sponsored anti-insurgency. In Chile and Argentina it was leftists. In Mexico it's activists in social movements demanding democracy. In Egypt too. In Syria, it's whichever prisoner the C.I.A. kidnaps off the street in Milan and deposits in a Syrian prison:
It gives me the creeps. Disgusting. ILLEGAL and IMMORAL.

Look what i found:

C.I.A. Agent Lady was in Honduras before. How many people did he kidnap and torture there?

As Colonel Wright says, no wonder they hate us!

Very frightening

Apr 24, 2007 02:36AM EDT

These people pretend to fight for the u.s. while betraying everything valuable in our country.
Whether in Chile, Argentina, Vietnam, Egypt, they don't care. They drop people kidnapped off the street in Milan in Syria to be tortured.

Here's what they look like:

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