340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Interesting times.

Macleans.ca is running the latest wire copy on the "European getaway" vacations the CIA was offering to a select group of individuals.

A swiss politician has been ordered to clarify the allegations surrounding the transfer and detention of American prisoners within Europe. Supposedly held indefinitely, with their right of habeas corpus ignored, these prisoners are shuffled from one country to another and held in rented oubliettes. Allegedly.

EU probe into secret CIA prisons finds people apparently transferred illegally


PARIS (AP) - An investigator looking into claims of secret CIA prisons in Europe said Tuesday that people apparently were abducted and transferred between countries illegally.

Swiss Senator Dick Marty told a news conference that he believed the United States was no longer holding prisoners clandestinely in Europe. He believes they were moved to North Africa in early November, when reports about the secret detention centres appeared in the Washington Post.

The rest of the article can be read here (will launch a new browser window). Deutsche Welle runs a similar story, with greater emphasis on Rice's intractability and the possible sanctions facing complicit nations.

Is anyone else surprised at how fast the EU bureaucracy is moving on this? Even in the context of their two-step with the Bush administration lately ("Condi is so rive gauche, with her debonair insouciance -- chérie, we love you. But we're still going to sell weapons to Iran."), this shows a certain, ah... shall we say zeal? Stay tuned.

* * *

Interesting piece in The Economist on a possible sea change in China: in the wake of the "worst shooting of protesters since Tiananmen Square in 1989," the government is actually planning to punish the officers involved:

Though protests are increasingly common in China, the violence in Dongzhou was uncommon. Rarer still was the reaction of the authorities. Rather than deny the police crackdown—though efforts were made to downplay it—the government of Guangdong province at the weekend criticised the “wrong actions” of the commander of the paramilitary forces responsible for the deaths. Civilian officials then detained him, an extraordinary response which suggests high-level concern that the incident was badly mishandled.

The Economist ties the growing number of protests to China's swelling middle class and a general increase in prosperity: as people have more stuff, suddenly property rights become more imortant and the state has a harder time justifying their heavy-handed policies regarding the taking of your stuff.

I'm tempted to take their analysis with a grain of salt, given that the magazine's line has always been "trade=good, human rights... eventually."


Post a Comment

<< Home