340 meters per second

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

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Interesting times, part II.

The Star's been on a roll lately, with some of the best election analysis in the country. Today they're running an AP article which neatly summarizes the headaches faced by Dick Marty, the Swiss senator responsible for investigating claims the US has been playing a shell game with abducted prisoners in European countries (complete article here):

STRASBOURG, France—The United States has developed a system for "outsourcing" torture, the head of a European inquiry into alleged CIA secret prisons said yesterday, accusing European governments of turning a blind eye to breaches of human rights.

But Swiss Senator Dick Marty's report failed to uncover tangible evidence proving clandestine detention centres existed in Romania or Poland as alleged by the New York-based Human Rights Watch.


Neither the 46-nation council nor Marty has any power to punish governments.


Marty is expected to issue another interim report in the next few months. He complained there was enormous pressure on him to produce evidence of secret CIA prisons but governments and the Council of Europe did not provide much help.

"Not a single day passes without me being asked,`Do you have any hard evidence, is there any proof?'" he said. "I am not a judicial authority, I have no means of investigation, the logistical support available to me is very limited."

While I was quick to believe the rumours of CIA-sponsored gulags nestled in the back alleys and foothills of central Europe -- and, for the record, I don't doubt they're there -- I am glad that Marty's being forthright about his difficulties in establishing proof of their existence. While I was initially surprised at the enthusiasm shown by European governments for Marty's fact-finding foray, I'd chalked it up to typical realpolitik maneuverings. It seems I may have been more right than I knew at the time: by simultaneously cheering and hindering Marty's efforts, these countries are unintentionally pulling back the curtain on the moral/political highwire act they all perform for the US's benefit.


Post a Comment

<< Home