Make your own free website on Tripod.com
"Dedicated to exposing the lies and impeachable offenses of George W. Bush"


Europeans probe CIA role in abductions
MSNBC
Washington Post
By Craig Whitlock
March 12, 2005

MILAN - A radical Egyptian cleric known as Abu Omar was walking to a Milan mosque for noon prayers in February 2003 when he was grabbed on the sidewalk by two men, sprayed in the face with chemicals and stuffed into a van. He hasn't been seen since.

Milan investigators, however, now appear to be close to identifying his kidnappers. Last month, officials showed up at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy and demanded records of any American planes that had flown into or out of the joint U.S.-Italian military installation around the time of the abduction. They also asked for logs of vehicles that had entered the base.

Shadowy practice probed
Italian authorities suspect the Egyptian was the target of a CIA-sponsored operation known as rendition, in which terrorism suspects are forcibly taken for interrogation to countries where torture is practiced.

The Italian probe is one of three official investigations that have surfaced in the past year into renditions believed to have taken place in Western Europe. Although the CIA usually carries out the operations with the help or blessing of friendly local intelligence agencies, law enforcement authorities in Italy, Germany and Sweden are examining whether U.S. agents may have broken local laws by detaining terrorist suspects on European soil and subjecting them to abuse or maltreatment.

The CIA has kept details of rendition cases a closely guarded secret, but has defended the controversial practice as an effective and legal way to prevent terrorism. Intelligence officials have testified that they have relied on the tactic with greater frequency since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Resistance from Europe
The Bush administration has received backing for renditions from governments that have been criticized for their human rights records, including Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan, where many of the suspects are taken for interrogation. But the administration is getting a much different reception in Europe, where lawmakers and prosecutors are questioning whether the practice is a blatant violation of local sovereignty and human rights.

There are many practical and legal hurdles to filing criminal charges against U.S. agents, including the question of whether they are protected by diplomatic immunity and the matter of determining their identity. However, prosecutors in Italy and Germany have not ruled out criminal charges. At the same time, the European investigations are producing new revelations about the suspected U.S. involvement in the disappearances of four men, not including the Egyptian, each of whom claims they were physically abused and later tortured.

Commentary:
Now that we're a nation that supports torture, POW abuse, child imprisonment, false imprisonment, kidnaping and much more. At what point does the US become a terrorist nation? (hint: we already are} The war media won't force you to accept these facts because they pushed their war around the clock until a majority of Americans believed things that were not true.