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United for Peace of Pierce County - TRANSLATIONS: Reports of CIA 'black sites' in Europe: 3 articles & an editorial (<I>Le Monde</I>)
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"Has the United States, which for so long defended the rights of man and the moral values of democracy throughout the world, come to the point that it asks European countries, members of NATO playing a role in the European Union, to do its 'dirty work' on exported jihadist detainees?" Le Monde asked in an editorial published Friday.[1]  --  Reporting on accusations by Human Rights Watch of Romania and Poland[2] and also on denials by Romania, Poland, and other European countries[3] that Wednesday's report by the Washington Post that "The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe," the paper did not appear to be convinced by official rebuttals.  --  As for Thailand, Le Monde noted that "Even as they denounced the [Washington Post] article as 'totally unfounded,' Bangkok's denials tend to confirm that Thailand's government looked the other way between 2001 and 2003 with respect to suspected transfers effected by the CIA." ...

1.

[Translated from Le Monde (Paris)]

Editorial

CIA-STYLE "BLACK SITES"

Le Monde (Paris)
November 4, 2005

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0,36-706557,0.html

Since Sept. 11, 2002, George W. Bush has believed that the implacable struggle that must be waged against terrorism justifies that we be relieved of some of the moral obligations of international law. Several days after the September 11 attacks, the American president thus gave to the CIA extended powers to transfer those suspected of terrorist acts abroad. It is on this basis that the CIA's "ghost prisons" appeared.

According to revelations from the Washington Post, the CIA holds the most important al-Qaeda leaders captured -- about thirty persons in all -- in secret prisons overseas, called "black sites." These ghost prisons for jihadists are said to be in countries of Central Europe, on former Soviet bases. The humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch has cited Poland and Romania, countries which, like Hungary, have denied concealing and harboring such practices. More troubling: the government of the Czech Republic has acknowledged that it was asked to do so by Washington, saying that it rejected the request.

The Washington Post's revelations have not provoked a real denial from American authorities. Stephen Hadley, the national security advisor, said of these prisons that "The fact that they are secret, assuming there are such sites, does not mean that torture would be tolerated there." The polemic has incited American Democrats to start up once again their offensive against severe treatment -- illustrated in sinister fashion on the Guantanamo base with respect to those suspected of terrorist acts -- by getting the House of Representatives to approve Republican John McCain's amendment. This text, adopted by the Senate, provides that any detainee in American custody shall be exempt from "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment." The White House is opposed to the amendment.

Has the United States, which for so long defended the rights of man and the moral values of democracy throughout the world, come to the point that it asks European countries, members of NATO playing a role in the European Union, to do its "dirty work" on exported jihadist detainees? Such practices cannot be imagined, much less accepted, should they prove true. They are not only illegal with respect to international law, but they cannot be defended morally.

Former President Jimmy Carter has deplored that since Mr. Bush's arrival in the White House, "There has been a profound and radical change in the basic policies or moral values" of the United States. Can the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, quick to defend democracy and human rights aborad, accept that the United States should solicit European Union countires to voilate right and morality? With respect to the Old Continent, such an attitude would reveal arrogance, even contempt.

--
Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Department of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Phone: 253-535-7219
Home page: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2.

[Translated from Le Monde (Paris)]

Americas

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SUSPECTS POLAND AND ROMANIA
By Corine Lesnes

Le Monde (Paris)
November 4, 2005

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3222,36-706506@51-705638,0.html

At Human Rights Watch, they've started to call them the "desaparecidos" ('disappeared'), the same term used in Latin America during the dictatorships of the 1970s. Caroll Bogert, adjunct director of the human rights defense organization, does not use the term without hesitating, but like Amnesty International's use of the term "gulag" à propos of Guantanamo, Human Rights Watch decided to have recourse to a shocking formula. "It isn't necessary to make people disappear in order to hold them securely," explains Carroll Bogert.

At Human Rights Watch (HRW) headquarters in New York, the telephone never stops ringing. The association has become the one that has named some of the countries said to have accepted receiving prisoners from the CIA.

The Washington Post refused to do so in the article published the day before, after having weighed the pros and the cons "for hours." On the one side, the daily understood the concern of authorities not to compromise the cooperation of countries involved with American intelligence agencies, and not to expose them to terrorist reprisals, since some of the "disappeared" are al-Qaeda officials. On the other hand, it considered it important to "expose an illegal act," as Dana Priest, the author of the article, explained. The decision not to divulge the names of the countries was taken by the executive editor, Len Downie.

Human Rights Watch, for its part, did not hesitate to name Poland and Romania, which brought accusations that it was "weakening" the United States from conservative media. "To disappear people does not in any way advance the national interest," replies Carroll Bogert. "And it's a matter of giving to the citizens of the countries involved reasons to ask questions." Faced with the amplitude of reactions in Europe, however, it is shading its assertions. "We are not saying that these countries are CIA dentention centers, but we have strong indications and the residents of those countries ought to ask questions."

As "indications," she mentions flight documents that HRW managed to procure and decipher (the NGO recruited a specialist in military intelligence). They concern an American Boeing 737 registered N313P. But, she emphasized, Human Rights Watch has been able to reconstitute only two flights, and they date from 2003. On Sept. 22, 2003, the plane landed at a military airport in northeastern Poland on the way from Kabul. The next day, it landed at a military airport in Romania. "At the same time, we know that the CIA was moving around" prisoners, she said.

According to the Washington Post, there are about 100 disappeared persons. In its October 2004 report on "ghost prisoners," HRW referred to 30-40 individuals. The number of illegal detainees remains unknown. In order to establish the reality of the disappearances, the NGOs and the media organizations rely chiefly on testimony from families.

More and more often, American officials themselves are sounding the alarm, as Capt. Ian Fishback did in September with respect to abuses in Iraq. "We are finding a lot of people in the administration who don't feel very comfortable," says Mrs. Bogert.

--
Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Department of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Phone: 253-535-7219
Home page: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2.

[Translated from Le Monde (Paris)]

Americas

CONCERNS ABOUT THE CIA'S "SECRET PRISONS" IN EUROPE
By Christophe Ch√Ętelot

Le Monde (Paris)
November 4, 2005

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3222,36-706505@51-705638,0.html

On Thurs., Nov. 3, Poland and Romania, two faithful United States allies in the "war against terrorism," strongly denied suspicions expressed the same day by the human rights defense organizations Human Rights Watch (HRW), according to which these two countries were sheltering on their territory secret CIA prisons in order to interrogate persons suspected of belonging to al-Qaeda.

In Warsaw, reactions of the former social democrat majority agreed with those of the new right-wing government named Monday. "We are not holding any terrorists and we are not interrogating them," said Jerzy Szmajdzinski, defense minister (2001-2005) in the period during which, according to HRW, at least one CIA plane coming from Afghanistan made a secret stop at Szymany (eastern Poland), then at the Romanian Mihail-Kogalniceanu military base near the port of Constanta, on the Black Sea, in September 2003.

"If I don't know about such events, no one des," added the former interior miniters, Ryszard Kalisz, at his post since the beginning of the week. The same song from the new government, where the chief of secret services, Zbigniew Wasserman, does not think "such a situation (the existence of secret prisons) occurred." "Such an occurrence can be envisaged in Central Asian countries or in the Caucusus but not in Poland, where American forces are not deployed. It is unthinkable that Polish secret services should authorize such an act, which would endanger national security, added a retired general, Stanislaw Koziej.

The denials were just as categorical in Romania, where, according to the prime minister, Calin Tariceanu, "there are no CIA bases." The Romanian intelligence agencies (SRI) state for their part that they "have no information indicating the existence of such centers."

The two accused countries, members of NATO, were the most enthusiastic partisans in Europe of the American intervention in Iraq. At the beginning of 2003, they signed, a few days apart and along with other European countries, two letters calling for an armed intervention against Saddam Hussein's regime. They committed themselves militarily in Iraq against the view of public opinion in their countries.

The Romanian Mihail-Kogalniceanu airport, cited by Human Rights Watch, has also been used since March 2003 as a major rear base and a component of the air bridge during the Iraq war. Furthermore, the site would also be able to host one or more American bases with a view to redeploying GIs in Eastern Europe. Negotiations are "almost finished," only a few "administrative details" are still under discussion, the Romanian president, Traian Basescu, recently stated.

Last weekend, the minister of foreign affairs, Razvan Ungureanu, announced that the American secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, would soon travel to Romania to sign such an agreement. And Romania is among the rare countries belonging to the coalition that has not set a date for the withdrawal of its contingent of 860 soldiers deployed in Iraq.

Poland, meanwhile, is presently planning to withdraw its contingent at the beginning of next year from Iraq, where it has commanded one of the three security zones. It nonetheless remains a faithful ally of the United States, considered by Warsaw as the best guarantee of its external security since the end of Soviet occupation. But Ryszard Kalisz emphasizes that his country, which has been a member of the European Union since May 2004, would not allow secret detention center were torture was used to be established on its soil, when Poland "has committed itself to respect human rights" since it put Communism behind it sixteen years ago.

Similarly, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Bulgaria have denied sheltering secret CIA prisons. The Washington Post article that started the affair asserted Wednesday that "The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe." The American daily did not specify the name of the countries involved.

--
Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Department of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Phone: 253-535-7219
Home page: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3.

[Translated from Le Monde (Paris)]

Americas

THAILAND OPENS AN INVESTIGATION

Le Monde (Paris)
November 4, 2005

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3222,36-706505@51-705638,0.html

Thailand's minister of foreign affairs announced on Fri., Nov. 4, that with the American embassy in Bangkok he wished to conduct an investigation into the basis for the Washington Post article according to which Thailand harbored secret sites for CIA interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects. Even as they denounced the article as "totally unfounded," Bangkok's denials tend to confirm that Thailand's government looked the other way between 2001 and 2003 with respect to suspected transfers effected by the CIA. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra recalled, Thursday, that "in a single case" effective and acknowledged cooperation between the two countries' intelligence agencies had taken place in August 2003, with the arrest of the Indonesian Hambali; considered one of the leaders of the regional Islamist terrorist network, he was turned over to American agencies and has since been interrogated in the United States. Thailand is said to have asked that all secret activity of this sort be ended in 2003, according to the Washington Post.

--
Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Department of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Phone: 253-535-7219
Home page: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.