Thursday, December 08, 2005

“I couldn't even begin to make up this stuff.”

”I couldn't even begin to make up this stuff,” says our fearless Romania correspondent Kit. After the recent successful visit of US Secretary of State Condi Rice to Romania, HRW comes out of the woodwork. They seem to have engineered much of the Rendition hub-bub by showing journalists flight plans which have miraculously disappeared. Reports Kit:

«Cotidianul asks: "Can you show us those flight plans? Do you have them?"

[Mr. Gulag,] Tom Malinowski answers: "We had access to them. Journalists from „TheNew York Times“ and „Newsweek“ have them. We were granted access to them and we were allowed to disclose the contents but we are not allowed to produce the actual copies."

Then he goes on to connect the dots between flights from the Middle East that they just KNOW were carrying suspects [I have no reason to believe this is not true. So what?] And well, they were probably tortured. No, wait they WERE tortured. We KNOW the CIA practices what "may be described as torture". Yep, you guessed it, water boarding.

The money quote: "Any intelligence agency can make mistakes, however well-intentioned they may be. Democratic countries don't make people vanish into thin air. That's what Communism did. Ceausescu and other dictators took people into secret places, away from their families, far away from a lawyer or an NGO." [Again, I don't know how creative the translator got here. It's much more likely that his words were: "denying them access to a lawyer..." But hey, I'm just a paranoid interpreter.]

Holy moral equivalence, Batman! I can't even begin to tell you how deeply offensive this is to hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans who were murdered, tortured (the kind of torture that actually leaves marks), taken away from their families, etc. Were ANY of those people waging holy war on Western civilization? Nope. Which is why there weren't that many cries of "Don't take the victims of Communism away from us!" back then.»
Hey maybe Huuuuman Rights Watch has access to that magical “Remote Control” system that “aviation expertJoe Vialls prattles on about? You know – it’s the left’s fig leaf that permits them to not face the fact that there is such a thing as hate.

The final word goes to Wednesday’s Opinion Journal:
«If the Secretary of State weren't so diplomatic, she'd cancel her tour and say she won't come back until the Continent's politicians decide to grow up.

In return, it would be nice if once in a while Europe decided to help America with its security problem, especially since Islamic terrorism is also Europe's security problem. But instead the U.S. Secretary of State has to put up with lectures about the phony issue of "secret" prisons housing terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans.

Yet as soon as the Washington Post began reporting on the "secret" detention facilities, the pretend questions began. A shocked, shocked British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw wrote the U.S. on behalf of the European Union demanding "clarification" to "allay parliamentary and public concerns."

What gives? Mostly opportunism and political cowardice. The two countries mentioned in the press for helping the U.S.--Poland and Romania--ought to be applauded for doing so. But the European media have spun so many wildly false stories about U.S. detention policy that anti-American demagogues see an opening…

Ms. Rice's pledge that the U.S. isn't "torturing" anyone on European soil, or anywhere else, ought to be all the reassurance Europeans need. According to the CIA sources leaking these stories, the "secret" prisons were for housing only about a dozen top al Qaeda leaders, such as 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

And the most aggressive interrogation technique authorized against such men is "waterboarding," which induces a feeling of suffocation. That's rough treatment, but the technique has also been used on U.S. servicemen to train them to resist interrogations, and we suspect many Europeans would accept it if they believed it might avert another Madrid.»

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