European Commission Report on CIA Secret Prisons Released

The EU Parliamentary inquiry into Ghost Air has concluded. Today they released their preliminary report finding there have been over 1000 secret CIA flights since 2001, that prisoners have been transported to countries that practice torture, and that European countries may have turned a blind eye.

Flight data showed a pattern of hidden operations by American agents, and they accused some European governments of knowing about it but remaining silent.

[Hat tip to commenter Scribe.]

Reuters reports :

A senior EU lawmaker on Wednesday backed accusations the U.S.
Central Intelligence Agency had kidnapped and illegally detained terrorism suspects on EU territory and flown them to countries that used torture.

"The CIA has, on several occasions, clearly been responsible for kidnapping and illegally detaining alleged terrorists on the territory of (EU) member states, as well as for extraordinary renditions," Claudio Fava said in his first interim report of the European Parliament's probe into the suspected CIA abuses

As we reported a few weeks ago, Amnesty International has also released a report on the CIA's secret prisons.

Some background on the reports is here and here.

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    Re: European Commission Report on CIA Secret Priso (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 02:34:45 PM EST
    TL: Thanks for the tip. I think the report was not the conclusion of the investigation, but rather conclusion of the first phase. As I understand the article (and background), the EU Committee did mostly (a) traffic analysis for the tail numbers of known Ghost Air aircraft* to show when and where they flew from and to and (b) took testimony from people either (1) post-rendition, (2) relatives of rendered people, and (3) (mostly recalcitrant) government representatives. So, IMHO, phase 1 is over. Next phase is going on the road to look at sites in places like Poland, Romania, KFOR-Bondsteel, the Balkans, and the US (that'll be entertaining to see them stonewalled), and looking at imagery from Euro-controlled satellites. Oh, for Dana to tell us which Euro countries hosted the black sites. After all the Admin has done to journos in the last week, returning the favor by busting them some chin music - the information she didn't print last December per W's personal request - would be just too sweet. And probably won't happen, though we can dream. --- * That's a mouthful - traffic analysis of the tail numbers of aircraft known to be part of a supposedly-secret airline and used for doing dirty work that everyone knows is going on and no one wants to talk about. Who'da thunk it?

    Re: European Commission Report on CIA Secret Priso (none / 0) (#2)
    by orionATL on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 03:28:14 PM EST
    can someone explain to me how it is that the cia can fire an employee (mary mccarthy) 10 days before her scheduled retirement on grounds associated with discussing with reporters the cia rendition program in europe and the middle east and less than a week later the european union can release a report that clearly suggests they had no trouble compiling illegal-flyover data associated with this program. looks like the only folks who could not get info on their program until the wapo wrote about it were the american people.

    Re: European Commission Report on CIA Secret Priso (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 04:02:29 PM EST
    Orion: The traffic analysis the EU committee did was looking at landing and takeoff information for European airports. Treaties require all takeoffs and landings be recorded, as well as other information regarding flights. They also looked at historical air traffic control information (most of the radar data gets recorded on tapes or such), so they were able to reconstruct where and when these Ghost Air planes came from, landed, took off, and went. They also coordinated that information with witness testimony, like al-Masri's, and other information to come to the conclusions. They had some limited communications intercepts, most particularly a fax from the Egyptians regarding someone rendered to them, intercepted by the Swiss (and leaked to a Swiss newspaper). Your comment about the American people being grossly underinformed and misinformed is quite accurate. I don't think it's an accident, though Americans are notorious for having no interest or idea about anything more than one county line away. I get most of my information on this from European media. Thank you, internet. Narius - I think you should read the initial report, January 22, 2006, put out by the EU before you go saying "no smoking guns". When you read this report, take the time to remember this report was done before any serious investigating was done, and today's report is an update.

    I just skim through that report.
    This is not surprising. Your past ignorant posts indicate a lack of ability to read for comprehension.

    Looks like there are dueling EU reports. This one from the Boston Globe on 21April2006 states the opposite. EU official: No evidence of illegal CIA action

    As I put on my flame-proof drawers, keep in mind I am just pointing out there are two reports having opposite findings. I make no editorial comment on either.

    charlie, thanks for the ever so informative comment. you reminded me that the jokes on the right wing sites do have a basis in reality, people really are talking about der bushfurer. To the semi-reasonable people here, evidence of CIA flights doesn't mean much of anything. Connect it to abductions of terrorist suspects, and even their renditions to foreign countries, also doesn't mean much. That's what the CIA is supposed to be doing, what the rightward 75% of the American people WANT it to be doing. If they can connect that to a network of secret prisons, well you might have a story, but you will also give people like me ever more rope to hang all sorts of journalists and administration employees. It ain't the 70s any more, and we have the ever so useful precedent of the NYT's (and TL's) crusade against the Plame leak. We can put reporters in jail. We can pursue sources. We can prosecute sources to the FULLEST extent of the DRACONIAN laws on the books. The Left has committed a MAJOR strategic error. The Plame case is unlikely to be a permanent victory, as your targets have the shelter of the Executive who may have declassified things that were released, and have a high probability of pardons in January 2009. Pursuit of NSA leak and "Secret Prisons" leak were explicitly counter executive and have no such protections. Big mistake. Huge. I'm going to get some popcorn and enjoy the fun.

    Re: European Commission Report on CIA Secret Priso (none / 0) (#10)
    by Al on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:58:31 PM EST
    Moreove, if we really fly some terrorist to some other country that practice torture, it is quite different than torture them ourselves.
    I'll let Narius himself answer that one:
    I thought people on TL believe innocent until proven guilty.
    Wait, there's more:
    The constitution prohibits our government to carry out cruel and unusual punishment. Does it prevent us to hand over a criminal (or a terrorist) to some country who will?
    I'm pretty sure it's illegal to outsource torture. At the very least, it's obviously immoral. Though Narius doesn't seem to be too worried about the moral standing of the United States government.
    If a chinese killed someone in China, was convicted of murder there and fled to the US, do we not hand him back although we don't like execution by a bullet in his head.
    Quite obviously, this has nothing to do with what we are discussing. If China were to seek the extradition of someone accused of committing a crime in China, the US courts would consider that. Here, of course, we are talking about people who have not even been charged with a crime anywhere being whisked off in secret to torture camps without the possibility of defense.

    Narius is baiting you. Like a troll. There's really no reason to respond to him.

    Re: European Commission Report on CIA Secret Priso (none / 0) (#12)
    by orionATL on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 09:23:13 AM EST
    scribe (5:02p) that was very informative. and concisely written thanks

    can someone explain to me how it is that the cia can fire an employee (mary mccarthy) 10 days before her scheduled retirement
    Pretty straight-forward: because evidence of her leaking highly classified information came to surface. What makes this worst is that she leaked from the IG office--the office that has the broadest and most unencumbered access of any within the CIA. The IG is the legal alternative vis a vis leaks to journalists for bringing to light questionable CIA activity. We do not need an intelligence organization tasked with collecting and analyzing the most sensitive information available to be filled with individuals who take it upon themselves to decide what should and should not be classified. Those decisions are well beyond her pay grade and she deserves everything (criminal charges and possible pension forfeiture) coming her way.

    Re: European Commission Report on CIA Secret Priso (none / 0) (#14)
    by Sailor on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 12:17:56 PM EST
    we do need patriots in the gov't to expose illegal practices.