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Monday, December 05, 2005 

Rice: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Did anyone really expect her to admit to what is becoming more and more obvious by the day though?

The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has defended US treatment of terror suspects and refused to either confirm or deny the existence of CIA-run secret prisons in eastern Europe.

Ms Rice said European countries should trust the US because information gathered by the CIA had "prevented terrorist attacks in Europe ... and other countries".

She added that the US would use "every lawful weapon to defeat these terrorists".

Reading out a statement at Andrews air force base in Maryland before leaving on a trip to Europe, Ms Rice said: "We cannot discuss information that would compromise the success of intelligence, law enforcement, and military operations. We expect other nations share this view."

"The US does not use the air space or airport of any country for the purpose of transporting a detainee when we believe he or she will be tortured," she said.

"The United States does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture."

Ms Rice then needs to explain why so many chartered CIA-flights have made numerous stop-offs in countries all over Europe. She needs to explain why these planes stopped where they did, who was on board and where their end destination was. Of course, she already said that can't as she won't discuss anything that could compromise the success of their intelligence.

This "intelligence" led to the kidnapping, sorry, I mean, principled abduction, um regrettably necessary taking of suspected terrorists by the CIA of those who happen to share the same name. This, according to the Washington Post, happened to Khaled Masri, who was taken in Germany and flown to Afghanistan, most likely to Bagram airbase. He was kept in appalling conditions for five months before he was taken back home. Many other similar cases are suspected, as well as those who suspect that numerous innocent men are being imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

Maybe we shouldn't be too hard on the woman with an oil tanker named after her. After all, as she also stated in her speech, it's very true that rendition has been practised for decades, since the late 1980s at least. Rendition is also remarkably similar to what Blair and Clarke are planning to do with the former Belmarsh prisoners who were on control orders and are now back in prison awaiting deportation. The difference is the government has attempted to make sure that they won't be tortured back in their home climates of Jordan and Algeria. The reality is that such assurances are worthless and the government is only seeking them so that it is not breaking EU law.

It's also true that our own intelligence agencies are entirely complicit in the actions of the CIA. The security services have visited Guantanamo bay, and have done nothing about the remaining nominally-British suspects that remain there. The government and intelligence services have relied on information given them by the torturers of Uzbekistan, as documented by Craig Murray. The government also well knows about the CIA flights; especially seeing as they have landed at military airbases. Their denials and Straw's comical speaking up, just to be seen as doing something are hypocritical and laughable.

What really may come back to haunt Rice though is her two unequivocal statements that the US does not connive in torture in any way. This is an obviously intelligent woman who has high aspirations, maybe to even being President. Some are certainly grooming her for a run. Why then has she made two statements which may prove the breaking of her? Both are undoubtedly bold faced lies. Dick Cheney himself is trying to alter the law recently passed by Congress which made "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of detainees illegal by having the CIA exempted? What further proof is needed? That the US is using friendly middle-eastern countries to do its dirty work, or prisons in "New Europe" is bad enough. When the truth is right under Ms Rice's nose, and she denies everything in her see no evil style, it really does make you wonder just where all this is heading.

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