Monday, December 05, 2005

Secret prisons of CIA

There have been claims that CIA is using secret prisons not only in Afghanistan but also in Romania and Northern Poland - and maybe elsewhere - to torture the terror suspects. Both the U.S. as well as the Eastern European countries deny the accusations but it is not hard to imagine that the speculations are correct. There are good reasons to think that they should be correct.

My opinion is the following. This is a war on terror. I don't think that the terrorists deserve the same human rights as the innocent citizens of the democratic countries. Consequently, the comparison with innocent victims of the totalitarian regimes sounds outrageous to me. From a purely moral viewpoint, I think it is appropriate to treat them using the most efficient method that has the potential to disrupt the work of the international terrorist networks - and to indirectly save as many innocent human lives in the future as possible - as long as this method is legal.

Note added later: my sentence has obviously inspired Condi who just said that the US would use "every lawful weapon to defeat these terrorists", and said rendition "takes terrorists out of action and therefore saves lives".

And I admire the U.S. forces for being essentially the only group in NATO that is ready to invest money and effort for the future of the civilization of freedom.

It is my understanding that it is illegal to torture anyone at the U.S. territory, including the terrorists. Also, it is probably illegal for the citizens of most European countries to torture anyone else. Although it may be just a matter of my personal ignorance, I am not aware of similar laws that would prevent CIA from doing such things on the territory of Poland or Romania. And the law is definitely more important for me than the feelings of left-wing critics.

The people in the U.S. military and CIA have a pretty hard job and they face tough enemies. It is impossible to do their job with the naive attitude of the sissy liberals.

The people who have become radical advocates of the human rights of these (mostly) disgusting killers just irritate me - especially because I know very well that they would never do the same thing to defend my rights and the rights (or lives) of many other people I respect. They're just fighting the war on terror on the wrong side - they are primarily fighting against Bush, and they are fighting together with anyone else who is convenient, including Al Qaeda.

I am equally outraged by the assertion of a eurobureaucrat who has threatened Poland, Romania (a prospective EU member), or any other EU country that will be shown to have co-operated with CIA to revoke the country's voting rights in the European Union, among other threats. Can you imagine that? Someone in Poland allows CIA to kick 26 thugs - because he or she thinks, much like me, that it is not such a bad idea - and 30 million of people will lose their voting rights? Is it how the Eurepean supernational democracy is supposed to work?

As far as I know, such a decision would be completely unjustifiable by any existing laws. Also, such a decision would be rather devastating for the trans-Atlantic relations because it would mean that the European countries must be afraid of co-operation with the U.S. forces in any conflict one can imagine. Such a decision would mean that the anti-war fanatics in Europe - and lukewarm friends of Al Qaeda't thugs - suddenly have the right to do completely illegal decisions about whole countries of the EU.

I am sure that such a development would go against the current natural trend. Europe and America are getting closer right now. A female German archaeologist was kidnapped in Iraq which will be another hint for Germany to realize that the relative German passivity does not protect the country from the evil acts of the terrorists. The terrorists fight against the whole Western civilization. Angela Merkel, a physicist and the new German chancellor, probably realizes this fact pretty well. That's just one among many reasons to be optimistic.

The idea that our governments are torturing anyone is not a particularly attractive one; on the other hand, this limited attractivity does not mean that we can really survive without such unattractive acts.


  1. Before I start I would encourage people visiting this blog, which was written by the soldiers who are actually fighting this war in Iraq. If you read about what they saw and about other true stories the main stream media does not want you to know, you may wonder how could it possible that we could win this war ever. I think we are on the losing path.

    Does any body here honestly believe, that 5 or 10 years from now, we will be in a much more safer and peaceful world than we are today. And there will be no fear of something worse than 9/11 ever happening, or even nuclear terror? Does any one honestly believe that is something that is happening? I don't believe so. We are entering an ever more dangerous world. And we are losing this anti-terror war. Bin Laden is still at large but that doesn't matter any more because we now see many more terrorist names than Bin Laden.

    Tortures themselves are fine under certain special circumstances. The issue is what kind of image or message it projects in the perception of the world opinion. Like the case if torturing a certain terrorist leads to the discovery of a nuclear terror plan, and hence save millions of lifes. Such special circumstance cases I guess would gain sympathy of most countries in the world.

    The problem is we are a country of rule of laws. On one hand you make all sorts of laws prohibiting torture and other un-civilized behavior by the government, on another hand, you find all sorts of convenient excuses to bypass the laws and do unlawful things under the cover of secrecy. The message delivered is we can not be trusted in following our own laws. The damages resulted, both in breaking the integrity of the principles, and in damaging our image as a respect worthy country, far exceeds the limited benefits it may bring, and is unworthy.

    Same as the use of white phosphorous bombs, napalm and other chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq. Such illegal acts brings far more outrage and damage from the international outcry than the poor little battlefield advantages it brought about, and is totally unworthy. Acts like that is what brews hatred against America and breeds more terrorists.

    You want to do tortures. Fine. Change the laws first to make it legal and acceptable. And then do it in an open and transparent way. Allow the public the scrutiny to check to make sure you are doing things exactly as prescribed by the laws. Don't carry out any unlawful acts under the cover of secrecy. CIA is not above the laws. No one is above the laws in this country. That's the principle that no one has the authority to break.


  2. Dear Lumos,

    I agree that sissy attitudes towards terrorists and dictatorships is the wrong approach. After all it didn't persuade Hitler to behave.

    As regards 9/11, I think the suicide bombers were blown up in the explosions on planes, which is a security problem for airports and air traffic control to automatically see potential problems, be they terrorism or just crash avoidance (on this topic see for an EW article of mine showing how stupid suppression and censorship is - costing lives).

    Saddam used mustard gas against Iranians in 1983 and nerve gas against thousands of Kurds in 1988. His regime also, like Hitler, had many thousands of potential "troublemakers" rounded up an shot or tortured and buried in mass graves.

    Ronald Reagan was President in 1983 and 88, and he had the bigger dictatorship of the thermonuclear-armed Soviet Union on his mind, which he dealt with efficiently. On balance America has done the best it can, although it is not fair for allied soldiers to the victims of continued attacks and abuse now in Iraq, now the war is over. Terrorism needs to be countered with innovative technology and intelligence, not allowing soldiers to be shot in the back. Insurgency is not normal warfare, it can drag on forever. I don't know whether the oil factor is keeping the troops out there, it is very sad if so.

    Best wishes,