Update on CIA Secret Prisons in Europe
From Le Monde:
The European Commission revealed on Monday 28 November that it has requested clarification from the United States on the alleged existence of CIA-run clandestine prisons in Europe.
According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Franco Frattini, his Director-General, Jonathan Faul, has contacted the White House and the US State Department for information on the secret activities of the CIA. So far, unfortunately there has been no assurance that the information on the prisons was baseless. The Americans have asked for a delay to answer the EU request. Speaking in Berlin from the sidelines of a meeting on security, Mr. Frattini said that the response from Washington could be interpreted in three ways: That the accusations are true; that they are false or that the White House needs more time to formulate a reply. The attitude of the EU will depend on the time it takes to receive a US reply, he warned.
Information from certain eastern European countries suggests that the CIA used European nations for the transport, illegal detention and torture of alleged Islamic terrorists. The Commissioner threatened EU member states with loss of their voting privileges within the European Council if the existence of secret CIA prisons on their territory is confirmed.
Germans Express Concern
According to the new conservative Minister of Defense, Franz Josef Jung, on a visit to Paris, Germany also expects clarification form the United States. The question is to know if torture has taken place. That is the matter which worries us. I hope this can be cleared up. He emphasized that the new German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now in Washington, is to meet on Tuesday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Over the weekend, Mr. Steinmeier believed it was timely for the British Chairmanship of the European Union to officially request an explanation from the United States. The Ramstein Airbase and the military area of Frankfurt Airport, among other locations, constitute veritable hubs for US forces.
55 CIA Stopovers in Canada
The newspaper La Presse reports that US aircraft chartered by the CIA and suspected of having transported Islamic detainees made 55 stopovers in Canada over the last four years. Eight of these flights continued to Guantanamo, Cuba, where several hundred Islamists are held as part of the War on Terror.
Other flights transited through Canada heading for Spain, the UK, Portugal or Germany without the final destination being known. However, the planes are on a list drafted by Human Rights Watch, which has catalogued the aircraft used by CIA front companies. The Canadian Minister for Public Safety, Anne McLellan, told Parliament that she possessed no information concerning the landing of an alleged CIA flight which would be used for this type of transport.