The publication of the report on CIA-run prisons in Europe by a member of the Parliamentary Assembly with the European Council, Swiss lawyer Dick Marty (which should not be mistaken for the European Parliament, for which special elections are held), doesn’t strike me as a particularly important event. The report, on which I wasted quite a lot of time, in order to fully read it in English, is a weave of speculations, anonymous sources and second- or third-hand sources of information from one end to the next.
Unfortunately, it will be discussed, for a dilettante’s work as it is, it’s a God-send for left-wing anti-American journalists, who haven’t managed to find any sources in order to write directly about the CIA’s operations in Europe: the authority of a Swiss MP. No proof is needed, the three sources are no longer necessary, nothing of the ABC of good journalism is required any longer. It suffices to assign anything you want to say about the US and its allies as being the true problem with peace on Earth to Mr. Marty. No serious person, be they a legal expert or a journalist, will give a hoot about it, because it’s not worth it.
The report brings serious accusations against Romania, about which it not only says that it indiscriminately provided the CIA with the appropriate conditions for bringing in prisoners from Iraq and Afghanistan. These were usually second-rate prisoners, to be investigated with “advanced techniques”, which Mr. Marty associates, erroneously so, in my opinion, with torture. To boot, Romania also concealed this information. First of all, let me tell you why it’s not worth taking the report into account and then how we’re supposed to publicly react to it as a country. Because some rushed or awkward reactions may sometimes compromise situations that did not pose any major problems initially.
Let’s just start off by saying that the man has every right to this reaction. Just like the Americans built this extra-territorial system in order to get rid of certain legal restrictions and acquire information at a quicker rate than a regular legal investigation would provide (an essential aspect when you want to preempt terrorist acts), Mr. Marty similarly believes that his position gives him the right to overlap with authorized national courts that have the right to try the complaints filed by inmates subject to those treatments. However, unlike those courts, Mr. Marty constantly goes about it in an amateurish manner. He doesn’t manage to build up any original cases, the torture cases reported don’t involve European disputed claims on flying prisons (for instance, say the Americans turn a Syrian suspect over to Syrian authorities, who treat him the way Syrian investigators will; what do Europe or Romania or the European Council have to do with – neither Syria nor the US are members); the only alleged abuse cases have already been reported to various courts, and so are following their natural course, all situations or secret documents seem to him essential evidence being concealed, instead of natural efforts to protect the anti-terrorist effort, etc. The report is highly offensive when it cites pro-American sentiment in Romania and Poland as proof that we are the American’s accomplices in torturing suspects. Romania did beat NATO to announcing they would support the United States after September 11, he states with great indignation. Yes, so? According to Mr. Marty, the correct attitude was for Romania to impartially regard this conflict and not rush to anyone’s aid, lest, God forbid, the scales be tipped in the conflict. Much like the first law on Star Trek, if you ever watched the show. You have no right to intervene in the lives of alien cultures, no matter what’s happening there, underneath your very eyes.
I, however, don’t believe we’re working with alien cultures here and that we’re allowed this kind of moral relativity, according to which third world countries are allowed to bomb the world because, according to some, there is a clear connection between their underdeveloped state and American imperialism (we know whose propaganda planted that there). I believe CIA policies are not without good reason and that when you want to prevent a terrorist attach, you may resort to such procedures as interrogating suspects in another country. If all terrorist acts in the 20th century could have been prevented like this, from setting the Reichstag on fire to September11, it would’ve been worth it a thousand times over. I doubt that the CIA is torturing prisoners and I will keep my doubts until Mr. Marty or anyone else can produce any type of proof. I believe qualifying any longer interrogatory, which also includes psychological intimidation, as the civil police will often do in cases of kidnapping, for instance, is outright derisive to the thousands of people subjected to actual torture in several countries worldwide, which the European Council does not handle.