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Thursday, December 08, 2005

NATO & EU give thumbs up to torture

"BRUSSELS, Belgium - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she can give no guarantee that terrorism detainees won't be abused again despite what she called the United States' clear rules against torture.

"Will there be abuses of policy? That's entirely possible," Rice said at a NATO press conference. "Just because you're a democracy it doesn't mean that you're perfect."


"She offered assurances, however, that any abuses would be investigated and violators punished."

Yup, just round up a few lackeys and say it was all their fault.

"That is the only promise we can make," Rice said. She spoke a day after trying to clarify to European foreign ministers the U.S. policy on secret prisons and treatment of terrorism suspects.

They foreign ministers appeared receptive. NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer said Rice had "cleared the air."

Thanks Jaap, I feel relieved now. Everything is ok again, phew.

"Rice explained to the NATO and European Union foreign ministers over dinner Wednesday night that the United States does not violate the rights of terrorist suspects, De Hoop Scheffer said. "You will not see this discussion continuing" at the NATO headquarters, he told a news conference Thursday. His comments echoed those of several foreign ministers who sought to shift away from a confrontation with Washington over the issue.

Rice Torture programRice repeated on Thursday that no U.S. personnel are allowed to commit abuses, whether on U.S. soil or overseas. "The United States doesn't engage in torture, doesn't condone it, doesn't expect its employees to engage in it," she said.

Rice did not mention U.S. employees in similar statements Wednesday and earlier. Including them now may be a reference to a loophole identified by human rights organizations that could allow the CIA to contract out mistreatment.

Complaints that the United States has overstepped its bounds and may have practiced or condoned torture have dogged Rice through a four-nation tour this week. She said she welcomed a discussion of the issue, and invited it herself at the top of the private dinner with other NATO ministers.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday that Rice "has reiterated that in the United States international obligations are not interpreted differently than in Europe."

Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot said he left Wednesday night's dinner "very satisfied" by Rice's comments."
Associated Press


Blogger Richard said...

We Brits have certainly caught up the long time leaders [the US], in the shame stakes.

No wonder so many of us worry so much about the latest lot of hostages. Call it a collective, guilty conscience.

5:19 PM  
Blogger J.UL1R4 said...

Very good points Richard.

10:51 AM  

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