NYT's Joel Brinkley gives a low down on Ms. Rice's trip:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chastised European leaders on Monday, saying that before they complain about secret jails for terror suspects in European nations, they should realize that interrogations of these suspects have produced information that helped "save European lives."
Ms. Rice offered her remarks to reporters early Monday, at Andrews Air Force Base, before setting off for a trip to Europe. The timing, she said later, was not coincidental. She wanted to issue the statement "before I go to Europe so if there are questions I can answer them."
Now there's real diplomacy. Chastise the people you're going to visit before you leave to visit them. Condi must have learned that from the political science faculty at Stanford. Think the Europeans might ask her to give them some tangible evidence of all these European lives the interrogations have saved? Nah. That information's probably too classified. They'll have to take her word for it (tee-hee.)
Now here's one of the most astute pieces of journalism I've seen from the mainstream media in months:
Ms. Rice did not explicitly confirm the existence of the detention centers, first described in news reports early last month. But acknowledgment of them was implicit in her remarks. Without the debate over the covert jails, there would have been no reason for her statement.
Thanks for clearing that up for us, Joel. Did your editor make you put that in?
…she denied that the United States has moved suspects to these prisons to allow interrogators to use torture. "The United States," she said, "does not permit, tolerate or condone torture under any circumstances." At another point, 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."
Gee, Ms. Rice, uhm, if we don't take them to "another" country to torture them, why do we take them to another country? Why not just bring them to the U.S.? We don't have enough room for them here? We're afraid they might be carrying the bird flu?
Why is extraordinary rendition a big deal again? It's not like we're just now hearing about it. Google "extraordinary rendition" and you'll find articles about it from more than a year ago.
And why the big shock over the "discovery" that we put the people we render to other countries in secret detention centers?
The torture never stops. This from ABC News:
Dec. 5, 2005 — Two CIA secret prisons were operating in Eastern Europe until last month when they were shut down following Human Rights Watch reports of their existence in Poland and Romania.
Current and former CIA officers speaking to ABC News on the condition of confidentiality say the United States scrambled to get all the suspects off European soil before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived there today. The officers say 11 top al Qaeda suspects have now been moved to a new CIA facility in the North African desert.
That's so unbelievable it has to be true.
Speaking of unbelievable, I hear Uncle Dick's scheduled to give another speech later today.
What a crying shame. All the talent, brains, and experience in the Bush II administration. Can you imagine what the world would be like today if they'd done things on the up and up?