Sure, Condi, Sure.Staff abd agencies
Monday December 5, 2005
The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has defended US treatment of terror suspects and refused to either confirm or deny the existence of CIA-run secret prisons in eastern Europe.
Ms Rice said European countries should trust the US because information gathered by the CIA had "prevented terrorist attacks in Europe ... and other countries".
She added that the US would use "every lawful weapon to defeat these terrorists".
Reading out a statement at Andrews air force base in Maryland before leaving on a trip to Europe, Ms Rice said: "We cannot discuss information that would compromise the success of intelligence, law enforcement, and military operations. We expect other nations share this view."
Reports of the existence of the secret prisons have caused an international outcry. Several European governments, as well as the EU, have asked the US to confirm the existence of the prisons and to say whether or not hundreds of CIA flights have shuttled over the continent.transporting prisoners.
Ms Rice neither confirmed nor denied the existence of secret prisons, but she did defend the CIA's use of "rendition": transporting suspects to countries where they can be questioned outside the protection of US law.
She said rendition had been practised for decades and was "not unique to United States or to the current administration".
She also said other nations' intelligence agencies had been working with the US to extract information from detainees.
But she added that the US did not permit or tolerate torture under any circumstances.
"The US does not use the air space or airport of any country for the purpose of transporting a detainee when we believe he or she will be tortured," 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."
It emerged in Germany at the weekend that CIA aircraft had landed in the country on 437 occasions.
The Washington Post also reported that dozens of prisoners had been wrongly rendered, with some being kidnapped in their home countries and held incommunicado for weeks.
Human rights groups say holding detainees incommunicado is illegal and often leads to torture.
'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." --Sinclair Lewis
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