Jun 18, 2007
Some liberals pretended to be shocked when the news leaked out that the CIA had secret prisons in Europe, at least from 2003 to 2005.
After September 11th, U.S. authorities got authorization from their European allies, under the pretext of a fight against terrorism, to let them fly secret flights over their air space and to use their air fields. Some countries let the U.S. set up secret prisons where the CIA could incarcerate, interrogate and torture those it accuses of terrorism. This was the case in Thailand and on the Island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, but also in Poland and Rumania. The Italian authorities knew and assisted in the CIA kidnapping of an imam – accused of being a fundamentalist, in order to take him to one of these secret prisons for questioning.
Yes, the existence of such secret prisons is scandalous. So is the existence of Guantanamo, the not-so-secret prison on the island of Cuba, and the fact that the U.S. has taken part of the island for its own military base. But the only people who could be surprised by this news are those who think they live in a country where there are iron-clad rules about liberty and democracy, like those written into constitutions or law books.
Reality is much more sordid than these fairy tales for adults, told to put us to sleep.