Condi to Europe: Lucca Brazzi Sleeps With the Fishes
Without so much as the hostile flourish of a glowstick or the threat of waterboarding, Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice owned up to what the Bush administration has been awkwardly trying to deny since early November: The U.S. is in fact operating "black site" prisons in European nations, and also orchestrating "extraordinary renditions" under which terror suspects are whisked off to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other sunny locales to be tort. . er, roughly handled. And of course, the secretary, who delivered her remarks most inappositely moments before boarding a plane for a goodwill tour of Europe, admitted complicity in the only way the Bush administration knows how: with arrogant belligerence. Rice told reporters the US "fully respects the sovereignty" of European states cooperating with the prison program and the renditions, meaning that they had likely been briefed over human right and international law concerns, and gone ahead and approved detainees for extended stays without criminal charges or extraditions. She then used the conclusion of her remarks to send a not-so-tacit message to said European leaders:
At the end of her statement, Rice noted that she had been through inquiries about what was done and could have been done to prevent the 9/11 attacks, suggesting that European leaders would not want to face a similar probe.
"I know what it is like to face an inquiry into whether everything was done that could be done."
The secretary went on to add: "I also know what a terrible tragedy it would be for any leader's family to have an accident suddenly befall them out of the blue." And here all this time we had Dick Cheney pegged as the Bush administration official most likely to be a Corleone. -- HOLLY MARTINS