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January 24, 2006
Europe Finds Nothing But What It Reads In The Papers

An investigative panel researching the supposed "rendition centers" in Europe alleged by American newspapers has turned up no evidence of their existence -- but still filed a report consisting of newspaper clippings from the US to support continuing their efforts, a report that even Europe couldn't countenance:

An inquiry by the Council of Europe into allegations that the C.I.A. has operated secret detention centers in Eastern Europe has turned up no evidence that such centers ever existed, though the leader of the inquiry, Dick Marty, said there are enough "indications" to justify continuing the investigation.

The report added, however, that it was "highly unlikely" that European governments were unaware of the American program of renditions, in which terrorism suspects were either seized in or transferred through Europe to third countries where they may have been tortured. Drawing from news reports, Mr. Marty contended that "more than a hundred" detainees have been moved anonymously and illegally through Europe under the program.

The findings, delivered to the Council on Tuesday, drew scornful reactions from some representatives of the Council's 46 member states, particularly from the British, who called the interim report "as full of holes as Swiss cheese" and "clouded in myth and motivated by a desire to kick America."

What did Marty hand in as his homework assignment? Not much besides "a compendium of newspaper clippings," the New York Times reports in its article. Marty uses them to argue that the Washington Post, ABC, and Human Rights Watch information came from different sources, but apparently has no evidence to back up that claim. The number of detainees Marty alleges passed through Europe comes from a Die Zeit article.

At best, Marty has made himself and his investigation an incredibly expensive clipping service or perhaps a publicity agency, but as an investigator he leaves a lot to be desired. When he finds solid evidence of such detention centers, he should present them, but an independent investigator should restrain himself from advocating for a particular point of view without having any evidence.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 24, 2006 10:18 PM

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» No Evidence? No Problem! from Weapons of Mass Destruction
Craig Whitlock, writing in today's Washington Post, writes about our friends, the Europeans, and the alleged torture camps of Europe. The story is titled European Inquiry Fails to Confirm Secret CIA Prisons, But US Tactics Called 'Appalling.' Whitlock ... [Read More]

Tracked on January 25, 2006 4:44 AM


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