Saturday, June 18, 2005

Bush: Abuse of Power and Then Some

Since Sept. 11, the U.S. government has secretly transported dozens of people suspected of links to terrorists to countries other than the United States, bypassing extradition procedures and legal formalities, according to Western diplomats and intelligence sources. The suspects have been taken to countries, including Egypt and Jordan, whose intelligence services have close ties to the CIA and where they can be subjected to interrogation tactics -- including torture and threats to families -- that are illegal in the United States, the sources said. In some cases, U.S. intelligence agents remain closely involved in the interrogation, the sources said.--Washington Post March 11, 2002

The Guantanamo abuses by American guards has overshadowed the world of CIA tactics as reported over 2 years ago. In January of this year, a Newsweek report indicated the possibility of reviving the old “Salvador Option” of using death squads recruited within Iraq to help quell the insurgency. Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called "snatch" operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries, officials tell NEWSWEEK.

Of course we haven’t had a follow-up on these stories—until now that is. In a show of virtuoso investigative reporting, using hundreds of pages of Italian documents and major shoe leather, Newsweek Paris Bureau Chief Christopher Dickey has brought to the surface the possibility that the US helped to kidnap an Imam off An Italian street.

So whoever snatched an Egyptian-born imam known as Abu Omar off Via Guerzoni in broad daylight on Feb. 17, 2003, had planned well. And if their tradecraft had been a little bit better, the incident could have been kept very quiet and forgotten quickly. But they screwed up, and soon, possibly as early as next week, you can look for the abduction of Abu Omar to emerge as a major embarrassment to President George W. Bush and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.—“The Road to Rendition” Newsweek, Christopher Dickey
Let’s hope Dickey is right about the timing. The more that evidence that is compounded against Bush and his outlaw regime, and the strange willful acts of abuse of power that come to light, the sooner we, the people, can get back our government.

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