Secretary of State Condi
Rice is off to Europe to neither confirm nor to deny that the U.S. government
in an operation known as rendition kidnaps people, often the wrong ones, and
flies them to foreign countries to be tortured.
"Trust me" is her line. According to Reuters, "Irish Foreign
Minister Dermot Ahern said Rice told him in Washington she expected allies to
trust that America does not allow rights abuses."
Who will trust this woman who, as President Bush's national security adviser,
said that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction capable of producing
a "mushroom cloud" over an American city?
Who will trust this woman who, as national security adviser, said Saddam Hussein
sheltered al-Qaeda terrorists in Baghdad and helped train some in chemical weapons
development (CNN report, Sept. 26, 2002, 1:28 PM EDT)?
Who will trust this woman who won't answer a question but says "trust
On Nov. 14, 2005, Middle East expert Juan Cole reported that the 9/11 Commission
Report revealed that captured al-Qaeda members Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu
Zubayda informed the U.S. government that Osama bin Laden prohibited al-Qaeda
operatives from cooperating with the secular Arab nationalist Saddam Hussein.
In the run-up to the Iraqi invasion, this critical information was withheld
from Congress and the American people. Instead, the Bush administration worked
to create the belief that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Bush administration has made it abundantly clear that it believes, with
no apologies, that the ends justify the means. Lying is simply a means to an
end. What Condi Rice is telling Europeans is "pay no attention to our lies;
just accept that we are liars for a good and proper cause."
What other proof do we need of the Bush administration's low esteem for truth
than the fact, revealed by the Los Angeles Times, that the Bush administration
has been caught paying
journalists to write favorable stories about the war in Iraq? First they
rigged the "intelligence" used to start a war; then they rigged the
news reports about the war.
And these people think they should be trusted?
Details of specific rendition cases are so much in the news as to make Condi
Rice's stonewalling absurd. On Dec. 4, the Washington Post reported that
in May of last year the U.S. ambassador to Germany was dispatched by the White
House to inform the German interior minister that the CIA had kidnapped a German
Masri, and flown him to a CIA prison in Afghanistan where he was held for
The Americans told the Germans that Masri was innocent and would be released.
The Germans were instructed to say nothing about the incident even if Masri
went public, because the U.S. did not want to acknowledge the rendition program.
In other words, the Bush administration expects any other government that finds
out about its wrongful actions to keep quiet about them even when its own citizens
Gentle reader, who could possibly believe Rice's reassurances that the U.S.
respects the sovereignty of other countries when it is established fact that
the U.S. kidnaps other countries' citizens abroad and flies them off to torture
To comprehend the importance of due process, a process that the Bush administration
has destroyed for "suspects" be they American citizens or foreigners,
entertain that on the way to work one morning you are forcefully intercepted
and spirited away to Afghanistan or to Egypt or any of the other locations of
U.S. torture prisons. Why are you there, you wonder. Did a personal enemy or
envious colleague report you on a false charge? Did a tortured suspect somewhere
utter a name that resembled yours?
Nonsense, it can't happen, you say? Alas, it happened to Masri and perhaps
3,000 others who are estimated to have been "renditioned." According
to the Washington Post, a CIA official said that Masri was kidnapped
and held secretly for five months because the woman in charge of the CIA Counterterrorist
Center's al-Qaeda unit "believed he was someone else. She didn't really
know. She just had a hunch."
Isn't it reassuring that the U.S. government toys with people's lives on the
basis of female intuition?
This is justice in America, a country that is teaching Iraq about democracy
through force of arms.