Day By Day

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Condi "Fails to Convince"

Der Spiegel reports on Condi's recent visit to Berlin:
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may have left Berlin, but her lightening visit on Tuesday is still splashed across the headlines on Wednesday. Nobody, of course, expected the issues raised by Rice's visit to disappear as soon as she did. The attention to the secret CIA flights allegedly carrying terror suspects via Europe to third countries for possible torture is widespread and of grave concern to a number of European governments and the European Union. The implication that Germany may have known about the so-called "extraordinary renditions" -- at least in the case of German citizen Khaled al-Masri, who was kidnapped by CIA agents in Macedonia in late 2003 and taken to Afghanistan where he claims to have been tortured -- has likewise kept the issue on the front pages.

Unfortunately, though, Rice's visit did little to satisfy those who would like to see a bit more transparency from the United States on exactly how European airports and airspace is used by the CIA. She reiterated that the US does not deliver terror suspects to third countries for torture -- but absent a definition of torture, nobody is particularly satisfied by the claim. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her part, indicated she was satisfied with Rice's assurance that the US adheres to international laws and conventions with regards to torture. The major German dailies, however, are not so convinced.
As I said in an earlier post -- it matters less what the pundits say than what went on between the two women, and they at least seem to have developed a good working relationship.

Read the article here.

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