EU gets tough on secret prisons
While we're waiting for the Republican-controlled Congress to find the time to investigate reports of secret CIA prisons, the EU is already threatening to crack down on any member state that helps the United States torture suspects. Not only is a potential member like Romania in trouble, current members are not exempt:
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, the EU Justice Commissioner (Franco Frattini) said he would call for tough penalties against any involved state. "I would be obliged to propose to the Council [of EU Ministers] serious consequences, including the suspension of voting rights in the council," he said. He said a suspension of voting rights would be justified if any country is found to have breached the bloc's founding principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. [LINK]Condi Rice's response:
USA TODAY: I'd like to ask you about the EU developments today. There was one of -- an EU minister saying there may be sanctions on some of the member nations for hosting what they call the secret CIA prisons there. How has this situation in the last couple weeks complicated your job in dealing with some of the European countries?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I've been very clear, as have other members of the Administration, that we are fighting a war on terror, that there are demands of that that we have to meet, that we have to meet in order to protect not just ourselves but to protect others. Unfortunately, Europe has had its share now of terrorist incidents, in Spain and in Great Britain. And so we are all working together through law enforcement cooperations, intelligence cooperation, to try and produce the very best outcome to protect innocent citizens. [LINK]Franco Frattini doesn't just hate America. He hates Europe.