Tuesday, December 06, 2005


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has admitted that the US engages in extraordinary rendition - but denies that prisoners are flown around the world to be tortured by other regimes. This is simply unbelievable. There is simply too much evidence, too many former detainees with stories of being tortured after US rendition for this to be denied - people like Maher Arar, Benyam Mohammed, Osama Mustafa Hassan, Muhammed Al Zery and Ahmed Agiza, and Salah Nasser Salim ‘Ali. Often they have the physical scars to prove it. Is Rice claiming that these people are lying, and that they did all that to themselves to make America look bad? If so, the US's public diplomacy has truly sunk to Orwellian levels - much like the Chinese approval of the Kazhak election.

Rice also denied that the US uses torture itself. But this was carefully caveated with a statement that "torture is a term that is defined by law" - meaning that it all hinges on that definition. And as we should all know by now, the Bush Administration does not consider [PDF] techniques such as waterboarding to be "torture". Rice is simply engaging in the usual non-denial denial, and hoping that she won't be called on her Clintonesque semantic sidestep. But this issue isn't going to go away, and the European media are not as supine as their US equivalents; hopefully sometime during her European tour they will pin her down and ask her the two importnat questions: whether she considers waterboarding to be torture, and whether it is used by American interrogators. The answers - or more likely, evasions - should be interesting.


I fully agree with your "Orwellian" assessment, I'm about half way through reading "1984" and it's quite illuminating in regards to certain political arrangements. I'm especially intrigued by the continuous war concept. I'm begining to expect Bush to begin a speech with WAR IS PEACE...

Rice's statements certainly are fine example of "doublethink".

Posted by Muerk : 12/06/2005 10:10:00 PM