By Odd Man Out
George W. Bush is in semi-seclusion, presumably clearing brush. Dick Cheney has a new heart. But is there any way America can recover from the damage done to its reputation by these odious men and their gang of fellow war criminals? And what about the countries that Bush used to host his CIA-controlled “black sites?” From Juan Cole:
Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk is now more or less admitting what has long been suspected: The Bush administration established a secret CIA prison in Poland and had Polish security officials help torture al-Qaeda suspects there.
These steps were unconstitutional in Poland on two grounds: first, high Polish officials surrendered sovereignty over Polish territory to the US Central Intelligence Agency. Second, torture is forbidden in Poland. In addition, it contravenes European Union conventions and treaties.
Poland had only escaped the grip of the Soviet Union in 1989, and so its democracy was a fledgling one. For the Bush administration to seduce its high officials into committing torture risked permanently marring its politics and undermining that democracy. Polish human rights workers have been deeply critical of Soviet-era torture, and to be put in the position of having to acknowledge this practice in their own country weakens their moral standing and besmirches the name of those tortured in the Stalinist era.
Waterboarding and extreme stress techniques are also illegal in US law and practice.