Mathias Vermeulen, doktorant w European University Institute, Florencja; asystent Martina Scheinina, specjalnego Sprawozdawcy ONZ ds. promocji oraz ochrony praw człowieka podczas zwalczania terroryzmu:I have two questions for Mr. Mickevivius, one for Mr. Bodnar, one for Ms. Pudzianowska and one for prof. Płatek.
The first two questions for doctor Mickevičius. You said your organization has asked for a full investigation into the existence of secret detention sites in Lithuania. Can you elaborate a little bit more about what you are asking. Is this a criminal investigation? And the second question is if the Parliamentary Comity finds that their work , actually detention sites in Lithuania, what can be then the exact consequences in terms of accountability. This last question is a little more less the same question for Mr. Bodnar. Also if the current investigation now leads to findings that there are actually detention sites, what would be then the exact outcome of this investigation. My question for Ms. Pudzianowska is that … somewhere in the beginning of your presentation you were speaking about the fact that Marty inquiry was having elements of direct proof of the fact that there were secret detention sites. But this was really.. the point is that the government for instance said that this court and this reply in 2007,as that this was no hard evidence at all, that this was just pure rumors. And I was wandering what your ideas or your guesses to thesestatements. And then last comment to the presentation of professor Płatek. It is about something what I personally know about Mr. John Swiften. And I’m pretty sure that he was misquoted or misrepresented, because he would never say such thing.
Henrikas Mickevičius: Those two questions are very intertwined. If you answer first one, you cannot avoid touching upon another one, and vice versa. They’re related. Yes, we asked for the full criminal investigation, what is that not by theparliament. It’s actually question of arise this at least in Lithuanian contact whenever decided for ourselves.What is parliamentary investigation, what the nature of this investigation is and what the consequences, legal consequences of this is. So. in our case, from our point of view it helped us now. We have in asses prima facie case that it’s clear that we have the facts already began about… speak about not suspicions related to some kind of speculations, but facts, which would allow to start a legal investigation, to fulfill legal obligation of the state. Procedure of positive obligation to investigate suspicions of serious violations of human rights. About those possible violations , that was mentioned here for many people who were talking before me . The first here was talking about the torture, allegations of torture ,about some other things. So that’s why we initiate now this we asked to initiate criminal, legal investigation to this matter. What’s the consequences of conclusions which the Parliamentary Comity will reach on 22nd of December. It’s an open question. But my suspicion is that the conclusion will be…probably will not have any legal consequences. They will say that yet there is a certain… We can let’s say suspect that this black site in Lithuania indeed to place. Perhaps there are some irregularities from certain state officials. But we don’t have enough evidence to reach any specific conclusions. I think they will try to reach this kind of conclusion in order to avoid even more confusion. And the case will be decided by the prosecutors and hopefully by courts. Very interesting actually if I have to say, I didn’t speak about many, many rumors which are running around this investigation about what actually this parliamentary comity already have at their disposal. And of those thing which really comes from what professor Płatek said that Parliamentary Comity established that some of the leadership of the State Security Department suddenly became wealthy.
Adam Bodnar: So as regards to accountability concerning the existence of detention facilities . And I think that if the final result of the investigation will be that such sites existed in the territory of Poland, there are different scenarios. So one scenario which is such that some polish officers who collaborated with CIA could be indicted for abuse of power so that’s article 231 we’ve mentioned. That basically they allowed for creating this extraterritorial zone in the territory of Poland. And basically the rumor is that most probably this detention facility was placed in Stare Kiejkuty in a school of Polish intelligence and there was something like a zero zone to which the access was only for CIA officers and nobody was allowed to get into. So…and it seems to me that the investigation… you know…we can only suppose because everything is secret. But it seems to me that the investigation goes into this direction. But the question is what happens if they knew that if those polish officers knew that there were tortures used in this detention facility. If they knew and if prosecutor is able to prove it, then they can face responsibility for some other violations of the criminal courts, so torturing and so on. But this is about Polish intelligence officers.
The other question is what is the responsibility of politicians. And basically it depends on to what extend the politicians knew whether there were such sites, whether to what extent they cooperated in establishing them. And there’re also some claims that for example minister coordinator for secret services knew about it. So maybe it would be possible to bring him in front of the Tribunal of State. So the special constitutional organ which is responsible for dealing with crimes committed by politicians, active, politicians in service . So it is also possible in this case. I didn’t mention it. But there is also another story. Because in fact we had like two governments who were kind of involved into the whole matter. The first, I would say left wing government, during which the black sites were most probably created. And then the second government, right winged government which was… probably knew about existence of black sites, but they didn’t start any investigation or whatsoever in order to explain it. So the question is to what extend the representatives of this second, right-winged government could face responsibility for negligence in actions in explaining this matter. So I would say that this current investigation started at the, I would say, third government, which is a centre-winged government, ok?
Dorota Pudzianowska: I did not mean to say that Marty’s reports presented us with proofs about the existence of the secret prison in Poland. But I think to say that these are rumors is not just. I think this is circumstancial evidence which should be enough for Polish authorities to start a serious investigation into the issue. This circumstancial evidence is presented by serious international organization’s official reports which are followed by the request that points out authorities to start up investigation. I think it cannot be ignored by saying these are rumors, because these are not rumors.
Monika Płatek: We will be happy to provide the link to this presentation and that would be much better of course and if I think about it between illegal-legal, illegal-legal, maybe. But I went… Because of that, I went through the whole Patriot Act and I was looking where is the bloody hell possibility to use anything like that. So Patriot Act used torture twice. But it’s every time there is a responsibility for tortures for those who are captured. So there is no really any legal possibilities for using it. On the other hand well that’s why the people were sent and dropped.
Adam Bodnar: May I comment on this, because in States there is a huge debate now and there are big publications concerning the responsibility of lawyers for what was happening and responsibility of lawyers who prepared different memoranda and reports to the Department of Justice by which they tried to qualify all those different special operating techniques as being in compliance with law basically. So there is this strange of explaining now the responsibility of lawyers for helping in fact CIA and the administration of Bush.
- Hi! I have a question to Adam and Dorota and Henrikas. It’s one question to all of you. Do you know that information that it appears as if Khalif Szejk Muhammad was one of the detenees in the polish secret prison. I wonder if other names of detainees have already surfaced(…)information on individuals detained there.
Adam Bodnar: I commented on Khalif Szejk Muhammad because in fact this one detainee will have like the quite a lot of circumstantial evidence as Dorota put it. Because there is this reports… there are those two reports released by the Obama administration. There is this evidence from testimonies made by him to the Red Cross representatives and most probably Ms. Mikos-Skuza will tell a little bit about it during our next panel. But as far as I know there are no… there were also some information on detainees imprisoned… by the ABC television in some report and there were twelve names as far as I remember. But we do not know anything more about them and the problem is that it is the contact with them is quite restricted, so they cannot pass this information obviously. And even if they were detained in the territory of Poland, usually they did not know where they are. So it appears that with Kalif Shake Mohammad maybe there were too many disclosures and maybe some mistakes also by those who take him.
Henrikas Mickevičius: In the Lithuanian case no names surfaced yet.
Dorota Pudzianowska: I remember Abu Zubajda appears in contacts as a detained here in Poland. And I think this information is based on comparing, you know… they took flights and him being tortured and in this way that this name is associated with the prison in Poland.
- We have time for one more? Ok. I have a question for the panel journal for both Poland and Lithuania. And for that as to go to the nature of the accountability that is being persued. Whenever the Polish ongoing criminal investigation is described, it’s described as looking into this article 231issue of some officials, supposedly low, mid-level acting like a virus by alarming the Americans to build this sophisticated facility on Polish territory. And it sounds like from Henrikas’s comments that this sort of alibi approach is having some currency in Lithuania as well a former heads of state claiming not to know much. And I am doing quite the facts right. It sounded like this guy was impeached, that maybe someone else was the Head of State friendly facility was in operation. But my question is… Mean to me it’s a bit inconceivable and almost preposterous that something like this could happen in any country that is an ally of the US without the knowledge of the highest authorities of the state. Not everyone, not a lot of people, because this was a program classified under the highest level of classification as I think may have caused cosmic top secret. But you know… I can imagine that the Prime Minister of Poland didn’t know, because it was strictly on a need to know basis. I could accept that. But to say that some low, mid-level officials of intelligence services were able to do this without the highest authorities of the state knowing and authorizing, it is verging out preposterous. It’s not the way things were. It’s a clear violation of national sovereignty and it’s enough to say that the US takes absolutely approached respecting others countries sovereignty. It’s not just done with allies, It’s not the way it works. I was wondering if you have any comments on that aspect of this investigation. Thank you.
Adam Bodnar: I think that we are thinking in the same way about the problem which means that we think that those leaks in this investigation go into this direction of abuse of power only is something which is obviously not satisfactory to us. And we think that this case should be investigated in a complex way, also including involvement of politicians and my personal belief is that most probably they should have some knowledge, some of them at least into this matter and I cannot agree with this strategy of seeking alibi and just you know investigating towards finding some three, four, five or more polish intelligence officers who involved and stopping with it. That is our point of view here on this case.
Monika Płatek: It seems that this was possible before. We had an affair, so called meat affair in 1964. But this is first of all not that time and second that’s why we are talking about State Tribunal responsibility. And what we are looking for is actually the proper illustration of what is happening. So I was going into this direction. I just do not think that this article is enough, that really should look much broader to their responsibility and this responsibility is evidently and if it is then those in the highest ranks are responsible because you can imagine a lot of things, but you cannot imagine that it was really so easy to fly and fly off without being controlled. And just one additional remark. You used those words that those prisons are sophisticated. One of the elements is that they are not sophisticated at all. That is the point. I mean we are found by the very strict structure. Who can do it? Who can start? And the next point is how this should be elaborated and equipped so this is not only European rules. It is not only UE minimum expanders. But this is very strictly Polish standards of what those places should look like and one of the elements in addition to integrality is that the conditions that were provided were far from the required standards.
Henrikas Mickevičius: It is difficult for me to say whether the higher state authorities of Lithuania really knew or did not know. I just rely on facts which are not numerous and the facts are just restated those. In a spring or summer 2003 Head of the Security Department approached. Then President of Lithuania was questioned whether he would not mind if we help our foreign partners in receiving here in extraordinary way some suspects of terrorism. He said ‘no’. In spring 2004 he was impeached and he left the office. Also in April 2004 the Head of the Security Department left his office and he was appointed as an ambassador. New president Valdas Adamkus came into power in June 2004 and the suspicion is that those suspects were brought to Lithuania in September 2004. At least first of them. So it is apparently under presidency of president Adamkus, who until now, until today totally rejects the idea that he has any involvement in this issue and this connection between impeachment and the fact that he said ‘no’ was made by this former president Paksas. It is indeed a very well known fact that one of the architect of this impeachment was the same Head of the Security Department who received from him the answer ‘no’. So there are definitely some kind of political measures involved here. But of course nobody knows whether it is just coincidental or it is like the main reason for everything what happened. But whether president himself knew about I would not tell you, but just on my kind of personal, on a feeling level I would not reject the idea that he may not know. State Security Department in Lithuania, especially after a successful impeachment of the State President became quite powerful . We have even developed a special term for people working for leadership of the State Security Department and also people working in some other very important places. They were never first front people in their offices, but the network of them we called a Statesman, meaning they knew how to run a state better than those who were like first front people, president, prime minister, etc. And they were in offices for number of years. This network of statesman is also a fact in Lithuania.
Dorota Pudzianowska: I just wanted to say that we can come back to this question in the next panel dedicated to secret service and intelligence. I just wanted to say that in my opinion there was a huge problem oversight, over WSI. I think that it is the best scenario that might be that Prime Minister did not know about this and this is what I think after the lecture of different documents and knowing what was the context of the resolution of the WSI. What we know, how it functioned etc. Just about the Prime Minister.
Roman Wieruszewski, kierownik Poznańskiego Centrum Praw Człowieka, b. członek Komitetu Praw Człowieka ONZ: Ten panel zgodnie z założeniami ma być poświęcony tematyce „Tajemnicy państwowej a dostępu do informacji publicznej. „Kontrola publiczna w działaniu służb specjalnych w kontekście naruszeń praw człowieka.”
Otóż proszę Państwa przeczytałem w gazecie, najbardziej poczytnym dzienniku mojego regionu, felieton, który jest stałym felietonem autorstwa byłego wojewody Poznania, dość wpływowej osoby, Macieja Musiała, zatytułowany „Pożytek z prawa”. Otóż tam właśnie były wojewoda pisze, właściwie wspomina o akcji Helsińskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, która wystąpiła o udostępnienie pełnej polskiej i angielskiej wersji tytułów wszystkich tajnych porozumień o współpracy między służbami specjalnymi USA a polskimi służbami specjalnymi. Pisze, że Wojewódzki Sąd Administracyjny oddalił skargi Fundacji, ale dalej zastanawia się, jakiż to interes w tej sprawie miała Fundacja. Pisze tak: „Rodzi się pytanie, jakiż to interes publiczny przyświecał zasłużonej skądinąd Fundacji. Przed złożeniem wniosku rozważono korzyści i straty z ujawnienia przedmiotu współpracy tajnych służb, która z natury rzeczy musi dotyczyć np. zwalczania terroryzmu, handlu narkotykami, prania brudnych pieniędzy czy innych przestępstw. Dostęp do informacji jest prawem, a przecież z prawa należy korzystać w sposób właściwy, a nie taki, który jest sprzeczny z przeznaczeniem danego prawa”. I pisze na końcu tak: „Bo gdy w imię nawet istotnych wartości zaczniemy pilnie tropić i rozbrajać szeryfów, to skorzystają na tym wyłącznie przestępcy i obrońcy praw”. Połączył przestępców i obrońców praw. „Ci ostatni tylko pozornie”. Rozumiem, że dla Pana wojewody Musiała idealną sytuacją byłoby, kiedy na jednego przestępcę przypadałoby 12 szeryfów, tak jak śpiewał swego czasu Wojciech Młynarski. Ale Państwo pewnie nie znacie takiej piosenki… Więc była taka piosenka, może kiedyś Państwo sięgniecie po archiwa z dawnych lat i ją odsłuchacie. Ja zamierzam odpowiedzieć Panu Musiałowi, wiem, że Fundacja być może też zechce…
Dlatego poruszyłem ten temat, żo myślę, iż jego głos nie jest odosobniony, że to, o czym mówił dr Bodnar w pierwszym panelu, że właściwie nie ma nie tylko właściwego oddźwięku mediów, ale gdybyśmy tak zrobili ankiety opinii publiczne, czy popiera te wysiłki do ujawnienia, to oni mówią: „jak było, to już było, dajcie spokój, po co to nam wszystkim? Cel był szlachetny, a nawet jeżeli środki nie były właściwe, to już zapomnijmy”. Ja boję się, że trochę takie stanowisko dominuje i to dotyczy nie tylko tej sprawy. Dotyczy wielu innych spraw w zakresie praw człowieka, o czym tak pięknie była mowa w sobotę na uroczystości Fundacji: że jesteśmy na etapie takim, że obrona podstawowych wartości spotyka się z obojętnością czy wręcz niechęcią. Dlatego strasznie ważne jest to, o czym mowa w pierwszym panelu - żeby wykazać, że to co się dzieje, jest sprzeczne z prawem, w jakim zakresie i dlaczego jest sprzeczne z prawem, ale nie tylko to… Trzeba powiedzieć, dlaczego walczymy o ujawnienie tych spraw, jakich wartości chronimy i co nam grozi, jeżeli dopuścimy do takiej sytuacji, w której właśnie w imię jakichś mniej lub bardziej realnych zagrożeń będziemy rezygnowali z tego, co przez całe lata wywalczyliśmy. Dlatego uważam, że ta cała konferencja i poszczególne wystąpienia są bardzo ważne i mam nadzieję, że uda nam się przebić do opinii publicznej z tą argumentacją, że nie robi się tego dla akcji akademickiej, abstrakcyjnych wartości, tylko dla konkretnych i naszych własnych interesów. Bo bez wsparcia opinii publicznej nie uda nam się osiągnąć sukcesu. Proszę Państwa, to tyle tytułem wstępu właśnie, poruszony tą dzisiejszą publikacją w gazecie, która akurat tak się zbiegła z naszą dzisiejszą konferencją. I teraz bez dalszej zwłoki chciałbym oddać głosu Panu Darianowi Pavli.
(Mr. Pavli is a lawyer in a Open Society Justice Initiative. Before he started his activities in the Open Society Justice Initiative, he was engaged a specialist to the Southern Balkans here in Warsaw. He was very much also involved in the region. And he is a founder of the association of lawyers who are dealing with the media law which is also very popular subject).
Darian Pavli, koordynatorprogramu Freedom of Expression and Information w Open Society Justice Initiative: As it was mentioned, Open Society Justice Initiative has been working for some years now with human rights groups in central and eastern Europe including the Polish and Serbian foundation, the remaining groups in Macedonia and Albania and many other places to see how we can help shed light on the European responsibility for collaboration with the CIA’s Extraordinary Rendition Program among other things. And I have been asked here to give some thoughts and comments on the relationship in this context between an assist information and state secrets and accountability for serious human rights violations. And I disturb by saying that the question of striking the proper balance between the necessary confidentiality of national security operations and the operations as secret services on one hand and insuring the public accountability for those operations. And keeping enough of those under the public spotlight. That balance is one of the most complex questions for the constitutional liberal democracy. How to get that right. Exactly how much secrecy versus how much transparency. And of course it varies with context.
I am not going to go into big treatison on the general question. But I would like to throw a few thoughts about how the balance and that dynamics has changed since the 9.11. attacks on the US. And maybe for trade there is a clash between the so-called truth absolute and false absolute. You have on the one hand the traditional red lines in a liberal democracy in terms of human rights and constitutional protections. We are taught that we do not torture, with not engaging extra judicial execution. Authorities appearances. That is what authoritarian dictatorial regimes not respecting the rights do. We do not do this in a liberal democracy. Whatever is the stake. And that is important. Please be mentioned. Their ban is absolute and their domains are for example, that ever since the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. Some member states... I have to argue that maybe there is room there for putting that in question, for example in the context of expulsions. And the European Court said: ‘It does not matter who the person is or what he is suspect of doing, or what he has even dealt with or what he was proved of doing. You cannot expel someone to a country where he or she will face torture’. So that is what we have in terms of laws since.
On the other hand, after the 9.11. there has been this increasing sense of putting national security considerations on a sort of equal footing in almost absolute terms. I am not that familiar with former American Vice President Dick Cheney’s doctrine. The one Percent Doctrine. It basically says that we were dealing here with potentially catastrophic scenarios. This is not the old kind of terrorism. This is different terrorism. This is terrorism which may have access to the weapons of mass destruction. Which would make it potentially catastrophic. And in that context, that is what President Chaney’s argument is… Even if there is a one percent chance that something like that can happen, that country like Pakistan, may be supplying those kinds of weapons to terrorist groups. We have to take that as very close to the truth and take action on that basis. It is problematic on many levels. I would say to start with, and that is why I called it a false absolute. Because absolute safety is unobtainable. As much as we should, we cannot have absolute safety. In a democracy or in a non-democracy for that matter.
But what the One Percent Doctrine does is sort of related, approaches. It is these two things. One: it starts to corrode the absolute nature of those earlier prohibitions, that we confirm as a matter of law. That in practice we have seen in the States for example. There is a lot of discussions, especially a few years ago about the ticking time bomb scenario. There is a public debate on Sunday morning television whether torture is effective. Whether we can really afford absolute ban and what you do whenever ticking time bomb and is a terrorist who knows that there is a bomb about to go off and you have about half an hour… do we torture him or not? The kinds of discussions that we thought…we did not imagine before 9.11. So there is a corrosion up there and it is not an accident that it led to a policy of the adopting the enhanced interrogation techniques. I am starting plain with the definition of torture. Now what a warning. I assume you are familiar with this terms, but ask me in a question session if you want me to describe it. It has been used as a torture method by the Spanish inquisition and another entities for the centuries. But somehow the CIA and the lawyers at the CIA and the Defense Department decided that what about with sufficient medical presence, with doctors overseeing it. This may be not torture. It is as if we were in the Machiavellian territory but we would not be aware of terms of absolute prohibitions.
And secondly, apart from corroding that this prohibitions is It does a way or it reduces the burden of the government in a constitutional democracy. There is a very steep burden on the government make the case that will need to engage a serious encroachments of rights. That border has been significantly lowered. And part of the way, that is the way we are putting things done. By building this new empire of secrecy we corrode our ability to monitor this post 9.11. world. To monitor ways being done in our own name, in the name of our security. Which is a legitimate... just a legitimate exercise for the government to engage. It is a legitimate obligation. I do not want to belittle that. Just a legitimate responsibility. To protect the lives of us as a society and safety of us as people. The ways down and the means that are employed to that end we need to monitor. And the secrecy corrodes our ability to exercise the kind of oversight. Because that is the deal in democracy. We need intelligence operations. They have to operate within the law and be accountable to civilian authorities. That is not just executive authorities. A lot of countries have implemented rules of parliamentary oversight because you just cannot trust only executive, as simple as that. And public oversight as well. That is the deal that we are used to.
Now, what happens after 9.11.? I quote the senior intelligence official, the Head of Interterritorial Operations for the CIA. At least this quote becomes infinite. He went before Congress. Now that press conference before the Congress of The United States. And he was talking about the enhanced interrogation techniques. And he said ‘All you need to know is that there was pre 9.11., post 9.11. and after 9.11. laws are off. Saying that “I’m not gonna be nice any more” may sound like an American style. And then Vice President, former Vice President Cheney in a Sunday morning talk show also made a famous quote. He said: ‘now we have to start to do things in the dark side and to operate in the dark side to protect our country’. And the implication was that in order for those operations in the dark side to be effective, the dark side has to remain dark. And I will talk about those things, about it. And the implications, the further implications of that is basically you have to trust us and the job for us. And we know that it does not work particularly well with human nature and power. And I would like to point out that it is not an attitude limited to the US. You can see the UK government and the European Union in the Khalif Mohammad case refusing to release evidence that they received from the US about the treatment that their own citizen or resident. I am not quite sure now. I mean he is objected to a court of law including. That the German government seems a little failed… refused to disclose some critical information about what he knew and its intelligence services knew to a parliamentary investigation. The parliamentary investigation that was put together to look into accountability or any German responsibility for renditions.
Third point here is when you look it quickly is the abdication of the courts, of judicial system. Because they are our last remedy in a vis-a-vis those human rights abuses. And it has been depressing to see starting again with the United States, how US courts have bowed to the new imperatives of secrecy in a fight and a war on terrorism. By the way, it is technically under the Obama administration not an official term any more. Official in the US is not now engaging a war. And that is good to know. It is obvious that the head of the state secret doctrine in the US for many years. But the way it hass been applied is particularly distressing. Because it has been applied in a way that prevents victims of serious rights abuses in a war on terror from even getting their way to court. They cannot have a case. Their case cannot be heard. Even though they have compelling evidence that they were abused by CIA or other intelligence operations, on the base of the state court, state secret doctrine. It basically says that we cannot… this goes so deeply into our secrecy and into the nature of our undercover operations that we cannot even give you a trial. So basically we are terribly sorry. W cannot offer you a process. He was mentioned previously. The Canadian was picked up at JFK Airport, New York, flew to Syria for a year rather that sent back to his own country of Canada to be interrogated whatever he is suspected of. And now he is clear of any kind of involvement, any kind of terrorist activities. Particularly distressing case.
For me, the highest level of certain power these days is classified information, the treatment which the detainees have been subjected to. What has been done to them? So the enhanced interrogation techniques that they were subjected to, they cannot talk about it in court. Why? Because their treatment they were subjected to is classified, because it could allow Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to reverse engineering of our methods and train its people how to resist these methods. So let me say that again. Someone like Khalif Szejk Muhammad is in court, in Military Tribunal. And he is teasing the judge and says ,you know, “I gonna have to start with describe my torture and I realize that the secrets that you may want to ask the journalist is to leave them.” That is the point which we have got. And again this was not just the US court. The Italy Constitutional Court in the only case of that in Europe has led to a prosecution and trial in relation to rendition operation… domestically. Thanks to the incredible persistence of some great Italian prosecutors and the great displeasure of successing Italian government. And that case went forward and the Italian Constitutional Court took the decision basically preventing some of the evidence from being submitted by prohibiting the prosecutor from cross examining of the stand. The Italian Secret Service Agency prohibited the prosecutor asking them about their collaboration with the CIA. And maybe of those operations, they were entirely illegal under Italian and international law. And yet the Italian court said we cannot do that.
There are some good signs. Maybe the turning ties. We are going back to normal. To the time when there were limits on secrecy and the accountability. One of those good examples is that German constitutional court, which basically I mentioned earlier… The German government had refused to provide some important information to the parliamentary inquiry. And German constitutional court decided that it was unconstitutional…It was unconstitutional for the German government to refuse providing information without even indicating why it could not provide that information. What was at stake. What really are the secrecy considerations that should reveal. And there is a similar story. I do not have time to go into detail. This is a story with a Mohammed case. And Javison’s case in which the private company has challenged the application of the state secrets doctrine.
So how can we know so much about these operations that I mentioned earlier? The ones which were conducted under higher level of classification. That is not from the courts. It is not because weak government provided those information. In fact given that level of secrecy it is almost incredible how much we know, just a few years back. Well it is about two things actually. Disgusted insiders, the people who took their soldiers and took those photos of detainees being tortured in Abugrabi in Iraq. Or CIA insiders. We talked about the enhanced interrogation techniques. There were moments for initial operations and that goes to the strength of the evidence. We had a discussion in here in a panel. These are the speculations of what happened with evidence. But the evidence is pretty compelling. It is circumstantial because there were no cameras. In those detention rooms there are no records that we can get our hands on to prove what kind of prisoners were subjected to. Even if the video there was it was probably destroyed. These are CIA operations. They are not easy to crack. And yet we know a lot, a large part because these information on front come from CIA insiders as from the first. It sounds ironic that countries that are collaborating are being more secret than the US. And there is a lot more information coming from the insiders in the CIA then from the collaborating countries themselves.
So what do we do? I am not going to focus on the facts that were not an issue. I think we have an obligation to provide truth. There is the right to truth under international law. It is universally recognized. First developed in the in the American system, in the American court. The system that used to deal with the massacres and human rights abuses. Now those kinds of violations have arrived to Europe. It is the first case that I know that my organization is stating against Macedonia in the European Court of Human Rights and application has been pending there. I believe it is the first rendition centrally, rendition related case to release transport. The Strasbourg court does not recognize the right of truth in as many words as right for truth per se. There is an obligation to conduct effective, impartial and equal investigation, usually by prosecution before it is by court. There is many serious violations of article 3 torture, article 5 serious disappearances for liberty. That is kind if truth. It is the about time that those investigations are revealed. Because there has been no reckoning in Europe. European collaboration are not all European. It was essential to the rendition program .
Why? Because these practices are illegal in the States. The kinds of activities in which the CIA was engaging cannot help in the US. That is why they needed to borrow a territory, release a piece of Poland, a piece of Romania or a piece of Lithuania to subject detainees to these kind of practices. It was… It has been called the outsourcing of torture. That is what kind of assistance that has been provided. Today only Bosnia has come up, you know meeting its cooperation with the US program full parliamentary investigation that resulting in apologizes and compensation paid. The first responsibility I believe goes to countries that provided facilities and the ability to cooperate. Actually the detention facilities to date… Poland, Romania and Lithuania are suspected, I think, with pretty compelling evidence. The second level is the countries that provided facilities for the flights landing, over flight. Includes loads of countries in Western Europe: Spain, Portugal, UK , at least suspected Scotland, Ireland. Those have not come clean. Then you have many, further long the counties who either provided intelligence to the facility in a rendition operations without asking any questions from the CIA or benefiting from intelligence that was gathered in the audition operations.
That is the case of Romania. And I am sorry to say, my view the case of Poland as well. And other countries have been going for investigations, that might be providing less that the full truth. And maybe that is the case… would be investigation of the German Parliament. I would like to finish with the final point. And to me it is particularly distressing that barely twenty years after 1989 and the fall of the Wall we are having this panel from amnesia. And things happened in our countries, including my own country of Albania that was provided some small role in the rendition program. Most likely, because it was not asked to do more. And then things happened that we thought we’ll never allow again. People picked up from the street, completely extralegal way and detained for months with no answers to the court. We are used to that. We are sort of adopted because of breaking news, CIA, because our governments were too eager to please our strategic allies. Maybe because I thought it was not much of a price will be paid in the pools at the election time. That I think we have a special moral responsibility to get to the bottom of this issue. And it is about time.