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Fox's James Rosen blurs issue of rendition

Reported by Chrish - December 6, 2005

Reporting on The Big Story today 12/5/05, James Rosen hastened to diminish the revelation of secret CIA transports of prisoners in Europe.
First it was framed by Gibson that Condaleezza Rice was in Europe defending the US "tough tactics in the war on terror" and facing "hostile questions about reports of secret CIA prisons in Europe."

James Rosen then said Rice again refused to either confirm or deny the existence of the secret prisons. Apparently Rice and German Chancellor Angela Merkel disagree on the specifics of a conversation they had relating to Khaled Al Masri, a Lebanese-born German national who was held in Afghanistan for 5 months. He is now pursuing legal action against the US government, claiming he was tortured. Merkel's comments, through a translator, were hard to distinguish without rewinding and close attention because her voice was at the same level as that of the English translator. She said "I'm able to say that we talked about that one particular case. And that the American government, the American administration has admitted that this man has been erroneously taken and as such the American administration is not denying that a mistake has taken place." Rice replied "What I did say was that while I could not talk about the specifics of the Al Masri case, that we recognize that the Chancellor will be reviewing this in a committee of the Bundestag."
Comment: We can only imagine how well she is representing us worldwide if she comes out of a private meeting with such a divergent take on it from the other participant. This does not sound like successful diplomacy.

Back in DC, Rosen said that "the larger issue dogging Secretary Rice on this trip is the United States' actions in the transport abroad, or rendition, of men captured in remote theaters of battle like Afghanistan. More than half a dozen European investigations are currently probing this practice. Sec'y Rice keeps repeating that the US is respecting the sovereignity of its allies and living up to both US and international laws."

They then went to a clip of Rice speaking with a reporter at sister-station Sky News about "the kinds of men who have been subject to rendition".

Rice: "CIA Director Goss has made it clear that we do indeed engage in getting intelligence from a small number of extremely dangerous extremely high-ranking Al Queda detainees. these are people who plotted September 11th (with a smile), who we know to be making other plots against civilians..."

Comment: Rosen tries to imply that the prisoners were captured in a distant land and were merely flown to a detention facility. According to Wikipedia.com:

The CIA was granted permission to use rendition in a presidential directive that dates to the Clinton administration, although very few uses were documented during that time. The practice has grown sharply since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and now includes a form where suspects are taken into US custody but delivered to a third-party state, often without ever being on American soil. Because such cases do not involve the rendering country's judiciary, they have been termed extraordinary rendition.

Human rights groups charge that extraordinary rendition is a violation of the United Nations Convention on Torture, because suspects are taken to countries where torture during interrogation remains legal, thus circumventing the protections the captives would enjoy in the United States or other nations in the West. Its legality remains highly controversial, as the United States outlaws the use of torture, and the U.S. Constitution guarantees due process. Rendered suspects are denied due process because they are arrested without charges and deprived of legal counsel.

Secretary Rice appears to be less than forthright when she says this practice conforms to US laws. FOX complies by softening the definintion for viewers to the point that it appears ridiculous to oppose it.

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