17 April 2007

The Price of Secrecy

Members of the European Parliament told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday that CIA tactics for spiriting away terrorism suspects are illegal.

The parliamentarians' briefing for House members concerned CIA renditions, the practice of grabbing terror suspects in one country and delivering them to another country for questioning.

The briefing came the same day it was disclosed that CIA Director Michael Hayden had privately complained to European diplomats last month that a European Parliament report written by a member of the delegation had exaggerated the extent of the renditions.

It takes real chutzpah to complain that the E.U. has "the extent of the renditions" wrong, when the C.I.A. conducts them in absolute secrecy, won't provide any information of its own to third parties, and won't even cooperate with foreign intelligence agencies of our most loyal allies in this matter.

This kind of secrecy in the "war on terrorism" destroys our international diplomatic clout. It is a form of self-administered poison weaking our national security.

No comments: