Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Road To Guantánamo Passed Through Spain

I have written previously about the ongoing investigation into the CIA use of Spanish airports for clandestine transportation of prisoners. Last week the Spanish government agreed to release intelligence reports to the judge concerning these flights, although there is little sign that very much intelligence effort had gone into investigating what has been going on. The government here has not demonstrated much interest in the affair, and clearly wishes the issue would just disappear.

The press revealed a few days ago that there were other airports used for flights to Guantánamo by US planes, including some from bases that are subject to joint use between the two countries, and supposedly covered by an agreement that forbids the US for using them for any purpose that the Spanish government might object to. Further revelations followed, it seems that when José Maria Aznar was still prime minister (before 2004), a team of Spanish police officers were sent to the prison camp to interrogate prisoners. These were not Spanish prisoners, and the team were not sent at the request of any judge investigating offences committed in Spain.

When questioned about this visit, all of the current leadership of the Partido Popular (PP) seem to have suffered a collective attack of amnesia. None of them can remember anything about the issue, including those who had responsibility for the police at the time. PP (deputy) leader Mariano Rajoy, vice president of the government at the time, has claimed that it is all such a long time ago that it cannot possibly be of interest to anyone - he is obviously too busy with other things to notice the continuing war in Iraq.

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