Trading Black Sites for NATO Membership: Eastern Europe’s Role in the US Torture Program

Adam Hudson | Truthout | December 1, 2015

At the beginning of his first term, President Obama told the public to “look forward, as opposed to looking backwards,” on the subject of the CIA torture program. However, many refused to take heed – and they are still pushing for answers. In October, human rights lawyers and activists testified at the European Parliament, arguing that the European Union has not done enough to investigate Europe’s role in the CIA detention, rendition and torture program.

After the US Senate Select Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA torture program in 2014 – declassifying more than 500 pages of a 6,000-page document, meaning that the majority is still classified – the European Parliament issued a resolution on it last February that welcomed the Senate report, condemned the CIA’s torture program and called on the US and European Union member states to investigate the abuses and prosecute the perpetrators. However, in terms of real accountability, little has been done.

“If EU actors had refused to get involved, as happened in some member states, then perhaps these egregious human rights abuses would not have happened,” Elspeth Guild of the Center for European Policy Studies told members of the European Parliament. Guild blamed “state secret doctrines” and a lack of independence for blocking an “effective investigation” into the issue.

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