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Wednesday, 14 December 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Presumed use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners

  Philip Claeys (NI). (NL) Mr President, Commissioner Frattini’s reaction to the reports that the CIA is secretly transporting and interrogating terror suspects in Europe was prompt, dynamic and forceful. If the European Union were to respond with the same measure of energy, force and speed against terrorism itself as it does to the alleged CIA flights, we would certainly be on the right track.

It is, of course, true that the fight against terrorism must be waged within the bounds set by the law, but the European Union has a credibility problem. We are always prepared to observe a minute’s silence for the victims of terrorist attacks such as those in Madrid and London, and even those of 11 September in New York and Washington, but, when it comes to taking measures and taking action which must help prevent such terrorist attacks in future, we fail to deliver, being primarily interested in safeguarding the rights of the terror suspects. It follows that this European Parliament’s selective indignation is misplaced.

If the European Union were able to point to just one specific success in the fight against terrorism, the series of imputations against the United States might yet be acceptable, but it cannot. Maybe we ought to stop teaching other people lessons in morality, now that it is, for example, apparent that the Council, further to the Palestinian parliamentary elections, will be establishing official contacts with organisations such as Hamas, and Hezbollah, the former of which – let it be noted – is on the EU list of terrorist organisations!

This hypocrisy should stop as a matter of urgency and the legal framework in which the fight against terrorism must be carried out must be tailored to today’s needs.

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