U.S. Secret Detention Prisons May Burgeon Further Anti-American Sentiment
According to the article:
"A month ago, a Polish whistle-blower alleged that a document existed which allowed the setting up of the prison – including procedures to adopt in the event of an inmate's death. It was said to have been signed by the head of Polish intelligence.
"According to the leak, American officials 'laughed' and refused to sign the document. 'They considered us amateurs and explained that this kind of business could not be dealt with by means of formal agreements,' the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported."
Polish officials have refused to confirm or deny the existence of the agreement, citing official secrets laws, as part of a four-year investigation into the jail.
However, in a decision praised by civil rights lawyers, the court has asked the Polish government to confirm the existence of the agreement and "if that document exists...to supply a copy." Both Poland and the U.S. have fought to keep operational details of the camp secret.
The court's demand was made after U.S. civil rights lawyers filed a compensation claim at the court in Strasbourg on behalf of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, the man accused of masterminding the October 2000 suicide bomb attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors.
It appears that the United States is slowly coming under fire for its secret prisons (yet again). For quite some time, Europe has been regarded as a safe haven of secret detention facilities, where, is has been said, torture and other intensive interrogations are performed.
The United States' position seems to be that torture is at times necessary, but that torture should be performed 'selectively' on certain individuals to extract information, not on groups of people as a means of social control.
While there is a huge ethical debate surrounding the use of torture, there is an even greater debate surrounding the use of mass torture with very little justification. Yet, given the probable existence of these "secret prisons," it seems that is exactly what the United States is doing. Here in the United States, we citizens openly commend our first amendment right. However, the black jails overseas not only violate, but also annihilate human rights.
Since the United States is the most powerful nation in the world, it is often said that the country must work to protect the people of the world from violations of human rights, including torture. Ironically, the U.S. adopts a goal of thwarting terrorist activity while negating those same human rights overseas in the use of torture to achieve that goal. This hypocritical activity may in fact be preventing more damage to the West, but the practice of torture completely eliminates any claim the U.S. may have to standing on a high moral ground, and to upholding its own values of justice and democracy for others.
On an even more cynical note, it is not expected that the U.S. or Poland will comply with the demand for information regarding this "secret prison," due to the sensitive nature of such information. However, with the news of this and other "black jails" featured in the news once again, courtesy of whistleblowing, it is quite possible that anti-American sentiment overseas will grow.
Reach Contributor Naina Sethi here.