A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Guantanamo in Poland?

The internet is ablaze with discussion of Human Rights Watch's accusation that Poland is holding a secret CIA detention center for Al-Qaeda suspects. The UK's Independent goes so far as to call the center a "gulag" though there is little evidence that it is anything more than a holding facility.

Whatever it is, it's sure to tick off the EU, which is already up in arms over Poland's new President's views on gay rights.

The question is whether this really matters, or if it surprises anyone. Certainly going around saying that Poland is hosting US-run gulags is enough to get anyone riled up, but few of the facts are really known. The original Washington Post report only referenced "several Eastern European democracies" - which have since been widely leaked as including Poland and Romania. However, the accusations HRW makes are solely based on military flight records, though the WaPo insists unidentified officials in high places confirm the story. Still, a stopover in Poland is hardly cause to believe torture is afoot.

So while this will cause further tensions with the EU, it seems doubtful that it will spark a crisis. The importance Poland puts on its strategic relationship with the US is well-known. Taking that into consideration, the idea that the US military may be transporting prisoners here is far from shocking.

However, this does reveal yet another risk that Poland is taking to maintain its "strategic relationship" with the US. Poland has been taking a lot of risks like that lately (supporting the War in Iraq, buying American military and civilian aircraft instead of European ones), for which it has received little in return.

The beatroot has more.


Blogger beatroot said...

Guantánamo Bay in Poland? It's a lateral transfer!!!

11/03/2005 01:27:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

Cuba, Poland - both are just as outside of US law - not that Bush cares anyway.

11/03/2005 07:13:00 PM  

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