The full extent of European collusion with the CIA during operations to abduct terrorism suspects and fly them to countries where they may be tortured is laid bare today by the continent's most authoritative human rights body.So there we have it. The US and several European nations have conspired together in a massive violation of everything that Western civilisation holds sacred. Only the wingnuts at the back of the class will fail to realise that the concepts of the universality of humanity, due process, habeas corpus, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and an abhorrence for torture are basic building blocks of everything we are supposed to be defending from those who "hate our freedoms". They are, in fact, the very freedoms that we are told the enemy hate so much. To simply sideline them then lie about it - no matter the cause - makes a mockery of the War on Terror and makes our elected leaders into lying criminals who should be held accountable at a Nuremberg style international trial not just some local nation-specific impeachment.
Several states have allowed the agency to snatch their own residents, others have offered extensive logistical support, while many have turned a blind eye, according to the Council of Europe.
The UK stands accused of not only allowing the use of British airspace and airports, but of providing information that was used during the torture of one suspect. The report adds that there is strong evidence to suspect two European states, Poland and Romania, of permitting the CIA to operate secret prisons on their soil, despite official denials.
The report follows an investigation by Dick Marty, chairman of the Council's legal affairs and human rights committee. It has been obtained by the Guardian ahead of its publication in Paris today. Mr Marty says that far from being hoodwinked by a "CIA plot", 14 European states were fully aware of much of what was going on. "It is now clear - although we are still far from having established the whole truth - that authorities in several European countries actively participated with the CIA in these unlawful activities. Other countries ignored them knowingly, or did not want to know."
Although Mr Marty concludes that the US must bear responsibility for the extraordinary rendition, he says the programme could operate only with "the intentional or grossly negligent collusion of the European partners".
Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it is truly how I feel.