Here's an interesting little peek behind the curtain of international politics surrounding the Bush-era kidnappings and torture of Europeans. Wikileaks published NSA intercepts of communications from the German Foreign Minister Steinmeier during a 2005 visit to the US to meet with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Just prior to that visit, media reports were beginning to leak out that the US was performing "extraordinary renditions" and "enhanced interrogation techniques" on European citizens with the implicit cooperation of their governments. Of course with little hard evidence at the time, they could publicly weasel and waffle their way out of acknowledged complicity. The intercepts indicate that at least in Steinmeier's case, he wanted nothing to do with exposing or stopping illegal US behavior.
- According to the intercept, Steinmeier "seemed relieved that he had not received any definitive response from the U.S. Secretary of State regarding press reports of CIA flights through Germany to secret prisons in eastern Europe allegedly used for interrogating terrorism suspects."
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, said: "Today's publication indicates that the NSA has been used to help the CIA kidnap and torture with impunity. For years the CIA was systematically abducting and torturing people, with the tacit complicity of European governments. In 2005 German Foreign Minister Steinmeier was thrilled that his tactic of asking Condoleezza Rice no hard questions about CIA renditions had worked. The US said nothing that would require him to do anything. And how do we know about it? Because the National Security Agency was gloating to the US senior executive about intercepting this cowardly display. Nobody comes out of this looking good."