European watchdog calls for clampdown on CIA
· UK is urged to take lead in monitoring agents
· Scathing attack on Bush, 'the King John of USA'
Nicholas Watt in Brussels and Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Friday September 8, 2006
The head of Europe's human rights watchdog yesterday called for monitoring of CIA agents operating in Britain and other European countries, after President George Bush's admission that the US had detained terrorist suspects in secret prisons.
Terry Davis, secretary general of the Council of Europe, said CIA agents operating in Europe should be subject to the same rules as British agents working for MI5 and MI6.
"There is a need to deal with the conduct of allied foreign security services agents active on the territory of a council member state," Terry Davis said. "In the UK there is parliamentary scrutiny of the intelligence services but there is no parliamentary scrutiny of friendly foreign services. The UK should be in the lead on this issue."
As part of this process, diplomatic immunity should be reviewed. "Immunity should not mean impunity," he said...
The former British Labour MP was scathing about President Bush. "Why does the US need to keep people in secret prisons? I thought that was settled by Magna Carta. But King John is alive and well and running the USA.
"There is a smoking gun. We know where it is - it is in the hands of George Bush. His fingerprints are on the gun."
...Rene van der Linden, president of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly, said: "Our work has helped to flush out the dirty nature of this secret war which, we learn at last, has been carried out completely beyond any legal framework.
"Kidnapping people and torturing them in secret, however tempting the short-term gain may appear to be, is what criminals do, not democratic governments. In the long term, such practices create more terrorists and undermine the values we are fighting for."
John of England was arguably one of its worst Kings. This is the same Prince John from the old Robin Hood stories, who had King Richard thrown into prison while off at the Crusades by the Pope. Richard returned, forgave him, and was usurped afterwards by John, who became King. He was so bad the nobility rose to a man to oppose him, and made him turn over much power (on paper) by signing the Magna Carta.
Known for ruthlessness and incompetance, he was likely poisoned to death.
Incidently, he was an ancestor of the Bush family.