Individually, the new "dots" supplied by revelations about the Iraq war in James Risen's State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration are not very surprising. Collectively, though, they provide valuable insight into the peculiar way in which President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair prepared to launch an unprovoked war - shades of Germany and Quisling Austria two generations ago. Needed: power-intoxicated leaders, court functionaries to serve them, and obedient military leaders able to subordinate conscience to career requirements.
Risen's book throws new light on just how Bush and Blair led their countries into war. It is a case study of the pitfalls in marginalizing foreign policy bureaucracies in favor of sycophants one level down. That part of his book is as revealing as Risen's now-famous disclosures of illegal eavesdropping on Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA). Cumulatively, the "dots" furnished by Risen illuminate US-UK plotting and planning in 2002 - a year that will live in infamy.
Burgdorf, Switzerland - A Swiss investigator said on Friday European governments had been complicit in illegal CIA activities in the "war on terror," after reports that the Americans ran secret prisons in Europe.
Swiss senator Dick Marty, investigating the allegations for the 46-nation rights group Council of Europe, said he was personally convinced of the existence of the detention centers but had yet to come up with concrete proof.
"It's not possible to transport people from one place to another in such a manner without the secret services knowing about it," he said. "What was shocking was the passivity with which we all, in Europe, have welcomed these things."
Marty is to present a preliminary report to the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe on January 23 over reports the Americans ran centers in eastern Europe where suspects where interrogated, tortured or transported to other countries in a process Washington calls "rendition."
"Europeans should be less hypocritical and not turn a blind eye," he said at a news briefing. "There are those who do the dirty work abroad but there are also those who know when they should close their eyes when that dirty work is being done."