Daily Archives: March 3, 2006


Invest in a TESSA

The Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger still tries to defend his personal friend Tessa Jowell. From today’s Guardian Leader:

“Ms Jowell has been acquitted by a questionable procedure. That does not make her guilty; a less questionable procedure would very likely acquit her too.”

Oh yes. A genuinely independent judge would have no difficulty believing that her husband did not tell her for four years that he received a $600,000 gift, or that she saw nothing to indicate the mortgage had been paid off. Or that when she then remortgaged the same house again – twice – it did not occur to her that this would not be a problem if, as she claims, she believed the first mortgage had not been paid off.

Let me rephrase my “Does anyone believe her?” question. Does anyone believe her except Alan Rusbridger and Michael White? We all wait for Polly Toynbee’s article entitled “Money laundering is OK if you have a peg on your nose.”

(I suppose I ought to explain that. At the last general election, Polly Toynbee’s Guardian column urged voters to vote New Labour but to show their disapproval of the illegal war on Iraq by wearing a peg on their nose while they did it.)

Craig

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Italy and Poland still under suspicion over CIA ‘Secret prison’

By Daniel Dombey in the Financial Times

Italy and Poland have failed to dispel suspicions that they have broken European law by colluding with the US over “secret prisons” and extra-legal abductions, the 46-nation Council of Europe said yesterday.

The human rights watchdog said the two countries had failed to give clear answers to questions about their possible involvement in illegal activities by foreign intelligence agencies. Council of Europe member states are legally bound to respond to such inquiries.

“I would have expected both of them to use the opportunity to clear the air,” said Terry Davis, Council of Europe secretary-general.

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U.S.-Italian relations “on the line” in Italian CIA extradition case

From Forbes.com

Italy’s justice minister accused prosecutors Thursday of pressuring him to request the extradition of purported CIA operatives accused of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric on a Milan street in 2003.

The prosecutors have accused 22 Americans of kidnapping the cleric, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, a terrorist suspect also known as Abu Omar. They contend he was snatched by the CIA and spirited away to a U.S.-Italian air base, flown to Germany and then to Egypt, where he says he was tortured.

The operation is believed to be part of the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” strategy to transfer terrorism suspects to third countries where some allegedly are subject to torture.

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