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Political Stake in the CIA Scandal

Autor: Radu Tudor 25 Noi 2005 - 00:00
Political Stake in the CIA Scandal

In an interview for Jurnalul National, the former Minister of Defense, Ioan Mircea Pascu, denies categorically the presence of any sort of CIA detention centres on the Romanian territory. He believes that the great amount of information regarding this issue is based on the internal political competition in the USA.

Jurnalul National: Mr. Ioan Mircea Pascu, as a former Minister of Defense, please tell us about your position towards the CIA flights with prisoners, the ones that the entire USA talks so much about.
Ioan Mircea Pascu: Thank you for letting me express my real opinion in the press. During the past days, my name was mentioned together with this issue. I said from the very beginning that there have never been any SCCD (the Supreme Council for the Country Defense) meetings. Like the two Secret Services showed, there have never been such centres on the Romanian territory. I am not questioning the statement of the "Mihail Kogalniceanu" Airport Commander, according to which no planes with the mentioned sign have landed there. Moreover, the Minister of National Defense confirmed it. I even talked in the plenum of the European Parliament denying the information in the entire international press.

There are people who understood that your further comments questioned the denial of the Romanian authorities. What is the truth?
Unfortunately, me wanting to talk in detail about this issue has been exploited in another direction. The press took only parts of what I said and this gave the false impression that I would doubt the denial of the Romanian authorities. No one mentioned my support regarding the position of the Romanian authorities because the journalists took it as … irrelevant. There were others that said I visited the "Kogalniceanu" Airport after the American troops left and that a certain sector of the airport had been totally forbidden for the Romanian authorities. This made some people understand that the respective restricted area meant in fact that the Romanian authorities were not allowed in there. This is untrue!

Have you done anything to correct these misunderstandings?
Yes, even though being alone and not having any support from any institution means a hard swim against the stream. And if you are not in the country, it is even harder. However, I managed to publish an article, in which I state loud and clear that I associate myself with the statements of the Romanian authorities. I am afraid I am not going to be as successful for the other matter. Some foreign journalists have already asked for my real opinion about these facts and I could clear some of the fog covering my statements that have already started a scandal.

What do you think is the meaning of the entire story?
Personally, I believe that the entire story cannot be apart from the fact that the USA are facing a severe internal political competition. The reason for the competition is the fact that Poland is yet to secure her place in the EU, Romania is to become full member and, moreover, is about to sign a treaty according to which the "Kogalniceanu" airport itself would be included in the infrastructure used by the USA in the fight against terrorism.


The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council (PAEC), Rene van der Linden, has asked yesterday the Parliament of Romania to investigate the accusations regarding the existence of some secret CIA detention centres in Romania hand in hand with the European Council and other international organizations. In a statement for the Senate and the Deputies’ Chamber, the PAEC President emphasized the necessity for Romania to make efforts to find the truth and stated that this matter regards directly the violation of the human rights. Van der Linden added that he waited for the recommendations of the PAEC observer in order to evaluate the necessity for the Romanian Parliament to begin an investigation of this matter, even though the Romanian authorities are the only ones to take such a decision.

The Commission for Juridical Bussiness of PAEC designated its President, Dick Marty, as the observer for the investigation of the statements in the American press, as well as the ones of the Human Rights Watch regarding the existence of several CIA detention centres in more European countries, including Romania. The European Council has announced on Wednesday the initiation of the official investigation, and set a deadline for the governments of the countries suspected of having had anything to do with the scandal to begin the cooperation: the 21st of February 2006. (Monica Iordache)

Translation by Sorin Balan
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