Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-12-14-Speech-3-143"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, unlike Minister Alexander, who is very young and very enthusiastic, this Parliament is not at all happy with the statements made by Condoleezza Rice – neither with what she said nor, above all, with what she chose not to say. There is no anti-American feeling in this; let us just say that the balance between security and liberty, between human rights and the fight against terrorism, has been tipped away from the side of human rights. This Parliament is no longer content with the solemn assurances made by the governments involved. History is full of lies told equally solemnly by those very same governments, and the Iraqi chemical weapons affair is a reminder of that. At the moment, says the Commission, there is no proof. We have to reach an agreement on what we mean by proof. Do we mean a public admission by a prime minister appearing on television and saying, ‘Yes, it is true: I have allowed secret prisons run by US secret service agents to operate in my country, and torture has been used in them’? I think it would be difficult to expect that kind of proof. Mr President, we believe that the statements by Condoleezza Rice – who claims that many human lives in Europe have been saved because of preventive actions by the CIA – are more than an admission of guilt. I should also like to mention that we consider the need for proof sacrosanct only for governments, but sometimes forget about it in the case of citizens, who are quickly transformed from suspects into terrorists without the necessary legal guarantees. We have many good reasons to call for a committee of inquiry to be set up, not in order to make accusations but to seek the truth. We appreciate the firmness shown by Commissioner Frattini and endorse his support for the work done by the Council of Europe, but we cannot delegate our responsibility for political vigilance and our duty to ascertain the truth to any other institutional body: it is our job and our responsibility."@en1

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