British Prime Minister Tony Blair may still believe that his country has a “close relationship” with the US – delusions of grandeur may be a better term – but Washington’s real agenda is best expressed here with some of its closest European mates:
Nearly 60 countries signed a treaty on Tuesday that bans governments from holding people in secret detention, but the United States and some of its key European allies were not among them.
The signing capped a quarter-century of efforts by families of people who have vanished at the hands of governments.
“Our American friends were naturally invited to this ceremony; unfortunately, they weren’t able to join us,” French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters after 57 nations signed the treaty at his ministry in Paris.
“That won’t prevent them from one day signing on in New York at U.N. headquarters – and I hope they will.”
The U.S. Embassy in Paris declined immediate comment. President Bush acknowledged in September that terrorism suspects have been held in CIA-run prisons overseas, but did not specify where.
Many other Western nations, including Germany, Spain, Britain and Italy, also did not sign the treaty. France introduced the convention at the U.N. General Assembly in November and it was adopted in December.