Posted by gaianarchaos on January 13, 2011 · Leave a Comment (Edit)
An attorney representing two Swedish women who brought sexual assault charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was investigated following revelations that during his time in the Swedish government, his administration helped facilitate extraordinary renditions that allegedly resulted in two terrorism suspects being tortured in Egypt.
The US policy of extraordinary rendition, or kidnapping terrorism suspects from foreign countries and transporting them to locations where torture is permitted, was a hotly contested issue during the administration of President George W. Bush — and it wasn't just Americans who were outraged by the practice.
A Swedish investigation in 2009 ended up referring former justice minister Thomas Bodström, who now resides in the US, and former prime minister Göran Persson, to a constitutional committee looking into the expulsion of two terrorism suspects at the outset of America's terror war in 2001.
Bodström insisted then and maintains today that he was unaware of CIA involvement in the deportation of Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed Alzery to Egypt. Sweden's former foreign minister, Anna Lindh, was pegged as the official who ultimately made the decision.
Lindh, who ardently opposed the invasion of Iraq and sought to rally the United Nations against America's determined course of action, was assassinated in 2003 by a 25-year-old Serbian man with a history of violent behavior who'd claimed he heard voices in his head.
Lindh's former press secretary, Eva Franchell, released a book at the start of 2009 titled "Väninnan: Rapport från Rosenbad" ("Girlfriend: An Account from Rosenbad") that addressed the rhetorical minefield that is politics and media relations.
A small portion of the book, however, suggested that her former boss did not act alone in approving Sweden's cooperation with America's rendition program — and that her politics were actually profoundly changed by the experience.
Franchell said that Swedish security services helped facilitate the renditions: a detail later confirmed by Bodström, who said he learned of CIA involvement from the country's security chief on Jan. 7, 2002. He admitted to being aware of terrorism suspicions surrounding the two men before the government began preparing their deportations, which took place on Dec. 18, 2001.
It was later revealed that Göran Persson, the former prime minister who served with Bodström, knew full well that the CIA was involved with the flights. The Swedish defense forces even conducted surveillance operations on the flights, according to the Swedish newspaper Expressen, finding the aircraft were full of shackled and hooded prisoners.
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