Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Italian Job

This morning NPR's Steve Inskeep covers the story of the CIA 's kidnapping and rendition of Mostafa Hassan Nasr Osama (Abu Omar) from the streets of Milan on February 17, 2003. (See these older pieces for basic information: Newsweek or the Washington Post. ) This suspected terrorist was living in Milan, Italy at the time and was under close surveillance by Italian intelligence (NPR's Sylvia Poggioli provided good factual information on this story when it broke back in March 2005).
Today's piece highlights TWO significant problems with current NPR coverage of the "war on terror." First, Inskeep states that rendition is "the secret seizure and transfer of international terrorism suspects." That's it. Not one word about torture. Second, there is no discussion of how damaging the US kidnapping was to real security in this case. If you go back and listen to the Poggioli report above or her later one on June 30, 2005 you learn that valuable anti-terrorism intelligence was being gathered by the Italians from their surveillance of Abu Omar, and that the US kidnapping terminated this valuable source of information (a source which was leading to other cells in Europe). Given that he offered such rich information while being surveilled, any credible journalist would question why the US was so keen on kidnapping this man and sending him off to Egypt to be tortured, but to ask this might call into question other agendas behind the Bush/US "war on terror" and so the issue is not even raised.

No comments: