Watching Condi Overplay The Rendition Flights Issue
We have all been reading over the last several days how Condi was going on the offensive to browbeat our allies over their newfound concern for our terror prisons in their backyards and the use of their airspace for our rendition flights. In typical Bush macho fashion, the White House decided the best way to deal with allies who were going wobbly on the issue of rendition flights in their airspace was to embarrass them in front of their home constituencies by reminding them that they have been willing supporters of this policy since 9/11, and that they need the CIA to continue these illegal activities to keep they themselves safe. Of course, it strains credulity for any other country to think that the CIA protects them from anything or has any kind of trustworthiness; just ask the Italians.
So here we have Condi, getting ready to display her latest “See how big my balls are” routine Tuesday when she will challenge our allies and humiliate them, giving no quarter and using the weasel Wilkinson to spread her image building at the expense of our allies. But in typical Bush fashion, in her efforts to show the Europeans who is the boss, she is about to let a genie out of the bottle that the White House cannot control. First, in the UK, her efforts are about to embarrass and undermine the Blair government, which is now being forced to admit publicly their knowledge and level of support for the renditions and the use of British airspace, a revelation that will seriously harm not only Tony Blair but will also cut off further use of British airspace for these flights.
Then there is the case of Germany, whose new chancellor was anticipating developing a warm relationship with Bush, only to see Condi overplay this issue now amidst the revelation that the Germans had over 400 rendition flights through their airspace since 9/11, again a revelation that will lead to a humiliation of the new government and a termination of any future flights.
Then there is the issue of those East European terror prisons that were reported by the Washington Post last month in Poland and Romania. Amidst the heat created by Condi’s “don’t f*ck with me” approach, these prisons have suddenly been closed down before Condi's visit, and the host countries find themselves wishing that they could crawl under a rock.
Yep, Condi will get her moment to display her spike-heel boots tomorrow and kick a little European ass around, to satisfy her need for attention and constant approval as one of the boys. And in the process, the Bush Administration may find that it will lose several more allies and its rendition program all at the same time, when a little quieter approach to the criticism would have been the smart play.