Guantánamo Bay head unsuitable to be new NATO boss

12 July 2006

Guantánamo Bay head unsuitable to be new NATO boss

SP Member of Parliament and foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel has described as "unacceptable" the appointment of Brantz Craddock to take over this summer as commanding officer of NATO troops in Europe. Craddock was until recently head of the US military in Latin America and thus bore ultimate responsibility for the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay.

Harry van BommelCommenting on the appointment, Mr Van Bommel said: “I want foreign minister Ben Bot to explain why this man has been chosen to head NATO forces in Europe, when he was the one who proudly led members of the United States Congress around the illegal prison camp at Guantánamo.”

According to reports in the American press, the new NATO boss personally ensured that a critical report on General Miller, a highly-placed American soldier who was responsible for torture in the Abu Graib prison camp, was swept under the carpet. Miller, who later described the suicide of three Guantánamo detainees as "an act of war against us", went unpunished.

Craddock recently stated that the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay were treated humanely, despite calls from United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan and the UN Commission Against Torture for the prison camp to be closed. The United States Supreme Court has also recently issued a judgement which states that Bush should not ignore the law, or international treaties to which the US is party. .

“Why have European countries criticised the breaking of the Geneva Conventions in Guantánamo, and then done nothing to prevent this appointment of one of those most responsible? Didn't the Netherlands express regret and disapproval of the treatment of the Guantánamo detainees? Then why was such a person appointed? Mr Bot must object immediately to Craddock's appointment, or this expression of disapproval will be shown to have been an empty gesture."

You are here