Foreign Minister must draw obvious conclusions from US misconduct

7 September 2006

Foreign Minister must draw obvious conclusions from US misconduct

Foreign Minister Ben Bot cannot simply shrug his shoulders in reaction to the United States' misconduct, which has included lying repeatedly to its NATO allies. This was SP foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel's reaction to President Bush's admission that the Americans had indeed maintained a number of prisons in secret locations in various parts of the world. Last year Mr Bot, under pressure from parliament, had asked the US government whether this was case. What has now emerged is that in response to this question, the American authorities simply lied.

Harry van Bommel"The minister's first reaction to this revelation was to say that it was 'a pity' that he had been lied to, but that it was a long way from being a real scandal,” Mr Van Bommel said. “This government is licking the American government's boots, following it through thick and thin and putting the lives of Dutch soldiers in the balance in order to help it – and yet now we hear that when we are taken for a ride by our supposed friends it's nothing worse than 'a pity'”

Van Bommel has demanded that the minister to give a full account of Dutch and European involvement. “Were we also lied to about the transport of suspects through the Netherlands? And were any European countries culpable in this affair – and have these countries also been lying?” he has asked.

"First of all we're lied to by the US regarding the weapons of mass destruction which were supposed to provide the motive for the war in Iraq. And now the allies of the American government are being taken for fools when it comes to abuses of human rights and infringements of international law governing prisoners of war. Despite all these lies the Netherlands continues to behave like a meekly subordinate employee in carrying out the Americans' war policy. It's time that our foreign policy was fundamentally revised."

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