During WW II, Switzerland's neutrality served the Third Reich well in servicing their heavy need for advanced financial services while Sweden's neutrality provided a most excellent supply of desperately needed raw materials to the Reich's arms industry. Of course this is not the whole picture but a significant part of it.
Sweden's official position during the Cold War was one of non-alliance in peace and neutrality in war. In reality, a kabal within the Swedish government had for better or worse secretly allied Sweden with the U.S. and Nato. The Soviets knew this and the U.S. knew this and everyone´s planning was based on this reality. The only suckers who never knew this were the Swedish populace and their opiners as they proudly defended the wisdom of the official policy in debate after chest thumping debate.
Now good and honest blue eyed folk in Sweden are clamoring for explanations from their elected officials about the plethora of reports of secret CIA flights in and out of the country and their government is feigning indignation (albeit noteworthy in its mildness) and ignorance over these torture shuttles in as much as they've touched down on sovereign Swedish soil. In good show, official-ish reports are conjured up that attempt to ameliorate and align public opinion to the official position of governmental non-involvement in the American system of pan-global rendition. Cute! Just like old times. A phrase I learned in Sweden comes to mind: Same, Same - but different. Geez, I wonder if the terrorists have learned to spell B-L-O-W-B-A-C-K in Swedish yet. You think?
When Condoleeza Rice was faced with the clear allegation that the U.S. is running black sites where people are tortured in Europe and that the U.S. is rendering people in and out of Europe to torture sites all over the world she never denied it. Rice just responded to the Eurotruant indignants with, "it is up to those governments and their citizens to decide if they wish to work with us to prevent terrorist attacks against their own country or other countries." Just because of a few pesky reports out of the Washington Post and Human Rights Watch that have surfaced, Europe's eaters are clamoring and asking their governments what the heck is going on. Rice is now just dutifully reminding every implicated European government figure on the take in this noble snatch and grab business that they went along with this policy once upon a time and that this ain't the time to pee their pants, pander to the electorate, and pull out.
To be perfectly clear, what she's saying to these faux-righteous European leaders that dare cower to the concerns of their incensed electorate is that their countries are already onboard this Gulag-Nouveaux program and they know it so hush the fuck up and sit back down.
Various European government reps including Sweden´s knowingly signed onto this program a good while back. Sure, some deadbeats in respective governments were never made aware about any of these cloak and dagger goodies but that's just playing it by the book. But most certainly each of the 'affected' countries´ intelligence agencies knew exactly what was going on and had the blessings of the few government insiders who were both privy and signatories to the activities.
The moveable feast of the Gulag System is now out of the bag and very public and the U.S. doesn´t bother to deny its existence in the present surreal climate where white is black and state sponsored international kidnapping and torture is termed a cool and mild mannered rendition. Condoleeza Rice just says to the European countries aiding and abetting in the system - like Germany (300+ renditions), the UK (200+), and Sweden (secret numbers as always) - and are insolent enough to now! raise questions about it to shut the fuck up if they want to continue sharing intelligence - cause in any case, "we have the goods on you,... boyz!"
Just recently it's become clear that there were until a few weeks ago secret CIA black sites in the new EU member state Poland (good work Poland!) and Romania (anyone surprised?) where the CIA took people all the while they flew hundreds of flights in to, out of, and turbulence-free through Europe ferrying people to their proprietary secret interrogation sites as well as rendering them to far flung hell holes all over this blue world of ours (I mean of course ours as in the U S of reigning A).
Diana Priest's article in the Washington Post describes how squads of 6 CIA agents dressed in black with masked faces walk up to their rendition targets on the streets in their countries of residence, capture them, cut off their clothes, give them an enema, suit them in diapers, and tie them to the floor of planes that deliver them to destinations in the Gulag network. We don´t know what the CIA sites were like in Poland and Romania and now that Rice is visiting these countries and the EU is all hissy about it, these sites have been quickly shut down and moved to North Africa so the heads of these countries can claim they have no such sites. Again, cute!
To be sure there were also renditions before George W. Bush took office - often in cases when the person was indicted in one country but to where they couldn´t be enticed. However after 911 there was established what has grown to be a 1200 man strong center in the basement of the CIA whose sole purpose is to seize people from anywhere in the world and take them to CIA black sites or to countries that allow torture. Estimates to date are that approx 3000 people have been picked up and transported around in the Gulag system .
Pinochets Operation Condor was a system for picking up people all around South America and transporting them to Chilean torture cells for...yeah, rigtheous torture and sanctifying murder. This is still condsidered one of that fouler components of the Argentine/Chilean dictatorships. So Swedes, what's the difference between the full scope of what you de facto are involved in here and Pinochet's Operation Condor other than that this is perhaps for an even nobler cause?
Many commoners in Sweden are upset that such flights have breached sovereign Swedish territorial boundaries. What might then be even more upsetting to these debutantes of reality will be the realization that their government has actively participated in this game of musical torture chairs. A claim however that their own government hasn´t protected their borders, air space, or own citizens from kidnappings on their orderly streets by foreign rendition teams would be rather mute upon learning of the tacit agreements between their government and the U.S. in these matters. As Condoleeza said in her admonishing oratorical tidbit at Andrews Airforce base last week, "The United States has respected - and will continue to respect - the sovereignty of other countries". And at least in the case of Sweden, she was probably dead on the money.
In other less compliant places however, an Italian magistrate has now indicted 22 CIA officials for kidnapping an Egyptian man off the street and rendering him to Egypt. I don't see that happening any time soon in Sweden. It's just not their style. Hell, the Swedish Air Force isn´t even allowed to fire their American missiles for target practice without written permission and inspection from us! The Swedes live by the same saying I meticulously adhere to when tenderly stirring my tasty meatball tomato sauce - Don't make fucking waves!
And you just gotta know I hate to be the one that querries so but where is the major media in Sweden on the grand picture of Sweden's covert yet diligent involvement in the so-called War on Terror in their capacity as a taciturn eager-beaver-module plugged directly into the U.S. efforts? Could it be that they've all been media-mapped and managed into blind-eyed submission or are there just that many celebrity orgasms to write about?