WASHINGTON – During her trip to Europe this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will tell allies the U.S. does not transport suspected terrorists around the globe to be tortured, the president's national security adviser said Sunday.
European governments have expressed outrage over reports of secret CIA prisons where terrorism detainees may have been mistreated. The Bush administration has refused to address the question of whether it operated secret sites that may be illegal under European law.
Stephen Hadley said that Rice, who has pledged a response to the European Union on the issue, will address the matter "in a comprehensive way" while in Europe.
"One of the things she will be saying is, 'Look, we are all threatened by terror. We need to cooperate in its solution,"' Hadley said on "FOX News Sunday."
"As part of that cooperation for our part, we comply with U.S. law. We respect the sovereignty of the countries with which we deal. And we do not move people around the world so that they can be tortured," the White House adviser said.
More than a half-dozen investigations are under way into whether European countries may have hosted secret U.S.-run prisons, and whether European airports and airspace were used for CIA flights in which prisoners were tortured or transported to countries where torture is practiced.
Rice has pledged to discuss the issue publicly before her departure early Monday for a trip to European capitals. Her itinerary includes Romania, one country identified by the advocacy group Human Rights Watch as a likely prison site. Romania has denied it.
The existence of prisons first reported a month ago by The Washington Post.