CIA cover-up leads to breach of trust charge

Government chose US interests over the Danish Commonwealth, Greenlandic MPs say

The government is being accused of double-dealing in regards to the illegal transportation of CIA prisoners over Danish airspace, including Greenland, and now a Greenlandic member of the Danish parliament says the case highlights the need for Greenland to take over foreign policy issues.

“We Greenlanders cannot continue to accept the changing views of each new foreign minister,” Lars-Emil Johansen told The Copenhagen Post. “We need more influence on our foreign policy.”

Johansen and Greenland’s other member of the Danish parliament, Juliane Henningsen, have joined the opposition by demanding an independent investigation into the government’s alleged behaviour.

“The case has created enough disagreement as it is,” Henningsen told Politiken newspaper. “So we need to know what took place and what was said.”

Greenland’s premier Kuupik Kleist, a member of Greenland’s Inuit Ataqatigiit party along with Henningsen, has arranged an extraordinary meeting with Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the prime minister, and foreign minister Lene Espersen to clarify the issue.

The case about CIA’s transportation of prisoners dates back to 2008 and has re-emerged thanks to documents recently published by WikiLeaks. The leaked reports indicate that the government was double-dealing in 2008 when it was forced to check whether the CIA had used Danish airspace for the transport of detainees, reports Politiken newspaper.

Leaked documents from the US Embassy in Copenhagen reveal that while the government promised the parliament it would ask critical questions of the US regarding the flights, James Cain, who was US ambassador in Copenhagen at the time, said that then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s government was not actually interested in investigating the alleged CIA flights.

Per Stig Møller, who was foreign minister at the time, has vehemently denied allegations that he misled parliament.

Months after the first parliamentary debate about the CIA flights, the government called on US authorities for clarification, but they received no reply.

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has refused to comment on the issue.

“I will not comment on leaked documents,” he told broadcaster TV2. “The issue has been dealt with and the former foreign minister has answered questions about it in parliament.”

Commentators have referred to this case as the biggest cover-up since the so-called Thule case in 1957, when Danish authorities indirectly gave the US permission to store atomic weapons in Greenland.