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Viewing cable 06LISBON2365, PORTUGUESE FM OFFERS TO RESIGN IF CIA FLIGHT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06LISBON2365 2006-10-20 16:04 2010-12-15 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Lisbon
VZCZCXYZ0020
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLI #2365/01 2931652
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 201652Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5279
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T LISBON 002365 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 
NOFORN 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/19/2026 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS PO
SUBJECT: PORTUGUESE FM OFFERS TO RESIGN IF CIA FLIGHT 
ALLEGATIONS PROVE TRUE 

REF: A. 2005 LISBON 1609 
B. LISBON 1921 
C. OCTOBER 12 DVC (WITH DOS DOD AND EMBASSY LISBON) 

Classified By: POL CHIEF TROY FITRELL, REASONS 1.4 (B,D) 

1. (S/NF) Summary: Portugal's Foreign Minister offered to 
resign if opposition forces can demonstrate any complicity on 
the part of the government regarding alleged illegal CIA 
rendition flights through Portuguese territory. While a 
government investigation has refuted these allegations, the 
saga continues due to continued opposition party and European 
Parliament pressure. This pressure complicates the US 
request to repatriate Guantanamo detainees via Portugal. End 
summary. 

2. (U) Ongoing pressure from Portugal's Left Bloc and from 
the European Parliament led to a testy exchange in Portugal's 
Parliament on October 18, in which Foreign Minister Luis 
Amado offered to resign if the opposition could prove 
Government of Portugal (GOP) complicity with the USG 
regarding alleged illegal CIA flights violating Portuguese 
sovereignty. 

3. (U) Amado's most recent testimony reflected that of his 
predecessor, Diogo Freitas do Amaral in December 2005 (Ref A) 
and his own earlier testimony on September 5 this year, 
noting the GOP had completed an investigation that discovered 
no information to support allegations that CIA flights 
violated Portugal's territory or airspace to transport 
terrorism suspects. Amado told the Parliamentary Committee 
that "None of the explanations or data collected... 
constitutes a credible indication that the law may have been 
broken on Portuguese soil." He went on to tell reporters 
that a joint investigation by four government departments, 
also involving the country's intelligence agencies, 
immigration service and flight control authorities, conducted 
a review of plane movements but found no firm evidence." 
Amado admitted that the alleged CIA flights might have come 
through Portugal, but added that Portugal "has nothing to be 
ashamed of." According to the Minister, there is no evidence 
that the CIA committed illegal acts in Portuguese territory 
and even stated that he has had nothing but "total 
transparency and cooperation" from American authorities. 

4. (U) Freitas do Amaral had offered the government 
investigation as a way to address the allegations. The 
results, however, have not silenced the GOP's critics, 
especially in the Left Bloc or the European Parliament. 
Portugal's Parliament has established an ad hoc committee 
to continue hearings on the subject and a delegation from the 
European Parliament is scheduled to visit Portugal in 
December to interview Amado, who has declined to visit 
Brussels to meet with Euro Deputies. 

Effect on Repatriation Request 
------------------------------ 
5. (S/NF) Amado's testimony reflects the continued political 
and media pressure on the GOP regarding this subject and 
makes the GOP's efforts to assist in repatriation of 
Guantanamo detainees all the more difficult. It is critical 
that Washington readers recognize the GOP's need to ensure 
that it is on solid legal ground regarding our request on 
detainees. 

6. (S/NF) Portuguese law, as interpreted by the GOP (which 
could change), requires written assurance by the final 
destination country that detainees will not be tortured or 
receive the death penalty as well as a US guarantee that they 
will be treated according to internationally-recognized 
conventions in the destination country. Without these 
assurances, the GOP will have difficulty n supporting 
repatriation flights through Portuguese territory or 
airspace. We eagerly await Washington addressees response to 
the Portuguese points as discussed Ref C. The GOP will 
undoubtedly expect this issue to be discussed at the October 
24 meeting between Amado and Secretary Rice in Washington. 

The Media 
--------- 
7. (U) The local press eagerly reprints hearsay on this 
tantalizing subject as left wing politicians unveil "new 
facts" every few days to fan the political fires. Post 
believes the media will continue to sensationalize the issue 
as long as it has legs. 

Comment 
------- 
8. (S/NF) The normally unflappable Amado lost his cool during 
the testimony; an event that is completely out of character 
and shows the effects of unrelenting media and political 
attacks. Despite this outburst, we believe Amado will 

continue to reiterate what the investigation has revealed - 
the government has no evidence of illegal CIA flights 
on/through Portuguese territory. However, Post underscores 
the delicate balancing act Amado is confronting in minimizing 
damage to his government - however unwarranted - due to the 
CIA Rendition investigation while trying to convince it to 
grant our request to repatriate Guantanamo detainees through 
Lajes. Right now, it would be to our advantage to stroke him 
a lot. 
Hoffman