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A Smorgesbord on Shannon's Torture Role


Over the past few days, there have been a number of blogs and media organs taking a bit of a deeper look at the recent (2, 3)allegations of CIA torture flights being routed through countries such as Spain, Greece, Poland and Ireland.

Our role is something murky, Dermot Ahern has a few reassuring words but nothing that is not ambiguous enough to withstand further questioning. The Australian has a nice, if suitably succinct for a Murdoch organ, account of the major points at the minute;

"Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern responded to allegations of CIA flights touching down on its territory by saying yesterday that "at this moment in time there is no evidence of that".

He said: "We have been given absolute guarantees that they are not using Shannon (airport) in this respect ... we are getting absolute categoric assurances from the US government, a friendly government."

Soj over at Euro Tribune has six-parts in ongoing coverage of the situations in Spain and other states implicated in the terror overflights. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

The Spanish have been very proactive in trying to determine the role of Palama in the overflight network. The power of the judges there endures that an investigation can continue unless political pressure becomes immense. That is not to say that its a perfect system merely that the setup suits the need for information.

Getting back to our whole role in the debacle, Dermot says were all on top of it. The assurances from the U.S. are enough to be secure in the knowledge that the planes we know of are safe. However according to Village, there are at least 2 and maybe more flights that we are not aware of, which can be implpicated in the torture network.

"The airplane was used by the CIA in the transfer of two Egyptian asylum seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured, according to a Swedish parliamentary report and to Human Rights Watch. It landed in Ireland 13 times between 2000 and 2003, according to the Department. On at least one occasion, it landed at Shannon on return from an operation where a suspect was transferred, on this occasion from Pakistan to Morocco. The man in question, Binyam Mohammed, has alleged that he was tortured by the authorities in Morocco."

There are questions coming, which are not being genuinely addressed. Do we need to wait until, HRW or Amnesty, or the Spanish Judiciary tell us our politicians shoved their heads up their bums while men were shipped through Shannon to be tortured at their destination. Or again are we simply not asking questions adopting the "whatever your having yourself attitude?" so beloved of those political criminals hate figures of the eighties?

Im not satisfied we are as innocent in all this as we should be, or would like to believe. Im not sure any of us should be. For anybody not sure if torture is such a bad thing, perhaps a perusal here might give you some food for thought.


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  1. Blogger London Denizen | 10:43 p.m. |  

    Perhaps a European-level political solution can sort out the mess. I've just ranted about this, so I won't duplicate the rant here.

  2. Blogger Cian | 1:07 a.m. |  

    I agree, at the very start of this whole debacle, i posted somewhere suggesting that a europe level, at least cooperative between the implicated states, investigation is necessary. Its the only way those in our government will actually take notice.

  3. Blogger London Denizen | 9:19 a.m. |  

    More on this in today's paper. Is it possible, that if the Council of Europe refused to allow passage of torture detainees, that it would be very difficult indeed to get them to the countries in the Middle East where the acts are carried out?

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