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Activists lodge complaint about Guantanamo Bay Express

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Friday December 10, 2004 17:43author by Tim Report this post to the editors

Gardai asked to investigate torture jet

Secret Deals and Treaties?

The scale and significance of US military use of Shannon airport has taken on a new dimension with the revelations that Shannon has become part of the illegal movement and torture of prisoners, and the airport's increasing level of use by US military and civil leaders. This begs the question, has the Irish Government done a secret deal with the United States, granting US citizens immunity from arrest and procecution under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court?

I am making these allegations in all seriousness and with genuine concern. I have no intention of wasting police time. I am making serious allegations about serious and worrying crimes. I state and I believe that serious crimes have occurred and are ongoing at the present time. I believe these crimes to include:

*Aiding and abetting TORTURE and unlawful detention (a crime against humanity) by means of facilitating unlawful landing at Shannon airport of an aircraft known to be used in the transport of people taken without charge or trial to a place of torture and unlawful detention for an indefinite period of time.

These words were found in the complaint that four members of MAMA lodged with the Gardai on 2nd October 2004. Over the next two months, regular planespotter and indy reporter Tim Hourigan communicated with the Gardai - the details are within.

In other Shannon news, Dick Cheney graced the airport with a visit and attempts were made to muddy the trail with Jets, Jet Companies and Handling companies changing names and owners.

The following statement was handed in to Shannon Garda Station on the
evening of Saturday 2nd October 2004 by four concerned citizens,
including
myself.

STATEMENT

Statement of :
Of:
Tel. No:
Occupation: :
Date of Birth :
Taken On
At (place):
By (Name, rank, regd. no. and station)

I hereby declare that this statement is true to the best of my
knowledge and
belief and that I make it knowing that if it is tendered in evidence I
will
be liable to prosecution if I state in it anything which I know to be
false
or do not believe to be true.

--------------------------------------------
Report of Criminal Activity taking place at Shannon Airport,Shannon,
Co.
Clare.

I am making these allegations in all seriousness and with genuine
concern. I
have no intention of wasting police time. I am making serious
allegations
about serious and worrying crimes. I state and
I believe that serious crimes have occurred and are ongoing at the
present
time. I believe these crimes to include:

*Aiding and abetting TORTURE and unlawful detention (a crime against
humanity) by means of facilitating unlawful landing at Shannon airport
of an
aircraft known to be used in the transport of people taken without
charge or
trial to a place of torture and unlawful detention for an indefinite
period
of time.

Following the report of a Swedish Airport Police Inspector (Paul
Forrell)
and others into the arrest and torture of two men taken from Sweden,
and our
own investigations, the following facts were
revealed.

The men were transported to their place of torture on a
Gulfstream V
jet registered as N379P, which bore no identifying marks other than
N379P

The jet was owned by Premier Executive Transport Services Inc, who
confirmed by
telephone that it was their aircraft and that it was on long term loan
to
the US Government.

That US agents were on the aircraft.

That the two men were imprisoned and tortured using electricity,
were
not allowed access
to medicine, or a fair trial. In fact after 34 months of such
imprisonment,
one was released without charge.

That the same aircraft was involved in a similar abduction in Karachi and is suspected to have been involved in many others.

Hundreds of people who were not already in police custody were taken in similar
situations, approximately 600 - 700 of whom ended up in Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

The aircraft is normally based in Dulles Airport, Washington D.C. USA.
It would pass through our airspace either going out to snatch people or to bring them across the Atlantic to Guantanamo Bay.

The same aircraft has been seen at Shannon Airport on a number of occasions, being refuelled and attended to by FBO, a handling company based at Shannon
airport.

It is not known what is on the aircraft during any of these landings, as the parties involved have declined to comment and have not been subjected to inspection by the authorities.

Under the Criminal Justice (United Nations Convention Against Torture)
Act ,2000, S5(1) any person suspected of committing, aiding, or abetting torture
(whether alleged to have taken place in
this state or not) can be imprisoned for life upon conviction.
According to Article 2(2) of the CAT, 'no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.'
Article 2(3) of the CAT states that 'an order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.'

According to Article 6(1) of CAT, 'upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so
warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present, shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence.

I urge the Garda Siochana to immediately investigate this situation.
Under the Air Transport and Navigation Act, the Garda Siochana have the power to inspect these aircraft, even if they simply wish to check that the contents match what is declared in the manifest.

The records of FBO Shannon and Aer Rianta should also be obtained to determine how many times, and on what dates this aircraft was at Shannon.

Again, I repeat, these are serious allegations of serious crimes. They have affected the rule of law in this country, and the upholding of critical human rights and human rights legislation.

I would expect that the Garda Siochana will make every effort to pursue an URGENT CRIMINAL investigation of these matters.
I believe that it is relevant to four of the Key Service Concerns of the Garda Siochana
~ Guarding the security of the State
~ Investigating and detecting criminal offences
~ Preventing criminal offences
~ Safeguarding human rights and dignity

===============================================
SIGNED.......................................

WITNESSED (Name, Rank, Regd. No.).....................................


===================END=====================
The following call took place on Wednesday 3rd November 2004 between 19:20
and 19:34

I was just leaving Java's on Catherine Street, Limerick, with Eoin Dubsky, when my mobile phone rang.

"Hello Tim, how are you? It's Detective Sgt Michael Houlihan here. What are you up to?"

"Well, I'm having a nice walk in town Detective"

"That's good, I'm just looking into something here, as a hardworking public servant, same as yourself..."

"What can I do for you Detective?"

"Well Tim, you made a complaint about a plane, registration N379P, that you say is involved in torture, and bringing prisoners around"

"Yes, that's right."

"You say that this plane is involved in torture, and that it was in Shannon on January 18th 2003, that it's been in Sweden and other places, but do you have any hard evidence that the plane was carrying prisoners?"

"This plane is documented to be used for this, it's leased to the US Department of Defence...

"-Yes, but do you have any direct evidence that it was carrying prisoners when it was at Shannon"

"There's plenty of grounds to suspect that it was the case"

"Yes, but you make allegations that it was, and you don't have any direct evidence that it was carrying prisoners at that time."

"I never said I had direct evidence"

"well let me read over your statement"

"Well, wait detective,-it's quite a long document and would take a while to
read in its entirety, and I'm not sure how long my mobile battery will last, what is it th-"

"well I'll read this part ..."

[quotes]

"I believe these crimes to include:

*Aiding and abetting TORTURE and unlawful detention (a crime against humanity) by means of facilitating unlawful landing at Shannon airport of an
aircraft known to be used in the transport of people taken without charge or
trial to a place of torture and unlawful detention for an indefinite period
of time.. - and aren't those allegations?

"They're not assertions of fact. It says that I believe that this is going on, and I believe it because this IS the same plane, and this plane WAS involved in torture"

"and that's not a claim? Some would say so"

"That says that I believe this to be the case, and I do believe it. It doesn't purport to be hard evidence. It's reasonable grounds."

"-I agree it's reasonable grounds Tim... but I don't have any direct evidence"

"Have you SOUGHT the evidence? "

"Of course I have Tim, ah, now. We investigate these things. I have spoken
to people at the airport about this".

"I'm sure detective, that as an officer of the law you would be able to contact Airport Police Inspector Forrell at Bromma Airport in Sweden, and he could tell you what the plane was doing there. It's the same plane
inspector and it's used for these missions. I still haven't dropped out a copy of the
video to you, I must do that..."

"What the plane does in other places is not part of the remit of my investigation Tim. I'm only looking at what was at Shannon on Jan 18, 2003."

"And if any vehicle, a car even that you knew to be used by criminals came through Shannon, wouldn't you take into account what they do elsewhere when you investigate?"

"Now Tim, I'm asking you if you have any direct evidence about this plane on
January 18th 2003, it has been in Shannon on a number of occasions but hasn't been in Shannon in about two years now..."

"Well detective, you know very well how much trouble I would be in if I tried to directly collect evidence at the airport"

"Ah, now..."

"And I reported my suspicions, and my reasonable grounds to you, and it's
not for a private citizen to solve these things. I'd expect you to seek that out"

"But do you have direct evidence?"

"I've never claimed to have direct evidence. If I had it, you would now have it"

"But would you not put that in writing Tim?"

"No, I wouldn't put it in writing Detective. I have nothing to retract from my statement, I haven't claimed to have direct evidence, so I don't need to say I don't have it, and in any case, that may change in the future"

"I hope you understand Tim that I HAVE to ring you about this."

"Yes"

"Anyway, are you expecting many at the demonstration on Saturday?"

"I don't know"

" Will you be there yourself?"

"I will of course"

"Well, I'll see you at it and we'll have a little chat about this"

"I'll see you on Saturday then"

"Okay, See you then. Goodbye Detective, thanks for your call"

[ hangs up]

=============

I was confused as to why Det Houlihan had been so insistent about getting me to make a statement that we had no direct evidence.
I rang Ed, and found out that Ed was scheduled to be on Prime Time the following night with Willie O'Dea discussing this very topic.
In my mind I pictured Groucho on TV. "now, now I must say... I must say that the Gardee at Shannon have investigated this and there is no evidence and even the people who made the complaint have since retracted it"

Det Houlihan rang the three other complainants as well, none of whom fell for his trap. "I nothing to add to my statement at this time Detective" was the answer from all three.

the next day Prime Time pulled the piece, citing the death of Yasser Arafat as the reason.

The following week, they were due to run the piece again, and Ed and I even met the RTE truck at Shannon, but again the piece was cancelled. in the RTE studio, Mark Little made a passing reference to the Guantanamo Bay Express, but there was no Ed, and no Willie O'Dea, just two apologists for the war, a short pre-recorded piece from Ciaron O'Reilly and a short link up with Dennis Halliday, who was repeatedly interrupted.

==================
2 weeks later, when some new information reached me, I sent a letter to Det. Houlihan
===============================

Detective Houlihan
c/o Shannon Garda Station
Shannon
Co. Clare

Wednesday 17th November 2004.

RE: complaint of activities linked to torture

Enclosed:

Photo of Jet N8068V (ex N379P)
Current FAA register entry for N379P
Current FAA registry entry for N8068V
Extract of US Dept of Defense listing for DESC contracts
Photograph of N313P

Detective Houlihan,
Following your phone call to my mobile some days back, I had expected
to see
you, as arranged, at the demonstration at Shannon last Saturday (Nov
13th).
I was disappointed not to meet you there as you said that you wanted to
meet
with me to discuss my complaint.
I called to Shannon Garda Station last night, and spoke to your
colleague,
Garda Flannery, who told me that you would not be at work until Friday
evening.

I have some new information regarding the aircraft previously referred
to as
N379P.
I checked the US Federal Aviation Authority records recently and the
registration is no longer assigned (to any aircraft). I have an older
copy
somewhere, from before it was deleted from the FAA registry. I shall
forward
it to you when I find it.

Through the efforts of myself and others, I have learned the new
registration of the aircraft. It is currently registered as N8068V.
You can confirm this yourself, no doubt, by checking FAA records.

As you probably know, aircraft registration, like car registrations can be changed, but the manufacturer's serial number or chassis number does not.
In this case, the jet in question is number 581 of the aircraft of this type.

I have included a photograph of the aircraft with this new registration, the records attached to it indicate the serial number, the new registration and indeed, the old registration.

I believe that the paint scheme on the plane is exactly the same as it was when seen in Shannon as N379P.

You may have been working under the firm belief that this aircraft has not been in Ireland since Jan 2003. Indeed, Minister Cullen has stated publicly that N379P has not been in Ireland since then.

It occurs to me now, that the change of registration was done to throw us
all off the scent, and that steps should be taken to see if the aircraft has been in Ireland as N8068V. It would be rather remiss of us to overlook the possibility that torture may be ongoing through Shannon simply because
the registration number of the aircraft was changed.

I have also obtained an extract of a document which seems to be from the US Dept of Defence database. It lists the aircraft's owners (Premier Executive Transport Services Inc) as customers of the Defense Energy Support Center.

I have included a copy of this for your perusal.

My efforts to investigate the company PETS Inc would indicate that its registered office in Dedham is in fact the office of a law firm
specialising in real estate, and I have been informed that PETS Inc is in fact incorporated in Delaware, a state known for lax company laws regarding disclosure of information. Given these facts, it is very likely that
PETS is a shell company consisting of very little more than two names and a
Delaware registration. They're unusually anonymous for a company that operates aircraft.

You should probably keep a look out for their other aircraft N313P (picture enclosed)

I also believe that I may be able to obtain a copy of the aircraft flight logs which should be of help in this investigation. I already have
reason to believe that the aircraft was at RAF Northolt just prior to its stop at Shannon on Jan 18 2003, and we may be able to track it back even further.
If I manage to obtain these records I will forward them immediately to you.
Please let me know if you manage to obtain them yourself beforehand, or have
done already, as it would save me copying the entire log, which may cost quite a bit.

I trust that you will look into these matters thoroughly.

Regards,

----------------------------------------
Tim Hourigan


===================================

Friday 19th Nov 2004. 20:50

I rang the direct line for Shannon Garda Station (061-361212). Having sent a
registered letter to Detective Houlihan the previous day. I knew that he started his shift at 6pm, and so he should have had almost 3 hours in which to read it.

"Good evening Shannon Garda Station"

"Hello, Could I speak to Detective Houlihan please?"

"What's it about?"

"I sent him some documents and I want to make sure that he got them"

"Okay, I'll transfer you to his office"
[ rings for 30 seconds, no answer, reverts to front desk, they put me through to another office. ]

"Hello"

"Hello, can I speak to detective Houlihan please"

"This is him speaking"

"Ah, detective Houlihan, I was just wondering if you received the documents I sent you"

"Is this Tim? Yes, Tim. I received them. ...

-"That's good"

"...they're not much use though. They don't prove that there were prisoners on board the plane. They suggest that the reg has changed..."

"They PROVE that the reg has changed. They're FAA records, you can verify them..."

"Yes, but what I'm looking for is evidence that there were prisoners on board the plane..."

"And I'm sure that you will seek that out detective."

"But we don't have that evidence. I've made enquiries at the airport..."

"Fresh enquiries? Regarding the new reg, N8068V?"

"Yes, I've made enquiries"

"Well, I'm sure it will take them a while to check through all their records
to let you know if it has been in under the new reg."

"Yes, Tim, but what I keep getting to is that you have no direct evidence
that the plane was carrying prisoners"

"You've said that a number of times detective. But you now have the opportunity to check for yourself."

"How's that"

"By boarding the aircraft when it comes in"

"I don't have any evidence of prisoners on the plane one year ago or three years ago."

You seem to have been operating under the assumption that this plane has not
been in since Jan 18 last year, and I know Minster Cullen has said that.
What you have now, is the possibility that the aircraft has, or may come in
under the registration N8068V"

"And how would I have evidence?"

"Well you can simply board it and see what's onboard"

"we're talking about if it lands in future?"

"yes, detective. I didn't limit my complaint to the past or to one landing.
My complaint is that this has happened in the past, and may go on in the future. You have the new registration, and the plane may come in as N8068V"

"But I still don't have direct evidence"

"I have every confidence that you will seek it out, and I am trying to obtain evidence myself, and when I get it, I will pass it on to you
immediately"

"But I don't have any now"

"If I did have it, you'd have it. And you can be sure that if I get any more evidence, that you will get it"

"OK, Tim"

"Okay detective."
======================================
Unhappy with this attitude, and after finding out more information, I sent a
further letter.
================================================

Detective Houlihan
c/o Shannon Garda Station
Shannon
Co. Clare

Wednesday 24th November 2004.

RE: complaint of activities linked to torture

Enclosed:

-English Translation of Swedish documentary by Kalla Fakta of TV4, Sweden
-Copy of Shannon aircraft movements (August 2004) record from Aviation
Society of Ireland website.

Detective Houlihan,

I was thinking about the conversations that we have had regarding the aircraft previously known as N379P and now known as N8068V (also known colloquially as the "Guantánamo Bay Express")

And I am rather disturbed at your apparent reluctance to investigate this matter fully.

- The complaint is of a very serious and urgent nature. It doesn't at anytime state the torture occurs in Ireland, but it is certain the
torturers pass through Shannon airport, and may well on some occasions be bringing victims through Shannon to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In some cases however, it would seem that the plane brings the torturers from the US to another location to perform the torture there. I have been reading reports
of the aircraft bringing US agents from Washington to Cairo to interrogate
suspects there. In one case, it is believed that the man died during the interrogation. The perpetrators are just as guilty of torture whether they pass through here with the victim, or pass through here without him
after torturing him.

- The Criminal Justice (UN Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 does not require the torture to be occurring in Ireland. It requires the state, and basically YOU as a member of An Garda Siochána, to seize
anyone in Ireland who you have reason to suspect of involvement in torture ANYWHERE. Unlike most laws you operate under, pieces of International Law
have wider jurisdiction, and the UN CAT, as incorporated into Irish Law does
allow, (in fact compel) you to act where people here are involved, or suspected of being involved in such serious crimes elsewhere.

I would like to know if you have sought the relevant records from the Airport and associated businesses and people (e.g. FBO) regarding not only the aircraft landing as N379P, but also any incident of the aircraft
landing as N8068V.

I have been told today that records indicate that the aircraft HAS landed at Shannon at least twice this year, on January 20th 2004, and on March 6th 2004. I would like to know if you have made any effort to obtain information on this.

It has also come to my notice that N313P, the other aircraft, mentioned in
my previous letter, along with a photograph of it, is recorded as having
landed at Shannon this year. This aircraft, which has been tracked to some
of the same locations and military bases as N379P/N8068V should also be
investigated by the Garda Síochána.

You should read carefully the enclosed translation of the Swedish documentary series Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts). They have done a few episodes on this topic.

The translation script was sent to me today by Fredrik Laurin, one of
the researchers for the programme. The English translations are available on the
TV4 website at http://www.tv4.se/kallafakta.

It is also possible to watch these episodes on the internet on the same website.

The most recent broadcast was Monday, 22 November 2004. It interviews Robert
Baer, a former CIA agent who gives us his informed opinion of the activities
surrounding this aircraft. There are also interesting contributions from American investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, on the military unit operating the aircraft as well as the researchers from Kalla Fakta
itself. (see highlighted sections on pages 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15)

I'm sure it's not beyond your capacity to obtain a copy of the video from Swedish Television, or perhaps the Swedish Police, who probably have a copy of it.

If I manage to get a copy I will forward it to you.

In particular I would like to draw your attention to the following, from page 12 of the translation.

Robert Baer, former CIA agent.

- "There is a rule inside the CIA that if you want a good interrogation and you want good information you send the suspect to Jordan, if you want them to be killed or tortured to death, you send them either to Egypt or
Syria, never see them again"

and on page 5, I would direct you to the paragraph reading :

"January 10th 2002: A man in chains and with a hood over his head is taken
out onto the strictly guarded runway of the Halim airport in central Jakarta. Muhammad Iqbal is taken into custody by disguised men and taken aboard as the plane takes off for Egypt. A few days later the plane N379P
returns from Cairo to the US. According to rumours in the intelligence communities in the west, Iqbal died during interrogations in Egypt"

On page 12, I would direct you to the following quotes from the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan.

"The CIA does have a fairly large presence in Tashkent... N379P has for the last two years also landed in Uzbekistan on several locations. All in all there have been at least seven trips with the city of Tashkent as the destination"

and the highlighted area describing the prevalence of torture involving rape, electrocution and boiling.

I remind you that Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (United Nations Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 states -

Offence of torture.
2.-(1) A public official, whatever his or her nationality, who carries out an act of torture on a person, whether within or outside the State, shall be guilty of the offence of torture.

- (2) A person, whatever his or her nationality, other than a public official, who carries out an act of torture on another person, whether within or outside the State, at the instigation of, or with the consent
or acquiesence of, a public official shall be guilty of the offence of torture.

The Act explicitly makes the torture an offence regardless of whether committed in this State or not. Therefore, the remit of your
investigation must include acts done in other countries by agents using this
aircraft.

Furthermore, Section 3 makes it clear that

A person, whatever his or her nationality, whether within or outside the State, who-

(a) attempts to commit or conspires to commit the offence of torture, or

(b) does an act with the intent to obstruct or impede the arrest or prosecution of another person, including a person who is a public official, in relation to the offence of torture,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

Therefore, you have pretty strong authority to demand information to assist in your investigation of this case.

The schedule of the Act, states that

Article 4
1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to
commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

2. Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalities which take into account their grave nature.


In relation to your powers and obligation to detain people involved in such crimes, the Act is very clear. You will note the phrase "SHALL take him into
custody" rather than "MAY take him into custody"

Article 6

1. Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in
article 4 is present shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence. The custody and other legal measures shall be as provided in the law of that State but may be continued only for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal or extradition proceedings
to be instituted.



Therefore, it is clearly NOT necessary for the torture to occur in this State in order for you to investigate this complaint, or indeed arrest
any of the people complicit in these crimes. While I would gladly hand over to you any photographs of CIA agents torturing people at Shannon that came into my possession, it is clearly not necessary, for the purposes of the aforementioned act, that the torture occurs in Shannon or that the victim be
transported through Shannon to the place of torture.

I trust that you will let me know how my complaint is progressing, and that
you will contact me if I can be of any further assistance in this matter.

Regards,

----------------------------------------

Tim Hourigan
=================================

I had a phone call a few days later from Det Houlihan, who was not in a good mood.
He told me that if I was unhappy with his investigation that i should raise the matter with his superiors. - he invited me to do this several times.
I told him that I had no interest in making complaints about him to his boss (who is, after all, one of the people conveying orders from above NOT to inspect the aircraft)

He told me that he had not sent a file to the DPP.

When I asked Detective Houlihan whether or not he had made any effort to investigate instances of the plane had landed at Shannon under the new registration he said "I'm not prepared to tell you that"

Inspector Tom Kennedy, when contacted by local journalists today, would only say that queries had been passed on to the relevant government departments (who apparently get to take precedence over an official gardai investigation?)

author by karen fallonpublication date Fri Dec 10, 2004 01:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

nice one Tim. Good work.A bit mental that the thing is not being investigated by the guards and that they have sent it on to a "Government Department".Sounds to me like they have just filed it in the bin.
pity that you do their job better than they do themselves. Maybe RTE might show a screening of the documentary........... as if.

author by newshoundpublication date Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The handling company FBO, mentioned in the complaint above, has just been sold off.

see link.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/business/2004/1209/presswatch.html
author by pcpublication date Fri Dec 10, 2004 19:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I watched that prime time piece when you mentioed it Denis Haliday did very well, the "pro" guy used the same old lines...

was ther more to this pice, what else were you promised?

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Sat Dec 11, 2004 14:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It might be no harm to send a report to Det Houlihan's boss, and then to his boss's boss until the chain of command is firmly established.
Let the buck stop where it will.
If he is getting his orders from on high, he can do nothing about it himself.
Thanks for the immense amount of work you are putting into this effort on behalf of all of us.

author by Johnpublication date Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can I assume that the conversations reported here were recorded? Can the copies of the recorded phone conversations be made available on MP3 format? Otherwisw this comes across a a great little conspiracy theory, bordering on bullshit. Proof is where it's at.

author by out of touchpublication date Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

here I know this has probably already been done, but what's the story with the airport workers? why aren't they coming out on strike or whatever? they can't all be in favour of what's going on, if they've already be approached can someone tell me why it hasn't worked, thanks.

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Sun Dec 12, 2004 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That. I presume, is why the workers haven't gone on strike.
Why didn't the whole country go on strike when our government made us participants in a war? And in a war that was supposedly "justified" by the threat Saddam Hussein posed to "the West". (A lie).
The reason again is that people have families to feed.
Governments know this - it's a Catch 22 situation.
All the more credit to people like Tim for doing more than one man's share to keep on reminding us that a shameful thing has happened and is still happening in our country.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Sun Dec 12, 2004 19:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'll let someone else answer John's direct question, but I'll just point out that if MP3s of these conversations were being provided then there'd be another John asking:

"Is there any proof that these mp3s are genuine?, because it all comes across as conspiracy. Granted there are US planes flying in and out daily admitted by the government and they don't inspect them, but still I need more proof"

Get a grip. Tim Hourigan has a long and honourable record of scrupulously accurate recording and reporting and he's putting his name to this.

It's a disgrace that the Gardai are fecking around instead of doing their duty and inspecting planes.

author by John O'Driscoll - Private Personpublication date Mon Dec 13, 2004 07:38author email jodrisco at ireland dot comauthor address Shanghai People's Republicauthor phone Report this post to the editors

This is to note that in keeping with the terms and requirements of the 1956 Citizenship Act, I have, as of midnight on 6/7 december 2004, formally renounced my Irish citizenship and returned my Irish passport (number L028849) to my Government .

My sole hope and reason for this action, which has developed naturally within my conscience as a result, inter alia, of the UK Butler report and the findings of same to the effect that there was no justification, none whatsoever, for attacking Iraq, regardless of the horrors perpetrated by that country's evil regime, installed and supported by previous US administrations.

My Government, through its continued support for; its facilitation of this lying, illegal, obscene and cowardly US administration , led by the Arch Liar "President" George Bush and his Parliament of Fools in prosecuting its filthy "war" - which is nothing more than an outright grab for oil and land by filthy pirates - making hypocrites of us all: the People Of Ireland, our so-called "Neutrality"; our Constitution, our law, international law, and our tragic history of blood and struggle against oppression.

For twenty nine of my almost forty years I have proudly travelled on my Irish passport.

Wherever I have wandered, in every place I have been afforded all the rights, protections, respect and honour that the international brotherhood of nations has always accorded Ireland and her citizens. Because, I believe, of the global understanding that She, my beloved country, has never involved Herself in the oppression, piracy and genocide of Imperialists, but rather has always fought against these evils.

Irishmen have fought at home and abroad, often in foreign uniform, but in my sincere belief never breaking faith with our country's Proclamation to cherish all children of our nation equally, and by extension all children of our Earth.

This is no longer so.

My country is participating, actively, willingly and yet with sickening hypocrisy pretending not to, in the slaughter of innocent civilians in a far-away land who have never done anything to harm us.

I have decided that I cannot stomach being a hypocrite; continuing to call myself a Proud Irish Citizen.

I am not proud of my country and its government any longer, and therefore cannot in good conscience continue to enjoy the rights and protections of being an Irish citizen.

My shame upon my country and its weak, craven, lying government of US-Imperialist Lackeys.

My shame upon you who allow this travesty to continue.

My shame upon my country's runways, made slick with innocent human blood and the grease of the Yankee Dollar Foreign Direct Investment.

Today I requested Shannon Garda Station to immediately inspect any and all US military and civilian aircraft for the presence of weapons and munitions of all kinds, these being illegal on my soiled soil. My request was registered.

Nothing will happen.

Only that, tomorrow, more women and children will die in the Middle East from weapons that are today in Ireland.

I have never been so heartbroken in my life, for what it's worth.

I never ever dreamed I would not die an Irishman.

I am sick sick sick in my heart and my soul but I must do this because my conscience and the voices of my ancestors tell me no other course is morally available to take.

But my country is sick in Her Head. She is lying to Herself and to the World and nobody believes a word She is saying anymore.

Least of all Herself.

But I would rather die at some future point, alienated from Ireland, scorned by those who believe I am turning my back on my country and my family and my heritage. No longer Irish except in my heart, which will never ever change.

I would rather die such a lonely death a thousand times. Rather that than dying as an Iraqi citizen/civilian/"collateral damage", melted by white phosphorous grenades or fuel air bombs imported onto their heads and their homes via Ireland Of The Welcomes.

Ireland of the Hundred Thousand Dead Iraqi Welcomes.

The old sow that is now eating the farrow of others as well.

Ta mo chroi bhriste. Slan agus beannacht mo tir; mo gra.

Sin e an sceal.

Seain O'hEidersceoill,
Shanghai, China.
13 December 14:38hrs (Beijing and central Urumqi time)

author by Anthony Gpublication date Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The link is to a story Tim published on Indymedia back in January 2003. On this occasion the complaint made to the gardaí was in relation to an aircraft which was likely to have munitions on board as it was operated by Evergreen International who have a contract for the transport of military cargo rather than personnel. However the answer at that time was that "there’s an understanding between the Irish Government, Department of Justice, and the US Government, and we don’t inspect the planes.”

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=23883
author by John O'Driscoll - Private Personpublication date Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:47author email jodrisco at ireland dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sorry. I omitted some text in my earlier statement. May I please trouble the Editor to replace the second para of my original post as follows:

[Start]
My sole hope and reason for this action, is to eliminate the feeling of personal hypocrisy which persecutes my conscience, and which has developed naturally within my conscience towards my country's unacknowledged particpation in this war and as a result, inter alia, of the UK Butler report.

The findings of same were to the effect that there was no justification, none whatsoever, for attacking Iraq, regardless of the horrors perpetrated by that country's evil regime, installed and supported by previous US administrations. I am a dual Irish/British national, and can more easily live with the knowledge that the British Government, although taking a more active part in this Horror, are at least being honest about it.
[End]

Apologies also for posting earlier on an out of date page. Thank you very much.

Take courage in your fight.

John

author by John O'Driscoll - Ex-HM Customs & Excisepublication date Mon Dec 13, 2004 16:16author email jodrisco at ireland dot comauthor address Shanghai People's Republicauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Tim, why don't you ask CUSTOMS to board the plane to check for contrabrand or other infringements of national and international law? They are so tasked, from the 1876 Customs Act (Vic.) onwards through the Finance Acts and the Customs (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1988 and so forth. And all they need is the Writ of Assistance carried by every officer. And a hint of suspicion of an unlawful act being carried out.

Within its remit the Customs warrant has even greater powers than a Garda identification card. And that excludes (or used to) the need for a bench warrant if a customs search is to be carried out under circumstances where a breach is suspected; and within the confines, of the relevant customs law.

My old UK one is sitting here on my office wall as I type. Pity it wasn't a current Irish one. I'd nearly do the bloody job myself.

author by Lone Gunmanpublication date Mon Dec 13, 2004 21:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One thing HARD PROOF, that there were suspected terrorists being sent for interrgation thru Shannon on Jan 2003. The garda was right in insisting that UNLESS you have this proof the whole thing is speculation that a crime was comitted in Irish terrority.dont think even customs and excise will go NEAR a aircraft like this.You will find it is registerd as proably a US govt jet and coverd under diplomatic immunity laws.Cant see some customs officer,garda,or airport worker sticking their neck and job on the line to prove that some spurious claim that suspected terrorists are being moved thru Shannon.Not to mind that they would get on the plane anyway.
So sorry folks you are going to have to try better to actually PROVE this story here.

author by John O'Driscoll - Private Personpublication date Tue Dec 14, 2004 08:17author email jodrisco at ireland dot comauthor address Shanghai People's Republicauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Lone Gunman, I see where you validly derive your logic, from the usual Rules of Evidence applicable to searches and entries by Garda/Police. But I am speaking as a former Customs Officer (and I happen to believe that, like priests, customs officers are customs officers forever regardless. Such is the sanctity of the trust but that's just me) I can tell you that very very different rules apply to customs than to police, and for very good reason.

Firstly, bear in mind that I worked with Her Majesty's, rather than the Republic of Ireland's, Customs & Excise. My comments therefore are based upon my rather more experiential knowledge of the rules and procedures of the former. I assume also that there has been some local divergence since the original HM Customs & Excise Act of 1876, giving rise to the reformed law of the Customs & Excise (C&E) of Great Britain AND Ireland, was enacted. In fact, the last time I had occasion to check (around 1998) the Republic was still using the Victorian Act as its primary basis for enforcement and penalty law, whereas the UK had replaced this outdated instrument with the Customs and Excise Management Act of 1979.

Secondly, bear in mind that Customs is a very very old service. The first accounts of tax law that we have are the Annals of Hammurabai, a Sumerian king who codified his customs law on cuniform slabs. Going forward several thousand years from then, to Geoffrey Chaucer, who was also collector of the wool tax, the term "writ of assistance" begins to emerge.

I quote from an House of Commons debate in 1999/2000 on the matter:
[Start quote]
"Writs of assistance are documentary authorisations to search unspecified premises for smuggled goods and anything else liable to forfeiture under customs law. They do not apply only at our frontiers, but operate inland if that is where the goods are. They are issued by the Queen's bench division of the High Court at the beginning of a monarch's reign and remain valid for six months after the end of the reign. During that time they are lodged at various Customs offices, where the senior manager is responsible for their use. "[End quote]

You can put as much investment, manpower and effort as you like into catching smugglers, tax evaders and death traffickers, but none of it's worth a broken gauger rod if you can't bring a prosecution, or obtain/detain the transient evidence or suspects.

Customs by its nature encompasses a great deal of the international dimension of global trade and global evil-doing. Domestic police forces on the other hand deal with national/local issues, where the luxury of time is perhaps available to a slightly greater degree.

Now my old customs warrant, hanging here on my office wall (never actually cancelled), incorporates the legal mechanics to facilitate a writ of assistance, in that when an officer needs the latter in order to move swiftly against the commission or continuation of a crime, he doesn't have to go waking up a magistrate at four in the morning, nor apply to a judge during Court hours. He needs only to convince his Senior Officer, who controls the issue of the writ, of the existence of a clear and present danger to the law of Customs, which must needs be dealt with stat. or else the opportunity to apprehend, seize, convict, distrain, detain, forfeity, condemn or whatever will be lost.

Customs work is like that. 99% standing around waiting for Godot. 1% trying to catch said Godot as he's legging it towards his fast boat or his twin-engined cessna or his international tax haven with his drugs or his guns or his untaxed cigarettes or his ill-gotten gains. Terminal ennui punctuated by explosive action on rare occasions in other words defines the sharp-end of customs prevention and enforcemen. Or it used to at least. Before customs in EU was deep-frozen due to the lack of fiscal gain driven by WTO and the reduction in tariffs.

IMHO, and given the Irish system still observes the same ancient customs pardon the pun I think it is legally and practically more likely to give the SNN people the result they want if they start applying pressure to CUSTOMS to investigate, detain, seize, forfeit and condemn civilian and military aircraft which are using Shannon as a lynchpin in George W. Bush and the neo-Nazis Conveyor Of Death. Sorry meant ne0-conservatives there. Shouldn't insult the Nazis bad and all as they were at least they were somewhat more honest.

And in this case the Devil is wearing a Brooks Brothers button-down suit and carrying a briefcase that says "AmeriKKKa".

Related Link: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmstand/h/st000516/pm/pt1/00516s01.htm
author by John O'Driscoll - Private Person (ex-HMC&E)publication date Tue Dec 14, 2004 08:31author email jodrisco at ireland dot comauthor address Shanghai People's Republicauthor phone Report this post to the editors

PS The Vienna Conventions and sequential rules of diplomatic protection do not apply to civilian aircraft such as the alleged AmeriKKKan Torture Jet apparently is, nor do they apply to illegally present weapons of war, as is the rest of the US politico-military assetbase currently fluttering down to take a shit all over our country and its principles, before flapping off for some fresh prey.

Give Customs a reason to be Proud again. Search the planes. They're BOUND to be breaking a customs law, not to mention international treaties, UN law, the law of decency, the laws of God, and so forth.

Elliot Ness fingered Capone's collar for the crime of an untaxed packet of fags, in a manner of speaking. Not for his rather more heinous crimes of murder and mayhem. Its time for the Untouchables to take another Dick down.

author by John O'Driscoll - The Portcullis (and the CANbury Tales. Tales like Georgie told us)publication date Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09author email jodrisco at ireland dot comauthor address Shanghai People's Republicauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Should clarify. The warrant is in fact a writ of assistance as I recall. There is no other document actually required. It is activated with the sanction of the relevant Senior Officer or Surveyor or Collector (old customs terms equivalent to superintendent of commissioner or police) or in fact as circumstances dictate. Sometimes one has only time to ask forgiveness, not permission.

And it prays and orders ("Greetings to you all to whom these presents may come....etc.,) all coinstables and sergeants of the police to assist the Officer in his duties as well.

Mind, I'm talking about the British version again. Not sure about the Irish equivalent (except I'd bet there is one).

author by LGpublication date Tue Dec 14, 2004 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"You will find it is registerd as proably a US govt jet and coverd under diplomatic immunity laws"

Where would you find that? Seeing as the people (not you) who bothered to check rather than rant, found it registered to a company, not a government.

of course the company doesn't appear to be real... but you're still falling flat on your backside with your assertion that it's registered as a US Govt jet... despite evidence to the contrary from the US Federal Aviation Authority... please perform this nifty trick for us...

author by .publication date Tue Dec 14, 2004 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

US allows use of evidence gained by torture
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1257847.htm

US military review panels can use evidence obtained through torture in deciding the fate of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the US Government has conceded.

Lawyers acting for Australian detainees in Cuba have called on the Australian Government to renounce the practice.

author by redjadepublication date Sat Dec 18, 2004 15:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Torture Begins at the Top
By Joe Conason
Salon.com 12/17/04
http://groups-beta.google.com/group/soc.singles/msg/ba43b0ec848264c4?dmode=source

The documents also show that officers from the CIA, the FBI and the Defense
Intelligence Agency lodged "heated" objections to the abusive methods of
interrogation used by the military, denouncing them in previously secret
memoranda as not only unethical but useless and destructive.
[....]
The abuses continued, in some cases even after the initial furor over Abu
Ghraib. What's more, an internal FBI memo indicates that the directive to
discard traditional restraints came from the very highest civilian official
in the Pentagon: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

author by redjadepublication date Sun Dec 19, 2004 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp

David Rose and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday May 16, 2004
The Observer
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1217973,00.html

Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed.

The disclosures, made in an interview with Tarek Dergoul, the fifth British prisoner freed last March, who has been too traumatised to speak until now, prompted demands last night by senior politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to make the videos available immediately.

[....]

Dergoul tells of one assault by a five-man ERF in shocking terms: 'They pepper-sprayed me in the face, and I started vomiting. They pinned me down and attacked me, poking their fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and flushed.

'They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on me, kicking and punching. Finally they dragged me out of the cell in chains, into the rec[reation] yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.'

author by redjadepublication date Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bush's Secret Executive Order for Torture
http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=17216&c=206

A document released for the first time today by the American Civil Liberties Union suggests that President Bush issued an Executive Order authorizing the use of inhumane interrogation methods against detainees in Iraq.

[....]

The documents were obtained after the ACLU and other public interest organizations filed a lawsuit against the government for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The two-page e-mail that references an Executive Order states that the President directly authorized interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and "sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc." The ACLU is urging the White House to confirm or deny the existence of such an order and immediately to release the order if it exists. The FBI e-mail, which was sent in May 2004 from "On Scene Commander--Baghdad" to a handful of senior FBI officials, notes that the FBI has prohibited its agents from employing the techniques that the President is said to have authorized.

author by redjadepublication date Tue Dec 21, 2004 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Using as justification a series of legal memos (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6733213/site/newsweek/) crafted by Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales, high-ranking officials in the Bush administration approved methods of interrogation that led to prisoner abuse and torture in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. New documents released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday include e-mails detailing prisoners " left in their own feces, chained in ice-cold or super-hot cells (http://www.freep.com/news/nw/gitmo21e_20041221.htm) and other interrogation techniques that caused one prisoner to pull his hair from his head." The documents "make it clear that some personnel at Guantanamo Bay believed they were relying on authority from senior officials in Washington."

[....]

THE NEWEST TRICKS: The new documents, mostly in the form of e-mails and memos from FBI agents "trying to distance the FBI from the behavior," confirm earlier reports of widespread abuse in Guantanamo and Iraq. In August, a Boston-based agent described finding a " detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position on the floor (http://www.freep.com/news/nw/gitmo21e_20041221.htm) , with no chair, food or water. Most times, they had urinated or defecated on themselves and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more." They also confirm the detainees' own accounts of "sleep deprivation, temperature manipulations, strobe lights and loud music." In Iraq, the memos detail methods which include "detainees being beaten and choked and having lit cigarettes placed in their ears (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/21/politics/21abuse.html?oref=login&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1103630735-XltoHAwRTZ9bQKmcOm592w) ."

Text above and more links at
http://www.progressreport.org

Also:
be sure to read:
Washington Post: CIA has a Secret Gulag at Guantanamo
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67979

author by redjadepublication date Thu Dec 23, 2004 18:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

War Crimes
Thursday, December 23, 2004;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A20986-2004Dec22

The Bush administration refused to release these records to the human rights groups under the Freedom of Information Act until it was ordered to do so by a judge. Now it has responded to their publication with bland promises by spokesmen that any wrongdoing will be investigated. The record of the past few months suggests that the administration will neither hold any senior official accountable nor change the policies that have produced this shameful record. Congress, too, has abdicated its responsibility under its Republican leadership: It has been nearly four months since the last hearing on prisoner abuse. Perhaps intervention by the courts will eventually stem the violations of human rights that appear to be ongoing in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan. For now the appalling truth is that there has been no remedy for the documented torture and killing of foreign prisoners by this American government.

author by redjadepublication date Mon Dec 27, 2004 14:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jet Is an Open Secret in Terror War
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A27826-2004Dec26?language=printer
By Dana Priest
December 27, 2004; Page A01

The airplane is a Gulfstream V turbojet, the sort favored by CEOs and celebrities. But since 2001 it has been seen at military airports from Pakistan to Indonesia to Jordan, sometimes being boarded by hooded and handcuffed passengers.

The plane's owner of record, Premier Executive Transport Services Inc., lists directors and officers who appear to exist only on paper. And each one of those directors and officers has a recently issued Social Security number and an address consisting only of a post office box, according to an extensive search of state, federal and commercial records.

[....]

Not only have the plane's movements been tracked around the world, but the on-paper officers of Premier Executive Transport Services are also connected to a larger roster of false identities.

Each of the officers of Premier Executive is linked in public records to one of five post office box numbers in Arlington, Oakton, Chevy Chase and the District. A total of 325 names are registered to the five post office boxes.

An extensive database search of a sample of 44 of those names turned up none of the information that usually emerges in such a search: no previous addresses, no past or current telephone numbers, no business or corporate records. In addition, although most names were attached to dates of birth in the 1940s, '50s or '60s, all were given Social Security numbers between 1998 and 2003.

The Washington Post showed its research to the CIA, including a chart connecting Premier Executive's officers, the post office boxes, the 325 names, the recent Social Security numbers and an entity called Executive Support OFC. A CIA spokesman declined to comment.

[....]

Three weeks ago, on Dec. 1, the plane, complete with a new tail number, was transferred to a new owner, Bayard Foreign Marketing of Portland, Ore., according to FAA records. Its registered agent in Portland, Scott Caplan, did not return phone calls.

Like the officers at Premier Executive, Bayard's sole listed corporate officer, Leonard T. Bayard, has no residential or telephone history. Unlike Premier's officers, Bayard's name does not appear in any other public records.

author by Kevin-Scottpublication date Tue Dec 28, 2004 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More documents have come to light after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups sued under the US Freedom Of Information Act

From The Washington Post/Boston Globe

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/122804A.shtml

author by redjadepublication date Thu Dec 30, 2004 13:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At least 10 current and former detainees at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have lodged allegations of abuse similar to the incidents described by FBI agents in newly released documents, claims that were denied by the government but gained credibility with the reports from the agents, their attorneys say.

[....]

"On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water," an unidentified agent wrote on Aug. 2, 2004, for example. "Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18, 24 hours or more."

Brent Mickum, a Washington attorney for one of the detainees, said that "now there's no question these guys have been tortured. When we first got involved in this case, I wondered whether this could all be true. But every allegation that I've heard has now come to pass and been confirmed by the government's own papers."

Related Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25962-2004Dec25.html
author by redjadepublication date Fri Dec 31, 2004 17:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There was outrage by human rights campaigners in Ireland when it was discovered the aircraft had made several flights in and out of Shannon airport and there is similar opposition to Scotland becoming involved in providing any support.
Peace activists say that as signatories to the UN convention against torture the UK and Ireland have a duty to arrest anyone on their territory who is thought to be involved in assisting torture.

[....]

Some of the information gathered from those involved in "rendition" has been passed to UK intelligence services and the admissibility of evidence gained under torture is being considered in an appeal to the House of Lords by foreign prisoners at Belmarsh jail against their detention without trial on suspicion of terrorism.

In August English appeal court judges defied human rights campaigners by ruling that British courts could use evidence extracted under torture, as long as British agents were not complicit in the abuse.

John Scott, of the Scottish Human Rights Centre, said he was disgusted to learn the Gulfstream jet had landed in Scotland. "Unfortunately we already have an English court decision which basically said it was OK for the home secretary to turn a blind eye to the source of intelligence which had come from torture."

Related Link: http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/30596-print.shtml
author by pcpublication date Fri Dec 31, 2004 19:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

few of the American news stories re the jet mention Ireland or Shannon in their list of stops? is that significant? I guess they are only mentioning places that transfer of people could have taken places and "as long as they don't get off the plane" its ok ?

author by redjadepublication date Sun Jan 02, 2005 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Simple answer, no one knows. Many could have come through Shannon, maybe not.

The Irish government *could* board these flights to find out what/who is on board. Then we would know.

Regardless, Shannon is a part of machinery of US torture gulags around the world. This government's turning a blind eye does not make it innocent of association with such crimes.

Tim H has reported these crimes and these planes to Gardai, it is their job to investigate a (potential) crime and to prosecute those involved.

If a van regularly drove through your neighborhood that was known to have been involved in and used for kidnapping in the past. It is an obligation of the Gards to investigate, at the very least.

author by pcpublication date Mon Jan 03, 2005 01:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

by Gene Kerrigan and a nice cartoon by tom halliday....

he notices the non-speicifc mention of Shannon too but read the article closer then I...

"Some among us are worried that we may be facilitating the use of torture. And the Washington Post tells us that the plane has "landed at well known US Government refueling stops", which is a good term as any for Shannon. Martin Cullen assured the Dail that the US Governent has assured our Government they haven't "used Irish airports for the transit of prisoners to or from the detention centre at Guantanamo or elsewhere. And I mean it's one thing to clamp an electrode to someone's genitals but they'd surely draw the line at telling a lie to the Irish Goverment."

He mentions the US governments abuse of Irish passports re the Iran/Contra affair (must read up on that).

Were the Irish government upset about that, were the used more they ususally let themselves be then?

"It seems that a unless a gentleman from the CIA provides us with written confirmation taht its Gulfstream turbo jet is on its way to pick someone up for 'extraordinary rendition' or is on the way back with the kidnap victim strapped to the undercarriage we won't inquire further"

author by pcpublication date Wed Jan 05, 2005 00:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

CIA Jet story (link) "Jet Is an Open Secret in Terror War", By Dana Priest, Washington Post Staff Writer, Monday, December 27, 2004.

The TV4 programme makers were helped by information from Ireland where the "Gulfstream" plane was noted by dedicated Irish plane spotters at Shannon Airport on 18 January 2003 (where it was no doubt on the way to another "mission"). This is described in the article below from "Village" magazine.

Related Link: http://www.statewatch.org/news/index.html
author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 06, 2005 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(signed by the USA and Ireland in 1984)
http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/39/a39r046.htm

→ Article 2, Section 2:
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

→ Article 5 Section 1 SubSection (a):
When the offences are committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;

author by redjadepublication date Sat Jan 08, 2005 16:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Washington Post Editorial:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54854-2005Jan6.html

Alberto R. Gonzales missed an important opportunity yesterday to rectify his position, and that of President Bush, on the imprisonment and interrogation of foreign detainees. At the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on his nomination to be attorney general, Mr. Gonzales repeatedly was offered the chance to repudiate a legal judgment that the president is empowered to order torture in violation of U.S. law and immunize torturers from punishment. He declined to do so.

[....]

The message Mr. Gonzales left with senators was unmistakable: As attorney general, he will seek no change in practices that have led to the torture and killing of scores of detainees and to the blackening of U.S. moral authority around the world. Instead, the Bush administration will continue to issue public declarations such as those Mr. Gonzales repeated yesterday -- "that torture and abuse will not be tolerated by this administration" -- while in practice sanctioning procedures that the International Red Cross and many lawyers inside the government consider to be illegal and improper.

author by redjadepublication date Sun Jan 09, 2005 15:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The first question is: Where is Leonard T. Bayard? The next question is: Who is Leonard T. Bayard? But the most important question may be: Does Leonard T. Bayard even exist?

The questions arise because the signature of a Leonard Thomas Bayard appears on the annual report of a Portland-based company, Bayard Foreign Marketing LLC, that was filed in August with the Oregon secretary of state.

[....]

Ann Martens, a spokeswoman for Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, said that knowingly filing a false corporate document in Oregon is punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Leonard T. Bayard--whoever he may or may not be--became the sole owner of the mysterious Gulfstream jet on Nov. 16, according to public records compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The records show that Bayard Foreign Marketing purchased the plane, for an undisclosed sum, from Premier Executive Transport Services, whose address is the same as that of a Dedham, Mass., law firm that incorporated Premier Executive in January 1994.

The Massachusetts law firm's address is shared by a second company, Crowell Aviation Technologies Inc., which according to Dun & Bradstreet claims to have only a single employee and $65,000 in annual revenue.

Related Link: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0108-06.htm
author by redjadepublication date Sun Jan 09, 2005 19:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ibraham Al Qosi's stories seemed fairly outlandish when they first surfaced last fall. In a lawsuit, Al Qosi, a Sudanese accountant apprehended after 9/11 on suspicions of ties to Al Qaeda, charged that he and other detainees at Guantanamo Bay had been subjected to bizarre forms of humiliation and abuse by U.S. military inquisitors. Al Qosi claimed they were strapped to the floor in an interrogations center known as the Hell Room, wrapped in Israeli flags, taunted by female interrogators who rubbed their bodies against them in sexually suggestive ways, and left alone in refrigerated cells for hours with deafening music blaring in their ears. Back then, Pentagon officials dismissed Al Qosi's allegations as the fictional rantings of a hard-core terrorist.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6803421/site/newsweek/

author by painter not talkerpublication date Wed Jan 12, 2005 08:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.

Shop or Just relax with friends
Shop or Just relax with friends

author by painter not talkerpublication date Thu Jan 13, 2005 15:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nothing to see here just passing through

Shannon Airport - Never say no to a customer!
Shannon Airport - Never say no to a customer!

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 13, 2005 23:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The actual number of CIA-run renditions, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, is believed to be far higher. Officials say the CIA's role has varied widely, from providing electronic and other covert surveillance before raids to flying blindfolded terrorism suspects from one country to another on a Gulfstream jet the agency uses.

"It's a growth industry," said a recently retired CIA clandestine officer who worked on several "renditions" in the Arab world. "We rendered a lot of people to Egypt, Jordan and the Saudis in particular…. Ultimately, the agency just wants these people to disappear forever."

[....]

"They outsource torture," said Stephen Hopper, Habib's Australian lawyer. "You get your friends and allies to do your dirty work for you."

A former senior U.S. intelligence official said the CIA had soured on relying on Egypt, at least when the goal was useful intelligence.

"The information the Egyptians were providing was not that reliable," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The Egyptians, they'll just cut off finger by finger. They get a lot of confessions. But people will say anything then."

Related Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-habib13jan13,0,2731025,print.story?coll=la-home-headlines
author by Michaelpublication date Sun Jan 16, 2005 14:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The first question is: Where is Leonard T. Bayard? The next question is: Who is Leonard T. Bayard? But the most important question may be: Does Leonard T. Bayard even exist?

The questions arise because the signature of a Leonard Thomas Bayard appears on the annual report of a Portland-based company, Bayard Foreign Marketing LLC, that was filed in August with the Oregon secretary of state.

According to federal records, Bayard Foreign Marketing is the newest owner of a U.S.-registered Gulfstream V executive jet reportedly used since Sept. 11, 2001, to transport suspected Al Qaeda operatives to countries such as Egypt and Syria, where some of them claim to have later been tortured.

Related Link: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/chitribts/mysteriousjettiedtotortureflights
author by eeekkkkkpublication date Sun Jan 23, 2005 17:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Operations the CIA runs have one set of restrictions and oversight, and the military has another," said a Republican member of Congress with a substantial role in national security oversight, declining to speak publicly against political allies. "It sounds like there's an angle here of, 'Let's get around having any oversight by having the military do something that normally the [CIA] does, and not tell anybody.' That immediately raises all kinds of red flags for me. Why aren't they telling us?"

Related Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/22/235425/978
author by Michaelpublication date Mon Jan 24, 2005 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is there any public oversight whatsoever of Irish secret police activities (the special branch and G2)? Is there any parliamentary, let alone public, oversight of Irish military activities in Afghanistan and elsewhere under NATO and WEU/EU command?

author by overseerpublication date Tue Jan 25, 2005 03:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is no "oversight" of spooky garda and 26-county military intelligence. They kind of have a free hand as long as they keep the status quo protected.
Examples? - well, one that springs to mind is how none of the gardai who took part in the "Heavy Gang" episode in the seventies have ever faced any kind of censure. In fact most of them were later promoted.
There is also the small matter of how they collaborated with the british spook establishment, the Crinion affair, the "Badger", affairs, etc.
There are questions they need to answer in the aftermath of the Dublin & Monaghan Bombings. Such as how much of the forensic evidence was sent north rather than being kept here and examined - little things like that.
I'm sure other people here can come up with other examples.

author by redjadepublication date Wed Mar 02, 2005 15:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Italy probes possible CIA role in abduction
Milan case spurs dogged prosecutor
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0502250206feb25,1,5595781.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

An Italian prosecutor investigating the apparent kidnapping of a suspected Islamic militant in the streets of Milan served military authorities this week with a demand for records of flights into and out of a joint U.S.-Italian air base in northern Italy.

Italian newspapers have reported that the prosecutor, Armando Spataro, is investigating the possible role of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the disappearance of Osama Nasr Mostafa Hassan, better known as Abu Omar, a popular figure in Milan's Islamic community who vanished Feb. 17, 2003.

Spataro, a chief prosecutor in Milan, said by phone Thursday that "I can confirm only that yesterday I went to Aviano," as the air base is known. "We have an investigation," he added, "but it's secret."

[....]

The base's chief of public affairs, Capt. Eric Elliott, confirmed that Spataro had met with the Italian base commander on Wednesday. Although the base is owned and commanded by the Italian air force, many of the fighters and bombers based there are from the U.S. and are flown by U.S. pilots.

Elliott said U.S. authorities at the base intended to "respond appropriately to requests for information from the Italian authorities in accordance with existing agreements."

That presumably would include records of any flights by the mysterious Gulfstream jet.

author by de la sallepublication date Thu Mar 03, 2005 03:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excerpts From an Interview with Craig Murray: Ex-British Ambassador to Uzbekistan

...
Q: A controversial accusation you made was that MI6 was using information extracted from tortured Uzbek citizens. What evidence did you actually have to lead you to this conclusion?
CM: I’ve got no doubts about it whatsoever. I’m 100 percent sure of it, and in all my dealings with the British government about it – and I’ve been called back from Uzbekistan to have meetings specifically on the subject – they have never denied it. The British government has never denied it, and scores of British reporters have phoned up the Foreign Office and said, “What is the line?” and they always come back with the same line. It’s that “it would be irresponsible to ignore useful evidence in the war against terror”. They have never said, “No, we’re not gaining evidence from torture,” – the British government has never denied it. They can’t deny it.

Q: Taking things a stage further, there was a report a little while back about the American ‘Ghost Planes’ which would take people to countries where torture was used and get information from them. Do you know anything about this?
CM: Well yes, that Gulfstream plane came in to Tashkent several times while I was there, and it’d bring in detainees. As far as I’m aware it only brought in Uzbek detainees from Bagram airport, from Afghanistan. I’ve had many people allege to me that Americans used it to bring non-Uzbek-related detainees in specifically to be tortured for questioning. I never saw any evidence of that. I’m not saying it isn’t true, but to my knowledge I only know of it bringing in detainees from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan.

http://www.weblogic.no-ip.info/?q=node/201

author by misepublication date Thu Mar 10, 2005 10:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice article here guys.

Related Link: http://spaces.icgpartners.com/index2.asp?category=&eventdate=11/14/2004
author by Spinning Quicklypublication date Thu Mar 10, 2005 19:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done on your detective work - pity the Gardai down in Shannon aren't getting their fingers out!!

Is there any way someone based in Dublin could help?

author by redjadepublication date Sat Mar 12, 2005 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ted Rall cartoon on 'Outsourceing Torture'
http://www.ucomics.com/rallcom/2005/03/12/

author by redjadepublication date Sat Mar 12, 2005 20:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

US must stop 'outsourcing' torture

By Edward J. Markey | March 12, 2005

AN UNMARKED PLANE arrives in the middle of the night carrying men who aren't wearing uniforms but have on black hoods. The men grab prisoners out of the hands of government officials, cut off their clothes, drug them on the spot, shackle them, force the prisoners onto the plane and take off into the night. When the ''torture" plane disappears, no one knows where and when the captives will appear and what will happen to them: electrocution, beatings, sexual abuse?

At first guess, you might imagine that this terrible operation is the work of a drug cartel or a rogue member of the ''axis of evil," but the scene described involves US officials in a routine part of the Bush administration's practice of ''outsourcing torture."

[....]

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said there is no guarantee when we hand over prisoners, ''once someone is rendered, we can't fully control what that country might do." If we can't control what happens to prisoners who may have vital information affecting US security, then we should not be sending them to the hands of governments like Uzbekistan, a nation known for its practice of submerging prisoners in boiling water. Reports from one prisoner death in Uzbeki custody included wave marks on the torso of the prisoner who died in a boiling vat, after having his teeth smashed and fingernails torn out.

Related Link: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/03/12/us_must_stop_outsourcing_torture?pg=full
author by moronwatchpublication date Sat Mar 12, 2005 20:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

eh, the possibility of different planes never crossed your collected minds, no?

does it ever bother you that nobody believes a word you say?

author by R. Isiblepublication date Sat Mar 12, 2005 21:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And I don't understand why you would want to make this point. Do you think it makes it worse or better that the torture is carried out by the US and its allies in many planes? Do you think that a larger torture network with more money being spent on planes is a good thing? I think a bit of navel gazing is required by "moronwatch". Say hello to "ockam" for me while you're poking away in there.

author by redjadepublication date Sun Mar 13, 2005 14:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

US held youngsters at Abu Ghraib

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4339511.stm

Children as young as 11 years old were held at Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison at the centre of the US prisoner abuse scandal, official documents reveal.

Brig Gen Janis Karpinski, formerly in charge of the jail, gave details of young people and women held there.

[....]

The Pentagon has acknowledged holding so-called "ghost detainees" on the basis that they were enemy combatants and therefore not entitled to prisoner of war protections.

Brig Gen Karpinski said US commanders were reluctant to release detainees, an attitude she called "releasophobia".

In her interview, she said Maj Gen Walter Wodjakowski, then the second most senior army general in Iraq, told her in the summer of 2003 not to release more prisoners, even if they were innocent.

→ "I don't care if we're holding 15,000 innocent civilians," she said Maj Gen Wodjakowski told her. "We're winning the war."

author by redjadepublication date Fri Mar 18, 2005 16:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Back from GTMO
by Scott M. Sullivan
http://transatlanticassembly.blogspot.com/2005/03/back-from-gtmo.html

Interfering with the attorney-client relationship is the clearest way to undermine an adversarial system of justice. While I was in GTMO our military escort asked me why we defend individuals he clearly thought should be locked away forever. I told him that the U.S. has an adversarial system of justice and that as part of that system, those who believe in the rule of law believe that between two sides working fervently for their clients, the truth will rise and justice will be done. Not a perfect system by any means, but a system that has served us well. I told him that for every day I am working to free our detainee clients there is someone over at the government working feverishly to keep them detained. I don't feel any anger toward that government employee, because he is a part of a system from which I believe justice springs.

Anyway...interfering with an attorneys access to privileged communications with his client undermines this adversarial process. Undermining this process retards the balanced element from which the truth can arise. It is also symbolic of the larger struggle of these detainees to get a habeas hearing where the government is forced to explain their detention. The true tragedy of these detentions lies not only in physical incarceration, but in the unilateral justification which has not been probed by the justice system.

author by misepublication date Fri Mar 18, 2005 22:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Three years after the United States opened its TORTURE CENTER at Guantanamo Bay, 65 ILLEGALLY HELD MEN AND BOYS have been handed over to their home countries but none has been convicted of any crime.

Related Link: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050317/ts_nm/rights_detainees_dc
author by mmmmmpublication date Sun May 22, 2005 01:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

U.S. faces questions over 'kidnappings' in Europe


Pressure is growing on the United States to respond to allegations that its agents were involved in spiriting terrorist suspects out of three European countries and sending them to nations where they may have been tortured.



In Italy, a judge said this week that foreign intelligence officials "kidnapped" an Egyptian suspect in Milan two years ago and took him to a U.S. base from where he was flown home.

In Germany, a Munich prosecutor is preparing a batch of questions to U.S. authorities on the case of a Lebanese-born German who says he was arrested in Macedonia on New Year's Eve 2003 and flown by U.S. agents to a jail in Afghanistan.

And in Sweden, a parliamentary ombudsman has criticized the security services over the expulsion of two Egyptian terrorism suspects who were handed over to U.S. agents and flown home aboard a U.S. government-leased plane in 2001.

Campaign group Human Rights Watch said there was credible evidence the pair had been tortured while being held incommunicado for five weeks after their return. One was later convicted in a "patently unfair" trial.






Posted by: Fran | May 21, 2005 04:39 PM | #


New Swedish Documents Illuminate CIA Action - Probe Finds 'Rendition' Of Terror Suspects Illegal


Inside an airport police station, Swedish officers watched as the CIA operatives pulled out scissors and rapidly sliced off the prisoners' clothes, including their underwear, according to newly released Swedish government documents and eyewitness statements. They probed inside the men's mouths and ears and examined their hair before dressing the pair in sweat suits and draping hoods over their heads. The suspects were then marched in chains to the plane, where they were strapped to mattresses on the floor in the back of the cabin.

So began an operation the CIA calls an "extraordinary rendition," the forcible and highly secret transfer of terrorism suspects to their home countries or other nations where they can be interrogated with fewer legal protections.
...
Swedish security police said they were taken aback by the swiftness and precision of the CIA agents that night. Investigators concluded that the Swedes essentially stood aside and let the Americans take control of the operation, moving silently and communicating with hand signals, the documents show.



"I can say that we were surprised when a crew stepped out of the plane that seemed to be very professional, that had obviously done this before," Arne Andersson, an assistant director for the Swedish national security police, told government investigators.
...
More conflicts arose after the plane landed. One Swedish officer walked up the steps of the aircraft to greet the crew and was surprised to see that the agents -- a half-dozen or so Americans and two Egyptians -- were wearing hoods with semi-opaque fabric around the face, even though the small airport was essentially deserted.

"I told them that you don't need to wear hoods because there is no one here," the officer recalled in his statement to investigators. The foreign agents ignored him.






Posted by: Fran | May 21, 2005 04:56 PM | #

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