Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Monday, June 11, 2007

  British reports about secret CIA torture flights

More than two weeks ago, This World (BBC) aired a documentary on the CIA "ghost" flights that carry prisoners around the world-wide torture network. It's very impressive reporting and I think you'll want to watch it; certainly if you live in the US, you may never see programming like this. Fortunately, the video now has been posted on-line.

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This link will take you to the full hour-long program. The program has also been posted in six 10-minute segments, if you prefer to view it that way. The first segment is here.

Only last weekend, one of the CIA's most notorious torture planes refueled at an RAF base in Suffolk, England (image above). Via NewsHoggers and The Agonist, I see that The Daily Mail has a detailed report on that incident.

The plane was logged arriving at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk last weekend, and watching aviation experts said the aircraft, piloted by crew clad in desert fatigues, was immediately surrounded on the runway by armed American security forces.

Its registration number, clearly visible on the fuselage, identifies it as a plane which the European Parliament says has been involved in 'ghost flights' to smuggle terrorist suspects to shadowy interrogation centres abroad.

Records show the plane is owned by Blackwater USA, a CIA contractor described as "the most secretive and powerful mercenary army on the planet". An eyewitness, who previously worked as an RAF electronic warfare expert, said that as the plane - a CASA-212 Aviocar - taxied to a stop on the runway it was met by a US military Humvee.

The vehicle contained four US security policemen armed with M16 assault rifles, who accompanied the camouflaged crew to the airport terminal.

From Britain, the plane flew on to Malta, where it usually is stationed. The aircraft is well documented in European flight logs as one of the most active "ghost planes".

Thus the torture flights continue, and continue to use Britain as a staging area—despite the claims of the Association of Chief Police Officers that they had found no evidence of British collusion with the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program. The release of that report last week was timed to coincide with the Council of Europe report that found substantial evidence of collusion between European governments and the CIA torture network.

You'll recall too that in March McClatchy showed that as recently as January prisoners in Africa were being flown to secret prisons as part of the "extraordinary rendition" program. The news from Britain strongly suggests that the European part of the "spiderweb" remains active as well.

crossposted from Unbossed

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