Friday 11 February 2005

Britain Accused Over CIA's Secret Torture Flights

Thanks Tony, thanks for making me feel ashamed to be British. When are people going to wake up and smell the stench of rotting fascism in the air? But I forgot, most of the little domesticated primates are far too busy with the latest ring-tone or episode of Big Brother, all thanks to Tony's mates like Rupert who control the flow of information. Everything's really ok, the government aren't a bunch of nasty conniving dishonest fearmongering corrupt cocksuckers and there's no danger from them at all, but "LOOK AT THOSE NASTY TERRORISTS OVER THERE! We need to protect our society and our way of life, those nasty dark skinned people are out to get us!"

Am I the only one who thinks it's all just another system of control being used by tired old men who have no vision, no humanity and no LOVE left in their cold-dead hearts?

Britain's intelligence agencies have been accused of helping America in a secret operation that is sending terror suspects to Middle Eastern countries where prisoners are routinely tortured and abused.

Since 11 September 2001, the CIA has been systematically seizing suspects and sending them, without legal process, not only to Guantanamo Bay but to authorities in countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Human rights campaigners say the system, officially known as "extraordinary rendition" is a system of torture by proxy.

Britain maintains the main reason it will not deport prisoners being held without charge at Belmarsh prison is the fear they will be tortured or otherwise abused by their home country. But a series of cases has emerged which, critics say, exposes the Government's dishonesty by suggesting information provided by Britain about its citizens and residents has led to the capture and eventual torture of Islamic terrorist suspects.

Britain is also an operational base for two executive jets regularly used by the CIA to carry out so-called "renditions". One Gulfstream jet - used for taking prisoners to Egypt and Jordan from countries including Sweden and Indonesia - has called regularly at Luton, Glasgow, Prestwick and Northolt airports.

A Boeing 737 jet, used for the transfer of prisoners, passed through Glasgow airport on Monday morning on its way to Iraq. Both jets are white and unmarked, apart from their US civilian registration. Inquiries suggest they are owned by US companies that exist only on paper and which are almost certainly a front for the CIA.

Michael Ratner, the director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, which is representing several former prisoners who were "renditioned", said: "It is a secret process. No one really knows what happens in the rendition process or in the gulag of secret CIA hellholes [where some prisoners are sent]."

One notorious rendition occurred in Sweden in December 2001 when a team of masked US agents arrived to transfer two Egyptian dissidents, both accused of terrorist involvement, to Cairo. Both complained later of torture.

But there is evidence that intelligence originating in Britain may have been behind the CIA's involvement in the seizure of at least one of the Egyptians, an asylum-seeker named Mohamed al-Zery, who, after months of torture, was eventually cleared and freed.

Yassir al-Sirri, an Islamic activist living in London who is accused by Egypt and America of having al-Qa'ida connections, said that, in the weeks before his own arrest in London in October 2001, he had been in touch with Mr Zery, who wanted help with collecting information for his asylum claim.

Speaking to BBC Radio's File on Four, Mr Sirri said that when British anti-terrorist officers raided his home, they took his computer and his fax records and those were passed to the Americans.

"Later in Sweden this man, Mr Zehry, was arrested and this information could only have come from the British authorities. They are completely responsible. It's criminal," Mr Sirri said.

Full story...