The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Rendition Collusion


Eoin McGrath • Forum Magazine, June-July 2006

A recently published Council of Europe report, compiled by Swiss senator Dick Marty, has exposed the active and passive collusion of several European countries in a CIA operated "global spider's web" of rendition flight paths, stopover facilities and secret detention centres.

The report has named Ireland as a key stopover point in the CIA-operated rendition programme.

The CIA devised the concept of extraordinary rendition - the abduction and transferral of people to countries where they are interrogated under torture - during the later years of the Clinton administration.

Over recent years, rendition has primarily been used against militant Islam, even though it has been declared illegal under international law.

Since March 2003, the Dublin government has permitted US military and CIA-owned flights to land and refuel at Shannon Airport.

This represents a radical departure in established government policy. For the previous fifty years foreign military aircraft had been denied overflight and landing facilities if they were carrying armaments, aerial photographic equipment, engaged in intelligence gathering or military exercises.

In the face of wide-ranging criticism, the Dublin government has continually claimed that no evidence has emerged to prove that detained Muslim prisoners have passed through Shannon in US military or CIA-owned chartered flights.

But how could any evidence emerge when the Dublin government has deliberately refused to check any US military or CIA-owned flights that have landed at Shannon over recent years?

Dick Marty pointed to European governments "having tolerated or having been negligent in fulfilling their duty to supervise". The Dublin government's approach is a classic example of this criticism.

The Department of Foreign Affairs points to repeated US assurances that no illegally detained prisoners have passed through Shannon. However, the Bush administration believes that it is legally entitled to arrest and detain any person it designates as a terrorist suspect anywhere in the world.

According to the Washington world-view, rendition is legally justifiable and an abducted and bound Muslim prisoner landing in Shannon on a CIA-owned flight is not defined as an illegally detained prisoner in US eyes. Hence US assurances to the Dublin government concerning the involvement of Shannon in rendition are worthless.

Last month a contract cleaner boarded a US military flight in Shannon and observed a US military prisoner shackled inside. The cleaner reported this observation to the Airport authorities. This was the first the Dublin government learnt of the issue, as the US government had not obtained the necessary permission to land the military detainee at Shannon.

How many other bound detainees, Muslim or US military, have passed through Shannon undetected by contract cleaners, our only source of information on this matter, since the Dublin government has abjured its responsibilities in this regard? We can only guess.

But what is certain is that numerous flights involved in rendition have landed in Shannon on the return leg of CIA abduction operations. For example, a CIA Gulfstream IV jet [call sign N85VM], which was involved in the abduction of Abu Omar in Milan on 16 February 2003, landed and refuelled at Shannon at 0552 on February 18. Another CIA Gulfstream jet [call sign N379P], involved in abducting Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad el-Zary in Sweden, has also landed at Shannon on numerous occasions over recent years.

This is only a small sample from a comprehensive list compiled by Amnesty International and the Irish Anti-War Movement.

Despite assertions to the contrary, the Dublin government has been facilitating an illegal CIA intelligence gathering operation that is founded on abduction and torture.

It is time for the Dublin government to end obfuscation in relation to this matter by complying with international law and by withdrawing landing and refuelling facilities from all US military and intelligence aircraft and all chartered flights transporting US military and intelligence personnel.




























Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

27 August 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Price of Our Memory
Anthony McIntyre

In the Balance
John Kennedy

The Time for Revolutionary Marxism is NOW
Darren Cogavin

No! To A Holy War
Liam O Comain

Rendition Collusion
Eoin McGrath

Rendition Flights
John Kennedy

An Open Letter to Martina Anderson
Dr John Coulter

An Honest Writer: Cristóir Ó Floinn
Seaghán Ó Murchú

A Dual Presidency: An Improbable Solution to the Irish Problem
Michael Gillespie

Michéal Mhá Dúnnáin

Petition Calling for a Referendum on Irish Unification
Patrick Lismore

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 5
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 6
Michael Gillespie

Number Crunching
Dr John Coulter

PFI Ventures Show the Con in all its Sordid Splendour
Anthony McIntyre

21 August 2006

Throwing the Book at Gerry
John Kennedy

The Man With the Planter Name
Liam O Comain

Diplock Delay Equals Justice Denied
Martin Galvin

Kevin Lynch, INLA Volunteer
Ray Collins

1981 Hunger Strike Commemoration in Chicago
Richard Wallace

The Question of Paisley's Legacy
Dr John Coulter

Turf War
John Kennedy

Eoin O’Duffy’s biography by Fearghal McGarry
Seaghán Ó Murchú

The Proclamation to Me
Mick Hall

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 3
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 4
Michael Gillespie

House on Notting Hill
Dr John Coulter

Courage, Muslim Leaders
David Adams

Middle East Conflict Has Abandoned Rules of War
Anthony McIntyre

A Warning From History
John Kennedy

Cartoon Commissar
Anthony McIntyre

The Letters page has been updated.



The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices