[News] Huge stash of rendition documents reveal how the CIA covered its tracks
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 1 10:12:10 EDT 2011
Huge stash of rendition documents reveal how the CIA covered its tracks
A trove of new information about the
international renditions business has today been
unveiled by legal action charity Reprieve.
Over 1500 operational and legal documents,
originally disclosed as part of a New York court
case fought from 2007 to 2011, now offer the
first comprehensive overview of how the CIAs
unlawful programme of extraordinary renditions
otherwise known as kidnap - was structured and managed.
Reprieves evidence shows how:
* A complicated billing chain obscured the
ultimate end user of the flights -- the CIA
* The US government used the same aircraft
tail number N85VM, owned by Liverpool FC owner
Philip Morse -- for over 55 flights to Guantanamo
Bay, Kabul, Bangkok, Dubai, Islamabad, Cairo,
Baghdad, Djibouti, Rabat, Frankfurt, Ramstein,
Rome, Tenerife, the Azores and Bucharest
* The plane, a Gulfstream jet, frequently
passed through British and Irish airports en
route, including Shannon, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London Luton
* Richmor executives used disturbing newspeak
to describe the ghost prisoners that they were
shuttling to torture sites, referring to them as "invitees"
* All rendition flights were covered by a
"letter of convenience" from the State Department
* The CIA continued to pay millions to cover
its its tracks well after its illegal
rendition-to-torture programme was made public
The documents also add previously unseen detail
to several notorious rendition cases, including
that of Abu Omar, snatched in Milan in February
2003 and rendered to torture in Egypt - a case
which culminated in the in absentia kidnapping
conviction of 22 CIA operatives by an Italian judge.
Reprieves Legal Director Cori Crider said:
These documents give us an unprecedented
insight into how the government outsourced
renditions, right down to the complicated
paper-trail the CIA used to cover their tracks.
When you see all these details, litigated for
years in the open, the question that comes to
mind is: why were Binyam Mohamed, Bisher al-Rawi,
and all the other rendition victims denied their
day in court? This case proves, once and for all,
that the reason the government blocked the
rendition cases was not to protect sensitive
material. It was to avoid embarrassment.
Notes to editors:
For further information please contact Donald
Campbell or Katherine O'Shea in Reprieves press
<mailto:donald.campbell at reprieve.org.uk>donald.campbell at reprieve.org.uk
/ +44 (0)20 7427 1082 / (0)77 91 755 415 or
<mailto:katherine.oshea at reprieve.org.uk>katherine.oshea at reprieve.org.uk
In an effort to diversify the planes available to
it, the US Government sought, as early as 2002,
private aircraft which could perform
government-related operations under "certificates
of convenience" issued by the State Department.
The operations of one such plane - Gulfstream jet
N85VM, managed by Richmor Aviation and owned by
Philip Morse, also the owner of Liverpool
football club - are copiously divulged in over
1500 pages of documents, which have seen the
light of day after Richmor Aviation filed a lawsuit for breach of contract.
Astonishingly, whereas in the case brought in
2007 by the American Civil Liberties Union
against flight planner Jeppesen for facilitating
torture flights the government stepped in and
used "state secrets privilege" to shut down
proceedings, in this parallel instance no effort
was made to cover up the incriminating stream of
documentation which Richmor's suit entailed.
Flights were arranged by a Virginia-based private
military company, Dyncorp, which later merged
with the technology company Computer Sciences
Corporation (CSC). Employees at Dyncorp/CSC
located brokers, who in turn located flight
operators with available aircraft and crews. The
government - the ultimate customer - paid a
reduced hourly rate for exclusive rights to the
services of Richmor's N85VM, initially over a
six-month period between June and November 2002.
A working arrangement between the various parties
continued through to 2005, however.
Trial transcripts make clear that some of N85VM's
flights carried prisoners or - in the parlance of
Richmor's owner - "invitees". Others took US
government agents to Guantanamo Bay. Bundles of
invoices reveal previously unseen insights into
flights which can be connected with the rendition
of Abu Omar as well as those of "high value
detainees" Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Hambali.
High-value detainee Al-Nashiri was captured in
Dubai in October 2002. He was then taken to a CIA
prison in Afghanistan. Between 8 and 11 Nov.
2002, documents disclosed here show the N85VM
flew from Washington DC to Shannon in Ireland,
then to Dubai, on to Kabul, then back to Dubai,
passing through London Luton and arriving finally
back in Washington. Abu Omar, meanwhile, having
been taken from Milan to a US military base in
Ramstein in Germany, was flown on 18 February
2003 on N85VM from there to Cairo; the plane then
returned to the US via Shannon.
Although some data concerning the movement of
N85VM had already been compiled, the documents
disclosed here include considerable extra detail
and some previously unknown destinations.
Reprieve investigators are working to identify
other prisoners who might have been connected
with other, previously unknown flights documented here.
PO Box 52742
London EC4P 4WS
Tel: 020 7353 4640
Fax: 020 7353 4641
Reprieve is a charitable company limited by
guarantee; Registered Charity No. 1114900
Registered Company No. 5777831 (England)
Registered Office 2-6 Cannon Street London EC4M
6YH; Chair: Ken Macdonald QC; Patrons: Alan
Bennett, Julie Christie, Martha Lane Fox, Gordon
Roddick, Richard Rogers, Ruth Rogers, Jon Snow,
Marina Warner, Vivienne Westwood
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the News