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Thread: Has the UK Govt been "Turning a Blind Eye"

  1. #1
    Mr JP Fugley's Avatar Frog Shoulder BT Rep: +4
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    From http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=2349262005 today. For those who don't know it, the Scotsman is a proper newspaper, not a tabloid or somesuch.


    Straw's torture flight quiz


    JACK Straw has sent a second letter to the US government demanding answers over the alleged use of British airports for CIA "torture flights", Scotland on Sunday can reveal.

    Straw was last week pressured into writing to Condoleezza Rice, his US counterpart, in Britain's capacity as president of the European Union, to request "clarification" of claims that the CIA had used private jets to ferry terror suspects for interrogation - even torture - in secret prisons in Europe.

    The Foreign Secretary's second letter, which is understood to have been written on behalf of the British government, follows growing anger on both sides of the Atlantic at the so-called "extraordinary rendition" missions passing through British airspace or stopping at airports across the country. Straw's letter to Washington asks Rice for more details on the flights. Rice, the US Secretary of State, will be forced to answer the EU-wide concerns about the so-called "black sites", set out in Straw's communication, when she visits Europe this week.

    But Scotland on Sunday has established that the Foreign Secretary has also made an individual approach to Britain's closest ally for more information about US activities in, and above, the UK. The approach came as it emerged that a US civil rights groups says it is taking the CIA to court to stop the transportation of terror suspects to countries outside US legal authority. The American Civil Liberties Union, which is acting for a man allegedly flown to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, said the intelligence agency has broken both US and international law.

    "It is wrong for anyone to say we have not pressed the Americans on this," one senior source close to the Foreign Office said last night. "We have asked questions. We have done it officially and less officially and we hope to start getting some more information on this in the next few days."

    Straw is understood to have written to Rice last week, appealing for more information on the scale and nature of CIA flights through the UK. Campaigners claim that CIA-owned jets have passed through UK airports - including six in Scotland - on more than 200 occasions since the start of the international war on terror four years ago.

    Ministers have been accused of displaying a "lack of curiosity" in not questioning the flights in the past. But their belated attempts to find out what the CIA planes have been doing in the UK since 2001 were last night greeted with caution by civil rights campaigners.

    ANALYSIS

    THEY go by names such as N581GA and N44982, N8068V and N379P - featureless identifiers that reveal nothing of their intriguing role in the fight against international terrorism.

    The aircraft of the "ghost fleet", the CIA-owned collection of jets that has criss-crossed the globe diligently and incessantly since September 11, 2001, have been regular sights on the tarmac of Scotland's airports.

    On at least 170 occasions, at Prestwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leuchars, Inverness and Wick, the Gulfstreams have touched down and hung around for anything from a few minutes to overnight stays. Yet, while the world's news pages have gradually come alive to allegations of "extraordinary rendition", to the prospect of detainees being carried on the planes, drugged and ferried to "black sites" where they could be tortured in private, they have remained unmolested by the UK authorities.

    It was a remarkably neighbourly gesture, particularly at a time of increased international scrutiny, when other foreign governments were either demanding explanations from the Americans or banning "ghost flights" from their air space. Chris Mullin, a Foreign Office minister until earlier this year, last week observed that his colleagues had shown a marked "lack of curiosity" about the developing mystery surrounding the flights.

    Human Rights minister Ian Pearson attempted to set the record straight, telling MPs: "When it comes to 'black sites' and, indeed, when it comes to rendition ... it is right for us to ask the US for more information, and we are actively doing that."

    As of March, 108 detainees were known to have died in US military and CIA custody. At least 26 deaths have been investigated as criminal homicides.

    The justification for the UK staying out of the issue may, however, be taken away from politicians and the legal system, if human rights campaigners are successful in forcing the authorities to take action to investigate the growing suspicions.
    One can only assume that, if the shit is to be hitting the fan, then at least some of it will be headed Tony's way. It is difficult to see a reasonable position for our Govt to take, short of "well actually we didn't know what they were doing, but we didn't think to ask, so we just let a foreign Govt use our country as a stopping off point and didn't bother with customs or immigration oh and sorry EU because we are responsible to everyone here when people come from third countries."

    "Art and part", anyone.
    "there is nothing misogynistic about anything, stop trippin.
    i type this way because im black and from nyc chill son "

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    Busyman's Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!!!
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    Has The UK Gov't Been Turning A Blind Eye?
    Silly bitch, your weapons cannot harm me. Don't you know who I am? I'm the Juggernaut, Bitchhhh!

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  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    Mr JP Fugley's Avatar Frog Shoulder BT Rep: +4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busyman
    Has The UK Gov't Been Turning A Blind Eye?
    You think they may have had some small inkling of what was happening then, surely not.
    "there is nothing misogynistic about anything, stop trippin.
    i type this way because im black and from nyc chill son "

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    I eagerly await more news/information.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Mr JP Fugley's Avatar Frog Shoulder BT Rep: +4
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4
    I eagerly await more news/information.
    As do I. I think that there is a huge story, which is simmering away, but just about to boil over.
    "there is nothing misogynistic about anything, stop trippin.
    i type this way because im black and from nyc chill son "

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    I think Nelson would be most impressed at the firmness with which the telescope was planted onto the eye patch.

    Mr Straw is far from comfortable.
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Mr JP Fugley's Avatar Frog Shoulder BT Rep: +4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles
    I think Nelson would be most impressed at the firmness with which the telescope was planted onto the eye patch.

    Mr Straw is far from comfortable.


    I can't believe you just did a "Nelson wearing an eye patch" rod, you old dog.

    Anyhoo, Mr Straw may be starting to feel a wee hair lonely. A sword and perhaps throwing himself seem a distinct possibility.
    "there is nothing misogynistic about anything, stop trippin.
    i type this way because im black and from nyc chill son "

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr JP Fugley
    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles
    I think Nelson would be most impressed at the firmness with which the telescope was planted onto the eye patch.

    Mr Straw is far from comfortable.


    I can't believe you just did a "Nelson wearing an eye patch" rod, you old dog.

    Anyhoo, Mr Straw may be starting to feel a wee hair lonely. A sword and perhaps throwing himself seem a distinct possibility.


    I agree. I feel a tad sorry for Mr Straw. He looks like a man who genuinely wasn't told. I think he is for a touch of collective responsibility...
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr JP Fugley
    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4
    I eagerly await more news/information.
    As do I. I think that there is a huge story, which is simmering away, but just about to boil over.
    I feel it only fair to point out it may turn out to be "much ado...", too.

    There is a surplus of rhetoric on the general subject just now.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    Mr JP Fugley's Avatar Frog Shoulder BT Rep: +4
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr JP Fugley
    As do I. I think that there is a huge story, which is simmering away, but just about to boil over.
    I feel it only fair to point out it may turn out to be "much ado...", too.
    I suspect you say that more in hope than as a result of any logical analysis.

    However why prejudge the situation. Let's just trust that people remember "innocent until proven guilty" and so forth. It is a fundamental principal of our legal system. Wouldn't want to forget that and treat people as if they had been tried and convicted, prior to any "due process".

    Feck, I think I'm suffering from an overactive irony gland. Who would have thought.
    "there is nothing misogynistic about anything, stop trippin.
    i type this way because im black and from nyc chill son "

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