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RENDITION AND THE BLACK SITES
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RENDITION AND THE BLACK SITES
Dotted around the world in locations that are often remote, almost impossible to access and masked by a “Front of house” facade that misleads the casual glance into believing that a facility is something that it is not are detention centres that the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] would rather not admit exist. They contain many combatants, insurgents and some would say enemies of a state that began a “War on Terror” shortly after the economic heart of New York was devastated by the attack upon the World Trade Center. That these places exist at all is a damming comment upon the methods employed by a nation that claims to be a “Freedom loving democracy”, that this nation permits a branch of its security service to continue operating them from centers outside its home territorial control speaks volumes of the double standards that it employs to undermine what it sees as the terrorist threat to world peace. In many ways the intentions of this particular state have become tainted by their “Zeal” to “Get the job done” at any cost. It has become extremely difficult to draw a line between the rights and wrongs of protagonists that are on the one hand victims of terror and on the other perpetrators of a terrorist culture. In fact there is no longer a dividing line separating good and evil nor is there a great deal of difference between that which the CIA does in the name of its government the USA and the acts of wanton terrorism perpetrated by an ever growing international web of intrigues, violent attacks and insurrections carried out by an expanding terrorist culture.
In 2005 George W Bush [President USA] admitted that there might be facilities “offshore” where work of a sensitive nature to determine the true threats from global terrorism was in progress though he did not specify what the facilities were nor their locations. It was a clear indication that not only was the “Work” sanctioned by the USA but that the administration had a fair idea what the work entailed and whilst there was discomfort in the admission there was no will to end this aspect of their global war on terror. The “Work of a sensitive nature” is interrogation techniques that would not be acceptable in the USA because they could be regarded as torture. The methods include long periods of solitary confinement, the application of physical and psychological pain, sensory deprivation, electro convulsive inducements and the application of mind-bending drugs to extract information. If these “Facilities” existed on US sovereign territory they would fall well within the scope of US law and contravene at least nine constitutional amendments and would have been prosecuted out of existence by the US courts which is why none of them are located where US law would apply in the true sense. If a sovereign state should descend to extracting information by these methods it is a matter for its own legislature and its inherent national conscience to ratify but if that regime of torture impinges upon other states it then becomes a matter for international action.
It has been apparent for some time that the actions of the CIA and by implication the US government has been embroiling other sovereign states in this reprehensible practise by what is called “Rendition”. Rendition by its simplest definition means to “Hand over”. The CIA practise of employing “Sub-contractors” who use methods of interrogation that the CIA would not be allowed to use by its very nature requires the relocation of a detainee to the “Premises of the contractor” which in turn means that the body is transported usually by air to the third party. The problem arises when that means of transport has to land for refuelling or for some other reason in a country that does not employ the methods of interrogation that is the speciality of the contractor. Wherever the mission lands en route now becomes party, knowingly or not to the methods employed at the final destination and thus would become subject to local laws, which may forbid such actions. In many cases the “Transport” utilises established US air bases but an increasing number of “Refuellings” have been taking place at commercial airports such as Shannon in the Irish Republic, Heathrow and Manchester in the UK and Skipol in Holland, in all cases the governments concerned have laws specifically forbidding the use of torture and yet no action has ever been taken against rendition flights. A sceptic might feel that “Governmental blind eyes” are being turned upon that which would be politically difficult to see or deal with.
The “Rendition” teams are essentially MIB’s [men in black] and they are thought to have a modus operandi that involves the kidnap/capture/torture of suspected terrorists who are neutralised operationally and then handed over to “Specialist contractors” that extract the information they carry by whatever means necessary. The “Disappeared” are usually detained at what is called “Black sites” once thought to allude to the snatch teams of “Men in black” who secure the “Assets” [or suspected terrorist combatants] but this is not the case. A “Black Site” is “CIA speak” for any facility where the true purpose is denied by the CIA and the US government. Black sites have existed for a number of years and to begin with they were mainly military installation carrying out work of a more clandestine nature. The rise of the terror culture has led the CIA to increase the number of its Black Sites the true nature of which was denied by both the CIA and the US government until 2006 when George Bush was forced to admit that they did in fact exist and were an integral part of the war on terror, they are in fact secret prisons where law does not exist and they are all outside the USA. On the Black Sites rules do not apply, prisoners have no rights, there is no remission because no tariff was ever set and there are only two means of release, death or the remote possibility of escape. Part of the Guantanamo Bay facility was once a Black Site but its notoriety has now forced it from the shadowy world of clandestine operations into the international spotlight.
Flights of CIA controlled aircraft cross Europe frequently and some carry prisoners who are suspected terrorists on their way to “Specialist contractors” for the extraction of information or to put it plainly they are going to be tortured. It is called “Rendition” or “Extraordinary Rendition” and the sovereign states where the flights land for any reason are myopically implicated in the operations.
Recently the Association of Chief Police Officers [ACPO] in the UK saw fit to publish the results of an investigation into this reprehensible traffic and concluded that the “Rendition” flights do not land here and never have but as little as ten days ago one did Almost simultaneously 25 CIA operatives and a USAF colonel were indicted on charges of torture arising from a kidnapping in Milan. The charges involved a “Rendition” of a cleric snatched in Italy, which involved a flight to Germany and then on to Egypt.
There are Black Sites in Europe, CIA MIB’s operate here and at least eight states are fully aware of the extent of the operations but deny it, two that can no longer deny it are Poland and Romania. Black Sites do not necessarily have to be a tangible piece of real estate, they can be an aircraft, a warship or even an automobile, and there are several incidences where they have been.
In the UK not that long ago the courts of appeal were exorcised to give a ruling on a point of law arising from a terror trial, The question was, “Is evidence admissible in an English court of law that was known to be extracted by the application of torture if that torture was carried out by a third party that operates outside the UK and is no part of the English state?” The Law lords held that it was not but the fact that the question was put at all undermines a UK law that forbids the use of torture under any circumstances and has done so for more than 300 years. What was being asked was if “Specialised information extraction” could be farmed out to a contractor who was not part of the UK state and the information gained used in UK courts.
In an interview on national TV a spokesman for one of the minor political parties in the UK government was asked if the ACPO report on Extraordinary Rendition was in fact a cover up as no evidence from either government or the UK security services was covered in the report as both have to be considered as major players in the scandal. Reluctantly he agreed that it was probable.
The operatives of a foreign security service are required to clear any operational requirements with the sovereign nation before they proceed, in most cases this is still the case but increasingly it is becoming very clear that some security services are operating independently of governments, protocols or any control. At least one security service was banned from operating on British soil for carrying out operations so similar to rendition that it is difficult to discern any difference.
The much vaunted “Special Relationship” that is said to exist between the USA and the UK is being stretched beyond its limit of plasticity by the compromise of the UK domestic law, whilst it is in the wider interests of both nations to combat the threats from terrorist activities there is a point which neither state can exceed, that point has already been reached.
Though the terror attack on the World Trade Center came toward the end of Bill Clinton’s tenure the Black Sites and Rendition were facets of the CIA operations even then. During the Bush administration the Black Sites have grown in number particularly in the states that were once part of the communist block. It is thought that many of the states where the Black sites are located were offered a deal by the US who agreed to “Sponsor” their admission to the North Atlantic Treaty organisation [NATO] in return for a small piece of land where no questions would be asked about what takes place. Rendition flights often land at Shannon, Heathrow and Manchester en-route to eastern European destinations, despite denials to the contrary someone is permitting them to land and turning a blind eye when they do.
The difference between the states engaged in the so-called “War on Terror” and the perpetrators of acts of terrorism is now barely discernable. They are both disposed to use any means at their disposal to achieve a victory at any cost. The victory if it ever comes to pass will be picric because the ideals of “Truth and justice” once held sacred by the US are now tainted by the zealous prosecution of a war they cannot win..
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