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US Air Force Hercules AC-130W reg 87-9288 - A US KILLER COMES CALLING
anti-war / imperialism |
Friday October 18, 2013 15:29 by Galway Alliance Against War
So this is the little US "beauty" that landed at Shannon Warport on the 5th Sept and departed on the 6th Sept. US Air Force Hercules AC-130W reg 87-9288
THE US MILITARY HUB AT SHANNON AIRPORT & LABOUR’S MAKEOVER FOR DEREK NOLAN
The Galway Alliance Against War has stated that the publication of a parliamentary question confirming an armed US warplane landed at Shannon “underlines the need to close the US military hub at Shannon airport.”
According to the US military this incident was caused by an “administrative error”. However GAAW argues that it “shows that the US army sees Shannon as just another US military base. And why wouldn’t they? For the past 12 years Washington has flown millions of troops through Shannon and thousands of military transport planes, plus CIA “rendition” flights have freely travelled to war zones via the Co. Clare airport. None of these planes have ever been searched, nor would they be searched at any normal US military airport.
“It is a known fact – that became clear to the public on RTE’s Joe Duffy Show back on April 1st 2008 – that munitions are transported through Shannon including depleted uranium. This became apparent after a US DC8 transport plane made an emergency landing at Shannon. A spokesperson for the owners of the plane, Murray’s Air, admitted on RTE that the company had a licence from the Irish state to transport munitions, including depleted uranium via Ireland.
“One of the most regular US military transport planes to land in Shannon is the Hercules C130. These are used by the US military to carry the killer drones. These weapons are highly portable and are disassembled and carried in a container appropriately called a “coffin”. Because consecutive Irish governments have refused to search US military flights Washington can send whatever they wish through Shannon, including kidnapped prisoners and deadly weaponry. It is time to close this US military hub.”
DEREK NOLAN’S MICHAEL D MAKEOVER
This most recent controversy at Shannon occurred on September 5th when Irish army personnel noted that one of the warplanes was armed with a fixed weapon, i.e. a missile. Galway’s local peace group believes that it was no accident that Derek Nolan, a Galway Labour TD, was given the task of posing the question. “We believe Labour is trying to give Derek Nolan a Michael D makeover in a vain attempt to save the Labour seat. Nolan was recently in the Middle East on some silly fact-finding mission and now he’s posing a question given to him by the authorities about the US military at Shannon. This is just a ruse by Labour. Nolan has never shown any interest in peace up until now. His new-found interest is farcical. No question about it, Nolan is toast!”ENDS
Below transcript and podcast link to abovementioned Joe Duffy programme
An American DC8 made an emergency landing in Shannon last Friday evening. Despite the fact that the good people of Shannon and Askeaton reporting that a low flying plane with flames coming out of it had scared the bejesus out of them, this event was ignored by the national media (until today).
On top of this. The plane in question was a part of Murray Air's fleet. This company is licensed to carry 'goods' for the American military and does so. After much waffle, a certain Ms. Bell admitted that the flight on Friday night had been carrying goods for the US military, but would neither confirm nor deny that these goods were munitions. Later on in the interview, this changed to a flat out denial that munitions were the cargo. One must also realise at this point that Ms. Bell at first refused to confirm that the customer was the American military and that through the course of her interrogation she was forced to confirm that it was indeed the US military that was the customer on Friday night. If the cargo were not munitions, why the big deal, in telling us what the cargo was? Surely the US would go to pains to assure us poor boggers that we were in no danger of being blown to bits, or worse, poisoned for generations by Depleted Uranium.
Under cross examination by Edward Horgan and Joe Duffy today, Tracey Bell, Director of administration for Murray Air, admitted that explosives had been brought through Shannon on previous occasions:
Joe Duffy - Murray Air could carry explosives through Shannon?
Tracey Bell - I can confirm that, yes sir.
Joe Duffy - Have you carried explosives through Shannon?
Tracey Bell - I believe so, yes sir.
Joe Duffy - ... for the American Army?
Tracey Bell - Yes sir.
These confessions were extracted without waterboarding or through the use of other forms of outlawed torture.
It was asked by Edward Horgan whether Murray Air had carried Depleted Uranium through Shannon. Tracey said she didn't know, but when pressed confirmed that their license allowed for them to carry DU through Shannon.
Why would one bother getting such a license if one didn't intend to use it?
Ms. Bell also insisted that Murray Air was in full compliance with Irish law.
Has the Irish government given permission to carry munitions through Irish airspace and airports to Murray Air and does this permission extend to carrying Depleted Uranium?
http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2008/pc/pod- ... veline.mp3
Caption: Video Id: 6FvmWBx6BLw Type: Youtube Video
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The Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has had to concede that an armed U.S. military aircraft landed at Shannon last month. On Oct 15th, he said "I am aware of one landing at Shannon Airport ... in which a US military aircraft, contrary to notification, was found to be armed with a fixed weapon". He claimed that the landing, which was on September 5th, was an "administrative error".
The aircraft in question was a US Air Force Hercules AC-130W, registration 87-9288. It arrived in Shannon on September 5th and departed the following day.
The Minister did not provide this information but Shannonwatch know it from their own data on military flights through Shannon.
Reacting to this news, John Lannon of Shannonwatch said "Its important to reiterate here that we're talking about an armed aircraft at Shannon, not a pistol held by the crew, or personal weapons like rifles and pistols that come through all the time. The aircraft in question has a 30mm cannon and a laser guided missile system. So this is an large weapon, designed to cause great damage and potentially great loss of life. And it was sitting at the airport in Shannon, in "neutral" Ireland".
"This gun was clearly visible, and was therefore admitted to by the US Embassy. But there may be other lethal weapons on aircraft at Shannon every day of the week that are not so visible. The Minister for Foreign Affairs cannot continue now with the pretence that the US military are not engaged in military operations when they come through Shannon. He's got the evidence that should lead to decisive action to end Ireland's support for US wars, and for military interventions not sanctioned by the UN."
"Minister Gilmore and the rest of the government cannot continue to accept and repeat "assurances" from the US embassy about Shannon" said Mr Lannon. "They gave "assurances" that they don't have weapons on military planes, butthey have been found out on this occasion. The U.S. also gave "assurances" to the UK government that they hadn't used British airports for renditions, yet it was discovered that they had".
"When it comes to international movement of military and CIA operatives and aircraft, US assurances are worthless. So why should we believe their assurances about Shannon and renditions? How long until we hear that there were illegally kidnapped prisoners shackled on planes at Shannon? And will Minister Gilmore call that an administrative error, just like the weaponry?"
For years Shannonwatch have been asking for proper inspections of US military planes at Shannon They now reiterate their demands for regular and routine inspections until such time as the US military use of the airport is finally ended. "One very important reason for this is the huge risks associated with having weapons at a civilian airport like Shannon" said John Lannon. "We've known for the last decade that there were weapons and (almost certainly) ammunition on board Omni Air International and other "civilian" troop carriers, and that an explosion would have very grave consequences. Now we know that aircraft arrive at Shannon with fixed weapons - in other words missiles or guns mounted on the side or wings" .
"Another reason why there shouldn't be any aircraft with weapons attached at Shannon is that it violates the strong commitment the Irish people have to peace and human rights protection".
"On top of all that there is now evidence that the US has broken the legal agreements the Minister places so much trust in. So it's about time he stopped allowing himself to be misled by the US embassy - or that he stopped misleading the Irish people".
"The lives of millions of people who suffer the daily fear of being shot at by the weapons going through Shannon are at stake".
Innocent passengers travelling to the US are subjected to biometrics and invasive humiliating personal searches by the TSA etc, yet when US planes land at Shannon bristling with ordinance, hollow assurances are all that are required by a pliant Irish puppet government.
Next time somebody is caught with explosives going through a US airport security check (a very rare occurrence despite all the terror hype), they should claim "administrative error" and see where that gets them! Guantanamo bay I suspect myself!
'What to bear in mind when monitoring US military flights landing at a civilian Irish airport.
Not your typical anoraks, the planespotters Tim, Ed and Conor have become adept at monitoring and tracking the US military flights that land and refuel at Shannon Airport in neutral Ireland. Since early 2003 the lads have continued to photograph troops in desert fatigues hanging out in the arrivals hall and they have documented thousands of US military flights enroute or returning from active service in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently they have recorded sightings of small planes linked with the US governments secretive policy of Extraordinary Rendition. Is the next stop for these unmarked charter planes Guantánamo Bay?
With a punchy beat driven soundtrack provided by Felix Laband and Captain Asthma, Aoibheann O’Sullivan takes the viewer on a light-hearted caper through a serious issue.
Since early 2003, well over a million US troops have passed through Shannon Airport on their way to active service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Shannonwatch planespotters have been there from the beginning, documenting the chartered troop carriers landing at this civilian airport in a neutral country.
While some planes have been clearly marked as US military aircraft, countless are unmarked charter flights that have been leased, re-leased and leased again in attempts to disguise their military function. Many of these have been directly implicated in the United States governments controversial program of ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ and Shannon Airport was mentioned as a key stopover point in a EU investigation into this practice.
Despite An Garda Síochána (Ireland's National Police Service) and the Shannon Airport Authority using bright lights, harassment, arrests and court proceedings in an attempt to dissuade them, the Shannonwatch lads have continued to persevere with their undertaking. They publicise all their findings online, and this information has been essential in the coordinated effort to uncover and highlight the Irish governments complicity in two highly controversial wars.
On the 6th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, documentary filmmaker Aoibheann O’Sullivan travelled to the small airport in the west of Ireland to catch up with the military planespotters.
The result: 8 Things to Remember if you want to be a Shannonwatch planespotter.'
Caption: Video Id: 5013933 Type: Vimeo
8 Things to Remember if you are a Shannonwatch planespotter!
"THE USE OF Shannon Airport by US military is violating aviation, human rights, and international law, according to a new booklet being published by peace groups today."
Search Engine List #1:
"THE USE OF Shannon Airport by US military is violating aviation, human rights, and international law ..."
Search Engine List #2:
"Shannon Airport, government corruption, crime, cover ups, impunity ..."
Then, if such a list could be produced, maybe our government could be challenged in our courts?
If one objects to the AC130 gunship parked at Shannon, and I totally respect one right to such objection, then should there have been a similar objection at Cobh about two weeks ago when there was a naval review which had naval warships from UK Russia France Belgium and I think Germany. Each of those ships packed a considerable more punch in terms of weapons than this single aircraft. Should we object to Irish naval vessels calling at port in UK France USA etc as those ships to carry deck mounted cannon that could really ruin ones day.
Not trolling just interested to see what people think