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Extraordinary Rendition Through Shannon: Protesters Point Finger At A Government In Denial

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Sunday October 09, 2005 15:04author by Tim Hourigan - Cosantoiri Siochana Report this post to the editors

' . . . but that word "currently" was in the answer for a reason. Technically, it's not a lie'

Background To This Story From Indymedia Archives: Amnesty Cite Shannon Complicity In US "Extraordinary Renditions" | Shannon: Hard Truths In Seanad Via Sweden Via Indymedia Ireland | Guantanámo Bay Express uses Shannon Airport | Peace Activists Call For Govt To Come Clean On CIA At Shannon | Activists lodge complaint about Guantanamo Bay Express | CIA Torture Jet Sold In Attempted Cover Up | More On The US 'Secret Commando Unit' That Has In Past Repeatedly Transited Thru Shannon

It has been a busy few weeks for Shannon airport news. There have been banner drops, arrests, IAWM demos, John Gormley of the Greens sparring with Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, and the media mostly taking a government line. Today [Saturday, October 9th], a small group of protestors decided to bring the message back to the scene of the crime.

"John Gormley had a battle with Ahern this week about these jets, the fact that they are not inspected, and the fact that Denmark has BANNED the CIA from using their airspace, while we allow them at our airport. A Danish official recently sent me a list of CIA flights through Danish Airspace. One of them was from Shannon to Kabul, in Afghanistan. Denmark has forced them to make a detour around their airspace, but they are still welcome at Shannon.

Complete Report as Submitted by Tim H. to the Newswire

Busy few weeks for Shannon news. Banner drops, arrests, IAWM demos, Gormley sparring with Dermot Ahern, and the media mostly taking a government line. Today a small group of protestors decided to bring the message back to the scene of the crime, rather than the flats at Drumgeely, surrounded by cops.
So, a quick synopsis of the news regarding the torture jets.
When it was discovered they were using Shannon, the govt went immediately blind to any wrong doing...
When the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights was contacted last month about CIA jets at Shannon, he said he was interested, but he already had a list of countries to look regarding rendition flights and would look at Ireland "in due time". So probably around late 2006, perhaps? better than never.
The government spin doctors... being silent for two whole weeks after that decided to write a weasel answer for Dermot Ahern, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
When he was asked about it in the Dail he said that his people had contacted the office of Prof Scheinin (the UN guy) and had confirmed that he is not CURRENTLY investigating Ireland.
Of course most of the media took that as completely rubbishing earlier reports of UN concern... but that word "currently" was in the answer for a reason. Technically, it's not a lie, but it's not the same as saying... "and he has no plans to ever look at it"
John Gormley had a battle with Ahern this week about these jets, the fact that they are not inspected, and the fact that Denmark has BANNED the CIA from using their airspace, while we allow them at our airport.
A Danish official recently sent me a list of CIA flights through Danish Airspace. One of them was from Shannon to Kabul, in Afghanistan.
Denmark has forced them to make a detour around their airspace, but they are still welcome at Shannon.
Due to the government cover up, and the failure of most of the media (but not all... Village magazine did a great front cover and feature for their birthday issue) a small group of activists, decided to use their right to peaceful assembly in a public place where the passengers at Shannon can see that their is still controversy about this issue.
This afternoon, 6 people went ot the front of the terminal to unfurl simple banners.
We didn't obstruct and passengers, chant repetively, or through megaphones. We just stood in silence. Some passengers, including and American or Canadian (going by accent) gave us warm support.
One airport worker, pictured below, got excited and demanded that the airport police do something about us.
After a while we were confronted by a very agitated Airport Police Inspector Michael B Hogan. He recognised me straight away and got even more agitated. He said we had no right to be there, and said he would sue me for defaming him on a website.

He's referring to this article, which includes a photo of him, and an account of him trying to wrestle the camera from a woman half his size.

We explained that we were simply having peaceful protest in a public place, and we were not interfering with passengers, operations, safety or security.

"There's no problem here" I said.
"No problem" he replied.
I guess he was being sarcastic cos he was back 20 seconds later asking why we were still there.

We replied that we were having a peaceful assembly. More passengers showed approval of our silent message, "US MILITARY OUT OF SHANNON" and "CIA TORTURERS OUT OF SHANNON". But the airport police, called the cops, and our names were taken, first by an airport police office who refused to identify himself, and then by a garda who did not give his name when asked. Other than that, the Gardai were very professional in their conduct. after a while more we decided we would leave the airport. In a parting shot, APO Inspector Hogan said that he would see me in court and wanted his photo removed from the web. I told him it would be unwise to go to court, as the footage related to the story, if used, would show him assaulting a young woman.
(He doesnt get that we're trying to protest the warport, not fight with him personally and that he should be thankful, rather than cocky that the camera woman did not press charges)
So, we decided to leave, on foot... and it took us a while, and we were escorted the whole way by the Garda Siochana and Airport Police.
Quite a lot of passing traffic beeped or waved in support... and about 4 made rude gestures.
At one stage, Det Sgt Houlihan called by for a bit of banter. (He's the detective who handled our criminal complaints about CIA rendition jets, and said that there was no evidence, while at the same time, we know there were no inspections of US aircraft) http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67865&search_text=N379P

"Hello Tim, what does C -I -A stand for?" (referring to our banner)

"Hello Detective Sgt Mike Houlihan, it stands for Central Intelligence Agency. Did you not know? Is that why you never investigated it?"

"Ah, Tim, you know I investigate everything"

"I don't know that, detective" - an in joke... his favourite line with me was "I don't know there is anyone on these planes"... while never inspecting any of them.

once we reached the exit, we took up postion on a roundabout, next to the site of the peace camp. We stayed for about an hour, getting more and more beeps from cars, and one "get a job" from a guy driving a van... We refrained from replying "I have a job, but I don't have to work Saturdays!!!"

also spotted at the airport,
A World Airways jet N27*WA (probably N272WA or N277WA, but the setting sun was causing trouble reading the reg). Which is parked in the centre of the airfield, guarded by the Army.

Another World Airways jet was at gate 42. We had seen this one land at 15.35 and it took off at 17.23 and flew east.

We briefly re-entered the airport for ten minutes to wait at the bus stop fifteen feet past the entrance gantry.

Pictures to follow, and perhaps audio, if I can figure out the analog to MP3 conversion...

Other Recent Indymedia Ireland Anti-War Activity Coverage:
Summary Of Anti-War Activity Feature
Banner Drop At Shannon
Protest at Shannon, 24th September

Some Links To Photo Essays Of Weekly Vigil Held By The PitStop Ploughshares:
The Ploughshares are five anti-war activists who went to Shannon and disarmed a US plane bound for Iraq. They are going to trial (again) on October 24th.
Rebel Priest Joins Ploughshares Vigil
Keep Death Off Our Runways
Vigil for Jean Charles de Menezes, killed by UK police on the London underground

Take the message where it's needed
Take the message where it's needed

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Sat Oct 08, 2005 23:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

here are some of the photos

Take the message where it's needed
Take the message where it's needed

I stood in for a shot
I stood in for a shot

Some staff guy gets annoyed and calls an APO
Some staff guy gets annoyed and calls an APO

Our escort as we left... slowly
Our escort as we left... slowly

Large enough for traffic to read
Large enough for traffic to read

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 00:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the report, the photos, and your continued energy and commitment!!

author by Edward Horgan - Peace and Neutrality Alliancepublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 00:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Congrats to the Cosantoiri.
People are still dying in Iraq. Six US marines died in the past few days, also "29 militants killed by US in wewtern Iraq". What they fail to mention was that innocent civilians were also killed but these are no longer included in body counts. It is interesting that the US are now including body counts of claimed militants or insurgents killed, as they did in Vietnam. This unlawful Iraq conflict has many similarities with Vietnam.
Lets hope the US decides to leave Iraq before the death toll rises to over 3 million as it did in Vietnam.

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance now calls on all peace supporters to use every opportunity to protest Ireland's involvement in the Iraq war by the US abuse of Shannon airport. Everytime you fly through Shannon, use the opportunity to make your own personnal protest..
If you encounter US soldiers in the Duty Free area as you pass through, please carry out a token citizens arrest on one of them and hand them over the Gardai.
Under the Hague Convention on Neutrality Ireland is obliged to arrest and intern all foreign belligerent troops passing through its territory. Therefore any arrest of US soldiers at Shannon by an Irish citizen in not only lawful, it is your civic duty.
Other means of peaceful protest should also be used, at Shannon and in Dublin and elsewhere. Please also carry out protests outside or inside Casement Aerodrome at Balonnnel, where US military aircraft and CIA prisioner torture planes are also landing and refueling.
100,000 dead in Iraq is 100,000 too much.
Dont wait until it is 3,000,000
Act now peacefully, for peace.

author by John O'Driscollpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

(In response to hidden abusive comments)

You sound like a fairly decent person so. As you seem to value free speech by what you say, ask yourself, would the decent person that you think yourself to be say the offensive things you said to Ed Horgan and Tim Hourican if you had to use your real names, first and second, instead of "hungover", which is in fairness an explanation maybe but hardly an excuse?

And if not, why not?

Is it that beneath the decency there's another person, who isn't as decent at all, and hates to see others exerting themselves with might and main in the service of decency, but is too afraid to sully their own name when insulting others? I only ask and suggest. It's only you , li'l less hungover, who can answer truly for yourself?

I'll quote from the landmark case Horgan vs. Ireland which, if you're interested, is available at:

"There comes a time when a citizen has to put up or shut up".

Edward Horgan, one of the two private citizens you maligned here today took that case at his own personal financial risk, and did it solely because he believed that Ireland's dearly bought and dearly loved neutrality was being horrendously compromised by Ireland's participation in this "War" in Iraq that everyone now knows was based entirely on lies and ruthless greed, and he (and we) needed to find out if there was anything that a private Irish citizen could do to stop it. To stop the rape of Ireland's neutrality and sovereignty by foreign powers that is.

Mr Horgan lost the case and ended up having to pay 50% of his costs, which I don't know but must have been very substantial. But even in losing his case, he did the country an enormous service and clearly established the truth that there is very little that the average citizen can in fact do except raise their voices in anger, stand up and be counted, "put up or shut up" and try to influence as many other citizens as possible so as to FORCE change down the government's throat, peacefully, legally , courteously where possible and at no cost to anyone but themselves.

Those are the pillars of Gandhi's concept of SATYAGRAHA, or enlightened resistance change. And with that concept he did something that no-one has ever been able to do before or since then, not even Mandela.

He drove an invading imperial power from his country and gave Her back to Her people with no blood spilt.

So when you disrespect Mr Horgan, Mr Houricane and the likes, li'l less hungover, you disrespect every one of us who has in our own way one way or another "put up" rather than "shut up" and tried to somehow stop this utterly disgusting, unconscionable, murderous and if not illegal then certainly immoral betrayal of Ireland's proud tradition of sovereign peaceful neutrality in the service of the mass murder of 100,000 innocent people (so far) and the pointless deaths of thousands of young soldiers in the name of a sham.

Thanks for coming back without insult or invective li'l hungover. Hope it don't spoil your day and I wish you nothing but a long and happy future mate.

author by John O'Driscollpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:42author address PR Chinaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

people did yell at the Germans for what Hitler did (and by association, active or passive, what all of those Germans that lived then and did not resist did).

Know that , if yer interested (and even if not) because used to do it myself quite a bit, if not yell then viciously slag off, up until around mid-summer 2001 in fact, when I discovered exactly what Hitler (or rather a few of his torpedoes, a perfect storm, a war crime and Irish neutrality together) did to a relative of mine, and then to no-one's surprise more than my own, I stopped. When I thought it through I realised I must have forgiven them all somewhere along the line.

But the more relevant aspect of your question is its use of the past tense. What Bush is DOING, and what Ireland is DOING to facilitate him and his murderous cronies, is something I doubt I'll be able to forgive for a long time if ever.

author by safdpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It isn't happen

"M�ller had originally denied that the government had knowledge of transports taking place in Danish airspace that violate �international conventions.�"
(Can't find English artilce from that time)


We can't stop them but we don't want to take responsibilty.
"Given the complexity of the case, Denmark cannot shoulder the responsibility for the consequence of such flights"
Denmark allows CIA planes enter airspace


No "unauthorised" flights *wink* wink*


History of story in Danish Newspaper ( can't find translations)

author by Brendanpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 14:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great to hear the public beeped support.I would have too but I no longer make the long trip over to Shannon for the demos. Good to see the banners at the airport instead of stuck behind a cordon two miles away. More effective then the speeches in that cul de sac that so many of the demos see as there highlight.

I hear Ruari Quinn is going to be talking about the CIA at Shannon on RTE radio in the next hour or so. Might be worth listening to. Well done again.

author by Snapshotpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 14:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sometimes a sign takes on a new meaning, even sadder than the original.

Sign of the times
Sign of the times

author by Hamletpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 14:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In late September the Danish Government finally decided to tell the US to cease these CIA flights through Danish airspace. The Red-Green alliance had been pushing the government to stop waffling on the issue as they had been.

In Denmark, they've opened a musical "Let's kick ass" a satirical depiction of US President George W. Bush and his faithful ally in Iraq, Danish Premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen. see link.

Methinks, this time there's something rotten in the state of Ireland more so than Denmark.

Related Link: http://metimes.com/articles/normal.php?StoryID=20050930-030249-2331r
author by defunktpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 15:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i don't think that carrying out citizens arrest of US soldiers is a good tactic at all. these soldiers are working class people just as their targets are. maligning them one and all ignores the part of the poverty draft. this is a war of the ruling classes, as are all wars. i think a better tactic is to promote their ability to apply for asylum through shannon.

Related Link: http://www.ainfos.ca/03/mar/ainfos00650.html
author by Tim Houriganpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The two World jets... Didn't get the reg off the one at the terminal. Despite the zoom on my new camera, it was blurred by jetwash from a Ryanair jet crossing the apron.
Probably 200 troops on it, and by average casualty rates, perhaps 2 will be killed, and about 20 return home injured from a war that they were not consulted about, and neither were the Iraqis of course. About 5000 troops have decided to refuse to go to Iraq and went to Canada, others have been jailed when they tried to claim Conscientious Objector status.

The other jet, another MD-11troop carrier wasprobably N277WA. the third digit looks more like a 7 than a 2.

We were delighted with the number of motorists who beeped or waved in support.
From the usual demo spot at Drumgeely, you can't even see this road... and the traffic can't see you.

Protest continued near the Peace Camp site
Protest continued near the Peace Camp site

And plenty of motorists beeped in support.
And plenty of motorists beeped in support.

Troop carrier, went East after
Troop carrier, went East after

Guarded by Irish Army Jeep.
Guarded by Irish Army Jeep.

D.S. Houlihan leaves after a brief chat
D.S. Houlihan leaves after a brief chat

author by Compareandcontrastpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 16:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In 2003, two Austrian fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a Hercules transport plane thought to be involved in the renditions operation which had not declared itself to be on a government mission.

In Ireland, we scramble the Garda Siochana to make sure nobody bothers the CIA...

author by John O'Driscollpublication date Sun Oct 09, 2005 16:18author address PR Chinaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Agree; with respect to Mr Horgan I don't think that seizing upon and arresting a US soldier will do one whit of good, and likely be counter-productive for all concerned. Anything from physical injury to upset and humiliation could result.

It's their lousy government that should be the target at all times. And ours as well. Britain and Ireland's. Those soldiers, many of them, are as absolutely opposed to the crimes of these governments as anyone and attacking one of them personally serves no good purpose in my view.

author by hungover/lil less hungoverpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 07:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i'm glad to see that john is against the civil arrest of troops, not just beacause its wrong but its not there fault. yes i was dying of an all mighty hangover ysterday and yes my typing was a bit rich, but can you honestly say that pll give a hoot about the use of shannon for letting troops stop, if its proven that the CIA are using shannon to carry out illegal things, then i would agree that it is wrong. but in the case of things can you say that it is more wrong than the drug pusher on the corner street, the pervs looking at children, do you not think it would be better to make your home a safer place first and then worry about whats happening accross the world.

author by Michaelpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 09:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What's all this talk about American soldiers not being to blame for their own actions? The civilian government in Washington are surely to blame for the policy of war and imperialism, but each and every soldier is responsible for his/her own little part in it (to the degree to which they have a choice in the matter). That's War and Morality 101 folks.

The peace movement in the US may talk about the "great courage" of "their boys" (bring them home, etc.). But frankly the only members of the US armed services who should be honoured for their courage are those who have gone CO or AWOL.

We've all read articles - leftwing, rightwing and whathaveyou - about the poor American soldiers with their poorly decked out killing machines in Iraq. Not once do I recall any journalist (except maybe John Pilger, can't remember now) point out the strikingly obvious fact that -- SO FUCKING WHAT if the invaders are poorly equipped for their invasion and occupation. It was a GOOD THING for humanity that the Nazis were poorly equipped for the Russian winter.

Next, the CIA "extraordinary renditions" - the turture jet. These operations are highly targeted against Arab terrorist suspects we're told. If we can believe that, and if we wanted to say that one kind of foreign state and military traffic through Shannon is worse than the other, then surely the US soldiers and gunrunners are still it. The reasons are obvious.

Personally, I always had a strange feeling about the media's willingness to talk about the "extraordinary renditions", like the time that they permitted the public debate of whether dead Iraqis should be photographed or not (Geneva Conventions minutea). Its like we're to believe that the West is generally moral and just - all that needs to be worked out still are the little details. The fact that we in the West entertain such long public debates about such minutea is proof (though none should be required!) of how far we have come as civilized, Berlusconi-styled super humans.

author by Michaelpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just to be clear -- I think that Tim Hourigan and the few others who have kept at it, working with close to no resources and support from the peace movement, should be highly commended. The torture jet traffic through Ireland is no small matter, especially for the victims and their families.

As for the capture of US soldiers in Ireland. I guess if anyone could pull this off in the airport itself (like, say, in the toilets or the area where they smoke) it could cause quite a bit of disruption. Its so highly unlikely though that you could control the situation and avoid it getting violent (i.e. the soldiers calling for help, the other soldiers kicking the shit out of you), that I wouldn't advise it to anyone.

On the other hand, soldiers and the crews of these military flights sometimes overnight in nearby hotels. You'd have more hope of controlling the situation to your satisfaction outside the airport.

author by Edward Horganpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 13:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A few points on forgoing discussions. I am not at all concerned at being criticised for my views and statements. It is good to see that Irish citizens such as ‘hungover’, are at least giving some thoughts to these issues, and it is far better than silent complicity. Those of us who challenge others must accept challenges on our views and our actions. Not everything I say or propose is 100% right, but I say it because I believe it to be correct. Because we know we can never be 100% correct we must never kill another person or use violence against them just to enforce our beliefs. Also the fact that we are opposed to violence in Iraq does not mean that we are in favour of violence and drugs in Irish towns.

With regard to the arrest of US troops this is a key issue on which the Irish government is vulnerable. An Taoiseach, and ministers for Foreign Affairs and Defence have repeatedly stated, since March 2003, that Ireland is still a neutral country. The Irish Government does not have to declare Ireland neutral, but having done so, it is then bound by international laws on Neutrality. Neutrality has benefits and costs, and one of the costs is that a neutral state may not allow foreign troops who are engated in War to pass through its territory. The Hague Convention V on Neutrality is very specific on this, and Judge Kearns in the High Court also ruled in my favour on this issue.

I agree mainly with those who say that most US soldiers going to Iraq are working class young boys and girls, hardly old enough to be called adults. I am not proposing that anyone use violence against anyone else. A token arrest simply means approaching a person politely and without even touching that person, informing them that your are placing them under arrest, under the Hague Convention on Neutrality, and ask them to remain with you until you can hand them over to a member of the Gardai. It is very important that physical contact should be avoided. The exchange should be verbal only, and not abusive. It is likely that Gardai and airport security will arrive very quickly, and, unfortunately it is also likely that the Gardai will not detain or intern that US soldier as they are obliged to do under the Hague Convention.

The purpose of such an action is to insist on respect towards, and compliance with, the rule of International Law. As already stated our Irish government has unjustifiably, and falsely declared Ireland to be a neutral state, in spite of our participation in the Iraq war. We were neutral up to 20 March 2003 but we can no longer claim neutral status under the Hague Convention, and Ireland is in breach of international law by allowing US troops through Shannon while still claiming neutral status.
All this legal jargon is only important because the daily breaches of Irish neutrality at Shannon airport are assisting with the killing of thousands of innocent people in Iraq.

This also indirectly related to issues such as the “rendition” programme involving the transit of CIA torture planes through Shannon. While this is an important human rights issue, the reality is that it is far less significant in scale than the killing of over 100,000 people in Iraq, which is being done on a daily basis by US troops illegally passing through Shannon airport. We, the Irish people are part of that illegal mass murder scheme, just as much as the German people were part of Hitler’s death camps. Daniel Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners is explicit on this.
George Bush’s willing executioners are operating daily at an airport near you, Shannon airport.

It is little use screaming against the dark, light a candle, do something. The actions being taken by peace activists at Shannon including recent protests, and displaying banners, and if necessary token arrests of US troops at Shannon, are not acts of civil disobedience, they are acts of civic duty and civil obedience.
US Troops passing through Shannon should not be on Irish sovereign territory in the first place, in time of war, and certainly should not be allowed into the terminal building, in flagrant breach of Ireland’s declared and claimed Neutrality.

The possibility that any of these US troops might be arrested by Irish citizens may force the Irish Government to rethink its complicit actions on the occupation and war in Iraq.
In times of crises when outrages are been committed with our knowledge and in our name, each of us as individuals has a duty to do what she or he believes is right, because it is right. We have a duty to act in the present, rather than prevaricate and ignore. We cannot undo the past, and we can act only in the ever-moving present.
Whatever you do, on these issues, don’t do nothing.

From a member of humanity with due regard for our neighbours in Iraq and in the US.

author by JODpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 18:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. May only an Irish citizen make a citizen's arrest in Ireland? What about citizens of other EU Member States, of which there will be many in Shannon at any given time?

2. What legal basis exist for making a citizen's arrest in Ireland? Having a quick look through Google provides no answer closer than UK law's position:


ln the case of the UK, it seems a requirement that the arrestable offence must carry in principle a term of at least five years' imprisonment. Are there any prescribed terms of sentence in Irish law for breaches of Irish neutrality?

If not you'd have to wonder why, and what good is it to declare a policy which has no teeth for enforcement of its terms.Thanks for any useful answers.

author by Media Monitorpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 20:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in a program to be aired next Tuesday

author by Edwardpublication date Mon Oct 10, 2005 22:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

With regard to your questions JOD,
Irish law reflects UK law fairly closely on issue of citizen’s arrest. It should only be applied in very serious cases, you cannot arrest someone for littering. However, since the offences being committed by US troops in Iraq arguably amounts to mass murder, because the war in Iraq was declared contrary to the UN Charter by Kofi Annan in March 2003, then the justification for a citizens arrest would be valid. There is no guarantee however that the Irish courts would back up such an arrest, because in the Horgan v Ireland High Court case, Judge Kearns ruled, in a very flawed ruling, that Irish law superseded International Law. In so doing he purported to give the Irish government the sort of Royal Prerogative that exists in the UK, but was never intended in “Republican” Ireland.

With regard to another EU citizen making a citizens arrest over the neutrality issue, this would be unlikely to stand up because there is as yet no such category as an EU citizen, and even if there was, the neutrality involved applies to Ireland and not to the EU. The privilege or duty of arresting foreign soldiers on their way to war through Ireland should be confined therefore, first to the Irish government authorities such as the Gardai, or the Irish Army, or failing this, to Irish citizens, on behalf of the Irish people.
This is a not legal, citizen’s view!

author by Dept of Foreign Affairspublication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From 1st Jan to 30th September, over 234,000 US soldiers came through Shannon Airport.

That's about 76,000 more than the whole of last year, and 110,000 more than in 2003.

Figures for flights were not broken down into as much detail as usual.

There has been a marked increase, not just in troop carrying flights, but also in cargo flights, and military overflights.

The taxpayers' subsidy (in the form of Air Traffic Control Fees that the Pentagon has refused to pay) is expected to hit EUR 5,000,000 by the end of the year.

The Dept of Foreign Affairs keeps no statistics on how many of these young men and women will return dead, or physically or mentally damaged from the war, or what carnage they may inflict on others while deployed on Iraq.

New slogan - We only let em, refuel, we don't do post-traumatic counselling.

author by peacenikpublication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 16:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How long are we going to allow this fly-through, overfly, walk-all-over our sovereignty continue?
Doing nothing is no longer an option

author by Media Monitorpublication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The below is a link to a RealPlayer archive of a 10th Oct 2005 program which aired on "AirTalk", a National Public Radio show carried across Southern California. The topic is the abuse and torture of prisoners by the USA. The interviewees include Michael Kirk (director of PBS Frontline's "The Torture Question"), John Eastman (professor at Chapman University School of Law) and Eric Sears (Amnesty International's "Denounce Torture" campaign spokesperson).

Listen to it and be sick.

Related Link: http://www.publicradio.org/tools/media/player/kpcc/news/shows/airtalk/2005/10/20051010_airtalk2?start=00:00:00&end=00:35
author by Media Monitorpublication date Tue Oct 11, 2005 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rough content of radio program. Not a transcript but some direct quotes.

Part I

Last wednesday the US Sentate overwhelmingly agreed to regulate the detention and treatment of prisoners held by the US military. ... The measure passed 90 to
9 and was initiated by republican senator McCain of Arizona. Retired military officers including Colin Powell and Chiefs of Staff have endorsed it. It remains to be seen whether the measure will end up in front of Bush to sign or veto due to some procedural crap.

Michael Kirk talks about the access he got to prisoners in Abu Ghraib in August
2005. He talks about how dangerous and long the drive was to the prison ... how there were about 8000 prisoners at Abu Ghraib. He interviewed a number of people involved in the A.G. abuses. He was interested because Sec. of Defense etc believed that A.G. was an aberration, the "act of a few bad apples". He claims that the torture of detainees is widespread and has migrated from A.G. to the treatment of other detainees.

Eric Sears (A.I.) explains what A.I. has been able to quantify about torture of
prisoners held by Americans: cigarette burns, death threats, dogs, electric shocks, incommunicado deprivation, sexual assaults, etc. It's hard to come up with
figures because of the secrecy of the US government (know about Abu Ghraib, Baghram, Guantanamo, but don't have access or knowledge about the "archipelago" of secret detention centers).

MK: there are 16 prisons in Iraq alone. Abu Ghraib is just one. PBS Frontline discovered the extent to which the A.G. abuses have migrated from Afghanistan to Guantanamo to Iraq. Many cases apparently of abuses in people's homes, in mobile detention sites, in "container trucks used as mobile prisons". "They've been doing these horrible things all over the country". Soldiers have tried to report the abuse but it's lost in the chain of command. The program has two interviews with people attesting to the abuses that they carried out. (Program airs on Oct 18th as part of PBS's "Frontline" series"

Part II.
John Eastman talks about when torture is OK and is balanced by the need to "save lives"

"Torture or interrogation methods that approach the category of torture"
Do you have any concerns about the senate taking this step and that there is a negative for american interests in the Middle East.

JE: for the same reason as to where we don't want to publish such a manual and
advise our enemies where our line is

JE argues that allowing the enemy to know what the limits to acceptable means are is a problem because it's like letting the Iraqi insurgency know when we would leave Iraq. He says that the "torture memos" of the past are an attempt to clarify the matter internally.

He is asked is the problem with individual interrogators or higher.

He says that "torture" is being thrown around too casually and that Abu Ghraib was terrible but was not torture. He says that the problem was addressed in the
chain of command before it became public. He says that the combatant status is
important in the discussion.

ES challenges JE and says that torture is clear and succinctly defined in international treaties and also "cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment". He says that what happened at A.G. was both torture and "cruel and degrading" in various cases. Says the US military and leading experts have shown that torture extracted information is not reliable. Torture does not work.

Larry Mantle (Interviewer): we've heard that on this program.

JE: I don't have the treaty in front of me but I'd be very surprised if the US
in ratifying the treaty did not lodge an objection and it's not binding just because a bunch of other nations ratified it.

JE argues that imprisoning someone and strip searching them is degrading and so
he suspects that the treaty is not binding on the US, asks us to imagine how you could possibly run a war with such a wide ranging treaty.

LM: Sen McCain said that when he was a prisoner (Vietnam, Hanoi Hilton) he was
kept going by the fact that the US would never have behaved in the way that he was being treated.

JE responds that McCain wasn't claiming that what happened at AG was policy and
that the US investigates and prosecutes people that carry out abuses.

ES responds that it's good that there are some prosecutions but that the investigations are not being taken up the chain of command and that the punishments are administrative and that the allegations of mistreatment are ongoing.

LM: Do you have evidence of a wink and a nod higher up the chain of command encouraging this torture?

ES cites the torture memos and that General Miller was transferred from Guantanamo to A.G. to "gitmoize the place" and that we then saw the torture take place.
He says there is a pattern developing.

LM: Is there a tradeoff between not mistreating prisoners and wanting to save lives from terrorism? between humiliating someone and saving lives?
ES responds that torture doesn't work and are illegal and immoral and against the American values

LM: asks John Eastman if American values are compromised

JE claims that ES response has no evidence and that the torture memo was internal. "We're in a new kind of war here. With people that don't subscribe to the rules of war". Cites Alan Dershowitz as support for withdrawing from the Torture Treaty at all. Something about nuclear weapons as an excuse and "new international arena that we're operating in". Claims that we shouldn't be stating what our limit is because it "helps the enemy".

JE says the purpose of the Torture Memo was to figure out the line as to what was permissible in international law and the administration "got pilloried for it".

ES responsds that the "new international arena" is true but that the US government shouldn't be holding itself to the same standards as Al Qaeda and the Taliban and that the US follows the rule of law. Says that Congress shoudl establish a fully independent commission to investigate torture by US agents around the world and that this would provide the "evidence" that JE wants. There are at least 10 high profile investigations but none are fully independent.

LM: you're not drawing comparability between the US and al qaeda, beheadings and mass killings and those sorts of things are you?

ES responds that he's not, that he's saying the US is supposed to operate to higher standards.

author by Peacenikpublication date Wed Oct 12, 2005 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The cosy circle of doggy deals has almost completed its circle with news in today's Irish times that Halliburton is about to be awarded the contract to build the Shannon tunnel. This is a tunnel from Shannon Ireland to Manhattan USA, so that we can complete our membership as the 152nd state of the USA (Afghanistan, Iraq, UK etc have all joined up before us).
Well, not really, it will be a new tunnel from near Mungret in Co Limerick to near Coonagh in Co Clare, which is just about 10 miles from Shanon airport.
The cosy circle began on 17th March 2002 when Bertie Ahern presented George W Bush with a bowl of shamrock in Washington. Deals were done behind the scene on that occasion in which Ireland sold its neutrality for promises of continuing US investment in Ireland, and promises by the US government not to penalise US companies who invested in Ireland rather than back home in the US. US jobs and investment promises have been delivered, mainly in the Dublin region in the meantime (certainly not in Donegal). Ireland has also delivered Irish neutrality, hidden under the Shamrock in a Waterford Glass bowl, to the Bush regime.
Meantime Irish ministers have made "killings" on Iraqi oil deals, buying shares with insider knowledge in oil companies that had friends in Saddam Hussein's camp and any other camp that smelled of money. One minister at least cashed in his huge profit when his Iraqi oil shares soared after the killings of tens of thousands of innocent people in Iraq.
Halliburton, Dick Cheney's former company, has been making billions of dollars from the Iraq war, but the contracts are now running out, and the US may actually be considering a "cut and run" strategy. The first signs were when Halliburton started getting contracts to rebuild New Orleans. Its an foul wind etc.
And now the Shannon Tunnel is going to be built by Halliburton. Lets hope they do a better job of this tunnel that they did of rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Irish citizens of Mid West Ireland will be delighted to know that for the next 100 years of so, the tolls they will be paying for this Shannon Tunnel will be going to Dick Cheney and Co.

It only hurts when I laugh

author by savepublication date Mon Oct 17, 2005 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The events, including the presence of the US agents, were kept quiet for months. But in response to concern in Sweden, its parliament has set up an inquiry and already released documents that confirm what happened. In one, the head of the deportation operation with the Swedish security agency, Arne Andersson, said they had problems obtaining a plane that night and turned to the CIA : "In the end we accepted an offer from our American friends. . . in getting access to a plane that had direct over-flight permits over all of Europe and could do the deportation in a very quick way."

Related Link: http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/publish/article_22386.shtml
author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here are some related articles in Scotland's The Sunday Herald newspaper:

Investigation by Neil Mackay
LINK: http://www.sundayherald.com/52303

Britain sued for ‘complicity’ in torture
By Neil Mackay, Investigations Editor
LINK: http://www.sundayherald.com/52358

One victim's story
Investigation by Neil Mackay
LINK: http://www.sundayherald.com/52304

There's more on their homepage: http://www.sundayherald.com/

author by gsavepublication date Mon Oct 24, 2005 01:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Headlines says..

Police to probe US ‘torture flights’ landing in Scotland


SCOTTISH police are to launch an investigation into CIA “torture flights” which fly in and out of Glasgow and Prestwick airports, ferrying kidnapped war on terror suspects around the world.

Beyond saying that an investigation would take place, Strathclyde Police said it could not comment on how the inquiry would proceed.

The CIA refused categorically to comment. One CIA official merely laughed when told that Scottish police were to investigate.

Related Link: http://www.sundayherald.com/52461
author by tobypublication date Tue Nov 01, 2005 21:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A campaign is getting under way in scotland to protest the use of scottish airports by the CIA for the "extraordinary rendition" of suspects for torture.


author by anonypublication date Thu Nov 03, 2005 15:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"No evidence has been brought to us that such planes are landing in Shannon," Ahern said during his visit to New York and Boston this week.

Interesting to keep an eye on the continuing efforts fo hel Irish "illegal" immigrants in the US

Related Link: http://www.irishecho.com/newspaper/story.cfm?id=17361
author by followonjonpublication date Thu Nov 17, 2005 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to a TV3 report by Alan Campbell, the UN Special Rapporteur has confirmed that he will be putting formal questions to the Irish Government about CIA aircraft landing at Shannon Airport. Just goes to prove what a load of tripe Min. Ahern was trying to feed us.

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