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US Warplanes at Fianna Fail convention

category galway | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Monday January 30, 2006 12:22author by John C - GAAW Report this post to the editors

The Fianna Fail selection convention for Galway West was abandoned yesterday. According to the headlines, the reason for the abandonment was the refusal of delegates to accept a head office ruling that only three candidates should be selected. The precise circumstances of the abandonment, as reported in the Irish Times however, indicate that it was not quite that simple.

Tony 'Don't mention the warplanes' Killeen
Tony 'Don't mention the warplanes' Killeen

The convention chairman, Tony Killeen –a TD for Clare whose support for the use of Shannon by US forces is on record– insisted that delegates accept the party’s rules in the matter. It was at this point that Clonbur delegate, John Joe Halloran, jumped on stage and grabbed the mike from Killeen. The Irish Times report continues:
‘After he made some remarks on the US military planes passing through Shannon, Mr Killeen grabbed the microphone back, while Mr Halloran continued to shout from the stage. Mr Killeen said at that stage, the only thing he could do was declare the proceeding a non-convention…’

author by Shannonpublication date Mon Jan 30, 2006 18:57Report this post to the editors

This is front page of a national paper today

"A retired commandant of the Irish Defence Forces has said he believes that some Irish government ministers were aware that the US military had taken prisoners through Shannon airport."

This is Ed Horgan ,will he name who those Ministers are?

This is the Daily Ireland link


author by Edward Horgan - Peace and Neutrality Alliancepublication date Tue Jan 31, 2006 13:33Report this post to the editors

It is likely that well over 100 CIA flights, connected with the Rendition for Torture programme, landed at Shannon airport. This does not include US military Hercules C 130 transport aircraft, that are now suspected of also being involved in this process, and that have landed at Shannon on several hundred occasions. In August 2004 I witnessed five Hercules C130s at Shannon at the same time.
It is inconceivable that some these aircraft did not have prisoners on board while these "rendition" aircraft were being refueled at Shannon, given the number of prisoners that were moved to and from Guantanamo Prison in Cuba, and given the need for the small aircraft to refuel in Western Europe before and after the Atlantic crossing.

The Irish Government Departments that are directly involved in these matters are: The Department of An Taoiseach, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice, Department of Transport, and Department of Defence. These departments have a duty to know who, and what, are passing through Shannon airport. It is most likely that some of them they did their duty, at least in this respect, even if they failed to do their duty in matters of protecting human rights and upholding the rule of law.
The following officials are also most likely to know that prisoners were transported through Shannon airport: The Garda Commissioner, and the head of the Garda Special Branch, The Army Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations), and the Army Director of Intelligence.
If prisoners were unlawfully tranported through Shannon for the purpose of torture, and it is most likely that this will be confirmed at some time in the future, by courageous CIA whistleblowers, then each of the above office holders had a duty to know that this occurred, and if they failed to find out this information, either by negligence or by deliberately denying themselves access to this information, then each of them is guilty of most serious offenses.

Related Link: http://www.un.org
author by refuelpublication date Tue Jan 31, 2006 16:59Report this post to the editors

Jimmy Massey, a former platoon sergeant says in this Daily Ireland interview that he did not land in Shannon airport and was re-directed to Frankfurt airport because of "protests" in Shannon!

Which I suppose is good in one way, showing that protests make a difference but also shows that they will get to Iraq anyway:(

"A former US soldier who served in Iraq has claimed many Bloody Sundays are happening in the war-torn country every day."

see http://dailyireland.televisual.co.uk/home.tvt?_ticket=R...opp=1

author by Tim Hourigan - Cosantoiri Siochanapublication date Tue Jan 31, 2006 20:38Report this post to the editors

Jimmy Massey's flight was not the only military flight diverted from
Shannon due to protests, on one occassion two jets that were scheduled
to land were diverted to Scotland.

Somebody asked about this last night in a public meeting in Shannon

1. There's a big difference between chossing to land somewhere else,
and HAVING to land somewhere else. And for some months after the Jan &
Feb ,03 disarmament actions at Shannon, at least three airlines
chartered by the Pentagon pulled out of Shannon, and moved their
troops and cargo through Frankfurt. They came back after a lot of
re-assurance by the Irish government, and deployment of more security
to protect their precious cargoes of mobile death.
Using Shannon is the most fuel efficient route to transport the troops
to the Middle East, as the Atlantic Crossing is the longest 'hop' on
the way for most of the flights. (e.g. Georgia, Shannon, Sigonella,
Kuwait) and taking more fuel increases the aircraft weight and reduces
the maximum amount of cargo etc that it can carry without exceeding
Maximum Take-Off Weight. Taking a less efficient route, while the US
could do it, would mean using more flights to move the same amount of
weapons. but more important than that, if the US Military was kicked
out of Shannon, it would send a huge signal to other countries in the
world, especially when a small country stands up to a superpower.

2. "they will get to Iraq anyway."
Not so easy as before, more countries are refusing to let the US use
their airspace, and so the pentagon is depending on a narrowing number
of options to get to Iraq.
Frankfurt in Germany is the main cargo hub, while Shannon is the main
personnel hub, as 75-80% of US troops heading to and from Iraq and
Afghanistan pass through Shannon, and also a considerable number of US
military cargo flights.
In Germany, the US has got almost sovereign Airbases, due to the
"Status of Forces Agreements" in effect since WW2. Likewise in the UK,
but other countries are no longer keen to be seen to be involved in
this bloody misadventure,
Only the Irish government is bending over backwards, despite not being
in NATO, and not having any official US military bases here.

It's great to see public dissent finally breaking out within Fianna
Fail on this issue. the Minister for Defence has been put on the back
foot on his stance on rendition jets and the war, and took a stance
which differed from Bertie's, and now finds himself trying to
carefully back-pedal, without losing face. It's definitely a hot
potato right at the minute, and people in the US are becoming more aware of the use of Shannon and the opposition to it. With so many in the US already opposed, and others uncertain about the war, its good that the news is breaking through, and the more they hear about opposition in other places, the more confident they will be about their own opposition. It all adds up.

author by NVDApublication date Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:31Report this post to the editors

Interventions like this one at the FF and Cindy Sheehan at last night's State of the Union are a lot more dynamicthan marching around the streets every 6-12 months. We will know we have an anti-war movement when these U.S. war mongers and their Irish quislings can't go out in public without being confronted bythe issue. That Blair was in Dublin last week without any sign of anti-war activism reflects how week the movement is presently in Ireland.

Weekl vigils at the Aviation Authority, Burgh Quay, Dublin City Centre Mondays 4pm-6pm


Related Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060201/en_afp/uspoliticsb...53304
author by Kagemushapublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 22:33Report this post to the editors

more dosh, making it known to the Fianna Fail faithful 'n Bush that the price for selling our neutrality and birthright for a mess of pottage and international contempt has to increase.

I'ts a national disgrace that not enough CIA torture planes or US troops are going through Shannon Warport, Ahern should demand more than 30 pieces of silver from the yanks!
I'ts a national disgrace that not enough CIA torture planes or US troops are going through Shannon Warport, Ahern should demand more than 30 pieces of silver from the yanks!

author by Cindy Sheehan Fanpublication date Fri Feb 03, 2006 02:44Report this post to the editors

Capitol Chief of Police, Terrance Gainer, has done the decent thing and dropped charges against Cindy Sheehan. To boot, he has admitted in a statement that she should never have been arrested.

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