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Torture Plane Crew N54PA “resting at Shannon”?

category national | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Wednesday June 18, 2008 16:03author by Edward Horgan Report this post to the editors

Gardai refuse to search plane associates with CIA torture rendition

The crew or crews of CIA plane have had a busy time recently, including a visit to Guantanamo on 3 June 2008. They arrived at Shannon on Friday 13 June, from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, via Newfoundland. They spent only about 30 minutes refuelling and left immediately for an unknown destination or destinations. On Saturday 14th June they were back at Shannon refuelled and again left quickly at about 12.40 pm on their way back to Florida again via Newfoundland. Today N54PA is back at Shannon for up to 10 hours as its crew probably "rest off" following their ardous and possibly nefarious activities
n54pa_snn_18.06.08.jpg

This morning, 18 June 2008, N54PA was back at Shannon again via Newfoundland from Florida. It arrived as scheduled at about 08.05 am. I was there to meet it and saw it landing and took some long distance photos of it. In order to get a better photo I went to the viewing gallery in the terminal building but the viewing gallery was closed to the public. Because the aircraft was parked about 200 metres in front of the security and fire brigade entrance, I went to this area in order to confirm its registration number and get better photo as evidence of its presence at Shannon. Because I also wished to request the airport security staff to search this aircraft, I entered the security lodge, and requested the security officer present to have this aircraft searched. He refused to do so, and asked me to leave this area. I informed him that I was collecting evidence of possible breaches of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT), and the (Irish), UNCAT Act 2002. When asked to leave again I refused to do until I could ascertain whether this aircraft was being searched. At this time the aircraft was being refuelled by Top Oil. A Senior officer of the Shannon airport security services then arrived, Mr James Watson. He also ordered me to leave and I again refused to do on the grounds that I was collecting important evidence and I needed to establish if this aircraft was being searched. I repeated my request to him, several times, that this aircraft N54PA be searched because it was closely associated with the CIA torture rendition programme, and as far as I was aware it had also been to Guantanamo as recently as 3rd June 2008. Mr Watson repeatedly refused to have the aircraft searched. I had already contacted two colleagues, including a representative of Amnesty International and asked them to request the Gardai to search this aircraft. Both confirmed by phone that they had made these requests to Shannon Garda station. I was informed by James Watson that I was in breach of the Air Traffic Navigation Act by being in this location. He informed that the Gardai had been informed. Two Gardai arrived, Garda Power and Garda Lyne, and also asked me to leave the Security Lodge. I requested these two gardai to have plane number N54PA searched because of its CIA rendition associations, and they refused to do so, and ordered me to leave the area, and the airport. I again refused to do and explained that I was collecting evidence and waiting to established whether the plane was going to be searched or not. I was then removed by these two Gardai from the security lodge, but I remained just outside the door of the lodge by holding on the railings. I was asked to leave this area also by both airport security and by the Gardai, but again refused to do on the grounds that I had lawful reason to be there, that reason being my efforts to prevent Shannon airport being used to facilitate crimes of torture.
Further Gardai then arrived including Garda Sergeant Kevin O’Hagan, who also ordered me to leave area on several occasions. I again refused and explained my lawful reasons for being in this area. I also requested Sgt O’Hagan to have this aircraft searched, and he confirmed that he had already received this request by phone, and that it was a matter for his superiors. I informed him and the other Gardai present that he and all Gardai at Shannon had a specific duty under the Criminal Justice (United Nations Convention Against Torture) Act, 2000 to search such aircraft in order to ensure that Shannon airport was not being used to facilitate torture and also to investigate previous crimes of torture that had been facilitated at Shannon airport.

I then requested permission to enter the airport so that I could carry out a search of this aircraft N54PA. I was refused permission and told that I would be in breach of the law, and would be trespassing. I then pointed out to the Gardai and to the airport police including James Watson, that a jury in Dublin has acquitted the five Catholic Workers who had entered the airport in January 2003 and damaged a US warplane. The Jury had found them not guilty of trespass or criminal damage on the grounds that they had justifiable reasons to their actions. I explained that there were even more immediate and more justifiable reasons for searching this aircraft, in compliance with the Criminal Justice (United Nations Convention Against Torture) Act, 2000. I was refused permission to enter to airport to search aircraft N54PA. I was also prevented from taking photos of the aircraft from this location. During this time I received phone calls from Ms Jan O’Sullivan TD, and Senator David Norris who had been informed of the events described above.

I was then informed that the aircraft in question would be remaining at the airport for about 10 hours. I presume that this was to enable the aircraft crew to get rest before flying on to some unknown destination. I decided to leave the area at this time, but was prevented from doing so by Garda Sgt O’Hagan and Mr Watson of the airport police. They requested that photos on my camera be deleted because they were taken in the security area. I refused to hand over my camera on the grounds that any photos on my cameras were needed as possible evidence. A cannon camera was taken from my bag and examined by Sgt O’Hagan and Mr Watson, but no photos were found on it that needed to be deleted. I then left the airport because I had other urgent business to attend to, and because I had been prevented from adequately investigating the presence and activities of aircraft N54PA and its crew at Shannon airport.

I wish to acknowledge that valuable support I received from peace activist colleagues including Amnesty International, and from elected members of the Oireachtas, Ms Jan O’Sullivan TD and Senator David Norris. David Norris raised this matter on the order of business in An Seanad this morning.

I informed that gardai present at this incident that I would be making a complaint on this matter to the Garda Ombudsman, on the grounds that all such previous complaints on related matters that had been made to the Garda authorities in the past had failed to result in satisfactory action by the Gardai.

While it unlikely that this particular plane, N54PA had prisoners on board on this occasion at Shannon airport, there are substantial grounds for believing that the crew of this aircraft had relevant information on previous acts of rendition and of torture of prisoners, and may have been involved themselves in committing or being complicit in acts of torture. There may also have been physical and forensic evidence of torture on this aircraft. Furthermore, this aircraft and its crew may have been on their way to collect prisoners for the purpose of being tortured elsewhere.

The Gardai and the airport authorities including airport security are in gross breach of their duties in failing to prevent Shannon airport being used to facilitate torture and failing to prevent Gardai and Shannon airport workers in being complicit in committing torture, and in failing to investigate to possibility that people who have committed torture have been at Shannon airport, or that prisoners may even have endured torture by virtue of the fact that they were held at Shannon airport in conditions that amounted to torture.

The following are just some of the legal provisions that are immediately relevant.

Criminal Justice (United Nations Convention Against Torture) Act, 2000
http://www.daileireann.ie/documents/bills28/acts/2000/a...0.pdf,

Related offences.

3.—A person, whatever his or her nationality, whether within or outside the State, who—

(a) attempts to commit or conspires to commit the offence of torture, or

(b) does an act with the intent to obstruct or impede the arrest or prosecution of another person, including a person who is a public official, in relation to the offence of torture,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

United Nations CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html

Article 2
Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

Article 4
Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Article 6
Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present, shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence.

All of the above international and Irish law provision have been breached by authorities including the Gardai at Shannon airport.

Related Link: http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html
author by EINNpublication date Wed Jun 18, 2008 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For more details on this aircraft (N54PA), see the link below.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87976?author_name=EINN&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment230799
author by Shannon CIA watchpublication date Wed Jun 18, 2008 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Senator David Norris: That is profoundly undemocratic, as is the response of some of the leaders of Europe, who should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. If there is egg on faces, the massive quantity of it should land on the people in Brussels who attempted to bully and hector, and who said we would be punished economically and would be the first victims financially. There were even people saying we should give back what we got. We got nothing to which we were not fully and legally entitled; of that there is no question. We also gave a hell of a lot. We gave our best expertise and the brains that helped to drive the Community. At the top of the Community, one will find Irish people giving loyal service. The Irish people are loyal to Europe but when they are treated like fools, when they are treated with contempt, when they are treated with a lack of respect for democracy-----
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Those are points that can be made in the debate.
Senator David Norris: I am sick of asking questions in this House. I asked a series of very detailed questions about the military aspects of the treaty - that was why I voted against it - including the European Defence Agency, coyly renamed from the Western European Armaments Group, and the redefinition of the Petersberg tasks to include intervention in a third country because of a threat of terrorism, which is what got the United States into Iraq. That is why I am worried.

I am moving an amendment to the Order of Business today because of my concerns. I want No. 27, motion 15, concerning rendition, to be taken today.

It shows how we are already compromised by this Government. As we speak, aeroplane No. N54PA is on the tarmac at Shannon Airport.

Commandant Ed Horgan, who was on the platform with me as the voice of
the people against Lisbon for this military reason, is detained at Shannon
Airport. He is not allowed to leave the airport. He has requested the Garda to
search that aeroplane which was in Guantanamo on 3 June this year. Attempts
are being made to remove the camera which he legally possesses and destroy the film. For that reason, and because I got no answers to any of these questions about the increasing militarisation of Europe, I am moving an amendment to the Order of Business. I second Senator Bacik's amendment to the Order of Business.

author by John Lannonpublication date Wed Jun 18, 2008 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In response to a further request made today at Shannon Garda Station to have N54PA searched, I was told that a “policy decision” had been made by the Gardai that there were no grounds to search the plane.

I made my request to have it searched on the basis that N54PA is rendition linked, and that there are reasonable grounds to suspect the airport is being used to facilitate renditions through its presence. To back up this I cited Amnesty International, European Parliament and Council of Europe reports that have identified Shannon airport as a stopover point in the US renditions programme. These have all called for inspections to be carried out, and N54PA’s presence at the airport over a prolonged period of time provided the opportunity for inspection today. And while there may not have been a prisoner on board (although this cannot be confirmed without inspection), there certainly might be valuable evidence to indicate it had completed or was about to carry out a rendition.

I was told by the on-duty sergeant that I did not have enough evidence to justify a search of the aircraft. When I asked what would constitute “enough evidence” I was told that it would have to be “concrete evidence”. This, I gathered from his further comments, meant a photograph of a person shackled on the floor of the plane!

How does one get that evidence when the Gardai themselves (including the same sergeant) refuse to allow people to even take photographs of the plane from a distance of 200m?

It is worth remembering once again that the European Parliament and the Council of Europe have stated that the Irish Government is avoiding its international human rights responsibilities by refusing to investigate allegations that aircraft linked to renditions have landed in Ireland. The Irish Human Rights Commission have advised the Government that the only effective way of ensuring that it does not become complicit in torture is through establishing an effective regime of monitoring and inspection. This is a far cry from the policy adopted by an Garda Siochana in Shannon today.

Finally on a small positive note (I hope!), the sergeant did say that if someone was being unlawfully detained in this jurisdiction, he would personally consider it to be a serious matter. Perhaps one day he will realise that if someone is being unlawfully detailed anywhere – and we are aiding and abetting this process - it is a serious matter.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Wed Jun 18, 2008 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just sent a short complaint to Garda Ombudsman re what happened to Ed In Shannon today (info@gsoc.ie)

Once again a big thank you to Ed for being on the ball.

author by EINNpublication date Wed Jun 18, 2008 18:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The info about the routing of N54PA in the first paragraph at the start of this post incorrect. It did not arrive from Fort Lauderdale - that was its destination when it passed through Shannon westbound the following day. It arrived from its base at Cartersville, Georgia, in the US.

More attention to facts would really help. Ever wonder why people who would normally be our supporters have difficulty believing what we say?

author by Edward Horganpublication date Wed Jun 18, 2008 21:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for your comments EINN

"Correction to routing info in Ed's post
by EINN Wed Jun 18, 2008 18:18
The info about the routing of N54PA in the first paragraph at the start of this post incorrect. It did not arrive from Fort Lauderdale - that was its destination when it passed through Shannon westbound the following day. It arrived from its base at Cartersville, Georgia, in the US.
More attention to facts would really help. Ever wonder why people who would normally be our supporters have difficulty believing what we say?"

Response: Well actually the flight logs for N54PA do show that it was in Fort Lauderdale on its previous schedule, and it went to Cartersville from Fort Lauderdale where it spent a few days before flying on to Gander and then Shannon.

18-Jun-2008 LJ35/Q Gander Int'l (CYQX) Shannon (EINN) 02:34AM GMT result unknown (?) n/a
17-Jun-2008 LJ36/Q Cartersville (KVPC) Gander Int'l (CYQX) 05:38PM EDT 01:21AM GMT 3:43
14-Jun-2008 LJ35/Q Fort Lauderdale Executive (KFXE) Cartersville (KVPC) 09:11PM EDT 10:40PM EDT 1:29
14-Jun-2008 LJ35/Q Halifax Int'l (CYHZ) Fort Lauderdale Executive (KFXE) 07:09PM GMT 06:50PM EDT 3:41
14-Jun-2008 LJ35/W Shannon (EINN) Halifax Int'l (CYHZ) 11:40AM GMT 05:51PM GMT

In answer to your final comment "Ever wonder why people who would normally be our supporters have difficulty believing what we say?" I have this to say.
For the past couple of years there are mainly two of us doing plane monitoring at Shannon. We would greatly welcome all those "people who would normally be our supporters" even on an occasional basis down at Shannon.
Your help EINN and your corrections where they are valid are welcome. Your 'Dick Roche' type final comment is not.
I have no difficulty with the sort of negative comments that come from the likes of A10. They can even be mildly amusing. Its the insider negativity that can be more damaging.
It is actually difficult to motivate oneself as I had to do today to spend several hours of my time on this issue.
First I had to get up at 6am check flight logs on my computer, and then get to Shannon without breakfast. I have used half a tank of petrol at my own expense in the past week or so going to and from Shannon. It was cold wet and windy at Shannon today. However, I did get very good support from several people on the phone which proved very valuable, including three members of the Oireachtas. I had to rush back to Limerick where I was late for a private committment. Because it was important to put a report up on Indymedia while the item was still news I did so from my notes and from memory. I had to combine this with phone contacts with several people as this matter was being raised in the Seanad today and possibly in the Dail tomorrow.
Very many people avoid doing this sort of work in a very public arena because of the fear of making occasional mistakes, and being criticised. I continue to do it because it is so important.

As you are reading this, prisoners are still being tortured, and bombs are being dropped, accidently of course, on little children in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

We need far more positive help at Shannon to monitor the US military and CIA planes. There are many people over the age of 66 who have free travel who could spend even one day a month at Shannon at minimal cost.
There are many others who are employed who could spend one weekend day each month at Shannon. Perhaps EINN you could do so yourself. Of course it is easier be a hurler on the ditch, where you will avoid getting the occasional knock from a hurley.
This work is really important and is genuinly humanitarian but we need far more people to get off the fence and be more sensitive to the issues involved.
The motivating difficulty at present is increased by the realisation that the struggle for justice we are involved with has not quick solution. We need to commit ourselves for many months and for many years ahead.
A motto I still use to motivate myself is
"if not I, who, if not now, When". Perhaps you and our very many other supporters might use it too.
I look forward to your continuing support.
Edward

author by Helmutpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for this useful report.
Flight to Guantanamo maybe was a prisoner flight. Originally they came from Majuro Atoll (Phillipines). There were reports of secret holding prisoners on war ships (USS Peleliu).
http://worldcontent.twoday.net/stories/4966187/

Tracking Data N54PA here:
http://worldcontent.twoday.net/stories/5004359#n54pa

author by Coilínpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 14:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Helmut:
Danke schön for the very detailed flight logs for N54PA, including landings in Guantánamo Bay, Shannon, Belfast City Airport and Keflavik.

Since the Icelandic customs authorities search all planes for victims of extraordinary renditions - as reported in http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86069 - I wonder whether they found anything interesting when N54PA landed at Keflavik? Of course, customs officials are not usually trained, equipped or authorised to function as detectives, so they may not have looked for evidence of previous abductions, such as hoods, sedatives, handcufffs, tissue samples, fingerprints, incriminating documents, etc. but it would be interesting to know if anybody has any information.

Can you please tell us how we can verify the authenticity of the data you have published, for submission to the police, Ministry of Justice, legislators, EU bodies, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc.?

And how can we gain access to such detailed flight logs on an ongoing basis? This would be very useful so as to track the movements of this and other "torture taxis" in their crimes of torture around the world.

Keep the good work up!
Coilín.

author by Coilínpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 14:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Also thanks for the info about US Navy craft being used as prison ships:

*****

US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships
...
Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian,
Monday June 2 2008
...
According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as "floating prisons" since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.

Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans.

Reprieve will raise particular concerns over the activities of the USS Ashland and the time it spent off Somalia in early 2007 conducting maritime security operations in an effort to capture al-Qaida terrorists.

At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100 individuals were "disappeared" to prisons in locations including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guantánamo Bay.

Reprieve believes prisoners may have also been held for interrogation on the USS Ashland and other ships in the Gulf of Aden during this time.

The Reprieve study includes the account of a prisoner released from Guantánamo Bay, who described a fellow inmate's story of detention on an amphibious assault ship. "One of my fellow prisoners in Guantánamo was at sea on an American ship with about 50 others before coming to Guantánamo ... he was in the cage next to me. He told me that there were about 50 other people on the ship. They were all closed off in the bottom of the ship. The prisoner commented to me that it was like something you see on TV. The people held on the ship were beaten even more severely than in Guantánamo."

...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/02/usa.humanrights

*****

Best,
Coilín.

author by Edward Horganpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks Helmut for this valuable information.
It is vital that we make and maintain international links and international monitoring on the unlawful activities of the CIA. There is no easy way of doing this, but we must keep working together.
The recent US Supreme Court decisions make it likely that there will be significant legal developments in the US as soon as Bush is out of office.
We must also begin to pursue issues of legal liability, compensation, and reparations against complicit governments and individuals in Europe and elsewhere.
An important (but not essential) piece of information that we need to pursue the Irish Government and its officials, is evidence that specific prisoners were transported through Shannon airport.
If anyone out there has any such information, or any other relevant information on the US Government rendition for torture programme please communicate with me directly at edward.horgan@ul.ie

Thank you again Helmut
Edward

author by EINNpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi,

Good work to get the photos of N54PA at Shannon.

What callsign does do these aircraft normally use for ATC? Reach? The registration?

www.openatc.com provides a certain amount of information, which is recorded from the data transmitted automatically by the aircraft's transponder. (The system is called ACARS - more info on how it works can be found under the Wikipedia entry for ACARS).

This particular site is limited to the geographical location of the aviation enthusiasts whose scanners feed information into the site. They seem mainly to be in Britain and Spain. But it does collect data on aircraft chartered to the US military, as these use the callsign "Reach"

If you search on the site for "RCH" its shows up these flights as they pass over Britain. Note: the "Find Now" search option shows "current" flights, i.e. in the last 48 hours or so. After that, they can be found in the archive using the "Power Search" button. But there seems to be a gap in between "current" and archived flights - a flight will disappear from the "current" list for a while before reappearing in the archive.

A file which collates some data relating to Shannon is attached - dates when suspect aircraft passed through Shannon and through Guantanamo are highlighted. Sometimes they do so within the same month. But as has been pointed out, the whole pattern of renditions and prisoner transfer seems to be changing: the use of US naval ships as secret detention centres (as reported in the Guardian this month, and cited above) is very worrying.

Personal note for Ed: I don't think I've ever been compared to Dick Roche before, but I'll try to keep my sense of humour at hand for that one! (I was actually expecting some abuse - not from yourself - so I think I got off lightly.) I know that it must be lonely and tiring at times to do the work you are doing - and it is important work. But there are many ways to highlight this issue - as you say, it takes much international cooperation, and it is a long term project. Just because you don't see what others might be doing, it doesn't mean that they are a "hurler on the ditch". Good luck with it.

attachment Flight logs of "aircraft of interest" using Shannon and Guantanamo 1.29 Mb

Related Link: http://www.openatc.com
author by Admirerpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 18:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Though those public officials supporting the human rights law abuses (by their actions and by their inactions) are obviously getting away with it at the present time, this might not always be the case.

It's not all that long ago since a large group of "public servant" criminals found themselves "up Shit Creek without a paddle" (in Nuremberg): in spite of the fact that they appeared to themselves -- and to many other people -- to be COMPLETELY invincible for a period of several years.

And, as at Nuremberg, repeating weak-minded and cowardly mantras of the "I was simply obeying the orders of my superiors" kind will not provide safe haven for any of them -- should their day-of-reckoning ever come for them, before the courts of human rights law.

I find it very reassuring that, in the midst of such GROSSLY irresponsible behaviour by so many, there are still a few people around who are willing (and courageous enough) to voluntarily "keep an eye on things", and to take a stand -- against all the odds -- regarding human rights law abuses.

Without these few, what worthwhile hope could there be for the future of our species?

author by eiseneerspublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 18:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't forget that while REACH is used for standard priority missions, the call sign SAM is used for higher priority. (Special Air Missions) .

author by Edwardpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 19:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks to all those above including EINN and Helmut who are supplying specific and very useful information. I agree that there is a lot of boring and tiresome research on these matters that can and does produce valuable results.
Please keep in mind also that our request for additional monitoring at Shannon is urgent, because the CIA and the US State Department have significantly curtailed the information that had been publicly available to us from the USA through the internet. We need as much hard evidence as possible combined with crosschecking multiple sources from across the globe.
We also need to train in others in case one of us gets hit by a bus or whatever!
We also need expert and committed legal advice over the coming months, particularly in the area of international law, UNCAT, etc., and in the area of governments liability for acts of war, crimes against humanity and torture. A good starting point for reference is the compensation paid by the Libyan Government to the relatives of those killed in the Lockerbie air disaster/terrorist attack.

We also need to begin a database of specific names of individuals who had either direct responsibility for such crimes and those who were complicit in these crimes.
Lets begin with GW Bush, Rumsfeld, and their legal teams, many of whose names are included in Philippe Sands book Torture Team. We also need to include the names of middle ranking officials and aircraft crews including pilots.
Later, with legal advice we need to prepare indictments and see if we can have warrants issued for the arrest of these criminals.
An important part of this focus will be naming and holding to account those Irish individuals who have been complicit in the unlawful war in Iraq and in the US rendition for torture programme. We need a small dedicated team to assemble this information and others to help collect and feed the information to them. They would probably be best located in Dublin where they can more easily call on legal advice. Volunteers please contact the undersigned
Edward

author by Well Wisherpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 19:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Edward:

My hope is that it will be possible for you and close associates to begin with the Republic of Ireland "public servant" criminals who are "up to their eyes" in this sick, sad, and sorry mess of human rights abuse.

author by Requestingpublication date Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The copy of an e-mail on this subject -- sent this morning to a group of people which included police, lawyers, politicians, and media personalities, can now be viewed at:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/Media/20June2008/Emai...l.htm

author by EINNpublication date Fri Jun 20, 2008 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The same Phoenix aircraft which passed through Shannon earlier this week is on its way back into Shannon. Due there around 16.40 Irish time (Fri 20th June).

It appears that it's due to fly on to Gander to refuel, as it has filed a flight plan for Gander to Washington for this evening:

20-Jun-2008 LJ35/Q Gander Int'l (CYQX) [to] Washington Dulles Intl (KIAD) 21:10 GMT 20:41 EDT (+1)
(Details at http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N54PA/history/200806.../KIAD)

Interestingly, it did not show up at all on www.openatc.com

Some of the more "interesting" aircraft (i.e. sometimes leased to the CIA) cannot be tracked through www.flightaware.com. When you request the information for that registration, the response is "This flight is not available for tracking per request from the owner/operator".

author by Edward Horganpublication date Fri Jun 20, 2008 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Conor Cregan has confirmned that N54PA is at Shannon at present and was being refuelled at about 17.00 hours on 20 June 2008.
Unusually, today it has been parked in the central secure area of the airport where it is more difficult to photograph, and additionally, the viewing gallery in the airport terminal building is closed to the public. This is also strange, since the viewing gallery only exists for the public's convenience.
Earlier today another executive jet was photographed by Conor at Shannon. Its reg number was N217RM.
From my initial quick search the registered owners seem to be Romeo Mike incorporated. Romeo Mike is military/air force type jargon from the phoenetic alphabeth. It also seems to be connected with if not owned by Wilmington Corporation which has close CIA associations. Further research needed on this plane.
photos to follow.

author by CCpublication date Fri Jun 20, 2008 23:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

n54pa_20.06.08.jpg

n54pa_20.06.08_runway11.jpg

author by In the knowpublication date Fri Jun 20, 2008 23:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Could it possibly be that this aircraft was performing it's usual mission, that of civilian air ambulance? As regards Guantanamo, due to the lack of specialized medical care at the base hospital, military personnel and their dependents are flown out on a regular basis to hospitals in Jacksonville, FL and the Washington, DC areas. As for Marjuro, in the Marshall Islands, this is a common fuel stop for aircraft such as a Learjet when transiting the Pacific. The recent visit to Marjuro was returning from Australia where an air ambulance pt was dropped off.

author by CCpublication date Sat Jun 21, 2008 00:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but why isn't marked as an air ambulance like others that pass through Shannon Airport?

This plane could certainly be an air ambulance as the company does supply these but wouldn't this then be an ideal plane to transport an prisoner that has been trussed, gagged, and drugged?

author by In the knowpublication date Sat Jun 21, 2008 02:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the US, aircraft are not always designated with a logo or red cross even if they are dedicated air ambulance aircraft. Hook up with a sympathetic handler (they facilitate fueling, etc) and you will find these aircraft are either transporting a patient (usually with a family member) or en route to pick up a patient.

author by Edward Horganpublication date Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Government, and every other government in the world have clear obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT). UNCAT was brought into Irish legislation by the Criminal Justice (UNCAT) Act 2000, so any acts of torture or any acts of complicity with torture committed or facilitated on Irish territory after 2000, are crimes under Irish law as well as crimes under international law.

UNCAT Article 2.1
1.Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

UNCAT Article 4.1
Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Under article UNCAT article 2.1 above, a person being transported in a plane, bound and gagged and tied to the aircraft floor, in conditions of serious discomfort and pain, and involving sensory deprivation is likely to be considered an act of torture. Therefore any prisoner taken through Shannon airport under such conditions, is likely to be judged to have been tortured while at Shannon airport.

Under Article 2.1 also, the Irish state is bound to "take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction." The Irish Government has been in serious breach of this provision by failing to take "effective measures" to prevent acts of torture being committed on Irish territory. In addition there are now precedents in Irish law, including crimes such as the Omagh Bombing, in which the Irish authorities have responsibility to prevent Irish territory being used to facilitate serious crimes elsewhere.
Not only have the Irish Government and the Gardai failed to take effective measures under UNCAT Art 2.1, but they have clearly done the opposite by positively preventing any efforts that are being made to expose the possibility that such crimes are being committed and facilitated at Shannon airport.

UNCAT Article 4.1. above is the article under which the Irish Government and its agents, particularly the Gardai, are most likely to have been in direct contravention of UNCAT, and therefore guilty of criminal offences. "The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture."
Under this provision, failure to investigate incidents that could be related to acts of torture is a breach of this article. More directly, refuelling aircraft that have been associated with acts of torture or that may actually be used for the transport of prisoners for torture is also a serious breach of UNCAT.

With regard to some of the above comments that a particular plane that has associations with CIA may in fact be sometimes used for air ambulance duties, this does not excuse the Gardai and the Irish Government from making precautionary inspections of such aircraft to ensure that it is not engaged in crimes of torture.
It is quite possible that this aircraft N54PA may be frequently used as an air ambulance. This would provide an excellent cover for its occasional use for torture transport purposes also.

The fact that it is connected to the CIA, and is a frequent recent user of Shannon airport, and that its flight log details have not been removed from the internet, as other CIA Aircraft have been, might lead one to suspect that the Irish Government are hoping that some peace activists might be arrested while attempting to search "an air ambulance plane".
Of course any such search or inspection by a peace activist would be fully justified legally given the repeated failures by the Gardai and the Irish Government to enforce the UN Convention Against Torture at Shannon airport.

author by Duine éiginpublication date Sat Jun 21, 2008 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An bhfuil tada ráite ag an Chomhaontas Ghlas faoi na cúrsái seo? Nach ndúirt siad go rabhthas chun fiosrú a dhénamh ar a leithéid de eitiltí de bharr forálacha sa chlár comhrialtais?

author by Mark Cpublication date Sat Jun 21, 2008 17:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ed (and the other plane watchers)

This is just a quick message of support for the great work you are doing. It is so important and deserving of our thanks. It is also a message to say that you are not alone; just because there are not more of us down there with you does not mean that we are not raising the issue in our workplaces, talking about it with our students, voting no to Lisbon because of it, sending emails to the government, responding to the government's responses, etc. We are, and we will continue to do so. So, while you are doing the really important work there are others doing what they can (certainly not playing hurling from the ditch). We may not be giving our spare time to be in Shannon (some of us, for whatever reason, have so preciously little of it at present) but we are with you.

Keep it up,
Mark.

author by admirerpublication date Sat Jun 21, 2008 18:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Press releases today have indicated that next Tuesday Amnesty International will publish a report - "State of Denial: Europe's Role in Rendition and Secret Detention". There has been a brief preview of its scope on IMC UK today http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/06/401602.html

Next Monday there will be the Fifth Session of the United Nations Committee against Torture, Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Geneva.

That's the "UNCAT" that Commandant (retd.) Ed Horgan referred to above on the day he saw a rendition jet in Ireland whilst over in the USA in real time - the Senate Committee on Armed Services held a hearing on the origins of aggressive interrogation techniques (part I of the Committee's inquiry into the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody) and then the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled From the Department of Justice to Guantanamo Bay (part II of the Committees inquiry into administration lawyers and administration interrogation rules) .

By next weekend the 12 points to end Rendition and Secret Detentions in Europe which resulted from the couragous activism of networks and individuals like Horgan and the "plane spotters" across Europe, and the subsequent report by Swiss Senator Dick Marty to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, along with the investigations of the EU Parliament - will celebrate its 2nd anniversary.

The same day the plane
2 years since the proof was put on the table.
Yet nobody is searching the planes?

Maybe it's all still in the committee stage.

author by CIA Watchpublication date Sat Jun 21, 2008 22:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While we are busy focusing on possible CIA rendition flights, it is well to remember also, that Irish neutrality is being breached daily at Shannon as hundreds of armed US troops pass through on their way to and from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also possible that mercenaries from the USA with companies such as Blackwater are also passing through. These mercenaries perform a similar nefarious role to that of Guantanamo prison, in that they are virtually beyond all accountabilty to the rule of law. Over one million people are dead because of these unlawful and unjustified wars.

With regard to the suspicious planes being monitored at Shannon, without searching the planes we can never be 100% sure what they are up to.

In Nov 2006, the "European Paliament Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners" published a document (working document no. 8) that lists the companies linked to CIA, aircraft used by the CIA, and the European countries in which CIA aircraft have made stopovers
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/tempcom/tdip/work...n.pdf

This report gives a sort of base line to work from even though the information in it is now almost 2 years out of date.

Among the planes that made the most frequent stopovers at Shannon airport were N478GS and N475LC. These planes are still passing through Shannon. Some of the relevant reports on Indymedia are listed below.
Both of these planes and many others identified as being used by the CIA for "rendition" flights are operated by Phoenix Air. N54PA is also operated by Phoenix Air and frequently travels to Guantanamo, hence the strong suspicision of it's involvement. It is only through tracking this (and other) planes internationally through the help of others that the truth about it's exact involvement can be discovered.

N478GS
Nov 29th 2007 http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85297
March 8 2008 http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86600

N475LC
Oct 30th 2007 http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84853

Related Link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/tempcom/tdip/working_docs/pe380984_en.pdf
author by EINNpublication date Mon Jun 23, 2008 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is another way of tracking flights directly, rather than via the web. The receiver and decoder retails at around £390 Sterling, and plugs into a PC.

It would cover the "gap" which seems to exist over Ireland, as www.openatc.com normally doesn't have data for aircraft much further east than the middle of the Irish Sea.

Details at
http://www.flightstore.co.uk/prod/KINAIRNAV/

The links to the European Parliament reports above are excellent, by the way. Very useful work, but now a bit dated unfortunately.

author by EINNpublication date Tue Jun 24, 2008 13:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Busy times for the Phoenix Air Learjet N54PA: it was due to pass through Shannon again this morning (Tues 24th June).

It left its base at Cartersville, Georgia yesterday, flew to Portland, Oregan, then to Greater Rochester, and refuelled at Gander, Newfoundland. Details below

Date Origin Destination Departure Arrival Duration
24-Jun-2008 Gander Int'l (CYQX) to Shannon (EINN) 06:23 GMT result unknown (?) n/a
23-Jun-2008 Greater Rochester Intl (KROC) to Gander Int'l (CYQX) 23:15 EDT 05:21 GMT 2:06
23-Jun-2008 Portland Intl (KPDX) to Greater Rochester Intl (KROC) 15:00 PDT 22:20 EDT (+1) 4:20
23-Jun-2008 Cartersville (KVPC) to Portland Intl (KPDX)

(Details from http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N54PA/history/200806.../EINN)

More info on past renditions in which Shannon was implicated are contained in Amnesty's report, issued today. It provides details of aircraft which passed through Shannon on their way to or from confirmed rendition cases.

Press release, links to full report, and web clips of some those involved are at:

http://www.amnesty.ie/live/irish/article.asp?id=21358&p...ge=00

RTE News report on Amnesty document:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0624/rendition.html

Amnesty is also organising a series of events to highlight renditon this Thursday (26th June), including Dublin, Galway and Wexford. Details at:

http://www.amnesty.ie/live/irish/article.asp?id=21193&p...ge=00

author by EINNpublication date Tue Jun 24, 2008 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The above flight is on its way to Trieste - due to arrive there around 3.30 pm Irish time.

author by in the knowpublication date Wed Jun 25, 2008 17:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors


another medical flight.

author by anonpublication date Fri Jun 27, 2008 00:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that that doesn't mean it hasn't been used in kidnap and torture.

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