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Shannon, Torture, Troops, and Timebombs

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Friday December 02, 2005 00:01author by Tim Hourigan - Cosantoiri Siochanaauthor phone 0879777703 Report this post to the editors

Shannon secrecy still in force.

pictureLast week a German documentary team was at Shannon as part of a program on CIA renditions. After seeing troops and cops, and doing interviews with planespotters, they also got to see the Gardai chasing the plane spotters around the airport.

Today, as Dermot Ahern is seeking assurances from Condeleeza Rice that the CIA is not using Shannon for torture, a USMIL a/c with hazardous cargo landed at SNN prompting an evacuation of parts of the airport and neighbouring industrial estate according to Clare FM.

Previous reports from Tim Hourigan
which include the Swedish documentary that matched his plane spottings in Shannon to the world wide evidence of US torture renditions. This caused a Scandal in Sweden and Spain.

Access all Indymedia Anti-War stories at http://www.indymedia.ie/antiwar

On Thursday and Friday of last week, three of the Shannon Planespotters, Conor, Ed and Tim were out at Shannon keeping an eye on things, but also meeting a documentary team from Germany.

The German crew are making a program about CIA "extraordinary renditions" - the snatch missions using the Guantanamo Bay Express and other torture jets. We spoke to the journalists, and showed them around the airport, and noticed a suspicious aircraft which Ed [Horgan] reported to the Garda Siochana.

On Friday, we showed them a bit of how we monitor the flights, and we brought them around the back of the airport while we waited for a US military flight to land. We saw an ATA Boeing 757 land and taxi to Gate 42 at the passenger terminal (Gate 42 is fenced off for the US military).

pictureWe got photographs of troops in desert uniforms, while we displayed banners in the car park ( "CIA TORTURERS OUT OF SHANNON" "US MILITARY OUT OF SHANNON"). The troops didn't even seem that surprised to see us there. They were mostly young men aged about 18-20, who stopped to read the signs, and waved at us as we waved at them (I think they understood we didn't mean anything personal, but were aiming our message at the Irish and US governments).

After the troops had all moved to the duty free area, we went to photograph the aircraft (the German crew filmed it also). We could see a Garda standing there, but they didn't notice us for a while, until we were getting ready to go, and they got a bit overexcited when they realised we'd been taking photos. The TV crew kept going, having been told of previous illegal camera snatches by Gardai at the airport.

Three Gardai started running towards us, but couldn't go very far due to the fences. One was wearing a ski mask. Another did most of the talking:

Garda: "C'mere.... C'MERE...Hey you C'MERE!!!"

TH: "What d''you mean come there? There's two fences between us. What do you want anyway?"

Garda: "What are you doing here? You're not supposed to be here. Aren't you banned?"

TH: "I'm in a public place Garda. How do you mean banned? I don't think so. But even if I was, it would be a matter between me and Aer Rianta, it's a civil matter from the High Court injunction. The Garda Siochana needn't concern themselves."

Garda: "And who do you think enforces the High Court injunctions?"

TH: "That's only if there's been a court order, which there hasn't Garda. I'm in a public place on lawful business."

Garda: "Taking photos of planes is not lawful business"

TH: "How is it not lawful? It's gathering evidence of a crime."

Garda: "Under the Air Transport Navigation Act, I'm requesting you to leave."

TH: "I was already leaving when you called me, but anyway, have a nice day."

Garda: "What?"

TH: "I said have a nice day Garda."

After that Ed and I started to cross the carpark, heading back to the hotel where the TV crew was staying. We noticed a Garda Squad car rushing around inside the airfield, having to take the long way around to get out.

As we got to the hotel, the squad car sped into the hotel car park, and Gardai jumped out, shouting for us to stop. We delayed our compliance by about 5 feet until we were inside the hotel reception (just in case anyone was temped to snatch any cameras in the absence of witnesses).

The Garda asked our names, which we gave, and the Garda gave his name. After that we had a cup of tea, while we waited for our guests to return to pick up the radio mic I was wearing. Conor spoke to the Garda outside, and after we bade farewell to our visiting journos, we left, escorted by the Gardai.

Today our Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern is meeting Condi Rice, US Secretary of State, to ask for another assurance that the CIA is not using Shannon to transport people to places of torture. While refusing to have any of the CIA planes inspected, the [Irish] government line has been that the assurances of a friendly nation are good enough. (Then why are we asking for another one?)

The Council of Europe, and the European Commission have both started investigating reports of CIA prisons in Europe (allegedly in Poland and Romania), while the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights is believed to have made formal contact with the Irish Government this week about CIA landings in Ireland.

In an alarming development for safety at Shannon airport and town parts of the industrial estate, as well as the airport, were evacuated for an emergency landing of a USAF C-17 Globemaster carrying 'hazardous material'. The aircraft, part of the 446th Airlift Wing, based at McChord Air Force Base in Washington State was heading East, first landing in Kansas, and routing for RAF Mildenhall in England when it developed problems with its hydraulic system and diverted to Shannon, advising the ground that it was carrying 'hazardous material'. It landed at 8.15 and was moved to the middle of the airfield, where smoke was spotted coming from the right wing.

According to CLARE FM's report ( http://www.clarefm.ie/news/index.htm#1

Over 400 employees from the West side of the Shannon Industrial State were evacuated amid reports the aircraft was transporting hazardous material. The C17 aircraft is capable of carrying up to 169,000lbs of cargo, including tanks, Apache helicopters , artillery, and weapons such as the Patriot Missile System.

It was further reported that the coastguard was advised that if the aircraft was forced to land off the runway at Shannon, the crew would ditch it Shannon Estuary. (The concern being that if all the hydraulic fluid leaked out, that the brakes wouldn't work well enough to stop the plane on a 2 mile runway).

Conor Cregan and Ed Horgan took photos of the plane and made complaints to Shannon Garda demanding that the cargo be confiscated before it could be used to kill and maim innocent people in Iraq.

Photos and updates from other planespotters to follow.

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   More links     Newshound    Thu Dec 01, 2005 18:59 
   Photos at Shannon Airport.     Conor    Thu Dec 01, 2005 19:18 
   More.     Conor    Thu Dec 01, 2005 19:24 
   I quit     Aron    Thu Dec 01, 2005 20:03 
   Any news on emergency landing     Davros    Thu Dec 01, 2005 20:37 
   anyone wanna play a game?     redjade    Fri Dec 02, 2005 01:50 
   low lying freezing fog in the park near me     eeekkkk    Fri Dec 02, 2005 01:55 
   prize -red please     eeekkkkk    Fri Dec 02, 2005 02:27 
   hundreds of cia flights     eeeekkkkk    Fri Dec 02, 2005 02:36 
 10   yes they are and erron is in the top 3 - meanwhile dermot has been 'up every tree' again     eeekkkk    Fri Dec 02, 2005 02:45 
 11   shannon airport and the u.s. government     karl roenfanz ( rosey )    Fri Dec 02, 2005 06:59 
 12   Gas?     nm    Fri Dec 02, 2005 08:16 
 13   Ahern goes through the motions with Rice.     anon    Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:19 
 14   Re: Gas     T    Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:26 
 15   Gotta love the RTE scrutiny.     Newshound    Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:26 
 16   RTE can't even read.     Numbercruncher    Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:32 
 17   Excellent work lads!     Michael    Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:16 
 18   300 CIA flights have landed at European airports     redjade    Fri Dec 02, 2005 13:10 
 19   The word "shall"     Eoin Dubsky    Fri Dec 02, 2005 13:15 
 20   zoom lens..     Insurrection    Fri Dec 02, 2005 13:23 
 21   Help the Irish Times & RTÉ learn how to Google     redjade    Fri Dec 02, 2005 13:56 
 22   Is being small/client country enough excuse?     anon    Fri Dec 02, 2005 14:10 
 23   Excellent work indeed.     tom eile    Fri Dec 02, 2005 16:05 
 24   How do I support Cosantóirí na Síochána?     Dr. Coilín ÓhAiseadha    Fri Dec 02, 2005 16:17 
 25   Wine Contest concludes this Monday 5pm     redjade    Fri Dec 02, 2005 16:20 
 26   now give me my wine ,slobber ,slobber     tom eile    Fri Dec 02, 2005 16:40 
 27   Do we have a winner? Monday is still the deadline     redjade    Fri Dec 02, 2005 16:59 
 28   Get your hands off that bottle Tom     seedot    Fri Dec 02, 2005 17:03 
 29   ..     ...    Fri Dec 02, 2005 19:11 
 30   Tim connected the dots with swedish journalist     eeekkkkkk    Fri Dec 02, 2005 21:36 
 31   retract previous comment - tom eile is in front     eeekkkkkk    Fri Dec 02, 2005 21:39 
 32   We need you now     Edward Horgan    Fri Dec 02, 2005 23:48 
 33   This is what we are up against     peacenik    Sat Dec 03, 2005 00:01 
 34   Gis a job     Seán Ryan    Sat Dec 03, 2005 07:22 
 35   ACLU sues CIA - Reuters     Coilín ÓhAiseadha    Sat Dec 03, 2005 22:02 
 36   RTE Coverage     Deirdre Clancy    Sat Dec 03, 2005 23:21 
 37   Condi and Dermo up A Tree: Did Dermo spin a rejection of requests for information as something else?     aneverendingsupply    Sun Dec 04, 2005 00:44 
 38   Where are the ICCL?     Eoin    Sun Dec 04, 2005 02:01 
 39   .     under beds hiding by look of things    Sun Dec 04, 2005 02:42 
 40   Why does the MSM ignore CIA Planes in Ireland?     redjade    Sun Dec 04, 2005 13:42 
 41   It is a really surprising consistency     eeekkkkkk    Sun Dec 04, 2005 13:56 
 42   "The Fixer"     W. Finnerty    Sun Dec 04, 2005 21:48 
 43   Re. Help needed     Pat    Mon Dec 05, 2005 01:27 
 44   Irish Times See No Evil Approach     eeekkkk    Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:10 
 45   Another sin of omission madam     eeekkkkk    Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:23 
 46   Was the Line to dermot - "keep quite because we know you know you were involved" madam?     eeekkkkk    Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:28 
 47   Lots of research done at this blog for those trying to get to bottom of black sites and rendition     eeekkkkk    Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:36 
 48   RTE on the ball :P and Romania gets a US Military base as thanks, are we jealous     anon    Mon Dec 05, 2005 16:19 
 49   USA: 800 secret CIA flights into and out of Europe     news.amnesty    Mon Dec 05, 2005 18:08 
 50   Condoleezza's '"extremely carefully framed" choice of words, and reaction in media today.     Niall Harnett    Mon Dec 05, 2005 20:17 
 51   Red Herring -- it's not about trusting Dr. Rice or not     Eoin Dubsky    Mon Dec 05, 2005 22:24 
 52   Maybe the Yankee Army have decided ...     BP    Mon Dec 05, 2005 22:28 
 53   Have Your Say (Maybe...)     Elaine    Mon Dec 05, 2005 22:41 
 54   Government must repeat mistakes of history     Michael    Mon Dec 05, 2005 23:18 
 55   268,963 in 2005     anon    Tue Dec 06, 2005 06:46 
 56   Another Mary Robinson interview on BBC R4     anon    Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:18 
 57   Plutocracy dressed up to look like democracy?     W. Finnerty    Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:54 
 58   'Abduction' jet makes Shannon stops     Pat    Wed Dec 07, 2005 01:22 
 59   I get the impression that Bush sees Ireland as being part of his war effort     Seán Ryan    Wed Dec 07, 2005 09:14 
 60   "Complicity or participation"     W. Finnerty    Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:36 
 61   ahem     tom eile    Wed Dec 07, 2005 13:39 
 62   Never too late     anon    Wed Dec 07, 2005 16:57 
 63   Don't do a disservice to a supported hypothesis by calling it "conspiraloon"     R. Isible    Wed Dec 07, 2005 17:08 
 64   Dubsky v Ireland judicial review postponed until Tuesday 13 December     Michael    Wed Dec 07, 2005 17:50 
 65   Rabbitte questions Taoiseach in Dail about searching planes     R. Isible    Wed Dec 07, 2005 18:01 
 66   International media link     Hilaal    Wed Dec 07, 2005 23:25 
 67   CONFIRMATION: CIA Gulags in Poland and Romania     redjade    Thu Dec 08, 2005 00:31 
 68   About the confirmation of CIA Gulags in EUrope & Europe     redjade    Thu Dec 08, 2005 00:58 
 69   Paul Cullen or Madam sure did a top job of silencing Tim Ed etc. today in the IT     eeekkk    Thu Dec 08, 2005 01:18 
 70   Open letter to Mr. Ahern     Seán Ryan    Thu Dec 08, 2005 08:25 
 71   Why should be sympathise with Islamic terrorist suspects?     Scott    Thu Dec 08, 2005 15:43 
 72   Why should be sympathise with Islamic terrorist suspects?     Scott    Thu Dec 08, 2005 15:43 
 73   Torture is both ineffectual and morally wrong regardless of the who the victim is     Anthony    Thu Dec 08, 2005 15:54 
 74   The Law Lords (britain's highest legal authorities) have ruled that evidence obtained by torture     hmmm    Thu Dec 08, 2005 16:07 
 75   John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations     redjade    Thu Dec 08, 2005 18:08 
 76   RSVP     Seán Ryan    Fri Dec 09, 2005 02:32 
 77   Why should be sympathise with Islamic terrorist suspects?     Mungo    Fri Dec 09, 2005 03:18 
 78   Which plane went through Shannon to kidnap Khaled al-Masri?     Kevin mannerings    Fri Dec 09, 2005 13:53 
 79   Al Qaeda-Iraq 'Evidence' Cited by Bush was from Tortured/Renditioned Man     redjade    Fri Dec 09, 2005 16:56 
 80   N313P snatched el-Masri     Mungo    Fri Dec 09, 2005 17:59 
 81   N313P in Ireland     redjade    Fri Dec 09, 2005 21:20 
 82   Rats jumping from a sinking ship?     Seán Ryan    Sat Dec 10, 2005 07:31 
 83   Willie is a straight up liar and profiteer from war (petrel shares)     eeekkkk    Sat Dec 10, 2005 09:37 
 84   How planespotters turned into the scourge of the CIA     eeeekkkkk    Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:02 
 85   We Are The Men (sic) With The Jackhammers Madam     eeekkkkk    Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:15 
 86   Ask Willie and Dermot If They Crosscheck Lies With Lexis nexis Madam Before they lie to population     man with jackhammer    Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:46 
 87   Willie O'Dea, Petrel and Shannon     Michael    Sun Dec 11, 2005 16:22 
 88   Peterel Against The war?     eeekkkk    Sun Dec 11, 2005 16:58 
 89   Reply to eeeeekkk     Michael    Sun Dec 11, 2005 17:42 
 90   I don't like propaganda.     Seán Ryan    Mon Dec 12, 2005 03:57 
 91   Oops     Seán Ryan    Mon Dec 12, 2005 04:27 
 92   Tim H in Irish Times Today (Years later)     eeekkkk    Mon Dec 12, 2005 07:47 
 93   Stunning!....The Irish Times prints 'N379P'     redjade    Mon Dec 12, 2005 08:59 
 94   No problem there     Madam    Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:15 
 95   a new reg to look out for:- N505LL, a DHC8 type plane registered to a US airline.     iosaf    Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:52 
 96   Go On Paul Cullen, Cojones? Ask Willie and Co about this meeting in Greece in 2003.     eeekkkkkk    Mon Dec 12, 2005 13:11 
 97   Condi Rice Tortures Facts {what the defintion of is, is}     redjade    Mon Dec 12, 2005 13:33 
 98   RTE.... the voice of irrelevance.     Seán Ryan    Mon Dec 12, 2005 23:49 
 99   V. interesting Sean     R. Isible    Tue Dec 13, 2005 00:20 
 100   Guardian: Jack Straw evades questions about CIA torture flights     R. Isible    Tue Dec 13, 2005 03:36 
 101   Who was our scab?     anon    Tue Dec 13, 2005 04:20 
 102   So who was the Irish person at that meeting?     kahootz    Tue Dec 13, 2005 21:51 
 103   portugal update     -    Wed Dec 14, 2005 16:26 
 104   Swiss start investigation into CIA     io    Sat Dec 17, 2005 09:45 
 105   Document proves European Union agreed to CIA rendition flights     T    Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:07 
 106   Protest at another stop torture tango     anon    Mon Dec 19, 2005 14:45 
 107   Torture     Bill    Fri Feb 24, 2006 02:23 
 108   Good work, keep digging!     Eoin Dubsky    Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:05 

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