Investigators believe they have found “conclusive” new proof that CIA-linked planes landed regularly in Scottish airports as part of the “extraordinary rendition” programme.
The three airports which it is claimed were used as part of the “war on terror” are Aberdeen, Inverness and Wick. A study, conducted by two academics at UK universities, found that 13 flights to these airports may have been involved in the US security service’s controversial “extraordinary rendition” programme. Extraordinary rendition was used by the US Government in the years after the September 11 attacks. It involved the secret kidnapping, detention and transfer of terror suspects to other countries for interrogation and alleged torture.
Sam Raphael of Kingston University in London, developed the Rendition Project with Ruth Blakely, from Kent University. He said: “The Rendition Project database provides conclusive evidence that airports in the north of Scotland were visited by numerous CIA planes at the height of the rendition and secret-detention programme.” The project revealed data which shows five flights with CIA links landed at Wick and Inverness, with a further three landing at Aberdeen International Airport. New details released by the study describe the planes and routes, showing that several went on to land in locations where it is claimed that terror suspects were being held in secret prisons.
The study claims to cast a new light on the operations, and has identified 11,006 flights suspected of being involved in rendition. More than 1600 of these are thought to have landed in the UK.
The UK government is now coming under pressure to examine the findings, amid the suggestions that British involvement was much greater than has previously been suggested. Local MPs, including Sir Malcolm Bruce from Gordon, have condemned the findings, and say that locals would be “horrified” and “shocked” if the airports have been used to transport terror suspects to places where they were given no legal protections. He said: “I don’t know the details of these flights but I would imagine most people would be horrified if agents of our government had been colluding in allowing people to be taken to a jurisdiction where they would not be allowed legal protections afforded to UK citizens.” A Scottish Government spokesman denied on Sunday such flights could have taken place with the consent of the UK Government. He said: “We have been assured by the UK Government that permission for rendition flights would only ever be granted if the UK Government was satisfied that the rendition would accord with UK laws and our international obligations. “We do not believe such flights could ever be in accordance with domestic or international law, and we do not expect such consent would ever be granted.”
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Phi Beta Iota: 11,006 is “a lot.” Cut that in half for two-ways, and you have over 5,503 flights. Cut that in half again and you have perhaps 2,251 illegal victims of kidnapping and torture. Seems like the kind of excess that demands an honest investigation — if not by the USA, then by a new International Tribunal devoted to war crimes and atrocities allegedly committed by US Government employees and contractors since 9/11.
ICTJ works to help societies in transition address legacies of massive human rights violations and build civic trust in state institutions as protectors of human rights. In the aftermath of mass atrocity and repression, we assist institutions and civil society groups—the people who are driving and shaping change in their societies—in considering measures to provide truth, accountability, and redress for past abuses.
Acts that violate the international laws, treaties, customs, and practices governing military conflict between belligerent states or parties.
War crimes may be committed by a country’s regular armed forces, such as its army, navy, or air force, or by irregular armed forces, such as guerrillas and insurgents. Soldiers may be punished for war crimes, as may military and political leaders, members of the judiciary, industrialists, and civilians who are enlisted by a belligerent to contravene the Rules of War.
However, isolated instances of Terrorism and single acts of rebellion are rarely, if ever, treated as war crimes punishable under the international rules of warfare. Instead, they are ordinarily treated as criminal violations punishable under the domestic laws of the country in which they occur.
Most war crimes fall into one of three categories: crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and traditional war crimes. Crimes against peace include the planning, commencement, and waging of aggressive war, or war in violation of international agreements. Aggressive war is broadly defined to include any hostile military act that disregards the territorial boundaries of another country, disrespects the political independence of another regime, or otherwise interferes with the sovereignty of an internationally recognized state. Wars fought in self-defense are not aggressive wars.