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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Thursday, June 8, 2006

The tangled web of CIA prisons and renditions.

A much-awaited report from the Council of Europe charges that the US has created 'a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers' — and that member states of the European Union have aided in that effort, or just refused to acknowledge what the US was doing on or in the skies above their territories.

The report from European senator Dick Marty of Switzerland says that the CIA has moved hundreds of people through this web of prisons, some of whom had little proven connections with terrorist organizations. According to the report, European nations cooperated with the US covert effort by 'secretly detaining a person on European territory, capturing a person and handing them over to the US or permitting unlawful ?renditions? through their airspace or across their territory.'

Perhaps the most useful part of the report is the best map I've seen to date of the secret network. (A larger, much more legible version is here.)


Map of CIA prison web

CIA prisons and prisoner transfer routes. View a larger version here.
[Graphic: Council of Europe PACE]

From the Boston Globe's story on the Council of Europe report:
The 67-page report specifically accused Poland and Romania of allowing the CIA to use their territory to transfer secret prisoners from plane to plane. At least 12 other European nations allowed refueling stops, "pickup points," or "staging centers" for controversial CIA undertakings, the report stated.

Using often colorful language, the report described CIA operatives "dressed in black like ninjas" hustling suspects on and off airplanes on missions spanning four continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.

Bangor, Maine, which is frequently used for US military flights, may have served as a refueling point for CIA planes headed out on rendition operations, according to the report. Other landing spots ranged from the Spanish resort island of Mallorca -- where American intelligence agents may have enjoyed R&R breaks as well as transferred captives -- to Kabul, Afghanistan, according to the report.

The Maine airport was listed as a CIA "stopover" point along with airports in Britain, Ireland, Italy, and Greece.

Germany, Spain, Cyprus, and Turkey were identified as "staging" grounds for clandestine operations.

The report focused on alleged Europe collusion with the CIA but also cites Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan as apparently colluding in extensive operations starting after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

While the Council of Europe report relies largely on information previously available, its endorsement by such a prestigious European body will put additional pressure on Dubya's administraton to abandon its policy of abducting terror suspects and holding them in secret prisons.

| | Posted by Magpie at 3:04 AM | Get permalink




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