[Marxism] spain takes on u s on "torture" flights

Sudhir Devadas sudhirdin at gmail.com
Thu Nov 17 06:32:41 MST 2005

> a most heartening bit of news from the continent. spain has had the spunk
> to judicially challenge the extraordinary renditions perpetrated by
> bushland.
>  sudhir
>  ___________+++++++++_________+++++++++++
>    Madrid opens inquiry into CIA 'torture' flights By Elizabeth Nash in
> Madrid 16 November 2005 The Independent
> Spain has launched a judicial inquiry into allegations that CIA aircraft
> may have secretly used a Spanish airport to transport terror suspects to
> clandestine interrogation camps, Jose Antonio Alonso, the Interior Minister,
> said.
> If the allegations proved true, Mr Alonso warned, "we would be looking at
> extremely serious, absolutely intolerable acts that violate rules for
> treating prisoners in a democratic society, and would demand a government
> response that would affect bilateral relations". The disputedeals a further
> blow to US-Spanish relations, already bruised by Spain's withdrawal of
> troops from Iraq last year.
> Spain's intelligence service, the Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, knew
> CIA planes were making stopovers on Spanish soil and urged the American
> agency to stop the flights,El Pais newspaper said yesterday.
> The Spanish request was prompted by a police report last June that said 10
> flights were found to have used Palma de Majorca airport.
> The CIA never acknowledged a connection with these flights, in which
> terror suspects were allegedly taken to third countries for interrogation in
> a programme known as "extraordinary rendition", El Pais said. Jose Bono,
> Spain's Defence Minister, said there was no proof the US had engaged in
> "illicit activities", and declined to criticise Washington. "We have no
> evidence, we have no proof, so I am not prepared to put a friendly, allied
> government on the spot on the basis of supposition and rumour," he said.
> Mr Bono recently visited the US to rebuild relations damaged by Spain's
> withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Bringing home Spanish soldiers was the first
> political decision by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist government
> elected last March, just after Islamist terrorists attacked Madrid and
> killed 191 people. Majorcan police were alerted to the "prison planes" by
> newspaper investigations of suspicious flights landing in or leaving the
> island's airport from March last year. Reports in El Diario de Mallorca led
> residents to denounce to the authorities the alleged illegal detentions,
> kidnappings and torture, El Pais said. Local prosecutors asked police to
> investigate, who found that four planes had made at least 10 stops in
> Majorca between January 2004 and January this year.
> One flight arrived from Algiers on 22 January 2004 and took off the next
> day for Macedonia. There it allegedly collected a Lebanese-born German man,
> Khaled Masri, and took him to Kabul where he was beaten and interrogated
> over alleged links with al-Qa'ida. Other flights reportedly went to and from
> Libya and from Bucharest to Washington. Destinations included Ireland,
> Morocco and Sweden; countries of origin included Algeria, Romania and Egypt,
> El Pais said. The planes were said to be US-registered and used by Stevens
> Express Leasing, listed by The New York Times among those used by the CIA to
> transport suspects.
> Mr Alonso urged caution: "The matter is in the hands of a judge and we
> will see what his conclusions are." The row has killed any nascent
> Spanish-American rapprochement. "I cannot comment on such a sensitive
> matter," a US embassy spokesman in Madrid said.

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