Saturday, February 12, 2005

CIA Out Of Control

The US have been engaged in “systematically seizing suspects and sending them, without legal process, not only to Guantanamo Bay but to authorities in countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Syria.” Some prisoners are sent to secret “CIA hellholes”. The system is known as “extraordinary rendition” – described by campaigners as a “system of torture by proxy”. Britain has been providing the some of the for this operation, and is the operational base for two executive jets used by the CIA to carry prisoners to Egypt and Jordan from countries including Sweden and Indonesia, and uses Luton, Glasgow, Prestwick and Northolt airports.
Both jets are white and unmarked with a US civilian registration – one a 737, the other a Gulfstream Jet. They are owned by US companies that only exist on paper, and act as fronts for the CIA. The Gulfstream is formally owned by Bayard Foreign Marketing; Thomas Bayard’s signature appears on the documents, a fictional identity.
In December 2001 a team of masked US agents arrived in Sweden “to transfer two Egyptian dissidents, both accused of terrorist involvement, to Cairo. Both later complained of torture.” One, Mohammed al-Zery, was eventually cleared and freed.
Yassir al Sirri, an Islamic radical living in London was arrested in October 2001; his computer was seized along with fax records. These were passed to the US and in the following weeks many of Mr Sirri’s contacts around the world were seized too, including al-Zery. Eventually, Sirri too was cleared of any charge.

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