Friday, December 02, 2005


Opportune, direct response on CIA -- US to EU

French airports, too, have received "Guantanamo Express" flights. The first identified flight dates back to 31 March 2002. The flight plan shows that Learjet N221SG took off at 1336 hours from Keflavik, Iceland, bound for Brest-Guipavas, from where it apparently set off again for Turkey. Its point of departure was St John's, Newfoundland.

Canadian security authorities are also investigating this Learjet's comings and goings. This stopover on the coast of Brittany was probably necessitated by the limited range of this twin-engine 6/8 seater, which cannot fly between Guantanamo and Turkey non-stop. The Guipavas airport authorities have found a record of this flight; they told Le Figaro that, according to information given by the crew, they were the only ones on board that day. After Brest, the aircraft set off for Rome for another stopover.

Another flight by an aircraft known to have been used by the CIA occurred 20 July 2005: Gulfstream III, with the serial number N50BH, landed at Paris Le Bourget airport at 1922 hours, from Oslo Gardemoein, according to the Norwegian daily, Ny Tid. At the Paris airport, US government aircraft are generally received by Aeroservices, which is located near the Air and Space Museum, but it is likely that this jet was received by a service company based in a more discreet area.
Questioned by the EU, the United States promised Wednesday [2 December] evening to issue an "opportune" and "direct" response to Europe.

Story from France,

Secretary Rice would answer a formal query from the European Union on the reports, but said the top US envoy would also make it "quite clear that as far as Americans are concerned, they have not infringed any international human rights laws in relation to this."

"As a theoretical legal matter, I understand the practice of renditions is one that is recognized by the international system," Spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Story from Germany

All of these questions concerning these allegations of overflights and secret detainee sites for those who may have engaged or intended to engage in terrorist activities all take place within the context of fighting a war against terrorism. As I said yesterday, this is a different kind of war. This is a war in which countries -- European, American and others around the world -- employ all their aspects of national power in order to fight a shadowy enemy, an enemy that doesn't recognize any rules, doesn't recognize any laws, doesn't recognize any regulations. Their sole intent is to try to kill innocent civilians in an attempt to undermine our way of life.

State briefing
plus Hartmann

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