Saturday, March 07, 2009


Underlying charge of complicity

Two members of the banned group Lashkar e Tayyiba, which has links to al-Qaeda, understood to be Pakistani nationals, apprehended by UK forces in Iraq had been transferred to US custody in 2004 then transported to Afghanistan. They are still being held in Afghanistan, where they are classified as "unlawful enemy combatants". Defence secretary John Hutton said there was no "substantiated evidence" that they had been mistreated or subjected to abuse there. "There is a underlying charge of complicity with serious abuse of people detained by British forces on operations overseas."

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Thursday, March 05, 2009


Remaining USNS Lewis and Clark pirates gone

U.S. Navy on March 5 handed over seven suspected Somali pirates who were arrested in the Indian Ocean to the Kenyan police. Dressed in orange overalls and bare feet, the suspects who looked frail and tired were led into the cells of the port police station under tight guard. In January, the U.S entered into an agreement with Kenya to hand over suspected pirates to be tried in the country. Britain has already reached a similar agreement to hand over pirates to the Kenyan authorities. U.S. Embassy in Kenya released nine others in Bomasso Puntland, implying Kenya wouldn't accept them.

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Monday, March 02, 2009


Bush DOJ Legal opinion on extraordinary rendition

Steven G. Bradbury of the Justice Department; Daniel J. Dell’Orto, a Pentagon official; and former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson.
Memorandum Regarding the President's Power as Commander in Chief to Transfer Captured Terrorists to the Control and Custody of Foreign Nations (03-13-2002) and other legal opinions by the Department of Legal Counsel (OLC)are now available here

Sunday, March 01, 2009


UK statements on rendition

How the UK Government changed its story from denial to regret

No one told us

20 November, 2005

"These are privately chartered aircraft and they don't need to tell us who is on board."

Department of Transport

We don't keep track of such things

22 November, 2005

"Where passengers do not leave the airfield, the MoD ... does not record details of passengers."

Adam Ingram, then Defence minister

No one asked us

30 November, 2005

The Government is "not aware of the use of their territory or airspace for the purposes of extraordinary rendition, nor have we received any requests, [or] granted any permission for the use of UK territory or airspace for such purposes".

Foreign Office

It never happened

5 December, 2005

"We have no evidence to corroborate media allegations about use of UK territory in rendition operations."

Foreign Office

We have no record

13 December, 2005

"Careful research has been unable to identify any occasion ... when we have received a request for permission by the United States for a rendition through the United Kingdom territory or airspace .... Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories ... there is simply no truth in claims that the UK has been involved in rendition."

Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary

There's no evidence

22 December, 2005

"I have absolutely no evidence to suggest that anything illegal has been happening here at all.

"I am not going to start ordering inquiries into this, that or the next thing when I have got no evidence to show whether this is right or not."

Tony Blair, then Prime Minister

We've done nothing illegal

20 January, 2006

"Anything we do in relation to rendition is in compliance with our international obligations. We fulfil our legal obligations."

Tony Blair's spokesman

They'd have to ask us first

16 February, 2006

"We have made clear to [the US] we expect them to seek permission to render detainees via British airspace."

Ian Pearson, then Foreign Office minister

We've never given permission

7 October, 2006

"Mr Hoon ... made clear that the British Government has not approved and will not approve a policy of supporting the transfer of individuals through the UK to places where there are substantial grounds to suspect that they face the risk of torture."

Foreign Office

OK, they did it twice. But that's all

25 February, 2008

"The two flights from the US already identified are the only ones we are aware of."

Foreign Office

Yes, we were involved. And we shouldn't have been

27 February, 2009

"In retrospect, it is clear to me that the transfer to Afghanistan of these two individuals should have been questioned at the time."

John Hutton, Defence Secretary

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