Sunday, July 13, 2014
Mistakes in the reporting of the information - CIA
|Parliament sees UK logs of takeoffs and landings at Diego Garcia|
In April leaked classified CIA documents from a forthcoming US Senate intelligence committee report revealed that the US had held "high value" detainees on Diego Garcia, which has been leased by Britain to the US since 1966, with the "full co-operation" of the British government. The Metropolitan police are currently investigating allegations that an opponent of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was rendered via Diego Garcia.
At least 10 high-value targets were secretly held and interrogated at Guantánamo’s Camp Echo at various times from late 2003 to 2004. They were then flown to Rabat, Morocco, before being officially sent to the U.S. military’s detention facility at Guantánamo in September 2006.
The prisoner transfer flight, outlined in documents and interviews, visited five CIA prisons in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania, Morocco and Guantanamo Bay. The flight plan was so poorly thought out, some in the CIA derisively compared it to a five-card straight revealing the program to outsiders: Five stops, five secret facilities, all documented.
The flight logs were compiled by European authorities investigating the CIA program.
The flight started in Kabul, where the CIA picked up al-Hawsawi at the secret prison known as the Salt Pit. The Boeing 737 then flew to Szymany, Poland, where a CIA team picked up professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and took him to Bucharest, Romania, to the new prison, code-named Britelite.
Next it was on to Rabat, Morocco, where the Moroccans ran an interrogation facility used by the CIA.
At 8:10 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2003, the Boeing 737 took off from a runway in Rabat. On board were al-Hawsawi, al-Nashiri, Zubaydah and Binalshibh. At 1 a.m. the following day, the plane touched down at Guantanamo.
[February 21 2998]
CIA Director Michael Hayden has now acknowledged that two rendition flights carrying terror suspects refueled on British territory, despite earlier U.S. assurances that none of the secret flights since the Sept. 11 attacks had used British airspace or soil.
Hayden told agency employees that information previously provided to the British "turned out to be wrong."
The spy agency reviewed rendition records late last year and discovered that in 2002 the CIA had in fact refueled two separate planes, each carrying a terror suspect, on Diego Garcia, a British island territory in the Indian Ocean.
"The refueling, conducted more than five years ago, lasted just a short time. But it happened. That we found this mistake ourselves, and that we brought it to the attention of the British government, in no way changes or excuses the reality that we were in the wrong. An important part of intelligence work, inherently urgent, complex, and uncertain, is to take responsibility for errors and to learn from them," Hayden stated in the message obtained by The Associated Press.
Hayden said neither man was tortured and denied there has ever been a holding facility for CIA prisoners on Diego Garcia.
Hayden delivered the news to the British government last weekend on a previously scheduled trip to London.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced the rendition flights earlier Thursday. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he "shared the disappointment that everybody has" about the stops, and it was important to ensure it would not happen again.
One of the two prisoners is now jailed at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and the other was released to his home country, where he has since been freed by that government, according to a U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Neither man was part of the CIA's interrogation and detention program, according to the official. In this case, the CIA only moved them from one country to another. The CIA has held and interrogated fewer than 100 prisoners in its detention program, using "enhanced" or harsh interrogation techniques on about a third of them, Hayden has told Congress.
The rendition program secretly transfers alleged terrorists from one country to another without formal extradition proceedings. It can involve moving prisoners to the custody of governments where harsh interrogation techniques, including torture, are known to be used. The U.S. government insists it does not move prisoners to third countries without assurances that torture will not be used.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters in December 2005 that the United States respects the sovereignty of foreign countries when conducting intelligence operations within their borders, suggesting that the CIA conducts rendition flights with the permission of the governments involved.
The process of getting permission from governments through which rendition flights fly did not begin until after the 2002 flights in question, according to a State Department official.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday that Rice spoke to Miliband about "the administrative error" on Wednesday.
"Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, unfortunately, even with the most rigorous searches and, unfortunately, with good technology, sometimes administrative errors occur and this was the case," McCormack said. "We regret that there was an error in initially providing inaccurate information to a good friend and ally."
McCormack said the review last year was "self-generated."
"We, in taking a look in particular at the issue of Diego Garcia, asked ourselves a few questions and as a result generated this search," he said.
Gordon Johndroe, National Security Council spokesman for President Bush, said the incident was "unfortunate" but will not damage U.S.-British cooperation.
"Mistakes were made in the reporting of the information," he said. "But we will continue to have a good counterterrorism cooperation between the United States and United Kingdom."
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