U.S. Slide into Fascism Watch

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Accusations Surface of U.S. "Torture Flights"

NOV 14 The London Sunday Times reported that the U.S. has allegedly been transporting terrorist suspects to countries that use torture in their interrogations. According to the report, The Sunday Times obtained confidential logs that detail the use a Gulfstream 5 by CIA and Defense Department agents for over 300 flights transporting terrorism suspects to countries such as Egypt, Syria, and Uzbekistan, where torture is routinely practiced.

The paper reports that the plane has always departed from Washington, D.C., and has visited 49 destinations, including Guantanamo Bay, a number of British airpots, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, Libya, and Uzbekistan. A Boeing 737 has reportedly also been used for the same purpose.

The charge is that the U.S. has been transporting suspects to these countries for the purpose of "torture by proxy."

According to the Times,

Witnesses have claimed that the suspects are frequently bound, gagged and sedated before being put on board the planes, which do not have special facilities for prisoners but are kitted out with tables for meetings and screens for presentations and in-flight films.

Its prisoner transfer missions were first reported in May by the Swedish television programme Cold Facts. It described how American agents had arrived in Stockholm in the Gulfstream in December 2001 to take two suspected terrorists from Sweden to Egypt.

At the time of what was presented as an “extradition” to Egypt, Swedish ministers made no public mention of American involvement in the detention of Ahmed Agiza, 42, and Muhammed Zery, 35, who was later cleared.

Witnesses described seeing the prisoners handed to US agents whose faces were masked by hoods. The clothes of the handcuffed prisoners were cut off and they were dressed in nappies covered by orange overalls before being forcibly given sedatives by suppository.

The Gulfstream flew them to Egypt, where both prisoners claimed they were beaten and tortured with electric shocks to their genitals. Despite liberal Swedish laws on freedom of information, diplomatic telegrams on the case released to the media were edited to conceal the complaints of torture.

Hamida Shalaby, Agiza’s mother, said: “The mattress had electricity . . . When they connected to the electricity, his body would rise up and then fall down and this up and down would go on until they unplugged electricity.”

(The Times www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,2-524-1357699,00.html. )


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