If Tony Blair thought the issue of Extraordinary Rendition was going away, he must be pretty disappointed. The draft report on extraordinary rendition following the investigation by MEPs has shown that Britain has allowed 170 secret CIA torture flights, second only to Germany’s whopping 336 flights out of at least 1,245 flights in European territory. Ten countries are accused of allowing stopovers. They are:
- Germany 336
- Britain 170
- Ireland 147
- Portugal 91
- Spain 68
- Greece 64
- Cyprus 57
- Italy 46
- Romania 21
- Poland 11
The report condemns many EU nations saying that they were aware renditions were taking place and failed to co-operate with the investigation. I reported earlier on Geoff Hoon’s unhelpful and evasive behaviour during the investigation.
Giovanni Claudio Fava’s draft report “deplores” the level of co-operation Geoff Hoon, the Europe Minister, gave the MEPs, and condemns the rendition of one British citizen and three British residents, two of whom were said to have been seized on the basis of “partly erroneous information supplied by the UK security service MI5”.
There are now likely to be more demands for a full parliamentary inquiry into the practice of extraordinary rendition by MPs following this draft report which shows that there were far more rendition flights than have previously been admitted by the Government.
Poland has come in for particular criticism because there is good circumstantial evidence that one of the ‘Black sites’ that President Bush has acknowledged exist is located in the Polish intelligence training centre at Stare Kiejkuty. Romania too has been similarly accused. Both countries have declined to make any further statements after their denials last Summer. The Bush administration, despite admitting the existence of ‘black sites’ and the reality of extraordinary rendition, continues to deny that it authorises and participates in torture. The evidence supplied by Khaled el-Masri and others makes a mockery of those denials. Blair’s government too has now been shown to have at least been complicit in torture.