Blogs

Details of Shannon Involvement in Renditions Published by The Rendition Project

A groundbreaking research project mapping the US government's programme of global rendition has just been launched. It is called The Rendition Project, and it contains a database of over 11,000 pieces of data on confirmed and suspected rendition flights and other flights from related carriers. Over 350 of these flights came through Shannon Airport.

Lockheed Deliver 3 New Hercules C-130's to the Iraqi Air Force Through Shannon

An Iraqi Air Force Hercules (photo: Lockheed Martin)

Just after midnight on Wednesday night of this week (May 1st), three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft being supplied to the Iraqi Air Force by Lockheed Martin touched down at Shannon Airport. They were enroute from the US to Iraq, and were accompanied by 2 US Air Force Hercules.

The Iraqi Air Force's new C-130s lined up on the tarmac at Shannon one behind the other,  with the US aircraft parked at either end. All five used USAF callsigns; the ones with the Iraqi markings were RCH975, RCH999 and RCH410. And the serial numbers of the Iraqi aircraft were YI-309, YI-307 and YI-308.

'The Irish Republic, the United States and the Iraq War: A Critical Appraisal' - 10 years on

Back in 2003 Kieran Allen and Colin Coulter produced a well researched booklet entitled 'The Irish Republic, the United States and the Iraq War: A Critical Appraisal'. It outlined the effective transformation of Shannon into a US military installation, saying it was deeply offensive to the overwhelming majority of Irish people. The booklet showed how the Irish government at the time was guided more by a concern to accommodate the demands of the Bush administration than to serve the interests of its own citizens.  Initially the Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowan seemed content to say little about what was going on at Shannon in the hope that the controversy surrounding it would blow over.  As popular pressure began to mount however, Mr Cowen began to resort to a series of evasions and half-truths in order to conceal the full scale of Irish collusion in the US war drive. But he economy with which Mr Cowen chose to handle the awful truth of what was happening at Shannon tended merely to further expose en entirely shameless government that held in utter contempt those people it was supposed to serve.

A decade later the only thing that has changed is the people in government. Instead of a Fianna Fail Minister for Foreign Affairs who uses evasions and half-truths to conceal Irish collusion in the US war drive, we now have a Labour minister who does exactly the same. Like his predecessor, Eamonn Gilmore has mislead the Dail and the Irish people on numerous occasions in relation to Shannon, the US military and the CIA. And he consistently refuses to investigate its known involvement in renditions.

Allen and Coulter's conclusion in 2003 was that the conduct of the political establishment in Dublin was consistently determined not by the welfare of the Irish people but rather by the insatiable imperial demands of the "fanatics" running the United States, Sadly this still holds true, There are still major lessons to be learned, and changes to be brought about in terms of Irish foreign policy. And given that little has changed since 2003, it is informative to revisit 'The Irish Republic, the United States and the Iraq War: A Critical Appraisal' and to examine how and when the abandonment of Irish neutrality began.

The text of the booklet is reproduced here in full.

Sinn Fein reaffirms opposition to NATO membership and calls for inspection of aircraft at Shannon

As Irish neutrality continues to be eroded, and the secretary general of NATO gets fawned over by our government politicians and media, its nice to see one political party taking a clear position on these matters. At their Ard Fheis in Castlebar last weekend Sinn Fein reaffirmed their opposition to membership of NATO and to the increasing militarisation of the EU. They also called on the Irish government to inspect US state aircraft passing through Shannon Airport with a view to detecting and/or preventing the compliance of the Irish State in renditions.

Solidarity with Guantánamo prisoners at Shannon

Activists from Dublin, Galway and Limerick gathered in Shannon today to call for the closure of Guantánamo Bay Detention Centre and to demand a full investigation of Shannon's involvement in the unjust detention and torture of hundreds of men there.

166 men remain imprisoned in Guantánamo despite President Obama’s promise to close it. Obama made that promise when he first took office in January 2009, and despite the fact that over half of the men being held (86 in total) were cleared for release by an inter-agency Guantánamo Review Task Force in 2009.

In recent months the men have been subjected to aggressive cell searches which included the seizure of personal items and the manhandling of their copies of the Koran. In despair, and after 11 years of imprisonment without trial, over a hundred of them have resorted to hunger strike.

Hunger Strike at Guantánamo - Last Resort for Men Being Detained Without Charge or Trial

http://www.balcanicaucaso.org/var/obc/storage/images/topics/human-rights/greetings-from-guantanamo/247109-3-eng-GB/Greetings-from-Guantanamo_large.jpgDespite Obama's promises to close Guantánamo Bay detention centre, a total of 166 men are still being held there. The vast majority of these have been imprisoned for more than 11 years without any charge and without a fair trial. 86 of them have even been cleared for release by the Obama administration, yet they remain in captivity.

A recent Global Reaearch article points out that these men are been lawlessly held in Guantánamo. They’ve been tortured, abused and ill-treated. They’ve been denied their fundamental rights. And in order to keep them there US Supreme Court decisions were bypassed.