shannonwatch's blog

Remembering the Victims of 9/11 and the US War on Terror

Shannon, 11th Sept 2011

Ten years after the appalling 9/11 terrorist attack, the US remains locked in the ongoing cycles of war it started a month after the attacks. A total of 2,996 people died in the US on the day that changed the course of history. Since then the world has had to endure what the pro-war commentator Charles Krauthammer unapologetically calls a "massive and unrelenting American war on terror, a systematic worldwide campaign carried out with increasing sophistication, efficiency and lethality" (see today's Washington Post). This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of displaced people, and countless victims of torture.

Private Companies Profiting from Torture Flights

A New York business dispute between two aviation companies has revealed how the U.S. contracted out their illegal and inhumane renditions to a network of private American companies. Court files show how these private contractors flew between the US, Shannon and other foreign airports, Guantanamo Bay and landing points near secret CIA-run prisons.

The companies included DynCorp, a leading government contractor that secretly oversaw a fleet of luxury jets, and Richmor Aviation. The latter operated the rendition plane N85VM/N227SV which landed in Shannon quite a bit between 2001 and 2005 and was involved in the rendition of an Egyptian cleric, Abu Omar. In addition the Seatle Times reports that

On Nov. 8, 2002, a Richmor Gulfstream, Tail No. N85VM, took off for Shannon Airport in Ireland, then to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, on a flight that paralleled the arrest that month of USS Cole bombing suspect Abd al-Nashiri.

Irish Government acted "to protect U.S. interests and property"

US interests at Shannon

Recently released cables from the U.S. embassy in Dublin show once again how little respect the Irish government had for national and international laws, Irish sovereignty and human rights. Protecting U.S. interests and property seems to have been their overriding concern, rather than the people being tortured and bombed by the CIA and U.S. military.

US Department of Defence Provide Flight Data for Shannon - We Add Some Important Details

The US Department of Defence has confirmed that 12,154 military flights have gone through Shannon between 2001 and the start of 2011. These took 2,030,925 armed troops and 8,487 tonnes of military cargo through what is supposed to be a civilian airport.

The figures which were published by RTE based on a freedom of information request to the US authorities are in line with military flight data recorded and published by Shannonwatch. Both show that on average more than 3 US military flights pass through Shannon every day. Most of these are troop carriers operated by Omni Air International. They use an ageing fleet of DC-10's, many of which are more than 25 years old.

All Any Irish Government Has to Do is Ask ...

US Troops at Shannon - only there because the Irish government wants them there

An RTE News story published last Friday (13 August) confirms Shannonwatch recordings of over three US military flights a day passing through Shannon Airport. The report, which is based on data supplied by the US Department of Defence, sets the number of troops that passed through the airport from 2001 up to the end of last January at over 2 million. More significantly however, information received by RTE indicates that the US military would have been willing to withdraw from its use of Shannon Airport several years ago but the Irish Government did not want them to do so.

Torture Doesn't Matter Any More it Seems

Two things that happened this week demonstrate the Irish state's ongoing acceptance of torture. The first was a written correspondence we received from a Department of Justice and Equality official stating that assertions of complicity in torture did not warrant inclusion in a major human rights report. The second was a prime time interview on the state broadcaster, RTE, in which the U.S. use of waterboarding was presented unchallenged.