shannonwatch's blog

Evidence Presented to Gardai: Now They Know!

On Friday 18th March Shannonwatch delivered two full wheelbarrow loads of documentation relating to the misuse of Shannon Airport to the Gardai. The information, which was all related to possible breaches of national and international laws at the airport was delivered after a press conference held in Shannon.

The information presented to the Gardai contained details of 20 aircraft known or suspected to be involved in renditions that have landed at Shannon over the last eight years. While many of these may not now be involved in rendition, the fact that they have not been adequately investigated means it is still possible for them - or other aircraft - to be in breach of international law at Shannon.

Protest and Protection at Shannon

On Sunday 13th March a small group of peaceful demonstrators gathered for the monthly vigil at Shannon Airport. The date was less than a week away from the 8th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war for which the Irish government allowed the United States armed forces to use the airport. To this day the U.S. military have continued to take troops and cargo through the airport on a daily basis without the approval of the Irish people. Similarly the CIA have been allowed to come and go as they please while engaging in illegal and cruel acts of kidnapping and torture.

General Election: Vote to End Political Support for Human Rights Abuse and Militarisation

The militarised agenda being pursued by Western powers has resulted in the basic human rights of millions of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere being ignored in favour of a global agenda of expansion and greed. Shannonwatch urges everyone to question the morality of Ireland's support for wars of conquest in the upcoming Irish general election, to consider the negative impact of a pro-military agenda on Ireland's own sustainability, and to vote for election candidates that will work to restore Ireland's commitment to peace and human rights

The Net Tightens on George W. Bush

During George W. Bush's reign as U.S. president the CIA routinely used Shannon airport as they crisscrossed the world kidnapping and torturing. Bush has admitted that he personally authorised waterboarding, which is an act of torture and a crime under U.S. and international law. To date nothing has been done in the U.S. to investigate the circumstances in which torture was used by the Bush administration. Similarly nothing has been done in Ireland to investigate why and how Shannon was made available to the torture crews.

Wikileaks: Irish Government Knew They Were in Violation of Torture Conventions

Slowly but surely the entire shameful truth is coming out about Shannon airport, CIA renditions, and the lengths the Irish government went to avoid the evidence. One of the first Dublin embassy cables from Wikileaks confirmed that the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern knew about the CIA’s use of Shannon for its renditions. The latest Dublin cable (full text below) shows that they knew this meant they were in violation of torture conventions. Yet they did nothing to uphold their legal and moral responsibilities, preferring instead to avoid political difficulty.

According to a cable released by Wikileaks on 14 January, an unnamed individual who met with the U.S. embassy’s deputy chief of mission (DCM) in Dublin told the embassy

“were a plane to include Shannon in an itinerary that also included transporting prisoners, GOI [government of Ireland] lawyers might be forced to conclude that the GOI itself was in violation of torture conventions”.

Warplanes Refuelling at Shannon but Gardai Still Refuse to Investigate

Hercules MC-130P at Shannon, 9th January 2011Shannon airport has played a despicable role in the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is continuing today, and the evidence was visible for all to see on Sunday 9th January as two US warplanes sat at the airport. One of these was a Hercules MC-130P 66-0216 special operations warplane. It is known as a Combat Shadow because of the subversive roles that it plays, not only in war zones, but also on so-called special operations in other countries. These operations are frequently denied by the U.S. Government.

This is not the MC-130P's first visit to Shannon. It refuelled here also in 2005 (see a photograph of the aircraft at Shannon on this jetphotos webpage) and probably multiple times in the meantime.