November Flight Logs Summary

The Shannonwatch logs of U.S. military flights through Shannon in November show an unusually large number of Hercules military transport aircraft. On the other hand the number of U.S. Air Force and Navy executive jets was down. Kalitta Air, a company that has a U.S. military airlift contract used Shannon on at least four ocasions, and three planes that have come to our attention as suspect rendition aircraft also passed through.

During one 48 hour period covering November 12th and 13th, 4 Hercules C-130's, 4 C-9's (the military version of the DC-9 airliner) and a U.S. Air Force Boeing 737 passed through Shannon. The 737, which had the registration 02-0201 and used the call sign BOXER41, is operated by the Air National Guard based at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. It landed shortly after midnight on Saturday 13th and took off again before 2am.

Irish Government - Ignoring the Will of the People

The lengths to which the Fianna Fail lead Irish governments of the last decade have systematically ignored public opinion in relation to U.S. military and CIA use of Shannon airport is laid bare by the recent Wikileak cables from the Dublin U.S. Embassy. While not surprising it is nonetheless hugely disturbing to see how those charged with implementing the will of the people and upholding their rights give precedence to the global war industry, to powerful external interests, and to their own political survival.

Public Disquiet over U.S. Military Evident at Shannon

Shannonwatch activists were joined by friends and anti-war colleagues from around Ireland at the regular second-Sunday-of-the-month vigil at Shannon airport on December 12th. We were delighted to be joined also by U.S. peace activist Chuck Fager who spoke at the Quaker Meeting House in Limerick later in the evening.

The recent wikileaks releases concerning Shannon, the U.S. military and renditions have re-focused attention on the Irish government's acquiesence to the Americans in the early part of this decade. However it is important to remember that these activities are still continuing, and that military and CIA planes still use Shannon. Sunday's vigil met with a huge amount of support from passing motorists, confirming what we - and the Irish government - have known for the past decade: that Shannon and Ireland's participation in war activities does not have widespread public support.

Irish Government Minister's Complicity in Torture

The Irish Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) and Shannonwatch express their concern and outrage at information concerning former Foreign Minister Dermott Ahern’s meeting with former US Ambassador Foley in 2007. The information which is revealed in a released Wikileaks cable relates to the use of Shannon airport for rendition of prisoners to Guantanamo and elsewhere, where many of them were tortured.

In a reported meeting, Ahern had been “quite convinced” that the United States had operated “at least three flights involving [prisoner] renditions” through the airport, stopping there to refuel before traveling back to the United States. Yet Dermot Ahern, Brian Cowen, and Bertie Ahern were all happy to publicly declare that they accepted the word of the United States Government that no such flights had occurred. In so doing, it is likely they have been guilty of knowingly misinforming the Irish people, given that they either knew or should have known that Shannon airport was used extensively to refuel CIA and other rendition flights.

American Peace Activist Chuck Fager to Speak in Limerick

American peace activist and author Chuck Fager will speak at the Quaker Meeting House, Southville Gardens, Ballinacurra, Limerick on Sunday 12th December at 8pm. The event is being co-hosted by the Limerick Society of Friends (Quakers) and Shannonwatch.

Chuck Fager is an American activist and author, and the director of Quaker House in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This is a peace witness project that has been in existence since 1969. It is located beside Fort Bragg, one of the largest military bases in the United States. US flights linked to renditions have take off from nearby airfields in North Carolina, and many of these have landed at Shannon for refueling or other purposes. Reports from the European Parliament, the Irish Human Rights Commission and others have expressed concerns over Ireland’s facilitation of these flights.

Send Letters of Support to Bradley Manning

In early July, the U.S. Army announced that they had charged Pfc. Bradley Manning  with violations including "espionage" for allegedly giving classified data to Wikileaks. Bradley who had been a specialist-class intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army is currently being held at the USMC brig at Quantico, Virgina. He was detained by the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) in May 2010 and held for several weeks without charges in Kuwait. Bradley now faces over 50 years in prison. He has been allowed only limited contact with his family and friends, filtered through his military-appointed lawyers.

Send a letter or postcard to Bradley today, thanking him for his whistleblowing of Iraq war crimes.