Silver Lining

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Deep British involvement in CIA secret detention operations revealed

Press TV

A new study has shed more lights on the UK government’s involvement in the U.S. spying agency CIA’s rendition flights.

The study, entitled “the Rendition Project”, found that Britain provided much more support for the CIA’s global rendition program than what was previously recognized, with aircraft associated with secret detention operations landing at British airports 1,622 times.

According to the research project thousands of CIA’s secret kidnap and detention programs have been accomplished by the UK government’s direct involvement as stressed by evidence.

The researchers behind the project have drawn on testimony from detainees, Red Cross reports, courtroom evidence, flight records and invoices to show that at least 144 were entering the UK while engaged in rendition operations.

They have linked some 51 different UK airports, which were used by 84 different aircraft to the rendition programme. The most used UK airport was Luton, followed by Glasgow Prestwick and Stansted. There were also flights in and out of RAF Northolt and RAF Brize Norton, according to the study.

In September 2005, The Guardian newspaper for the first time exposed the CIA’s use of UK airports. Jack Straw, the then Foreign Secretary, dismissed the evidence. He told MPs in December that year that “unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States … there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition.”

Straw told the same MPs that media reports of UK involvement in the mistreatment of detainees were “in the realms of the fantastic”.

However, documentation subsequently disclosed in the high court in London showed that Straw had consigned British citizens to U.S.-run detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba after they were detained in Afghanistan in 2001.

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