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Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:18 AM

Guardian Special report: Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials

Just when Fatima Bouchar thought it couldn't get any worse, the Americans forced her to lie on a stretcher and began wrapping tape around her feet. They moved upwards, she says, along her legs, winding the tape around and around, binding her to the stretcher. They taped her stomach, her arms and then her chest. She was bound tight, unable to move.

Bouchar says there were three Americans: two tall, thin men and an equally tall woman. Mostly they were silent. She never saw their faces: they dressed in black and always wore black balaclavas. Bouchar was terrified. They didn't stop at her chest – she says they also wound the tape around her head, covering her eyes. Then they put a hood and earmuffs on her. She was unable to move, to hear or to see. "My left eye was closed when the tape was applied," she says, speaking about her ordeal for the first time. "But my right eye was open, and it stayed open throughout the journey. It was agony." The journey would last around 17 hours.

Bouchar, then aged 30, had become a victim of the process known as extraordinary rendition. She and her husband, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a Libyan Islamist militant fighting Muammar Gaddafi, had been abducted in Bangkok and were being flown to one of Gaddafi's prisons in Libya, a country where she had never before set foot. However, Bouchar's case is different from the countless other renditions that the world has learned about over the past few years, and not just because she was one of the few female victims.

Documents discovered in Tripoli show that the operation was initiated by British intelligence officers, rather than the masked Americans or their superiors in the US. There is also some evidence that the operation may have been linked to a second British-initiated operation, which saw two men detained in Iraq and rendered to Afghanistan. Furthermore, the timing of the operation, and the questions that Bouchar's husband and a second rendition victim say were subsequently put to them under torture, raise disturbing new questions about the secret court system that considers immigration appeals in terrorist cases in the UK – a system that the government has pledged to extend to civil trials in which the government itself is the defendant.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/08/special-report-britain-rendition-libya

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Guardian Special report: Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials (Original post)
JohnyCanuck Apr 2012 OP
PDJane Apr 2012 #1
malaise Apr 2012 #2
truebrit71 Apr 2012 #6
malaise Apr 2012 #10
JohnyCanuck Apr 2012 #3
Tierra_y_Libertad Apr 2012 #16
Solly Mack Apr 2012 #4
Hell Hath No Fury Apr 2012 #5
truebrit71 Apr 2012 #8
gratuitous Apr 2012 #7
idwiyo Apr 2012 #9
WillyT Apr 2012 #11
JohnyCanuck Apr 2012 #12
JohnyCanuck Apr 2012 #13
JohnyCanuck Apr 2012 #14
Tierra_y_Libertad Apr 2012 #15

Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:34 AM

1. But they hate you for your freedoms..........

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:50 AM

2. Blair is also a war criminal

hiding behind that fascist pope

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Response to malaise (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 02:20 PM

6. ...and I always KNEW that Jack Straw was a nasty piece of work...

...if the Bush crime family is to ever be held to account, it will be because his European accomplices are charged with crimes and they sing to save themselves...

I read this article yesterday and it is horrifying...

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:43 PM

10. That would be sweet

I have so much respect for Robin Cook and Clair Short. I still wonder if Robin's death was from natural causes.

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 01:02 PM

3. It's nice that the crew on the torture flights get time off for some R&R

With its prisoners rendered and the Libyan mission accomplished, N313P left for Palma de Mallorca. Hotel records from the five-star Gran Melia Victoria, a favoured destination for rendition teams, show that the crew of 10 men and three women booked in for two nights of rest and recreation.

I mean if they were overworked and stressed out, they might get downright mean and nasty to their cargo - the flight attendants from hell for real.

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 04:44 PM

16. Perhaps we should thank the sadists for their "service".

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 02:07 PM

4. K&R

No justice, no peace.

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 02:16 PM

5. We're not suposed to worry about stuff like that anymore.

There's a Democrat in office.

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 02:22 PM

8. The one that agrees with NDAA, won't prosecute torturers but does prosecutes whistle-blowers?

...THAT kind of "democrat"?

Thanks, but no thanks...

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 02:22 PM

7. Someone will be along soon

To explain to us how this isn't torture. Because we're the good guys and stuff. And Fatima Bouchar will know better next time than to be such a terrorist that she forced the U.S. and its allies to do this to her. Even though it wasn't that bad. Because it's the bad guys who torture, not our faultless star-spangled men and women in uniform.

And she was flown to see our then good friend Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, who would later fall out of favor.

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 02:30 PM

9. K&R It wasn't Tony Blair's fault! He didn't know! Those were few bad apples! Bush made him do it!

Or something like it.



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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:17 PM

11. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!






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Response to WillyT (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:48 PM

12. You're welcome n/t

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:07 AM

13. Daily Mail:MI6 and a £1m 'bribe' to silence torture victim: Spies gave up dissident to Gaddafi thugs


Which minister signed the torture deal?
Whitehall sources willing to pay 'whatever it takes' to silence Abdel Hakim Belhadj
Labour government signed off plan to hand Mr Belhadj to Gaddafi in 2004
Head of counter-terrorism wrote to Gaddafi intelligence chief congratulating the Libyans on the 'safe arrival' of the 'air cargo'


We already knew that in March 2004 Abdel Hakim Belhadj, now a senior military commander in the new Libya, was abducted in Bangkok by CIA agents apparently acting on MI6 information and flown to Tripoli, where he was allegedly tortured, and undeniably imprisoned for six years by Colonel Gaddafi.

This was bad enough, implicating as it did MI6 in rendition and torture.

But the story has been made much, much worse by extraordinary new developments.

First, Abdel Hakim Belhadj’s wife, Fatima Bouchar, has described to the Guardian newspaper how she, too, as part of the same rendition, was forcibly flown from Bangkok to Libya by the CIA while four-and-a-half months pregnant. For five days she had been chained to a wall without food before being taped to a stretcher and put aboard the aircraft. Of course, we should remember that this is her account.

Second, one of the BBC’s most respected reporters is claiming that the Blair government approved and knew about Belhadj’s rendition at a ministerial level – something previously categorically denied both by Mr Blair and the then Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. The BBC, usually ultra-cautious in such matters, would not have made such an explosive claim unless it was sure of its ground.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2127453/M16-1m-bribe-silence-torture-victim-Spies-gave-dissident-Gaddafi-thugs.html#ixzz1re8Ng9tU

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 04:01 PM

14. Perverts in Power: The Torture-Lovers Who Rule Us

By Chris Floyd

snip

Bouchar was married to Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a member of a group seeking to overthrow Moamar Gadafy in Libya. For 10 years, members of the group had been given asylum in Britain and other countries. According to credible reports, they were being supported by British intelligence in their efforts to oust the Libyan dictator. Then Gadafy began negotiating his deal with George W. Bush and Tony Blair to open up Libyan oil fields to the West. Suddenly, his enemies became enemies of the West; as in Afghanistan, stalwart "freedom fighters" were transformed into "terrorists" overnight, when the agenda of the West's corporate overlords demanded it. (The same process would be reversed in 2011, after Gadafy had proved less servile than expected.)

At that point, Bouchar and her husband suddenly became bargaining chips in the backroom deal being greased in Washington, London and Tripoli. As proved by secret files and messages unearthed in Libya after Gadafy's fall, Bouchar and Belhaj were offered to Gadafy as a gift from the British, a sweetener to pave the way for his first meeting with Tony Blair -- and for the oil deals that swiftly followed.

snip

So why does it happen? Why are innocent pregnant women wrapped in tape, why are children abducted, why are innocent people strung up in "stress positions," why are captives beaten, bombarded with brain-scrambling noise, stripped naked and sexually humiliated, drugged, deprived of sleep, threatened with murder -- and sometimes murdered in fact? Why is this being done by official representatives of the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom?

Why? Because -- and let us be absolutely clear about this -- because these people want to torture others. They like it, they enjoy it. There is clearly a zest, a psychosexual rush at work. Like child abusers, they enjoy their full, unchallengeable physical power over the bodies of their defenseless victims. They get off on it. They are the moral equivalent of pedophiles, and in any remotely healthy society, they would be treated as such.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31057.htm

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Response to JohnyCanuck (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 04:43 PM

15. I'm sure the thugs who ordered and perpetrated this will stand trial.

Or, be awarded medals and promoted.

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." Friedrich Nietzche

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