From the Washington Post
Scottish police have launched an investigation of so-called CIA “torture flights” that allegedly transport captured terrorism suspects to undisclosed locations for interrogation, according to the Glasgow Sunday Herald. The investigation is the latest sign of growing European unease with U.S. policy of “extraordinary rendition.”
The probe was triggered by a Sunday Herald series last month that reported that CIA planes had stopped at two Scottish airports 149 times for refueling and logistical support.
“The program,” the SH said, “targets suspected Islamic terrorists, captures and delivers them to US-friendly nations which are quite happy to use torture to get the information the US wants for the war on terror.”
Former CIA counterterrorism officer Michael Scheuer defended the practice of rendition, but said he favored classifying the terror suspects as prisoners of war and questioning them in the United States under the terms of the Geneva Convention. That proposal, he says, was rejected by both the Clinton and Bush administrations
“We shot ourselves in both feet,” Scheuer told the SH.
Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the British government ignored his reports that terror suspects sent there were routinely tortured.
“I warned ministers it was illegal,” he said. “But the politicians were very keen to just keep going ahead.”
The CIA declined to comment. “One CIA official merely laughed when told that Scottish police were to investigate,” the SH reported.
As The Post’s Dana Priest reports today, “Parliaments in Canada, Italy, France, Sweden and the Netherlands have opened inquiries into alleged CIA operations that secretly captured their citizens or legal residents and transferred them to the agency’s prisons.”