State Secrets And Deceit Obama Embraces CIA Torture 2009: Clive Stafford

State Secrets and Deceit Obama Embraces CIA Torture

Clive Stafford Smith, the director of the legal charity Reprieve, which represents Ethiopian-born Binyam Mohamed, sent Obama evidence of what he called “truly mediaeval”
abuse but substantial parts were blanked out so the president could not read it. In the to the president, Stafford Smith urges him to order the disclosure of the evidence. Stafford Smith tells Obama he should be aware of the “bizarre reality” of the situation. “You, as commander in chief, are being denied access to material that would help prove that crimes have been committed by US personnel. This decision is being made by the very people who you command.” (Richard Norton-Taylor and Ian Cobain, “Binyam Mohamed torture evidence ‘hidden from Obama’,” , February 11, 2009) They were essentially the CIA’s torture travel agents. They were the one who arranged all the overflight rights for the CIA civilian planes to be able to fly from country to country. They handled the security and the logistics. They filed dummy flight plans to try to trick air traffic controllers into not being able to track where the actual flights were going. And we know they knew what they were doing because we have a witness in our case, someone who’s given us a sworn declaration, who was an employee of Jeppesen DataPlan, and who was present when senior officials of the company were openly boasting about their role in the torture flights, and about how much money they made from them because the CIA spared no expense. We were able, with the help of an investigative journalist and other documentary evidence, to link Jeppesen to an number of very specific CIA rendition flights, involving these five torture victims who were flown to countries like Egypt, Morocco, to CIA sites in Afghanistan and eastern Europe. (“ACLU’s Ben Wizner on immediate Obama tests,” …he attended a breakfast for new employees on Aug. 11, 2006, and heard a welcoming speech from Bob Overby, a company director. While describing Jeppesen’s work, Belcher said, Overby told the employees, “We do all the extraordinary rendition flights.” Later, he said, Overby added that these were “the torture flights,” and explained, “Let’s face it, some of these flights end up this way.” Belcher also quoted Overby as saying that the flights paid well and that the government spared no expense. Belcher said he quit his job five days later. (Bob Egelko, “Ex-San Jose aviation firm worker says exec talked of torture flights,” , December 15, 2007) A curious quirk of the CIA’s fleet of aircraft is that they are civilian, rather than military, planes. Owing to U.S. law and the CIA’s status as a civilian agency, the planes are owned by front-companies and operated by a handful of aviation charter companies. One of the consequence of this is that each of these civilian companies leave a long and voluminous paper trail… As we look more closely at the corporate documents and aviation filings we’ve gotten hold of, a landscape begins to emerge. This particular landscape isn’t “over there,” on the many battlefields of the “war on terror.” Rather, the landscape we see depicted in these documents is stealthily and subtly woven into the fabric of everyday life in the United States. ( Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA’s Rendition Flights , Hoboken, NJ: Melville House Publishing, 2006, pp. 45-46) Trust. The key ingredient in any International Trip Planning relationship. Just like the trust pilots place in Jeppesen’s Worldwide Instrument Charting, you can count on caring, professional people who work with you personally to ensure your needs are met.
Mr. Mohamed was subjected to severe physical and psychological torture. He was routinely beaten, suffering broken bones and, on occasion, loss of consciousness due to the beatings. His clothes were cut off with a scalpel and the same scalpel was then used to make incisions on his body, including his penis. A hot stinging liquid was then poured into open wounds on his penis where he had been cut. He was frequently threatened with rape, electrocution, and death. Mr. Mohamed was handcuffed, fitted with earphones, and forced to listen to extremely loud music day and night, sometimes interrupting his sleep for forty-eight hours at a time. He was placed in a damp, moldy room with open sewage for a month at a time. He believed his food to be drugged, but when he refused to eat he was forcibly hooked up to two different IVs. These IVs alternated pumping different substances into his body, the combination of which forced him to undergo painful withdrawal symptoms. (IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, Division of San Jose BINYAM MOHAMED, ABOU ELKASSIM BRITEL, AHMED AGIZA, Plaintiffs, v. JEPPESEN DATAPLAN, INC., Civil Action No. 2798, COMPLAINT, DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL, p. 18)

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