Ireland hearts US torture

Another government, post Wikileaks, shown to have lied post 9/11:

Slowly but surely the entire shameful truth is coming out about Shannon airport, CIA renditions, and the lengths the Irish government went to avoid the evidence. One of the first Dublin embassy cables from Wikileaks confirmed that the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern knew about the CIA’s use of Shannon for its renditions. The latest Dublin cable (full text below) shows that they knew this meant they were in violation of torture conventions. Yet they did nothing to uphold their legal and moral responsibilities, preferring instead to avoid political difficulty.

According to a cable released by Wikileaks on 14 January, an unnamed individual who met with the U.S. embassy’s deputy chief of mission (DCM) in Dublin told the embassy

“were a plane to include Shannon in an itinerary that also included transporting prisoners, GOI [government of Ireland] lawyers might be forced to conclude that the GOI itself was in violation of torture conventions”.

So an Irish government minister was quite convinced that at least three flights involving renditions had refueled at Shannon Airport before or after conducting renditions. The government’s lawyers were telling them they were likely to be in violation of the legally binding Convention Against Torture. But what did our government do? They vehemently denied any involvement of Shannon in the CIA’s renditions programme, and they went to the U.S. embassy to make sure they were not found out. Or as the cable puts it, their main concern was that what they were saying would not be found “to have holes in it”.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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