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Coming Soon.


"If I give you a clean sheet, what will you write?

Will your words be long and graceful
or short and sweet?
Will it be poetry
or brute instinct?

If you have something to say,
best say it now.
For soon,
always, too soon.
My sheet will be filled.
And this chapter will end.
As sure as the next will begin.
With a clean sheet, new authors,
and a million
p o s s i b i l i t i e s ..."


Croke Park Ireland England Rugby Match

The (Irish) players take the field.

The National Anthems are sung.

A bit of rugby was played as well, as Ireland trounced England by 30 points on the hallowed grounds of Croker.

Update: "Was there something more than a Rugby match going on here?"

I'm sure you're aware of some of the history between Ireland and England, as in the fact that Ireland was an occupied colony of Britain for nearly 800 years. As such, any Ireland vs. England match is very emotional. However, this instance was particularly significant due to the venue.

Normally when Ireland plays rugby in Dublin they play at a moderately sized stadium (ca. 40,000) called Landsdowne Road. This year, however, the Irish rugby association embarked upon a plan to renovate the stadium, and as such there was no adequate stadium available for the soccer international and rugby matches, other than Croke Park. This is where the story becomes noteworthy.

Croke Park stadium has been wholly owned by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) since 1913. The GAA was formed in 1884 to preserve Irish sports, namely Hurling and Gaelic Football, and are a strictly amateur organisation, as in the players do not receive any pay for playing. In fact, the GAA is so protective of their sports that GAA players were, for decades, banned from playing any "english" sports such as soccer or rugby, and to be caught playing even a friendly backyard game of either meant that one was permanently banned from the GAA. The playing of English sports was also banned from Croke Park, from 1913 until the week before the match I have posted videos of above.

About the park itself, due to the fact the the players weren't paid that left all gate receipts to be spent on the main GAA venue itself, Croke Park, and thus it was expanded to hold the 82000 people it can hold today (making it the fourth largest stadium in all of europe). Perhaps more importantly is the historic influence on the stadium itself. One end of the stadium is called "Hill 16" due to the fact that it was built from the rubble (1) left on the main street through Dublin city centre, O'connell street (then "sackville" street) after it was flattened by the english bombardment after the Irish declaration of independence and ensuing war in 1916. There is another set of seats that the camera pans across at the beginning of the second video clip that's called the "Hogan Stand," named after a player that was shot to death on the field by the british army on the original "Bloody Sunday" in 1920.

What happened in that instance was that 12 british spies had been killed by the Irish
Republican Army the day before a GAA match between Tipperary and Dublin, so in "retaliation" the british army mercinary brigade (the "Black and Tans") drove out onto the field during the match and first opened fire on the players, and then opened fire on the spectators, killing more than a dozen people and injuring many more. That was the last time, until the match pictured above, that the english were in croke park.

So for the first time in its history, an english team was allowed to play an english sport on what you might understand from above to be considered by the irish as the "hallowed" grounds of Croke park. That brought up a couple of other big issues, namely (1) that the union jack, the flag of imperial britain that was the symbol of the empire for centuries, was going to fly over croke park, and that (2) the british national anthem, God Save the Queen, would be played at croke park. The first was an issue because after the bloody sunday massacre the GAA vowed that the union jack would never fly over croke park, and after some negotiation the english team agreed to have their secondary flag (a white flag with a red cross, called something like "st george's cross") flown. The second issue was met with threats from very nationalist Irish "Republicans" to disrupt the singing of God Save the queen, whose lyrics are considered inciteful towards former colonies (such as the anti-scottish "Lord, grant that Marshal Wade, May by thy mighty aid, Victory bring. May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush, Rebellious Scots to crush" and the references to their colonial peoples as "knaves"), and whose very meaning is the preservation of the symbol of tyranny and oppression that even the US once fought against.

But, the feared outbursts of disrespect during "god save the queen" never materialised, and upon the songs conclusion (as seen in the second clip) both the english fans and the irish fans applauded respectfully. Then, the irish national anthem ("Amhrán na bhFiann" or "A Soldier's Song" in english) was played, along with the official rugby anthem "Ireland's Call," both of which are songs about Ireland's fight for independence from England, and which were both sung by the 75000 strong contingent of irish fans on hand for the match. One of my favorite bits of the second video is when the BRITISH Broadcasting Company announcer could only eek out a "I've got a lump in my throat after that" when they were finished singing the irish national anthem.

What made the match so important to the irish people was that it was an opportunity for them to set aside the bitterness, anger, and resentment that has torn the nation apart at its seams for centuries, and move forward, leaving behind the preoccupation with anger towards england and instead focusing on pride for ireland, which was displayed in the match's final result, a 43-13 victory for Ireland, which was Englands largest margin of defeat ever. England, who at the time were the reigning world champions of rugby. England, 13-43 to Ireland. At croke park. It was magnificant.

So important was the historic significance of the english team being allowed to play an english sport at Croke park that the english coach had a retired GAA player and historian flown to england to brief the english team on the importance of the occasion. You might also get an idea of what it meant by perusing some of the newspaper articles on the match, available below.

From "The Irish Times"

Hair-raising cry of anthems fills Croker with pride and joy

The music swelled in Croke Park, and somehow, we swallowed the lump in our throat. We sang. Misty-eyed, we sang our hearts out, writes Miriam Lord.

The message, not the words, mattered: Here we are. All of us. Happy. Proud. This is Ireland. We are Ireland. Live with it.

Before this rugby game, there was too much talk of sell-outs and patriots spinning in their republican plots. The good humoured maturity of the Irish fans settled that question before an English boot touched the ball.

On this significant Saturday, with the Cross of St George flying alongside the Ulster flag and Irish Tricolour, England came to Croke Park to play a non-Gaelic game. There was tension in the air.

This journey to the crucible of the GAA had been a long one. Fourteen people shot dead by British forces during a match in 1920. The Hogan stand, named in memory of the young Tipperary footballer killed in that massacre. Hill 16, built on the rubble taken from O'Connell Street after the Easter Rising.

And now, here we were, minutes away from a rendition of God Save the Queen . Oh, passions were high alright. But only about the game.

Outside, the riot police, on standby, stood by. A few streets away, the pursed lip brigade of stubborn old men rehashed their desiccated rhetoric for the media. Then they lodged a protest letter with the GAA.

Back inside the stadium, back in step with time, the English sportsmen got a generous welcome. But when Brian O'Driscoll led out his Irish squad, the noise was deafening.

The players lined up to meet President Mary McAleese. It seemed like an age before she returned to her seat, heightening the sense of anticipation before the national anthems.

The teams waited. The crowd hushed. Finally, but not before she was grabbed and kissed twice by Bertie Ahern, the President sat down. The Garda Band and the Army Number One Band struck up. The English were in good voice. They made themselves heard.

At last, our turn. The Irish may need two anthems, but those who wear the green share a singular passion. Amhrán na bhFiann and Ireland's Call were belted out with such hair-raising intensity that men and women were crying as they sang. No dishonour in that. On the field, the players battled with their emotions too. Hooker Jerry Flannery, in floods. John Hayes, a scary looking prop forward with a shaven head and greased up cauliflower ears, blubbered.

How could England have touched these men, imbued with such an unshakeable sense of destiny on this historic day? They couldn't. In their play, O'Driscoll's men reflected the maturity, confidence, spirit and passion of the fans who cheered them. Marvellous. Ireland 43 - England 13. Cry God for Croker, Ireland and the oval ball!
© 2007 The Irish Times

From "The Irish Independent"

Hatred Kicked into touch


THEY played God Save The Queen at Croke Park yesterday. And the World did not stop turning.

More than 7,000 English fans sang their national anthem with gusto and pride.

And from 75,000 Irish supporters which included The President Mrs Mary McAleese and An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, there was the respectful silence that we always knew there would be.

Not a single boo or cat call, not a single derisory whistle.

This was a great occasion and those bigots who tried to drive a political wedge between Irish and English rugby fans got the answer they deserved - complete and utter indifference.

The much-hyped protest outside Croke Park if it could be called such, was a damp squib attended by some 150 misguided souls

They included a hard core of Republican Sinn Fein and various hangers-on included a large number of teenagers.

They were outnumbered by print and broadcast media, stewards and gardai.

The only hint of dissonance at Croke Park came when Taoiseach Bertie Ahern kissed McAleese on the cheek in the preliminary moments before the playing of God Save The Queen. It was the moment as the crowd didn't know whether to cheer or jeer.

The English XV were greeted with a standing ovation from both sets of supporters as they ran onto the hallowed turf of Croke Park to the sound of Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common man.

Mrs McAleese was greeted warmly by the players and some of the palpable tension of the pre-match nerves dissipated amid genuine smiles.

The 60-strong combined Army No 1 band and the Garda band provided a rousing rendition of both anthems starting with God Save the Queen. There was some tension as if 82,000 were praying that no-one would try to make a name for themselves with an unseemly outburst.

It didn't happen. The conclusion was greeted with strong applause.

Then of course our own anthem - never sung louder on even the most passionate of All-Ireland Sundays.

Ireland's Call lifted the roof and the hairs stood up on the back of the neck.

What happened next? Oh yes, there was a game of rugby.

The result was immaterial really.

This was a day when Ireland grew up.

All the talk of protest and old GAA greats handing back their medals faded into insignificance.

It was a moment to savour for those who have fought for reconciliation, another important milestone in the growth of a nation.

This was more than a rugby match between Ireland and England, it was a defiant symbol of a new maturity and a confident battle cry that we will no longer be prisoners of the past.

The eyes of the world were on Croke Park and the stadium was a sight to behold.

Dublin, 1916

More pictures here.


War or Peace?

The Human Race is unique in biological history as being the only species with the capability and idiocy to invent the phenominon of War. As such we are presented with a basic choice between War and Peace.

For most rational human beings the choice is an obvious one. What sane-minded person would knowingly choose war over peace? Who could possibly want to kill and die when any other option is available?

Apparently, the government of Israel and the United States are not comprised of rational sane-minded people. When given the opportunity to choose between War and Peace, they consistantly choose War.

As most news readers are aware, the leaders of the Hamas and Fatah factions of the Palestinian Authority hammered out an agreement in Mecca to stop months of vicious in-fighting. Israel and Americas immediate reaction to the new unity government is disturbing, though predictable.

From RTE News:

US agrees on boycott of unity govt: Olmert
Sunday, 18 February 2007 12:05

Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has said Washington has agreed to boycott the proposed Palestinian unity government if it refuses to recognise Israel and renounce violence.

Mr Olmert said that Israel would not be co-operating with the new administration and that 'on this point we have an identical vision as the Americans and the conversation with President Bush proved it'.

The unity government was agreed earlier this month in Saudi Arabia by the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmad Abbas, and Hamas.

It is important to point out that the US and Israel constantly stress that Hamas refuses to renounce violence and recognise Israel, and that assertion is widely accepted in the news; however it is not entirely accurate. On multiple occasions all factions in Palestine have asserted that they would accept a "full cessation" of paramilitary activities and recognise the state of Israel within it's internationally recognised 1967 borders provided that it ceases all attacks on Palestine.

However, when given the options of either working for peace with a coalition in Palestine or continuing the bloody confrontation, Israel chooses the latter, and the US obediently agrees.

And we know how Israel likes to handle their bloody confrontations.


Resurgence of.... The Taliban?

The mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks is still at large, Al Qaeda is stronger than ever, the US was too effective in turning the Iraqis against each other (an old tactic dating back to Roman times and used extensivly by the British during their imperial years to spare their own troops by fostering divisions in occupied populations so they attack each other rather than their occupiers) and have sparked a bloody civil war, and the first "victory" for the US in their "war on terror" wasn't much of a victory at all, as we see in the news today.

From Al Jazeera:

Taliban seize second district
By James Bays in Helmand

Nato has confirmed to Al Jazeera that the Taliban has seized a second district in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Qari Yousef, a Taliban spokesman, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that Taliban fighters were holding captive 33 police officers after taking over Washir - a remote desert area in the northwest of Helmand - the day before.

A spokeswoman for the Nato-led ISAF force told Al Jazeera: "I can confirm that Washir district centre is in the hands of the Taliban."

She said the town would be brought back under government control but declined to comment on any plans to do that.

Qari said the officers' police vehicles had been seized and distributed among Taliban fighters.

Afghan government forces had made an effort to retake the district centre but the attack was repulsed, he said.

Mullah Abdel Rahim, the Taliban commander in Helmand province, said: "It's not just Musa Qala and Washeer, we are in control of much of Helmand province. The people are with us. They give us food, they give us shelter."
Dada Mohammed Khan, the district's MP and former chief of intelligence, said: "The Taliban will now increase its force here and take over the rest of the province."
... it continues ...


Chavez Wins

Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President who received what was termed the largest round of applause ever heard at the UN General Assembly when he lashed out at the policies of the US, has won a third term as President of Venezuela by a margin of at least twenty percent. A US sponsored coup-attempt against the leader in 2004 led to a popular uprising to have him reinstaded, demonstrating his popularity, due primarily to his funneling of funds brought in by the country's vast oil wealth to the poor and underpriveledged majority. Al Jazeera has more on his reelection:

Hugo Chavez has won elections granting him another six-year term as president of Venezuela.

The leader told a jubilant crowd on Monday "long live the popular victory" from a balcony on the presidential palace in Caracas.

The 52-year-old who has been president for eight years has pledged to continue his self-styled social revolution.

Opposition candidate Manuel Rosales conceded defeat, saying: "We admit they defeated us today, but we will continue in this fight."

Initial results indicated that Chavez won 61 per cent of votes while Rosales gained 38 per cent, according to results based on 78 per cent of the polling stations.

Arab Man = Militant or Terrorist

This seems to be the formula most widely accepted by the western media and the US/US's Puppy (Englerica? Ameriland?) governments. Lets take a recent Associated Press article, regarding civilian casualties (being a woman or a child under 10 still counts as a "civilian," at least for now):

BAGHDAD -- U.S. soldiers destroyed two buildings being used by insurgents in a town in the western Anbar province, killing six militants, two women and a boy believed to be under 2, the U.S. military said Sunday.

Now, out of curiosity, what legally recognised court passed the guilty verdict on these six individuals that there was sufficiently binding evidence that they must fall into a legally recognised category of illegal "militants" pursuant to civil and international law?

Or was simply being an Arab man enough to justify their death sentence?

Also, Al Jazeera reports that Kofi Annan (previously scared to call a duck a duck and admit that the civil war in Iraq is a civil war) today did muster the courage to say what Iraqis have been thinking for years and openly articulating without qualification of late:
Annan said he agreed with Iraqis who say that life is worse now than it was under Saddam.

"I think they are right in the sense of the average Iraqi's life," he said.

"If I were an average Iraqi obviously I would make the same comparison - that they had a dictator who was brutal but they had their streets, they could go out, their kids could go to school and come back home without a mother or father worrying, 'Am I going to see my child again?" Annan said.

So, the UN Secretary General comes out and finally tacitly admits that the US (whose UN Mandate on Iraq was just renewed in the past week or so) has created a civil war in Iraq.

Yet the rest of the world stands by and does nothing.



New Nuclear Weapons

I can't help but think of a passage from the bible I read recently (book of Matthew, about hypocrisy) when I come across this article, in the context of the US's assertion that Iran isn't living up to their Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty obligations (which the IAEA says they are, but what does the IAEA know?).

From The Washington Post:

New Nuclear Weapons Program To Continue

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 2, 2006; Page A07

The Nuclear Weapons Council, made up of senior Defense Department and National Nuclear Security Administration officials, said yesterday that they plan to continue developing a new nuclear weapons program even though recent studies suggested that existing stockpiles are in better condition than had been thought.

The announcement comes just two days after the release of studies by the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories showing that plutonium triggers in currently stockpiled weapons will remain reliable for 90 to 100 years.

While many western media agencies are ignoring the news, it has not been missed by China's state-run news agency Xinhua.

The Post also neglects to mention the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, which specifically states:
All Parties must pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

The treaty went into effect in March of 1970. Thirty-Six years later one of the drafting parties of the treaty is working on a new arsenal of Nuclear Weapons. Does that seems like a good faith pursuit of "general and complete disarmament" to you?


Israel's Peace Offer?

Recently there has been much news coverage of the "ceasefire" between Hamas and Israel (which Condi Rice was in Israel trying to "shore up" on Thursday) and the magnanamous offer by Ehud Olmert of peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

The fact that the ceasefire has been anything-but aside (monday, for example, after the ceasefire took effect sunday, Palestinian militants fired rockets into Israel and the IDF shot and killed a "militant" and a 50 year old woman they claimed tried to "run off" with his weapon. I must say, that's the first time I've ever heard of a 50 year old woman running...), Israel's "offer of peace" has been on the table now since 1947.

Peace is offered to Palestine in return for the wholesale removal of all palestinians and the creation of a Jewish-Zionist state that runs from the mediterranean to the Jordan river. Okay, I exaggerate (a little). The best offer made by Israel at the Camp David negotiations still included a 12 percent reduction in the then-current territory under direct control of the Palestinian Authority, which didn't include of course any area that is still legally part of Palestine but under de-facto Israeli control. All current offers by Israel include taking Palestinian territory that cuts straight through the center of the west bank to the Jordan river, thus dividing the West Bank into walled-in enclaves with no inter-regional transportation (due to the Israeli "security fence" and buffer zone).

Palestine's offer (from Hamas and Fatah and Al-Aqsa etc.), which was made with much less publicity just a few months back, is that Israel withdraw to their pre-1967 borders (internationally viewed as the legal boundries of Israel and referred to as the "green line") and cease all military operations in Palestine. However, we don't hear about Palestine's offer in the West, although it has stood fairly unchanged since the early 1970s.

Yet, the western media gleefully reports every action by Olmert as a "major policy shift" that is obviously him taking the high road in looking for peace. He echos the offer of a "Palestinian State" but fails to mention, and this is never pointed out in the media, that the "state" they offer is essentially a small number of small and impossible to leave communes, all surrounded by the "State" of Israel and cut off from access to water or arable land, which technically (by international law) belongs to Palestine now but is part of the self-declared state of Israel in reality.

Olmert's offer is that some "suspected militants", thousands of whom are being detained without charge or trial by Israel, will be released after a kidnapped Israeli soldier is returned to Israel. They have already begun by releasing one Palestinian government minister who was kidnapped just a few weeks ago. Yes, you read that correctly: their graciousness has been displayed by releasing a kidnapped Palestinian government minister.

They also consistantly claim that Israel was planning to "unilaterally withdraw" from the west bank. But that is misleading. Israel offered to withdraw from the sections of the west bank it does not wish to keep, but maintains its claims on the farmlands and water supplies that are legally in the West Bank but viewed (only by the US and Israel and their puppy... what's it called again? Bushtain? Blairtain? Britrael?) as part of "Israeli territory."

What doesn't get covered is the UN report that was released this week that stated Israel "violated every article" of a crossings agreement they made last year regarding entry and exit from Palestinian areas. You need look no further than the blog of "A Mother From Gaza" who, as we speak, is waiting to get back into Palestine. She has been waiting, and waiting, and waiting and waiting, and waiting, and waiting... The effects of this de-facto blockade are disasterous for the Palestinians, left with no livelyhood, no food, and no water. So, as the report just linked to explains, while Israelis freely water their lawns with sprinklers, Palestinians are left having to pray for Red Cross water shipments... which are usually blocked by the IDF from entering Palestinian areas anyway.

Meanwhile, Palestine suffers from a whopping 40% unemployment rate; simultaneously, the US has historically provided unconditional aid to Israel to the tune of nearly a hundred billion dollars, and it continues to increase to this day.

The Human Rights Situation in Palestine is a travesty, and it has been inflicted upon Palestinians by Israel for decades. Additionally, those familiar with the situation are well aware of the disasterous effects that America's unconditional support for Israel has on the US's standing in the world, as evidenced by a letter from 50 retired American diplomats to George Bush on the subject. However, we in the west cannot say anything negative about Israel.

To give an example, a well known and very knowledgeable diplomat and former US president intricately familiar with the subject recently published a book called "Peace not Apartheid" which is naturally critical of Israel's actions towards Palestine.

Upon the book's release, the "new breed" of democrats who are taking over the US Congress in january were chomping at the bit to condemn the book as anti-semetic. Among those who came out against the book were Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers.

The formula is nothing new. Anything that is anti-Zionist (Zionism meaning building a Jewish state in the holy land, by UN terms it was a code-name for racism for 20 years lets not forget) and disagrees with Israel's murderous policies (much like 62 percent of the Israeli population disagreed with Ehud Olmert's actions in Lebanon this summer) must therefore be anti-semetic.

I think this kind of fear-and-hate mongering insults the intelligence and the morality of Jews and Gentiles everywhere. One does not have to support murder to be jewish, as those who are so quick to throw out the anti-semetic label would like you to believe, and one does not hate jews just because they disagree with the wholesale slaughter of Palestinians. The whole issue is so asinine I can't believe it even has to be addressed.

In 2002 Counterpunch published an interesting article on "anti-semitism." It's worth a read.

As far as Israel's "peace offer" goes, I would like to reiterate my take on the issue. Once the following conditions are met, I'm sure peace will soon follow.

  • The US needs to cut off its unconditional military aid to Israel, instead offering such aid only on the condition that murderous incursions by the IDF into foreign territories is ended immediately and finally.

  • Israel must withdraw from occupied territories back to the internationally agreed 1967 borders, and tear down its illegal perimeter wall.

  • The US must at once re-evaluate its position of unconditional support for Israeli policies and cease using its Security Council Veto to stymie any international attempt at mediation.

  • Iran must exert its influence on Hamas and Hizballah to stop targeting civilian areas, as it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

  • Israel must cease aggressive posturing against Iran that encourages the Iranian leadership to encourage Hamas and Hizballah to continue to provoke the IDF into attacks.

What is YOUR Terrorism / Crime risk factor?

Almost every day in the news there's something that causes me, for just a second, to lose my breath and wonder, have I dozed off and found myself in some strange dream based on George Orwells 1984?

Today, the Associated Press reported on a system that the US government maintains in which a federal agent will basically arbitrarily assign a score that assesses their risk for being a terrorist or a criminal. They will then keep this rating on file for the next FOURTY YEARS. We, as the voting public, are forbidden from accessing this information. For national security reasons, of course, because naturally "for the protection of the people and the state" certain things must be done, right?

Your terrorist/criminal score is explained by the AP as follows:

The scores are assigned to people entering and leaving the United States after computers assess their travel records, including where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and what kind of meals they ordered.

The Homeland Security Department notice called it "one of the most advanced targeting systems in the world" and said U.S. ability to spot criminals and other security threats "would be critically impaired without access to this data."

The next time you fly to/from/around the US, bear this in mind as the immigration/customs/security person gives you a second look after checking their computer screen.


Richard Tomlinson vs. MI6 - Revisited

I have mentioned the Tomlinson vs. MI6 blog on a number of different occasions, and it has received much interest.

As an update, the Original Tomlinson vs. MI6 Blog was predictably shut down by Typepad. When you're a former secret agent, it's not surprising that your former employers would go after you when you start soap boxing.

However, the blog has been re-born right here on Blogger!

The new site:

Tomlinson v. Mi6

also, the archives from the old Typepad site, before they excersised their censorship:
Tomlinson v. Mi6 Archives

For those of you who haven't heard of Tomlinson, he became an MI6 agent in 1991 and was subsequently sacked/fired in 1995... he claims he was wrongfully let go, and has taken his anger with the SIS/Mi6 public, first threatening to write a book (which he was arrested for), then by starting a website where he pointed out some similarities between a former Mi6 plot to kill Slobodan Milosovic and the death of Princess Diana (that site was shut down), then starting a blog, which as I mentioned was also shut down (and he got arrested and had all of his possessions confiscated as well earlier this year I believe). Now he's back blogging, this time right here on blogger.

The interesting thing about this now is Google-owned Blogger itself. Some bloggers post content that governmental agencies view very, very negatively. How far a former Mi6 agent will be allowed to go on blogger will essentially be setting the boundries for the rest of us.

What I wonder is, how much freedom of speech is blogger going to allow when governments come in and start screaming their "National Security" mantra.

Extraordinary Rendition

I am appalled by what I am reading in the news today.

I place great hope in the EU. Progressive governance and an increasing ability (though apparently lacking desire) to break out from under the thumb of the US government gives Europeans great pride. However, continuing complicity towards Crimes Against Humanity should make all Europeans cringe as they read the news today.

From Ireland comes news today confirming the suspicion that Fianna Fáil (the party in power) gave their tacit support to American War Crimes in allowing the CIA to run over one hundred flights through Shannon Airport of "suspected terrorists" to formerly-secret concentration camps in Eastern Europe, with the full knowledge that those being taken would likely face torture.

F.F. have dishonored the memory of all those who died to bring about the Irish Republic, and for that they should be beyond ashamed.

From RTE News:

'Serious concerns' over use of Irish airports

28 November 2006 22:57
A draft European Parliament report into alleged CIA rendition flights has expressed 'serious concerns' over the 147 stopovers made by CIA-operated aircraft at Irish airports.

The report says these aircraft were on many occasions coming from, or en route to, countries linked with so-called 'extraordinary rendition' and the transfer of alleged terrorism suspects or detainees.

It also claims that CIA linked aircraft which had stopped off in Ireland had 'certainly been used for the extraordinary renditions' of nine named individuals.

From Al Jazeera:

Many European Union governments were aware of US secret jails being operated in Europe, according to a draft report.

Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, also made "omissions and denials" to EU investigators despite knowing about the CIA's covert operations in Europe, the European Parliament report says.

Claudio Fava, the author of the draft report on the CIA's use of European countries for the illegal transport and detention of prisoners, said: "Many governments co-operated passively or actively [with the CIA]. They knew."

To allow the CIA to use the airports of a supposedly neutral country is a violation of the solemn vow given by government ministers to represent the will of their population. That is an insult to the population, one that I hope will not be allowed to pass unnoticed.