The Scotsman reports on Danish government documents that provide new evidence of that CIA planes stopped over at airports in Scotland:
At least 176 flights into or out of Scotland have already been logged by aircraft owned or run by the CIA. The airfields involved include Glasgow, Prestwick, Edinburgh, Leuchars, Wick and Inverness. The new documents also show CIA flights which passed through Danish airspace en route between Scotland and Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The new flight documents seen by The Scotsman were produced in response to a request from a Danish MP, Frank Aaen, who wrote to the foreign minister Per Stig Moeller in August requesting the flight plans for all suspected CIA flights passing through Danish airspace. The foreign minister’s reply revealed 12 of the 14 flights made by CIA plane N379P through Danish airspace originated in, or were bound for, Scotland.
The plane, a Gulfstream V turbojet, travelled on 12 separate occasions to destinations including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, countries with notorious human rights records and where CIA agents are suspected to have taken terror suspects for questioning outside the controls of international law. The Danish government has since banned CIA flights from the country’s airspace.
The flight plans record the arrival of a flight in Glasgow from Uzbekistan on 14 December, 2001.
Four days later, the same plane landed in Sweden, where, in a case that was extensively documented by Swedish media, two Egyptian terror suspects, Muhammed al-Zery and Ahmed Agiza, were arrested and deported to Egypt for questioning, where both claim to have been tortured.
According to the Danish documents, another suspected CIA plane left Prestwick on 7 February, 2005, passing through Danish airspace en route for Baghdad.
European governments’s knowledge — and possible acquiescence — in the rendition programme is rightly high on the agenda with Condoleezza Rice in Europe facing questions about the flights.
With the ACLU suing CIA on behalf of the wrongly abducted German citizen Khaled al-Masri, A Fistful of Europe asks exactly the right question about the German government: “What did Schily know, and when did he know it?”
The Washington Post certainly suggests the former German interior minister he knew quite a lot about al-Masri’s case as early as May 2004.