Uncovered: Secret rendition programme

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Uncovered: Secret rendition programme

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:18 am

Until now, this country has been guilty only by association in the illegal transfer of prisoners. But the covert rendition of a Moroccan man by MI5 agents suggests that the practice was central to Britain's 'war on terror'

By Robert Verkaik

MI5 was directly involved in the rendition of a Moroccan national, illegally taken from a Belgian prison to work for Britain's Security Services in London, an investigation by The Independent has discovered.

The man, now aged 29 and who cannot be named for his own safety, was secretly transferred from a Brussels jail in April 2004 and then further held and interrogated by senior MI5 officers at a secret base near London.

Documents seen by The Independent show that in September 2003 a Belgian court sentenced the man to four years in prison for the use of false documents and association with terror suspects. Yet less than a year later Home Office papers reveal that the Moroccan, who was born in Rabat, was in Britain and had been granted leave to remain in the UK by the British Government.



The Home Office document, dated 4 November 2004, says: "It has been decided that the Secretary of State's discretion should be exercised in your favour and you have been granted limited leave to remain in the United Kingdom for a reason not covered by the Immigration Rules."

The case is the first evidence of a UK-based rendition recruitment programme operated by the Security Service after the 11 September attacks on America. Until now, Britain's involvement in the practice appeared to be limited to providing assistance to American renditions.

In an interview with The Independent, the man's Belgian lawyer, Christophe Marchand, said that the rendition took place while the suspect was waiting to appear before the central criminal court in Brussels in relation to his appeal.

Mr Marchand, Belgium's foremost defence attorney and author of the book European Trends on the War on Human Rights, said his client, then 23 years old, had been questioned by MI5 agents in Forest Prison in Brussels where he had been detained without trial and held in solitary confinement for more than two years. During his later interrogation and detention at an MI5 safe house 40 minutes from central London, the man did not have access to a lawyer.

Last night MPs and human rights groups said the case illustrated the extent of Britain's illegal role in the war on terror. Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, said: "If it were to turn out that this man had been transferred to the UK against his will and against due legal process, we should well be concerned. Stories such as this underline the need for an inquiry to get to the bottom of what happened after 11 September."

Clive Stafford Smith, director of the legal charity Reprieve, said: "We simply cannot be in the business of snatching people from foreign countries without any legal process. Why have we fought for the rule of law for all these decades if it is simply to be ignored when the Security Services decide it is not convenient to let judges into the debate?"

Mr Marchand suspects that the deal must have been approved by Belgium's security services and the state prosecutor. A year after his mysterious disappearance from prison, the Moroccan national contacted Mr Marchand. "We met in central London. He told me the whole story about how MI5 had arranged for his release and secret flight to London on a specially chartered British Airways aircraft. He told me he felt vulnerable in prison and didn't think he would ever be released. He feared being returned to Morocco even more because he felt sure that he would be tortured.

"They told him that if he agreed to work for MI5 he would have a new life in the UK. But he was very vulnerable at this time, he was young and held in solitary confinement where he was psychologically weak. He believed he had no choice. Once he arrived in the UK he was told that if he ever told anyone who he was working for his life would be in danger from al-Qa'ida. He told me that he thought this was an explicit threat that MI5 would make sure al-Qa'ida knew his identity if he ever broke his agreement with the Security Service."

Mr Marchand, an international expert in human rights law, accused Britain of being directly involved in rendition. "Of course it is rendition – it is the illegal transfer of someone from one country to another. He was transferred from Belgium without any legal safeguards. It is a very clear violation of the rule of law. Pressure was huge on him because he knew he was condemned to years in prison."

A spokeswoman for the Belgian embassy in London said she was aware of the case and the "disappearance" but could give no further details.

Lieve Pellens, of the Belgian Federal Prosecutors Office in Brussels, said she was sure the Prosecutors Office was "not implicated" in such an arrangement. "If a foreign authority wants to question someone held in the Forest Prison then they have to make a special request and we have to ensure that a Belgian officer is present," said Ms Pellens.

A spokeswoman for the Security Service said: "We do not comment on individuals. We do not comment on operational security matters."

Rendition: Explained

* Countries wishing to transfer a suspect from one state to another for arrest, detention or interrogation must operate through the judicial process, usually by making an extradition request.

* Where such transfers occur outside a legal framework, such as in the Brussels case which we have reported today, they are referred to as renditions.

* America's extraordinary rendition programme involves the further element of torture, usually by a third-party proxy state. In the Brussels case the Moroccan suspect faced the prospect of torture in his homeland and could not freely give consent for his transfer to Britain.

* Upon his transfer to the UK he was held in an MI5 safe-house, where he was interrogated without legal representation. All the time he knew he was at risk of deportation.

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Re: Uncovered: Secret rendition programme

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:50 am

Scientists at Paris forum want to build on atom collider success with new smasher
By: Emma Vandore

PARIS - Scientists behind the European atom smasher aimed at uncovering the secrets of the universe don't want to stop there — they want to build an even bigger machine with partners and funds from around the world.

Scientists from CERN, a particle physics laboratory outside Geneva, will detail their ambitions at a conference in Paris on Monday.

They are reaching out to China, India and Russia to help fund the next €10 billion ($12.85 billion) step of the project, according to Guy Wormser, a leading particle physicist and one of the conference organizers.

Instead of whirling atoms in giant rings, as CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the smaller Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago do, scientists want a new-generation machine that will shoot them straight.

The new machine would be a successor to the $10 billion LHC, which was launched with great fanfare in September 2008, but days later was sidetracked by overheating that set off a chain of problems. CERN had to undertake a $40 million program of repairs and improvements before restarting the machine last November. Since then the collider has reported a series of successes.

In March it saw the first collisions of two proton beams.

Plans for the next step, a 50-kilometre (31-mile) tunnel called the International Linear Collider, have long been under discussion, and scientists now need to find funding, Wormser said. They hope the machine could be turned on in 2020 or 2025.

With the LHC "we made a machine which allowed us to make a big leap in understanding, a sort of enlightener, and now we study and detail things and that's the linear collider," Wormser told The Associated Press. "It's the future of our discipline."

Instead of crashing protons together, the new international collider will accelerate electrons and positrons, their antimatter equivalent, he said.

Depending on who wants to host it — and how much they are willing to pay — the ILC could potentially be built anywhere in the world, he said.

The experiments of both machines are more about shaping our understanding of how the universe was created than immediate improvements to technology in our daily lives.

Scientists are attempting to simulate the moments after the Big Bang nearly 14 billion years ago, which they theorize was the creation of the universe.

In March, the LHC produced a tiny bang, the most potent force on the tiny atomic level that humans have ever created.

Two beams of protons were sent hurtling in opposite directions toward each other in a 17-mile (27-kilometre) tunnel below the Swiss-French border — the coldest place in the universe at slightly above absolute zero.

CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research, used powerful superconducting magnets to force the two beams to cross; two of the protons collided, producing 7 trillion electron volts.

The latest results of those experiments will be presented at the International Conference on High Energy Physics, which is bringing 1,000 physicists to Paris from July 22 to 28.

On Monday, Wormser and other leading scientists will speak about their search for the Higgs boson, a hypothetical particle — often called the God particle — that scientists theorize gives mass to other particles and thus to other objects and creatures in the universe.

The colliders also may help scientists see dark matter, the strange stuff that makes up more of the universe than normal matter but has not been seen on Earth.

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Re: Uncovered: Secret rendition programme

ตั้งหัวข้อ  ฅนไท on Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:16 pm

State electricity giant EDF to link with Areva in nuclear energy deal

The French government announced on Tuesday that state-owned electricity firm EDF will sign a broad partnership deal with Areva, which manufactures nuclear reactors, to help France regain a leading role in the nuclear energy sector.

REUTERS - The French government said state-owned electricity giant EDF and nuclear reactor maker Areva would sign a wide-ranging partnership to help the country regain its leadership in nuclear energy.

After a report on the health of France's nuclear sector was published on Tuesday, President Nicolas Sarkozy's government called for closer coordination between the companies to offset recent losses of contracts to Asian rivals.

The government will study the possibility of EDF taking a stake in Areva, according to a statement released by Sarkozy's office. The government confirmed that Areva would sell about 15 percent of itself by the end of the year, and said discussions with potential partners were underway.

Francois Roussely, who ran EDF between 1998 and 2005, was asked by the government to be the head of the commission and to make proposals to fix the nuclear sector.

Areva, which is 90 percent owned by France, wants to raise about 3 billion euros from new shareholders, which could include foreign companies. The proceeds would fuel an international expansion plan that could cost up to 10 billion euros from now until 2012.

In December, a French consortium, including Areva, utility group GDF Suez and oil company Total, lost a $40 billion nuclear project in Abu Dhabi in December to a Korean group.

Analysts expect the government to try to end sniping among executives at some of the leading energy companies, notably Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon, EDF's Henri Proglio and Alstom's Patrick Kron.

The report is silent on the question of whether Lauvergeon will stay as Areva CEO given the expected rapprochement with EDF. Lauvergeon has fought for Areva to remain independent.

In recent months, speculation has swirled in markets and among France's policymakers and the media on whether the state would replace Lauvergeon in its bid to reorganize the nuclear sector.

An Areva spokesman said the company welcomes the conclusions of the report. Asked what impact the report would have on the position of Lauvergeon, the spokesperson said, "The problems [of the French nuclear sector] were never about the people for us."

Lauvergeon's term runs through June 2011, the spokesman said.

A spokesperson for EDF declined to comment on the government's report on Thursday night.

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Re: Uncovered: Secret rendition programme

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:20 am

Former MI5 chief demolishes Blair's defence of the Iraq war



Eliza Manningham-Buller revealed that a surge of warnings about
home-grown terrorist threats after the Iraq invasion
led to a 100 per cent increase in MI5's budget


Tony Blair's evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry that toppling Saddam Hussein helped make Britain safe from terrorists was dramatically undermined by the former head of MI5 .

Giving evidence to the same inquiry, Eliza Manningham-Buller revealed that there was such a surge of warnings of home-grown terrorist threats after the invasion of Iraq that MI5 asked for – and got – a 100 per cent increase in its budget. Baroness Manningham-Buller, who was director general of MI5 in 2002-07, told the Chilcot panel that MI5 started receiving a "substantially" higher volume of reports that young British Muslims being drawn to al-Qa'ida.

She told the inquiry: "Our involvement in Iraq radicalised, for want of a better word, a whole generation of young people – a few among a generation – who saw our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as being an attack on Islam."

She added: "Arguably we gave Osama bin Laden his Iraqi jihad so that he was able to move into Iraq in a way that he was not before."

Her words are in stark contrast to the claim that Mr Blair made in front of the same inquiry on 29 January. The former prime minister told Sir John Chilcot: "If I am asked whether I believe we are safer, more secure, that Iraq is better, that our own security is better, with Saddam and his two sons out of office and out of power, I believe indeed we are.

"It was better to deal with this threat, to remove him from office, and I do genuinely believe that the world is safer as a result."

But the evidence presented by Lady Manningham-Buller does not just call Mr Blair's credibility into question, it also throws down a challenge to the coalition Government, warned Lord Carlile of Berriew, a Liberal Democrat peer who has acted since 2005 as the independent reviewer of anti-terror laws. He told The Independent: "It's certainly the case that the threat and number of home-grown terrorists – and 'not home-grown' terrorists coming into the UK – increased after the Iraq war.

"This makes life difficult both for the old government, who have criticisms to answer, and for the current Government. It makes their review of current terrorism law a delicate exercise because there is no evidence of any significant reduction in the threat. We are where we were."

Sir Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, added: "I should be astonished if Mr Blair were to return to give further evidence, but questions will remain as to what it was which prompted him to disregard the reservations of officials and their advice. If only Britain had been as well served by its politicians as it was by Eliza Manningham-Buller then we would never have got ourselves into the illegal mess of Iraq."

Lord West, who was counter-terrorism minister in the Home Office under Gordon Brown, told the BBC that he had "no doubt" that the Iraq war increased the threat of terrorism in the UK, which hit the government like a "bow wave" in 2003.

Ken Livingstone, who was Mayor of London at the time of the 7 July bombings, said: "Eliza Manningham-Buller's evidence is a damning indictment of a foreign policy that not only significantly enhanced the risk of terrorist attacks in London but gave al-Qa'ida the opening to operate in Iraq too."

Before 2003, MI5's concern had been the possibility that foreign terrorists would infiltrate the UK. Afterwards, she said: "We realised that the focus was not foreigners. The rising and increasing threat was a threat from British citizens and that was a very different scenario to stopping people coming in. It was what has now become called home-grown."

She added: "We were pretty well swamped – that's possibly an exaggeration – but we were very overburdened with intelligence on a broad scale that was pretty well more than we could cope with in terms of plots, leads to plots and things that we needed to pursue.

"By 2003 I found it necessary to ask the Prime Minister for a doubling of our budget. This is unheard of, but he and the Treasury and the Chancellor accepted that because I was able to demonstrate the scale of the problem."

The Chilcot panel published a previously classified document which showed that the former MI5 boss was not simply being wise after the event. A year before British troops went into Iraq, she sent the Home Office a memo which – though phrased in official language – demolished the idea that Saddam Hussein's regime represented a credible terrorist threat to the UK.

In a memo to John Gieve, Permanent Secretary to the Home Office, in March 2002, Lady Manningham-Buller told him that Saddam was not likely to use chemical or biological weapons unless "he felt the survival of his regime was in doubt".

The memo went on: "We assess that Iraqi capability to mount attacks in the UK is currently limited."

Lady Manningham-Buller also hinted at tension between Mr Blair's office and MI5 over the dossier that the Prime Minister presented to Parliament in September 2002, to prepare public opinion for the likelihood of war.

"We were asked to put in some low-grade, small intelligence to it and we refused because we didn't think it was reliable," she said.

Evidence: What he said – and what she said

False claims of links between al-Qa'ida and Saddam Hussein

Tony Blair claimed on 21 Jan 2003:

"There is some intelligence evidence about loose links between al-Qa'ida and various people in Iraq... It would not be correct to say there is no evidence whatever of linkages between al-Qa'ida and Iraq."

Foreign Office spokesman claimed on 29 Jan 2003:

"We believe that there have been, and still are, some al-Qa'ida operatives in parts of Iraq controlled by Baghdad. It is hard to imagine that they are there without the knowledge and acquiescence of the Iraqi government."

Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5:

"There was no credible intelligence to suggest that connection and that was the judgment, I might say, of the CIA."

Hand-picking flimsy 'intelligence'

Blair, to the Commons 24 Sept 2002:

"It [the intelligence service] concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes; and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability..."

Blair, to the Commons 25 Feb 2003:

"The intelligence is clear: He [Saddam] continues to believe his WMD programme is essential both for internal repression and for external aggression. The biological agents we believe Iraq can produce include anthrax, botulinum, toxin, aflatoxin and ricin. All eventually result in excruciatingly painful death."

Manningham-Buller, yesterday:

"The nature of intelligence – it is a source of information, it is rarely complete, it needs to be assessed, it is fragmentary... We were asked to put in some low-grade, small intelligence to it [the September 2002 dossier] and we refused because we didn't think it was reliable."

Iraq posed no risk to Britain

Blair, to the Commons 10 April 2002:

"Saddam Hussein is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked. He is a threat to his own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also."

Manningham-Buller, yesterday:

"We regarded the direct threat from Iraq as low... we didn't believe he had the capability to do anything in the UK."

Ministers were told that invading Iraq would increase the threat of terrorism to Britain

Blair, farewell speech at the Labour conference, 26 September 2006:

"This terrorism isn't our fault. We didn't cause it. It's not the consequence of foreign policy."

Manningham-Buller, yesterday:

"It was communicated through the JIC assessments, to which I fed in... I believe they [senior ministers] did read them. If they read them, they can have had no doubt."

The Iraq war made Britain a more dangerous place and allowed al-Qa'ida to gain a hold in Iraq

Blair, 29 Jan 2010:

"If I am asked whether I believe we are safer, more secure, that Iraq is better, that our own security is better, I believe we are. The world is safer as a result."

Manningham-Buller, yesterday:

"Our involvement in Iraq radicalised a generation of young people who saw our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as an attack on Islam. We [MI5] were pretty well swamped... with intelligence on a broad scale that was pretty well more than we could cope with in terms of plots, leads to plots and things that we needed to pursue.

"We gave Osama bin Laden his Iraqi jihad so that he was able to move into Iraq in a way that he was not before.

The post-Iraq plots

7/7 bombers - 2005

The bombs detonated on London Underground trains and a bus in July 2005 killed 52 members of the public and injured around 700. Three of the four suicide bombers had been born in Yorkshire; the fourth, born in Jamaica, came to the UK aged five. In his video, one bomber said: "Your democratically elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities."

London Haymarket/Glasgow Airport attacks – 2007

Bilal Abdulla, a doctor, and Kafeel Ahmed, a PhD engineering student, tried and failed to set off bombs outside a London nightclub on 29 June. The following day they drove a jeep filled with gas canisters into Glasgow Airport. Abdulla's trial heard his involvement was "because of events in Iraq".

Liquid bomb plot – 2006

A terror plot was exposed in which liquid bombs were to be smuggled on to airliners. Many of the men made 'suicide' videos citing British foreign policy. Umar Islam said in his video: "If you think you can go into our land and do what you are doing in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine and... think it will not come back on to your doorstep, you have another think coming."

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Re: Uncovered: Secret rendition programme

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:37 pm

Caught in America's legal black hole

Guantanamo still holds 176 detainees, and one of them is about to stand trial – in a test of Barack Obama's resolve to embrace the rule of law
By Robert Verkaik

Have a nice flight with Country Airlines," said the smiling stewardess, "and enjoy your trip." Standing on the gangway of the Sun Country 737, she could have been welcoming us aboard a jet bound for any one of America's favourite holiday destinations.

But the US military-chartered aircraft taking off from the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington this weekend was heading for somewhere not altogether known for its leisure facilities.

As we approached the US naval base of Guantanamo Bay on the edge of Cuba's south-east coast, I wondered about the legality of the ominously wide terms of the liability waiver form I had to sign on condition of entry.

Under these agreements, journalists are warned that their presence in Guantanamo exposes them to serious risk from both the negligence of the US military and possible terrorist attack. The US government cannot be held responsible for any injury caused by either of these threats.

Welcome to the legal black hole that is Guantanamo.

In the distance one can just make out the runway, extended in 2001 to accommodate the giant military cargo planes which first carried the shackled prisoners from the battlefields of terrorism to Camp X-Ray. Ahead lies the Cuban mountain range which shelters Guantanamo Bay from the territorial claims of America's communist neighbour.

Since the September 11 terror attacks on the American mainland, Guantanamo Bay – until then a forgotten US naval base used for holding Haitian refugees – has become synonymous with international kidnapping and torture in the name of the US "war on terror".

It is the hub of the American programme of rendition in which hundreds of foreign nationals, including 20 British citizens and residents, have been flown thousands of miles around the world to be shackled in cages beyond the protections of international law.

Guantanamo Bay has also been the scene of barbaric tortures, vehemently denied by the Bush administration and now openly confronted by Barack Obama. It was here that the CIA, with the blessing of the Bush administration, developed the particularly grisly interrogation practice called waterboarding, where suspects are subjected to simulated drowning.

After winning the American elections nearly two years ago Barack Obama promised to end renditions and tear up the CIA's torture manuals. At the heart of the President's human rights policy was the closure of Guantanamo within a year of the first day he entered the White House – a target he missed.

Eight months after that deadline passed, the starboard view from the Sun Country 737 is irrefutable evidence that Guantanamo Bay is still in business.

The dozens of military buildings and the supporting civilian industry that dot the windward side of the bay are proof that the injustices of Guantanamo cannot be wished away by a few heartfelt sentences – even if they are uttered by the West's most powerful leader.

For sure there is outward change: the detainees are no longer forced to wear orange jumpsuits and the infamous Camp X-Ray detention centre has been decommissioned, surrendering its barbed-wire fences to the creeping Cuban undergrowth.

But as we approach our landing site there is no disguising that we are flying into a legal black hole, where 176 of the original 800 prisoners are still being held without charge or trial in conditions condemned as unlawful and unconscionable by nearly every international human rights organisation.

This week one of the 176 will stand trial in what is being regarded as a test of America's new willingness to confront the brutal legacy of George Bush's war on terror.

The case against Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen and the youngest of the inmates, is emblematic of Guantanamo Bay's injustices. He is the first child to be tried for war crimes since the Nuremburg prosecutions against the Nazis after the Second World War.

Omar Khadr was captured by US forces in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was just 15, and after interrogation in Afghanistan flown to the US naval base. He was later accused of war crimes for allegedly throwing a grenade which killed an American soldier.

Clive Stafford Smith, the legal director of the London-based human rights group Reprieve, says the Khadr case will show the world that the discredited military commissions are incapable of delivering justice.

"I have met Omar at Guantanamo – he was a child and still had the scars from the injuries he suffered during the fighting," said Stafford Smith. "The worst they can say about him is that he was with his father's friends when he was caught up in an attack by American soldiers.

"Prosecuting him is like holding a major crimes trial for a member of the Hitler Youth while ignoring the cases against the Nazi leaders. Never mind the fact that the whole process is illegal in the first place."

Khadr's trial is the first case to be heard in full since the resumption of hearings after the US Supreme Court ruled that the military commission system was unlawful under both military justice law and the Geneva Conventions.

Soon afterwards President Obama suspended all the trials so that modifications could be made to the process that would satisfy the courts.

Central to Khadr's defence is his claim that he was tortured while being held at the US detention centre at Bagram in Afghanistan. It was there that he shared a cell with Moazzam Begg, the Briton and former Guantanamo detainee.

He alleges that he was hung up on a door frame, threatened with rape, urinated on and used by one of the soldiers as a human mop to clean the floor. His legal team argues that any confession cannot be relied upon because it was made under torture.

The US prosecution denies Omar Khadr was tortured and says that his statements were made voluntarily.

Guantanamo Bay is the oldest overseas US naval base and is the only military establishment located in a country with which America does not maintain diplomatic relations. The United States leased 45 square miles of land and water from Cuba in February 1903 for use as a coal-fuelling station. A 1934 treaty reaffirming the lease added a requirement that termination of the lease requires the consent of both the US and Cuba governments, or the US abandonment of the base.

Since Fidel Castro came to power by overthrowing the US-backed regime, tensions between the two countries have grown, and in 1961 the US broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba. Over the passing years the US military presence at Guantanamo Bay has become a focal point for some of the tensions between the two states.

A minefield, which used to deter immigrant Cubans fleeing to American territory, now serves as a last obstacle to escaping prisoners.

Today 1,100 army and navy personnel are engaged in guarding the 176 detainees held in nine separate camps at Guantanamo.

The list of rules governing the behaviour of both soldiers and detainees runs into many pages.

For a military camp so internationally castigated for its failure to adhere to the rule of law there are an awful lot of dos and don'ts at Guantanamo Bay.

There is also a strict code of conduct for visiting journalists. Orange barriers restrict the movements of the press to defined areas of Camp Justice, where the commissions are housed. Military minders are on hand to ensure journalists don't venture from the permitted routes.

Photographs of military personnel or sensitive installations are strictly forbidden. And all pictures have to be viewed by the military censors before they can leave the island.

Journalists are also forbidden from interviewing Cuban and Haitian migrant workers.

Punishment for breaking these rules is at the very least immediate expulsion from Camp Justice.

My accommodation for the next three weeks will be a tent which I am told will not protect me from the extreme temperatures. The US military advises me to bring strong sunscreen for the day to protect against the Caribbean glare and an extra blanket for night time when the air conditioning can make it very chilly. I am acutely aware that these are two luxuries not available to the detainees who have frequently complained about the pain of being exposed to extreme temperatures.

But America remains defiant in the face of criticism of its war on terror. Journalists who question the legality of Guantanamo are directed to this statement: "There is no question that under the law of war the US has the authority to detain persons who have engaged in unlawful belligerence for the duration of hostilities, without charges or trial. Like all wars, we do not know when this one will end. Nevertheless, we may detain combatants until the end of the war."

In the dock: Indoctrinated as a child, held at 15

Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured after a battle in July 2002 with US forces in Afghan-istan. Now 23, he'll finally have his day in court this week. If found guilty, he will be only the fifth terror suspect to be convicted in the eight years since George W Bush created the first military commissions at Guantanamo. He will be the first under the Obama administration.

Khadr was nine when his father, an alleged al-Qa'ida financier, took him from Canada to Afghanistan and introduced him to the world of jihad. Psychiatrists are expect to testify this week that Khadr viewed al-Qa'ida through the eyes of a child who didn't understand that his father's activities were linked to terrorism. It appears that his indoctrination led him to take up arms against US-led coalition troops after the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

Under international law, a child captured in combat should be treated as a victim rather than a combatant. The US military has accused him of killing a US soldier with a hand grenade and spying on the US.

Even his military defence team alleges that his confessions were extracted under torture. The US prosecutors insist that he was not tortured and all his statements were made voluntarily.

Bin Laden's cook awaits sentence

At one time or another, Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi is alleged to have been Osama bin Laden's cook, bodyguard, chauffeur and personal accountant.

Today the 50-year-old Sudanese is expected to become the first Guantanamo detainee to be convicted and sentenced under President Barack Obama's administration.

In an effort to bring an end to his eight-year detention without trial, al-Qosi has struck a deal with the prosecution and pleaded guilty to some of the terrorism charges, although the exact terms are not expected to be made public until today when he appears before a military commission.

The US military claims al-Qosi was deployed to the mujahedin front line in Afghanistan in 1990. A year later, he was asked to work as an accountant for Bin Laden in Khartoum, and joined him in the Tora Bora mountains in September or October 1996. After the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, he fled to the Pakistan border armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and was captured by Pakistani tribes.

He was turned over to Pakistani officials then transferred to US custody and taken to the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, where he has been held for eight years and seven months.

History of the base

December 1903 The US leases the 45 square miles of land and water for use as a coal-fuelling station.

6 February 1964 Castro cuts off water and supplies to the base after the US government fines Cuban fishermen for fishing in Florida's waters.

1991 The naval base's mission is expanded as some 34,000 Haitian refugees pass through Guantanamo Bay.

2001 After the terrorist attacks in New York, Guantanamo Bay is prepared as a holding centre for suspects arrested in America's war on terror.

January 2002 The first of what will eventually be 775 prisoners arrive.

April 2002 Camp X-Ray, the temporary detention camp where there were allegations of abuse, is closed. Prisoners are transferred to high-security Camp Delta.

March 2003 US Court of Appeal ruled that detainees did not have a right to have their case heard in an American court.

January 2005 The Pentagon announces an investigation into the alleged mistreatment of prisoners at the camp.

February 2006 The United Nations calls for the camp to be closed.

June 2006 After three detainees hang themselves, President Bush says he hopes to close the camps.

December 2006 Camp Six opens, housing the remaining 430 detainees.

July 2008 The International Herald Tribune reveals that US military trainers based an interrogation class in 2002 on a copy of a study of Chinese torture techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions. The methods used included sleep deprivation, stress positions and exposure.

January 2009 Barack Obama outlines plans to close the camp within a year.

April 2009 The US Senate Armed Services Committee releases a report providing evidence of links between the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

January 2010 US officials admit that the camp will not close by Obama's original 22 January deadline.

August 2010 176 of the original 800 prisoners are still being held without charge.

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sunny

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Re: Uncovered: Secret rendition programme

ตั้งหัวข้อ  sunny on Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:35 pm

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University suspending Athens program due to poor Greek economy

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh is suspending a masters program it began in Athens in 2002 because of the recession's effect on Greece's economy.

The program offered a masters of science in information networking and when it was announced Carnegie Mellon officials said they hoped to enrol a total of 150 students at the campus through 2008. University spokesman Ken Walters says the program has enrolled 132 students in eight years, and currently has about 15.

The university had hoped that growing demand for the Internet and wireless technology would fuel the foreign campus.

CMU president Jared Cohon announced the decision to suspend the effort in an email Tuesday. He says off-campus programs in California's Silicon Valley, and the countries of Qatar, Indian and Portugal are doing well.

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sunny

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