Bush Admits U.S. Used British Territory During Transport of Ghost Prisoners
The Bush Administration has admitted for the first time using a British territory in its transporting of Ghost Air prisoners as part of its secret rendition program.
The Bush administration is bracing for a diplomatic backlash after conceding it used British territory to transport suspected terrorists on secret rendition flights despite repeated earlier assurances the U.S. had not.
U.S. officials have sought to quell the fallout by apologizing to Britain for what they said was an "administrative error." The admission, however, may reopen a bitter debate between the United States and its allies over how the fight against terrorism should be conducted and compromise future cooperation.
The territory at issue: Diego Garcia.[More...]
CIA Director Michael Hayden acknowledged Thursday that two rendition flights carrying suspected terrorists did refuel at a U.S. naval base on Diego Garcia, despite what the agency had earlier maintained.
Condoleeza Rice in 2005:
"We have obligations under our international conventions and we are respecting the sovereignty of our allies," she told Sky News. "We are not using the airspace or the airports of any of our partners for activities that would lead renditions to torture. We don't send people to be tortured."
Human Rights Watch is asking Britain to conduct an investigation:
"It's high time the agency is held accountable," said Julia Hall of Human Rights Watch. She also sought an investigation into the British role in the program. "The U.S. flew hundreds of flights across Europe so the only way to have full accountability is for (Britain) to launch a thorough, national investigation."
|< Bush Judicial Nominee: Private Prison Executive With Little Court Experience | Times' Keller Defends McCain "Story" >|