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Sweden: Update: Expulsions carried out by US agents, men tortured in Egypt
01 October 2004
- second Swedish TV4 transcript with more details on the US abduction
- Shannon airport on west of Ireland used as stop-over for US plane (from Village magazine)
In May Statewatch
carried a story based on a Swedish television documentary by TV4 - "The broken promise", broadcast on 17 May 2004 showed that the expulsion of two Egyptian men to Egypt on 18 December 2001 carried out by hooded US agents. The plane booked by the Swedish Security Police (SÄPO) was cancelled when another plane - N379P - a "Gulfstream" executive jet supplied by a firm on the east coast of the USA which works exclusively for the the US Defence Department. The Swedish Migration Board had decided that both needed protection and granted them asylum. The TV programme gave evidence of how the two men were tortured in Egypt. See: Expulsions carried out by US agents
and full-transcript of "The broken promise", TV4, Monday 17 May 2004: Transcript
A second documentary by TV4, "Broken promise - Part Two", was broadcast on 24 May 2004: Transcript of Part Two
(pdf). The programme includes interviews with Swedish police on duty on 18 December 2001 who describe two US civilians from the embassy and eight other hooded US agents. The two handcuffed-Egyptian men had all their clothes cut off them until they were naked - they were then sedated, dressed in overalls, blindfolded and hooded. They were then flown in the US "Gulfstream" plane to Egypt.
The TV4 programme makers were helped by information from Ireland where the "Gulfstream" plane was noted by dedicated Irish plane spotters at Shannon Airport on 18 January 2003 (where it was no doubt on the way to another "mission"). This is described in the article below from "Village" magazine.
Shannon used as kidnap operation stop-over
by Michael McCaughan, Village magazine, Ireland (2-8 October 2004)
Dedicated Irish plane spotters picked out the small, Gulfstream jet on the runway at Shannon airport on 18 January, 2003. "It really didn't stand out," recalled Tim Hourigan, a peace activist who has closely monitored US military flights through Shannon. "It's the sort of plane used by corporate executives the world over."
The plane's touchdown was duly logged and cast into cyberspace where it helped Swedish TV4 documentary investigators tracking the kidnap and torture of two Egyptian terror suspects. The plane in question is leased exclusively to the United States government and its cargo is a cast of detainees held beyond the reach of international law.
The flight path regularly originates in North Carolina, the jet proceeds to Dallas airport where it picks up agents and continues its journey to Europe. A stop-off is made in one or more allied countries, notably Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Afghanistan, according to the Swedish investigation.
The small jet is the US executive link to a state-sponsored kidnap and torture project called "Extraordinary Rendition" approved at the highest level of the Bush administration.
The programme was first mooted inside the offices of US intelligence where the US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had grown increasingly angry and frustrated over the lack of results from interrogations in Guantanamo and other holding facilities. The goal of the operation is to seize terror suspects, hold them without time restraints and gather as much information as possible by any means necessary.
Rumsfeld had previously dismissed international concern over harsh treatment of US detainees as "isolated pockets of international hyperventilation" as the US justice department expanded the definition of torture.
And Jay S Bybee, head of the justice department's office of legal counsel, has said: "We conclude that for an act to const