NO WONDER both the British and US governments are absolutely determined that none of the Chagos Islanders be allowed to return to their homes in Diego Garcia.
One of the main reasons for this became absolutely clear at the end of last week when the Council of Europe Inquiry into ‘extraordinary renditions’ found that Diego Garcia was not just a US naval and air base for bombing Asia, but was also a CIA torture centre.
It is a place to which victims of the CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ abduction programme are brought for ‘processing’.
These ‘high value’ terrorist suspects are tortured there at the leisure of the CIA, at a place which is thousands of miles away from the nearest supporter of democratic rights.
The CIA thought that they would never be disturbed at their top secret and ultra secure base.
Diego Garcia was leased to the US by British imperialism, over the signature of the Queen, but it is still administered as a British colony, and the British government is responsible for what happens on it.
The Council of Europe report also found that the CIA operated secret jails in Poland and Romania in Europe from 2003 to 2005 and that hundreds of flights were carried out taking suspects to and from these places of torture.
Up to 211 flights were made over Britain and CIA planes landed in Prestwich and Glasgow airports.
Currently 26 Americans and six Italians are being tried in their absence in Rome.
They are all CIA agents, who were involved in a planned kidnapping on the streets of Milan in 2003 of a ‘terror suspect’, Abu Omar.
He was drugged and taken by a series of planes, via Italy and Germany, to his native land, Egypt, where he was tortured by agents of the Egyptian government until he confessed to whatever was required of him.
The Italian government does not want this trial to take place, and the US government has refused to even consider the extradition of the 26 agents involved, despite the fact that they were travelling under false names and on false passports.
In their opening submissions to the court, the defence lawyers called for proceedings to go behind closed doors, but the judge rejected that request.
The defence team is supported by the Italian government. It has asked the country’s highest court to set aside the rendition trial, saying prosecution documents will break state secrecy laws and damage relations with the CIA.
The Constitutional Court is due to rule on that appeal by September.
In Britain, the government, supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), is seeking to maintain the position that rendition flights have never landed at English airports.
However, even the The Mail on Sunday said yesterday that a plane linked to ‘extraordinary renditions’ landed in the UK within the past eight days, at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.
It called the flights ‘dark acts of war that are damaging Britain’s integrity’.
Swiss senator, Dick Marty, leading the investigation on behalf of the Council of Europe, says he has evidence that not only secret CIA prisons ‘did exist in Europe from 2003 to 2005, in particular in Poland and Romania, but that a secret agreement among Nato allies provided the framework for CIA activities’.
Nobody believes the denials of the British government, whether they are made over ‘extraordinary rendition’ and the torture of suspects, or on bribes to Saudi Arabian feudalists.
The trade unions must demand that the secret agreement providing the framework for CIA operations in Europe be published, along with the logs of CIA flights landing and leaving British airports, and that the CIA torturers and the US military base are cleared out of Diego Garcia, so that its original inhabitants can return there.