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by Carolyn Keene
Friday, Jun. 08, 2007 at 6:57 PM
The long awaited trial of 26 CIA agents led by Robert Seldon Lady (left in photo) begins tomorrow in Milan, Italy, despite the presence of President Bush in Italy! In conjunction with this, a North Carolina group is scheduling a training sesssion at the headquarters of the CIA's airline, Aero Contractors Ltd. -- something CALCULATED TO SEE THAT THERE ARE MANY MORE SUCH TRIALS.
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Robert Lady and the 25 others will not be in attendance. Neither will the victim, Abu Omar, who still is restricted by his Egyptian tormentors to Cairo. However, this case has gripped Italy and all of Europe and is the first trial of CIA personnel for their occupation, which basically is crime.
This is a monumental embarassment to the United States, George Bush, and of course the CIA. For more on the Imam Rapito (Cleric Kidnapping) case and tomorrow's trial, see this: ://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20070607-0506-italy-ciakidnapping.html
It shows, for one thing, that the CIA cannot be trusted by even foreign secret services such as Italy's SISMI. The CIA can't keep a secret. Pure and simple. The activists in North Carolina will prove that again on Saturday (SEE THE EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT BELOW).
TORTURE-FLIGHT WATCH :
Citizens Being Recruited/Trained as “Plane Spotters” in
Overt Operation to Document Aero-CIA Rendition Flights.
When: Saturday, June 9, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: Johnston County Airport . Hwy 70 Business, SE of Swift Creek Road, Smithfield, where Aero Contractors' runway is visible.
What: Citizen volunteers will gather with binoculars, radio-scanners, clip-boards and “Torture Flight Watch” t-shirts to learn how to document rendition flights and assist in conviction of persons facilitating torture and other human rights violations. Trainers will introduce issue and provide orientation to plane spotting.
Contacts: Christina Cowger 919-637-7678
Roger Ehrlich 919-696-5995 firstname.lastname@example.org
Background Info: www.ncstoptorturenow.net http://www.ncstoptorturenow.net/> / CHRONOLOGY ATTACHED
Civic-minded volunteers in North Carolina are being recruited as “plane spotters” but with an ironic twist on the historic home-guard activity. It is an effort that organizers hope will decrease terrorism and enhance public security, but they’ll be scanning the sky and radio waves for a different kind of threat to our freedom.
“We don’t expect we’ll spot foreign invaders or terrorists,” said Roger Ehrlich of NC Stop Torture Now. “We’d report them if we did, but we’re really watching for ‘torture flights’ ordered by our own government.”
Smithfield-based Aero Contractors has been identified as a principle provider of aviation services for a controversial CIA-linked program called “extraordinary rendition,” which proponents hail as an important tool in the U.S. ‘war on terror.’ [Aero was most recently cited in a case filed by the ACLU last week in California against a Boeing subsidiary which provided Aero’s flight plans.] Aero Contractors supplied the Learjet 35 identified as Spar 92 in the case of the CIA 26 on trial in Milan, Italy. The plane, numbered N221SG, was operated by Aero Contractors of Smithfield, North Carolina, where opposition to CIA renditions is being brought to a new level on Saturday (JUne 9, 2007).
NC Stop Torture Now is a coalition that has been working since 2005 to hold Aero accountable for human rights abuses (chronology attached.) They have gathered thousands of petition signatures, made formal appeals to numerous government officials, lobbied for state and federal legislation, and committed civil disobedience. Now they’re resorting to binoculars and radios.
“This is right in our backyard,” said novice plane spotter Laura Marks, “I know it’s wrong, it doesn’t matter what religion you are, it’s wrong. How could I not say this is something I would help with?”
In March, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper Citizen referred appeals from citizens and NC legislators to the F.B.I. office in Charlotte , but organizers have been frustrated with an apparent lack of government action. In April, citizens marched up to the gates of Aero’s headquarters at the Johnston County Airport and tried to deliver indictments to Aero employees modeled after indictments issued by a court in Germany. Eight were arrested for trespass and three were convicted by a judge who was apparently not persuaded by a large crowd of courtroom supporters and a “necessity defense” which argued that if they trespassed this was justified in order to prevent a more serious crime. The convictions are being appealed.
“Rendition is a pretty name for disappearing people and having them tortured,” said Ehrlich. “They’re just creating more terrorists, alienating our allies, and violating the rule of law which is supposed to be the foundation of our freedom.”
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