“The CIA was granted permission to use rendition (to the USA of indicted terrorists) in a presidential directive signed by US President Bill Clinton in 1995, following a procedure established by US President George H. W. Bush in January 1993”. (Read more…) This program kicked into high-gear under Bush junior after 911 and continues to this day under the Obama administration.
“According to a US Congress report , up to 14,000 people may have been victims of rendition and secret detention since 2001. Some reports estimate there have been twice as many. The US admits to have captured more than 80,000 prisoners in its ‘war on terror’.”
The map below shows the countries involved in fast tracking rendition flights, helping to transport U.S. captives to secret prisons – black sites – across the globe, condemning innocent men, women, and children to confinement, torture, and death. To the best of my knowledge, not a single rendition flight was ever grounded or searched.
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And yet, European countries – specifically France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy – had the audacity to deny passage of Evo Morales’ Bolivian presidential plane “over suspicions that whistleblower Edward Snowden was potentially aboard.” To put this into perspective, this would be equivalent to denying passage to Air Force One while it was transporting Obama because another country thought that one of their citizens might be on board. Absurd, and yet, western mainstream media is treating this as if it was just a simple mistake, an “embarrassment” of sorts.
Bolivians Indignant at European Treatment of President Morales
As Malcolm X warned us in his Audubon Ballroom speech in Harlem in 13 December 1964:
“The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press…. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
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To help put the above events into the appropriate light, specifically on how they relate to how wikileaks and Julian Assange, and whistleblowers like Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Andrews Drake, William Binney, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are being treated and portrayed by the U.S. government and the majority of western mainstream media, below you will find a special Democracy Now segment from a 2007 event on “How the Pentagon Papers Came to be Published By the Beacon Press” as told by Daniel Ellsberg, Mike Gravel, and Robert West. The panel highlights the depths to which criminals will go to to hide their crimes and stifle dissent (emphasis added).
“Forty-one years ago, Beacon Press lost a Supreme Court case brought against it by the U.S. government for publishing the first full edition of the Pentagon Papers. It is now well known how The New York Times first published excerpts of the top-secret documents in June 1971, but less well known is how the Beacon Press, a small nonprofit publisher affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, came to publish the complete 7,000 pages that exposed the true history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Their publication led the Beacon press into a spiral of two-and-a-half years of harassment, intimidation, near bankruptcy and the possibility of criminal prosecution. This is a story that has rarely been told in its entirety….
“The relevance of our experience, those 35 years ago, to secrecy and deception in government today is patently obvious. For example, three of the issues and principles that were involved in our court actions were misuse of power of the Justice Department, invasion of privacy, and misuse of secrecy by the government. All of those clearly apply to what is happening today.
“In his 1972 dissenting opinion in the Gravel case, Supreme Court Justice Douglas said, ‘The story of the Pentagon Papers is a chronicle of the suppression of vital decisions to protect the reputations and political hides of men who work an amazingly successful scheme of deception on the American people.’ And he went on to say in that decision that he had no choice but to hold that it was the government that is lawless, not the press.
“In 1971, Senator Gravel wrote, ‘The Pentagon Papers show that we have created a new culture, protected from the influence of American life by the shield of secrecy.’”