Terror Ships

You know, I’m really looking forward to seeing mention of this in the US press.

US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships

USS Peleliu accompanied by an amphibious launch

A nifty highlight from an awesome article:

Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s legal director, said: “They choose ships to try to keep their misconduct as far as possible from the prying eyes of the media and lawyers. We will eventually reunite these ghost prisoners with their legal rights.

“By its own admission, the US government is currently detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been ‘through the system’ since 2001. The US government must show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by immediately revealing who these people are, where they are, and what has been done to them.”

Emphasis my own.

While looking for previous mentions, I found the following:

This document from British Parliamentary files offering supporting evidence of an island called Diego Garcia (of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean) which was “cleansed” of existing population and converted to a British military base that has been, since 2001, critical in the US’s “extraordinary rendition” program dated mid October, 2007

Mentions of interviews in this book by Andy Worthington wherein it said interviewees mention their nightmare stays onboard US Navy prison ships

The Reprieve site, responsible for much of the ongoing investigation

From that study, according to The Guardian:

According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as “floating prisons” since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.

Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans.

Reprieve will raise particular concerns over the activities of the USS Ashland and the time it spent off Somalia in early 2007 conducting maritime security operations in an effort to capture al-Qaida terrorists.

At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100 individuals were “disappeared” to prisons in locations including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guantánamo Bay.

Reprieve believes prisoners may have also been held for interrogation on the USS Ashland and other ships in the Gulf of Aden during this time.

80,000 “through the system”. System. Through the system guaranteed by our constitution to include, even for non-citizens, due process of law? Perhaps this is some other system. Like a sewage system.

Do me a favor. If you just happen to casually bump into your US Rep or maybe a Senator, perhaps you should suggest they introduce some legislation to make those who have sworn to uphold our constitution, particularly those who have taken an oath of office and/or daily don a military uniform, actually uphold our goddamn constitution, perhaps on pain of having their citizenship revoked.

It’s my firm opinion that Americans, both at home and abroad, especially those who have sworn oaths to do so, should be responsible for following the supreme law of the land and seeing that it applies to those under their responsibility or in their care. We can afford no exceptions.



Happy fuckin’ Monday.


June 2, 2008 · by xalieri · Posted in reviews  


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