Sunday, February 18

Wake Up Call: Italian Judge Indicts CIA for Rendition, Torture

Though the White House sacks U.S. Assistant Attorneys who dare indict a CIA agent, an Italian judge is ready to take 25 six to trial.

A judge in Italy has redefined the term "justice" for the Bush White House.

It's overdue. How refreshing to learn some judicial sanity remains in the alleged "war on terrorism." How refreshing to learn that sanity even is willing to stand up to post-9/11 USA extra-legal thuggery, i.e., fascist "snatch and grab" of citizens.

Below is the first paragraphs from the London Times report.

"An Italian judge has ordered 26 Americans and five Italians to stand trial for the kidnapping of a terror suspect in Milan in 2003, in what will be the first criminal court case over the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme.

The decision, which indicts a number of senior intelligence officials from the US and Italy, concerns the abduction of a radical imam known as Abu Omar, who was flown to Egypt where he claims he was tortured under questioning on February 17 2003. Prosecutors say that five Italian intelligence officials worked with the CIA to abduct the Egyptian cleric.

All but one of the American suspects have been identified as CIA agents. Among them are said to be the former heads of the CIA in Rome and Milan - Jeff Castelli and Robert Lady – as well as the former Italian chief of military intelligence, Nicolo Pollari. The other US citizen is an air force officer stationed at the time at Aviano, where Abu Omar was taken after being seized.

Mr Pollari, the only defendant who appeared during the preliminary hearing, has insisted that Italian intelligence played no role in the alleged abduction, and told the judge he was unable to defend himself properly because documents clarifying his position were not permitted in the proceedings because they contain state secrets. The CIA has refused to comment on the case."

Read the whole story here.

Last September, Trevor Paglen and A.C. Thompson, two U.S. journalists who in Torture Taxi:On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights are the first to chronicle the CIA's $30-billion global "special rendition" program, told Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! just how extensive this program is.

According to Paglen and Thompson, a rural airfield in Smithfield, North Carolina, owned by CIA-front Aero Contractors, is the center of the CIA's rendition program.

Postscript: On 25 September 2006, Paglen interviewed with Alex Jones and the rendition program. He told Jones, among other corporate-owned jets, the CIA occasionally contracts the Boston Red Sox baseball team president’s own jet to ferry “terrorists” in and out of the country. (Translation: “Wealthy corporate leaders support torture”-- as if that’s any news to their employees.)

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