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New Documents Reveal Previously Undisclosed Rendition Flights

If you thought you were finished reading about CIA “black sites” and “extraordinary renditions,” you were just a tad premature.

Turns out that after all the investigations in a raft of countries, a virtual treasure trove of never-seen-before documents has reached the major European legal charity, Reprieve.

As a result, Reprieve is calling on Lithuanian authorities to re-open their investigation into CIA renditions and secret prisons on their own soil, and to focus on a newly-discovered web of new documents exposing well-disguised CIA flights through Europe that demonstrate the European Union’s complicity in the CIA’s secret prisons program.

Reprieve charges that “data focusing on Lithuania, but linked to suspected CIA activity in a raft of other countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East and North Africa, has been identified by Reprieve investigators and passed to the Lithuanian prosecutor.”

In a letter to Lithuania’s Deputy Prosecutor General, Darius Raulušaitis, Reprieve’s Director, Clive Stafford Smith said: “Compelling new information that has now come to light about the landings of CIA-connected planes in Lithuania makes a rigorous and wide-ranging investigation all the more urgent. It is now clear that previous efforts to chart the extent of the CIA’s rendition operations in Europe revealed ONLY the tip of the iceberg.”

Reprieve claims that the new documents show that:

Filling in key details, Reprieve said:

Lydia Medland of Access Info Europe said: “Once information about violations of human rights has come to light through compliance with the public’s right to know, government have an obligation both to act on this information and to ensure that they release all other related documents.”

Access Info Europe is a human rights organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the right of access to information in Europe and globally as a tool for holding governments accountable.

Computer Sciences Corporation is an American information technology (IT) and outsourcing company headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia. It is one of the largest independent outsourcing organizations in the world,  employing about 93,000 people in 90 countries.

Amid the intense white noise surrounding the killing of bin Laden and al-Awlaki, the trial of the so-called “underwear bomber”, and the recent alleged terrorist plots against the homeland, extraordinary rendition and CIA black sites have virtually vanished from the news.

The Washington DC press corps seems quite content taking down its stenography and presenting it as news. I can find no evidence that Reprieve’s latest disclosures resulted in any coverage whatsoever from the Beltway press corps, either in print or on radio or television.

Is it important that the public has a way to access this kind of information? You betcha! A government’s commitment to transparency – not just in words but in actions – is a pretty good barometer of how well it trusts its own people. When governments stonewall, it is those very people – taxpayers and voters – who begin to distrust those it hired to do the people’s business.

President Obama promised a new era of transparency and accountability when he took office. American citizens are still waiting for him to deliver.

William Fisher has managed economic development programs for the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, Asia and elsewhere for the past 25 years. He has supervised major multi-year projects for AID in Egypt, where he lived and worked for three years. He returned later with his team to design Egypt’s agricultural strategy. Fisher served in the international affairs area in the administration of President John F. Kennedy. He began his working life as a reporter and bureau chief for the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Associated Press in Florida. He now reports on a wide-range of issues for a number of online journals.