Australia accused of helping with notorious CIA rendition flights
David Edwards and Mike Sheehan
Published: Tuesday March 11, 2008

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Is Australia unwittingly helping the US Central Intelligence Agency with the notorious secret flights known as renditions?

Australian politicians and defense officials are refusing to address claims that Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) servicemembers are unwittingly involved in CIA flights that transport terror suspects from Afghanistan to face possible torture, Australia's Seven News reports.

Renditions are opposed by Australia's government, but as Chris Reason reports, the RAAF admits it has no idea which planes originating from Australian-controlled air space are rendition flights.

Both the present and former governments deny involvement, says Reason. A former minister under Howard said of the charge, "That is incredibly offensive, to suggest anything of the sort."

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International stress that the Rudd government has an obligation to investigate the allegations.

CIA renditions reportedly involve harsh interrogation techniques of transported suspects, who are passed through various locales and sometimes handed over to countries that practice torture as a matter of course to extract information. RAW STORY was the first to reveal the location of a secret CIA prison in Poland in March 2007.

In related news, a city police chief in the United Kingdom who was leading an investigation of British cooperation in CIA renditions was found dead after having gone missing the day before.