Monday, June 19, 2006

An Extraordinary Rendition

I await with interest the result of the (SNCF) French state railway’s appeal against the recent historic judgement condemning it for nazi collaboration during the Second World War by running trains of extraordinary rendition. Presumably we can expect a raft of similar claims following the alleged use of a number of privately owned charter jets for similar purposes more recently. Although the process of tracing many of the plane’s owners often collapses in an interminable paper chase, some planes are clearly registered to people or companies that do actually exist. The legal representative of the law firm, which according to the Boston Globe represents the owners of one such plane, was unfortunately

“not at liberty to discuss the affairs of the client business, mainly for reasons I don't know,"
which seems an oddly impenetrable excuse. Another, which according to the Daily Kos and the Boston Globe belonged to Phillip H. Morse, vice chairman of the Boston Red Sox, was also used by the CIA to fly to Guantanamo Bay and other overseas destinations.

I can only hope that those suffering the ignominy of illegal abduction were able to elicit some small pleasure from their luxurious mode of travel in the Gulfstream 5 before enduring years of torture and imprisonment without trial. Georges Lipietz and his associates were less fortunate in 1944: they were sent 3rd class and transported in cattle wagons.

Written evidence of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a letter in this week's Guardian Weekly...

I was utterly appalled by [the] report that the French interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, intends to deport families of illegal immigrants as soon as the school term ends, even those born in France, and the cynical defence that it was "a humane action" to wait until then instead of acting today.
Perhaps even worse than one man's wickedness is the fact that the parliament of the country which first revolted in the name of liberty, fraternity and equality has endorsed the decision. Why don't they go the whole hog, and line up trains for some distant place like Auschwitz?
I had thought these horrors were 60 years behind us, I am a 68-year-old hardened cynic in most areas of life, but although I have always had a warm affection for France, even as I type this the tears are streaming down my face, more in disgust and rage than in anguish.
Keith Short

Thursday, June 22, 2006 6:51:00 pm  
Blogger Guthry Trojan said...

Sarkozy has since amended his policy, although in principle it remains the same.
Liberty, equality, fraternity, democracy - all quite compatible with hypocrisy it seems.

Thursday, June 22, 2006 8:03:00 pm  

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