Thursday, May 13, 2010

SPAIN: US Agents sought

Pieter Breugel the Elder, The Storm at Sea (1568)
Credit goes to Scott Horton for posting

Relates to our current storms of sea and sky...

from BLOG at Harper's Magazine:
"No Comment" by Scott Horton
May 12, 12:39 PM

Arrest of 13 CIA Agents Sought in Spain
Prosecutors attached to the Audiencia Nacional in Madrid are reportedly requesting that Judge Ismael Moreno issue an order for the arrest of thirteen CIA agents involved in an extraordinary rendition operation from 2004, the newspaper El País reports this afternoon, citing sources within the court.

The case relates to Khaled El-Masri, a greengrocer from Neu-Ulm, Germany, seized by the United States as a result of mistaken identity while he was on vacation in the former Yugoslavia. El-Masri was placed on a CIA-chartered jet that arrived in Macedonia from Palma de Majorca in January 2004, en route ultimately to Afghanistan. It appears that Majorca was used regularly as a refueling and temporary sheltering point for the CIA, with the knowledge of the prior conservative government. While held in the notorious CIA prison known as the Salt Pit, El-Masri was apparently tortured during extensive interrogations before intelligence officers realized that they had seized the wrong man. The Washington Post reported that CIA agents, fearing the consequences of releasing him, argued for his continued detention and in fact held him for at least several weeks after his release had been ordered. Condoleezza Rice, then national security advisor to President Bush, intervened and directed his release. El-Masri’s CIA abductors entered Spanish territory using forged British passports, according to the prosecutors. They are seeking James Fairing, Jason Franklin, Michael Grady, Lyle Edgar Lumsen III, Eric Matthew Fain, Charles Goldman Bryson, Kirk James Bird, Walter Richard Greensbore, Patricia O’Riley, Jane Payne, James O’Hale, John Richard Deckard and Héctor Lorenzo, according to information provided by the Spanish Guardia Civil. The case is also under investigation in Germany.

The Spanish prosecutors have been closely studying the prosecution in Italy of 23 American agents in connection with another extraordinary rendition, involving an Egyptian cleric known as Abu Omar, who was seized off the streets of Milan and taken to Egypt, where he was tortured. The Italian proceedings occurred in absentia after the Americans fled to avoid arrest. The trial resulted in the conviction of 23 Americans, 21 of them intelligence operatives. A criminal proceeding relating to the kidnapping and torture of El-Masri is also underway in Germany.
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Also this just in from North Carolina Stop Torture Now!
Today, the Attorney General of Spain requested that a Spanish judge issue arrest warrants for 13 U.S. citizens who helped kidnap and disappear German citizen Khaled el-Masri as part of the Bush Administration’s program of “extraordinary rendition.”

At least three of the U.S. citizens are pilots employed by Aero Contractors and live in Johnston County . Their pseudonyms are James Fairing, Eric Matthew Fain, and Kirk James Bird.

Scott Horton has a blog post about this development, in which there’s a link to the El Pais article on it:


Here’s a news service article:



(ANSAmed) - MADRID , MAY 12 - The Audiencia Nacional prosecutor's office has asked judge Ismael Moreno for the arrest of 13 CIA agents, accused in alleged cases of 'rendition', that is, the kidnapping of individuals and their illegal transfer by plane carried out against foreign citizens suspected of terrorist activities. It is reported today by El Pais. Among the cases under inquiry, the accusation of kidnapping, made in October 2006 by German citizen of Lebanese origin, Jaled el Masri, who was stopped on January 23 2004 in the Republic of Macedonia and transferred by plane to Afghanistan , where he is said to have been tortured. The plane made a stop at the Spanish airport at Palma , where the real identity of the crew, made up of agents from U.S. intelligence, was hidden. The prosecutor accuses the 13 CIA agents of the crime of falsification of official documents, considering that the flight by which El Masri was kidnapped, and his passage through Spain , has been "circumstantially corroborated". The CIA agents whose arrest is being demanded by the prosecution, and whose names figure in a report by the Guardia Civil are: James Fairing, Jason Franklin, Michael Grady, Lyle Edgar Lumsen III, Eric Mattew Fain, Charles Goldman Bryson, Kirk James Bird, Walter Richard Greensbore, Patricia O'Riley, Jane Payne, James O'Hale, John Richard Deckard and Hector Lorenzo. The agents overnighted in a luxury hotel in Majorca the night before the one in which the plane on which they were travelling, a Boeing 737 marked N3139, flew from Skopje for the alleged kidnapping of El Masri and his forced transfer to Afghanistan . The prosecution underlines that it does not ensue that the alleged U.S. spies "had any type of authorisation from the Spanish authorities to operate on Spanish territory under false identity and in the exercise of official missions". The kidnapping and alleged torture of El Masri are the subject of an inquiry in Germany , where there is a trial under way against CIA agents for these crimes. (ANSAmed)

2010-05-12 13:58

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