CSC linked with CIA torture flights

Source: Computer Weekly

CSC customers are being urged to boycott the supplier over allegations that it took part in illegal CIA rendition flights in the US “war on terror”.

CSC has been linked in court documents to the rendition of German citizen Khaled El-Masri, whose case against CIA collaborators in the Macedonian intelligence services is pending at the European Court of Human Rights.

El-Masri, a greengrocer from Neu-Ulm, was abducted in Macedonia on 31 December 2003 after being mistaken for a known terrorist by the CIA.

According to testimony that has been clarified by the German Bundestag, El-Masri was blindfolded, beaten, imprisoned incommunicado for 23 days, stripped, severely beaten, sodomised, chained, hooded, drugged, flown to Afghanistan, beaten, imprisoned for four months, interrogated by men in ski masks, threatened, denied legal representation, force fed, and flown to Albania on a plane allegedly chartered by CSC, where he was left on a remote road in the middle of the night approximately 1,500km from his home.

Human rights charity Reprieve has gathered documents that it says demonstrate CSC had been contracted to this and other illegal CIA renditions.

[...]

Dr Dick Marty, rapporteur for a Council of Europe investigation of the allegations, said in 2007 he had evidence that proved Masri was transported from his CIA prison in Afghanistan on a chartered plane registered N982RK on 28 May 2004. It flew to Kuçova military air base in Albania. The aviation authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina raised the unusual flight patterns of this plane that had requested diplomatic permissions under a CIA identifier. The US later admitted the abduction to German premier Angela Merkel.

Documents gathered by Reprieve include invoices showing that CSC chartered N982RK, a Gulfstream jet, on the date Masri was abducted. Evidence supplied by EuroControl, the civil-military air traffic safety regulator, shows N982RK flying in stages from Washington to Kabul on 26 May 2004, and then to Kuçova air base.

Among 4,000 documents collected by Reprieve, N982RK was shown to have continued making similar circuits. Later circuits took in Luton Airport in the UK, Amman Civil Airport in Jordan and Carthage Airport in Tunisia. Other planes suspected of being used to make renditions were similarly contracted by CSC, according to Reprieve.

“We think CSC was at the top of the contracting tree for this,” said Black. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that CSC was the prime contractor between the government and the companies that run the flight operations.”

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