AA: American Auschlines

2007-03-12 00:00:00

"There are places considered as technical states of exception, such as concentration camps were. Places of absolute suspension of the law, where - quoting Hannah Arendt – "everything was possible," exactly because the law was suspended.

Giorgio Agamben www.islam.net

In contrast to the trains that took Jews to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland, the North American government has used airplanes to take people of 36 different nationalities into detention in flights from Poland and other European countries to Guantánamo, the US military base in Cuba. Contracted by the CIA and the army, the airplanes used European airports and airspace for four years. These airplanes took human beings whose nationality is not recognized, who lack any legal status, who are not considered prisoners of war, and who have no legal rights.

More than 800 secret flights crossed over Europe beginning in 2002, leaving from clandestine holding centers in Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Uzbekistan and Jordan, landing in airports in Poland, Germany, Romania, Holland and Spain to later reach the colonial North American base in Cuba.(1)

When they inaugurated the Holocaust Museum in Israel last year, nobody thought that above the heads of Europeans, making trips around the world like one of American Airlines' jets, were airplanes carrying illegally detained and tortured individuals from one place to another, like some kind of flying concentration camp of the 21st century.

It's interesting that the CIA has involved one of the countries held up in one of the monuments to inhumanity as it were in Auschwitz, Poland. Today the prisoners are not Jewish, but Muslim. They are not victims of the German State, but of the North American State. They did not travel to hell by train, rather by airplane.

What is the legal status of these human beings whom were detained in air? The North American government doesn't recognize their nationality, office, gender nor age. They are not North American, neither are they within its territory. Since they are in Guantánamo - outside its borders - its Courts of Justice don't have jurisdiction over them. They are not even prisoners of war to whom the Geneva Convention of 1949 would apply. Since the flights and prison are outside of the United States, North American laws against war crimes don´t apply either. The North American administration and its "Combatant Status Review Tribunals," which report to the executive, are responsible for decisions concerning these human beings whom they put under the new category of "enemy combatants" invented by the Bush administration.

In accordance with the European Parliament's resolution of June 12th, 2006 "up until now, only 10 of the 490 people who remain in detention have been accused of commiting a crime and not one of them has been tried." They are nearly half thousand men in legal limbo without right to habeas corpus and without right to defense nor appeal before an independent and impartial court.

For shame of humanity, the concentration camp is in Guantánamo now, a military base taken and kept under the control of the United States for 103 years.

(1) To see one of the airplanes: www.elpais.com/graficos/espana/Ruta/supuestos/vuelos/CIA/Ruta%20de%20los...