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More than six dozen CIA-linked landings in Canada: declassified memos
Yahoo/Canadian Press ^ | 02/22/06 | JIM BRONSKILL

Posted on 02/22/2006 4:33:13 PM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

OTTAWA (CP) - Newly declassified memos show the number of Canadian landings by planes tied to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency far exceeds previously known figures.

Internal government briefing notes obtained Wednesday also reveal senior intelligence officials from six federal agencies, including Canada's spy service, met in late November to discuss the flights.

The memos underscore the level of concern in government circles about public fears the CIA has been ferrying terrorist suspects through Canada to foreign prisons.

One note, stamped secret, says 20 planes with alleged CIA ties have made 74 flights to Canada since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The note adds the Canada Border Services Agency, which compiled the figures, and Nav Canada, the civil aviation regulatory body, "have indicated that proper administrative and operational procedures were followed in relation to those flights."

The Public Safety Department said in January a federal review of landings by the supposed CIA flights showed no evidence of "illegal activities."

The explanations do not satisfy human rights group Amnesty International, which has been pressing the government on whether any of the flights involved the transfer of prisoners to countries where they may be tortured.

"We've consistently failed to get an answer to that," said Alex Neve, the group's Canadian secretary general.

One previous media report had cited flight logs indicating that during a four-year period a total of 13 aircraft had landed in Canada on 55 occasions.

Flight data obtained by The Canadian Press shows that since mid-2005, at least seven different planes owned by reputed CIA shell corporations have landed at Canadian airports in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Ontario and Quebec.

One recent flight, an 11-seat Beech turboprop with tail number N157A, set out for Keflavik, Iceland, on Feb. 12 from Goose Bay, N.L., where it had arrived the previous day from Montreal.

The U.S. military maintains an air station in Keflavik that serves as a refuelling point for Europe-bound aircraft.

The records released Wednesday under the Access to Information Act include an undated secret memorandum, titled Alleged CIA Aircraft in Canada, prepared by Privy Council Office officials for then-deputy prime minister and public safety czar Anne McLellan.

Considerable portions of the memos were blacked out. The deleted material was withheld under provisions of the access law that allows officials to refuse to disclose advice from officials or information related to international affairs and defence.

The Nov. 29 meeting included security officials from PCO, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Public Safety, Canada Border Services, Foreign Affairs and Transport Canada.

The agenda indicates they reviewed federal policy on "rendition" - the term often used to describe the transfer of suspected terrorists by the United States to countries where they may be more easily imprisoned and interrogated.

The officials also discussed the government's "public position" on the planes issue and the question of "U.S. engagement" - presumably a reference to raising the issue with American counterparts.

Gregory Jack, a PCO spokesman, and Canada Border Services spokeswoman Cara Prest declined comment Wednesday.

Public Safety Department spokesman Zuwena Robidas also refused to discuss the memos. "That's all the information that can be released."

TOPICS: Canada; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events

1 posted on 02/22/2006 4:33:15 PM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Yeah, okay.

2 posted on 02/22/2006 4:36:53 PM PST by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Its a big place. If the CIA can't get in and out of there without even the Canadians knowing about it, they aren't trying.

More likely, if this information surfaces, its CIA officers themselves trying to blow an operation.

I've said in the past, this is the way it works now. If you slip a coded message to an enemy agent, you can do life in prison if you get caught. If you publish it on page one, and let the enemy agent read it with his morning coffee, you are immune from prosecution.

Which means they have to change the assumptions that undergird counter-intel. Although, we may be in a fox-hen house situation here. To get any traction, they may have to shift counter-intel over to military intelligence. Let the harder-nosed fellows clean things up.

3 posted on 02/22/2006 4:46:52 PM PST by marron
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Here we go again !

This story will morph into "CIA Torture Flights" before the sun is over the yardarm.( There is a Stalinist group which specializes in this sort of disinformation, and which has placed ANYONE using certain aircraft in danger.)

4 posted on 02/22/2006 5:19:37 PM PST by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget; GMMAC; Pikamax; Former Proud Canadian; Great Dane; ...

Canada Ping!

Please FReepmail me to get on or off this Canada ping list.

5 posted on 02/22/2006 5:49:13 PM PST by fanfan (I'd still rather hunt with Cheney, than drive with Kennedy.)
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To: genefromjersey
This story will morph into "CIA Torture Flights" before the sun is over the yardarm

I think you have nailed it, gene.

6 posted on 02/22/2006 5:58:38 PM PST by Bahbah (An admitted Snow Flake and a member of Sam's Club)
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To: genefromjersey

Thank God the Tories are in power now and the election is over. Martin's Liberano$ would be capitalizing on this American-bashing opportunity. If the planes were following proper procedures and everything was done by the books, then it is a non-issue. But the tin-foil hat crowd will always be suspicious of anything CIA.

7 posted on 02/23/2006 6:19:17 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Just a quick stopover to threaten the captives with round bacon.

8 posted on 02/23/2006 6:20:25 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim

... or a gulp of screech.

9 posted on 02/23/2006 9:50:39 AM PST by NorthOf45
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To: doc30


10 posted on 02/23/2006 9:50:59 AM PST by NorthOf45
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