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My Meeting With Irish Foreign Minister
By Cindy Sheehan
Dermot Ahern, Irish "Secretary of State" has agreed to meet with me this afternoon in Dublin. This is huge. He just met with Condi last week, he is the Prime Minister's brother, and he usually meets with heads of state.
Irish citizens are extremely concerned with the fact that the US lands its troop transport planes at Shannon airport in Claire County. They are also rightfully outraged that it appears that the US is also landing the airplanes to refuel at Shannon that are used for rendition.
Ireland polls at over 80 percent in opposition to the occupation of Iraq. The Irish do not want their country used in anyway to support the war crimes of the Bush and Blair administrations.
I hope I can effectively convey that the best way for Ireland to be friends of the US and of the world would be to stop allowing the US to misuse them in the perpetration of war crimes.
Just the fact that Mr. Ahern is willing to meet with me shows incredible integrity and also that he is willing to be open to what the rest of Ireland is saying.
I have included below an article from ABC News about Condi's visit to Ireland last week. And how she just expects Europe to "trust" the US when they say that we aren't torturing people in the planes. I wouldn't trust her if she said that the sun will come up tomorrow. She's the one that used the phrase "smoking gun" when she knew that Saddam had no WMD's.
Wish us luck. It is amazing how the Peace Movement from all countries is coming together to work for peace and for humanity.
We will prevail.
Rice: Ireland not secret transfer site
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Ireland on Thursday the United States had not used its territory to secretly transfer terrorism suspects to foreign states as she tried to defuse concerns over the handling of US detainees.
With European allies and publics worried over reports the United States has been using the practice known as rendition in the region, the Bush administration has been under increasing pressure to explain its tactics against detainees.
Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern met Rice, who will visit Europe next week, and said she had repeated assurances by US diplomats that Ireland's airport hub at Shannon had not been used for renditions.
"She confirmed that they were correct and that was their position in relation to the use, or non-use, of Shannon," Ahern told reporters after the meeting.
"It is fair to say that she very clearly said that the US has not infringed international law in relation to human rights," he added.
But in a sign the United States will go increasingly on the offensive to combat European pressure over detainee scandals that have strained transatlantic ties, Rice made clear she wanted allies to back off and trust the United States.
A senior State Department official, who requested anonymity because he was relating a private conversation, said Rice pointedly did not make the assurance personal to Ahern because her message was: "You've gotten those assurances from the (US) ambassador (to Ireland). You should have confidence in that."
Ahern also said Rice expected "others to believe that they would not ask American citizens to abuse human rights."
He said he accepted the US assurances but offered to investigate any evidence of renditions and warned his government would "take action" if there were any.
Rice often transits on her own foreign trips through Shannon. Hundreds of planes carrying US troops to and from Iraq have also refueled there stirring controversy in traditionally neutral Ireland.
Media reports say dozens of other US-run flights have used the airport for unexplained reasons, raising speculation they could be transporting militant suspects.
The United States, whose security forces have abused detainees in Iraq, says renditions are legal.
Human rights groups question that interpretation of international law and say incommunicado detention can lead to torture.
Allegations of renditions and a newspaper report the CIA has run secret prisons in Europe have fueled widespread concern in the region over US abuses in its war on terrorism.
The scandals have jeopardized some of the progress the Bush administration -- led by Rice -- has made in repairing ties with its traditional allies after disputes over the Iraq war.