‘Half-hearted’ CIA flights inquiry takes off

An inquiry into so-called ‘CIA rendition flights’ in Greenlandic airspace will go ahead, but will not be the formal investigation that the country hoped for.

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), an independent organisation, will produce a report; but it will not have access to classified information, be able to attribute blame or call any witnesses.

“We haven’t been able to get exactly what we wanted so we have to appreciate what we have got,” Greenlandic premier Kuupik Kleist told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

It is suspected that the CIA used Danish airspace over Greenland to transport prisoners to secret jails and possibly to subject them to torture during the flights. The claims were made in a documentary by public broadcaster DR in 2008.

The controversy deepened further later in the year when classified cables released by the WikiLeaks website appeared to show that the Danish government told the US to stay quiet on the issue while, at the same time, promising the public an enquiry.

“As a country that has been a forerunner in the fight against torture, Denmark has a special obligation to thoroughly investigate the way it may have been involved in the transport of detainees,” Tue Magnussen of the United Nations Association told The Copenhagen Post.

Despite originally calling for a formal investigation, Danish foreign minister Villy Sovndal told reporters that there was now not enough political support for it.

“We won’t be having a formal inquiry because that isn’t what we promised in the common government policy,” Sovndal said, adding that Denmark has nothing to hide.