Monday, June 30, 2008
This pretense has worn thin. The frequency of downpours and heat waves, as well as the power of hurricanes, has increased so dramatically that "100-year storms" are striking some areas once every 15 years, and other once rare events keep returning like a bad penny. As a result, some climatologists now say global warming is to blame. Rising temperatures boost the probability of extreme weather, says Tom Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center and lead author of a new report from the Bush administration's Climate Change Science Program; that can "lead to the type of events we are seeing in the Midwest." There, three weeks of downpours have caused rivers to treat their banks as no more than mild suggestions. Think of it this way: if once we experienced one Noachian downpour every 20 years, and now we suffer five, four are likely man-made.
It's been easier to connect global warming to rising temperatures than to extreme weather events—and even the former hasn't been easy. Only in this decade have "attribution" studies managed to finger greenhouse gases as the chief cause of the rising mercury, rather than a hotter sun or cyclical changes. (The last two produce a different pattern of climate change than man-made warming does.) Now the same "whatdunit?" techniques are being applied to droughts, downpours, heat waves and powerful hurricanes. "We can look at climate-model simulations and likely attribute [specific extreme weather] to human activity," says Gerry Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
WASHINGTON - It's not much of a report card.
Half of Americans say U.S. schools are doing only a fair to poor job preparing kids for college and the work force. Even more feel that way about the skills kids need to survive as adults, an Associated Press poll released Friday finds.
"A lot of kids, when they get out school, are kind of lost," said Jamie Norton, a firefighter in Gridley, Calif. "When you get out of high school, what are you educated to do?"
The views of the general population echo concerns from business and college leaders, who say they have to spend a lot of time and money on remedial education for people who completed high school but don't have the skills to succeed at work or in higher education.
Education ranks behind the economy and gas prices as a top issue for Americans, the survey said. However, nearly all those polled said the quality of a country's education system has a big impact on a country's overall economic prosperity.
Education was generally viewed to be as important as health care and slightly ahead of the Iraq war. Among minority parents, education is just as important an issue as the economy.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.
"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.
If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.
Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally icefreeNorth Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by hugeswathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.
This one-year ice is highly vulnerable to melting during thesummer months and satellite data coming in over recent weeksshows that the rate of melting is faster than last year, when therewas an all-time record loss of summer sea ice at the Arctic.
"The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the NorthPole is covered with extensive first-year ice – ice that formed last autumn and winter. I'd say it's even-odds whether the North Pole melts out," said Dr Serreze.
Each summer the sea ice melts before reforming again during the long Arctic winter but the loss of sea ice last year was so extensive that much of the Arctic Ocean became open water, with the water-ice boundary coming just 700 miles away from the North Pole.
This meant that about 70 per cent of the sea ice present this spring was single-year ice formed over last winter. Scientists predict that at least 70 per cent of this single-year ice – and perhaps all of it – will melt completely this summer, Dr Serreze said.
"Indeed, for the Arctic as a whole, the melt season startedwith even more thin ice than in 2007, hence concerns that we may even beat last year's sea-ice minimum. We'll see what happens, a great deal depends on the weather patterns in July and August," he said.
Ron Lindsay, a polar scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, agreed that much now depends onwhat happens to the Arctic weather in terms of wind patterns and hours of sunshine. "There's a good chance that it will all melt awayat the North Pole, it's certainly feasible, but it's not guaranteed," Dr Lindsay said.
Thepolar regions are experiencing the most dramatic increasein average temperatures due to global warming and scientists fear that as more sea iceis lost, the darker, open ocean will absorb more heat and raise local temperatures even further. Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, who was one of the first civilian scientists to sail underneath the Arctic sea ice in a Royal Navy submarine,said that the conditions are ripe for an unprecedented melting of the ice at the North Pole.
"Last year we saw huge areas of the ocean open up, which hasnever been experienced before. People are expecting this to continuethis year and it is likely to extend over the North Pole. It isquite likely that the North Pole will be exposed this summer – it's not happened before," ProfessorWadhamssaid.
There are other indications that the Arctic sea ice is showingsigns of breaking up. Scientists at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Centre said that the North Water 'polynya' – an expanse of open water surrounded on all sides by ice – that normally forms near Alaska and Banks Island off the Canadian coast, is muchlarger than normal. Polynyas absorb heat from the sun and eat away at the edge of the sea ice.
Inuit natives living near Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland are also reporting thatthe sea ice there is starting to break up much earlier than normal and that they have seen wide cracks appearing in the ice where it normally remains stable. Satellite measurements collected over nearly 30 years show a significant decline in the extent of the Arctic sea ice, which has become more rapid in recent years.
The landmark 5-4 ruling marked the first time in nearly 70 years the high court has addressed the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It rejected the argument the right to keep and bear arms was tied to service in a state militia.
Justice Antonin Scalia said for the majority the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with militia service and to use it for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense in the home.
However, he said the new right was not unlimited.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Dutch-language de Volkskrant newspaper said it spoke to thousands of believers in the impending end of civilization, and while theories on the supposed catastrophe varied, most tied the 2012 date to the end of the Mayan calendar, Radio Netherlands reported Monday.
De Volkskrant said many of those interviewed are stocking up on emergency supplies, including life rafts and other equipment.
Some who spoke to the newspaper were optimistic about the end of civilization.
"You know, maybe it's really not that bad that the Netherlands will be destroyed," Petra Faile said. "I don't like it here anymore. Take immigration, for example. They keep letting people in. And then we have to build more houses, which makes the Netherlands even heavier. The country will sink even lower, which will make the flooding worse."
The criticism, to be aired Tuesday on Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program, comes shortly after an Obama aide suggested a meeting at the organization's headquarters here, said Tom Minnery, senior vice president for government and public policy at Focus on the Family.
The conservative Christian group provided The Associated Press with an advance copy of the pre-taped radio segment, which runs 18 minutes and highlights excerpts of a speech Obama gave in June 2006 to the liberal Christian group Call to Renewal. Obama mentions Dobson in the speech.
"Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?" Obama said. "Would we go with James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's?" referring to the civil rights leader.
Dobson took aim at examples Obama cited in asking which Biblical passages should guide public policy - chapters like Leviticus, which Obama said suggests slavery is OK and eating shellfish is an abomination, or Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, "a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application."
"Folks haven't been reading their Bibles," Obama said.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Download this as an mp3 here in a track I did.......
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Sunday, June 22, 2008
Facebook attracted more than 123m unique visitors in May, an increase of 162 per cent over the same period last year according to ComScore, a company that monitors websites. That compared with 114.6m unique visitors at MySpace, Facebook’s leading rival, whose traffic grew just 5 per cent during the same period, ComScore said.
The findings mark the first time that Facebook, launched in 2004, has taken a significant lead in unique visitors, after ComScore’s April traffic figures showed the rivals in a virtual tie. They come at a time of change inside Facebook, as the one-time upstart attempts to transform itself into a leading media company. Several members of the original executive team have left the company in recent weeks.
The departures include Adam D’Angelo, chief technology officer and personal confidant of Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s 23-year-old founder and chief executive; and Matt Cohler, Facebook’s first official hire, who was in charge of product development.
Hansen will use the symbolically charged 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking speech to the US Congress - in which he was among the first to sound the alarm over the reality of global warming - to argue that radical steps need to be taken immediately if the "perfect storm" of irreversible climate change is not to become inevitable.
Speaking before Congress again, he will accuse the chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy of being fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are spreading.
What the Hell is Peak Oil?
Click Here to Read Breaking News About the Oil Crisis
Don't Be in the Dark When the Lights Really Go Out!
This is what happens when we refuse to change our ways......change may be scary, but those who don't change go extinct. Face your fear of change before we drive ourselves extinct.....
Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.
The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.
The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year's presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order — and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, "Yes, we can."
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In its third rebuke of the Bush administration's treatment of prisoners, the court ruled 5-4 that the government is violating the rights of prisoners being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The court's liberal justices were in the majority.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times."
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
President Bush has admitted to The Times that his gun-slinging rhetoric made the world believe that he was a “guy really anxious for war” in Iraq. He said that his aim now was to leave his successor a legacy of international diplomacy for tackling Iran.
In an exclusive interview, he expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood. “I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric.”
Phrases such as “bring them on” or “dead or alive”, he said, “indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace”. He said that he found it very painful “to put youngsters in harm’s way”. He added: “I try to meet with as many of the families as I can. And I have an obligation to comfort and console as best as I possibly can. I also have an obligation to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain.”
'All Options' Open on Iran Says Bush
US President George W. Bush said Wednesday after talks here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that "all options" are on the table for dealing with Iran's suspect nuclear programme.
"We'll give diplomacy a chance to work," Bush said at a joint press conference on his farewell tour of Europe. "All options are on the table and my first choice is to solve this diplomatically."
Merkel for her part said that diplomatic pressure on Tehran "has produced results" and that the "doors remain open for Iran but he (the Iranian president) should also know that new sanctions" will be applied.
Germany, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China are spearheading efforts to press Iran to halt uranium enrichment that can be used to make the material for a bomb.
The UN Security Council has slapped three sets of sanctions on the Islamic Republic demanding that it end uranium enrichment. Iran insists its nuclear drive is peaceful.
Sources say the super-rich Abu Dhabi Investment Council is negotiating an $800 million deal for a 75 percent stake in the Art Deco treasure that has defined the Midtown skyline since 1930.
The Chrysler assets would be purchased from TMW - the German arm of an Atlanta-based investment fund that's been eager to cash out of its Chrysler stake.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Über-hawks and Cromwellians have gained the upper hand at the great fortress banks. Whether or not they admit it, both are embarked on policies that must lead to retrenchment across the Atlantic world.
The City mood turned wicked as the full import of this policy switch sank in last week. On Wall Street, the Dow's 396-point dive on high volume late Friday had an ugly feel.
"There is now the distinct possibility of a simultaneous sell-off in global bonds, equities and commodities," said Jonathan Wilmot from Credit Suisse.
Read More at Telegraph.co.uk
Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) authored a bill (with 11 co-sponsors, including Sen. Barack Obama) that was incorporated into a housing bill passed by the Senate Banking Committee 19-2 before the Memorial Day recess — a bill that creates a national fingerprint registry.
According to a Martinez press release, the language merely “create[s] national licensing and oversight standards for residential mortgage originators.”
One of the standards, John Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute says, may “require thousands of individuals working even tangentially in the mortgage and real estate industries — and not suspected of anything — to send their prints to the feds.”
This is a step in the wrong direction — at least for a nation that preserves freedom.
Friday, June 06, 2008
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., added the provision for post-Katrina housing assistance to a $212 billion bill to finance the Iraq war through the Bush administration and a month into the next president's term. The war legislation also would provide $100 million for Jordan's military and $50 million to Mexico's armed forces.
But Landrieu's effort to help physically and mentally disabled Katrina victims is in danger of being cut by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Her staff points out that President Bush has signaled he will veto the war bill if it is not trimmed to around $108 billion.
Landrieu said the housing money is vital to a recovering city that has seen its homeless population double to an estimated 12,000 since the 2005 disaster.
"The bill also includes $6 billion for levees to protect us from future storms," said Landrieu in an e-mail. "I fully support giving our troops the funding they need and am concerned about the plight of Iraqi refugees. But we cannot neglect the most pressing emergency here at home along the Gulf Coast."
Pelosi's spokesman, Brendan Daly, said the speaker recognizes the urgent need for housing in New Orleans, but may still have to cut the provision as early as next week.
"She's very supportive of this and other things in the bill that we might not be able to include," said Daly. "The speaker has made the same point that we're spending more than $10 billion a month generally on the war, and we're not spending here at home."
Also pushing the spending cuts is the Blue Dog Coalition, 49 congressional Democrats who want strict spending policies to tame the national debt. Blue Dog leader Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla., did not comment directly on the prospect of helping Iraqi refugees while overlooking Katrina's displaced.
But he said in an e-mail Thursday that the $9-trillion national debt includes significant percentages financed by foreign banks.
"In this bill and others, the Blue Dogs and I are pushing for our priorities to be paid for, instead of borrowing the money from China that will have to be paid back with interest by our children and grandchildren," Boyd said. The Blue Dogs want money raised through tax increases or offset by cuts elsewhere.
The housing assistance funds would pay for 3,000 rent-aid vouchers for people who because of mental of physical disability have had trouble pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps after the August 2005 hurricane.
Katrina flooded 80 percent of New Orleans and killed 1,600 in Louisiana and Mississippi. In its wake, homelessness has become painfully visible.
A 150-person tent shanty has been evicted from a plaza in front of City Hall and has since migrated to a freeway underpass near the Louisiana Superdome. Tourists, professional sports teams, and Presidential candidate John Edwards have visited, sometimes equating the several blocks of tattered men and women to a refugee camp.
"When the Katrina disaster happened we couldn't help but notice here was forced displacement in the richest country in the world," said Joel Charny, vice president for policy for Refugees International, a humanitarian advocacy organization based in Washington D.C.
"You just don't want to be in a situation where it's either money for people who are disabled and really hurting in New Orleans, as opposed to money for people who are dislocated because of the war in Iraq," he said. "Our view, at the risk of sounding naive, is that money would be available for both."
Advocates have lobbied for housing vouchers for years. They were cut from the 2006 war supplemental under similar political pressures.
"I'm pleading with them not to negotiate with the lives of 3,000 of our most vulnerable citizens," said Valerie Keller co-chair of the Louisiana Supportive Housing Coalition. "People have been languishing in New Orleans for two and a half years."
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced a military-style checkpoint yesterday to stop cars this weekend in a Northeast Washington neighborhood inundated by gun violence, saying it will help keep criminals out of the area.
Starting on Saturday, officers will check drivers' identification and ask whether they have a "legitimate purpose" to be in the Trinidad area, such as going to a doctor or church or visiting friends or relatives. If not, the drivers will be turned away.
The Neighborhood Safety Zone initiative is the latest crime-fighting attempt by Lanier and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who have been under pressure from residents to stop a recent surge in violence. Last weekend was especially bloody, with seven slayings, including three in the Trinidad area.
The latest snapshot of business conditions showed a deeply troubled economy, with dwindling job opportunities in a time of continuing hardship in the housing, credit and financial sectors.
"It was ugly," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research.
With employers worried about a sharp slowdown and their own prospects, they clamped down on hiring in May, said Friday's report from the Labor Department. The unemployment rate soared from 5 percent in April to 5.5 percent in May. That was the biggest one-month jump in the rate since February 1986. The increase left the jobless rate at its highest since October 2004.
The report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency envisions a "energy revolution" that would greatly reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining steady economic growth.
"Meeting this target of 50 percent cut in emissions represents a formidable challenge, and we would require immediate policy action and technological transition on an unprecedented scale," IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said.
GOP Blocks Senate's Global Warming Bill
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a global warming bill that would have required major reductions in greenhouse gases, after a bitter debate over its economic costs and whether it would substantially raise gasoline and other energy prices.
Democratic leaders fell a dozen votes short of getting the 60 needed to end a Republican filibuster on the measure and bring the bill up for a vote. The 48-36 vote failed to reach even a majority, a disappointment to the bill's supporters.
Majority Leader Harry Reid was expected to pull the legislation, in all likelihood pushing the congressional debate over climate change to next year with a new Congress and a new president.
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment.
So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: "We'll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us." The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination.
These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator. The CIA trains the dictator's security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder. The victims are said to be "communists" [or these days "terrorists"] but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labor union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow.
— Steve Kangas: Timeline of CIA Atrocities
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
(1) provide a safe harbor for copyright registrations that contain inaccurate information;
(2) provide that copyright registration requirements apply to civil (not criminal) infringement actions;
(3) require courts to issue protective orders to prevent disclosure of seized records relating to copyright infringement;
(4) revise standards for civil damages in copyright infringement and counterfeiting cases; and
(5) prohibit importing and exporting of infringing copies of copyrighted works. Amends the federal criminal code with respect to intellectual property to:
- (1) enhance criminal penalties for infringement of a copyright, for trafficking in counterfeit labels or packaging, and for causing serious bodily harm or death while trafficking in counterfeit goods or services; and
- (2) enhance civil and criminal forfeiture provisions for copyright infringement and provide for restitution to victims of such infringement.
Establishes within the Executive Office of the President the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative to formulate a Joint Strategic Plan for combating counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property and for coordinating national and international enforcement efforts to protect intellectual property rights.
Directs the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to appoint 10 additional intellectual property attaches to work with foreign countries to combat counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property.
Establishes within the Department of Justice (DOJ) the Intellectual Property Enforcement Division to be headed by an Intellectual Property Enforcement Officer (IP Officer). Amends the Computer Crime Enforcement Act to modify grant programs for combating computer crime to include infringement of copyrighted works over the Internet. Directs the Office of Justice Programs of DOJ to make grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to combat intellectual property theft and infringement crimes. Directs the Attorney General to:
- (1) review Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) units and provide such units with additional support and resources;
- (2) direct each U.S. attorney to review policies for accepting or declining prosecutions of criminal cases involving intellectual property theft;
- (3) deploy five additional Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordinators in foreign countries to protect the intellectual property rights of U.S. citizens; and
- (4) increase DOJ training and assistance to foreign governments to combat counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Brad Jayakody, 30, from London, said he was stopped from passing through security at Heathrow's Terminal 5 after his Transformers T-shirt was deemed 'offensive.'
The IT consultant was set to fly off on a business trip to Dusseldorf in Germany when he was pulled to one side.
'"Then he explains that since Megatron is holding a gun, I'm not allowed to fly,' he said.
'It's a 40ft tall cartoon robot with a gun as an arm. There is no way this shirt is offensive in any way, and what I'm going to use the shirt to pretend I have a gun?
He was cooperative with the supervisor and took off the the 'offensive' T-shirt, replacing it with another shirt in his carry on luggage.
A spokesman for Heathrow operator BAA said: 'If a T-shirt had a rude word or a bomb on it, for example, a passenger may be asked to remove it.
'We are investigating what happened to see if it came under this category.
He said there was no record of the incident and the passenger 'certainly didn't make a formal complaint at the time.'
Sunday, June 01, 2008
The United States is operating "floating prisons" to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees.
Details of ships where detainees have been held and sites allegedly being used in countries across the world have been compiled as the debate over detention without trial intensifies on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was yesterday urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.
Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.
The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.
It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US.
According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as "floating prisons" since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.
Ships that are understood to have held prisoners include the USS Bataan and USS Peleliu. A further 15 ships are suspected of having operated around the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which has been used as a military base by the UK and the Americans.
Reprieve will raise particular concerns over the activities of the USS Ashland and the time it spent off Somalia in early 2007 conducting maritime security operations in an effort to capture al-Qaida terrorists.
At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100 individuals were "disappeared" to prisons in locations including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guantánamo Bay.
Reprieve believes prisoners may have also been held for interrogation on the USS Ashland and other ships in the Gulf of Aden during this time.
The Reprieve study includes the account of a prisoner released from Guantánamo Bay, who described a fellow inmate's story of detention on an amphibious assault ship. "One of my fellow prisoners in Guantánamo was at sea on an American ship with about 50 others before coming to Guantánamo ... he was in the cage next to me. He told me that there were about 50 other people on the ship. They were all closed off in the bottom of the ship. The prisoner commented to me that it was like something you see on TV. The people held on the ship were beaten even more severely than in Guantánamo."
Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve's legal director, said: "They choose ships to try to keep their misconduct as far as possible from the prying eyes of the media and lawyers. We will eventually reunite these ghost prisoners with their legal rights.
"By its own admission, the US government is currently detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been 'through the system' since 2001. The US government must show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by immediately revealing who these people are, where they are, and what has been done to them."
Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, called for the US and UK governments to come clean over the holding of detainees.
"Little by little, the truth is coming out on extraordinary rendition. The rest will come, in time. Better for governments to be candid now, rather than later. Greater transparency will provide increased confidence that President Bush's departure from justice and the rule of law in the aftermath of September 11 is being reversed, and can help to win back the confidence of moderate Muslim communities, whose support is crucial in tackling dangerous extremism."
The Liberal Democrat's foreign affairs spokesman, Edward Davey, said: "If the Bush administration is using British territories to aid and abet illegal state abduction, it would amount to a huge breach of trust with the British government. Ministers must make absolutely clear that they would not support such illegal activity, either directly or indirectly."
A US navy spokesman, Commander Jeffrey Gordon, told the Guardian: "There are no detention facilities on US navy ships." However, he added that it was a matter of public record that some individuals had been put on ships "for a few days" during what he called the initial days of detention. He declined to comment on reports that US naval vessels stationed in or near Diego Garcia had been used as "prison ships".
The Foreign Office referred to David Miliband's statement last February admitting to MPs that, despite previous assurances to the contrary, US rendition flights had twice landed on Diego Garcia. He said he had asked his officials to compile a list of all flights on which rendition had been alleged.
CIA "black sites" are also believed to have operated in Thailand, Afghanistan, Poland and Romania.
In addition, numerous prisoners have been "extraordinarily rendered" to US allies and are alleged to have been tortured in secret prisons in countries such as Syria, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.