Blair faces demands for inquiry into CIA flights

Prime Minister &to=' target=_blank>Tony Blair faced renewed demands Thursday for an inquiry into secret CIA flights allegedly passing through British airports, after a leaked memo indicated he was advised to avoid giving detailed answers on the issue.

The briefing paper, sent from the Foreign Office to Blair's 10 Downing St. office, advised ministers to "avoid getting drawn on detail."

The four-page memo, dated Dec. 7 last year and first reported Thursday by the New Statesman magazine, also urged the government to "try to move the debate on" and focus on the importance of cooperating with the United States in the war on terror.

Human rights organizations and legal groups have accused the United States of covertly moving prisoners between countries, outside normal legal processes such as extradition. The process is known as "rendition," and as "extraordinary rendition" when the suspect could be subjected to torture or cruel treatment once transferred.

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