The Rendition Project
is the most recent and the most thorough attempt to render visible the extraordinary scope of the global system of detention sites, linked by the covert transfer of detainees across national borders (via Geographical Imaginations
which discusses the project in the context of earlier visualizations). The Project includes first-hand accounts
, a timeline
, and the Rendition Flights Database
and interactive map (the world's largest compilation of public flight data relating to the rendition program). [more inside]
High and Dry: How Sabrina De Sousa, a former US diplomat of Indian origin, was swept up in the undertow of the war on terror
"Sabrina De Sousa was among those convicted in absentia in Italy in November 2009—wrongly, she says, and based only on circumstantial evidence. She was an accredited diplomat at the US consulate in Milan at the time, but claims she was not in Milan on the day of the kidnapping ... Sabrina has argued that she should have been protected from prosecution because of diplomatic immunity. The US government thought otherwise."
MI6 intends to use the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to deny all application of UK law to extraordinary rendition.
The case in question revolves around the forcible extradition of several Libyan dissidents back to Gaddafi's Libya and entirely predictable torture, including a pregnant woman. s.7 of the Act states that any intelligence agency action authorised on foreign soil by a Secretary of State is automatically exempt from legal action in any UK court. This could be said to conflict in some ways with the Human Rights Act 1998 and international law, especially since the HRA may be held to have implicitly repealed s.7 of the 1994 Act. [more inside]
The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia.
Jeremy Scahill at The Nation
reports on a CIA facility at Mogadishu's international airport used for a "counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives," as well as a secret prison "buried in the basement of Somalia's National Security Agency" where "some of the prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by plane to Mogadishu." [more inside]
Gulet Mohamed is an 18-year-old American citizen who has, since December 20, been detained and tortured in Kuwait
. The U.S. Embassy has subsequently informed him that he is now on a no-fly list, effectively barring him from returning to the United States. Glenn Greenwald has posted a recording of a 50-minute telephone interview with Mr. Mohamed
. [more inside]
On June 6th, Shahram Amiri - an Iranian nuclear scientist -- appeared on a YouTube video
claiming he was abducted by US and Saudi authorities in Medina, drugged and flown to the US. On June 7th, a second video on Youtube
appeared where he, or someone claiming to be him, said he was fine, studying in the US. (The U.S. government has no official comment
but cited him as a source on Iran's nuclear program.) A 3rd video
backed the first.
Now Pakistan says Amiri is in hiding in its Washington embassy's Iranian interests section
under asylum and making arrangements to get back to Iran. How he got there, and why, is a mystery. [more inside]
Scott Horton discusses
the latest reports about the pending appointment of a torture special prosecutor with Keith Olbermann.
Last week, British judges revealed
that the British Secret Services fed questions to the CIA in the full knowledge that the Agency was systematically using torture in interrogations; a clear violation of international law.
Meanwhile BBC Newsweek airs "Confessions of an Uzbek KGB officer
". Shortly after 11.00 mins in the video Yakobov refuses to comment more on Secret Rendition claiming his life could be in endangered. In a Sept. interview
Yakubov's most interesting evidence is that he accompanied a CIA man to an interrogation, and that the CIA man was actually in the room during the torture of a detainee.
attempts to unravel the web of deceipt.
(Previously: 1 2
the Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture on Tuesday 28 April 1.45pm UK time.
You can (hopefully) watch it on Parliament TV
If you want to have a good look at UK / US complicity in torture, this
might be a good place to start...
Please note he has said "There is absolutely no way I am going to kill myself. Just thought it might be wise to get that out in public!". Hopefully statements like that won't be necessary.
Interrogation techniques used by the CIA on al-Qaeda suspects "constituted torture"
, according to a report by the International Red Cross.
The Fed Who Blew the Whistle: Is he a hero or a criminal?
Three years after the New York Times first revealed
the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program
, whistleblower Thomas Tamm
has acknowledged his role in making it public. [Via]
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.
even 200 years ago, there was a general insistence that prisoners be charged with and convicted of a crime before they could be condemned to the lower decks of an aging naval ship.
( prison hulks previously
The CIA's Odd Man Out:
CIA station chief Bob Lady coordinated the secret kidnapping of Islamic militant Abu Omar in Milan
and Omar's "extreme rendition" to Egypt where he was tortured. Italy indicted various CIA agents; Lady is on the run in Central America, abandoned by the agency. The twist: Lady opposed the mission all along. And Abu Omar will probably end up with Lady's home in the foothills of the Alps. [more inside]
US has right to kidnap any defendant, anywhere, anytime,
says it's UK lawyer. Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects. The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington. [more inside]
, an essay in The London Review of Books by UCLA history professor Perry Anderson, criticizes the European Union as a neo-liberal economist's wet dream and unthinking lackey of the United States. [more inside]
The Black Sites.
"A rare look inside the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program."
Missing presumed tortured
More than 7,000 prisoners have been captured in America's war on terror. Just 700 ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Between extraordinary rendition
to foreign jails and disappearance into the CIA's "black sites", what happened to the rest
CIA Officer Fired for Leaking Classified Info to Media
Newsfilter. The president, we are told, leaked via Libby a secret to the press. That is ok. The leak was telling the press that laws were being broken--FISA subverted--so that undermining national laws becomes a crime only when it is revealed?
A CIA officer has been relieved of his duty after being caught leaking classified information to the media.
Citing the Privacy Act, the CIA would not provide any details about the officer's identity or assignments.
Cofer Black, Director of the CIA Counterterrorism center until May 2002 said before the 9/11 commission: “All I want to say is that there was ‘before’ 9/11 and ‘after’ 9/11. After 9/11 the gloves come off… ‘No Limits’ aggressive, relentless, worldwide pursuit of any terrorist who threatens us is the only way to go…”
Since that time there have been allegations of abduction and indefinite detention
in secret prisons abroad
, abuse in prisons within the U.S.
and the suppression of evidence
of coercion overseas in confessions in U.S. courts. (Ahmed Omar Abu Ali
). In addition to Amnesty Int’l, it’s getting the U.S. some UN attention
"It wouldn't surprise me if we paid rewards"
--As part of the AP's receipt of transcripts of the millitary tribunals in Guantanamo, multiple reports of our allies using money the US gave them to buy "terrorists" for shipment there. ..."When I was in jail, they said I needed to pay them money and if I didn't pay them, they'd make up wrong accusations about me and sell me to the Americans and I'd definitely go to Cuba," he told the tribunal. "After that I was held for two months and 20 days in their detention, so they could make wrong accusations about me and my (censored), so they could sell us to you."
Another prisoner said he was on his way to Germany in 2001 when he was captured and sold for "a briefcase full of money" then flown to Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo....
The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.
Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The finding that the handling of prisoners detained and interrogated at Guantánamo amounted to torture came after a visit by a Red Cross inspection team that spent most of last June in Guantánamo. The team of humanitarian workers, which included experienced medical personnel, also asserted that some doctors and other medical workers at Guantánamo were participating in planning for interrogations, in what the report called "a flagrant violation of medical ethics." Doctors and medical personnel conveyed information about prisoners' mental health and vulnerabilities to interrogators, the report said, sometimes directly, but usually through a group called the Behavioral Science Consultation Team, or B.S.C.T. The team, known informally as Biscuit, is composed of psychologists and psychological workers who advise the interrogators, the report said.
From the Red Cross : The ICRC's work at Guantanamo Bay
- Related: From Association of the Bar of the City of New York, a pdf: Torture by Proxy: International and Domestic Law Applicable to Extraordinary Renditions
-- Representative Edward J.] Markey pledges battle on rendition practice
" is the State Department legal term for when they ship
(its a lot like extradition minus due process ) Al Qaida/Taliban POWs to a friendly 3rd country such as Egypt or Jordan for questioning.
"Why not just question them in Guantanamo" you ask? Thats because in some countries, interrogation is less regulated than it is on US soil. Neat, huh?