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Old 02-05-2013, 07:35 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Open Society releases huge report on secret detention & torture rendition.

A huge, detailed report was released today -- or at least hit my feed today, by the Open Society Justice Initiative in some of the most detailed research on the secret detention of prisoners in "black sites," as well as extraordinary renditions that allowed prisoners to be tortured.

The CIA is heavily indicted for enabling and expanding this entire program, especially in the years following 9/11. But 54 other countries are also thrown into the mix, in what's turning out to be a pretty tough read on what our planet's nations resort to when they think cutting legal corners makes more sense than the rule of law.

Here's the OSJI's blurb on it:

Quote:
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency embarked on a highly classified program of secret detention and extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects. The program was designed to place detainee interrogations beyond the reach of law. Suspected terrorists were seized and secretly flown across national borders to be interrogated by foreign governments that used torture, or by the CIA itself in clandestine “black sites” using torture techniques.

Globalizing Torture is the most comprehensive account yet assembled of the human rights abuses associated with CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations. It details for the first time what was done to the 136 known victims, and lists the 54 foreign governments that participated in these operations. It shows that responsibility for the abuses lies not only with the United States but with dozens of foreign governments that were complicit.

More than 10 years after the 2001 attacks, Globalizing Torture makes it unequivocally clear that the time has come for the United States and its partners to definitively repudiate these illegal practices and secure accountability for the associated human rights abuses.
Here's the study itself (pdf): http://www.opensocietyfoundations.or...e-20120205.pdf

I'll be posting updates to this thread as I read through it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:36 AM   #16
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013...ies-rendition/

More Than 50 Countries Helped the CIA Outsource Torture
By Spencer Ackerman
02.05.13 6:30 AM

In the years after 9/11, the CIA ran a worldwide program to hold and interrogate suspected members of al-Qaida, sometimes brutally. It wasn’t alone: The agency had literally dozens of partners that helped in ways large and small. Only it’s never been clear just how many nations enabled CIA capture and torture; cooperated with it; or carried it out on behalf of the U.S. — until now.

A new report from the Open Society Foundation details the CIA’s effort to outsource torture since 9/11 in excruciating detail. Known as “extraordinary rendition,” the practice concerns taking detainees to and from U.S. custody without a legal process — think of it like an off-the-books extradition — and often entailed handing detainees over to countries that practiced torture. The Open Society Foundation found that 136 people went through the post-9/11 extraordinary rendition, and 54 countries were complicit in it.

Some were official U.S. adversaries, like Iran and Syria, brought together with the CIA by the shared interest of combating terrorism. “By engaging in torture and other abuses associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition,” writes chief Open Society Foundation investigator Amrit Singh in a report released early Tuesday, “the U.S. government violated domestic and international law, thereby diminishing its moral standing and eroding support for its counterterrorism efforts worldwide as these abuses came to light.”

Iran didn’t do any torturing on behalf of the CIA. Instead, it quietly transferred at least 15 of its own detainees to Afghan custody in March 2002. Six of those found their way into the CIA’s secret prisons. “Because the hand-over happened soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan,” Singh writes, “Iran was aware that the United States would have effective control over any detainees handed over to Afghan authorities.” At least one of those detainees, Tawfik al-Bihani, ended up at Guantanamo Bay, where his official file makes no mention of his time with the CIA.

Iran’s proxy Syria did torture on behalf of the United States. The most famous case involves Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen snatched in 2002 by the U.S. at John F. Kennedy International Airport before the CIA sent him to Syria under the mistaken impression he was a terrorist. In Syrian custody, Arar was “imprisoned for more than ten months in a tiny grave-like cell, beaten with cables, and threatened with electric shocks by the Syrian government,” Singh writes.

But it wasn’t just Arar. At least seven others were rendered to Syria. Among their destinations: a prison in west Damascus called the Palestine Branch, which features an area called “the Grave,” comprised of “individual cells that were roughly the size of coffins.” Syrian intelligence reportedly uses something called a “German Chair” to “stretch the spine.” These days the Obama administration prefers to call for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, the murderer of over 60,000 Syrians, to step down.

Many, many other countries were complicit in the renditions. For a month, Zimbabwe hosted five CIA detainees seized from Malawi in June 2003 before they were released in Sudan. Turkey, a NATO ally, allowed a plane operated by Richmor Aviation, which has been linked to CIA renditions, to refuel in Adana in 2002 and gave an Iraqi terrorist suspect to the CIA in 2006. Lots of countries played host to CIA rendition flights, including Sri Lanka, Thailand, Afghanistan, Belgium and Azerbaijan. Italy let the plane carrying Arar refuel. Under Muammar Gadhafi, Libya was an eager participant in the CIA’s rendition scheme — and the Open Society Foundation sifted through documents found after Gadhafi fell to discover that Hong Kong helped shuttle a detainee named Abu Munthir to the Libyan regime.

The full 54 countries that aided in post-9/11 renditions: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. The Open Society Foundation doesn’t rule out additional ones being involved that it has yet to discover.

Singh and the Open Society Foundation don’t presume that the CIA is out of the extraordinary renditions game under Obama. Danger Room pal Jeremy Scahill recently toured a prison in Somalia that the CIA uses. While Obama issued an executive order in 2009 to get the CIA out of the detentions business, the order “did not apply to facilities used for short term, transitory detention.” The Obama administration says it won’t transfer detainees to countries without a pledge from a host government not to torture them — but Syria’s Assad made exactly that pledge to the U.S. before torturing Maher Arar.

Much of this is likely to be contained in the Senate intelligence committee’s recent report into CIA torture. It’s unclear when, if ever, that report will be declassified. But the Open Society Foundation’s study into renditions comes right as Obama aide John Brennan — already under pressure to clarify his role, if any, in post-9/11 torture — is about to testify to the panel ahead of becoming CIA director. It remains to be seen if the Senate committee will ask Brennan to clarify if the CIA still practices extraordinary rendition, along with its old friends.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:38 AM   #17
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ition-program/

A staggering map of the 54 countries that reportedly participated in the CIA’s rendition program
Posted by Max Fisher
on February 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm



After Sept. 11, 2001, the CIA launched a program of “extraordinary rendition” to handle terrorism suspects. The agency’s problem, as it saw it, was that it wanted to detain and interrogate foreign suspects without bringing them to the United States or charging them with any crimes. Their solution was to secretly move a suspect to another country. Sometimes that meant a secret CIA prison in places such as Thailand or Romania, where the CIA would interrogate him. Sometimes it meant handing him over to a sympathetic government, some of them quite nasty, to conduct its own “interrogation.”

The CIA’s extraordinary rendition program is over, but its scope is still shrouded in some mystery. A just-out report, released by the Open Society Foundation, sheds new light on its shocking scale. According to the report, 54 foreign governments somehow collaborated in the program. Some of those governments are brutal dictatorships, and a few are outright U.S. adversaries.

Their participation took several forms. Some, such as Poland and Lithuania, allowed the CIA to run secret prisons in their countries. Many Middle Eastern, Central Asian and European countries handed over detainees to the CIA, some of whom those countries captured on the agency’s behalf. Other states, particularly in the Middle East, interrogated detainees on the CIA’s behalf, such as Jordan, which accepted several Pakistanis. Several, such as Greece and Spain, allowed flights associated with the CIA program to use their airports.

Here’s what the Open Society report has to say about the staggeringly global participation in the CIA program, including a full list of the countries it names:

Quote:
The report also shows that as many as 54 foreign governments reportedly participated in these operations in various ways, including by hosting CIA prisons on their territories; detaining, interrogating, torturing, and abusing individuals; assisting in the capture and transport of detainees; permitting the use of domestic airspace and airports for secret flights transporting detainees; providing intelligence leading to the secret detention and extraordinary rendition of individuals; and interrogating individuals who were secretly being held in the custody of other governments. Foreign governments also failed to protect detainees from secret detention and extraordinary rendition on their territories and to conduct effective investigations into agencies and officials who participated in these operations.

The 54 governments identified in this report span the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, and include: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
I was most curious about the involvement of two governments that are very much adversaries of the United States: those of Iran and Syria. It’s clear that, in both cases, it was an enemy-of-my-enemy calculus. Iran and Syria are both enemies of al-Qaeda and have struggled against Sunni Islamist extremism (Syria’s government is secular, Iran’s is Shia). Here’s the report’s section on Iran:

Quote:
Iran was involved in the capture and transfer of individuals subjected to CIA secret detention. In March 2002, the Iranian government transferred fifteen individuals to the government of Afghanistan, which in turn transferred ten of these individuals to the U.S. government. At least six of those transferred to U.S. custody were held in secret CIA detention in Afghanistan. These six individuals included Hussein Almerfedi, Tawfik al-Bihani, Wesam Abdulrahman Ahmed al-Deemawi (Wassam al-Ourdoni), Rafiq al-Hami, Walid Shahir al-Qadasi, and Aminullah Baryalai Tukhi.

Iran’s transfer occurred as part of a detainee exchange. Because the hand-over happened soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Iran was aware that the United States would have effective control over any detainees handed over to Afghan authorities. Amin al-Yafia, another individual believed to have been captured in Iran, in 2002, may have been subsequently held in CIA custody. Yafia’s whereabouts are unknown. See the detainee list in Section IV.

There are no known judicial cases or investigations in Iran relating to its participation in CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations.
The section on Syria is disturbing. That government’s record of horrific abuses has spilled out into the open since the uprising of 2011 became a civil war, with more Syrians subjected to – and speaking out about – a torture regime that sounds as if it were from another century. According to a 2005 article by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, quoted in the report, Syria was one of the “most common destinations for rendered suspects.” Government forces, according to the report, held some U.S.-provided detainees in a prison known as “The Grave” for its coffin-sized cells and subjected them to “torture involving a chair frame used to stretch the spine (the ‘German chair’) and beatings.”
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:08 PM   #18
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So much for pretending you're Canadian when abroad. The jig is up.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:58 PM   #19
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So much for pretending you're Canadian when abroad. The jig is up.
Now you'll have to pretend you're Angolan, unless you travel like I do, wearing a burka.
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