Feb 082013

Torture, Secret Prisons, & Extraordinary Rendition

Amrit Singh, Senior Legal Officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative’s National Security and Counter Terrorism program has just released a exhaustive report on secret detention, torture, and extraordinary rendition by the CIA. In an interview she indicated that 54 other nations (more than 25% of all the nations in the world) participated in various aspects of the secret program.

The fact that there were specific agreements (sometimes in writing) between the US and other countries indicates that the policy was authorized by or at least was known to the highest levels of government, both in the US as well as the other countries. The list of names includes the usual suspects (Britain, UAE, Egypt, and Pakistan) but also has some surprises. Iran, Poland, and Sweden are also some of the 54 countries involved.

These revelations come during the debate over John Brennan's confirmation hearings. Brennan's nomination has been questioned by his support of rendition, knowledge of "harsh" interrogation and his leading role in the drone program. Considering (former CIA's deputy executive director) Brennan's strong support and defense of rendition and the drone strikes, he may be expecting some more tough questions. Notably, Senator Ron Wyden (Dem. Oregon) is scheduled to ask him some questions. 

Here's a link to the complete report as a pdf file: Globalizing Torture, CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition.