The US has detained more than 80,000 people in facilities from Afghanistan
to Cuba since the attacks on the World Trade Centre four years ago, the Pentagon said
yesterday. The disclosure comes at a time of growing unease about Washington's
treatment of prisoners in its "war on terror" and
Europe's unknowing help in the CIA's practice of rendition.
The Bush administration has defended the detentions from criticism by human
rights organisations, saying the interrogation of suspected militants has
been crucial in its attempt to dismantle terror networks. At least 14,500
people are in US custody in connection with the war on terror, Pentagon
officials in Washington and Baghdad said yesterday. . . .
[Coats informed the German minister that the CIA had wrongfully imprisoned
one of its citizens, Khaled Masri, for five months, and would soon release
him, the sources said. There was also a request: that the German government
not disclose what it had been told even if Masri went public. The U.S.
officials feared exposure of a covert action program designed to capture
terrorism suspects abroad and transfer them among countries, and possible
legal challenges to the CIA from Masri and others with similar allegations.--Dana Priest, "Wrongful Imprisonment: Anatomy of a CIA
Mistake," Washington Post, December 4, 2005]
[The case marks the first time that a foreign government has filed criminal
charges against U.S. operatives for their role in a counterterrorism
mission.--Craig Whitlock, "CIA Ruse Is Said to Have Damaged Probe in Milan:
Italy Allegedly Misled on Cleric's Abduction," Washington Post, December 6,
[. . . under this administration's eccentric definition of "U.S.
obligations," cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is not prohibited as
long as it does not occur on U.S. territory.--Editorial: "A Weak Defense," Washington Post, December 6, 2005]
[The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between
Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in
Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh
treatment, according to current and former government officials.--Douglas
Link U.S. Cited Is Tied to Coercion Claim," New York Times, December 9,
[Accounts from detainees at Guantanamo reveal that the United States as
recently as last year operated a secret prison in Afghanistan where
detainees were subjected to torture and other mistreatment . . . U.S. and
Afghan guards were not in uniform and that U.S. interrogators did not wear
military attire, which suggests that the prison may have been operated by
personnel from the Central Intelligence Agency.--"U.S.
Operated Secret 'Dark Prison' in Kabul," Human Rights Watch, December
[Made public in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the
Associated Press, the list comprises all the detainees processed at hearings
under the so-called combatant status review tribunal at the Guantanamo
between in July 2004 and January 2005.--David Usborne, "Pentagon releases names of 558 prisoners held at Guantanamo,"
Independent, April 21, 2006]
[Extraordinary renditions would breach European human rights legislation and
British domestic law.--Richard Norton-Taylor, "1,000
secret CIA flights revealed," Guardian, April 27, 2006]
[The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President George W. Bush lacks authority
to try Guantanamo Bay inmates before military tribunals, a blow to the
administration's anti-terrorism strategy that scales back executive wartime
powers.--"U.S. Supreme Court Bars Bush's Military Tribunals,"
bloomberg.com, June 29, 2006]
[In a stiff rebuke from across the Atlantic to the policies of former US
president George Bush, a judge in Milan yesterday sentenced 23 American
citizens to up to eight years in prison for their part in the secret
abduction of a Muslim cleric in 2003 and his rendition for questioning in
Egypt, where he was imprisoned and tortured.
[EDITORIAL: Extraordinary rendition - the abduction of foreigners, often
innocent ones, by American agents who sent them to countries well known for
torturing prisoners - was central to President George W. Bush's
antiterrorism policy. His administration then used wildly broad claims of
state secrets to thwart any accountability for this immoral practice.
President Obama has adopted the same legal tactic of using the secrecy
privilege to kill lawsuits. So the only hope was that the courts would not
permit these widely known abuses of power to go unchecked.
Last Monday, the Supreme Court abdicated that duty. It declined to review a
case brought by five individuals who say - credibly - that they were
kidnapped and tortured in overseas prisons. The question was whether people
injured by illegal interrogation and detention should be allowed their day
in court or summarily tossed out.--"Malign Neglect," nytimes.com, May 21, 2011]
[The scale of the CIA's rendition programme has been laid bare in court
documents that illustrate in minute detail how the US contracted out the
secret transportation of suspects to a network of private American
companies.--Ian Cobain and Ben Quinn, "How US firms profited from torture flights,"
Guardian, August 31, 2011]