Al-Akhbar | February 5, 2013
Fifty-four countries were said to have co-operated with the United States in the the illegal kidnapping, detention, torture, and abuse of “suspected terrorists” after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
A 213-page report titled “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition” was published in February by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organization.
After 2001, the United States had authorized the establishment of “black sites” outside of their territories, where “enhanced interrogation techniques” were used, under the “secret detention program.”
The CIA also began engaging in the transfer of foreign government detainees, without legal process, for detention and interrogation. This is known as “extraordinary rendition.”
Torture and abuse were signature characteristics of both the detention program and of the extraordinary rendition program.
Methods included “insult slaps,” confining the individual to a box, sleep deprivation, dousing the prisoner in water, and forced nudity while their arms were held extended and chained above their heads.
Waterboarding is a technique that was authorized by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) where the individual was made to feel like he/she was drowning. In this “enhanced interrogation technique,” water is poured over an immobilized individual’s face, blocking breathing passages.
Egypt was said to be “the country to which the greatest numbers of rendered suspects have been sent [by the U.S.],” according to OSJI.
Egyptians detained, interrogated, tortured, and abused several people and assisted in transferring individuals under the program, allowing the CIA to use their airspace and airports.
Jordan was involved in a similar manner.
Saudi Arabia detained individuals prior to and after they were subjected to extraordinary rendition or to the secret CIA detention. Further investigation has not been possible.
The Iranian government was said to have transferred fifteen individuals to the government of Afghanistan, ten of which were then transferred to the United States.
“Today, more than a decade after September 11, there is no doubt that highranking Bush administration officials bear responsibility for authorizing human rights violations associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition,” according to OSJI.
Responsibility does not end there however, the report said, as more than a quarter of the world’s nations offered covert support, thus facilitating such human rights abuses.
OSJI insisted that the Obama administration did not end extraordinary rendition, but instead chose to rely on “anti-torture diplomatic assurances from recipient countries and post-transfer monitoring of detainee treatment.”
Several outed incidents have shown that these measures were not effective.
The report lists the 54 countries involved in the programs by torturing, detaining, interrogating, and abusing individuals; hosting “black sites” on their territories; permitting the secret flights transporting captives to use their airspace and airports; providing information that lead to the extraordinary rendition or secret detention of individuals; and by interrogating individuals secretly held captive by other other governments.
Countries in the Middle East and North African region that were involved with the CIA in their post-9/11 activities include: Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
The other countries listed include: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Austria,Morocco, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe.
“Torture is not only illegal and immoral, but also ineffective for producing reliable intelligence,” the report said.
“Indeed, numerous professional U.S. interrogators have confirmed that torture does not produce reliable intelligence, and that rapport-building techniques are far more effective at eliciting such intelligence,” said OSJI.
Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition
Open Society Justice Initiative, Feb 2013
Download the 216-page report (1.08 MB pdf)