RENDITION AND THE “GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM”: 28 NATIONS HAVE SUPPORTED THE US IN THE DETENTION AND TORTURE OF “SUSPECTS”
IN FOCUS, 12 Apr 2010
Twenty-eight nations have cooperated with the U.S. to detain in their prisons, and sometimes to interrogate and torture, suspects arrested as part of the U.S. “War on Terror.”
The complicit countries have kept suspects in prisons ranging from public interior ministry buildings to “safe house” villas in downtown urban areas to obscure prisons in forests to “black” sites to which the International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) has been denied access.
According to published reports, an estimated 50 prisons have been used to hold detainees in these 28 countries. Additionally, at least 25 more prisons have been operated either by the U.S. or by the government of occupied-Afghanistan in behalf of the U.S., and 20 more prisons have been similarly operated in Iraq.
As the London-based legal rights group Reprieve estimates the U.S. has used 17 ships as floating prisons since 2001, the total number of prisons operated by the U.S. and/or its allies to house alleged terrorist suspects since 2001 exceeds 100. And this figure may well be far short of the actual number.
Countries that held prisoners in behalf of the U.S. based on published data are Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Libya, Lithuania, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zambia. Some of the above-named countries held suspects in behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA); others held suspects in behalf the U.S. military, or both.
Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, termed the detention policies used by the U.S. “Crimes against Humanity”:
“These instances of the enforced disappearances of human beings and their consequent torture, because they are both widespread and systematic, constitute Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, which have been ordered by the highest level officials of the United States government…”
Referring to President Bush and his principal advisers, Boyle continued, “Since these criminal activities took part in several states that are parties to the ICC Rome Statute, that renders these U.S. government officials subject to prosecution by the International Criminal Court on the grounds of territoriality of the offense, even though the United States is not a party to the Rome Statute.”
According to Human Rights Watch, as of Jan., 2004, the U.S. held detainees from 21 different countries including Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israeli-occupied Gaza and West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Yemen.
The nations that cooperated with the U.S. to detain these prisoners have done so even though detainees commonly were held — in the words of an Associated Press report of Sept. 18, 2006 –“beyond the reach of established law.” Efforts by this reporter to learn from the Pentagon the total number of prisoners held captive and related information proved futile.
However, in Feb., 2005, Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder, Army Provost Marshal General, said, “In all, roughly 65,000 people have been screened for possible detention, and about 30,000 of those were entered into the system, at least briefly, and assigned internment serial numbers.” Possibly, to date, the U.S. and its allies have detained 100,000 suspects or more.
It is not known whether the customary legal rights of any of these tens of thousands of captives have been honored. But given the absence of due process, trials, and convictions compared to the vast numbers of those detained, the “War on Terror” takes on the appearance of a monumental fraud.
As Jane Mayer wrote in “The Dark Side” (Anchor Books), “Seven years after the attacks of September 11, not a single terror suspect held outside of the U.S. criminal court system has been tried. Of the 759 detainees acknowledged to have been held in Guantanamo, approximately 340 remained there, only a handful of whom had been charged. Among these, not a single ‘enemy combatant’ had yet had the opportunity to cross-examine the government or see the evidence on which he was being held.” Similarly, Nick Turse of TomDispatch.com reported U.S. intelligence officials themselves estimated that 70-90% of prisoners detained in Iraq “had been arrested by mistake.”
According to the German weekly Der Spiegel in a Dec. 10, 2005, article: “It is likely that nobody will ever know how many terror suspects abducted by the CIA have died in the torture chambers of Egyptian, Algerian, Syrian, or Saudi Arabian prisons.”
It was “because of the gruesome treatment of prisoners that made it expedient to remove suspects as much as possible from the responsibility of American judges. This practice gave birth to the Guantanamo prisoner camp, as well as a whole range of so-called black sites, or secret interrogation areas, where the CIA keeps its most valuable prisoners under continuous observation,” Der Spiegel said. Writing in The Washington Post on Nov. 2, 2005, Dana Priest put it this way: “It is illegal for the government to hold prisoners in such isolation in secret prisons in the United States, which is why the CIA placed them overseas, according to several former and current intelligence officials and other U.S. government officials. Legal experts and intelligence officials said that the CIA’s internment practices also would be considered illegal under the laws of several host countries, where detainees have rights to have a lawyer or to mount a defense against allegations of wrongdoing.”
In a concise observation that appears to summarize the U.S. campaign of detention, Patrick Quinn of the Associated Press wrote, “Captured on battlefields, pulled from beds at midnight, grabbed off streets as suspected insurgents, tens of thousands now have passed through American detention, the vast majority in Iraq. Many have said they were often interrogated around the clock, then released months or years later without apology, compensation, or any word on why they were taken.”
Clive Stafford Smith, legal director of British human rights group Reprieve, told the UK Guardian June 2, 2008: “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. The US government must show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by immediately revealing who these people are, where they are, and what has been done to them.” Note: The UN Commission on Human Rights asserts prolonged incommunicado detention itself can “constitute a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or even torture.”
A brief look at the prison operations of America’s accomplices follows:
AFGHANISTAN: Human Rights First says since Nov., 2001, the U.S. has operated approximately 25 detention facilities in Afghanistan. Secret prisons at Bagram Air Force Base include the “Dark Prison” and “Salt Pit.” It was in Salt Pit in Nov., 2002, that guards stripped an Afghan prisoner naked, chained him to the concrete floor and left him in below-zero temperatures all night. He was dead in the morning, Der Spiegel reported. Other prisons include Rissat and Rissat2, north of Kabul, and Prison Number 3. At Kandahar Air Force Base, U.S. army officers hung prisoners from the ceiling for days. At times, the prison held up to 40 detainees. Other Afghan sites include transient facilities near Asadabad, Gereshk, Jalalabad, Tycze, Gardez, and Khost. A federal Grand Jury in North Carolina indicted CIA contractor David Passaro for allegedly beating detainee Abdul Wali to death at Khost in June, 2003. Officials there also told the family of Sher Mohammed Khan he was killed by snakebite when his body showed marks of abuse. Another base, according to the Feb. 15, 2010, issue of The Nation, is Rish-Khor, an Afghan army facility atop a mountain overlooking Kabul. The magazine also reported there are nine Field Detention Sites the Red Cross is aware of that “are enveloped in a blanket of official secrecy.” There may, however, “be other sites whose existence on the scores of U.S. and Afghan military bases that dot the country have not been disclosed,” writes the magazine’s Anand Gopal. At Bagram, Gopal wrote, former detainees allege they were “regularly beaten, subjected to blaring music twenty-four hours a day, prevented from sleeping, stripped naked and forced to assume what interrogators term ‘stress positions.” It is routine to hold prisoners at Bagram for two or three years without access to lawyers, Red Cross, or their families. And the official U.S. detention center in Kandahar is known among former inmates as “Camp Slappy.”
AZERBAIJAN: prisoners have been detained in behalf of the U.S. in Baku, the capital. The country is known for imprisoning journalists and other critics, some of whom have been tortured and murdered by authorities.
ALGERIA: The U.S. transferred prisoners there from Guantanamo. Amnesty International has warned against transfer of prisoners to Algeria based on the country’s history of torture and warned “Algeria has become a prime ally of the United States (US) and other governments preoccupied with the so-called War on Terror.” According to Wikipedia, Manfred Nowak, a special reporter on torture, has catalogued in a 15-page U.N. report that the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and other nations have violated international human rights conventions by deporting terrorist suspects to countries such as Algeria.
BOSNIA: the Eagle Base in Tuzla is a black site. The British Telegraph said Eagle is part of a U.S. military facility where alleged Al-Qaeda members were tortured.
DIEGO GARCIA (UK): a British possession in the Indian Ocean the U.S. has transformed into a powerful military base to dominate the Middle East and Asia. Reportedly, the CIA has a facility there that was used in 2005-06 to hold Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a Syrian-Spanish national. According to Reprieve, “the UK has a significant military and administrative presence on Diego Garcia, which has its own independent administration run by the East Africa Desk of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.” Reprieve further stated, “In October, 2003, Time Magazine cited interrogation records from the US prisoner Hambali that had reportedly been taken on the island, while respected international investigators at the Council of Europe and the United Nations expressed similar suspicions. US officials went on to make seemingly careless public statements confirming the use of Diego Garcia for secret detentions.”
DJIBOUTI: said to have three CIA-run prisons, according to the UK Guardian. The former French foreign legion base Camp Lemonnier is a U.S. facility at Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport.
EGYPT: said to operate six prisons in behalf of the CIA, where numerous victims have been rendered, one of them being the General Intelligence Directorate in Cairo. U.S. officials are alleged to have participated in interrogation/torture sessions there where prisoners are hung from hooks and electrical shocks administered. On June 13, 2004, the UK Observer reported, “Egypt has also received a steady flow of militants from American installations.” The paper also identified Mulhaq al-Mazra prison as a facility used in behalf of the U.S.
ETHIOPIA: has held detainees on behalf of CIA. U.S. agents interrogated one man there for three months. An investigation by the Associated Press published April 3, 2007, found, “CIA and FBI agents hunting for al-Qaida militants in the Horn of Africa have been interrogating terrorism suspects from 19 countries held at secret prisons in Ethiopia, which is notorious for torture and abuse.” Three prisons are used for such purposes, the report said.
GAMBIA: in Banjul, the capital, safe houses in a residential area were used to jail Bisher Al-Rawi. He was also jailed in Guantanamo where he was said to be subjected to cold temperatures and had his prayer rug taken away when he tried to use it as a blanket.
GUANTANAMO: In addition to Camp Delta, a military prison, this base is the site of “Camp No” about a mile to the north, that is either CIA or under Joint Special Operations Command. It was to this camp, according to Harper’s, where three prisoners were taken and never again seen alive. In 2006, the UN called for closing Guantanamo. According to The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg, (Jan. 29, 2010) Guantanamo has held about 770 prisoners since it opened eight years ago and nearly 580 have been released over the years. What’s more, a review by DOD and five other agencies agreed unanimously that “roughly 110” more are eligible for release, meaning there was not enough evidence on 690 of the 770 prisoners to prosecute them—further proof, if any is needed, of the fraudulent nature of the War on Terror. Amnesty International called for Guantanamo detainees to be either released from their “super max” high security cells or allowed to stand trial. Irene Khan, Amnesty International’s general secretary, termed Guantanamo “the gulag of our time.”
IRAQ: The U.S. and its allies have operated at least 20 prisons. In 2006, Human Rights First documented 98 deaths in U.S. custody there, including five in CIA custody. Every detainee in Iraq “is detained because he poses a security threat to the government of Iraq, the people of Iraq, or coalition forces,” said a spokesman for U.S.-led detainee operations in Iraq, Army Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin Curry. This statement is hard to credit as virtually all of the tens of thousands of persons arrested have never been charged with an offense and the vast majority of them have been let go. Scott Horton wrote in Harper’s that the U.S. “is holding 19,000 Iraqis at its two main detention centers, at Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca.” Horton noted Iraqi law requires any detention to be justified before a magistrate in a matter of only a few days but the U.S. has “complete contempt for the requirements of Iraqi law.” It should be noted that Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki’s government complained U.S. detention violates Iraq’s national rights. In March, 2006, UN Secy.-Gen. Kofi Annan said the extent of arbitrary detention in Iraq is “not consistent with provisions of international law governing internment on imperative reasons of security.” Since, as of this January, the U.S. is said to hold only 5,000 detainees in Iraq, apparently tens of thousands of persons have been released without ever being charged. Between June, 2004, and Sept., 2006, alone, the U.S. released some 18,700 Iraqi detainees, according to a reliable source.
This points to a massive conspiracy to deprive innocent people of their rights by the U.S. on a scale not seen since the U.S. interned its own Japanese-American population during World War II. “It was hard to believe I’d get out,” Baghdad shopkeeper Amjad Qassim al-Aliyawi, told the Associated Press after his release, without charge. “I lived with the Americans for one year and eight months as if I was living in hell.” It was in the U.S. Forward Operating Rifles Base in Al Asad where Abdul Jaleel was murdered in Jan., 2004, after being beaten and tied by his hands to the top of a door frame. At the U.S. detention facility in Al Qaim, Baghdad, former Iraqi Major-General Abed Hamad Mowhoush, was tortured and smothered to death in Nov., 2003. At Camp Bucca, in the southern desert, said to hold 9,500, detainees were forcibly showered with cold water and exposed to cold air. At Site 4, a prison run by Iraq’s Ministry of Interior and which in May, 2006, held some 1,431 detainees, there was evidence of systematic physical and psychological abuse and in a prison in the Green Zone run by Baghdad Brigade detainees suffered severe ill treatment.
At the notorious Abu Ghraib, Ms. Umm Taha, an Iraqi woman detainee, told of tortures she witnessed. Soldiers made prisoners stand one leg “then they kicked them to make them fall to the ground.” She said she watched GI Lynndie England use a rubber glove to snap the detainees on their genitals. “The soldiers also made all the men lay on the ground, face down, spread their legs, then men and women soldiers alike kicked the detainees between their legs. I can still remember their screaming.” Ms. Taha was interviewed by Nagem Salam, an American journalist, according to Islam Online of June 14, 2004. At its peak occupancy in 2004, Abu Ghraib, also known also known as the Baghdad Central Correctional Facility, was said to hold 7,000 prisoners. At Al-Jadiriya prison, in Baghdad many prisoners were detained off the books, and at least 168 unlawfully detained were abused there. Among the main detention facilities in Iraq are Camp Redemption and Camp Ganci, both located at Abu Ghraib, as well as Camp Cropper, near the Baghdad Airport. Other major facilities include Camp Bucca in Umm Qasr and Talil Air Force Base south of Baghdad, also known as Whitford Camp. Additional Iraqi bases where prisoners were held included Al-Rusafa, Al-Kadhimiyya, and Al-Karkh, in Baghdad and Camp Falcon, near Baghdad; the Al-Diwaniyya Security Detainee Holding Area; Ashraf Camp MEK near Al-Ramadi; FOB Tiger in Anbar province; an FOB near Al-Asad, outside Mosul; a temporary holding camp near Nasiriyah; an FOB in Tikrit, in northern Iraq; Al-Qasr al-Jumhouri and Al-Qasr al-Sujood. Another facility, Camp Sheba, is under British command.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, Camp Whitehorse is a Marine-run detention site near Nasiriyah in Southern Iraq: “Prisoners were held at Whitehorse until they could be interrogated by a Marine ‘human exploitation team,’ which would determine whether the detainees should be released or transferred elsewhere. Prisoners were forced to stand 50 minutes of every hour, in heat sometimes topping 120 degrees, for up to 10 hours at a time. Prisoners were forced to stand until interrogators from the Human Exploitation Team arrived. If the team failed to get the information it wanted, prisoners were forced to continue standing.” GlobalSecurity.org reported further, “In October 2003 the US military charged eight US Marine reservists, including two officers, with brutal treatment of Iraqi prisoners of war that may have resulted in the death of one Iraqi man. The eight fought in Iraq as part of the First Marine Division and were detailed to guard prisoners at Camp Whitehorse. Military prosecutors allege that an Iraqi man named Nagem Sadoon Hatab died at Camp Whitehorse in early June 2003 following a possible beating by US guards.”
ISRAEL: “Thanks to the Israeli paper Haaretz,” wrote Reporter Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch.com of Nov. 2, 2006, “we learned for the first time that at least some CIA rendition flights stopped at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on their way to and from Cyprus, Jordan, Morocco, and other spots east and west, north and south — and that the first case ‘of the United States handing Israel a world jihadi suspect’ in a rendition operation has been confirmed.”
JORDAN: Abducted men rendered by CIA were held in Jordan’s General Intelligence Department (GID) in Amman. One detainee said his experience was “beyond description.” On June 13, 2004, the UK Observer reported prisoners were also held “in desert locations in the east of the country.” Al Jafr Prison, in the southern Jordanian desert, has held prisoners for the U.S. In the Israeli publication Ha’aretz, an article in Oct., 2004, said the CIA was holding 11 high-level Al Qaeda prisoners incommunicado in Jordan. The Jordanian government flatly denies there are any U.S. detention facilities in Jordan. One of the 11 is said to have been Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the hijacked airliner attacks on New York and Washington. Citing international intelligence sources, Ha’aretz said: “Their detention outside the U.S. enables CIA interrogators to apply interrogation methods that are banned by U.S. law, and to do so in a country where cooperation with the Americans is particularly close, thereby reducing the danger of leaks.”
KENYA: Detained 84 captives for the U.S. in Nairobi with no opportunity to challenge their detention. One captive, Mohamed Ezzoueck, a Britsh national, was detained at three different police stations in Nairobi, and also at a military police station located near Kiunga. Suspects “disappeared” in 2007 in the region were believed to have been interrogated by the CIA and FBI.
KOSOVO: CIA-operated Camp Bondsteel, a black site; was said by some, including an official of the European Commission on Human Rights, to be similar in design to Guantanamo. The British Telegraph reported alleged members of Al-Qaeda were questioned and tortured at Bondsteel.
LIBYA: Since 2004, for example, the CIA has handed five Libyan fighters to authorities in Tripoli. Two had been covertly nabbed by the CIA in China and Thailand, while the others were caught in Pakistan and held in CIA prisons in Afghanistan, Eastern Europe and other locations, according to Libyan sources, Craig Whitlock reported in The Washington Post of October 27, 2007.
LITHUANIA: The CIA operated a prison in a riding academy in Antaviliai, on the outskirts of capital Vilnius. Lithuania held eight terror suspects there for the CIA.
MAURITANIA: CIA reportedly operated one detention facility there. In an article in the June 25, 2007, The New Yorker, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote: “I was told by the former senior intelligence official and a government consultant that after the existence of secret C.I.A. prisons in Europe was revealed, in the Washington Post, in late 2005, the Administration responded with a new detainee center in Mauritania. After a new government friendly to the U.S. took power, in a bloodless coup d’état in August, 2005, they said, it was much easier for the intelligence community to mask secret flights there.”
MOROCCO: Held CIA detainees at a prison in al-Temara. The CIA rendered Binyam Mohamed, a British citizen, to Morocco, where he was moved around to three different prisons. Abou Elkassim Britel, an Italian and Moroccan, was tortured at al-Temara. The prison is located in a forest five miles outside of Rabat, the capital. It was in Morocco that Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born British resident arrested in Pakistan in 2002 was tortured by interrogators who sliced his penis with a scalpel and later transferred him to Guantanamo Bay. He was freed in Feb., 2009, without charge and allowed to return to England. The London Sunday Times reported Feb. 12, 2006, that Morocco “is one of America’s principal partners in the secret ‘rendition’ programme in which the CIA flies prisoners to third countries for interrogation.” The paper said Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have compiled dossiers “detailing the detention and apparent torture of radical Islamists at the DST’s current headquarters, at Temara, near Rabat.” DST is the Moroccan secret police.
PAKISTAN: Human Rights Watch said men claimed the U.S. tortured them when detained there in behalf of the CIA. Several hundred suspects were seized in Pakistan in 2001-2002 and held in prisons in Kohat and Peshawar. Prisoners also held in an old fortress outside of Lahore; in the military barracks in Islamabad. It was in Islamabad that Moazzam Begg was held and severely tortured. At one villa in central Peshawar run by U.S. authorities, prisoners were beaten regularly. Another facility in Peshawar was underground where Americans did all the interrogating. A black prison was also reported to be in Alzai. Seymour Hersh received a report in May, 2005 of “800-900 Pakistani boys 13-15 years of age in custody.”
POLAND: The CIA operated a black prison from 2003 to 2005 where eight “high value” detainees were held in the village of Kiejkuty. One of them was said to be Khalid Sheik Mohammed, alleged 9/11 mastermind, who was severely tortured.
QATAR: The UK Observer reported on June 13, 2004, “Scores more (terror suspects) are thought to be at a US airbase in the Gulf state of Qatar…”
ROMANIA: Three CIA detention centers operated there, including one in downtown Bucharest and one in Timisoara.
SAUDI ARABIA: Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was convicted in U.S. federal court in Nov., 2005, on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism. Amnesty International said his trial was flawed as prosecution relied largely on evidence obtained when he was flogged and beaten by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior’s General Intelligence while imprisoned with apparent U.S. knowledge. In Saudi Arabia, the UK Observer reported on June 13, 2004, “CIA agents are allowed to sit in on some of the interrogations.”
SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC: The CIA rendered a number of captives to Far Falestin prison. Canadian Maher Arar was held there were he was tortured with cables and electrical cords. When the Canadian government found Arar was tortured, the Prime Minister apologized to him and Canada paid him $10.5-million in compensation plus legal fees. UK Observer reported June 13, 2004, “In Syria, detainees sent by Washington are held at ‘the Palestine wing’ of the main intelligence headquarters and a series of jails in Damascus and other cities.”
SOMALIA: Suleiman Abdallah, never charged, was arrested in Somalia and held there for a short time by warlord Mohammed Dere, allegedly working for the U.S., and later interrogated by CIA and FBI. Another captive, Mohamed Ezzoueck, a British subject, was held at the Army base in Baidoa, Somalia, but never charged.
SOUTH AFRICA: UK Guardian reported Jan. 23, 2009, that South Africa has two CIA “black sites.”
THAILAND: One of the first CIA black sites known as “Cat’s Eye” is located outside of Bangkok. Al-Qaeda operatives were flown there to be interrogated and tortured, including waterboarding. Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were videotaped there. Some 92 videotapes were made and stored and subsequently destroyed by the CIA. In 2005 ABC News reported Zubaydah was held in an unused warehouse on an airbase where he was made to stand in a cold cell and waterboarded.
UZBEKISTAN: The New York Times reported in May, 2005, the U.S. had sent dozens of suspects to Tashkent.
YEMEN: U.S. handed over prisoners, including some from its Bagram prison, to Yemen, where they allegedly were tortured.
ZAMBIA: According to UK’s Guardian Jan. 23, 2009, Zambia is one of countries with a CIA secret prison facility.
In addition to the prisons in the above-cited nations, the U.S. operates a number of illegal floating prisons.
U.S. PRISON SHIPS: On June 2, 2008 UK’s Guardian reported, “The US has admitted that the Bataan and Peleliu were used as prison ships between December 2001 and January 2002”. According to Reprieve, the U.S. may have used 17 ships as “floating prisons” since 2001. Detainees are interrogated on ships and may be rendered to other, undisclosed locations. Reprieve expressed concern over the time the U.S.S. Ashland spent off Somalia in early 2007. According to The Guardian, “At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100 individuals were ‘disappeared’ to prisons in locations including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guantanamo Bay. Reprieve believes prisoners may have also been held for interrogation on the USS Ashland and other ships in the Gulf of Aden during this time.”
The U.S. Navy, through a spokesman, said, “There are no detention facilities on US navy ships” but Commander Jeffrey Gordon told The Guardian some individuals had been put on ships “for a few days” during initial days of detention.
Reprieve quoted one prisoner released from Guantanamo who was on one of the U.S. ships who said there were 50 other prisoners in cages in the bottom of the ship and they were beaten even more severely than in Guantanamo. Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s legal director, is quoted as saying, “They choose ships to try to keep their misconduct as far as possible from the prying eyes of the media and lawyers. We will eventually reunite these ghost prisoners with their legal rights.”
From all of the above, it would be difficult to conclude anything other than that the U.S., with the help of a score of other nations, illegally seized and then processed countless innocent persons from the Middle East who were held incommunicado in scores of facilities where they were abused, tortured, denied all legal rights, and where approximately 100 of them that we know of died in Iraq alone, probably the victims of homicide.
Professor Boyle of the University of Illinois said he would submit the findings of this article to the Prosecutor of the ICC in support of his previous Complaint calling on the ICC to open “an international criminal investigation of these (President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, etc.) former U.S. governmental officials.”
Sherwood Ross is an award-winning journalist who formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News and worked as a columnist for several wire services. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ross wishes to express his gratitude to the journalists whose works he quoted for their original research that exposed the conditions in prisons described above, and particularly to the Associated Press.
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