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The Jehoshua Novels

CIA 'Extraordinary Rendition Program' Compilation Thread

Annals of Justice: Outsourcing Torture
Jane Mayer | February 14 issue

The New Yorker – The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.

Among the critics of the Administration’s legal measures is a counter-terrorism expert who helped establish the “rendition” program, Michael Scheuer.

Links to past Agonist threads related to the topic after the jump; subsequent updates in comments.

Investigation shows anti-terror jet owner seems to exist only on paper.
Germany Looks Into a U.S. Link in Kidnapping and Torture Claim.
Jet Is an Open Secret in Terror War.
CIA Has Run a Secret Facility in Guantanamo
Terror suspects’ torture claims have Mass. link; Secrecy Surrounds Transfer Jet.
Ottawa man fears Syria will draft him.
The 800lb gorilla in American foreign policy.
Secret world of US jails.
Arar: Deported Terror Suspect Details Torture in Syria: Called Typical of CIA.

23 comments to CIA 'Extraordinary Rendition Program' Compilation Thread

  • Anonymous

    Britain accused over CIA’s secret torture flights
    Stephen Grey & Andrew Buncombe | February 10
    The Independent -

  • Anonymous


    February 16, 2005

    C.I.A. Is Seen as Seeking New Role on Detainees

    Officials Say Agency Is Fearful of Blame


    This article was reported by Douglas Jehl, David Johnston and Neil A. Lewis and written by Mr. Jehl.


    WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 – The Central Intelligence Agency is seeking to scale back its role as interrogator and custodian of terrorist leaders who are being held without charges in secret sites around the world, current and former intelligence officials said.

    The internal discussions, they said, reflect the agency’s growing discomfort with what is increasingly seen as an untenable position. The C.I.A.’s current leadership is concerned, the officials said, that the legal authority for interrogations and detentions is eroding, and that there is no clear plan for how the agency can extricate itself from what could be a lengthy task of holding and caring for a small population* of aging terrorists whose intelligence value is steadily evaporating and who are unlikely ever to be released or brought to trial.

    The C.I.A. assumed the mission of detaining the leaders in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks. But the officials said the effort required to indefinitely maintain what amounts to a secret prison system overseas is increasingly regarded within the agency as conflicting with its core mission of collecting and analyzing intelligence.

    As it rethinks its role, the C.I.A. is facing renewed scrutiny in Congress and in the courts over practices like detentions without trial, harsh interrogations and the handing over of captives to third countries where they might be abused.

    The C.I.A. never expected to play a long-term role in the detention and interrogation of terror suspects, the officials said. At the same time, they added, the Bush administration’s repudiation of an August 2002 legal opinion regarding the use of torture, sought by the C.I.A. to protect its employees from liability, is seen within the agency as undercutting its authority to use coercive methods in interrogations.

    C.I.A. lawyers, who have said nothing in public about the decision in June 2004 to invalidate the opinion, were furious about the decision,

    former Justice Department officials said. From the start, senior C.I.A. officials had agreed to play a part in detention and interrogation as part of an immediate sense after the Sept. 11 attacks that all agencies must adopt a new approach to counterterrorism. But current and former intelligence officials say there was concern that the C.I.A. might be left to bear sole responsibility and the brunt of criticism for the use of harsh techniques.

    That concern was recently heightened when high-level administration officials seemed in public testimony to sidestep responsibility for shaping interrogation policies. The officials included Alberto R. Gonzales, the attorney general, and Michael Chertoff, the new homeland security secretary. Both suggested in their confirmation hearings that others might have played a greater role in deciding how interrogations would be conducted.

    Porter J. Goss, the new intelligence chief, is scheduled to make his first public appearance in that role on Wednesday, in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Congressional officials have said that the panel would conduct a review this year of the C.I.A.’s role in the detention and interrogation of the terrorist leaders, but the facts surrounding their detention remain among the government’s most closely guarded secrets, and it is not clear whether senators will question Mr. Goss about the issue in a public forum.

    The estimated three dozen people being held by the C.I.A. include Abu Zubaydah, the personnel coordinator for Al Qaeda, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the chief operational planner of the Sept. 11 plot. Under Bush administration directives, they are being detained indefinitely as unlawful combatants, without trial, and without access to lawyers or human rights groups.

    Among the options being discussed within the government is the possibility of enlisting another agency, most likely the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to assume a role in their interrogation. Bureau officials said they knew of no such discussions and would oppose any move to involve the F.B.I…..

    more at link

  • Anonymous

    February 13, 2005
    Senate May Open Inquiry Into C.I.A.’s Handling of Suspects


    WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 – The Senate intelligence committee is moving toward adoption of a plan to conduct a formal inquiry into the Central Intelligence Agency’s handling of suspects captured in the American effort to curb terrorism, Congressional officials from each party said this week.

    The inquiry would be the first by Congress to address the C.I.A.’s conduct in what has remained a shadowy corner of American counterterrorism efforts. The agency is believed to be holding at least three dozen senior members of Al Qaeda at secret sites around the world, and former intelligence officials say it has been involved in the extrajudicial handing over to third countries of scores of other suspects, in an arrangement known as rendition.

    The C.I.A.’s inspector general is already conducting several reviews of the agency’s detention and interrogation practices in Iraq and Afghanistan, including several episodes in which prisoners have been injured or killed in C.I.A. custody, intelligence officials have said. However, no C.I.A. review is known to be under way into the renditions or the treatment of prisoners at the secret sites, where those being held by the agency include Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, regarded as the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    The top Republican on the panel, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, confirmed in an interview on Friday that he and his staff were reviewing a proposal submitted by the top Democrat, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, which called for a formal investigation into detention, interrogation and rendition. Mr. Roberts said he was not sure that a formal investigation was warranted, but he suggested that the two sides could agree on a review.

    “I don’t anticipate any difference of opinion regarding the subject,” Mr. Roberts said.

    Mr. Rockefeller was the first to describe the proposal, in a telephone interview. The two senators spoke as part of the jousting between the parties about what the committee’s priorities should be in the year ahead. Republicans and Democrats have already agreed on an approach, first outlined last weekend, that would devote more attention to reviewing intelligence on Iran and other hot spots in an attempt to identify weaknesses before any repeat of the mistakes made in prewar assessments on Iraq and its weapons programs.

    In the interview, Mr. Rockefeller did not speak directly about the C.I.A.’s role in the detention, interrogation and rendition of terrorist suspects….


  • Anonymous

    Aboard Air CIA

    The agency ran a secret charter service, shuttling detainees to interrogation facilities worldwide. Was it legal? What’s next? A NEWSWEEK investigation

    By Michael Hirsh, Mark Hosenball and John Barry

    Newsweek Feb. 28 issue

    In the print edition, the graphic is acutally a numbered map with 13 stops and their dates which Newsweek researched and which correspond closely to el-Masri’s story; you can’t get this online.

    (refresh the page if you have trouble getting the whole story.)

    the NYT article referred to in Newsweek is here:

  • Anonymous

    to attempt to get archive urls for stories below, after the ‘free” expires, go to

    OPINION | February 24, 2005    
    The Case of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali
    (NYT)   Editorial

    ….If the Justice Department believed that Mr. Abu Ali was a serious terrorist, he should have been brought back here long ago for trial. Instead, he became part of an unknown number of prisoners who were swept up by American officials or foreign governments working with Americans and questioned in the wake of Sept. 11. Many were then held indefinitely and, in some cases, tortured in hopes that they would provide information.

    The civil liberties issues have always been evident, but now the practical consequences are becoming clearer as well.

    In an undisciplined attempt to wring statements out of any conceivable suspect, American officials have worked with countries like Saudi Arabia, a nation whose attitude toward human rights is deplorable, and Syria, which is counted by Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism. And now these officials are faced with the problem of what to do with these prisoners, most of whom have proved to be no use to interrogators, but who remain on America’s conscience.

    NATIONAL | February 25, 2005    
    Terror Suspect’s Family Protests Jail Rules

    NATIONAL | February 24, 2005    
    Family of Suspect in Bush Plot to Sue U.S.

    NATIONAL | February 24, 2005    
    Prosecutors Say Accomplice in Assassination Plot Died in 2003 Shootout

    WASHINGTON | February 23, 2005    
    American Accused in a Plot to Assassinate Bush
    By ERIC LICHTBLAU   (NYT)   News

  • Anonymous

    Within C.I.A., Growing Worry of Prosecution for Conduct
    Douglas Jehl & David Johnston | Washington | February 27
    NYT –

    on the UK precedents used:

    ‘Nobody is talking’  (Global War On Terror, All Topics)
    posted by candy on 02/18/2005 08:42:01 AM EDT

    and related to that:

    An Excerpt From: The Torture Papers
    Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua L. Dratel  | February 25

  • Anonymous

    NYT 3/6

    Rule Change Lets C.I.A. Freely Send Suspects Abroad to Jails


    The process has been central in U.S. efforts to disrupt terrorism, but it has been criticized by human rights groups.

  • Anonymous

    related news article in parent comment

    NYT Lead Editorial 3/8

    Torture by Proxy

    Published: March 8, 2005

    One of the biggest nonsecrets in Washington these days is the Central Intelligence Agency’s top-secret program for sending terrorism suspects to countries where concern for human rights and the rule of law don’t pose obstacles to torturing prisoners. For months, the Bush administration has refused to comment on these operations, which make the United States the partner of some of the world’s most repressive regimes.

    But a senior official talked about it to The Times’s Douglas Jehl and David Johnston, saying he wanted to rebut assertions that the United States was putting prisoners in the hands of outlaw regimes for the specific purpose of having someone else torture them. Sadly, his explanation, reported on Sunday, simply confirmed that the Bush administration has been outsourcing torture and intends to keep doing it…..

  • Anonymous

    Scheuer supports rendition program in NYT op-ed [none / 0] Replies: 0
    posted by artappraiser on 03/11/2005 03:41:03 PM EDT
    attached to Al-Qaeda’s Completed Warning Cycle – Ready to Attack?

    also, here’s two more cross-links to recent related posts

    How progressives frame/address this topic [none / 0] Replies: 0
    posted by artappraiser on 03/10/2005 05:54:28 PM EDT
    attached to Israeli “Impersonators” Key To Terror Fight

    CIA Jets Fly War On Terror
    Brian Ross | March 7
      (ABC News)    
    ABC -

  • Anonymous

    The presence of Scheuer’s op-ed today, which, if you note, somewhat contradicts the support that he give as a source for The New Yorker article that is at the top of this thread,

    makes me suspect that something is about to blow on all of this:

    Within C.I.A., Growing Worry of Prosecution for Conduct
    Douglas Jehl & David Johnston | Washington | February 27

    Lawsuit lays blame for torture at the top
    Faye Bowers | Washington | March 2

    C.I.A. Interrogator’s Defense to Cite Bush at Brutality Trial
    Scott Shane | Washington | February 11

    Scheuer is helping the C.I.A. out right now?

  • Anonymous

    and not CIA on the interrogation issue yesterday?

  • Anonymous

    as I am no pro at conspiracizing about leakers and motives for op-eds and how smart Senate aides actually are. (I never let my hopes get too high on the latter.) This is about as far as I can go. Lol.

    Here’s one suggestion: watch for any Knut Royce articles in Newsday.

  • Anonymous

    Europeans Investigate CIA Role in Abductions
    Craig Whitlock | Milan | March 13

  • Anonymous

    official print edition paper, will do!

  • Anonymous

    CIA-related leakers at the top of the article. Bush talking about it; House voting on it…read it…I think the CIA doesn’t want to get blamed in whatever is going to happen, maybe because they wanted instructions/assurances/cover that they didn’t get? Also see Candy’s cross-link about Europe posted furhter down on this thread

    CIA Challenged About Suspects’ Torture Overseas

    By Dana Priest
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, March 17, 2005; Page A01

    in full @


    The system the CIA relies on to ensure that the suspected terrorists it transfers to other countries will not be tortured has been ineffective and virtually impossible to monitor, according to current and former intelligence officers and lawyers, as well as counterterrorism officials who have participated in or reviewed the practice.

    To comply with anti-torture laws that bar sending people to countries where they are likely to be tortured, the CIA’s office of general counsel requires a verbal assurance from each nation that detainees will be treated humanely, according to several recently retired CIA officials familiar with such transfers, known as renditions.

    But the effectiveness of the assurances and the legality of the rendition practice are increasingly being questioned by rights groups and others, as freed detainees have alleged that they were mistreated by interrogators after the CIA secretly delivered them to countries with well-documented records of abuse.

    President Bush weighed in on the matter for the first time yesterday, defending renditions as vital to the nation’s defense….

    Rendition, a form of covert action that is supposed to be shrouded in the deepest secrecy, was first authorized by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and was used by the Clinton administration to transfer drug lords and terrorists to the United States or other countries for military or criminal trials.

    After the 2001 attacks, Bush broadened the CIA’s authority and, as a result, the agency has rendered more than 100 people from one country to another without legal proceedings and without providing access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, a right afforded all prisoners held by the U.S. military. ….

    The CIA inspector general recently launched a review of the rendition system, and some members of Congress are demanding a thorough probe. Canada, Sweden, Germany and Italy have started investigations into the participation of their security services in CIA renditions.

    The House voted 420 to 2 yesterday to prohibit the use of supplemental appropriations to support actions that contravene anti-torture statutes. The measure’s co-author, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), singled out renditions, saying “diplomatic assurances not to torture are not credible, and the administration knows it.”…

    The CIA general counsel’s office requires the station chief in a given country to obtain a verbal assurance from that country’s security service. The assurance must be cabled back to CIA headquarters before a rendition takes place. …

    continued @ link

  • Anonymous

    Lawmakers Oppose Practice of Extraordinary Rendition
    Voice of America – 4 hours ago

    By  Dan Robinson
    Capitol Hill
    17 March 2005

    Although members of Congress support the war against terrorism, there is increasing criticism of a policy known as extraordinary rendition in which individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism have been sent to other countries, often for interrogation sometimes facing torture there.  Some lawmakers support legislation to ban the practice, which President Bush believes is an important tool of the battle against terrorism.

    In his news conference Wednesday at the White House, President Bush was asked by a reporter about the practice of extraordinary rendition.

    “The post-9/11 world, the United States must make sure we protect our people and our friends from attack,” said Mr. Bush.  “That was the charge we have been given.  And one way to do so is to arrest people and send them back to their country of origin with the promise that they won’t be tortured.  That’s the promise we receive.  This country does not believe in torture.  We do believe in protecting ourselves.  We don’t believe in torture.”

    The president’s response came amid increasing questions from members of Congress, and criticism by human rights and civil liberties groups.

    Alexandra Arriaga is Governmental Affairs Director of Amnesty International.

    “There is mounting evidence of a wide-ranging U.S. program to transfer detainees to countries outside the rule of law through extraordinary rendition, that place individuals in direct threat of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” she said.

    The practice of rendition was approved, but thought to have been little used under former President Bill Clinton.  It was modified and strengthened by President Bush to allow the CIA to transport detainees without case-by-case review.

    Since the September 2001 al-Qaida attacks in the United States, detainees have been transferred from U.S. custody to other countries, including, according to various reports:  Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan…..

    President Bush’s defense of rendition coincided with a victory on Capitol Hill by lawmakers opposing extraordinary rendition.

    In approving legislation funding U.S. military needs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the House of Representatives adopted by near unanimous vote, an amendment prohibiting the money from being used in a way that would contravene the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

    Congressman Earl Blumenauer was one of the sponsors of the amendment.

    “We have called for this Congress to get on top of what is I am afraid an emerging scandal,

    where we use extraordinary rendition, where we kidnap and transport people, where there isn’t effective oversight, where Congress does not know what is going on, where there are people who are not being held accountable,” said Mr. Blumenauer.

  • Anonymous

    House votes to reaffirm ban on torture of detainees
    By Matthew Daly, Associated Press, 3/16/2005 18:24

    WASHINGTON (AP) The House voted Wednesday to ban use of federal money to transfer terror suspects to countries that are believed to torture prisoners a practice that has drawn fierce criticism of the Bush administration.

    The largely symbolic amendment reaffirms a 1994 treaty barring torture of detainees in American custody, whether in the United States or in countries known for human rights violations. The measure was approved 420-2 as part of an $81.4 billion emergency spending package for combat and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The amendment, authored by Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, comes in the wake of media accounts alleging that the U.S. government has secretly sent detainees to foreign countries where they have been tortured for information.

    The administration has denied the allegations. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told reporters last week that before the United States hands over terror suspects to foreign governments, it receives assurances that they will not be tortured….

  • Anonymous

    Government trying to plug classified leak in CIA inmate’s death


    Associated Press

    Posted on Wed, Mar. 16, 2005

    SAN DIEGO – The Central Intelligence Agency has retroactively classified documents that were released to lawyers representing Navy SEALS accused of abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, an unusual step the agency says is needed to protect national security.

    The documents, marked “Unclassified//For Official Use Only,” were handed over last year to the Navy, which in turn gave them to civilian defense attorneys. According to two of the attorneys, some documents revealed the names of CIA operatives and intelligence methods.

    Late last year, the CIA asked the Navy to retrieve the documents, which detail the spy agency’s role in the death of Manadel al-Jamadi, an Iraqi man who died while being interrogated by a CIA agent in November 2003.

    The Navy is still trying to put the cat back in the bag. In recent weeks, attorneys were asked to deliver all the information they have received in the case, more than 2,000 pages, to a vault at a San Diego Navy base.

    Attorney John Tranberg said Wednesday the documents included hundreds of pages that already had been reclaimed by the Navy and censored by the CIA.

    “Somebody screwed up,” Tranberg said. “The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”

    In a March 1 letter to attorneys, Navy prosecutor Cmdr. Jack McDonald said the documents’ return was required “to protect national security information and is not intended to prevent your access to discovery or to compromise your attorney-client privileges.” The attorneys can still read the documents at the base vault….

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like they are all waiting holding breath for the CIA Inspector General’s Report? That’s why the House had vote? To C.Y.A.? And the reason for the WaPo article–to get out a defense first? People seem to be preparing for the report, one way or another.

    Senate Panel Avoiding CIA Detainee Issue -Democrat
    Tue Mar 15, 2005 09:30 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leading Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee accused the Republican-led panel on Tuesday of shirking its responsibility to scrutinize the CIA’s treatment of terrorism suspects.

    The 15-member Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which has oversight authority over the U.S. intelligence community, met for two hours at the request of Democrats who want a Senate probe of CIA detainee practices.

    Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia, the ranking Democrat, emerged from the session saying Republicans had no serious intention of examining detainee interrogation and detention issues that have drawn increasing public attention.

    “It was not good in there. It was probably the least constructive meeting of the intelligence committee that I’ve ever been to. We are not facing our oversight responsibilities with sufficient seriousness,” Rockefeller said….

     “We are the only committee that has responsibility for doing oversight on that whole matter, which is something we’ll all be dealing with for the next three, four decades,” he said. “Nobody else can do it.”

    Democrats have been increasing pressure on the committee’s chairman, Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, to authorize an investigation of CIA practices that include the transfer of detainees to countries known to employ torture.

    Roberts rebuffed Rockefeller’s initial request for an investigation last month and has since said he believes the detainee issue will be fully addressed in a probe being conducted by the CIA inspector general.….

  • Anonymous

    C.I.A. Chief Defends Interrogation Policy and Disavows Torture
    Douglas Jehl | Washington | March 18
    NYT -

  • Anonymous

    March 19, 2005

    C.I.A. Says Approved Methods of Questioning Are All Legal

    Expanidng on a qualified statement about not authorizing torture


    WASHINGTON, March 18 – The Central Intelligence Agency said Friday that all interrogation techniques approved for use by agency personnel in questioning terrorism suspects were permissible under federal laws prohibiting torture.

    “All approved interrogation techniques, both past and present, are lawful and do not constitute torture,” the agency said in a statement.

    The agency made the assertion a day after Porter J. Goss, the director of central intelligence, told Congress that all interrogation techniques used “at this time” were legal but declined, when asked, to make the same broad assertion about practices used over the past few years.

    In the written statement, Jennifer Millerwise, the agency’s director of public affairs, said, “C.I.A. policies on interrogation have always followed legal guidance from the Department of Justice.”

    “If an individual violates the policy, then he or she will be held accountable,” the statement said.

    One C.I.A. employee, David Passaro, is awaiting trial in federal court in North Carolina in connection with the death of a prisoner in Afghanistan whom he had interrogated. The Justice Department is reviewing at least three other cases in which prisoners died in American custody in Afghanistan or Iraq to determine whether C.I.A. employees should face criminal prosecution, according to American officials.

    The statement by Ms. Millerwise focused on “approved interrogation techniques” and did not say whether all techniques actually used by C.I.A. employees in questioning suspected terrorists had been permissible under antitorture laws….


  • Anonymous

    Man’s Claims May Be a Look at Dark Side of War on Terror

    April 12, 2005

    By Jeffrey Fleishman, Times Staff Writer

    ULM, Germany — Khaled el-Masri says his strange and violent trip into the void began with a bus ride on New Year’s Eve 2003.

    When he returned to this city five months later, his friends didn’t believe the odyssey he recounted. Masri said he was kidnapped in Macedonia, beaten by masked men, blindfolded, injected with drugs and flown to Afghanistan, where he was imprisoned and interrogated by U.S. intelligence agents. He said he was finally dumped in the mountains of Albania….,1,4839658.story

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