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News Desk: Bush-Cheney and the Report on “Globalizing Torture”

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency embarked on a highly classified program of secret detention and extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects. The program was designed to place detainee interrogations beyond the reach of law. Suspected terrorists were seized and secretly flown across national borders to be interrogated by foreign governments that used torture, or by the CIA itself in clandestine “black sites” using torture techniques. – Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition

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THE REPORT chronicles what happened to 136 known victims and lists the 54 foreign governments that were involved with the torture program under President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Neither Bush nor Cheney have been held accountable.

The lack of accountability sits squarely with Congress, but particularly with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who refused to do her job, because President Obama wanted to look forward, not back.

This is what has happened to the U.S. Congress, which is now a patsy for whatever particular political party is in power, refusing to act like a constitutionally mandated equally empowered branch of the government.

It’s important to note that President Obama continues renditions, as the Washington Post recently reported.

An excerpt of the 216-page report is below.


To The United States government:

1. Repudiate the CIA’s practice of extraordinary rendition.

2. Cease reliance on “diplomatic assurances” against torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as a basis for transferring individuals to foreign countries.

3. Reaffirm and extend the commitment set forth in Executive Order 13491 to close secret CIA detention facilities by prohibiting secret detention– including short-term secret detention–by or with the involvement of any U.S. federal agency.

4. Disclose information relating to human rights violations associated with secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, including but not limited to the identities of all individuals subjected to these operations, along with available information on their detention and treatment, current whereabouts, and diplomatic assurances secured in particular cases. The U.S. administration and senate should work to declassify, to the maximum extent possible, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA detention and interrogation.

5. Conduct an effective and thorough criminal investigation into human rights abuses associated with CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations (including into abuses that had been authorized by the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice), with a view to examining the role of, and holding legally accountable, officials who authorized, ordered, assisted, or otherwise participated in these abuses.

6. Create an independent, non-partisan commission (with authority to access all relevant documents, subpoena witnesses, and make its concluding report public) to investigate human rights abuses associated with CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations (including into abuses that had been authorized by the Office of Legal Counsel), witha view to examining, and publicly disclosing, the role of officials who authorized, ordered, assisted, or otherwise participated in these abuses.

7. Create an independent, non-partisan board to review compensation claims and provide just compensation to all individuals subjected to human rights abuses associated with CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations.

8. Publicly disclose the report and recommendations of the Special Task Force on Interrogations and Transfer Policies (created pursuant to Executive Order 13491 in January 2009 to issue recommendations for ensuring that these policies comply with U.S. domestic laws and international obligations) along with descriptions of measures taken to implement the recommendations, so that the public may be able to assess whether policies were revised and adequate safeguards instituted against torture and other abuses associated with CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations.

9. Institute safeguards for ensuring that future joint counterterrorism operations do not run afoul of human rights standards, including by making participation in such operations contingent on compliance of all participating governments with human rights standards.

To other governments that participated in CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition Operations:

1. Refuse to participate in CIA extraordinary rendition.

2. Refuse to participate in secret detention, including at the behest, or with the involvement, of any U.S. agency or any other government.

3. Disclose information relating to human rights violations associated with CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, including but not limited to the identities of all individuals subjected to secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations along with available information on their detention and treatment, current whereabouts, and diplomatic assurances secured in particular cases.

4. Conduct effective and thorough investigations (including, where appropriate, criminal investigations) into the full range of human rights abuses associated with CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, with a view to examining and publicly disclosing the role of, and holding legally accountable, officials who authorized, ordered, assisted, or otherwise participated in these abuses.

5. Provide appropriate compensation to all individuals subjected to secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations in which the particular government participated.

6. Institute safeguards for ensuring that future joint counterterrorism operations do not violate human rights standards, including by making participation in such operations contingent on compliance of all participating governments with human rights standards.

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