Communist Party of Australia

We acknowledge the Sovereignty of the First Nations’ Peoples.

The Web CPA Archive Only

Issue #1582      February 20, 2013

Nearly 50 countries helped CIA torture prisoners

The authors of the report “Globalisation of Torture” found that governments of 54 countries assisted the CIA in search, transportation and torture of terrorism suspects. This work was started by the CIA after September 11, 2001. In the former Soviet area the CIA was supported by the governments of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania and Uzbekistan. Some Western analysts were surprised that the list did not include Russia.

The report was presented on February 5 in New York by the George Soros Open Society Fund. The authors describe in detail how the CIA involved the “third party” countries in an operation called “extraordinary rendition.” They involve detention of a person without a court order with the following imprisonment and tortures to extract confessions. Sometimes these confessions were false and were used, for example, to justify the US intervention in Iraq.

The report states that 136 people were detained under the emergency procedure, and details each story. If the secret help of governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Egypt comes as no surprise, the “black holes” in the governments of Sweden, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Denmark and Iceland, that is, the countries that boast of openness and transparency, are striking. These “independent” and “non-aligned” governments acted on the instructions of the CIA, i.e., in the figurative expression of former Vice President Dick Cheney, they quietly, without any discussion, using their available sources and methods, destroyed people without trial.

In a television interview with Fox News in 2011, Cheney said that it was a great program of intensive interrogation and absolutely legal. He said that it could not be called torture and should be resumed. It was not legitimate because the US is a party to the UN Convention against Torture of 1984. Another thing is that the domestic law on torture is seriously flawed and does not comply with the convention.

Four secret documents adopted during the presidency of George W Bush were published in the US. They contain detailed description of the permitted methods of interrogation by the CIA. The documents legalised an entire list of harsh methods of interrogation, including blows in the face, placing prisoners in the areas that impede movement, forcing them to stay in uncomfortable positions, and sleep deprivation. The regulations also permit the use of torture by water (simulated drowning) and placing prisoners in the enclosed spaces with insects. President Barack Obama said that he put an end to these techniques by his decree, but there are serious doubts about it.

The program was indeed “great,” as it allowed justifying the war against Saddam Hussein, attracting as allies the current enemies of the US – Syria and Iran. In Iran, however, no one was tortured. Its government transferred to Afghanistan 15 prisoners suspected of terrorism in exchange for a group of fellow citizens in March of 2002. Six people in the group were soon transferred to secret prisons in the United States, where they remain to this day. Cooperation with Iran ended in 2002 when President Bush declared it part of an “axis of evil.”

President Assad signed a special agreement with the CIA and was active with the agency in 2001 - 2002. At least nine suspects were detained in Syria or transferred there for questioning. The prisoners were kept in prison Far Falastin in the western suburbs of Damascus. The most famous case is the arrest and extradition to Syria of a Canadian citizen Maher Arar in 2002. Arar was imprisoned for over ten months. He was placed in horrendous conditions, in a cage, where he was beaten with hoses and threatened with an electric current, the report of the Fund stated.

Muammar Gaddafi also helped the CIA. According to the report, he approved the transfer of the aircraft that carried a Hong Kong detainee Abu Munthir. Gaddafi worked alongside Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who was later accused by the Americans of brutal suppression of the “Arab Spring.” However, his cruelty was fine with them when it was needed. Mubarak has sanctioned the arrest and interrogation of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who at risk of torture in the hands of Egyptian officials gave false information regarding Iraq, stating that its government provided chemical and biological weapons to Al-Qaeda. These data extracted under torture was later used by General Colin Powell in his address to the UN to justify the US invasion of Iraq. Al-Libi later retracted his statement, but soon died in a Libyan prison, allegedly committing suicide.

The former Soviet Union was also found helping the CIA. Azerbaijani authorities gave the agency the right to use the country’s airports to transport prisoners. Richmor Aviation airline, working under a contract with the CIA, performed at least 76 flights from Baku, the report said. The report mentioned detention in Azerbaijan of Ahmed Mohammed al-Hazza Darby in 2002, who was allegedly transferred to the CIA and later placed in a prison in Bagram in Afghanistan, where he was subjected to various forms of torture.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who took office in 2004, according to the report, authorised capture and extradition of several CIA terror suspects, apparently closely related to the Chechen fighters trained in the Pankisi Gorge.


Next article – US a factor in six million Congo deaths

Back to index page