CIA renditions aided by over 50 countries
February 5th, 2013
05:03 PM ET

CIA renditions aided by over 50 countries

By Jamie Crawford

As many as 54 countries participated in the overseas detention and rendition programs overseen by the CIA in the years following the September 11 attacks, according to a new report from a human rights watchdog group.

The report from the Open Society Justice Initiative is an extensive look at a program that has remained largely unreported in its size and scale despite official acknowledgement from former President George W. Bush and other U.S. officials.

According to the report, 136 people have been subjected to the process of rendition – the transfer of a terrorism suspect by the United States to a third country for interrogation – or have been held in one of the so-called "black site" prisons in third countries run by the CIA.

"The consequence of having so many partners engaged in these operations is that the United States is exposed to continuing embarrassment, liability and censure in multiple jurisdictions outside the United States," Amrit Singh, the report's author told CNN.

The findings were derived from public sources, including documents from U.S. and foreign governments, inquiries from the European Parliament and Council of Europe, findings from human rights investigations and news reports.

The CIA secretly held detainees at detention facilities in Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania and Thailand in addition to Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba according to the report.

In addition, the report said that countries as varied as Azerbaijan, Canada, Denmark, Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malaysia and Sri Lanka also participated through their interrogation, torture or role in capturing terror suspects.

Cooperation could also include permitting the use of airspace for overflight rights of planes carrying terror suspects, the report said.

The findings also discussed reports of a secret prison in Somalia run with CIA involvement, along with a two-month secret detention of a terror suspect aboard a U.S. Navy ship.

The Italian Supreme Court last year upheld convictions of 23 Americans tried in absentia for the kidnapping of a Muslim cleric from the streets of Milan.

They were accused by prosecutors of whisking the cleric to Egypt for interrogation as part of a CIA team working with Italian intelligence officials on a terrorism investigation.

Separately, the European Court of Human Rights recently held that the government of Macedonia violated the rights of Khaled El-Masri, a German national who alleged the CIA abducted him from Macedonia and sent him for interrogation in Afghanistan as part of a terrorism investigation.

The U.S. Supreme Court had earlier refused to hear El-Masri's case, after lower federal courts rejected his legal claims.

A consequences of cases like El-Masri, according to Singh, is that "governments will be increasingly reluctant to cooperate with the United States in counter-terrorism operations that could potentially expose them to liability."

While President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2009 disavowing the use of torture, banned the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects, and ordered the closure of secret detention facilities, the order did not repudiate the practice of rendition.

"In fact, the order was specifically to permit short term detention for rendition purposes," Singh said. "Exactly how rendition is being carried out in practice still remains unclear."

Supporters of the rendition and detention programs say they were an important component of national security policy in the uncertain threat environment following the 2001 attacks.

"All of these plots, everything that was planned after 9/11 never happened," Marc Thiessen, chief speech writer for President George W. Bush told CNN. "Today, people sit back from the security of a dozen years since 9/11 and judge what the CIA. did back then. But the reality is without it, we would not have gone 12 years without a terrorist attack."

In December, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to approve a wide-ranging report on CIA detention and interrogation policies that is still classified.

The issue is likely to be prominent at the committee's confirmation hearing for John Brennan, who has been nominated to be the next CIA director.

He characterized the practice as an "absolutely vital tool" in combating terrorism in a 2005 interview.

But critics of the administration's counterterrorism policy say increased use of armed drones against terrorism suspects, instead of interrogations, comes at the expense of important intelligence gains.

"When you send a drone to kill a terrorist, you not only vaporize the terrorist, you vaporize all the intelligence in his brain and so you might as well be setting file cabinets in the CIA on fire," Thiessen says. "The destruction of intelligence that has taken place under this administration's watch is unfathomable."

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Filed under: CIA • Terrorism
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Michael

    CIA Rendition will come back to haunt America, just as Obummers love for his Killer Drone Program. No of this will make Americans safer, especially when more of our citizens are will to sacrifice their freedoms and liberties in the name of the "War on Terror."

    As to the issue of Drones. What has been forgotten here is that two can dance to that tune. Drones are not difficult to build. What is difficult is stopping a small lethal, Killer Drone from inflicting lethal damage, whether it be an U.S. Ambassador or a high ranking U.S.Official.

    Iran has proven that it is possible to override a drone, now they need to learn how to...Return to Sender.

    As for the "Secret CIA Rendition Program. America has only launched an invitation or recruiting program, for every single individual legally seized and imprisoned by the U.S. it creates 100 jihadist s.

    I fore see. in the very near future a rain of terror from the use of Killer in America and around the world, where ever an American can be found. Allahu Akbar الله أكب

    February 7, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • mickey1313

      I have to say that I agree with both thoughts , both the rendition, and the drones. But when I hear the allah akbar crap, it makes me want to donate more money to the effort of slaughtering every muslem on the planet.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:46 am | Reply
  2. Skorpio

    Paying bounties to Muslim women to eliminate Islamic clerics, devout Muslims and terrorists is the cheapest way to stop global Islamic violence and keep a long lasting peace. If Muslim women are empowered to have absolute power just like any emir, caliph or sultan, the world can benefit getting rid of Islamic clerics and devout Muslims who are the most perverse, violent, irrational, intolerant and discriminatory people. Perhaps Muslim women could even ban Islam entirely which is the root of all evil. Don't forget that Osama Bin Laden was betrayed by his wives.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply
  3. Rusty

    When it comes to defeating pure evil, everyone likes to join the cause - 54 countries around the world in this case.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Tom

      According to you Rusty, evil and charity are one in the same in the sense that both begin at home. Today, 90% of the world's evil originates out of Washington D.C.!

      February 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • mickey1313

      Too bad that al quada was created funded trained and tasked by the CIA. Too bad that while the peoples of islam are disgusting evil sichophants, it is all the american military industreal complex that has been ra peing american freedom for over 10 years. every country who bowed to bush and his terrorist chronies should burn, in the same fassion that NK and Iran should burn. Add china and russa to that list, and the world would be a much better place.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:51 am | Reply
  4. Ray

    54 countries!! Wow!! The support for the War on Terror is overwhelming. So many countries are joining the cause, pitching in and helping out.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      Wouldn't you "pitch in" too, if you were being paid enough, Ray? These countries definitely were as bribery has become a staple of our foreign policy as well as torturing our political prisoners! How sickening!

      February 7, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
      • Ted

        Of course I would pitch in and volunteer because I believe in the cause but not just because of compensation. Many Muslim countries are on the US dole who are in it only for the money. That is why it may be too hard for you to understand the concept that people volunteer for a good cause.

        February 7, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  5. Re-posted With Intent To Educate 54 countries that participated in detention of Muslim terrorists by CIA AKA Muslim Terrorists Sensitivity Training

    Renowned Muslim activists and generalists in America, Europe, and many more moderate Arab countries have decried the silence of the corrupt muslim governments over the continued “brutal murders of innocent peoples by their tyrants like 100 Shia were cold bloodily murdered in Pakistan by Sunni terrorists” and said all minorities should be given the right to self-determination, especially in CIA participating countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

    “CIA participating countries Pakistan, Mali, Yemen, Benghazi, Somalia, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, and almost all muslim countries are poverty ridden, uneducated, and bloody occupied by al Qaeda fighters, or some other types of muslim terrorist groups.

    Under the military rules in CIA participating countires Pakistan, Mali, Yemen, Benghazi, Somalia, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, freedom of speech is non-existent and human rights abuses are wide spread by mullahs. A survey said 5 out of 10 adult muslim man has never heard words like "Job", 'Education", "Election" or "Democracy".

    Lives of minorities in Pakistan, Mali, Somalia, Yemen, Benghazi, Algeria, Syria are made miserable by gun-totting army personnel or Jihadist terrorist groups, who routinely harass, extort money, commit raps, or terrorize people with impunity, adding that disappearances are almost a daily occurrence as also kidnapping, arrests, fake encounters and torture. Mass graves of minorities have been discovered in these muslim counties and the conscience of the world remains un-stirred................

    Tourism in CIA participating countries Pakistan, Mali, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Algeria, Nigeria have virtually dropped to zero, while terrorism, unemployment, religious fanaticism have gone through the roof. More and more young muslims are encouraged to join terrorist groups by their governments. These young muslims are more vulnerable to be exploited by mullahs also known as terrorist recruiters. All mosques are becoming terrorist recruiting centers too in countries like Pakistan, Mali, Yemen, Benghazi.

    The apathy towards minorities of muslim countries like Pakistan, Mali, Somalia, Benghazi, Yemen, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, especially in the western world, is because of their interest in supporting corrupt governments to “secure their oil supply, or natural resources with corrupt army chiefs of Pakistan or crook Arabs of Saudi Arabia, UAE than human rights in poor muslim countries".

    February 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • Carlson

      Thank you. Good posting

      February 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
    • John Geheran

      Very interesting post.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
      • John Geheran

        I see that my impostor is back by that post above. I wish that CNN would do something about these name thieves usurping peoples' names for their own amusement. This is definitely not fair!

        February 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
      • John Geheran

        Use name that no one like to impostor. May I suggest few !!!! Muhammed, Mohammed, Mohoumed, From Pakistan With Love.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Carlson

      What an ignorant post above, Re-posted To Educate 54 countries..... Any three year old kid would know better than to fall for that idiocy you posted!

      February 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        You nailed it, Carlson. I see that you're being trolled, too just like I am as you may have noticed below. For the record, I am disgusted that bribery has become a staple part of our foreign policy as well as torture!

        February 6, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
      • Tom

        dimwit you are not the only Tom. Use your real name.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
      • hello puny boy

        Hey pewnie boy at it again, his handle is Phunnie Boy, and he really thinks he is, funny that is, he supports his own comments, under different pseudonym, george patton, john geheran, what ever name will do at the time. He just chooses to use others names to create his own form of chaos. Just use you own handle you gutless piece of s-h-i-t.

        February 6, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
  6. George Patton

    50 countries that participated with CIA:

    .50. PAKISTAN

    50 countries that participated with Al Qaeda:

    .50. PAKISTAN

    February 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply


    February 6, 2013 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • Carlson

      Again, well said, WAKE UP, AMERIKA! Don't pay any attention to these ignoramuses who don't agree with you. These jerks have nothing on their minds as one can see.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  8. Tom

    When you are doing the right thing, 50 others will join your cause. I thank all the participants for making the world safer from barbaric people.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:10 am | Reply
    • Carlson

      Who are you to say that we're "doing the right thing"? Do you really consider torturing political prisoners doing the right thing? Have you no humane feelings at all? And just why do you consider hiring accomplices to be moral? You're evidently a very hateful Tea Partier who sees glory in these senseless wars of ours!

      February 6, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
  9. coderjones

    so in the end
    the outcome justifies the means
    sounds very american – given how the united states began

    February 6, 2013 at 3:47 am | Reply
    • KEVIN

      coderjones, do realize that the entire population of the ME are lucky they exist now because we restained ourselves after 9/11?

      February 6, 2013 at 3:56 am | Reply
      • cb88

        so by that logic europe shouldve been bombed into the ground because hitler was european......ignorance is bliss

        February 6, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  10. KEVIN

    Ironically, we were trying to be civilized in our reaction to 9/11 by utilizing these super specific actions/practices. In the days and weeks after 9/11, I was suprised (even infuriated) that we did not react utilizing mass genocide on most of the ME (the big three would not have blamed us as long as they got a fair junk of the soon to be unpopulated land). THIS IS A FACT.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:16 am | Reply
  11. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:17 am | Reply
    • KEVIN

      John, the ME has been a socially regressed archiac waring culture for thousands of years. They are tribal and live to kill their own people. The west, Russia and Far East and the Romans and British and Spanish and French and anchient Egypt have tried like hell to establish a stable society in this geographic region without long term success. This is super ironic because the geographic area was the birth of human civilization with Sumaria ect.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:48 am | Reply
    • Hammurabi

      Iran, Iraq, Iran, Iraq.... 60 times equals 60 countries???

      February 6, 2013 at 4:06 am | Reply
    • Carlson

      Thank you, John. Good posting.

      February 6, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
  12. Oldbones

    I think the number would not have been 54, were it not for the "you're either with us , or against us" speech given by Bush just after the 9/11 tragedy. As a Canadian, we were willing to help the US after the attack because we valued them as family and friend, but after the speech we felt we had not choice for fear of having Bush turn his raging war mongering on us. As an officer in the Royal Canadian Armed Forces, my colleagues and I were more then will to help the US. We see our relationship as more a family who my disagree, but when you are attacked we would gladly fight with you. But after that speech we were thinking this feeling was one sided and that bush would consider us as enemies. It was most disheartening.

    February 5, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • Shangheyed

      Thanks indeed for the help... keep that in mind when you need assistance.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Reply
      • cb88

        we wont need your help...most ppl like us....the only country to attack us was america during the war of 1812 and the american revolution....and your welcome for the help did you forget afghanistan

        February 6, 2013 at 8:49 am |
  13. Ablade

    This Amrit Singh who has prepared the report is the Daughter of Indian PM Manmohan Singh.

    February 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  14. John Geheran

    This is just horrific! We paid 54 different countries to detain and torture people that we deemed as "terrorists" in order to help the cursed C.I.A. No wonder we became to most hated country in the world! Even worse than that, our homegrown war criminals will never be brought to justice which is one of the biggest tragedies of our time!

    February 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • Shangheyed

      Thanks indeed to those countries that helped... those that didn't once you get off your high horse and run into some trouble don't come running to the USA for assistance. You may just find you too are on your own. Fighting Terrorists isn't for the week hearted... anything goes you fight fire with fire or you die.


      February 5, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Reply
      • Maraia

        So pathetic...

        February 6, 2013 at 12:26 am |
      • Andy in Oz

        I am afraid that the "anything goes" policy is a slippery slope indeed..... how then do you differentiate from who is an apparent "good guy" and who is not? You risk becoming the the very thing that you fight against.

        February 6, 2013 at 1:19 am |
      • DaLe

        Perhaps a reason why many didn't join the kind of Kristallnacht is that they thought that terrorism against state as nothing new is nothing to get anyhow excited about? And/or they simply don't hold much to give special standing to jerks?

        February 6, 2013 at 5:22 am |
  15. Ty Wolfe

    Hard to criticize other countries for human rights violations when we do it. Our fore-fathers would be disappointed.

    I remember the outrage when two delta force members where mutilated in Somalia... We condemned it. I remember Nick Berg's horrible decapitation in Iraq. We were outraged.

    But, sadly... we are doing the same thing with rendition and no one seems to care.

    February 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • SBTRKT

      Rendition and dragging mutilated bodies through the streets are not anywhere close to the same. Most of the 'torture' that you describe as a 'human rights violation' is no worse than what a lot of kids go through in college and over 10,000 service members have experienced the worst of it going through SERE. Check out the video of Mike Hayden, John Rizzo, and Jose Rodriguez's response to ZD30 and listen to some of the experts on this issue. It's pretty interesting and enlightening. Oh and if you think that our forefathers were wholesome gentleman, open a history book.

      February 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  16. YaValioCacaWates

    You can bet Iran, N Korea, China, and Russia did not participate.

    February 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  17. Jim bob

    When Americans are subject to this by other countries...
    We will here U.S. "outrage", count on it.

    One Example, read about DIA's new spy program plans and use of "Civilians"

    February 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  18. Deeddybew

    ryan air

    February 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Reply

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