A lawsuit between two private contracting companies that transported detainees between the U.S., Guantanamo and secret black-hole overseas prisons has revealed major new details about the Government's secret rendition program under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
The company is DynCorp, now known as Dyncorp Internatiobal.[More...]
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Through an examination of flight records and interviews with U.S. officials and others, the AP has learned the Bush Administration used "Ghost Air," the secret airline that flew detainees to overseas "black hole" prisons for harsh interrogation, to whisk four high-level detainees out of Gitmo and back to a black hole overseas prison -- right before the Supreme Court was to rule on whether detainees can have access to the courts.
Who were they? None other than Abu Zubaydah, Abd al-Nashiri, Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa al-Hawsawi. [More...]
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As Big Tent Democrat wrote earlier, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed the dismissal of the ACLU lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan Inc. for its role in the Bush administration's unlawful extraordinary rendition. The opinion is here (pdf.)
The Bush and Obama Administration's "state secrets" claim was expressly rejected. The opinion says the government must invoke the state secrets privilege with respect to specific evidence, not by moving to dismiss the entire suit.
The ACLU brought the suit on behalf of five men, Al-Rawi, Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza and Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, who were kidnapped and secretly transferred to U.S.-run prisons or foreign intelligence agencies overseas where they were interrogated and tortured. The case is Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen. The ACLU's brief is here.
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"These techniques worked," Hayden said of the agency's interrogation program during a farewell session with reporters who cover the CIA. "One needs to be very careful" about eliminating CIA authorities, he said, because "if you create barriers to doing things . . . there's no wink, no nod, no secret handshake. We won't do it."
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The Washington Post turns in a remarkably loving portrayal of John Brennan here. It's not all their fault though - apparently the Obama staffers love them some Brennan too. And love is blind.
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"The most serious charge against Kappes, as best I can tell, comes from his role in the abduction and rendition of Abu Omar, the Egyptian cleric taken by the CIA off the streets of Milan and tortured in Egypt. A 2007 article from The Chicago Tribune about the rendition reports briefly that Kappes was "one of those who signed off on the Abu Omar abduction." (h/t TalkLeft.) No doubt that's troubling. Extraordinary rendition is legally and morally problematic. Italy is prosecuting in absentia the CIA agents involved in the Abu Omar rendition."
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Critics of the bloggers who were against John Brennan's nomination to a top intelligence position frequently whined that he was getting a bad rap (see Greenwald's article "The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash"). One critic goes so far as to say "Brennan's hands were not very dirty at all. He was apparently thrown under the bus because some ill-informed bloggers thought they were [dirty] and the transition folks didn't have the will to explain that they were wrong." (as quoted by Greenwald from Jeff Stein's CQ article).
Let's see how they choose to defend Stephen Kappes. There can be no vague denials that Kappes had dirty hands - at his feet rests the responsibility for the bungled and unnecessary rendition of Muslim cleric Osama Mustafa Hasan Nasr aka Abu Omar.
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Jeppesen knowingly provided direct flight services to the CIA that enabled the clandestine transportation of the men to secret overseas locations, where they were tortured and subjected to other "forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" under the agency's "extraordinary rendition" program.
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Canadian rendition victim Maher Arar has been denied relief by the U.S. District Court in his lawsuit against the U.S. arising from his seizure at JFK airport and transfer to Syria where he was tortured for a year.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has the details.
Today, a federal Court of Appeals ruled against Center for Constitutional Rights client Maher Arar’s case against U.S. officials for their role in sending him to Syria to be tortured and interrogated for a year under the extraordinary rendition program.
Maher Arar is not available to comment in person, but is issuing the following statement: “The Court’s 2-1 ruling is outrageous. It basically legitimizes what was done to me, and permits the government to use immigration law as a disguise to send people to torture without regard for due process.”
All of our Maher Arar coverage (47 posts)is accessible here.
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