Rendered By Bush Administration for Interrogation, Torture
by Massachusetts School of Law
Global Research, November 29,
In violation of international and U.S.
law, "thousands" of alleged terrorists have been victims
of "extraordinary rendition" by the Bush Administration
since 9/11, two legal scholars say. "Instead of working to
bring those committing crimes against the United States to justice
in U.S. courts, the Bush Administration seems intent on doing
exactly the opposite---keeping such individuals away from U.S.
courts, hidden in a web of secret prisons, underground interrogation
cells, and in the hands of cooperative governments," write
Margaret Satterthwaite and Angela Fisher. Satterthwaite is an
assistant professor of clinical law at NYU School of Law and Fisher
served as assistant research scholar with the Center for Human
Rights and Global Justice.
"Extraordinary renditions, whether
originating in territories under U.S. control (actual or effective)
or merely carried out by U.S. agents, are unlawful and in violation
of international treaties to which the United States is a party,"
the authors write. "Despite this clear prohibition, the Bush
Administration continues to engage in this practice, using it
to transfer detainees out of the reach of U.S. courts and into
the realm of secret detentions and brutal interrogations."
"Having altered the procedure from
a transfer sanctioned by U.S. courts to a transfer that is extralegal,
this Administration completed the transformation of extraordinary
rendition from transfer to justice to transfer out of the justice
system," the authorities contend in an article titled "Tortured
Logic: Renditions to Justice, Extraordinary Rendition, and Human
Rights Law" published in "The Long Term View,"
a journal of informed opinion published by the Massachusetts School
of Law at Andover(Volume 6, No. 4).
The authors explain that extraordinary
rendition is an updated form of "rendition to justice,"
first secretly authorized in 1986 by President Reagan in National
Security Decision Directive 207, which formalized U.S. policy
to fight terrorism. It came into being, they say, because the
U.S. in the 1980s did not have valid extradition treaties with
countries that commonly housed terrorists or because those nations
refused to give the suspects up. Under Reagan, they write, "it
has never been suggested that the purpose of the program was to
subject the detainees to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading
treatment. Once in the United States, the rendered individual
would be treated like any other federal detainee awaiting trial."
Satterthwaite and Fisher said President George H.W. Bush authorized
specific procedures for renditions in 1993 through National Security
Directive 77. President Clinton, they noted, went further "emphasizing
rendition as a key counter-terrorism strategy" and signing
presidential decision directive PDD-39 on June 21, 1995, which
stated, in part, "Return of suspects by force may be effected
without the cooperation of the host government" One outcome
of the Clinton policy, the scholars write, was the rendition of
Tal'at Fu'ad Qassim, an Egyptian national that had been granted
asylum in Denmark and seized by the U.S. in Bosnia and transported
to Egypt, where he was reportedly executed---the first known rendition
by the U.S. of a victim to a third country with a record of torture.
Between 1998 and 2000, the CIA rendered more than two dozen suspects,
then-CIA Director George Tenet testified. In 2004, Tenet testified
before Congress there had been more than 80 renditions prior to
September 11, 2001.
Since 9/11, the scholars wrote, renditions
have been used not to obtain jurisdiction over the suspects in
order to prosecute "but instead to get an individual to talk."
Previous renditions that required approval by an inter-agency
group that included the Departments of Justice and State, were
now placed in the hands of the CIA, which could render suspects
Satterthwaite and Fisher write extraordinary
rendition is prohibited by a number of international human rights
treaties the U.S. has signed, including the Convention Against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment("CAT"),
and the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR,
or "the Covenant").
Both prohibit the refoulement, or transfer,
of an individual to another state where the person faces the risk
of torture. Both treaties require ratifying states to institute
domestic laws penalizing torture and CAT specifically requires
states to criminalize conspiracy and aiding and abetting in torture.
Further Information, Jeff Demers, Massachusetts
School of Law, (978) 681-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sherwood
War Crimes & Criminals