54countries aided CIA renditions of U.S. detainees, according to a report from the Open Society Justice Initiative.
136people have been subjected to the renditions program, sent to third party countries for interrogation and/or torture and detention which would not be legal in the United States. source
[Zero Dark Thirty] creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding bin Laden. That impression is false.CIA chief Michael Morell • From a statement released today, regarding Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s controversial new film, Zero Dark Thirty, about the lead-up to the raid that ultimately killed Osama bin Laden.The film contains depictions of torture being used in service of the bin Laden manhunt, and suggests those methods were effective — Senators John McCain, Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin also sent a letter to the head of Sony Pictures, condemning that notion. We admit to not having seen the film yet, so any editorializing on our part would be critically ill-informed, but some who have seen it had incredibly strong reactions — this morning, MSNBC host Chris Hayes lambasted it as “objectively pro-torture,” and further suggested it “colludes with evil.” source
If your baseline is the Bush years, it’s night and day. If your baselines are a set of first principles, as the ACLU calls for, or as us openness advocates call for, then your situation is: Is the glass half full or the glass half empty?Tom Blanton, director of GWU’s National Security Archive • Discussing national security powers afforded to the Presidency, and the U.S. government. The impetus of this was the unearthing of a memo, authored back in 2006 by a Bush administration State Department counselor, Philip Zelikow. In it, he insists to the administration that their policy on waterboarding, among other things, amounted to a “felony.” The renewed conversation on American ethics and legal authority has shone a light on the Obama administration, as well, however. While the President publicly condemned waterboarding on his second day in office, his administration still employs extraordinary renditions, and his reluctance to renounce many of the broadened powers his predecessor accrued may set precedent, rendering what was once unique and limited the new functional norm. Says Jameel Jaffer, national security expert for the ACLU: “The administration has clearly disavowed torture, and that is an important and welcome thing. But they’re steadily building a framework for impunity.” source (via • follow)