One man held by the CIA in secret tells his story to Amnesty International. He was subjected to, according to AI’s statement, isolation, beatings, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, exposure to extremes of hot and cold, sensory deprivation and overload with bright lighting and loud music or repeated sound effects. He was taken into custody in Iraq by US forced in January 2004 and held at Abu Ghraib. According to Amnesty, “He was then sent to a CIA secret prison in Afghanistan, and then, in April 2004, to a second secret prison in an unidentified country – possibly in Eastern Europe. He was held there in complete isolation for a further 28 months, before being sent to Yemen and eventually released in May 2007.”

Read a series of essays in Washington Monthly to, as they elegantly said, stop a debate:

“In most issues of the Washington Monthly, we favor articles that we hope will launch a debate. In this issue we seek to end one. The unifying message of the articles that follow is, simply, Stop. In the wake of September 11, the United States became a nation that practiced torture. Astonishingly—despite the repudiation of torture by experts and the revelations of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib—we remain one. ”

The ACLU is appealing a court’s decision to dismiss their lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan. The lawsuit alleges that the company provided flight planning and logistical support services for aircraft and crews that were used by the CIA to kidnap and torture victims of “extraordinary rendition.”

In 2006, I was lucky enough to interview A.C. Thompson, one of the co-authors of Torture Taxi. He told me:

“[T]his CIA program, is not something that happens abroad — it’s not distanced from your daily life. The people who make it happen are your neighbors. They are unassuming people who are not necessarily government employees. They provide the cover and provide the infrastructure for the CIA to cruise around the world, kidnap people, throw them in dungeons and torment them.

That was really the theme that we wanted to hammer home: We all have culpability here. This is our government, these are our neighbors, this is our community, and this is not an exotic, totally covert thing. This is also a very pedestrian program. It’s in some ways a program that connects the very exotic and horrific to the very mundane facets of American life.”

March 23, 2008 - Posted by | Torture News

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