In “Are oil embargoes a way to entrench monopoly” Cape Points 19th of Sept 2012 I wrote “I would not be alarmed to learn of secret meetings between Saddam of Iraq, Assad of Syria, Gadhafi of Libya, the US and the Israelis. Perhaps we will learn how they deliberated a strategy to slaughter people by planning oil wars in search of weapons of mass destruction. Why else are the Americans bombing villages in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan? Persecution and murder is unjustifiable and evil regardless of religion, race, culture or history.”
According to Amrit Singh of the Open Society Institute, “Globalizing Torture” is the most comprehensive account yet assembled of the abuses associated with CIA detention and extraordinary rendition operations.
Following September 11, 2001, the CIA commenced a secret detention program. Suspected terrorists were held in CIA prisons, also known as “black sites,” outside the US, where they were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” that involved torture and abuse. Simultaneously, the CIA gained authority to engage in “extraordinary rendition,” defined as the transfer, without legal process, of a detainee to the custody of a foreign government for purposes of detention and interrogation. Both the detention program and the extraordinary rendition program were classified, conducted outside the US and designed to place interrogations beyond the reach of the law. Torture was a hallmark of both. The programs entailed the abduction and disappearance of detainees and their extra-legal transfer on secret flights to undisclosed locations, followed by their detention, interrogation, torture, and abuse.
Today, it is apparent that Bush administration officials bear responsibility for authorizing human rights violations associated with detention and rendition; the impunity they enjoy remains a concern. Detention and rendition conducted outside the US could not have happened without the participation of foreign states. The US collaborated with 54 states including Libya under Qaddaffi, Iran under Ahmadinejad and Syria under Assad. “Globalizing Torture” proofs that the US work together with dictators including tyrannical Arab regimes.
In addition, Egypt under Mubarak, detained, interrogated, tortured and abused individuals. In 2005, the Egyptian prime minister acknowledged that since 2001 the US had transferred 60 to 70 individuals to Egypt.
In March 2002, the Iranians transferred fifteen individuals to Afghanistan, which in turn transferred ten of them to the US. According to a 2010 United Nations report, 15 prisoners claim to have been rendered by the CIA to the General Intelligence Department of Jordan in Amman. During the Qaddaffi regime, the US rendered at least eleven individuals to Libya, despite its record of torture. Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf acknowledged capturing 672 alleged Al Qaeda members and handed over 369 to the US.
In Somalia the CIA hired warlords to kidnap suspects, creating what the International Crisis Group termed “an abduction industry”. According to a Somali militia leader, 17 suspects were apprehended in Mogadishu alone. Syria detained, interrogated, and tortured extraordinarily rendered individuals and was one of the common destinations for rendered suspects. Yemen also detained individuals at the request of the United States.
With despotic Arab leaders who insidiously handed over pro-democracy activists under the guise of suspected terrorists, peace loving Muslims globally should consider what their immediate needs are. By embracing constitutional democracy as a human right within Muslim majority states, undemocratic Arabism could be rendered to the political dustbin of history where it belongs.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress