Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Post 9/11 Rendition for Torture in Foreign Gulags at US Behest

Post 9/11 Rendition for Torture in Foreign Gulags at US Behest
54 countries around the world helped CIA kidnap, detain and torture – report
According to media reports at least 54 countries including Syria, Iran, Sweden, Iceland, and UK offered CIA "covert support" to detain, transport, interrogate and torture suspects in the years following the 9/11 attacks. (Which many increasingly believe was a false flag operation)
All this info is available in a 213-page report released by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organization, which documents wide-ranging international involvement in the American campaign against Al-Qaeda.
USA Globalized Torture
The report, titled Globalizing Torture, provides a detailed account of other countries covertly helping the US to run secret prisons, also known as 'black sites' on their territory and allowing the CIA to use national airports for refueling while transporting prisoners.
Countries listed in the report include many from the Middle East and as well as in Europe.
The OSJI identifies Syria (9 detainees) and Iran as two participants of the CIA's rendition program.
Syria also had detention facilities that were used by the CIA, where "detainees report incidents of torture involving a chair frame used to stretch the spine (the 'German chair') and beatings."
Iran helped CIA by handing over 15 individuals to Kabul, after the US invasion of Afghanistan, knowing that they would be placed under the US control.
In Egypt, Pakistan, Libya, Jordan, Afghanistan, Malawi and Morocco the existence of secret prisons and the use of torture are documented. The report describes Egypt as "the country to which the greatest numbers of rendered suspects have been sent [by the US]." Many suspects held in Egypt described having been tortured. Pakistan is said to have detained 672 alleged Al-Qaeda members and transferred 369 to Afghanistan and/or to Guantanamo Bay. There are grave reports of torture documented in Morocco.
The list also includes states such as Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Greece and Cyprus. All of the above secretly helped the CIA by granting the use of their airspace and airports for aircraft involved in rendition flights.
Canada is identified as going beyond that and providing the CIA with information about one of its nationals that led to his capture, detention and rendition to Syria.
European countries such as the UK, Sweden and Italy even helped to apprehend individuals, interrogate and transfer them.
Countries such as France, the Netherlands, Hungary and Russia are not listed at all.
Report locates 'black sites' aka 'Gulags'
States such as Poland, Lithuania and Romania are accused of accommodating secret prisons on their territories. Poland is said to have "hosted a secret CIA prison on its territory, assisted with the transfer of secretly detained individuals in and out of Poland, including to other secret detention sites, and permitted the use of its airspace and airports for such transfers," according to the report.
A CIA-run prison was discovered in a small Polish remote village Stare Kiejkuty, which was operational from December 2002 to the fall of 2003. It was used to transport suspected Al-Qaeda members outside US territory to interrogate them without having to adhere to US law.
The Polish government began an investigation into the secret prison in 2008. It is the second country to have opened a criminal investigation into the matter, after Lithuania (though that case has since been closed).
A secret CIA prison in Romania was revealed by Human Rights Watch in November 2005. The report notes CIA planes 'dropping off' detainees and leaving.
"The CIA brokered 'operating agreements' with the Government…of Romania to hold 'high value detainees' on a secret detention facility on Romanian territory." Romanian authorities have denied any existence of a secret CIA prison. International media reported that between 2003 and 2006, the CIA operated a secret prison from a building's basement in Bucharest. (Reuters / Stringer)
In Lithuania the secret prison is said to have held "up to eight 'high value detainees' at the facility until late 2005." The prison was located in Antaviliai, about 20km from the capital, Vilnius, and owned by Elite LLC, a former CIA front company.
Report's goals
The OSJI argues that the US could not have carried out its covert operations without the support of other countries and those who helped the US should be held accountable.
"But responsibility for these violations does not end with the United States. Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable," the report states.
In addition, the report identifies 136 people who were detained or transferred by the CIA and specifies when and where the prisoners were held, creating the largest list in existence today.
The goal of OSJI is to force US to end the rendition program, terminate all of its remaining secret prisons, and open a criminal investigation into human rights abuses.
Also, the report calls upon other countries to stop their covert support of CIA programs and to hold past participants responsible.
Convictions and lawsuits
The US Congress launched its own investigations into the CIA's secret programs after the September 11 attacks but the results remain classified. (So what is New?)

OSJI report is almost sure to add fuel to the debate in the United States as well as in some of the countries that participated in the program. In recent years, several victims of the program have successfully filed lawsuits over their abduction or abuse. 

On February 1, an appeals court in Milan reversed a lower court's acquittal of a former CIA station chief in Italy and two other Americans in the 2003 abduction of Egyptian cleric Osama Hassan Mustafa Nasr from a Milan street. The decision means the three, who had previously been acquitted on the grounds of diplomatic immunity, now join 23 other Americans convicted for the abduction in absentia by Italy in 2009.

And in December, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Macedonia violated the rights of German citizen Khaled el-Masri before he was forwarded to a secret CIA detention facility in Afghanistan. The court ruled that his ill-treatment at the Skopje airport, where he was held incommunicado and abused, amounted to torture.
The author had written a couple of articles when the torture by rendition was being carried out in 2005 and later .(See below ) When will the world be free if ever of these war gang rapists , since they follow no law and cannot be easily held accountable, although independent International Tribunals in Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere have held US and UK leaders guilty of War crimes .
K .Gajendra Singh, 6 December. 2013  
US Franchised Torture Refuses To Go Away By Gajendra Singh 01/18/06 "
1.       [PDF] 

US Rendition of Suspects to Prisons Worldwide: A ... - Statewatch
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
K Gajendra Singh ... US FRANCHISED TORTUREREFUSES TO GO AWAY ... remained overshadowed by US rendition of terrorism suspects to prisons in ...

2.    Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base - SourceWatch
K. Gajendra Singh, "US Franchised Torture Refuses To Go Away," Information Clearinghouse, January 18, 2006; "US Rendition of Suspects to Prisons ...

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Sunday, 11 December 2005
Article Index
Page 1 of 3
Human Rights
Contributed by KGajendra Singh   

Tell us about the CIA flights.
The US does not torture.
Tell us about the black sites.
The US does not torture.
"Let me be clear," has been a popular Ms Condi Rice refrain this week about US rendition of terrorism suspects. For many, she has been everything but clear. [From Der Spiegel]
Secretary of State Ms Condoleeza Rice, once caught shopping for expensive shoes to match her model like slim legs, at the height of the Katrina catastrophe, failed to convince European allies by cosmetic obfuscation of 'rendition' of terrorism suspects including many innocents, ferried by CIA planes to secret "black holes" in Europe and elsewhere for torture , specially in the compliant and  enthusiastic states  in "new Europe ", in contravention of international law and even the laws of the receiving countries.
At the end of her 4 day, European safari Rice reached Brussels for a meeting with NATO foreign ministers to explain the US position on torture .But she dodged questions on secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. At the dinner, according to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, she reiterated, "in the United States, international obligations are not interpreted differently than in Europe." NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the next day, "it is my impression that Secretary Rice ... cleared the air. You will not see this discussion continuing" at the NATO headquarters.
The revelations of CIA franchised torture centers in east Europe and elsewhere, worse than Abu Gharib and Guantanamo has exposed the lawlessness permeating the Bush Administration, whether on the legality of US led invasion of Iraq ,violation of Human Rights and Geneva conventions . Or for that matter other international Treaties.
Ms Rice and the Bush administration were hoping for a fresh start with Germany after an acrimonious relationship with the previous government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, which had vociferously opposed the illegal US invasion of Iraq .In the new broad based German coalition led by US friendly right wing leader Chancellor Angela Merkel there was a hope of making up, but the visit ended in confusion and Merkel was put on the defensive.
Gerhard Schröder's Socialists are part of the coalition and the German media and people had questions about covert prisons and secret arrests including of an innocent German citizen, who overshadowed Rice's talks with Merkel at the start of the visits in Berlin on 6 December, and then to Bucharest and Kiev, ending with discussions in Brussels.
In Berlin Rice declined to answer most questions, even after Merkel called for "a certain degree of transparency" on the issue regarding any possible knowledge by the previous government of CIA activities in Germany involving German citizens.

These questions have erupted following a cascade of media reports led by the Washington Post and Der Spiegel about US use of airports in Europe for CIA flights to transport terror suspects to a network of secret jails for questioning. Khaled Masri a German citizen on holiday in Macedonia was picked up for questioning as a suspected terrorist and tortured in Afghanistan for five months last year before being released on grounds of mistaken identity. Merkel said that the United States had acknowledged responsibility.
"The American government admitted its mistake," Merkel said. Rice said she could not talk about the case specifically but added, "Any policy will sometimes result in errors, and when it happens we will do everything we can to rectify it."
Facing an angry Parliament, Merkel said her foreign minister, Steinmeier, an ex- top aide of Schröder, would face a special parliamentary committee to answer questions about how much he knew about the covert prisons and the practice called rendition, in which terrorist suspects captured by the United States were sent to other countries, some of which with records of torturing prisoners. Steinmeier reportedly had access to all intelligence dossiers and cases including those with the interior minister Otto Schily, who was reportedly told about the Masri case but has remained silent.
It may be recalled that in May 2004, the White House had dispatched US Ambassador Daniel R. Coats to Schily to tell that the CIA had wrongfully imprisoned Khaled Masri, for five months, and would soon release him, with a request that the German government not disclose what it was told even if Masri went public. The U.S. officials feared exposure of covert action programs designed to capture terror suspects abroad on thin or speculative evidence and transfer them to countries with secret bases would have serious ramifications .The CIA, working with other intelligence agencies, has captured an estimated 3,000 people, including several key leaders of al Qaida, in its campaign to dismantle terrorist networks. It is impossible to know, however, how many mistakes the CIA and its foreign partners have made.
Masri says he underwent coercive interrogation and confinement for five months before being released, two months after the CIA concluded it was a case of mistaken identity. He is suing former CIA director George Tenet with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In filing the suit in Washington, the ACLU said it was seeking to "reaffirm that the rule of law is central to our identity as a nation".
In another instance, according to the Washington Post, the CIA seized Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasir, an Egyptian refugee known as Abu Omar, from a street in Milan. The agency then told Italian anti-terrorism police that he had fled to the Balkans - a piece of disinformation. The deception worked for more than a year, until the Italians discovered that the CIA had whisked Nasir off to Egypt, where he was reportedly interrogated and tortured.
US refused the Red Cross access to all detainees;
The state department's top legal adviser, John Bellinger admitted for the first time in Geneva that the US has not given the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to all detainees in its custody. But he gave no details about where such prisoners were held. He said ICRC had access to "absolutely everybody" at the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which holds suspects detained during the US war on terror.
On Friday, Adam Ereli, the State Department's deputy spokesman, said the United States would not alter its position after the ICRC president said in Geneva that his organization was holding discussions to gain access to all detainees, including those held in secret locations.
Ereli said that the Geneva Conventions requiring humane treatment of prisoners of war did not apply to certain terrorism suspects seized as "unlawful enemy combatants," but that, in any case, the United States treats most of them as prisoners of war. "We're going the extra mile here," Ereli said, by allowing the Red Cross access to Al Qaida suspects and others held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan. The Red Cross also has access to prisoners held in Iraq.
Commentators said that this is likely to increase suspicions that the CIA has been operating secret prisons outside international oversight.
UN against US led detentions in Iraq;
John Pace, human rights chief for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), said that the US military is abusing its United Nations mandate in Iraq by detaining thousands of people without due process of law. The Iraqi Government, installed after the US invasion of 2003, is also guilty of major human rights abuses, including holding people without charge in secret jails "littered" across the country, John Pace added. Referring to accusations of corruption among Iraqi justice officials and police, Pace said illegal detentions were fuelling rather than curbing revolt.
"There is no question that terrorism has to be addressed. But we are equally sure that the remedies being applied … are not the best ways of eliminating terrorism," he said. "More terrorists are being created than are being eliminated." UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has also voiced concern about mass detentions without charge, which US commanders say are a legitimate response to security threats under UN Security Council Resolution 1546, their mandate for occupying Iraq.
But Pace said that the system, including the pattern, duration and conditions of detention, were "not consistent with what is foreseen in 1546" and complained of "total breakdown" in individuals' rights.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said that the U.S.-led war on terror has undermined the global ban on torture. This did not please U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, appointed by Bush against the wishes of the US Congress. Bolton called Arbour's statement "inappropriate and illegitimate." U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's spokesman said that Annan wants to take the matter up with Bolton as soon as possible.
Rice's Pre-Tour Pep talk;
Ms Rice's boss President Bush might find her an eloquent and an erudite teacher, but the visit was not successful in allaying widespread fears, with the fortunes of US Administration in a nose dive at home .Even her last February trip to prepare for President Bush's visit to Europe after her taking over the Secretary of State, had not impressed European diplomats and intellectuals.
Before her departure for Europe this time in a pep talk for US audience at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Ms Rice told critics of tough U.S. tactics in the war on terror that the intelligence gathered by the CIA had saved European lives. Responding to the outcry over detailed reports of secret CIA run prisons in Europe. Rice said the United States "will use every lawful weapon to defeat these terrorists."
But Ms Rice steadfastly refused to respond to the question if the United States had CIA-operated secret prisons there. "We cannot discuss information that would compromise the success of intelligence, law enforcement, and military operations. We expect other nations share this view."

She added that information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies from a "very small number of extremely dangerous detainees," has helped prevent terrorist attacks and saved lives "in Europe as well as in the United States and other countries."
Reports of the existence of the secret prisons have caused a trans-Atlantic uproar. The European Union has asked the Bush administration about these reports.  Britain, the current EU president, sent a two-paragraph letter to Washington late last month for clarifications.
Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot said Rice's  comments about secret CIA flights and detention centers for terrorist suspects outside the United States were "unsatisfactory," Bot told MPs that "rendition" was not kidnapping as some critics claimed but a speedy process of extraditing suspects to the US. Normal extraditions through the courts can last for years, he said. Media reported that the CIA regularly made use of Dutch airports for secret flights.
The European Union (EU) has threatened to sanction any EU member countries, which had such prisons on their territories.
US admits policy of renditions;
Ms Rice's successor as National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, told CNN that "we do not move people around the world so they can be tortured". Thus dittoing the official line. But Hadley added that the policy of renditions "has been a practice before 9/11, before this Administration", as well as "a practice engaged in by a number of countries".
What is 'rendition'?
Rendition is an old western practice beginning perhaps from the days of the Spanish inquisitions if not earlier. In his memoirs, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel  wrote that during the World War II the secret abduction and 'rendition' from Third Reich occupied countries  to Germany of suspected Resistance members - otherwise known as the Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog) Decree - was the worst of all of the orders issued by Adolf Hitler . Nacht und Nebel-type practices were used by the French to suppress successive uprisings by Algerian freedom fighters in the 1950s. Since then the practice of "disappearances" has spread around the globe - according to Human Rights Watch. Iraq and Sri Lanka accounted for the most cases between 1980 and 2003.
In Latin America, the technique was successfully internationalized under "Operation Condor". The operation, conceived and effectively implemented under Chilean president Augusto Pinochet, brought together the intelligence agencies of Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay, as well as Pinochle's own secret police chief, Manuel Contreras, in 1975. Although not a charter member, Brazil also participated. The objective was to "enhance communications among each other and integrate tactical operations in tracking down, secretly detaining, torturing and terminating [the lives of] critics or suspected militants, who were often referred to as 'terrorists'," according to Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the Washington-based National Security Archive (NSA).
So what is new !Yes , Western leaders and media keep on maligning eastern governments for similar practices .In many cases the techniques have been taught by western agencies to the agencies of their allies in the East e.g. CIA to Savak or to Pakistan's ISI and Jihadis during the Afghan war against USSR. Israel's Mossad almost openly implements and teaches rendition techniques to any takers.
Important Rice visit to Romania;
Ms Rice's 4 hour stopover in the Romanian capital Bucharest, was an important bilateral visit .She signed with the Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu a bilateral agreement for use of Romanian military bases at Mikhail Kogalniceanu, Babadag, Cincu and Smardan, with President Traian Basescu watching at the Cotroceni Palace. Ms Rice also had talks with President Basescu on bilateral relations and cooperation within the Black Sea region and in the Balkans, as well as the cooperation in Afghanistan and Iraq. Romania also announced that it would not withdraw troops from Iraq.
"Romania will turn into a pylon of stability in the region through the setting up of the American bases," declared Basescu. "The location of the American facilities on the territory of Romania represents a confirmation of the fact that the Romanian army has reached a certain potential as partner of the USA", added Basescu.
He also said that the other security structures of Romania could cooperate at the highest level with those of the US. "Washington's decision means also political credibility from the point of view of Romania," The acceptance by the Romanian people of the American presence in Romania is considered a precious asset of the bilateral relations, Basescu concluded.
Ms Rice replied that "Romania has become a strong ally for the US." She recollected that when she was in Bucharest with President Bush a rainbow appeared as a symbol of bilateral relations. She added that the US and Romania are not just friends, but also brother and sister in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ms Rice thanked Romania for the sacrifices of their soldiers in difficult and dangerous places, calling this a strong commitment for the future of democracies like Iraq and Afghanistan. "We have a great, committed partner in Romania, who is ready to make sacrifices.
"Explaining why Washington chose Romania instead of Bulgaria, Rice said this was because of Romania's progress in the fields of defense and military training and that it was President Bush's decision who also took into account the strategic position of Romania.
In connection with the reported CIA detention centers, Ms Rice said the agreement regarding the bases in Romania would be a transparent one and up for discussion in Parliament.
Asked about the risks following the signing, President Basescu said the risk was neither big, nor small, but that this was "just a leap forward for Romania in the global security system." "When I decided to sign, I had already assessed the risks and I knew that Romania was able to face the risks. This was a calculated risk and assumed as well, considered to be possible to keep under control." He pledged commitment for stability in Iraq. "Romania will not diminish her military capabilities destined for this end in Iraq and will stay at the disposal of the Iraqi Government under the UN resolution and close to her allies," Basescu assured.
Ms Rice did not give a direct reply about the CIA prisons in Romania, but Basescu reiterated that Romania did not have and does not have such prisons on its territory, "My only appeal is that those who say that Romania has allegedly hosted or is hosting torture places assumed the responsibility of their declarations. It was improper to state that secret prisons existed only subject to the arrival of some planes. Romania is not willing to accept accusations of infringement of the human rights based on mere speculations," President Basescu said. The US Secretary of State left for Kiev in the evening.
After 50 years under communism, a reluctant member of the Soviet Camp (but not fully of the Warsaw pact) Romania has discovered and assumed its Western Christian identity as a full member of NATO and hopes to join EU in 2007. For USA and EU, the Romanian location is very important militarily and as a vantage point for trade with Caspian basin and Central Asia across the Black Sea. USA had used Romanian air bases during the March 2003 war on Iraq , when Nato ally Turkey had refused to let US open a second front against north Iraq from South east Turkey and permitted its Nato Inchirlik air base only for humanitarian flights .
However ,as the author pointed out to the Romanian leaders in his recent meetings along with the foreign media based in Bucharest that Romania must avoid showing too close an affinity with US policies of torture .There are around 100,000 Muslims , mostly Tatars  and tens of thousands of Israelis visit Romania for rest and recreation . Over a few hundred Romanian Jews had migrated to Israel. Romania has a history of anti-Semitism. The November 2003 bombings of a Synagogue in Istanbul were to punish for the pro Israel policy of Turkey, which also hosts hundreds of thousands of Israeli tourists .When President Basescu, soon after his election, visited Iraq to show solidarity with USA, three journalists accompanying him were kidnapped. Their capture and release remains a mystery.
Romania and Poland are two very pro US countries, described by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as new Europe (an appellation the countries rejected) which was chided by French President Jacque Chirac when they had sided with USA on the question of US invasion of Iraq, against the general EU policy of opposition and neutrality.
Poland appears to be centering the CIA's secret detention network in Europe, with bases there holding a quarter of the 100 detainees estimated in such camps worldwide.
"Poland was the main base for CIA interrogations in Europe, while Romania played more of a role in the transfer of detained prisoners," Marc Garlasco, a leading analyst at Human Rights Watch, was quoted by Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.
Garlasco said that the CIA maintained two detention centers in Poland, which were closed only after the Washington Post broke the story last month. He said the allegations were based on information from CIA sources and other documents obtained by Human Rights Watch. "We have leads, circumstantial evidence to check but it's too early to reveal them," Garlasco added.
Polish authorities have repeatedly denied the existence of secret jails of any form on Polish territory, with Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkieicz saying this week he would fully cooperate in human rights probes into the allegations. On 11 December, he ordered a detailed probe to "check if there is any proof that such an event took place in our country. It is necessary to finally close the issue because it could be dangerous to Poland." Said Marcinkiewicz's spokesman, Konrad Ciesiolkiewicz.
Rice in Ukraine of US franchised revolution;
Ms Rice visit to Kiev was to express solidarity with US protégé President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine. US organizations across the board had spent hundreds of millions of US dollars last year to get him elected in a US franchised election organized through street revolutions , a process which was begun with the overthrow of Milosevic in Serbia and then perfected in Georgia . Street revolutions failed dismally in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan with Russia and China with central Asian states vociferously opposing US led franchised revolutions.
The sheen has come off the so called Orange revolution with Yushchenko's rich partner the Prime Minister quitting his company .The Ukrainian masses are unhappy with the results of the revolution with bribery and other scandals on increase. Russia on which Ukraine is dependent for its energy needs is squeezing Kiev. Next year's Parliament elections would be a litmus test for the Yushchenko regime.
Shift in US Policy?
By the time Ms Rice reached Kiev, there was apparent shift in her position. She said that Washington now viewed its responsibilities under a UN treaty as banning the cruel or inhumane treatment of prisoners anywhere. She appeared to give the torture question a clear and broad interpretation. Referring to the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), ratified by USA in 1994, Rice said that "as a matter of U.S. policy, the United States' obligations under the CAT, which prohibits cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment - those obligations extend to U.S. personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the United States or outside of the United States."
Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, described the new approach by Rice as "existing policy." But when pressed repeatedly by reporters, he would not say whether the United States took steps to ensure that countries to which it transferred prisoners lived up to promises against using torture.
Rice's shift produced some confusion in Washington, possibly reflecting tensions among the State Department, White House, Congress and the Pentagon on how narrowly to define some tools available .These can include techniques known as water boarding, in which a prisoner is strapped to a plank and dunked into water to create a sense of being drowned. Rights groups say that these methods have been used on prisoners at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere. 
No rendition for torture –George Bush;
President Bush, referring to the process known as rendition, under which the United States has turned detainees over to other countries reiterated: "We do not render to countries that torture. That has been our policy, and that policy will remain the same."
But wrote Naomi Klein in the Guardian "It's [ torture] a history exhaustively documented in an avalanche of books, declassified documents, CIA training manuals, court records and truth commissions. In his forthcoming book, A Question of Torture, Alfred McCoy synthesizes this evidence, producing a riveting account of how monstrous CIA-funded experiments on psychiatric patients and prisoners in the 1950s turned into a template for what he calls "no-touch torture", based on sensory deprivation and self-inflicted pain. McCoy traces how these methods were field-tested by CIA agents in Vietnam as part of the Phoenix program and then applied in Latin America and Asia under the guise of police training.
"It is not only apologists for torture who ignore this history when they blame abuses on "a few bad apples". A startling number of torture's most prominent opponents keep telling us that the idea of torturing prisoners first occurred to US officials on September 11 2001, at which point the methods used in Guantanamo apparently emerged, fully formed, from the sadistic recesses of Dick Cheney's and Donald Rumsfeld's brains. Up until that moment, we are told, America fought its enemies while keeping its humanity intact."
The White House has opposed Republican Senator John McCain's efforts, to bar cruel or inhumane treatment of prisoners, at home or abroad, including by the CIA. A bill to that end passed the Senate and awaits House action. The national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, has met with McCain four times, to seek a compromise.
But Rice's statement was welcomed by, Carl Levin of Michigan, a leading Senate Democrat and a member of the Armed Services Committee He called it "a reversal from the administration's position." "It is an important and very welcome change from their previous position, which I believe has cost us dearly in the world," he added.
David Luban, a Georgetown University law professor said that Rice appeared to be marking a genuine shift. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had implied that such treatment was forbidden by the U.S. Constitution - meaning within the United States. So the techniques short of outright torture could legally be employed abroad. "But this looks like it's different," Luban said, "and I think if Rice meant what she said, that's a big change." He cautioned, however, that only U.S. personnel were covered and perhaps not foreign police or security personnel or even foreign contractors.
Opposition in UK to rendition in CIA torture Prisons;
Resistance to wayward US ways has grown steadily in UK, where assurances by Ms Rice that Washington did not send detainees abroad for torture were dismissed as "beyond belief" by a group of MPs from various parties.
The group was launched to investigate the "extraordinary renditions" of prisoners by the CIA. It claimed that Ms Rice confirmed that Britain had been informed about the nature of the secret CIA flights to UK airports. Andrew Tyrie, the group's Tory chairman, said: "There has been so much smoke on this issue; it's very unlikely that there is not a fire somewhere. I think it's likely they have been tortured."
Photographs were produced of CIA planes landing and taking off at UK airports while the government denied that British airports were used for torture flights, "so far as we aware". This did not satisfy the MPs, and Mr. Mullin , a former Labor foreign affairs minister said , "Some of the assurances in [Ms Rice's] statement defy belief in a country where there has recently been a public discussion on whether submerging prisoners in water to the point of drowning constitutes torture or not."
Tyrie interpreted Rice's claim that the US respected the sovereignty of other countries to mean that UK ministers knew about the flights. "By implication, whatever has been going on, the British authorities were informed," he said. He added that Ms Rice chose her words carefully to avoid ruling out abuse of prisoners that stopped short of torture. "She said torture is defined by law and by implication there may be levels of duress that may be short of torture," he clarified.
He warned Ms Rice that defending abuse of prisoners would be counter-productive. "It's not just that people may have been tortured. It is that using torture to combat terrorism is likely to inflame Muslim opinion and leave us less secure, not more. We have learnt that lesson the hard way in Northern Ireland; the French learnt that lesson in Algeria."
Liberal Democrat MP Menzies Campbell described Ms Rice's statement as "disingenuous". He said: "The volume of evidence of transfers has become overwhelming but what possible purpose is served by rendition other than to subject individuals to harsher treatment than would otherwise be the case?
"Parliament and the public are entitled to expect the British Government to show equivalent candor. But the question remains, what did our government know and when did it know it? How high up the political tree did such knowledge go?"
The Labor chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Mike Gapes pledged that his committee would also pursue ministers over "extraordinary rendition" flights across UK airspace. Some member of the committee privately said they were appalled after Ian Pearson, a Foreign Office minister, who told a recent hearing that the Government would use information gained from torture to protect against attacks by terrorists.
In spite of Tony Blair being in a state of denial that US-UK led invasion of Iraq had any relation to July bombings in London, the people know better and are worried about implications of torture by US and UK , with many British citizens being victims of such torture in Guantanamo, in Iraq , Afghanistan and even UK itself .
British Lords ban "torture evidence"
The Law Lords ruled in London that information gleaned from torture anywhere in the world was unacceptable as evidence in British courts. Rights groups immediately said the ruling sent a clear signal to governments around the world who are wrestling with accusations that they participated in, provided facilities for, or used evidence in court extracted from people detained as part of a CIA program known as "rendition". The decision by UK's highest court to refuse evidence obtained under torture in third countries comes a day after the United States explicitly banned its interrogators from treating detainees inhumanely after widespread anger and pressure from European governments and the U.S. Congress.
Rice and Bush last Visit to Europe;
Her February safari to prepare for Bush visit to patch up US-Europe unity was aptly summed up by the Guardian –"For the moment, to adapt Mahatma Gandhi's acerbic opinion about western civilization, one can only say that such unity would be a fine thing."   
In the author's view, there is an existential misunderstanding between USA and Europe about the global 'war on terror' or the 'war against tyranny', as Washington puts it and fights it, with no holds barred. After September 11, the Americans believe that the world has changed, and they can break all laws, and are breaking, while others say that USA has changed (for the worse). It was a reality check for US, whose reaction has been excessive, brutal and has shocked the entire world and informed opinion in USA`.
Europeans know terrorism; the British with the IRA, Italians and Germans with their Red Brigades, the Spanish with the Basque separatist Eta, French with Corsicans and so on. So what, there was no need to go overboard and throw out all laws, treaties, conventions. Turks and Indians have also faced terrorism and still do .Their genuine problems have made little impact on Anglo-Saxons.
Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and even Ms Rice, in spite of Iraqi quagmire want to maintain 'full spectrum dominance' including over media. Europe is seen not as "a partner for peace in a multi-polar world, but as a useful, if sometimes irksome partner, to bolster its own position in a unipolar world. Superpowers are on a high, US hyper power is higher on a cocktail of many ingredients. If Europe is to be a partner, according to US, it will be only as a junior one." Thus the differences with Europe on stabilization of Iraq, the security of oil the Gulf and the Caspian, China's military and economic potential, Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation in the context of North Korea and Iran remain.
It is true, along with US and mother Britannica and the Anglo-Saxon family, specially the Australians. Throughout the discourse, which now agitates USA and Western Europe, the point made is that the US invasion of Iraq could have been carried out better and implemented better and successfully.  There is no realization or acknowledgement that time for colonization is now gone.  It is not the divine right of Christian West to subjugate and rule the Middle East, Africa or Asia through the power of its guns.  The Iraqi resistance from the very beginning to U.S.-led occupation has made it clear that the era of colonization is gone.
So, what is all the fuss? Asks 'Economist"
America seeks, but fails, to quell the uproar in Europe over CIA shenanigans Economist commented that "some administration officials have argued that the Convention against Torture applies only to acts carried out within America's territorial jurisdiction. Critics allege that this explains why so many of America's interrogation centers—including Guantanamo—are beyond its borders. Dick Cheney has fought hard against Mr. McCain's amendment; it seems, precisely because it would remove any doubt, banning the use of cruel and inhuman techniques everywhere and by everyone.
"This week, Ms Rice seemed to change course: she said that the UN ban on the torture or cruel treatment of detainees applies to all American personnel (including the CIA) throughout the world. The White House insisted this is "existing policy". But if the secretary of state is right, why on earth is the vice-president fighting to keep the CIA out of the McCain ban? "
It concluded, "the Europeans are not the only ones who need convincing. This week, Louise Arbour, the UN's high commissioner for human rights, warned that the absolute ban on torture could become a casualty of the "war on terror". Without naming the United States, she criticized "governments in a number of countries" who were claiming that the world had changed and that the old rules no longer applied. No credible case for this had been made, she insisted. Ms Rice has worked to do."
With the rising opposition in USA and even reawakening of some in the US media to Bush policies, there is hope. Even before the March 2003 war more than 1,000 law professors and U.S. legal institutions organized in opposition to the U.S. war crime of launching an "aggressive war in violation of the UN Charter" against Iraq. Violation of international law was also a central theme in worldwide demonstrations by tens of millions against the war. The illegality of the war was confirmed by the leak of the Downing Street memo; 130 members of Congress joined Rep. John Conyers in demanding that the Bush administration come clean about the invasion-supported by a half million citizen signatures gathered in barely a week. "Scootergate" is fundamentally about the cover-up of White House lies justifying the war.
"Illegal detention and torture are also war crimes. Starting with the exposure of prisoner abuse at Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, cascading revelations have established that these cases exemplify a pattern of abuse authorized at the highest levels of government. Human rights groups like the Center for Constitutional Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Human Rights First sued in U.S. and foreign courts against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others for breaching the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Conventions. The Senate's 90-9 vote to restore the military's traditional prohibition against torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners prompting the Bush administration to threaten a veto, sets the stage for a major confrontation over adherence to both the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution. "
Paul Craig Roberts, Hoover Institution senior fellow and assistant secretary of the treasury under Ronald Reagan, has charged Bush with "lies and an illegal war of aggression, with outing CIA agents, with war crimes against Iraqi civilians, with the horrors of the Abu Gharib and Guantanamo torture centers" and calls for the president's impeachment. Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton and former president of the American Society of International Law, declares: "These policies make a mockery of our claim to stand for the rule of law. [Americans] should be marching on Washington to reject inhumane techniques carried out in our name." Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, whose single handed resistance to US policies, including sit-ins near Bush's Texas ranch ,brought various opposition groups together ,insists: "We cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail."
(Gajendra Singh., served as Indian Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan in1992 -96. Prior to that, he served as ambassador to Jordan (during the1990 - 91Gulf war), Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies, in Bucharest.