2005 November 2

“Black Sites”: Washington Post Exposes Secret CIA Prisons


The Washington Post on this day published a story exposing the existence of a network of secret CIA prisons in countries where terrorist suspects were being detained. The secret prisons, called “black sites,” were located in Thailand, Afghanistan, and several countries in Eastern Europe, and were in addition to the main detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Subsequent investigations revealed that some “black sites” were also located in Western European democracies. In those cases, it was not always clear whether the heads of states were aware of the prisons.

With respect to the prisons revealed on this day, the George W. Bush administration had persuaded Congress not to investigate the conditions in which detainees were held. The Post, meanwhile, explained that it was not revealing the names of the Eastern European countries, where the “black sites” existed, at the request of the Bush administration.

Through the policy of extraordinary renditions, the CIA kidnapped suspected terrorists around the world, and in some cases handed them over to other countries, where they were tortured or secretly detained in its network of “black sites” — where many were tortured. The extraordinary rendition program was exposed by the Washington Post on December 26, 2002 and the New Yorker magazine on October 23, 2006.

On February 14, 2007, the European Parliament condemned the U.S. program of extraordinary rendition.

Read the European Parliament reporthttp://assembly.coe.int/ASP/Press/StopPressView.asp?ID=1924

Learn more: Alan W. Clarke, Rendition to Torture (2012)

And even more: Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals (2008)

Watch a documentary on extraordinary rendition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMln8hcw4gw

Learn more: Stephen Grey, Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (2006)

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