Secret Prisons Timeline
June 1, 2008
- The Guardian reported that the U.S. Navy has operated secret prisons onboard some of its ships. (Source: Secret Prison Ships - Surprised? - DailyKos.com, June 1, 2008)
December 6, 2007
- The CIA admitted that it has destroyed videotapes documenting interrogations of prisoners. CIA says it made and destroyed interrogation tapes, By Randall Mikkelsen, Reuters, December 6, 2007.
October 27, 2007
- The Washington Post publised an article tracing 30 "ghost prisoners". (See From CIA Jails, Inmates Fade Into Obscurity, by Craig Whitlock, Washington Post, October, 27, 2007)
October 10, 2007
- Federal judge Gladys Kessler, in Washington D.C. blocked the transfer of a prison from Guantanamo to Tunisia, where he would probably be tortured. (Source: Judge Halts Transfer of Guantánamo Detainee, by William Glaberson, Washington Post, October 10, 2007)
- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from German citizen Khaled el_Masri, who claims that he was kidnapped by the CIA and tortured in Afghanistan. (AP, October 10, 2007)
October 4, 2007
An administration official confirmed that the CIA's secret prison program remains active, and that at least one suspected Al-Qaeda prisoner has been held President Bush said that all prisoners had been sent to Guantanamo in Sept. 2006. (Source: CIA detention program remains active: official, Reuters, Oct. 4, 2007)
August 13, 2007
July 20, 2007
President Bush issued an executive order purporting to establish limits on CIA interrogation techniques. However, it has loopholes that allow any kind of torture to proceed, and it protects tortures against future prosecution. (Source: Bush’s New Interrogation Order Contains Loophole, ThinkProgress.org, July 20, 2007).
June 25, 2007
German prosecutors have requested the extradition of CIA agents who kidnapped German citizen Khaled al-Masri, see the article on January 31, 2007. (Source: CIA Arrest Warrants Strain US-German Ties, By John Goetz, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark, in Spiegel Online.)
June 8, 2007
The Council of Europe released a report stating that former Soviet military bases in Poland and Romania were used as secret prisons, where the CIA held and tortured suspected terrorists. (Sources: European Report Addresses CIA Sites, By Molly Moore and Julie Tate, Washington Post, June 8, 2007, p.A16, First "Concrete Evidence" of CIA Secret Prisons (report available), European Tribune, June 8, 2007)
June 7, 2007
Human Rights Watch reported that the US government is holding 39 people in secret prisons around the world, including Libya. According to the report, the wives and young children of some prisoners have also been detained. (Sources: Human Rights Watch report, Human rights groups say there are over 39 'ghost detainees', by Warren P. Strobel, McClatcy Newspapers, June 7, 2007).
June 6, 2007
The Pentagon anounced that it transferred suspected terrorist Abdullahi Sudi Arale from a secret prison in Somalia to Guantanamo. (Source: Pentagon moves another East African detainee to Guantanamo, by Carol Rosenberg, McClatchy Newspapers, June 6, 2007).
May 30, 2007
The ACLU sued Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing Co., claiming that it provided secret CIA transportation services for three terrorism suspects who were tortured under the U.S. government's "extraordinary rendition" program. (Source: ACLU says Boeing subsidiary helped CIA's "rendition" program, by Pat Milton, Seattle Times, May 30, 2007.)
April 28, 2007
The CIA moved suspected Al-Qaeda member Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi from a secret prison into Guantanamo last week. This is apparently the first prisoner transfer since last September, and it indicates that the CIA continues to operate its network of prisons. (Source: C.I.A. Held Qaeda Leader in Secret Jail for Months, By Mark Mazzetti and David S. Cloud, New York Times, April 28, 2007.)
April 17, 2007
Senate Republicans block a Democratic bill forcing disclosure of the location of secret prisons. (Source: "Bush Allies in Congress Block Bill That Would Require Intelligence Disclosures", by Mark Mazzetti, New York Times, April 17, 2007.
April 4, 2007
"CIA and FBI agents hunting for al Qaeda militants in the Horn of Africa have been interrogating terrorism suspects from 19 countries held at secret prisons in Ethiopia." - from AP: Feds Working In Secret African Prisons, AP, April 4, 2007.
March 13, 2007
In a series of stories for McClatchy newspapers, Shashank Bengali and Jonathan S. Landay have reported that over 150 people were captured in Kenya while fleeing from the war in Somalia. These people were secretly transfered to prisons in Somalia and Ethopia after the war in which a four-nation coalition overthrew the Islamic Courts, an Al-Qaeda backed group that had taken over Somalia. The prisoners included several children, as well as a few US and British citizens. At least one of the US citizens remains in a Somali jail, while the others were extradited back to the US. (Sources: U.S. allies in Africa may have engaged in secret prisoner renditions, Kenya defends secret transfers of prisoners, American's jailing in Ethiopia raises questions about U.S. role, CIA didn't try to stop secret deportation of U.S. citizen, officials say).
February 27, 2007
Human Rights Watch called on the Bush administration to account for 38 people who may have been held in CIA prisons. (Source: U.S. urged to account for up to 38 "CIA prisoners" - By Mark Trevelyan, Reuters).
February 20, 2007
In North Carolina, three men have been identified as pilots who apparently worked for Aero Contractors, and flew secret rendition missions for the CIA. (Source: BREAKING: CIA "torture pilots" discovered).
February 15, 2007
Italy's former head of military intelligence (SISMI), Gianfranco Battelli, said that days after the 9/11 attacks, the CIA discussed the possibility of kidnapping suspected terrorists and taking them out of the country. (Source: CIA sounded-out Italy about "renditions" in 2001 - Reuters, Feb. 15, 2007).
February 14, 2007
European Parliament votes to approve a report concluding that European member state governments were aware of U.S. CIA rendition activities on their territory, despite their denials. The vote was 382 voting in favour, 256 against and 74 abstaining. Most of those voting against accepting the report were conservative MEPs, politicians intellectually crippled by factual relativism. Source: n.a. "MEPs Approve Damning CIA Report." BBC News. February 14, 2007. News Report
January 31, 2007
Munich prosecutor Christian Schmidt-Sommerfeld announced that his office has issued arrest warrants for 13 suspected CIA agents over their alleged kidnapping, wrongful imprisonment and torture of German citizen Khaled al-Masri. Source: n.a. "Germany Issues Arrest Warrants For Suspected CIA Agents." Associated Press & The Guardian. January 31, 2007. News Report.
January 26, 2007
Canada apologized to software engineer Maher Arar, and paid him C$10.5 million in compensation, after Canadian police mistakenly labeled him as an Islamic extremist, and U.S. agents deported him to Syria. However, the US has refused to remove Arar from a terrorist watch list. (Source: Canada to pay Arar $10.5 million for Syria ordeal)
January 23, 2007
The European Parliament's investigative committee approved its final report. It found that EU nations knew about secret CIA flights over Europe and the abduction of terror suspects by U.S. agents. It accused EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and others of not cooperating with the investigation. However, conservatives insisted on a final amendment declaring that there is no evidence that CIA secret prisons were based in Poland. (Sources: EU panel OKs report on CIA flights & MEPs roast EU states and Solana for 'lies' on CIA)
January 8, 2007
The Chicago Tribune reports that Milan station chief, Robert Seldon Lady, opposed the plot to kidnap Abu Omar, but he was overruled by CIA headquarters. (Source: "CIA chiefs reportedly split over cleric plot", by John Crewdson, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 8, 2007.)
January 7, 2007
The Chicago Tribune published an article on the kidnapping of radical Muslim cleric Abu Omar (Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr), based on a 6,300-word, handwritten letter describing his abduction in Italy and alleged rendition to Egypt. (Source: "Cleric's Story of abduction, torture", by John Crewdson, Chicago Tribune, Jan. 7, 2007.)
December 16, 2006
The Associated Press tracked 245 former Gitmo prisoners after they were released, and found that 205 of them had been freed without being charged or were cleared of charges by their home countries. Only 40 faced trial for any crime. (Source: AP: Some Gitmo detainees freed elsewhere, by Andrew O. Selsky, AP, Dec. 16, 2006)
December 14, 2006
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a parliamentary committee that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had promised him that events like the kidnapping of Khaled el-Masri would not be repeated. (Source: "US promised Berlin greater openness in war on terror", Financial Times, Dec. 15, 2006, p.A2.)
December 13, 2006
U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled in favor of the Bush administration, by denying a habeas corpus petition from Hamdan, saying that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 removed that right from aliens. (Sources: Judge Rejects Detention Challenge of Bin Laden's Driver by Robert Barnes, Washington Post, Dec. 14, 2006; Judicial Victory for the Leader - legal analysis by Glenn Greenwald)
December 4, 2006
An Italian prosecutor asked for the indictment of 26 Americans and 5 Italian secret service officials on a charge of kidnapping Egyptian cleric Abu Omar in Milan in 2003. (Sources: Italian Prosecutor Seeks Rendition Indictments of 25 CIA and 5 SISMI Spooks, Indictments Sought in Alledged Kidnapping (AP)) U.S District Court Judge Gladys Kessler refused a request from the Justice Department to dismiss the complaint of an Afghan detainee, Hamid al-Razak, and to bar him from ever seeking the court's help. (Source:A Judge's Sharp Opinion, Washington Post, Dec. 4, 2006, p. A17.)
November 28, 2006
Eleven European Union governments -- including Britain, Poland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus -- knew about secret CIA prisons operating in Europe, according to a draft report from the European Parliament's investigating committee. (Sources: EU states 'knew about' CIA rendition, 11 EU Governments Knew of Secret Prisons (AP), Eurotrib diary, 11 EU nations knew about CIA rendition flights.)
November 20, 2006
Italy replaced the head of its Military Intelligence Service (SISMI), Nicolo Pollari, with Admiral Bruno Branciforte who was the former head of Naval Intelligence. Pollari is under investigation for colluding with the Americans on the extraordinary rendition of Abu Omar. The heads of the Civilian Intelligence Service and the Special Police were also replaced. (Sources: War and Piece blog, Italian spy shake-up amid probe - BBC, European Tribune blog)
November 15, 2006
U.S. CIA admits existence of a memorandum signed by President Bush authorizing detention and interrogation of terror suspects overseas. News Report in JURIST
November 10, 2006
Portuguese conservative MEP Carlos Coelho criticizes Polish government at meeting of the European Commission's office in Warsaw: "I feel obliged to note the difference between the cooperation we were offered in Romania two weeks ago and what we have experienced on our visit to Poland...I would like to remind you that under Article 6 of the EU treaty...lack of respect for fundamental human rights can lead to triggering Article 7 of the treaty...on suspension of voting rights." Italian socialist MEP Giovanni Claudio Fava was critical of the Polish government because none of its cabinet ministers or members of the Polish parliament were made avilable for interviews, because the Polish Sejm (parliament) failed to hold its own investigations as did Romania and Britian, and that the authorities at Szymanow airport in northern Poland couldn't get their story straight: "One contact, former Szymanow airport boss Jerzy Kos told Mr Fava that a suspect flight by Boeing 737 N313 on 22 September 2003 never landed at the airport, while a government official, Marek Pasionek, said the flight could not be inspected after it had landed at Szymanow 'because it was dark.'". Source: Andrew Rettman. "CIA sleuth MEPs snubbed in Poland." EUobserver. November 11, 2006. New Report
October 26, 2006
The Guardian reports the U.S. CIA persuaded the German government to silence EU protests about about extraordinary renditions flights in and across Europe in return for German access to one of its citizens, an al-Qaeda suspect being held in a Moroccan cell. The suspect was arrested in 2002 in connection with the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, DC. According to The Guardian report: "He was flown from Morocco to Syria on another rendition flight. Syria offered access to the prisoner on the condition that charges were dropped against Syrian intelligence agents in Germany accused of threatening Syrian dissidents. Germany dropped the charges, but denied any link." Source: Richard Norton-Taylor. "CIA Tried to Silence EU on Torture Flights." The Guardian. October 26, 2006. Text
October 25, 2006
German intelligence report leaked to Stern magazine reveals that German intelligence agents personally witnessed prisoners being tortured at a secret US prison in Europe two weeks after 9/11. News Report in JURIST
October 15, 2006
El Pais reports that the U.S. CIA is holding red haired, 48 year old Mustafa Setmarian, a Spanish national born in Syria, in a secret prison. Setmarian is wanted for questioning in Spain about the training of September 11, 2001 hijackers and ordering the Madrid communter train bombings but Spanish judges cannot request his extradition because he has not been officially imprisoned. Source: n.a. "CIA Holds an Al Qaeda Leader in Secret Jail: Report." Reuters. October 15, 2006.
September 21, 2006
The Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision had a chilling effect on CIA officers: "The Bush administration had to empty its secret prisons and transfer terror suspects to the military-run detention centre at Guantánamo this month in part because CIA interrogators had refused to carry out further interrogations and run the secret facilities, according to former CIA officials and people close to the programme." Source: Financial Times. September 21, 2006.
September 18, 2006
A Canadian judicial report found that Canadian citizen Maher Arar was falsely detained by US authorities, then flown to Syria where he was tortured for 10 months before he was finally released. Canadian Was Falsely Accused, Panel Says by Doug Struck, Washington Post, Sept. 18, 2006.
September 8, 2006
CIA counterterrorism officials express relief that their "secret" is now "out." Source: Dana Priest. "CIA Officials Relieved Prison Secret Out." The Washington Post. September 8, 2006. (Are all the secrets really revealed now or are these latest revelations just preparations for more and uglier secrets to be revealed in future?)
September 7, 2006
Council of Europe President Rene van der Linden condemned the U.S. government's use of secret prisons: "Kidnapping people and torturing them in secret--however tempting the short-term gain may appear to be -- is what criminals do, not democratic governments." Source: n.a. "European Officials Slam US Secret Prisons." DW-World DE, Deutsche Welle. September 7, 2006. Article Text
German MEP Wolfgang Kreissl-Doerfler, a member of the EP committee investigating secret prisons allegations demanded to know the locations of the secret prisons in Europe. Source: Darrem Emnnis. "EU Lawmakers Demand to Know the Locations of CIA Jails." Reuters. September 7, 2006.
September 6, 2006
President George W. Bush confirms that the CIA ran a network of secret prisons in other countries. He announced that the last 14 prisoners had been transfered to Guantanamo, and that no other prisoners were currently in custody. Bush continues to deny that that they were tortured; although the administration's definition of torture allows anything short of death. Source: Bush confirms use of CIA secret prisons - Chicago Tribune, September 7, 2006.
July 28, 2006
United Nations Human Rights Committee criticized the practice of secret imprisonment in a 12 page report using mild diplomatic language: "The committee is concerned by credible and uncontested information that the state party has seen fit to engage in the practice of detaining people secretly and in secret places for months and years on end." Source: Alexander G. Higgins. "UN Rights Panel Raps US on Range of Issues." Chicago Tribune and Associated Press. July 29, 2006.
July 24, 2006
Italian telecom security expert Adamo Bove apparently committed suicide in Naples. His work was crucial to the indictments resulting from Hassan Osama Nasr's kidnapping (see July 5th entry). His Greek colleague also died recently in mysterious circumstances. (Source: War and Piece blog)
July 5, 2006
Italian authorities indicted and arrested 2 Italian Sismi officials, Sismi's Numero Due Marco Mancini and Gen. Gustavo Pignero, for participating in the U.S. CIA's extraordinary rendition of Hassan Osama Nasr, a.k.a. Abu Omar from Milan. Also indicted were a former U.S. CIA Italy station chief, a U.S. Air Force commander and two other Americans. Source: n.a. "Italy Orders Arrest of Four Americans in CIA Case." The Seattle Times. July 6, 2006.
June 7, 2006
Formal Report to the Council of Europe on extraordinary renditins between 2001 and 2005 indicates that rendition operations were launched from airports in Germany, Spain, Turkey and Azerbaijan with airports in Ireland, Italy, Greece and the Czech Republic were used for re-fuelling. The abductions took place in Sweden, Macedonia, Italy and in Bosnia Herzegovina and custody of the abducted was transferred to Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Romania, Uzbekistan and Poland. Source: Helena Spongenberg. "EU States Complicit In CIA Abductions, New Report Says." EUObserver. June 7, 2006. Text
June 1, 2006
The Bundesnachrichtendienst (Federal Intelligence Service) or BND admits that it was aware of the U.S. CIA's extraordinary rendition of German citizen Khaled el-Masri 16 months before Gremany was officialy notified. Source: Souad Mekhennet & Craig S. Smith. "German Spy Agency Admits Mishandling Abduction Case." The New York Times. June 2, 2006. P. A8.
May 18, 2006
During the Nomination Hearing of Gen. Michael V. Hayden as DCIA before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence California Senator Diane Feinstein described the ethical and foreign policy problems attending the use of extraordinary rendition in simple but eloquent language: "They cast shadows on our morality, our dedication to human rights, and they disrupt our relations with key friends and allies."
May 17, 2006
Italian Socialist MEP and EU Committee rapporteur Giovanni Claudio Fava states that, "More than one source in the CIA...told us that between 30 and 50 people have been transported by extraordinary rendition." Source: EUobserver.
April 26, 2006
The European Parliament's Temporary Committee on the Alleged Use of European Countries by the CIA for the Transport and Illegal Detention of Prisoners (TDIP) released a draft interim report (TDIP website).
April 21, 2006
CIA spokesspook Paul Gimigliano states that an unnamed CIA officer has been terminated (hopefully only her employment) for leaking information about the network of secret prisons established by the second Bush administration. Other unnamed CIA officers state that the hero is Mary O. McCarthy and that she was fired on Thursday April 20th, and then "escorted from" the agency's Langley, Virginia HQ. Source: n.a. "CIA Fires Source Of Leaks For Prize-Winning Stories." The Seattle Times (from The Los Angeles Times and The Wsahignton Post) April 22, 2006. Ms. McCarthy categorically denies being the source of the leak.
April 5, 2006
Amnesty International issues report on secret prisoner transfers in over 600 flights by planes chartered by CIA front companies. Source: Teresa Küchler. "Fresh Amnesty Report Confirms Illegal CIA Practices." EUObserver. April 5, 2006. See the "Amnesty International Press Release: USA: Front Companies Used in Secret Flights to Torture and 'Disappearance'" April 5, 2006. News Service No: 083. Press Release Text
April 3, 2006
The Guardian reports that British Ministry of Defense operated secret prisons in Germany (Bad Nenndorf) and Britain (central London) between 1945 and 1948 at which suspected communists were tortured, subjected to extreme cold and starved to obtain information about Soviet intentions. Some 372 men and 44 women who were subjected to brutal interrogated at Bad Nenndorf between 1945 and 1947. Ian Cobain. "Revealed: Victims of UK's Cold War Torture Camp." The Guardian April 3, 2006. article
March 6, 2006
Germany's three main opposition parties (Green, FDP and Left) united to demand a parliamentary inquiry into actions of the BND foreign intelligence service. At the time of the invasion, Germany was run by the SDP, which publically opposed the U.S. position; however, it appears that they were aiding the U.S. secretly. There is extra pressure on Walter Steinmeier, the current Foreign Minister; during the SDP administration, he was the coordinator of German intelligence services and Schroder's Chief of Staff. Recent reports have claimed that two BND agents in Baghdad provided the U.S. with information on Iraqi defenses before the invasion. The inquiry will also investigate the abduction of German citizen, Khaled al-Masri, and more than 700 CIA flights that crossed German airspace between 2001-2005.
March 1, 2006
According to Terry Davis, Council of Europe Secretary-General, said that, "most of Europe is a happy hunting ground for foreign security services," and that while domestic intelligence agencies are superivised by European governments foreign itnelligence agencies are not. As a result they cannot control civil aircraft flying over or through their territories from being used to commit human rights violations. Source: Teresa Kuchler. "Europe a Hunting Ground for Secret Services, Says Human Rights Watchdog." EUobserver.com. March 2, 2006.
February 24, 2006
Memos released under Canada's Access to Information Act disclose that CIA aircraft have landed in Canada 74 times since the attacks on September 11, 2001, suggesting that the U.S. intelligence agency has been moving prisoners through its northern neighbor en route to foreign prisons for torture. One document stamped "SECRET" indicated that the Canada Border Services Agency reported that 20 aircraft had made 74 flights to Canada since September 11, 2001. Source: Beth Duff-Brown. "Memos Detail 74 CIA Landings in Canada." Associated Press. February 23, 2006.
February 14, 2006
Italian Socialist deputy Giovanni Claudio Fava states that the 46 member European parliament committee investigating secret prisons and extraordinary renditions will attempt to question high-ranking CIA officials, including CIA Director Porter Goss, a Bush adminsitration appointee, by mid-April. Source: Jan Silva. "EU Seeks CIA Info on Secret Prisons." Associated Press. February 14, 2006.
January 26, 2006
The 46 member European Parliament committee investigating secret prisons and extraordinary renditions holds its first meeting and elects Portuguese Conservative MEP Carlos Coelho its president. British Liberal Democratic MEP Sarah Ludford was elected its vice president. The inquiry is expected to last four months. Ludford commented that the committee might invite-it has no subpeona power-U.S. Vice president Dick Cheney, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to testify. She said, "I would not be over optimistic, but I don't think it's completely off the planet to think that they might come to see us." Source: n.a. "EU May Question Cheney, Rumsfeld." CBS News. January 26, 2006. If U.S. President George W. Bush were asked to testify, the committee would no doubt have to invite Cheney as well to hold his hand.
January 24, 2006
Presenting a report on the CIA secret prisons to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Swiss Senator, Member of the European Parliament and human rights investigator Dick Marty stated that it was highly unlikely that European governments were unaware of the clandestine detention facilities in Poland and Romania. The report however included text that admitted there was no direct evidence of the secret prisons. n.a. "EU Investigator Says US Exported Torture Via Europe." Deutsche Welle. January 24, 2006.
January 20, 2006
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw denied that there had been any cases of extraordinary rendition about which the Blair government had not informed parliament. Straw said that in 1998 there where four cases in which the U.S. had requested permission to move one or more prisoners through Britain or its overseas territories and apprival had been granted in two cases. n.a. "Straw denies Cover-Up of Rendition Flights." The Guardian. January 20, 2006.
January 10, 2006
The Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office opned an investigation into the leak of a document intercepted by Swiss intelligence--a fax from Egypt to London--to the Swiss Newspaper SonntagsBlick. The Swiss Defense Ministry had already begun its own investigation. Source: Jan Sliva. "CIA Prison Investigator Mulls New Document." Associated Press. January 10, 2006.
January 9, 2006
Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick reported that the Swiss secret services had obtained a copy of the fax which said that the Egyptian Embassy in London "learned from its own sources that 23 Iraqi and Afghan citizens had been questioned at the Mikhail Kogalniceanu base in the town of Constanza on the Black Sea coast". The Romanian base is run by the U.S. miltiary. The newspaper also quoted a report written by the Swiss defence ministry indicating that Egypt believed there were "similar centres in Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria". Source: n.a. "Egypt 'Has Proof' US Questioned Suspects in Romania." Agence France Presse. January 9, 2006.
December 14, 2005
Based upon a source inside the Polish security apparatus, the German weekly Stern reported that U.S. officials had created a special zone inside a training camp for Polish security services in Kiejkuty, in northeast Poland. n.a. "New Questions, Denials on Polish 'Secret Prison'". December 14, 2005.
December 10, 2005
Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz announced that his government would investigate whether the U.S. CIA had run secret prisons in Poland. n.a. "Poland to Investigate CIA Prison Allegations." Associated Press.
December 9, 2005
Human Rights Watch analyst Marc Garlasco is quoted in Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza as saying that Poland was the CIA primary secret prison for interrogtion in Europe, with two secret facilities, while Romania was merely a transfer country. Also. Un human rights ombudsman in Kosovo, Marek Nowicki, denied telling a German newspaper that the U.S. Army had run a secret prison at Camp Bondsteel. Source: n.a. "Poland Was Main CIA European Detentiuon Base: Report." Reuters. December 9, 2005.
December 8, 2005
Attempting to evade direct questions about loopholes in her denials that the U.S. government mistreats prisoners in its custody, Secretary of State Rice stated that, "We are a nation of laws," she said. "The President of the United States is not going to ask American citizens to violate U.S. law or to violate our international obligations." Source: Glenn Kessler. "Europeans Search for Conciliation With U.S.: Some States Are Assuaged By Rice on Prison Policy," Washignton Post. December 9, 2005; Page A16.
December 7, 2005
Secretary of State Condoeeza Rice arrived in Romania, presumed location of one the CIA secret prisons, to sign an Access Accord for the stationing of more U.S. troops in the country. Seemingly unaware of the irony, Romanian Foreign Minister Razvan Ungureanu commented that, "This agreement is a fulfillment of Romanian wishes since 60 years. It is what my grandparents were waiting for as well as all those who died in communist prisons understanding that their sacrifice was for the values of democracy." Irony is as much an element of Romanian political culture as is conspiracism. Iulian Chifu, a political analyst at the National School of Political and Adminsitrative Sciences supplied the requisite conspiracism by commenting that "This scandal of CIA bases really annoys us. It's an unfair charge since the leak is an attack by the CIA against the US government and not against Romania." Source: "Rice in Romania for Bases Signing Under CIA Prisons Cloud," Agence France Presse. December 7, 2005.
Thai Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasathidya strongly denied US reports that the U.S. CIA operates a secret prison in Thailand, or uses the country as a prisoner transfer point. "I want to reassure all of you that we do not have a secret jail and there was never any terrorist suspect passing through Thailand," he said. "We are smart enough not to allow such things to happen." He also stated that, "they (the US media) tried to implicate us. I have worked on intelligence and haven't heard such a story." In November Human Rights Watch asserted that at least three men were arrested in Thailand in 2003 and transferred to secret CIA prisons. Source: n.a. "Justice Minister: No CIA Jail in Thailand." Bangkok Post. December 7, 2005.
December 6, 2005
In a press conference following their meeting, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and new German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to contradict one another, with Merkel saying that the case involving the extraordinary rendition of German citizen El Masri was, "was accepted by the United States as a mistake..." U.S. officials later denied admitting that his abduction in Macedonia and transport to Afghanistan was a mistake. Source: Mark Beunderman. "Rice Fails to Reassure Europe on Covert CIA Operations." EUobserver December 7, 2005.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot said in parliament that Rice, "had not been able to give a satisfactory answer" to concenrs about CIA operations in Europe. "Rice Fails to Reassure Europe on Covert CIA Operations." EUobserver December 7, 2005.
German citizen Khaled al-Masri brings suit against former CIA Director George Tenet, saying that he had been tortured. "I want an apology, and I want to know why this happened to me," Khaled al-Masri said. "What happened to me was outside the bounds of any legal framework, and should never be allowed to happen to anyone else." Source: Frank Davies & Warren P. Strob. "German Citizen Held in Secret Prison Sues Ex-CIA Director." Knight Ridder Newspapers. December 6, 2005.
December 5, 2005
Shortly before leaving for a four day tour of Europe, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice defended extraordinary rendition rhetorically with the phrase, "takes terrorists out of action and saves lives," claimed that the United States does not and has not "transported detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture." Even if true, that claim does not exclude transporting for the purpose of torture as punishment. In what looks like a tacit admission Rice refused to deny that the United States was maintaining or had maintained secret prisons in European Union member states. See text of Remarks Upon Her Departure for Europe. She also Sam Knight "Rice Admits CIA Transfers But Denies Torture," TimesOnLine. December 5, 2005.
Current and former CIA oficers speaking to ABC News on the condition of confidentiality said that the secret prisons in Europe were closed and the prisoners moved after Human Rights Watch reported their existence in Poland and Romania. They also said that 11 top al Qaeda prionsers were moved somewhere to a facility in North Africa before Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice arrived in Europe. Source: Brian Ross & Richard Esposito. n.a. "Exclusive: Sources Tell ABC News Top Al Qaeda Figures Held in Secret Prisons," ABC News. December 5, 2005. ABC News Report
December 3, 2005
In an interview in the Azerbaijani daily Ekho, Arif Babayev, public relations officer foe the Azerbaijani National Security Ministry denied reports that the U.S. CIA operates secret prisons in Azerbaijan. He described reports of such secret prisons as "absurd and totally groundless, and this is all fabricated and is far from reality." Source: "Azeri Security Official Denies Secret US Prisons in Azerbaijan." BBC Monitoring Trans Caucasus Unit December 3, 2005.
December 2, 2005
White House press secretary Scott McClellan insisted that the U.S. is the world leader on human rights, despite outrage in Europe over reports of secret CIA prisons. "When it comes to human rights, there is no greater leader than the United States of America, and we show that by holding people accountable when they break the law or violate human rights, and we show that by supporting the advance of freedom and democracy and supporting those in countries that are having their human rights denied or violated, like North Korea." Source: Annie Gearan. "White House Says U.S. is World Leader on Human Rights Despite Secret-Prison Reports." Associated Press. December 2, 2005.
November 28, 2005
European Union Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini warned that any EU member state found to have operated secret CIA prisons could have their EU voting rights suspended. "I would be obliged to propose to the Council (of EU Ministers) serious consequences, including the suspension of voting rights in the Council," he said at a counter-terrorism conference. Source: n.a. "EU May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons" Associated Press.
"We say in all friendship to the United States, 'What is this? You can't be satisfied with all these rumors and neither are we'," said Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller to Danish news agency Ritzau after a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels. Source: n.a. "EU May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons" Associated Press.
November 2, 2005
- Washington Post reports that the U.S. CIA may be holding and interrogating terror suspects in Soviet era secret prison in Eastern Europe.
- Mohammed Faraj Bashmilah and Salah Nasir 'Ali Qaru are arrested in Jordan and custody transferred to the U.S., after which they are held in 'black sites' in Eastern Europe.
July 22, 2002
- In Rabat, Morocco, U.S. CIA hands over custody of Binyam Mohammad to Moroccan security for interrogation under torture. Beaten at regular intervals, the Moroccans every month strip him and cut his penis with a scalpel.
December 18, 2001
- In Bromma, Sweden, the Säkerhetspolisen (SAPO) or Swedish Security Police deliver Mohammed Zery and Ahmed Agiza to the U.S. CIA, who fly them in a bone white Gulfstream V to (Egypt?). Six masked Americans and two masked Egyptians take custody without legal extradition procedures.
October 23, 2001
- In Karachi, the Pakistani ISI delivers Yemeni microbiology student Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed to the U.S. CIA, who fly him in a bone white Gulfstream V to (Jordan?). No legal extradition procedures were used to take custody.
September 17, 2001
- President George W. Bush issues a classified order giving the CIA "special powers" to enagage in extraordinary rendition. etc.
September 11, 2001
- President George W. Bush signs a still classified "finding" granting CIA extraordinary powers to conduct ba global "war on terror."
September 13, 1995
- Talaat Fouad Qasem is kidnapped from Croatia by CIA and delivered to Egypt.
- Nat Hentoff's The CIA's 'Black Sites'
- Ghost Plane, by Stephen Grey
- Trevor Paglen & A.C. Thompson. 2006. Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights. Hoboken, New Jersey: Melville House Publishing.
- Wrongful Imprisonment: Anatomy of a CIA Mistake, by Dana Priest, Washington Post, Dec. 4, 2005.
- CIA flight/prison linkfest - European Tribune, Sept. 13, 2006.
- CIA torture flightlogs now available - DailyKos, Dec. 5, 2006.
- CBC News - Maher Arar Timeline
- "We Probably Gave Powell the Wrong Speech" - German magazine Spiegel interviews Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA's European division.
- Torture Flights Still Land In UK, Despite Official Denial - The Newshoggers blog, June 10, 2007.