Black site

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In military terminology
Military terminology
Military terminology refers to the terms and language of military organizations and personnel as belonging to a discrete category, as distinguishable by their usage in military doctrine, as they serve to depoliticise, dehumanise, or otherwise abstract discussion about its operations from an actual...

, a black site is a location at which an unacknowledged black project
Black project
In the United States and United Kingdom, a black project is in the vernacular a classified military/defense project, unacknowledged publicly by the government, military personnel, and defense contractors. Examples of U.S...

 is conducted. Recently, the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prison
Prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

s operated by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (U.S.) Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA), generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

. It can refer to the facilities that are controlled by the CIA used by the U.S. government in its "War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

" to detain alleged unlawful enemy combatants.

U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 acknowledged the existence of secret prisons operated by the CIA during a speech on September 6, 2006. A claim that the black sites existed was made by The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

 in November 2005 and before this by human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 NGOs (non-governmental organizations).

Many European countries have officially denied they are hosting black sites to imprison suspects or cooperating in the U.S. extraordinary rendition
Extraordinary rendition
Extraordinary rendition is the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another. "Torture by proxy" is used by some critics to describe situations in which the United States and the United Kingdom have transferred suspected terrorists to other countries in order to torture the...

 program. Not one country has confirmed that it is hosting black sites. However, a European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) report adopted on February 14, 2007, by a majority of the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 (382 MEP
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

s voting in favour, 256 against and 74 abstaining) stated the CIA operated 1,245 flights and that it was not possible to contradict evidence or suggestions that secret detention centres were operated in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

.

Official recognition of black sites


Black sites operated by the U.S. government and its surrogates were first officially acknowledged by U.S. President George W. Bush in the fall of 2006. The International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

 reported details of black site practices to the U.S. government in early 2007, and the contents of that report became public in March, 2009.

2006 Bush announcement


On September 6, 2006, Bush publicly admitted the existence of secret prisons and announced that many of the detainees held there were being transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

2007 Red Cross report to the U.S. government


The International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

 (ICRC) prepared a report based on interviews with black site detainees, conducted between October 6 and 11 and December 4 and 14, 2006, after their transfer to Guantanamo Bay.
The report was submitted to Bush administration officials.

On March 15, 2009, Mark Danner
Mark Danner
Mark David Danner is a prominent American writer, journalist, and educator. He is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. Danner specializes in U.S. foreign affairs, war and politics, and has written extensively on Haiti, Central America,...

 provided a report in the New York Review of Books (with an abridged version in the New York Times) describing and commenting on the contents of the ICRC report. According to Danner, the report was marked "confidential" and was not previously made public before being made available to him. Danner provided excerpts of interviews with detainees, including Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah is a Saudi Arabian citizen, sentenced to death in Jordan and currently held in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Not neutral: Arrested in Pakistan in March 2002, he has been in US custody for more than eight years, four-and-a-half of them spent incommunicado in solitary confinement...

, Walid bin Attash and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a Kuwait-born militant in U.S. custody in Guantánamo Bay for alleged acts of terrorism, including mass murder of civilians....

. Danner also provided excerpts of the ICRC report characterizing procedures used at the black sites, dubbed "an alternative set of procedures" by President George Bush, and discussed whether they fit the definition of torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

.

Controversy over the legality and secrecy of black sites


Black sites are embroiled in controversy over the legal status of the detainees held there, the legal authority for the operation of the sites (including the collaboration between governments involved), and full (or even minimal) disclosure by the governments involved.

Legal status of black site detainees


An important aspect of black site operation is that the legal status of black site detainees is not clearly defined.

The revelation of such black sites adds to the controversy surrounding US government policy regarding those whom it describes as "unlawful enemy combatants". According to government sources, the detainees are broken into two groups. Approximately 30 detainees are considered the most dangerous or important terrorism suspects and are held by the CIA at black sites under the most secretive arrangements. The second group is more than 70 detainees who may have originally been sent to black sites, but were soon delivered by the CIA to intelligence agencies in allied Middle Eastern and Asian countries such as Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. A further 100 ghost detainee
Ghost detainee
Ghost detainee is an official term used by the U.S. Government to designate a person held in a detention center, whose identity has been hidden by keeping them unregistered and therefore anonymous. It was also used in the same manner by the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at the Abu...

s kidnapped in Europe and "rendered" to other countries must be counted, according to Swiss senator Dick Marty
Dick Marty
Dick Marty is a Swiss politician and former state prosecutor of the canton of Ticino. He is a member of the Swiss Council of States , and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.-Education:Marty holds a doctorate in law from the University of Neuchâtel with the thesis:...

's report of January 2006. This process is called "extraordinary rendition
Extraordinary rendition
Extraordinary rendition is the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another. "Torture by proxy" is used by some critics to describe situations in which the United States and the United Kingdom have transferred suspected terrorists to other countries in order to torture the...

". Marty also underlined that European countries probably had knowledge of these covert operations. Furthermore, the CIA apparently financially assists and directs the jails in these countries. While the US and host countries have signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture
United Nations Convention Against Torture
The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international human rights instrument, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture around the world....

, CIA officers are allowed to use what the agency calls "enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques
Enhanced interrogation techniques or alternative set of procedures are terms adopted by the George W. Bush administration in the United States to describe certain severe interrogation methods, often described as torture...

". These have been alleged to constitute "severe pain or suffering" under the UN convention, which would be a violation of the treaty and thus US law.

Legal authority for black site operation


There is little or no stated legal authority for the operation of black sites by the United States or the other countries believed to be involved. In fact, the specifics of the network of black sites remains controversial. The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 has begun to intervene in this aspect of black sites.

The fourteen European countries Marty listed as collaborators
Collaborationism
Collaborationism is cooperation with enemy forces against one's country. Legally, it may be considered as a form of treason. Collaborationism may be associated with criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, which may include complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions,...

 in "unlawful inter-state transfers" are Britain, Germany, Isle of Man, Italy, Sweden, Bosnia, Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Spain, Cyprus, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Romania and Poland. Named airport bases include Glasgow Prestwick Airport
Glasgow Prestwick International Airport
Glasgow Prestwick Airport is an international airport serving the Greater Glasgow urban area, situated northeast of the town of Prestwick in South Ayrshire and 32 miles from the city centre of Glasgow....

 (Britain), Shannon
Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport, is one of the Republic of Ireland's three primary airports along with Dublin and Cork. In 2010 around 1,750,000 passengers passed through the airport, making it the third busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland after Dublin and Cork, and the fifth busiest airport on the island...

 (Ireland), Ramstein
Ramstein Air Base
Ramstein Air Base is a United States Air Force base in the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz. It serves as headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe and is also a North Atlantic Treaty Organization installation...

 and Frankfurt
Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport may refer to:Airports of Frankfurt, Germany:*Frankfurt Airport , the largest airport in Germany*Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport, a general aviation airport*Frankfurt-Hahn Airport , a converted U.S...

 (Germany), Aviano Air Base
Aviano Air Base
Aviano Air Base is a NATO Air Base under U.S. Air Force administration in northeastern Italy, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. It is located in Aviano municipality, at the foot of the Carnic Pre-Alps, or Southern Carnic Alps, about 15 kilometers from Pordenone.-Units:Aviano is hosted by the...

 (Italy), Palma de Mallorca Airport
Palma de Mallorca Airport
Palma de Mallorca Airport is an airport located east of Palma, Majorca, adjacent to the village of Can Pastilla. Also known as Son Sant Joan Airport or Aeroport de Son Sant Joan, it is the third largest airport in Spain, after Madrid's Barajas Airport and Barcelona Airport...

 (Spain), Tuzla Air Base
Tuzla Air Base
Tuzla Air Base is a former SFR Yugoslav Air Force and later, NATO Air Force base, located south-southeast of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Skopje
Skopje Airport
Skopje Airport , or Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport is the larger and busier of the two international airports in the Republic of Macedonia...

 (Republic of Macedonia), Athens (Greece), Larnaca
Larnaca International Airport
Larnaca International Airport is an international airport located southwest of Larnaca, Cyprus. Larnaca International Airport is Cyprus' main international gateway and the larger of the country's two commercial airports, the other being Paphos International Airport on the island's southwestern...

 (Cyprus), Prague (Czech Republic), Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, as well as Rabat
Rabat-Salé Airport
Salé Airport or Rabat-Salé Airport is an airport serving Rabat, the capital city of Morocco, and also the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer region. It is a joint use public and military airport, also known as the First Royal Air Force Base...

 (Morocco) and Algiers (Algeria). Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz is a Polish conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of Poland from October 31, 2005 to July 14, 2006...

 characterized the accusation as "libel", while Romania similarly said there was no evidence.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 said that the report "added absolutely nothing new whatever to the information we have".
Poland and Romania received the most direct accusals, as the report claims the evidence for these sites is "strong". The report cites airports in Timişoara
Timisoara
Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, in western Romania. One of the largest Romanian cities, with an estimated population of 311,586 inhabitants , and considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat, Timișoara is the main social, economic and cultural center in the...

, Romania, and Szymany
Szymany, Szczytno County
Szymany is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Szczytno, within Szczytno County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northern Poland...

, Poland, as "detainee transfer/drop-off point[s]". Eight airports outside Europe are also cited.

On May 19, 2006, the United Nations Committee Against Torture (the U.N. body that monitors compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture) recommended that the United States cease holding detainees in secret prisons and stop the practice of rendering prisoners to countries where they are likely to be tortured. The decision was made in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 following two days of hearings at which a 26-member U.S. delegation defended the practices.

Public information about black site operation


The U.S. government does not provide information about the operation of black sites, and for a period of time did not provide information about the existence of black sites.

Representations by the Bush administration


Responding to the allegations about black sites, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 stated on December 5 that US had not violated any country's sovereignty
National sovereignty
National sovereignty is the doctrine that sovereignty belongs to and derives from the nation, an abstract entity normally linked to a physical territory and its past, present, and future citizens. It is an ideological concept or doctrine derived from liberal political theory...

 in the rendition
Rendition (law)
In law, rendition is a "surrender" or "handing over" of persons or property, particularly from one jurisdiction to another. For criminal suspects, extradition is the most common type of rendition. Rendition can also be seen as the act of handing over, after the request for extradition has taken...

 of suspects, and that individuals were never rendered to countries where it was believed that they might be tortured. Some media sources have noted her comments do not exclude the possibility of covert prison sites operated with the knowledge of the "host" nation, or the possibility that promises by such "host" nations that they will refrain from torture may not be genuine. On September 6, 2006, Bush publicly admitted the existence of the secret prisons and that many of the detainees held there were being transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

In December 2002, The Washington Post reported that "the capture of al Qaeda leaders Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Pakistan, Omar al-Faruq
Omar al-Faruq
Omar al-Faruq was a Kuwaiti of Iraqi descent, and a senior al-Qaeda member. He was a liaison between al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorists in the Far East, particularly Jemaah Islamiyah. He was captured in Bogor, Indonesia in 2002 by an Indonesian security agent who handed him over to the United States...

 in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is a Saudi Arabian citizen alleged to be the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing and other terrorist attacks, he allegedly headed al-Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf states prior to his capture in November 2002 by the CIA's Special Activities Division.The...

 in Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 and Muhammad al Darbi in Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 were all partly the result of information gained during interrogations." The Post cited "U.S. intelligence and national security officials" in reporting this.

On April 21, 2006, Mary O. McCarthy, a longtime CIA analyst, was fired for allegedly leaking classified information
Classified information
Classified information is sensitive information to which access is restricted by law or regulation to particular groups of persons. A formal security clearance is required to handle classified documents or access classified data. The clearance process requires a satisfactory background investigation...

 to a Washington Post reporter, Dana Priest
Dana Priest
Dana Priest is an American author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Priest has worked almost 20 years for The Washington Post. As one of the Post's specialists on National Security she has written many articles on the United States' "War on terror." In 2006 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Beat...

, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 for her revelations concerning the CIA's black sites. Some have speculated that the information allegedly leaked may have included information about the camps. McCarthy's lawyer, however, claimed that McCarthy "did not have access to the information she is accused of leaking". The Washington Post posited that McCarthy "had been probing allegations of criminal mistreatment by the CIA and its contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan", and became convinced that "CIA people had lied" in a meeting with US Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 staff in June 2005.

In a September 29, 2006, speech, Bush stated: "Once captured, Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah is a Saudi Arabian citizen, sentenced to death in Jordan and currently held in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Not neutral: Arrested in Pakistan in March 2002, he has been in US custody for more than eight years, four-and-a-half of them spent incommunicado in solitary confinement...

, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were taken into custody of the Central Intelligence Agency. The questioning of these and other suspected terrorists provided information that helped us protect the American people. They helped us break up a cell of Southeast Asian terrorist operatives that had been groomed for attacks inside the United States. They helped us disrupt an al Qaeda operation to develop anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...

 for terrorist attacks. They helped us stop a planned strike on a U.S. Marine camp in Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, and to prevent a planned attack on the U.S. Consulate in Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, and to foil a plot to hijack passenger planes and to fly them into Heathrow Airport and London's Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is a major business district located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of London's two main financial centres, alongside the traditional City of London, and contains many of the UK's tallest buildings, including the second-tallest , One Canada Square...

."

On July 20, 2007, Bush made an executive order banning torture of captives by intelligence officials.

In a September 7, 2007, public address to the Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

 in New York, rare for a sitting Director of Central Intelligence, General Michael Hayden praised the program of detaining and interrogating prisoners, and credited it with providing 70 percent of the National Intelligence Estimate
National Intelligence Estimate
National Intelligence Estimates are United States federal government documents that are the authoritative assessment of the Director of National Intelligence on intelligence related to a particular national security issue...

 on the threat to America released in July. Hayden said the CIA has detained fewer than 100 people at secret facilities abroad since 2002, and even fewer prisoners have been secretly transferred to or from foreign governments. In a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience, Hayden disputed assertions that the CIA has used waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

, stress positions
Stress positions
A stress position, also known as a submission position, places the human body in such a way that a great amount of weight is placed on just one or two muscles. For example, a subject may be forced to stand on the balls of his feet, then squat so that his thighs are parallel to the ground...

, hypothermia
Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition in which core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions which is defined as . Body temperature is usually maintained near a constant level of through biologic homeostasis or thermoregulation...

 and dogs to interrogate suspects—all techniques that have been broadly criticized. "That's a pretty good example of taking something to the darkest corner of the room and not reflective of what my agency does" Hayden told one person from a human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 organization.

Information derived from investigative reporting


The vast majority of information that has been provided to the public about black sites has been the result of investigative reporting. For full details, see the section below on the media and investigative history.

Specific facts surrounding black sites


As discussed in the preceding section, many of the facts surrounding black sites remain controversial. The identity of detainees and the location of sites are known with varying degrees of certainty, though many facts have been discovered in substantial detail.

Detainees


The list of those thought to be held by the CIA include suspected al-Qaeda members Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a Kuwait-born militant in U.S. custody in Guantánamo Bay for alleged acts of terrorism, including mass murder of civilians....

, Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah is a Saudi Arabian citizen, sentenced to death in Jordan and currently held in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Not neutral: Arrested in Pakistan in March 2002, he has been in US custody for more than eight years, four-and-a-half of them spent incommunicado in solitary confinement...

. The total number of ghost detainee
Ghost detainee
Ghost detainee is an official term used by the U.S. Government to designate a person held in a detention center, whose identity has been hidden by keeping them unregistered and therefore anonymous. It was also used in the same manner by the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at the Abu...

s is presumed to be at least one hundred, although the precise number cannot be determined because fewer than 10% have been charged or convicted. However, Swiss senator Dick Marty
Dick Marty
Dick Marty is a Swiss politician and former state prosecutor of the canton of Ticino. He is a member of the Swiss Council of States , and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.-Education:Marty holds a doctorate in law from the University of Neuchâtel with the thesis:...

's memorandum on "alleged detention in Council of Europe states" stated that about 100 persons have been kidnapped by the CIA on European territory and subsequently rendered
Extraordinary rendition
Extraordinary rendition is the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another. "Torture by proxy" is used by some critics to describe situations in which the United States and the United Kingdom have transferred suspected terrorists to other countries in order to torture the...

 to countries where they may have been tortured. This number of 100 persons does not overlap, but adds itself to the U.S.-detained 100 ghost detainees.

A number of the alleged detainees listed above were transferred to the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay detainment camp
The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a detainment and interrogation facility of the United States located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq...

 prison on Cuba in the fall of 2006. With this publicly announced act, the United States government de facto also acknowledged the existence of secret prisons abroad in which these prisoners were held.

Khaled el-Masri



Khalid El-Masri is a German citizen who was detained, flown to Afghanistan, interrogated and allegedly tortured by the CIA for several months, and then released in remote Albania in May 2004 without having been charged with any offense. This was apparently due to a misunderstanding that arose concerning the similarity of the spelling of El-Masri's name with the spelling of suspected terrorist Khalid al-Masri
Khalid al-Masri
Khalid al-Masri is the name of a person alleged to have approached two 9/11 hijackers on a train in Germany and suggested that they contact an alleged al Qaeda operative in Duisburg....

. Germany had issued warrants for 13 people suspected to be involved with the abduction, but dropped them in September 2007.

On October 9, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court declined without comment to hear an appeal of El-Masri's civil lawsuit against the United States (El-Masri v. Tenet), letting stand an earlier verdict by a federal district court judge, which was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Those courts had agreed with the government that the case could not go forward without exposing state secrets. In May 2007, Masri was committed to a psychiatric institution after he was arrested in the southern German city of Neu-Ulm on suspicion of arson. His attorney blamed his troubles on the CIA, saying the kidnapping and detention had left Masri a "psychological wreck".

Imam Rapito



The CIA abducted Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr
Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr
Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr , also known as Abu Omar, is an Egyptian cleric. In 2003 he was living in Milan, Italy, from where he was kidnapped and allegedly later tortured in Egypt. This "Imam rapito affair" prompted a series of investigations in Italy, culminating in the criminal convictions of...

 (also known as Abu Omar) in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 and transferred him to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured and abused. Hassan Nasr was released by an Egyptian court—who considered his detention "unfounded"—in February 2007 and has not been indicted for any crime in Italy. Ultimately, 26 Americans and nine Italians have been indicted. As of November 4, 2009, an Italian judge convicted 22 of the Americans (all suspected or confirmed CIA agents), a U.S. Air Force (USAF) colonel, and two of the Italians.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui



The defense for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
Aafia Siddiqui
Aafia Siddiqui is an American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist who was convicted of assault with intent to murder her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan. The charges carried a maximum sentence of life in prison; in September 2010, she was sentenced by a United States district court to 86...

 currently under trial in the US has alleged that she was held and tortured in a secret US facility at Baghram for several years. Aafia's case gained notoriety due to Yvon Radley's allegations in her book, The Grey Lady of Baghram.

Suspected black sites


An estimated 50 prisons have been used to hold detainees in 28 countries, in addition to at least 25 more prisons in Afghanistan and 20 in Iraq. It is estimated that the U.S. has also used 17 ships as floating prisons since 2001, bringing the total estimated number of prisons operated by the U.S. and/or its allies to house alleged terrorist suspects since 2001 to more than 100.

Countries that held suspects on behalf of the U.S. include Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Libya, Lithuania, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zambia.

Asia


In Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, the Voice of America
Voice of America
Voice of America is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. It is one of five civilian U.S. international broadcasters working under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Board of Governors . VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio...

 relay station in Udon Thani
Udon Thani
Udon Thani is a city in Isan, north-east Thailand, and the capital of Udon Thani Province.-Location:The province of Udon Thani has a population of 1,467.200, the city alone 500.000. Geographical location and is approximately 560 km from Bangkok...

 was reported to be a black site. Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
Thaksin Shinawatra
Thaksin Shinawatra is a Thai businessman and politician, who was Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006, when he was overthrown in a military coup....

 has denied these reports.

Middle East


In Afghanistan, the prison at Bagram Air Base
Bagram Air Base
Bagram Airfield, also referred to as Bagram Air Base, is a militarized airport and housing complex that is located next to the ancient city of Bagram, southeast of Charikar in Parwan province of Afghanistan. The base is run by a US Army division headed by a major general. A large part of the base,...

 was initially housed in an abandoned brickmaking factory outside Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 known as the "Salt Pit
Salt Pit
The Salt Pit is the codename of an isolated clandestine CIA black site prison, and interrogation centre in Afghanistan. It is located north of Kabul and functioned as a brick factory prior to the US invasion of Afghanistan...

", but later moved to the base some time after a young Afghan died of hypothermia after being stripped naked and left chained to a floor. During this period, there were several incidents of torture and prisoner abuse
Bagram torture and prisoner abuse
In 2005, The New York Times obtained a 2,000-page United States Army report concerning the homicides of two unarmed civilian Afghan prisoners by U.S. armed forces in 2002 at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility in Bagram, Afghanistan. The prisoners, Habibullah and Dilawar, were chained to the...

, though they were related to non-secret prisoners, and not the CIA-operated portion of the prison. At some point prior to 2005, the prison was again relocated, this time to an unknown site. Metal containers at Bagram Air Base were reported to be black sites. Some Guantanamo Bay detainees report being tortured in a prison they called "the dark prison
The Dark Prison
The dark prison is the informal name used by some Guantanamo Bay detainees for a secret prison they claim they were detained in near Kabul, Afghanistan...

", also near Kabul. Also in Afghanistan, Jalalabad
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

 and Asadabad
Asadabad
Asadabad may refer to:* Asadabad, Afghanistan, capital of Kunar Province* Asadabad District, district of Kunar Province, Afghanistan* Asadabad, Jalilabad, Azerbaijan* Əsədabad, Azerbaijan* Asadabad, Iran, in Hamadan Province...

 have been reported as suspected sites.

In Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib
The city of Abu Ghraib in the Baghdad Governorate of Iraq is located just west of Baghdad's city center, or northwest of Baghdad International Airport. It has a population of 189,000. The old road to Jordan passes through Abu Ghraib...

 was disclosed as also working as a black site, and was the center of an extensive prisoner abuse scandal
Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
Beginning in 2004, human rights violations in the form of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, rape, sodomy, and homicide of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to public attention...

. Additionally, Camp Bucca
Camp Bucca
Camp Bucca was a detention facility maintained by the United States military in the vicinity of Umm Qasr, Iraq. As of June 2011, a group of entrepreneurial Iraqis and Americans are re-building Camp Bucca as Basra Gateway, a logistics city and environmentally-friendly industrial hub to lead the new...

 (near Umm Qasr
Umm Qasr
Umm Qasr , is a port city in southern Iraq. It stands on the canalised Khawr az-Zubayr, part of the Khawr Abd Allah estuary which leads to the Persian Gulf. It is separated from the border of Kuwait by a small inlet...

) and Camp Cropper
Camp Cropper
Camp Cropper is a holding facility for security detainees operated by the United States Army near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. The facility was initially operated as a high-value detention site , but has since been expanded increasing its capacity from 163 to 2,000 detainees...

 (near the Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport
Baghdad International Airport, originally Saddam International Airport, , BIAP is Iraq's largest airport, located in a suburb about west of downtown Baghdad in the Baghdad Governorate...

) were reported.

Africa


Some reported sites in Egypt, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 and Morocco, as well as Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 The al-Tamara interrogation centre, five miles outside the Moroccan capital, Rabat
Rabat
Rabat , is the capital and third largest city of the Kingdom of Morocco with a population of approximately 650,000...

, is cited as one such site.

On January 23, 2009, The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 reported that the CIA ran a secret detention center in Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, a former French Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legion
The French Foreign Legion is a unique military service wing of the French Army established in 1831. The foreign legion was exclusively created for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French Armed Forces...

 base.

Indian Ocean


The U.S. Naval Base in Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia is a tropical, footprint-shaped coral atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean at 7 degrees, 26 minutes south latitude. It is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory [BIOT] and is positioned at 72°23' east longitude....

 was reported to be a black site, but UK and U.S. officials initially attempted to suppress these reports. However, it has since been revealed by Time magazine and a "senior American official" source that the isle was indeed used by the U.S. as a secret prison for "war on terror" detainees.

While the revelation is expected to cause considerable embarrassment for both governments, UK officials may face considerable exposure since they had previously quelled public outcry over U.S. detainee abuse by falsely reassuring the public no U.S. detainment camps were housed any on UK bases or territories. The UK may also face liabilities over apparent violations of international treaties.

Europe


Several European countries (particularly the former Soviet satellites and republics) have been accused of and have denied hosting black sites: the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

. Slovak ministry spokesman Richard Fides said the country had no black sites, but its intelligence service spokesman Vladimir Simko said he would not disclose any information about possible Slovak black sites to the media. EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 Justice commissioner Franco Frattini has repeatedly asserted suspension of voting rights for any member state found to have hosted a CIA black site.

The interior minister of Romania, Vasile Blaga
Vasile Blaga
Vasile Blaga is a Romanian politician and the current Speaker of the Upper Chamber of the Romanian Parliament, the Senate, and a former Minister of Regional Development and Housing and twice former Minister of Administration and Internal Affairs....

, has assured the EU that the Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport
Mihail Kogalniceanu International Airport
Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport is situated in south-east Romania, in the commune of Mihail Kogălniceanu, north northwest of Constanţa. It is the main airport of Dobrogea region and it provides access to the Constanţa County, the Constanţa city port and Black Sea Romanian resorts...

 was used only as a supply point for equipment, and never for detention, though there have been reports to the contrary. A fax intercepted by the Onyx Swiss interception system
Onyx (interception system)
Onyx is a Swiss intelligence gathering system maintained by the Swiss Army. The costs of the system are not public, but the amount of 100 million Swiss francs has been mentioned several times, in particular in 2000 by Werner Marti, SP deputy to the National Council of Switzerland...

, from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to its London embassy, stated that 23 prisoners were clandestinely interrogated by the U.S. at the base. In 2007, it was disclosed by Dick Marty
Dick Marty
Dick Marty is a Swiss politician and former state prosecutor of the canton of Ticino. He is a member of the Swiss Council of States , and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.-Education:Marty holds a doctorate in law from the University of Neuchâtel with the thesis:...

 (investigator) that the CIA allegedly had secret prisons in Poland and Romania.

There are other reported sites in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, who denied hosting any such sites, and the Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

.

In June 2008, a New York Times article claimed, citing unnamed CIA officers, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was held in a secret facility in Poland near Szymany Airport
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport is a currently inoperative Polish regional airport located in the village Szymany, some 10 km from the center of the city of Szczytno in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in the North of Poland. It is the only airport in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship...

, about 100 miles north of Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 and it was there where he was interrogated and the waterboarding was applied. It is claimed that waterboarding was used about 100 times over a period of two weeks before Khalid Sheikh Mohammed began to cooperate. In September 2008, two anonymous Polish intelligence officers made the claims about facilities being located in Poland in the Polish daily newspaper Dziennik. One of them stated that between 2002 and 2005 the CIA held terror suspects inside a military intelligence training base in Stare Kiejkuty
Stare Kiejkuty (base)
On the territory village of Stare Kiejkuty, Poland, is a restricted military area that is the seat of Jednostka Wojskowa 2669 , Ośrodek Szkolenia Agencji Wywiadu " Since 2005 it has attracted scrutiny as being a black site involved in the CIA's program of extraordinary...

 in north-eastern Poland. The officer said only the CIA had access to the isolated zone, which was used because it was a secure site far from major towns and was close to a former military airport. Both Prime Minister Leszek Miller
Leszek Miller
Leszek Cezary Miller is a Polish central-left-wing politician, leader of the Democratic Left Alliance , Prime Minister of the government of the Republic of Poland in 2001-2004.-Childhood and youth:...

 and President Aleksander Kwasniewski
Aleksander Kwasniewski
Aleksander Kwaśniewski is a Polish politician who served as the President of Poland from 1995 to 2005. He was born in Białogard, and during communist rule he was active in the Socialist Union of Polish Students and was the Minister for Sport in the communist government in the 1980s...

 knew about the base, the newspaper reported. However, the officer said it was unlikely either man knew if the prisoners were being tortured because the Poles had no control over the Americans' activities. On January 23, 2009, The Guardian reported that the CIA had run black sites at Szymany Airport
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport is a currently inoperative Polish regional airport located in the village Szymany, some 10 km from the center of the city of Szczytno in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in the North of Poland. It is the only airport in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship...

 in Poland, Camp Eagle
Camp Eagle
Camp Eagle is a US military base in Bosnia, near Tuzla.Notably the George W. Bush Presidency is reported to have used the camp for the secret extrajudicial detention of ghost prisoners....

 in Bosnia and Camp Bondsteel
Camp Bondsteel
Camp Bondsteel is the main base of the United States Army under KFOR command in Kosovo. Located near Uroševac in the eastern part of Kosovo, the base serves as the NATO headquarters for KFOR's Multinational Brigade East . The base is named after Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient United States...

 in Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

. The United States has refused to cooperate with a Polish investigation into the matter, according to the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

In November 2009, reports alleged a black site referred to in The Washington Posts 2005 article had been located in Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

. A former riding school in Antaviliai, a village some 25 kilometres (15.5 mi) from Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

, was said to have been converted into a jail by the CIA in 2004. The allegations resulted in a parliamentary inquiry, and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė is the current President of Lithuania, inaugurated on 12 July 2009. She had previously been Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Finance Minister, and European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget...

 stated that she had "indirect suspicions" about a black site in her country.
On December 22, 2009, the parliamentary commission finished its investigation and stated they found no proof that a black site had existed in Lithuania. Valdas Adamkus, a former president of Lithuania, said he is certain that no alleged terrorists were ever detained on Lithuanian territory.

Mobile sites

  • U.S. warship - By definition as a U.S. military vessel, this is not a "black site" as defined above. However, it has been used by the United States military as a temporary initial interrogation site (after which, prisoners are then transferred to other facilities, possibly including black sites).
  • N221SG a Learjet 35
  • N44982 a Gulfstream V
    Gulfstream V
    The Gulfstream V is a business jet aircraft produced by Gulfstream Aerospace. It is also used by the US military under the designation C-37A. The G500 and G550 are improved versions which are currently in production...

     (also known as N379P)
  • N8068V a Gulfstream V
  • N4476S a Boeing Business Jet
    Boeing Business Jet
    |-External links:* .* .*...

  • On May 31, 2008, The Guardian reported that the human rights group Reprieve said up to seventeen US Naval vessels may have been used to covertly hold captives. In addition to the USS Bataan The Guardian named: USS Peleliu and the USS Ashland
    USS Ashland
    USS Ashland may refer to:, a dock landing ship, launched in 1942 and struck in 1969., is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship, launched in 1989 and currently in service....

    , USNS Stockham, USNS Watson, USNS Watkins, USNS Sister, USNS Charlton, USNS Pomeroy, USNS Red Cloud, USNS Soderman
    USNS Soderman
    Two ships of the United States Navy have borne the name USNS Soderman, in honor of PFC William A. Soderman , who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during World War II's Battle of the Bulge....

    , and USNS Dahl; MV PFC William B Baugh, MV Alex Bonnyman, MV Franklin J Phillips, MV Louis J Huage Jr and MV James Anderson Jr. The Ashland was stationed off the coast of Somalia
    Somalia
    Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

    , in 2007, and, Reprieve expressed concern it had been used as a receiving ship for up to 100 captives taken in East Africa.

The Washington Post December 2002


The Washington Post on December 26, 2002, reported about a secret CIA prison in one corner of Bagram Air Force Base (Afghanistan) consisting of metal shipping containers. On March 14, 2004, The Guardian reported that three British citizens were held captive in a secret section (Camp Echo
Camp Echo
Camp Echo is one of seven Guantanamo Bay detention camps that make up the main Camp Delta, at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, run by the United States military. The facility is used to hold detainees in solitary confinement...

) of the Guantánamo Bay complex. Several other articles reported the retention of ghost detainees by the CIA, alongside the other official "enemy combatant
Enemy combatant
Enemy combatant is a term historically referring to members of the armed forces of the state with which another state is at war. Prior to 2008, the definition was: "Any person in an armed conflict who could be properly detained under the laws and customs of war." In the case of a civil war or an...

s". However, it was the revelations of the Washington Post, in a November 2, 2005, article, that would start the scandal. (below)

Human Rights Watch March 2004 report


A report by the human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 organization Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, entitled "Enduring Freedom - Abuses by US Forces in Afghanistan", states that the CIA has operated in Afghanistan since September, 2001; maintaining a large facility in the Ariana Chowk neighborhood of Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 and a detention and interrogation facility at the Bagram airbase.

Village March 2005 report


In the 26 February-4 March 2005, edition of Ireland's Village
Village (magazine)
Village is an Irish current affairs magazine founded by Vincent Browne. It was launched in October 2004 and was published weekly. In January 2007, it was announced that Village Magazine would be published monthly...

 magazine, an article titled "Abductions via Shannon" claimed that Dublin and Shannon airports in Ireland were "used by the CIA to abduct suspects in its 'war on terror'". The article went on to state that a Boeing 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

 (registration number N313P, later reregistered N4476S) "was routed through Shannon and Dublin on fourteen occasions from 1 January 2003 to the end of 2004. This is according to the flight log of the aircraft obtained from Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, by Village. Destinations included Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 (1/11/03); Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

, Salé
Salé
Salé is a city in north-western Morocco, on the right bank of the Bou Regreg river, opposite the national capital Rabat, for which it serves as a commuter town...

, Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Palma, Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

, Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Kabul (all 16 January 2004);Marka
Marka
Marka may refer to:* Marka people, a people of Mali in Western Africa** Marka language, the language of the Marka people* Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark , the currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 (10 May 2004 and 13 June 2004). Other flights began in places such as Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 (2 June 2003 and 30 December 2003), Mitiga (29 October 2003 and 27 April 2004), Baghdad (2003) and Marka (8 February 2004, 4 March 2004, 10 May 2004), all of which ended in Washington, D.C..

According to the article, the same aircraft landed in Guantanamo Bay on September 23, 2003, "having travelled from Kabul to Szymany
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport is a currently inoperative Polish regional airport located in the village Szymany, some 10 km from the center of the city of Szczytno in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in the North of Poland. It is the only airport in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship...

 (Poland), Mihail Kogălniceanu
Mihail Kogalniceanu International Airport
Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport is situated in south-east Romania, in the commune of Mihail Kogălniceanu, north northwest of Constanţa. It is the main airport of Dobrogea region and it provides access to the Constanţa County, the Constanţa city port and Black Sea Romanian resorts...

 (Romania) and Salé (Morocco)". It had been used "in connection with the abduction in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, of Khalid El-Masri
Khalid El-Masri
Khalid El-Masri is a German citizen who was kidnapped in the Republic of Macedonia, flown to Afghanistan, allegedly beaten, stripped, raped, and interrogated and tortured by the CIA for several months as a part of the War on Terror, and then released...

, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, on 31 December 2003, and his transport to a US detention centre in Afghanistan on 23 January 2004".

In the article, it was noted that the aircraft's registration showed it as being owned by Premier Executive Transport Services, based in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, though as of February 2005 it was listed as being owned by Keeler and Tate Management, Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Reno is the county seat of Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The city has a population of about 220,500 and is the most populous Nevada city outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area...

 (US). On the day of registration transference, a Gulfstream V jet (number N8068V) used in the same activities, was transferred from Premier Executive Transport Services to a company called Baynard Foreign Marketing.

Washington Post November 2005 article


A story by reporter Dana Priest
Dana Priest
Dana Priest is an American author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Priest has worked almost 20 years for The Washington Post. As one of the Post's specialists on National Security she has written many articles on the United States' "War on terror." In 2006 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Beat...

 published in The Washington Post of November 2, 2005, reported: "The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important alleged al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement." According to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats, there is a network of foreign prisons that includes or has included sites in several European democracies, Thailand, Afghanistan, and a small portion of the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba - this network has been labeled by Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 as "The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

", in a clear reference to the novel of the same name by Russian writer and activist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was aRussian and Soviet novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his often-suppressed writings, he helped to raise global awareness of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly in The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of...

.

The reporting of the secret prisons was heavily criticized by members and former members of the Bush Administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

. However, Priest states no one in the administration requested that the Washington Post not print the story. Rather they asked they not publish the names of the countries in which the prisons are located. "The Post has not identified the East European countries involved in the secret program at the request of senior U.S. officials who argued that the disclosure could disrupt counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 efforts".

Human Rights Watch's report


On November 3, 2005, Tom Malinowski of the New York-based Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 cited circumstantial evidence pointing to Poland and Romania hosting CIA-operated covert prisons. Flight records obtained by the group documented the Boeing 737 'N4476S' leased by the CIA for transporting prisoners leaving Kabul and making stops in Poland and Romania before continuing on to Morocco, and finally Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. Such flight patterns might corroborate the claims of government officials that prisoners are grouped into different classes being deposited in different locations. Malinowski's comments prompted quick denials by both Polish and Romanian government officials as well as sparking the concern of the International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

 ("ICRC"), who called for access to all foreign terrorism suspects held by the United States.

The accusation that several EU members may have allowed the United States to hold, imprison or torture detainees on their soil has been a subject of controversy in the European body, who announced in November 2005 that any country found to be complicit could lose their right to vote in the council.

Amnesty International November 2005 report
On November 8, 2005, rights group Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 provided the first comprehensive testimony from former inmates of the CIA black sites. The report, which documented the cases of three Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

i nationals, was the first to describe the conditions in black site detention in detail. In a subsequent report, in April 2006, Amnesty International used flight records and other information to locate the black site in Eastern Europe or Central Asia.

BBC December 2006 report


On 28 December 2006, the BBC reported that during 2003, a well-known CIA Gulfstream V
Gulfstream V
The Gulfstream V is a business jet aircraft produced by Gulfstream Aerospace. It is also used by the US military under the designation C-37A. The G500 and G550 are improved versions which are currently in production...

 aircraft implicated in extraordinary renditions, N379P, had on several occasions landed at the Polish airbase of Szymany
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport
Szczytno-Szymany International Airport is a currently inoperative Polish regional airport located in the village Szymany, some 10 km from the center of the city of Szczytno in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in the North of Poland. It is the only airport in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship...

. The airport manager said that airport officials were told to keep away from the aircraft, which parked at the far end of the runway and frequently kept their engines running. Vans from a nearby intelligence base (Stare Kiejkuty
Stare Kiejkuty (base)
On the territory village of Stare Kiejkuty, Poland, is a restricted military area that is the seat of Jednostka Wojskowa 2669 , Ośrodek Szkolenia Agencji Wywiadu " Since 2005 it has attracted scrutiny as being a black site involved in the CIA's program of extraordinary...

) met the aircraft, stayed for a short while and then drove off. Landing fees were paid in cash, with the invoices made out to "probably fake" American companies.

New Yorker August 2007 article


An August 13, 2007, story by Jane Mayer
Jane Mayer
Jane Mayer is an American investigative journalist who has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1995...

 in The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

 reported that the CIA has operated "black site" secret prisons by the direct Presidential order of George W. Bush since shortly after 9/11, and that extreme psychological interrogation measures based at least partially on the Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

-era Phoenix Program
Phoenix Program
The Phoenix Program |phoenix]]) was a controversial counterinsurgency program designed, coordinated, and executed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , United States special operations forces, and the Republic of Vietnam's security apparatus during the Vietnam War that operated...

 were used on detainees. These included sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function. Few studies have compared the...

, keeping prisoners naked indefinitely and photographing them naked to degrade and humiliate them, and forcibly administering drugs by suppositories to further break down their dignity. According to Mayer's report, CIA officers have taken out professional liability insurance
Professional liability insurance
Professional liability insurance , also called professional indemnity insurance but more commonly known as errors & omissions in the US, is a form of liability insurance that helps protect professional advice- and service-providing individuals and companies from bearing the full cost of defending...

, fearing that they could be criminally prosecuted if what they have already done became public knowledge.

September 2007 media reports to present


On September 14, 2007, The Washington Post reported that members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had requested the withdrawal of the nomination of John A. Rizzo
John A. Rizzo
John A. Rizzo was a lawyer at the Central Intelligence Agency for 34 years. He was the acting General Counsel or Deputy Counsel of the CIA for the first nine years of the War on Terror, during which the CIA held dozens of detainees in black site prisons around the globe. "Enhanced interrogation...

 - a career CIA lawyer - for the position of general counsel
General Counsel
A general counsel is the chief lawyer of a legal department, usually in a corporation or government department. The term is most used in the United States...

, due to concerns about his support for Bush administration legal doctrines permitting "enhanced interrogation" of terrorism detainees in CIA custody.

On October 4, 2007, The New York Times reported that, shortly after Alberto Gonzales
Alberto Gonzales
Alberto R. Gonzales was the 80th Attorney General of the United States. Gonzales was appointed to the post in February 2005 by President George W. Bush. Gonzales was the first Hispanic Attorney General in U.S. history and the highest-ranking Hispanic government official ever...

 became Attorney General
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

 in February 2005, the Justice Department
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 issued a secret opinion which for the first time provided CIA explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures. This was in direct opposition to a public legal opinion issued in December 2004 that declared torture "abhorrent". Gonzales reportedly approved the legal memorandum on "combined effects" over the objections of James B. Comey
James B. Comey
James B. Comey, Jr. was United States Deputy Attorney General, serving in President George W. Bush's administration. As Deputy Attorney General, Comey was the second-highest ranking official in the United States Department of Justice and ran the day-to-day operations of the Department, serving in...

, the outgoing deputy attorney general, who told colleagues at the Justice Department that they would all be "ashamed" when the world eventually learned of it. According to the Times report, the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums.

Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
Patrick Joseph Leahy is the senior United States Senator from Vermont and member of the Democratic Party. He is the first and only elected Democratic United States Senator in Vermont's history. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the second most senior U.S. Senator,...

 and John Conyers
John Conyers
John Conyers, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1965 . He is a member of the Democratic Party...

, chairmen of the respective Senate and House Judiciary Committees, requested that the Justice Department turn over documents related to the secret February 2005 legal opinion to their committees for review.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, John D. Rockefeller IV, wrote to acting attorney general Peter D. Keisler, asking for copies of all opinions on interrogation since 2004. "I find it unfathomable that the committee tasked with oversight of the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation program would be provided more information by The New York Times than by the Department of Justice", Rockefeller's letter read in part.
On October 5, 2007, President George W. Bush responded, saying "This government does not torture people. You know, we stick to U.S. law and our international obligations." Bush said that the interrogation techniques "have been fully disclosed to appropriate members of Congress".

On October 11, 2007, The New York Times reported that Hayden had ordered an unusual internal inquiry into the work of the agency's inspector general, John L. Helgerson, whose aggressive investigations of the CIA's detention and interrogation programs and other matters have created resentment among agency operatives. The inquiry is reportedly being overseen by Robert L. Deitz, a lawyer who served as general counsel at the National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

 when Hayden ran it, and also includes Michael Morrell, the agency's associate deputy director.

A report by Helgerson's office completed in the spring of 2004 warned that some CIA-approved interrogation procedures appeared to constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as defined by the international Convention Against Torture. Some of the inspector general's work on detention issues was conducted by Mary O. McCarthy, who was fired from the agency in 2006 after being accused of leaking classified information. Helgerson's office is reportedly nearing completion on a number of inquiries into CIA detention, interrogation, and renditions.
Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees expressed concern about the inquiry, saying that it could undermine the inspector general's role as independent watchdog. Senator Ron Wyden
Ron Wyden
Ronald Lee "Ron" Wyden is the senior U.S. Senator for Oregon, serving since 1996, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1996....

 (D-Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

) said he was sending a letter to Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, asking him to instruct Hayden to drop the inquiry.

In an October 30, 2007, address to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Hayden defended the agency's interrogation methods, saying, "Our programs are as lawful as they are valuable." Asked a question about waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

, Hayden mentioned attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey, saying, "Judge Mukasey cannot nor can I answer your question in the abstract. I need to understand the totality of the circumstances in which this question is being posed before I can give you an answer."

On December 6, 2007, the CIA admitted that it had destroyed videotapes recordings of CIA interrogations of terrorism suspects involving harsh interrogation techniques, tapes which critics suggest may have documented the use of torture by the CIA, such as waterboarding. The tapes were made in 2002 as part of a secret detention and interrogation program, and were destroyed in November 2005. The reason cited for the destruction of the tapes was that the tapes posed a security risk for the interrogators shown on the tapes. Yet the department also stated that the tapes "had no more intelligence value and were not relevant to any inquiries".
In response, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin
Carl Levin
Carl Milton Levin is a Jewish-American United States Senator from Michigan, serving since 1979. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 (D-Michigan) stated: "You'd have to burn every document at the CIA that has the identity of an agent on it under that theory." Other Democrats in Congress also made public statements of outrage about the destruction of the tapes, suggesting that a violation of law had occurred.

European investigations


After a media and public outcry in Europe concerning headlines about "secret CIA prisons" in Poland and other US allies, the EU through its Committee on Legal Affairs investigated whether any of its members, especially Poland, the Czech Republic or Romania had any of these "secret CIA prisons". After an investigation by the EU Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, the EU determined that it could not find any of these prisons. In fact, they could not prove if they had ever existed at all. To quote the report, "At this stage of the investigations, there is no formal, irrefutable evidence of the existence of secret CIA detention centres in Romania, Poland or any other country. Nevertheless, there are many indications from various sources which must be considered reliable, justifying the continuation of the analytical and investigative work."

Spanish investigations


In November 2005, El Pais reported that CIA planes had landed in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 and in Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca
Palma is the major city and port on the island of Majorca and capital city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. The names Ciutat de Mallorca and Ciutat were used before the War of the Spanish Succession and are still used by people in Majorca. However, the official name...

. An attorney opened up an investigation concerning these landings which, according to Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, were made without official knowledge, thus being a breach of national sovereignty
National sovereignty
National sovereignty is the doctrine that sovereignty belongs to and derives from the nation, an abstract entity normally linked to a physical territory and its past, present, and future citizens. It is an ideological concept or doctrine derived from liberal political theory...

.

French investigations


The prosecutor of Bobigny
Bobigny
Bobigny is a commune, or town, in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris. Bobigny is the préfecture of the Seine-Saint-Denis département, as well as the seat of the Arrondissement of Bobigny...

 court, in France, opened up an investigation in order "to verify the presence in Le Bourget Airport
Le Bourget Airport
Paris – Le Bourget Airport is an airport located in Le Bourget, Bonneuil-en-France, and Dugny, north-northeast of Paris, France. It is now used only for general aviation as well as air shows...

, on July 20, 2005, of the plane numbered N50BH". This instruction was opened following a complaint deposed in December 2005 by the Ligue des droits de l'homme (LDH) NGO ("Human Rights League") and the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) NGO on charges of "arbitrary detention", "crime of torture" and "non-respect of the rights of war prisoners". It has as objective to determine if the plane was used to transport CIA prisoners to Guantanamo Bay detainment camp
Guantanamo Bay detainment camp
The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a detainment and interrogation facility of the United States located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq...

 and if the French authorities had knowledge of this stop. However, the lawyer defending the LDH declared that he was surprised that the judicial investigation was only opened on January 20, 2006, and that no verifications had been done before.

On December 2, 2005, conservative newspaper Le Figaro
Le Figaro
Le Figaro is a French daily newspaper founded in 1826 and published in Paris. It is one of three French newspapers of record, with Le Monde and Libération, and is the oldest newspaper in France. It is also the second-largest national newspaper in France after Le Parisien and before Le Monde, but...

 had revealed the existence of two CIA planes that had landed in France, suspected of transporting CIA prisoners. But the instruction concerned only N50BH, which was a Gulfstream III, which would have landed at Le Bourget on July 20, 2005, coming from Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, Norway. The other suspected aircraft would have landed in Brest
Brest, France
Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...

 on March 31, 2002. It is investigated by the Canadian authorities, as it would have been flying from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is the oldest English-founded city in North America. It is located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. With a population of 192,326 as of July 1, 2010, the St...

 in Canada, via Keflavík
Keflavík
Keflavík is a town in the Reykjanes region in southwest Iceland. In 2009 its population was of 8,169.In 1995 it merged with Njarðvík and Hafnir to form a municipality called Reykjanesbær with a population of 13,971 .- History :...

 in Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 before going to Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

.

Portuguese investigations


On February 5, 2007, Portuguese general prosecutor Cândida Almeida, head of the Central Investigation and Penal Action Department (DCIAP), announced an investigation of "torture or inhuman and cruel treatment", prompted by allegations of "illegal activities and serious human rights violations" made by MEP Ana Gomes to the attorney general, Pinto Monteiro, on January 26, 2007.

Gomes was highly critical of the Portuguese government's reluctance to comply with the European Parliament Commission investigation into the CIA flights, leading to tensions with Foreign Minister Luís Amado
Luís Amado
Luís Filipe Marques Amado was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal in the government led by the Socialist Party. Before replacing Diogo Freitas do Amaral as Minister of Foreign Affairs on 30 June 2006, Amado was the Minister of Defence...

, a member of her party
Socialist Party (Portugal)
The Socialist Party , abbreviated to PS, is a social-democratic political party in Portugal. It was founded on 19 April 1973 in the German city of Bad Münstereifel, by militants from Portuguese Socialist Action ....

. She said she had no doubt that illegal flights were frequently permitted during the Durão Barroso (2002–2004) and Santana Lopes (2004–2005) governments, and that "during the [present Socialist] government of José Sócrates
José Sócrates
José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa, GCIH , commonly known by José Sócrates , is a Portuguese politician who was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 12 March 2005 to 21 June 2011....

, 24 flights which passed through Portuguese territory" are documented. She expressed satisfaction with the opening of the investigation, but emphasized that she had always said a parliamentary inquiry would also be necessary.

Visão magazine journalist Rui Costa Pinto also testified before the DCIAP. She had written an article, rejected by the magazine, about flights passing through Lajes Field
Lajes Field
Lajes Field or Lajes Air Base , officially designated Air Base No. 4 , is a multi-use air field, home to the Portuguese Air Force Base Aérea Nº4 and Azores Air Zone Command , a United States Air Force detachment , and a regional air passenger terminal located near Lajes...

 in the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

, a Portuguese airbase used by the US Air Force.

Approximately 150 CIA flights have been identified as having flown through Portugal.

Other European investigations



The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) as well as the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 pledged to investigate the allegations. On November 25, 2005, the lead investigator for the Council of Europe, Swiss lawmaker Dick Marty
Dick Marty
Dick Marty is a Swiss politician and former state prosecutor of the canton of Ticino. He is a member of the Swiss Council of States , and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.-Education:Marty holds a doctorate in law from the University of Neuchâtel with the thesis:...

 announced that he had obtained latitude and longitude coordinates for suspected black sites, and he was planning to use satellite imagery over the last several years as part of his investigation. On November 28, 2005, EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini asserted that any EU country which had operated a secret prison would have its voting rights suspended. On 13 December 2005 Dick Marty
Dick Marty
Dick Marty is a Swiss politician and former state prosecutor of the canton of Ticino. He is a member of the Swiss Council of States , and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.-Education:Marty holds a doctorate in law from the University of Neuchâtel with the thesis:...

, investigating illegal CIA activity in Europe on behalf of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 in Strasbourg, reported evidence that "individuals had been abducted and transferred to other countries without respect for any legal standards". His investigation has found that no evidence exists establishing the existence of secret CIA prisons in Europe, but added that it was "highly unlikely" that European governments were unaware of the American program of renditions. However, Marty's interim report, which was based largely on a compendium of press clippings has been harshly criticised by the governments of various EU member states. The preliminary report declared that it was "highly unlikely that European governments, or at least their intelligence services, were unaware" of the CIA kidnapping of a "hundred" persons on European territory and their subsequent rendition
Extraordinary rendition
Extraordinary rendition is the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another. "Torture by proxy" is used by some critics to describe situations in which the United States and the United Kingdom have transferred suspected terrorists to other countries in order to torture the...

 to countries where they may be tortured.

On April 21, 2006, the New York Times reported that European investigators said they had not been able to find conclusive evidence of the existence of European black sites.

On 27 June 2007, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe , which held its first session in Strasbourg on 10 August 1949, can be considered the oldest international parliamentary assembly with a pluralistic composition of democratically elected members of parliament established on the basis of an...

 voted on Resolution 1562 and Recommendation 1801 backing the conclusions of the report by Dick Marty. The Assembly declared that it was established with a high degree of probability that secret detention centres had been operated by the CIA under the High Value Detainee (HVD) program for some years in Poland and Romania.

The Onyx-intercepted fax


In its edition of January 8, 2006, the Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick
Blick
Blick is a German-language daily tabloid newspaper published in Zürich, Switzerland since 1959 by Ringier.It has a circulation of 275,000 and a readership of 750,000 . Only the free daily 20 Minuten has a higher circulation in Switzerland....

 published a document intercepted on November 10 by the Swiss Onyx interception system
Onyx (interception system)
Onyx is a Swiss intelligence gathering system maintained by the Swiss Army. The costs of the system are not public, but the amount of 100 million Swiss francs has been mentioned several times, in particular in 2000 by Werner Marti, SP deputy to the National Council of Switzerland...

 (similar to the UKUSA's ECHELON
ECHELON
ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UK–USA Security Agreement...

 system). Purportedly sent by the Egyptian embassy in London to foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Ahmed Aboul Gheit
Ahmed Aboul-Gheit is an Egyptian diplomat who was the Foreign Minister of Egypt from 11 July 2004 to 6 March 2011, since the government of Ahmed Nazif took office. Aboul-Gheit previously served as Egypt's ambassador to the United Nations. In December 2005 he began mediating the Chad-Sudan conflict...

, the document states that 23 Iraqi and Afghan citizens were interrogated at Mihail Kogălniceanu base near Constanţa
Constanta
Constanța is the oldest extant city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanța County and the largest city in the region....

, Romania. According to the same document, similar interrogation centers exist in Bulgaria, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, and Ukraine.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry later explained that the intercepted fax was merely a review of the Romanian press done by the Egyptian Embassy in Bucharest. It probably referred to a statement by controversial Senator and Great Romania party leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor
Corneliu Vadim Tudor
Corneliu Vadim Tudor is leader of the Greater Romania Party , writer, journalist and a Member of the European Parliament...

.

The Swiss government did not officially confirm the existence of the report, but started a judiciary procedure for leakage of secret documents against the newspaper on 9 January 2006.

The European Parliament's February 14, 2007, report


The European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

's report, adopted by a large majority (382 MEP
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

s voting in favour, 256 against and 74 abstaining) passed on February 14, 2007, concludes that many European countries tolerated illegal actions of the CIA including secret flights over their territories. The countries named were: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The report:
denounces the lack of co-operation of many member states and of the Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

 with the investigation; Regrets that European countries have been relinquishing control over their airspace and airports by turning a blind eye or admitting flights operated by the CIA which, on some occasions, were being used for illegal transportation of detainees; Calls for the closure of [the US military detention mission in] Guantanamo and for European countries immediately to seek the return of their citizens and residents who are being held illegally by the US authorities; Considers that all European countries should initiate independent investigations into all stopovers by civilian aircraft [hired by] the CIA; Urges that a ban or system of inspections be introduced for all CIA-operated aircraft known to have been involved in extraordinary rendition.


The report criticized a number of European countries (including Austria, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK) for their "unwillingness to co-operate" with investigators and the action of secret services for lack of cooperation with the Parliaments' investigators and acceptal of the illegal abductions. The European Parliament voted a resolution condemning member states which accepted or ignore the practice. According to the report, the CIA had operated 1,245 flights, many of them to destinations where suspects could face torture. The Parliament also called for the creation of an independent investigation commission and the closure of Guantanamo. According to Giovanni Fava (Socialist Party
Socialist Party (Italy)
The Italian Socialist Party is a minor social-democratic political party in Italy.The party was founded in 2007–2008 by the merger of six minor social-democratic parties and groups: the Italian Democratic Socialists, Democracy and Socialism, The Italian Socialists, the Socialist Party–De Michelis,...

), who drafted the document, there was a "strong possibility" that the intelligence obtained under the extraordinary rendition illegal program had been passed on to EU governments who were aware of how it was obtained. The report also uncovered the use of secret detention facilities used in Europe, including Romania and Poland. The report defines extraordinary renditions as instances where "an individual suspected of involvement in terrorism is illegally abducted, arrested and/or transferred into the custody of US officials and/or transported to another country for interrogation which, in the majority of cases involves incommunicado detention and torture".

Obama administration


On January 22, 2009, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring the CIA to use only the 19 interrogation methods outlined in the United States Army Field Manual "unless the Attorney General with appropriate consultation provides further guidance". The order also provided that "The CIA shall close as expeditiously as possible any detention facilities that it currently operates and shall not operate any such detention facility in the future."

On March 5, 2009, Bloomberg News reported that the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 intelligence committee was beginning a one-year inquiry in the CIA's detention program.

In April, 2009, CIA director Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta
Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama since 2011. Prior to taking office, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 announced that the "CIA no longer operates detention facilities or black sites", in a letter to staff and that "[r]emaining sites would be decommissioned". He also announced that the CIA was no longer allowing outside "contractors" to carry out interrogations and that the CIA no longer employed controversial "harsh interrogation techniques". Panetta informed his fellow employees that the CIA would only use interrogation techniques authorized in the US Army interrogation manual, and that any individuals taken into custody by the CIA would only be held briefly, for the time necessary to transfer them to the custody of authorities in their home countries, or the custody of another US agency.

In 2011, The Obama administration admitted that it had been holding a Somali prisoner for two months aboard a US Navy ship at sea for interrogation.

See also



  • Camp 1391
    Camp 1391
    Camp 1391 is an Israel Defense Force prison camp for "high-risk" prisoners in northern Israel, run by Unit 504 and less than an hour's drive from Tel Aviv...

  • Enemy combatant
    Enemy combatant
    Enemy combatant is a term historically referring to members of the armed forces of the state with which another state is at war. Prior to 2008, the definition was: "Any person in an armed conflict who could be properly detained under the laws and customs of war." In the case of a civil war or an...

  • Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States
    Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States
    Extrajudicial prisoners of the United States, in the context of the War on Terrorism, refers to foreign nationals the United States detains outside of the legal process required within United States legal jurisdiction. In this context, the U.S...

  • Extraordinary rendition by the United States
  • Enhanced interrogation techniques
    Enhanced interrogation techniques
    Enhanced interrogation techniques or alternative set of procedures are terms adopted by the George W. Bush administration in the United States to describe certain severe interrogation methods, often described as torture...

  • Forced disappearance
    Forced disappearance
    In international human rights law, a forced disappearance occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the...

  • Geneva Conventions
    Geneva Conventions
    The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...


  • Political prisoner
    Political prisoner
    According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a political prisoner is ‘someone who is in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country’....

  • Prisoner of war
    Prisoner of war
    A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

  • Rendition aircraft
  • Rendition
    Rendition (law)
    In law, rendition is a "surrender" or "handing over" of persons or property, particularly from one jurisdiction to another. For criminal suspects, extradition is the most common type of rendition. Rendition can also be seen as the act of handing over, after the request for extradition has taken...

  • Torture chamber
    Torture chamber
    A torture chamber is a room where torture is inflicted.- Methods of coercion :According to Frederick Howard Wines in his book Punishment and Reformation: A Study Of The Penitentiary System there were three main types of coercion employed in the torture chamber: Coercion by the cord, by water and...

  • United Nations Convention Against Torture
    United Nations Convention Against Torture
    The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international human rights instrument, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture around the world....

  • Essential Killing
    Essential Killing
    Essential Killing is a 2010 Polish political thriller film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, starring Vincent Gallo and Emmanuelle Seigner.- Plot :...

    , 2010 film

External links


Black site' prisons invite unchecked abuse |date=November 3, 2005 |work=News Tribune |url=http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/story/5303355p-4808433c.html}}