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Parry writes: "An international body last week unanimously adopted a resolution condemning US secrecy regarding the CIA's extraordinary rendition program – secrecy that is effectively stonewalling a number of European investigations."

Bush's CIA rendition program is under international scrutiny. (photo: Reuters)
Bush's CIA rendition program is under international scrutiny. (photo: Reuters)

Pressure to Investigate Bush Torture Program Grows

By Nat Parry, Consortium News

19 July 12


n international body last week unanimously adopted a resolution condemning U.S. secrecy regarding the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program – secrecy that is effectively stonewalling a number of European investigations into the program of secret arrests and torture of terror suspects.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly – a 320-member organization comprising lawmakers from Europe, North America and Central Asia – adopted the resolution in plenary session on July 9.

Supporting the criminal investigation carried out by Polish authorities into the rendition program and welcoming attempts by British parliamentarians to ascertain the level of the United Kingdom’s involvement, the resolution “insists that the United States Government co-operates with European investigations” and “calls upon the United States to release any pertinent information to appropriate investigators.”

In introducing the resolution on July 6, British parliamentarian Tony Lloyd recalled that when President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, one of his first acts was to issue executive orders prohibiting rendition and torture.

However, Lloyd said, there are “strong evidential trails that suggest members of the OSCE family were involved in this practice of unlawful transfer of prisoners” throughout Europe, the Middle East and Afghanistan. He pointed to cases of prisoners being unlawfully detained by the CIA in Italy and the United Kingdom.

In the UK, Lloyd said, an official inquiry came to a “premature end” despite the fact that the practice of extraordinary rendition is “clearly illegal,” in violation of Article 3 of the Convention against Torture, which has been adopted by every member of the OSCE. He reminded OSCE parliamentarians that there were 1,245 CIA flights from European territory to countries where suspects faced torture.

In March, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk confirmed that his country’s former spy chief, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, is facing criminal charges in connection with a probe by state prosecutors into the Polish role in the CIA’s rendition and secret prison program. The future of the Polish investigation is in doubt, however, with U.S. authorities refusing to turn over relevant documents to the prosecution, reports the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.

In April, U.S. intelligence agencies including the CIA and the FBI won a ruling in a U.S. District Court allowing them to continue withholding evidence from British MPs about UK involvement in the rendition. In reaction to this court ruling, Lloyd, who co-chairs the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, said, “It’s an abuse of the spirit of freedom of information.”

Lloyd claimed that the U.S. agencies were trying to avoid official embarrassment on both sides of the Atlantic by using a narrow legal exemption to prevent the disclosure of critical papers. “This is still an ongoing issue,” he said in introducing the resolution last week. “This story of extraordinary rendition is not finished.”

He pointed out that “it is clear that the United States was the author of these practices,” but noted that “it was the United States acting in concert with other members of the OSCE.”

It is therefore “necessary to keep up the political pressure for proper answers,” Lloyd said. “We need to know the truth of what took place. We need to give a strong signal that this type of activity is not something that has any role to play in the fight against terrorism.”

Toward this end, the resolution introduced by Lloyd reminds OSCE member states of their “binding obligations under international law to not only refrain from torture, or inhuman, cruel, humiliating, and degrading treatment; but to also investigate allegations of torture.”

It further calls on all OSCE members to investigate allegations that their territory has been used to assist CIA-chartered flights secretly transporting detainees to countries where they may face torture or other ill-treatment.

Following Lloyd’s introduction, U.S. Congressman Dennis Cardoza, D-California, took the floor largely in support of the resolution, stating that “No country should evade a discussion of its own domestic issues.” He said that the issues of rendition and torture “remain controversial in the United States” and welcomed Lloyd’s attempt to focus attention on the matter.

The debate on the resolution came just after President Obama renewed the U.S. pledge to work with the international community toward ending torture. The White House put out a statement on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, stating that “the United States rejects torture as unlawful, counter to our values, and inconsistent with the universal rights and freedoms that should be enjoyed by all men, women, and children wherever they live.”

As the Center for Constitutional Rights pointed out, however, the statement “comes after three years of continued efforts by the Obama administration to block any investigation or accountability for U.S. torture practices.”

Nat Parry is co-author of Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush. your social media marketing partner


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+20 # Michael_K 2012-07-18 20:41
The US is a Rogue Nation, operating its own little axis of evil.

We had thought that electing Obama would bring "change we could believe in", but nothing could be further from the truth. Now the miscreant wants a second term! He can go f**k himself!
+20 # John Locke 2012-07-18 23:48
Michael_K: I so agree with you, Our unlawful legal system will refuse to turn over any documents that show we are the criminals, what a system of Justice we have, as corrupt as China and any third world nation!

Those we harm are left out in the cold by vitue of the States Secret defense... what utter BS!!! and we wonder why the world hates us!

If Obama were a real President he would help in prosecuting the criminals that have been torturing people...Howeve r they can still move forward with any prosecution, as long as they have witnessesd who were subject to being tortured. I for one would love to see this nest of scorpions stamped out once and for all!!!
+7 # paulrevere 2012-07-19 10:14
Two things here folks...remembe r that saturated in hubris statement early in bushco about 'we are an empire, we will create reality, and all you can do is respond'...well guess what?, WETHEPEOPLE and the rest of the whirled are stuck doing just that as evidenced by 'CIA/FBI allowed to continue withholding evidence' from article.

And secondly, we have all forgotten how the saturated in hubris replaced career gov't supervisors with political appointees, changed the rules to make career positions political appointments, then after doing the dirty deed of putting partisan, anti-science, anti-government , pro-war human tools in place, changed the rules back to those tools now being career jobs protected by union rules!!

and the big little 0 did nada, and the dumbocrats rubber stamped repub stacking of fed judge appointments for years...'we have met the enemy and they are US!!'
+2 # indian weaver 2012-07-20 16:35
Now is the time to understand that they are not US, unless you agree with and support this government. What was our government has separated itself from US, The People. THEY are not ME anymore. They are not The People. They the Congress and Administration have made themselves a threat to the survival of The People. The congress and administration have separated from us. How many of us voted to start these "wars"? None of us. And that is who this government is now: international terrorists, assassins and torturers. I quit the team and am taking my ball home.
+1 # John Locke 2012-07-21 08:14
indian weaver: Its time to start a whole new team!
0 # mdhome 2012-07-21 10:44
In an ideal world there would be a viable candidate that was better, but the only candidate that has any chance is worse, much worse.
0 # Gevurah 2012-07-22 15:02
Ifeel your pain -- but we are stuck with voting for the lesser of two evils.
Electing the standard-bearer of the Mad Dogs on the other side would set out country back decades, if not generations.

Please reconsider.
+7 # grouchy 2012-07-19 03:11
Get on with the project and the very best of good luck!
-29 # RightForAReason 2012-07-19 05:24
Oh get real. We need all the information we can get. Waterboarding was done THREE times to terrorists (and thousands of time to our own troops in special forces training).

Go st down next to Daniel pearl just before they cut his head off, or go have brunch on top of the Twin Towers, September 11th, 2001. These people are fanatical murderers.

And they aren't "suicide" bombers, they are "homicide" bombers. A suicide bomber blows themselves up in the middle of an empty field. A homicide bomber blows themselves up in the middle of a crowd of innocent people.
+18 # motamanx 2012-07-19 10:01
You have NO IDEA what really happened on September 11, 2001.
The only thing that's clear is that there was a cover up about it. This country won't be whole again until what really happened on that horrible day is brought to light.
+12 # paulrevere 2012-07-19 10:31
It is also clear that 3, built to last with the best of engineering calcs, just fell in their footprints...tu rned to dust and scattered office paper.
0 # rockieball 2012-07-20 07:57
The sad part is that like the revelations of WWI and WWII those responsible will be dead and gone (along with most of us) when that happens. Then people will say "Oh well we told you so," and go back to letting the current leadership do the same thing over again.
+9 # carolsj 2012-07-19 11:25
It has been shown that torture doesn't really work anyway. There are better ways to get information. Some of these prisoners have been water boarded many times and still nothing, so what's the point? Many of the prisoners are innocent people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We are making them into enemies. Is it just a twisted kind of revenge? I want to think our gov't is smarter than this.
+3 # tabonsell 2012-07-19 17:40
The fact that we are confronted by "fanatical murderers" doesn't justify us to use crime in response. We shouldn't accept police engaging in criminal tactics to combat crime in a civilized nation.

Obama was right in not going after the previous administration with criminal prosecutions because those same people, when they regained power, would go after any Democratic administration with phony prosecution, and we shouldn't get into that trap used by despotic regimes.

But Obama was wrong in not investigating the "crimes" of the Bush gang. That would have been the proper response and then it would be proper to turn the "evidence" over to a third party if it wanted to prosecute, whether it is the World Court or a foreign nation's judicial system.

We have to learn to play fair with others if we expect them to play fair with us.
+2 # rockieball 2012-07-20 08:01
The fact we see today is that our leadership is more concerned with silencing the voices of those who object and speak out. Good example is Manning, and Wiki and the occupy movement. Plus like the 60's and early 70's the media goes along with them in painting the whistle blowers and protesters as the criminals.
+7 # Dave45 2012-07-20 00:56
America uses terrorism to fight terrorism which, of course, legitimates (you guessed it) terrorism.
-1 # mdhome 2012-07-21 10:52
A very sad state of affairs. We used to be better than this.
-1 # RightForAReason 2012-07-24 10:15
Manning is a traitor and should get the death penalty. Whatever idiots gave him access to that amount of classified materials should be doing jail time.
-1 # RightForAReason 2012-07-24 10:22
Quit your rush to judgement nonsense. Educate yourselves. Read the following:
Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack by Marc A. Thiessen

Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives By Jose A Rodriguez Jr. and Bill Harlow

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