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Torture Watch

Some of this may sound familiar to regular White House Watch readers. Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball write in Newsweek: "The CIA quietly moved scores of detainees out of its own 'black site' prisons in recent years and turned them over to foreign governments, refusing to provide the International Red Cross any information about their treatment or whereabouts, according to a report made public this week."

They add some information to what I reported on Tuesday. For instance, they note that although only 14 of the CIA's secret-prison detainees ended up at Guantanamo, "agency officials have confirmed that as many as 100 detainees had gone through the detention program after it was created following the 9/11 attacks. Then-Vice President Dick Cheney acknowledged late last year that 33 of those detainees were subjected to 'enhanced interrogation' techniques under the program. As the former Bush official pointed out, 'You can do the math'—meaning that most of the detainees in CIA custody (and who were being held in secret sites around the globe) were never sent to Guantánamo."

And the New York Times editorial board writes this morning that the ICRC report "underscores the need to have a full-scale investigation into these abusive practices and into who precisely participated in them. Only then will we know whether indictments or, in the case of physicians, the loss of medical licenses, are warranted."

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 9, 2009; 1:49 PM ET
Categories:  Torture  
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Obama will never let investigations happen. As a matter of fact, if they did happen, he would be among those investigated and he just can't have that. Face it, America is a dictatorship now. We live at the pleasure of one man, The Unitary Executive hisself, Barak H. Obama.

Posted by: davidbn27 | April 9, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse


Exactly why would Obama be investigated? Just because HIS Justice Dept. doesn't want to look at this is not reason to claim that Obama broke the law while Bush was in power. David, I agree that America has become a dictatorship, but we, the people still have "some" power. It's too bad that investigative journalism fell by the wayside. After all, they were "our" voice. We could have validation for all the crimes that the Bush Administration committed and there were MANY!.

Posted by: sailorflat | April 9, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, more than fourteen former CIA captives ended up in Guantanamo. Some CIA cast-offs ended up there in 2004. Walid bin Attash, the one-legged captive who still had to stand for days with his hands suspended above his head, had a baby brother, Hassan bin Attash, who spent a year or two in CIA custody prior to being cast-off to Guantanamo. The estimate is that he was born in 1985, so he was a minor, when captured.
His Guantanamo ID number is 1456. All the captives with ID numbers close to his were CIA castoffs.

Shortly after your colleague Dana Priest broke the news about the black sites I started a google news alert that told me about three Yemenis sent home from the CIA's prisons -- who were then being held in Yemeni prisons, without charge. A Yemeni official, commenting about one of these individuals, said something like: "Yes, he is being held without charge. We'll charge him when the USA sends us the evidence they say they have against him."

Of course the USA doesn't have any real evidence against any of these men, other than tortured confessions.

That particular individual had spent more than a year in Yemeni custody. The Bush administration wanted Yemen to agree to either look up all its former Guantanamo captives, or keep them under constant surveillance. And Yemen has declined. I guess between when the official said they would keep those three former CIA captives locked up, while they waited for the USA to send evidence of guilt, and today, they wised up and realized there was no meaningful evidence.

Given the Bush administration's track record can one really blame the Yemenis for declining to lock up their own ciitizens -- based on promises the USA will supply the evidence against them at some future date?

Posted by: arcticredriver | April 9, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

meaning that most of the detainees in CIA custody (and who were being held in secret sites around the globe) were never sent to Guantánamo."
First Froomkin was complaining that these guys were sent to GITMO.. Now he's complaining these guys weren't sent to GITMO. Make up your mind already...

Posted by: sovine08 | April 9, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank god we had Cheney and Bush in the white house after 9/11. The bad guys were taken care of.

I am a little surprised Obama manned up finally on the Somali pirates today and had the Seals snuff them. My opinion of The One is looking up.

Posted by: smokedsalmoned | April 12, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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