US has secret prisons. It just doesn’t own or operate them.
Posted by Charles II on July 13, 2011
Jeremy Scahill of The Nation has an excellent article and interview on why we should be skeptical about the Administration’s claims to have ended torture. I should note that Scahill nowhere alleges torture–just ill-treatment and extreme isolation. But where there is no judicial oversight, abuses are sure to follow.
From the article:
Nestled in a back corner of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport is a sprawling walled compound run by the Central Intelligence Agency. … The site… is guarded by Somali soldiers, but the Americans control access. At the facility, the CIA runs a counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives aimed at building an indigenous strike force capable of snatch operations and targeted “combat” operations against members of Al Shabab, an Islamic militant group with close ties to Al Qaeda.
As part of its expanding counterterrorism program in Somalia, the CIA also uses a secret prison buried in the basement of Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, where prisoners suspected of being Shabab members or of having links to the group are held. Some of the prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by plane to Mogadishu. While the underground prison is officially run by the Somali NSA, US intelligence personnel pay the salaries of intelligence agents and also directly interrogate prisoners.
This is not what I voted for in November, 2008. It doesn’t matter whether this is part of the US government or whether the operations have been outsourced to Somali contractors for deniability. It’s wrong.
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