The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

CIA Self-investigation Only Known Renditions Inquiry

by Brendan Coyne

Dec. 28, 2005 – Under domestic and international pressure, the Central Intelligence Agency’s internal watchdog is reportedly investigating about ten cases of extraordinary rendition the spy agency has been involved in since the "war on terror" began. The CIA has made no official declaration of the investigation, and news reports about it are based entirely on anonymous sources.

According to the Associated Press, CIA Inspector General John Helgerson is looking into no more than ten "erroneous renditions," a number offered to the news outlet anonymously by an intelligence official. The source noted that some within the Agency believe the number to be even lower. It remains unknown if the investigation will cover any of the cases made public by news outlets or humanitarian groups.

Human rights organizations maintain that since September 11, 2001, the CIA has rendered well over 100 people for interrogation and imprisonment in other countries where prohibitions against torture are few or non-existent.

In one example, US government agents picked up Maher Arar, a Syrian-Canadian, en route to New York and transferred him to Syrian custody where he told The NewStandard he was beaten and imprisoned for ten months prior to being released without ever facing formal charges.

The American Civil Liberties Union is representing German citizen Khaled El-Masri in a lawsuit against the CIA over his allegation that the CIA transferred him to a prison in Afghanistan where he was physically and mentally abused. Like Arar, El-Masri’s captors released him without charges.

Two weeks ago, the ACLU, Physicians Committee for Human Rights and Veterans for Common Sense asked a federal judge to reopen a lawsuit seeking access to presidential directives expressly authorizing the practice. The legal action was taken following last month’s reports that the CIA runs an archipelago of secret prisons throughout the world.

To date, there have been no Congressional or other governmental inquiries into the CIA's use of extraordinary renditions, despite repeated calls for such investigations.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Brendan Coyne is a contributing journalist.

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