Amnesty Offers New Evidence on Rendition

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Last week Diane noted that Amnesty International was set to release evidence proving the CIA used private aircraft operators and front companies to hide its rendition flights. The report is now public, and it gives numerous firsthand accounts from individuals who were flown on nearly 1,000 flights directly linked to the CIA and taken to “black sites” where they were extensively tortured and detained in “complete isolation, in cells measuring about 2m x 3m,” and “permanently shackled to a ring fixed in the floor.”

According to one account, prisoners were transported somewhere in Eastern Europe, where “all of the guards and officials were Americans” and “the men were never allowed outside, or even to look through a window,” while “temperatures were colder than any they had ever known.”

According to Condoleeza Rice, “The United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured.” But she says nothing about potential transport to “blacksites” or renditions conducted by other governments. To this she states, “where appropriate, the United States seeks assurances that transferred persons will not be tortured.” But as Amnesty International points out, “if the practice of torture and ill-treatment in custody is so great that the USA must seek assurances that the receiving state will not behave as it normally does, then the risk is obviously too great to permit the transfer.”

Swiss authorities have already confirmed Amnesty’s report that six CIA flights landed in Switzerland. Dick Marty, the Swiss senator investigating allegations of secret CIA prisons on behalf of the Council of Europe, welcomed the report. “Interestingly the research was done by civil society and not by the government,” he noted. Interesting indeed.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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