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"Extraordinary Rendition"

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No More Guantánamos thanks Jeanne Herrick-Stare, creator of TorturesNotUs and now Policy Counsel for the Center for Victims of Torture, for her compilation and analysis of these materials. Reproduced with permission.

2 Mar 2009:  DOJ released a previously-secret OLC memo, "Re: The President's power as Commander in Chief to transfer captured terrorists to the control and custody of foreign nations."  Dated 13 Mar 2002, the memo was signed by Jay S. Bybee and addressed to William J. Haynes II, General Counsel, Dept. of Defense.  [Ed. note:  The last page of the memo, p. 34, is a bit funky.  After the bottom of p. 33, skip to the material below the signature on p. 34, then at the bottom of p. 34, go back to the top of p. 34.]
 
22 Jan 2009:  CRS Report for Congress:  "Renditions: Constraints Imposed by Laws on Torture," (order code RL 32890).
 
18 Nov 2008:  Columbia Law School's Human Rights Clinic and the ACLU submitted a FOIA request for details of the U.S. government's process for transferring individuals to countries where they face significant risk of torture.  The documents released under the FOIA request provide a rare public view of "diplomatic assurances" offered to satisfy the Convention Against Torture.  The CAT, ratified by the U.S. in 1994, prohibits transfer to a state where there are substantial grounds for believing he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.  
 
June 2008:  Louis Fisher, writing in the American University Law Review, "Extraordinary Rendition:  The Price of Secrecy" (Vol. 57, no. 5, June 2008), distinguishes rendition, extraordinary rendition, and kidnapping; provides accessible background on the basic Geneva Convention and treaty obligations associated with this issue, and distinguishes the CIA's interrogation techniques from those approved in the Army Field Manual.  Includes a point-by-point exposition of the Bush Administration's defense of its transfer and treatment programs.  
 
18 Oct 2007.  Rendition to Torture: The Case of Maher Arar.  Testimony of Daniel Benjamin, Director, Center on the U.S. and Europe, Brookings Institution, before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, and The House Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.  Discussing, inter alia, how "rendition to torture" threatens to undermine U.S. efforts against terrorism. The transcript of the entire hearing, which exposed the U.S. rendition of innocent Canadian citizen Maher Arar to detention and torture in Syria, is available here.
The federal district court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed Arar's declaratory judgment action, holding that no redress of injury was available.  Arar v. Ashcroft, 414 F. Supp.2d 250 (E.D.N.Y. 2006).
 
In-depth, detailed information concerning the CIA's use of European countries for transport and detention of prisoners, http://www.statewatch.org/rendition/rendition.html  Published by Statewatch, a London-based NGO founded in 1991, monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe.
 
11 June 2007.  Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: second report. Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. Rapporteur: Mr. Dick Marty.
 
30 May 2007. Khaled El-Masri is a German citizen of Lebanese descent, kidnapped in Macedonia by U.S. CIA agents, transported to a secret Afghan prison, held and interrogated for 6 months by the CIA, and then released on a roadside in Albania.  The ACLU brought a lawsuit on El-Masri's behalf against then-CIA director George Tenet, but the suit was dismissed on the government's motion that to proceed would violate the "state secrets" doctrine  (El-Masri v. Tenet, 437 F.Supp 2d 530 (E.D. Va. 2006)).  This determination was upheld in the Fourth Circuit (El-Masri v. Tenet, 479 F.3d 296 (4th Cir. 2007)).  The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari, leaving the Fourth Circuit ruling in place.(Bullet) 
 
30 Oct 2006.  "The C.I.A.'s Travel Agent" by Jane Mayer, an article in The New Yorker describing Boeing subsidiary Jeppeson Dataplan, Inc.'s provision of flight services for the U.S. extraordinary rendition program.
 
Jan. 2006.  "Below the Radar: Secret Flights to Torture and Disappearance."  Amnesty International USA report. 
 
14 Feb. 2005.  "Outsourcing Torture: The Secret History of America's 'Extraordinary Rendition' Program," by Jane Mayer.  The New Yorker.