Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Human Rights Watch: Ghost Prisoner: Two Years in Secret CIA Detention

Human Rights Watch has compiled a comprehensive report about the case of one of the “disappeared”, Marwan Jabour. Most of the docile and pathetic British and US press have ‘reported’ on this publication without managing to link to it or even so much as mention the name of the report!

Here’s a bit from the Summary:

When Marwan Jabour opened his eyes, after a blindfold, a mask, and other coverings were taken off him, he saw soldiers and, on the wall behind them, framed photographs of King Hussein and King Abdullah of Jordan. He was tired and disoriented from his four-hour plane flight and subsequent car trip, but when a guard confirmed that he was being held in Jordan, he felt indescribable relief. In his more than two years of secret detention, nearly all of it in US custody, this was the first time that someone had told him where he was. The date was July 31, 2006.

A few weeks later, in another first, the Jordanians allowed several of Jabour’s family members to visit him. “My father cried the whole time,” Jabour later remembered.

Marwan Jabour was arrested by Pakistani authorities in Lahore, Pakistan, on May 9, 2004. He was detained there briefly, then moved to the capital, Islamabad, where he was held for more than a month in a secret detention facility operated by both Pakistanis and Americans, and finally flown to a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prison in what he believes was Afghanistan. During his ordeal, he later told Human Rights Watch, he was tortured, beaten, forced to stay awake for days, and kept naked and chained to a wall for more than a month. Like an unknown number of Arab men arrested in Pakistan since 2001, he was “disappeared” into US custody: held in unacknowledged detention outside of the protection of the law, without court supervision, and without any contact with his family, legal counsel, or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The secret prison program under which Jabour was held was established in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when US President George W. Bush signed a classified directive authorizing the CIA to hold and interrogate suspected terrorists. Because the entire program was run outside of US territory, it required the support and assistance of other governments, both in handing over detainees and in allowing the prisons to operate.

–from the Summary of Ghost Prisoner: Two Years in Secret CIA Detention

See also: BBC Report: ‘Sleaze alleged in CIA’
European Union: Report on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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1 March, 2007 Posted by | Afghanistan, archives, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, covert operations, crime, detention, human rights, Human Rights Watch, international law, investigations, Jordan, kidnapping, law, law of nations, Marwan Jabour, memory hole, Middle East, military, news, Pakistan, peace, politics, prisoner, prisoners, rendition, report, repression, torture, war, war crimes | Leave a comment

Rabih Haddad responds to ‘America the Beautiful and Rabih Haddad’

I found Rabih Haddad’s blog, Enduring Mercy and linked back to my essay, America the Beautiful and Rabih Haddad.

He was kind enough to post a short reply, and I replied to his reply just now, see:

Comments by Rabih Haddad on the “Detainee Bill”
America the Beautiful and Rabih Haddad

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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17 February, 2007 Posted by | 9/11, America, America the Beautiful, Ann Arbor, detention, freedom, Islam, liberty, media, memory hole, Michigan, news, politics, Rabih Haddad, repression | Leave a comment

European Union: Report on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners

The European Parliament has voted to endorse and publish a report strongly condemning the use of European facilities for the alleged kidnapping, torture, and illegal imprisonment allegedly carried out and facilitiated in EU states by alleged US persons. The resolution was passed on or about Feb 14, 2007 by a majority of 382 to 256 with 74 abstentions.

This news was ‘covered’ by the BBC, Financial Times, Radio Free Europe, Islamic Republic News Agency, Irish Times and others. However most (or all, seemingly) news accounts did not include the name of the report or a link to it. And it seems not to be easily searchable from the various EU institution sites or general search sites. Some legislative history and parliamentary questions were accessible by searching at europa.eu on on ‘rendition’.

Following are the header and conclusions from the full report.


EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

2004 – 2009

Session document

FINAL

A6-9999/2007

26.1.2007

 

REPORT

on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners

 

(2006/2200(INI))Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European

countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners

Rapporteur: Giovanni Claudio Fava

 

[…]

 

Final conclusions

225. Stresses, in view of the powers it was provided with and of the time which it had at its

disposal, and the secret nature of the investigated actions, that the Temporary

Committee was not put in a position fully to investigate all the cases of abuses and

violations falling within its remit and that its conclusions are therefore not exhaustive;

226. Recalls the principles and values on which the European Union is based, as provided in

Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union, and calls on the EU institutions to meet their

responsibilities in relation to Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union and all other

relevant provisions of the Treaties, and to take all appropriate measures in the light of

the conclusions of the work of the Temporary Committee, the facts revealed in the

course of the Temporary Committee’s investigation and any other facts that may emerge

in the future; expects the Council to start hearings and commission an independent

investigation without delay, as foreseen in Article 7, and, where necessary, to impose

sanctions on Member States in case of a serious and persistent breaches of Article 6,

including where a violation of human rights has been declared by an international body

but no measure has been taken to redress the violation;

227. Believes that the principle of loyal cooperation enshrined in the Treaties -which requires

Member States and the EU institutions to take measures to ensure the fulfilment of their

obligations under the Treaties, such as the respect of human rights, or resulting from

action taken by the EU institutions, such as ascertaining the truth about alleged CIA

flights and prisons, and to facilitate the achievement of EU tasks and objectives – has

not been respected;

228. Recalls that in light of European Court of Human Rights case law, a signatory State

bears responsibility for the material breach of the provisions of the ECHR, and therefore

also of Article 6 of the Treaty on the European Union, not only if its direct

responsibility can be established beyond reasonable doubt, but also by failing to comply

with its positive obligation to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into

reasonable allegations of such violations;

229. Notes the reports by reputable media operators that extraordinary rendition, illegal

detention, and systematic torture involving many people is continuing, and considering

the declaration by the current US Government that the use of extraordinary rendition

and secret places of detention will be continued; therefore calls for an EU-US counterterrorism

summit to seek an end to such inhumane and illegal practices, and to insist

that cooperation with regard to counter-terrorism is consistent with international human

rights and anti-torture treaty obligations;

230. Instructs its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, where necessary in

cooperation with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, notably its Sub-Committee on

Human Rights, to follow up politically the proceedings of the Temporary Committee

and to monitor the developments, and in particular, in the event that no appropriate

action has been taken by the Council and/or the Commission, to determine whether

there is a clear risk of a serious breach of the principles and values on which the

European Union is based, and to recommend to it any resolution, taking as a basis

Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which may prove necessary in this

context;

231. Calls on its Secretary-General to publish, at least in compliance with Regulation

1049/2001, all the documents received, produced and examined, as well as the records

of the proceedings of the Temporary Committee on the Internet as well as in any other

appropriate manner and calls on the Secretary-General to ensure that the developments

in fields falling within the remit of the Temporary Committee after its disbandment are

monitored;

232. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the

governments and parliaments of the Member States, of the candidate Member States

and the associated countries, and to the Council of Europe, NATO, the United Nations

and the Government and two Houses of Congress of the United States, and to request

them to keep Parliament informed of any development that may take place in the fields

falling in the remit of the Temporary Committee.

see also: Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transport and illegal detention of prisoners

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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14 February, 2007 Posted by | Afghanistan, America, BBC, Bush, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, covert operations, customary law, detention, Europa, Europe, European Union, Financial Times, Giovanni Claudio Fava, human rights, intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Irish Times, Islamic Republic News Agency, kidnapping, law, law of nations, media, memory hole, Middle East, military, murder, national security, news, newspapers, peace, politics, prisoners, radio, Radio Free Europe, rendition, repression, Taliban, torture, USA, war, war crimes | 1 Comment

Najaf Update: February 9, 2007

According to the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram, there is a claim by an Iraqi parliamentarian that as many as 1,500 people may have been killed in last week’s fighting near An-Najaf. The nature of the groups engaged there and their leadership remains a matter of uncertainty.

Tales of the hidden imam

by Nermeen Al-Mufti
Al-Ahram

According to independent parliamentarian Mohammad Al-Deini, Iranian agents are trying to distract attention from killings in Najaf. According to Al-Deini, the Iraqi army, backed by US forces, shelled an Arab tribal convoy as it was proceeding to Najaf to participate in Imam Al-Husein celebrations. Most of the victims were from Al-Hawatemah tribe, a Shia clan known to oppose Iranian intervention in Iraq. Al-Deini believes that the hidden imam story was a cover-up for a far more gruesome affair. Up to 1,500 people may have been killed in Najaf, he added.

News agencies have conducted interviews with eyewitnesses from Al-Hawatemah tribe. The eyewitnesses confirmed that their clan is Shia-Arab. Clashes, eyewitnesses said, began when the car transporting the clan’s chief and his wife approached a checkpoint ahead of Najaf on the festival of Ashura. The chief was about to explain to the soldiers manning the checkpoints that the authorities had approved their trip, but before he had the chance to make his point shots were fired. The chief, identified as Sheikh Saad Al-Nayif, his wife and his driver were killed. The rest of the clan, who were armed with machineguns for protection, had no option but to return the fire, the eyewitnesses said.

A source from Jund Al-Samaa said that the group was a peaceful one and took no part in the fighting. But an official source claimed that Jund Al-Samaa was an “ungodly” group and with a leader who managed to convince poor and uneducated young men that he was the hidden imam. The leader had given the young men his book, Qadi Al-Samaa (The Judge of Heavens), in which he claims that one of the signs of the appearance of the hidden imam was the killing of top religious scholars. Reporters in south Iraq cited members of impoverished families as confirming that their sons were members of Jund Al-Samaa and had gone to Zarka before the clashes broke out.

Jund Al-Samaa (wikipedia)

See also: Keyword ‘Najaf’ on scanlyze

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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9 February, 2007 Posted by | Air Force, Army, Bush, covert operations, Iraq, massacre, media, memory hole, Middle East, military, Najaf, news, peace, politics, USA, war, war crimes, weird | Leave a comment

Najaf Update: February 7, 2007

Still more sceptical reporting on the Najaf Incident. Conn Hallinan of Foreign Policy In Focus sees the way the story is being positioned as part of the run-up to a possible US attack on Iran.

The Najaf Massacre: Annotated

Foreign Policy In Focus

Conn Hallinan | February 7, 2007

Times Unrepentant

Despite the IPS, Independent, and Arab media reports, The New York Times continues to report that the battle was with a “renegade militia.” More than a week after the incident, a Times editorial chastised the Iraqi Army for allowing “hundreds of armed zealots” to set up “a fortified encampment, complete with tunnels, trenches, blockades, 40 heavy machine guns and at least two antiaircraft weapons.” The editorial went on to suggest that “a successful attack on top clerics and pilgrims in Najaf would have been disastrous.”

The details on the camp, the weapons, and the charge that Najaf was the target are straight from Iraqi government sources.

The way the U.S. media has reported the “battle” of Zarqa is a virtual replay of the kind of reporting that characterized the run-up to the Iraq War. The media seems to be taking a chillingly similar tack in its reporting about “Iranian interference” in Iraq. For instance, a recent story in The New York Times reports that Iran may have been involved in the recent kidnapping and murder of five Americans. But the story presents nothing but a series of unnamed sources and speculations.

The Bush administration allegations that Iran has set up insurgent training camps and built anti-personnel bombs that have killed and maimed U.S. soldiers have been routinely reported on all the major networks and daily newspapers with virtually no dissenting voices or questions raised concerning the motives of sources.

Such reporting paves the road to war. Will its next victim be Iran?

Chris Floyd underlines the role of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) in shaping the “official story” now making the rounds in The New York Times and other US publications.

Ersatz Apocalypto: Slaughter and Spin in the Battle for Najaf

Atlantic Free Press

Wednesday, 07 February 2007
by Chris Floyd

SCIRI members, buttressed by the Najaf provincial government, which they control, said that more than 1,000 terrorists were killed in the battle, and that some 200 “brainwashed women and children” were detained and “removed to another place,” presumably for deprogramming. SCIRI officials differed on the number of terrorists captured in the battle; one said 50, another said 16, yet another said “hundreds” were detained. It was SCIRI that advanced the notion that the attack aimed to kill the clerics, not capture them. Various SCIRI officials said the cult’s leader was a) the aforesaid unnamed Lebanese national; b) Dhiaa’ Abdul Zahra Kadhim, as in the Sadrist account; c) a renegade Sadrist named Ahmed Kadhim Al-Gar’awi Al-Basri ; d) another renegade Sadrist named Ahmed Hassan al-Yamani; e) a self-proclaimed messiah named Ali bin Ali bin Abi Talib.

A SCIRI member of the Najaf governing council also claimed that “the leader of this group had links with the former regime elements since 1993. Some of the gunmen brought their families with them in order to make it easier to enter the city,” Associated Press reports. An Iraqi army officer, sectarian affiliation unknown, added that Lebanese, Egyptians and Sudanese were taken prisoner in the battle – though none of these foreign fighters have yet been produced. And just for good measure, Najaf’s SCIRI governor, As’ad Abu Gilel, said the attackers were Sunni insurgents, planning to attack Shiite pilgrims on their way to mark the festival of Ashura in Najaf.

U.S. military officials originally picked various items from this dizzying smorgasbord of spin in cobbling together their own version of the battle, although in general they hewed more closely to the SCIRI line. But that’s not surprising, given the fact that this violent, extremist Shiite faction, whose death-dealing militia is deeply embedded in the Iraqi security forces, is currently in high favor with the Bush White House.

However, by mid-week, the Pentagon suddenly reversed course and came out with a whole new account, one cited by Bush himself, as the Washington Post reported. Now the battle was depicted as an exemplary pre-emptive strike by an “aggressive” and “impressive” Iraqi military, acting on good intelligence that the cult intended to storm Najaf and kill the leading clerics because they refused to recognize the claim of the cult’s leader (now known as Samer Abu Kamar, by the way) to be the Mahdi.

Nidhal Laithi of Azzaman says that members of the Iraq Parliament have called for a special tribunal similar to that which prosecuted former Iraqi President Saddam al-Tikriti to investigate the Najaf Incident. The Speaker of the Iraqi Parliment, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, condemned what he called a “massacre”.

The Najaf ‘massacre’ divides country

By Nidhal Laithi

Azzaman, February 6, 2007

Some members of parliament in a session on Monday requested the formation of a tribunal to look into the bloody incident.

Some legislators urged the parliament to form a tribunal like the one which sentenced former leader Saddam Hussein and two of his senior aides to death for the killing of 148 people from Dujail.

The government has said it mobilized troops to quell what it called a rebellion north of Najaf and asked U.S. military assistance to defeat the rebels.

But parliamentary speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, said that he received letters from tribal leaders in the south refuting the government version of events.

Mashhadani called the battle ‘a massacre’, accusing the government of hiding the truth of what exactly happened in Najaf.

BBS gives casualty totals according to the Iraqi government:

Bloody Najaf Battle Could Mark Turning Point

BBS

Sunday, February 04 2007 @ 01:18 PM EST

IRAQ: Southern Iraq in danger of slipping into chaos

Ambiguity still surrounds events of the battle that pitted Iraqi and US forces on one side against a previously unknown Shi’ite messianic cult called ‘Jund al-Samaa’, or ‘Soldiers of Heaven’, on the other.

The clashes, which erupted on 28 January in Najaf palm groves, left 263 militants dead, 210 wounded and 392 others arrested [emphasis mine–HH], Iraqi defence ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said.

At least 11 Iraqi troops were killed along with two US soldiers, whose helicopter was shot down during the battle. Some 30 Iraqi troops were wounded.

Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (wikipedia)

See also: Keyword ‘Najaf’ on scanlyze

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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7 February, 2007 Posted by | Air Force, Army, Bush, Iran, Iraq, journalism, massacre, media, memory hole, military, Najaf, New York Times, news, peace, politics, scanlyze, USA, war, war crimes | Leave a comment