Monday, March 17, 2008

Extraordinary Rendition

Several students in 3150 asked, the week before spring break, if the C.I.A. was still carrying out its rendition program regarding suspected al-Qaeda terrorists, which we discussed in the Torture section and viewed in the documentary "The Torture Question." The answer appears to be yes.

C.I.A. Secretly Held Qaeda Suspect, Officials Say:

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency secretly detained a suspected member of Al Qaeda for at least six months beginning last summer as part of a program in which C.I.A. officers have been authorized by President Bush to use harsh interrogation techniques, American officials said Friday.

The suspect, Muhammad Rahim, is the first Qaeda prisoner in nearly a year who intelligence officials have acknowledged has been in C.I.A. detention. The C.I.A. emptied its secret prisons in the fall of 2006, when it moved 14 prisoners to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, but made clear that the facilities could be used in the future to house high-level terrorism suspects.

Intelligence officials would not say whether the C.I.A. had used any of what it calls an approved list of “enhanced” interrogation techniques against Mr. Rahim during his months in secret detention.

“This detention, like others, was conducted in accordance with U.S. law,” said Paul Gimigliano, a C.I.A. spokesman. He declined to say whether the C.I.A. currently had custody of any other prisoners.

I'll leave it to you to continue the debate regarding the efficacy and ultimate value of such a program.

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