by Chris Floyd
24 May 2008
The United States government is holding some 27,000 human beings in secret prisons around the world. The overwhelming majority of them are being held indefinitely, without charges, without rights, cut off from the outside world, and subject to “harsh interrogation techniques” (to use the prim locution for “torture” used by the Bush Administration and universally adopted by the American media).
Many of these captives are stuffed into holding pens in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, which is still in operations despite the momentary torture-photo scandal of 2004 — and despite Bush’s earnest promise to Iraqis to tear down that hated symbol of Saddam’s torture. Other captives are crammed into the holds of prison ships floating around the world. Still others languish in the torture chambers of the Bush Administration’s Terror War allies — despotisms, tyrannies, brutal kingdoms — having been “renditioned” there by American agents, sometimes after being kidnapped, or sold into captivity by bounty hunters, or snatched up in mass sweeps or random grabs or simply for having the wrong name, the wrong face, the wrong color, the wrong religion.
In any civilized country, such facts would provoke banner headlines, marathon television debates, investigations, prosecutions and widespread public revulsion. It might have done so even in the United States not all that long ago. But the most recent encapsulation of these horrors — from Clive Stafford Smith of Reprieve, speaking earlier this week on Democracy Now — has caused scarcely a ripple. Even that is putting it too strongly; in the mainstream media, the news has been greeted with the usual iron curtain of silence.
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US holding 27 thousand in secret prisons
The rest of the Democracy Now! program: Democracy Now! Spies for Hire + Secret Overseas Prisons + Malcolm X