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Watch: New Report Exposes Full Extent of CIA's Global Torture Operation

A new report published by the Open Society Foundation is the fullest accounting yet of the CIA’s use of extraordinary rendition and torture.

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The Bush administration’s torture program has surged back into contemporary debate in recent weeks, as “Zero Dark Thirty” was released and John Brennan’s confirmation hearing to be head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) took place. And a new report published by the Open Society Foundation (OSF) will add to that much-needed debate.

The report, authored by Amrit Singh, is the clearest and fullest accounting yet of the CIA’s use of extraordinary rendition and torture. Titled “Globalizing Torture,” it reveals that a total of 54 countries around the globe were complicit in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, which refers to the capture of terrorist suspects who are then taken to another country where torture was used. This program was used on 136 people, according to the OSF report--and undoubtedly innocent people, like Canadian citizen Maher Arar, were caught up in the torture dragnet.

“By enlisting the participation of dozens of foreign governments in these violations, the United States further undermined longstanding human rights protections enshrined in international law -- including, in particular, the norm against torture,” wrote Singh. “Responsibility for this damage does not lie solely with the United States, but also with the numerous foreign governments without whose participation secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations could not have been carried out.”

In a video about the report, Singh provides further information about the CIA’s abuses and what the report says about them. “America has not resolved [the torture] debate. The American public needs to know what its government did. Grabbing people off the streets, flying them to secret CIA prisons to be locked up, shut out, held in incommunicado detention, and subjected to interrogation in many instances that amounted to torture,” Singh says in the video.

Watch the whole video about the report here:


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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