USA CIA Torture floating Prison Ships
More Than Two-Dozen Countries Complicit In US Torture Program
By Sherwood Ross The Public Record Apr 1st, 2010
Twenty-eight nations have cooperated with the U.S. to
detain in their prisons, and sometimes to interrogate and
torture, suspects arrested as part of the U.S. "War on
The complicit countries have kept suspects in prisons
ranging from public interior ministry buildings to "safe
house" villas in downtown urban areas to obscure prisons
in forests to "black" sites to which the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been denied access.
According to published reports, an estimated 50 prisons
have been used to hold detainees in these 28 countries.
Additionally, at least 25 more prisons have been operated
either by the U.S. or by the government of
occupied-Afghanistan in behalf of the U.S., and 20 more
prisons have been similarly operated in Iraq.
As the London-based legal rights group Reprieve estimates
the U.S. has used 17 ships as floating prisons since
2001, the total number of prisons operated by the U.S.
and/or its allies to house alleged terrorist suspects
since 2001 exceeds 100. And this figure may well be far
short of the actual number.
Countries that held prisoners in behalf of the U.S. based
on published data are Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia,
Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya,
Kosovo, Libya, Lithuania, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan,
Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia,
South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan,
Yemen, and Zambia. Some of the above-named countries held
suspects in behalf of the Central Intelligence
Agency(CIA); others held suspects in behalf the U.S.
military, or both.
Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the
University of Illinois, Champaign, termed the detention
policies used by the U.S. "Crimes against Humanity":
"These instances of the enforced disappearances of
human beings and their consequent torture, because they
are both widespread and systematic, constitute Crimes
against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute for the
International Criminal Court, which have been ordered by
the highest level officials of the United States
Referring to President Bush and his principal advisers,
Boyle continued, "Since these criminal activities took
part in several states that are parties to the ICC Rome
Statute, that renders these U.S. government officials
subject to prosecution by the International Criminal
Court on the grounds of territoriality of the offense,
even though the United States is not a party to the Rome
According to Human Rights Watch, as of Jan., 2004, the
U.S. held detainees from 21 different countries including
Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israeli-occupied Gaza
and West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman,
Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Sweden, Tunisia,
Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Yemen.
The nations that cooperated with the U.S. to detain these
prisoners have done so even though detainees commonly
were held . in the words of an Associated Press report of
Sept. 18, 2006 ."beyond the reach of established law."
Efforts by this reporter to learn from the Pentagon the
total number of prisoners held captive and related
information proved futile.
However, in Feb., 2005, Maj. Gen. Donald Ryder, Army
Provost Marshal General, said, "In all, roughly 65,000
people have been screened for possible detention, and
about 30,000 of those were entered into the system, at
least briefly, and assigned internment serial numbers."
Possibly, to date, the U.S. and its allies have detained
100,000 suspects or more.
It is not known whether the customary legal rights of any
of these tens of thousands of captives have been honored.
But given the absence of due process, trials, and
convictions compared to the vast numbers of those
detained, the "War on Terror" takes on the appearance of
a monumental fraud.
As Jane Mayer wrote in "The Dark Side" (Anchor Books),
"Seven years after the attacks of September 11, not a
single terror suspect held outside of the U.S. criminal
court system has been tried. Of the 759 detainees
acknowledged to have been held in Guantanamo,
approximately 340 remained there, only a handful of whom
had been charged. Among these, not a single .enemy
combatant. had yet had the opportunity to cross-examine
the government or see the evidence on which he was being
held." Similarly, Nick Turse of TomDispatch.com reported
U.S. intelligence officials themselves estimated that
70-90% of prisoners detained in Iraq "had been arrested
According to the German weekly Der Spiegel in a Dec. 10,
2005, article: "It is likely that nobody will ever know
how many terror suspects abducted by the CIA have died in
the torture chambers of Egyptian, Algerian, Syrian, or
Saudi Arabian prisons."
It was "because of the gruesome treatment of prisoners
that made it expedient to remove suspects as much as
possible from the responsibility of American judges. This
practice gave birth to the Guantanamo prisoner camp, as
well as a whole range of so-called black sites, or secret
interrogation areas, where the CIA keeps its most
valuable prisoners under continuous observation," Der
Spiegel said. Writing in The Washington Post on Nov. 2,
2005, Dana Priest put it this way: "It is illegal for the
government to hold prisoners in such isolation in secret
prisons in the United States, which is why the CIA placed
them overseas, according to several former and current
intelligence officials and other U.S. government
officials. Legal experts and intelligence officials said
that the CIA.s internment practices also would be
considered illegal under the laws of several host
countries, where detainees have rights to have a lawyer
or to mount a defense against allegations of wrongdoing."
In a concise observation that appears to summarize the
U.S. campaign of detention, Patrick Quinn of the
Associated Press wrote, "Captured on battlefields, pulled
from beds at midnight, grabbed off streets as suspected
insurgents, tens of thousands now have passed through
American detention, the vast majority in Iraq. Many have
said they were often interrogated around the clock, then
released months or years later without apology,
compensation, or any word on why they were taken."
Clive Stafford Smith, legal director of British human
rights group Reprieve, told the UK Guardian June 2, 2008:
"By its own admission, the US government is currently
detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret
prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been
.through the system. since 2001. The US government must
show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by
immediately revealing who these people are, where they
are, and what has been done to them." Note: The UN
Commission on Human Rights asserts prolonged
incommunicado detention itself can "constitute a form of
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or even torture."
A brief look at the prison operations of America.s
AFGHANISTAN: Human Rights First says since Nov., 2001,
the U.S. has operated approximately 25 detention
facilities in Afghanistan. Secret prisons at Bagram Air
Force Base include the "Dark Prison" and "Salt Pit." It
was in Salt Pit in Nov., 2002, that guards stripped an
Afghan prisoner naked, chained him to the concrete floor
and left him in below-zero temperatures all night. He was
dead in the morning, Der Spiegel reported. Other prisons
include Rissat and Rissat2, north of Kabul, and Prison
Number 3. At Kandahar Air Force Base, U.S. army officers
hung prisoners from the ceiling for days. At times, the
prison held up to 40 detainees. Other Afghan sites
include transient facilities near Asadabad, Gereshk,
Jalalabad, Tycze, Gardez, and Khost. A federal Grand Jury
in North Carolina indicted CIA contractor David Passaro
for allegedly beating detainee Abdul Wali to death at
Khost in June, 2003. Officials there also told the family
of Sher Mohammed Khan he was killed by snakebite when his
body showed marks of abuse. Another base, according to
the Feb. 15, 2010, issue of The Nation, is Rish-Khor, an
Afghan army facility atop a mountain overlooking Kabul.
The magazine also reported there are nine Field Detention
Sites the Red Cross is aware of that "are enveloped in a
blanket of official secrecy." There may, however, "be
other sites whose existence on the scores of U.S. and
Afghan military bases that dot the country have not been
disclosed," writes the magazine.s Anand Gopal. At Bagram,
Gopal wrote, former detainees allege they were "regularly
beaten, subjected to blaring music twenty-four hours a
day, prevented from sleeping, stripped naked and forced
to assume what interrogators term .stress positions." It
is routine to hold prisoners at Bagram for two or three
years without access to lawyers, Red Cross, or their
families. And the official U.S. detention center in
Kandahar is known among former inmates as "Camp Slappy."
AZERBAIJAN: prisoners have been detained in behalf of the
U.S. in Baku, the capital. The country is known for
imprisoning journalists and other critics, some of whom
have been tortured and murdered by authorities.
ALGERIA: The U.S. transferred prisoners there from
Guantanamo. Amnesty International has warned against
transfer of prisoners to Algeria based on the country.s
history of torture and warned "Algeria has become a prime
ally of the United States (US) and other governments
preoccupied with the so-called War on Terror." According
to Wikipedia, Manfred Nowak, a special reporter on
torture, has catalogued in a 15-page U.N. report that the
United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and other nations
have violated international human rights conventions by
deporting terrorist suspects to countries such as
BOSNIA: the Eagle Base in Tuzla is a black site. The
British Telegraph said Eagle is part of a U.S. military
facility where alleged Al-Qaeda members were tortured.
DIEGO GARCIA(UK): a British possession in the Indian
Ocean the U.S. has transformed into a powerful military
base to dominate the Middle East and Asia. Reportedly,
the CIA has a facility there that was used in 2005-06 to
hold Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a Syrian-Spanish national.
According to Reprieve, "the UK has a significant military
and administrative presence on Diego Garcia, which has
its own independent administration run by the East Africa
Desk of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London."
Reprieve further stated, "In October, 2003, Time Magazine
cited interrogation records from the US prisoner Hambali
that had reportedly been taken on the island, while
respected international investigators at the Council of
Europe and the United Nations expressed similar
suspicions. US officials went on to make seemingly
careless public statements confirming the use of Diego
Garcia for secret detentions."
DJIBOUTI: said to have three CIA-run prisons, according
to the UK Guardian. The former French foreign legion base
Camp Lemonnier is a U.S. facility at Djibouti-Ambouli
EGYPT: said to operate six prisons in behalf of the CIA,
where numerous victims have been rendered, one of them
being the General Intelligence Directorate in Cairo. U.S.
officials are alleged to have participated in
interrogation/torture sessions there where prisoners are
hung from hooks and electrical shocks administered. On
June 13, 2004, the UK Observer reported, "Egypt has also
received a steady flow of militants from American
installations." The paper also identified Mulhaq al-Mazra
prison as a facility used in behalf of the U.S.
ETHIOPIA: has held detainees on behalf of CIA. U.S.
agents interrogated one man there for three months. An
investigation by the Associated Press published April 3,
2007, found, "CIA and FBI agents hunting for al-Qaida
militants in the Horn of Africa have been interrogating
terrorism suspects from 19 countries held at secret
prisons in Ethiopia, which is notorious for torture and
abuse." Three prisons are used for such purposes, the
GAMBIA: in Banjul, the capital, safe houses in a
residential area were used to jail Bisher Al-Rawi. He was
also jailed in Guantanamo where he was said to be
subjected to cold temperatures and had his prayer rug
taken away when he tried to use it as a blanket.
GUANTANAMO: In addition to Camp Delta, a military prison,
this base is the site of "Camp No" about a mile to the
north, that is either CIA or under Joint Special
Operations Command. It was to this camp, according to
Harper.s, where three prisoners were taken and never
again seen alive. In 2006, the UN called for closing
Guantanamo. According to The Miami Herald.s Carol
Rosenberg, (Jan. 29, 2010) Guantanamo has held about 770
prisoners since it opened eight years ago and nearly 580
have been released over the years. What.s more, a review
by DOD and five other agencies agreed unanimously that
"roughly 110" more are eligible for release, meaning
there was not enough evidence on 690 of the 770 prisoners
to prosecute them.further proof, if any is needed, of the
fraudulent nature of the War on Terror. Amnesty
International called for Guantanamo detainees to be
either released from their "super max" high security
cells or allowed to stand trial. Irene Khan, Amnesty
International.s general secretary, termed Guantanamo "the
gulag of our time."
IRAQ: The U.S. and its allies have operated at least 20
prisons. In 2006, Human Rights First documented 98 deaths
in U.S. custody there, including five in CIA custody.
Every detainee in Iraq "is detained because he poses a
security threat to the government of Iraq, the people of
Iraq, or coalition forces," said a spokesman for U.S.-led
detainee operations in Iraq, Army Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin
Curry. This statement is hard to credit as virtually all
of the tens of thousands of persons arrested have never
been charged with an offense and the vast majority of
them have been let go. Scott Horton wrote in Harper.s
that the U.S. "is holding 19,000 Iraqis at its two main
detention centers, at Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca."
Horton noted Iraqi law requires any detention to be
justified before a magistrate in a matter of only a few
days but the U.S. has "complete contempt for the
requirements of Iraqi law." It should be noted that Iraqi
Prime Minister al-Maliki.s government complained U.S.
detention violates Iraq.s national rights. In March,
2006, UN Secy.-Gen. Kofi Annan said the extent of
arbitrary detention in Iraq is "not consistent with
provisions of international law governing internment on
imperative reasons of security." Since, as of this
January, the U.S. is said to hold only 5,000 detainees in
Iraq, apparently tens of thousands of persons have been
released without ever being charged. Between June, 2004,
and Sept., 2006, alone, the U.S. released some 18,700
Iraqi detainees, according to a reliable source.
This points to a massive conspiracy to deprive innocent
people of their rights by the U.S. on a scale not seen
since the U.S. interned its own Japanese-American
population during World War II. "It was hard to believe
I.d get out," Baghdad shopkeeper Amjad Qassim al-Aliyawi,
told the Associated Press after his release, without
charge. "I lived with the Americans for one year and
eight months as if I was living in hell." It was in the
U.S. Forward Operating Rifles Base in Al Asad where Abdul
Jaleel was murdered in Jan., 2004, after being beaten and
tied by his hands to the top of a door frame. At the U.S.
detention facility in Al Qaim, Baghdad, former Iraqi
Major-General Abed Hamad Mowhoush, was tortured and
smothered to death in Nov., 2003. At Camp Bucca, in the
southern desert, said to hold 9,500, detainees were
forcibly showered with cold water and exposed to cold
air. At Site 4, a prison run by Iraq.s Ministry of
Interior and which in May, 2006, held some 1,431
detainees, there was evidence of systematic physical and
psychological abuse and in a prison in the Green Zone run
by Baghdad Brigade detainees suffered severe ill
At the notorious Abu Ghraib, Ms. Umm Taha, an Iraqi woman
detainee, told of tortures she witnessed. Soldiers made
prisoners stand one leg "then they kicked them to make
them fall to the ground." She said she watched GI Lynndie
England use a rubber glove to snap the detainees on their
genitals. "The soldiers also made all the men lay on the
ground, face down, spread their legs, then men and women
soldiers alike kicked the detainees between their legs. I
can still remember their screaming." Ms. Taha was
interviewed by Nagem Salam, an American journalist,
according to Islam Online of June 14, 2004. At its peak
occupancy in 2004, Abu Ghraib, also known also known as
the Baghdad Central Correctional Facility, was said to
hold 7,000 prisoners. At Al-Jadiriya prison, in Baghdad
many prisoners were detained off the books, and at least
168 unlawfully detained were abused there. Among the main
detention facilities in Iraq are Camp Redemption and Camp
Ganci, both located at Abu Ghraib, as well as Camp
Cropper, near the Baghdad Airport. Other major facilities
include Camp Bucca in Umm Qasr and Talil Air Force Base
south of Baghdad, also known as Whitford Camp. Additional
Iraqi bases where prisoners were held included Al-Rusafa,
Al-Kadhimiyya, and Al-Karkh, in Baghdad and Camp Falcon,
near Baghdad; the Al-Diwaniyya Security Detainee Holding
Area; Ashraf Camp MEK near Al-Ramadi; FOB Tiger in Anbar
province; an FOB near Al-Asad, outside Mosul; a temporary
holding camp near Nasiriyah; an FOB in Tikrit, in
northern Iraq; Al-Qasr al-Jumhouri and Al-Qasr al-Sujood.
Another facility, Camp Sheba, is under British command.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, Camp Whitehorse is a
Marine-run detention site near Nasiriyah in Southern
Iraq: "Prisoners were held at Whitehorse until they could
be interrogated by a Marine .human exploitation team,.
which would determine whether the detainees should be
released or transferred elsewhere. Prisoners were forced
to stand 50 minutes of every hour, in heat sometimes
topping 120 degrees, for up to 10 hours at a time.
Prisoners were forced to stand until interrogators from
the Human Exploitation Team arrived. If the team failed
to get the information it wanted, prisoners were forced
to continue standing."
GlobalSecurity.org reported further, "In October 2003 the
US military charged eight US Marine reservists, including
two officers, with brutal treatment of Iraqi prisoners of
war that may have resulted in the death of one Iraqi man.
The eight fought in Iraq as part of the First Marine
Division and were detailed to guard prisoners at Camp
Whitehorse. Military prosecutors allege that an Iraqi man
named Nagem Sadoon Hatab died at Camp Whitehorse in early
June 2003 following a possible beating by US guards."
ISRAEL: "Thanks to the Israeli paper Haaretz," wrote
Reporter Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch.com of Nov. 2,
2006, "we learned for the first time that at least some
CIA rendition flights stopped at Ben-Gurion International
Airport in Tel Aviv on their way to and from Cyprus,
Jordan, Morocco, and other spots east and west, north and
south . and that the first case .of the United States
handing Israel a world jihadi suspect. in a rendition
operation has been confirmed."
JORDAN: Abducted men rendered by CIA were held in
Jordan.s General Intelligence Department (GID) in Amman.
One detainee said his experience was "beyond
description." On June 13, 2004, the UK Observer reported
prisoners were also held "in desert locations in the east
of the country." Al Jafr Prison, in the southern
Jordanian desert, has held prisoners for the U.S. In the
Israeli publication Ha.aretz, an article in Oct., 2004,
said the CIA was holding 11 high-level Al Qaeda prisoners
incommunicado in Jordan. The Jordanian government flatly
denies there are any U.S. detention facilities in Jordan.
One of the 11 is said to have been Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the hijacked airliner
attacks on New York and Washington. Citing international
intelligence sources, Ha.aretz said: "Their detention
outside the U.S. enables CIA interrogators to apply
interrogation methods that are banned by U.S. law, and to
do so in a country where cooperation with the Americans
is particularly close, thereby reducing the danger of
KENYA: Detained 84 captives for the U.S. in Nairobi with
no opportunity to challenge their detention. One captive,
Mohamed Ezzoueck, a Britsh national, was detained at
three different police stations in Nairobi, and also at a
military police station located near Kiunga. Suspects
"disappeared" in 2007 in the region were believed to have
been interrogated by the CIA and FBI.
KOSOVO: CIA-operated Camp Bondsteel, a black site; was
said by some, including an official of the European
Commission on Human Rights, to be similar in design to
Guantanamo. The British Telegraph reported alleged
members of Al-Qaeda were questioned and tortured at
LIBYA: Since 2004, for example, the CIA has handed five
Libyan fighters to authorities in Tripoli. Two had been
covertly nabbed by the CIA in China and Thailand, while
the others were caught in Pakistan and held in CIA
prisons in Afghanistan, Eastern Europe and other
locations, according to Libyan sources, Craig Whitlock
reported in The Washington Post of October 27, 2007.
LITHUANIA: The CIA operated a prison in a riding academy
in Antaviliai, on the outskirts of capital Vilnius.
Lithuania held eight terror suspects there for the CIA.
MAURITANIA: CIA reportedly operated one detention
facility there. In an article in the June 25, 2007, The
New Yorker, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote:
"I was told by the former senior intelligence official
and a government consultant that after the existence of
secret C.I.A. prisons in Europe was revealed, in the
Washington Post, in late 2005, the Administration
responded with a new detainee center in Mauritania. After
a new government friendly to the U.S. took power, in a
bloodless coup d.état in August, 2005, they said, it was
much easier for the intelligence community to mask secret
MOROCCO: Held CIA detainees at a prison in al-Temara. The
CIA rendered Binyam Mohamed, a British citizen, to
Morocco, where he was moved around to three different
prisons. Abou Elkassim Britel, an Italian and Moroccan,
was tortured at al-Temara. The prison is located in a
forest five miles outside of Rabat, the capital. It was
in Morocco that Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born British
resident arrested in Pakistan in 2002 was tortured by
interrogators who sliced his penis with a scalpel and
later transferred him to Guantanamo Bay. He was freed in
Feb., 2009, without charge and allowed to return to
England. The London Sunday Times reported Feb. 12, 2006,
that Morocco "is one of America.s principal partners in
the secret .rendition. programme in which the CIA flies
prisoners to third countries for interrogation." The
paper said Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch
have compiled dossiers "detailing the detention and
apparent torture of radical Islamists at the DST.s
current headquarters, at Temara, near Rabat." DST is the
Moroccan secret police.
PAKISTAN: Human Rights Watch said men claimed the U.S.
tortured them when detained there in behalf of the CIA.
Several hundred suspects were seized in Pakistan in
2001-2002 and held in prisons in Kohat and Peshawar.
Prisoners also held in an old fortress outside of Lahore;
in the military barracks in Islamabad. It was in
Islamabad that Moazzam Begg was held and severely
tortured. At one villa in central Peshawar run by U.S.
authorities, prisoners were beaten regularly. Another
facility in Peshawar was underground where Americans did
all the interrogating. A black prison was also reported
to be in Alzai. Seymour Hersh received a report in May,
2005 of "800-900 Pakistani boys 13-15 years of age in
POLAND: The CIA operated a black prison from 2003 to 2005
where eight "high value" detainees were held in the
village of Kiejkuty. One of them was said to be Khalid
Sheik Mohammed, alleged 9/11 mastermind, who was severely
QATAR: The UK Observer reported on June 13, 2004, "Scores
more (terror suspects) are thought to be at a US airbase
in the Gulf state of Qatar."
ROMANIA: Three CIA detention centers operated there,
including one in downtown Bucharest and one in Timisoara.
SAUDI ARABIA: Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was convicted in U.S.
federal court in Nov., 2005, on charges of conspiracy to
commit terrorism. Amnesty International said his trial
was flawed as prosecution relied largely on evidence
obtained when he was flogged and beaten by the Saudi
Arabian Ministry of Interior.s General Intelligence while
imprisoned with apparent U.S. knowledge. In Saudi Arabia,
the UK Observer reported on June 13, 2004, "CIA agents
are allowed to sit in on some of the interrogations."
SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC: The CIA rendered a number of
captives to Far Falestin prison. Canadian Maher Arar was
held there were he was tortured with cables and
electrical cords. When the Canadian government found Arar
was tortured, the Prime Minister apologized to him and
Canada paid him $10.5-million in compensation plus legal
fees. UK Observer reported June 13, 2004, "In Syria,
detainees sent by Washington are held at .the Palestine
wing. of the main intelligence headquarters and a series
of jails in Damascus and other cities."
SOMALIA: Suleiman Abdallah, never charged, was arrested
in Somalia and held there for a short time by warlord
Mohammed Dere, allegedly working for the U.S., and later
interrogated by CIA and FBI. Another captive, Mohamed
Ezzoueck, a British subject, was held at the Army base in
Baidoa, Somalia, but never charged.
SOUTH AFRICA: UK Guardian reported Jan. 23, 2009, that
South Africa has two CIA "black sites."
THAILAND: One of the first CIA black sites known as
"Cat.s Eye" is located outside of Bangkok. Al-Qaeda
operatives were flown there to be interrogated and
tortured, including waterboarding. Abu Zubaydah and Abd
al-Rahim al-Nashiri were videotaped there. Some 92
videotapes were made and stored and subsequently
destroyed by the CIA. In 2005 ABC News reported Zubaydah
was held in an unused warehouse on an airbase where he
was made to stand in a cold cell and waterboarded.
UZBEKISTAN: The New York Times reported in May, 2005, the
U.S. had sent dozens of suspects to Tashkent.
YEMEN: U.S. handed over prisoners, including some from
its Bagram prison, to Yemen, where they allegedly were
ZAMBIA: According to UK.s Guardian Jan. 23, 2009, Zambia
is one of countries with a CIA secret prison facility.
In addition to the prisons in the above-cited nations,
the U.S. operates a number of illegal floating prisons.
U.S. PRISON SHIPS: On June 2, 2008 UK.s Guardian
reported, "The US has admitted that the Bataan and
Peleliu were used as prison ships between December 2001
and January 2002?. According to Reprieve, the U.S. may
have used 17 ships as "floating prisons" since 2001.
Detainees are interrogated on ships and may be rendered
to other, undisclosed locations. Reprieve expressed
concern over the time the U.S.S. Ashland spent off
Somalia in early 2007. According to The Guardian, "At
this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and
Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving
regular interrogations by individuals believed to be
members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100
individuals were .disappeared. to prisons in locations
including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and
Guantanamo Bay. Reprieve believes prisoners may have also
been held for interrogation on the USS Ashland and other
ships in the Gulf of Aden during this time."
The U.S. Navy, through a spokesman, said, "There are no
detention facilities on US navy ships" but Commander
Jeffrey Gordon told The Guardian some individuals had
been put on ships "for a few days" during initial days of
Reprieve quoted one prisoner released from Guantanamo who
was on one of the U.S. ships who said there were 50 other
prisoners in cages in the bottom of the ship and they
were beaten even more severely than in Guantanamo. Clive
Stafford Smith, Reprieve.s legal director, is quoted as
saying, "They choose ships to try to keep their
misconduct as far as possible from the prying eyes of the
media and lawyers. We will eventually reunite these ghost
prisoners with their legal rights."
From all of the above, it would be difficult to conclude
anything other than that the U.S., with the help of a
score of other nations, illegally seized and then
processed countless innocent persons from the Middle East
who were held incommunicado in scores of facilities where
they were abused, tortured, denied all legal rights, and
where approximately 100 of them that we know of died in
Iraq alone, probably the victims of homicide.
Professor Boyle of the University of Illinois said he
would submit the findings of this article to the
Prosecutor of the ICC in support of his previous
Complaint calling on the ICC to open "an international
criminal investigation of these (President George W.
Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, etc.) former U.S.
Ross express his gratitude to the journalists whose works
he quoted for their original research that exposed the
conditions in prisons described above, and particularly
to the Associated Press.
Sherwood Ross is an award-winning journalist who formerly
reported for the Chicago Daily News and worked as a
columnist for several wire services. He can be reached at