File:A case to answer.pdf
From Abu Ghraib to secret CIA custody: The case of Khaled al-Maqtari
On 6 September 2006, US President George W Bush announced the transfer of 14 men from secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) custody to military detention at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. This was the first time that the US program of clandestine interrogation and detention, long an open secret, had been publicly acknowledged. Although the President noted that no-one was then being held by the CIA, he emphasized that the secret detention program would "continue to be crucial". Indeed, the transfer of a 15th so-called "high value" detainee, ‘Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, from CIA custody to Guantánamo in April 2007 demonstrated the continuing operation of the CIA’s program. In June 2007, President Bush issued an executive order effectively re-authorizing the CIA’s use of secret detention and interrogation.1 That order remains in force.
In September 2007 CIA Director General Michael Hayden defended the program, including on the grounds that “fewer than 100 people” had been subjected to it. “These programs are targeted and selective,” he added. “They were designed for only the most dangerous terrorists and those believed to have the most valuable information, such as knowledge of planned attacks.” He and other US officials have used similar reasoning to defend the CIA’s use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. In testimony to the US Senate Intelligence Committee on 5 February 2008, for example, General Hayden tried to justify the torture technique of “waterboarding”, simulated drowning, against three detainees in 2002 and 2003 as a means to obtain information from detainees at a time of perceived threat to public safety, and because the intelligence community “had limited knowledge about al Qa'ida and its workings.”2 Such justifications fly in the face of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under international law...
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