Monday, March 07, 2005

JEANNE OVER AT BODY AND SOUL posts tonight about the C.I.A.'s extraordinary renditions program for sending detainees suspected of terrorism, or connections to terrorism, or of having friends or relatives or co-workers who might have friends or relatives or co-workers who might have some connection with terrorism to countries in the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere for interrogation and detainment. The countries detainees have been sent to have one thing in common: They all are widely known to practice torture.

Jeanne includes a lot of links to important and enlightening sources, including a link to the 60 Minutes piece that aired tonight.

I wrote about the renditions program earlier today, as well. What we're talking about here is a gulag comparable to the one Solzhenitzyn and countless other Soviet dissidents suffered through. While you and I eat, work, sleep, blog, read, talk to our friends, and go about our lives; other human beings are existing in a nightmare world of secret interrogation centers, men wearing black masks and black gloves who beat, terrify, and torture prisoners who arrive on planes that exist only to ferry these unfortunate men from one stop in the network of top-secret detention centers to another. Nobody knows who these detainees are, how many of them have been disappeared from their homes and families, where they go, or what happens to them -- until they are released, after months or years, without any charges having been filed against them.

One more point that I think cannot be overstated: The countries in which this network of secret interrogation centers operates are the same countries Pres. Bush lectures for their "lack of respect for human dignity and freedom." This is arguably the greatest evil of all: That at the same time countries like Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, and more, are scraped over the carpet by Bush and Condoleezza Rice for their "appalling human rights records," the Bush administration is sending detainees to interrogation centers in those countries, precisely because of those terrible human rights records.

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