Systematic Torture Continuing in Afghanistan

According to a United Nations report released on January 20, 2013, systematic torture remains a serious concern in many Afghan-controlled detention facilities, despite “concerted efforts” and “sustained support” by international partners and the Afghan Government to “root out torture and abusive detention practices.”[1]

The 139-page report, compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), finds that “more than half of 635 detainees interviewed (326 detainees) experienced torture and ill-treatment in numerous facilities of the <Read More>

Unconfirmed Sites

(updated December 31, 2012 by Byron Zinonos)

As previously mentioned,[1] on January 22, 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order stripping the CIA of its authority to detain prisoners in secret prisons.[2] On September 11, 2012, armed men assaulted the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.[3] Some “early accounts” originally stated that “the attack stemmed from a spontaneous protest”[4] or that the attack was “a terrorist act, perpetrated by people either associated with <Read More>

An Overview Of U.S. Operated “Black Sites”

“Black Sites” became the term used to describe a series of secret prisons operated by the CIA that emerged after the September 11 attacks. These sites, located outside of U.S. territory, were used to detain and interrogate high-level terrorists. “The point of black sites appears to be to allow detainees to be interrogated in ways that would not have been allowed elsewhere.”[1] While the U.S. government initially denied the existence, location, and alleged practices occurring within these sites, much of <Read More>

Temporary Detention Sites

(updated December 15, 2011 by Jacqueline Pimpinelli)

According to Kimberly Dozier in an Associated Press Report published in the Huffington Post on April 8, 2011, unnamed U.S. officials have revealed details of the top-secret network of military–run jails used by the U.S. for temporary detention. While the Pentagon has stated that suspects are held for a maximum of 14 days in temporary detention absent extraordinary circumstances, Dozier reports that suspects can be held for up to 9 weeks. After the first <Read More>

Sketching the Limits of the Army Field Manual

It is no secret that in the search for intelligence in the war on terror, the United States has employed a broad spectrum of interrogation techniques in its questioning of possible sources. Few will doubt the importance of gleaning what could be life-saving material from this type of data-mining, but few will quarrel either with the notion that a balancing test must be applied to weigh the interests of national security, and the threat of the violation of human rights.

Guidelines <Read More>