Jordan, according to a U.S. State Department request that Congress appropriate the country nearly $500 million in 2007 military aid, continues "to lead the way as a regional model for democracy, good governance, economic reform, and tolerance."
Jordan, according to the State Department's 2005 Country Report on Human Rights Practices, has police and security forces that "allegedly abused detainees during detention and interrogation and reportedly also used torture." The U.N. special rapporteur on torture said in June 2006 that torture is "systematically practiced" at prisons run by the Jordanian intelligence agency.
Jordan, according to Amnesty International, is a "key hub" in the United States' secret program of "extraordinary rendition," in which terrorism suspects are kidnapped and flown to secret prisons or to countries known for torture.
The Kingdom of Jordan, long a U.S. ally, is a tangle of internal contradictions — and since 9/11, U.S.-Jordan counterterrorism efforts have made the tangle even knottier.
A major ingredient of this foreign policy stew is Jordan's strategic placement on the world map: It shares borders with both Iraq and Israel, as well as with Syria and Saudi Arabia. Another major ingredient is Jordan's historically consistent pro-U.S. foreign policy.
ICIJ's database of U.S. military assistance, compiled from data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, shows that in the three years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Jordan received $2.7 billion in military aid from the U.S. government, a 170 percent increase from the roughly $1 billion it received in the three years prior to the attacks; it is now the fourth-largest recipient of U.S. military aid, after Israel, Egypt and Pakistan. Jordan was also one of the countries that the United States reimbursed, with little congressional oversight, for its help in Iraq and Afghanistan.