At least 54 countries aided the CIA in its sweeping post-9/11 program of secret detentions, renditions and interrogations of more than 136 terror suspects, according to a human rights group report released Tuesday that amounts to the most comprehensive look at the shadowy program to date.
In addition to demonstrating the sheer size of the secret program, the report details the failure of most of the countries involved to hold anyone accountable.
Ranking U.S. officials “bear responsibility for authorizing” violating the rights of those caught up in the CIA’s effort post-9/11 campaign, the Open Society Justice Initiative report says. But the group says the foreign governments who worked with the U.S. are also culpable, because they played a bigger role than previously realized.
Without their help the effort could never have been carried out, said the report, which draws on a host of public sources – including investigations by human rights groups -- and previous studies.
It describes extremely rough treatment of detainees, including beatings, sleep-deprivation, water-boardings and the jailing of suspects in coffin-like cells. Moroccan authorities promised to treat British resident Binyam Mohamed humanely after CIA officers delivered him to them for interrogation. But the report says his questioners sliced his genitals, poured hot liquid on his penis, broke his bones and threatened him with rape, electrocution and death.
The author of the Open Society report, Amrit Singh, is a former staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, where she helped pursue a lawsuit against the Defense Department that resulted in the disclosure of thousands of documents about the abuse of prisoners held by the U.S. abroad.