America's Secret Prisons - by Stephen Lendman
On January 28 in TomDispatch.com, Anand Gopal headlined, "Night Raids, Hidden Detention Centers, the 'Black Jail,' and the Dogs of War in Afghanistan," recounting unreported US media stories about killings, abductions, detentions, interrogations, and torture in "a series of prisons on US military bases around the country." Bagram prison, for example, is "a facility with a notorious reputation for abusive behavior," including brutalizing torture and cold-blooded murder.
Even worse is the "Black Jail," a facility consisting of individual windowless concrete cells with bright 24-hour lighting, described by one former detainee as "the most dangerous and fearful place" in which prisoners endure appalling treatment.
The pattern is predictable. US/NATO convoys are attacked or reports of Taliban forces are received. Americans respond accordingly, rounding up suspects, mostly innocent civilians, and detaining them for interrogations, torture, abuse and degrading treatment - not just in Afghanistan but in secret black sites globally, according to a January 26 UN Human Rights Council (HRC) report detailing practices engaged in by various countries including America, by far the world's worst offender in its war on terror - one waged against humanity for unchallengeable power and total global dominance.
Besides Guantanamo, Afghanistan and Iraq, HRC said the CIA runs scores of offshore secret prisons in over 66 countries worldwide for dissidents and alleged terrorists - in Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, India, Pakistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ethopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Poland, Romania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Thailand, Diego Garcia, and elsewhere.
Post-9/11, "the United States embarked on a process of reducing and removing various human rights and other protection mechanisms" through numerous laws and administrative acts including:
-- the September 18, 2001 joint House-Senate Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for "the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States";
-- the October 2001 USA Patriot Act (just renewed) that shredded civil liberty protections, including due process, freedom of association, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures;
-- the October 2002 House-Senate "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of the United States Armed Forces Against Iraq," even though the country (and Afghanistan) posed no threat to America, had no ability or intention to strike, or did so on 9/11 or any other time;
-- the November 2001 Military Order Number 1 authorizing the president to capture, kidnap or otherwise arrest non-citizens (and later citizens) anywhere in the world for any reason and hold them indefinitely without charge, evidence, or due process and judicial fairness protections in a civil court;
-- numerous presidential Executive Orders, memorandums, findings, National and Homeland Security Presidential Directives, and other documents authorizing the abduction, detention, torture, and killing of alleged terrorists;
-- National Presidential Directive 51 granting the president dictatorial power to declare a national emergency, followed by martial law without congressional approval;
-- the February 2002, a presidential memorandum declaring Geneva's Common Article 3 (prohibiting torture and other lawless acts) and Third Geneva, pertaining to prisoners of war, null and void for "al-Qaeda or Taliban detainees;"
-- the November 2002 Homeland Security Act creating a national Gestapo;
-- the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act denying detainees habeas rights and authorizing the use cruel, abusive, inhumane or degrading treatment in the interests of national security;
-- the 2006 Military Commissions Act, known as "the torture authorization act," granted the executive sweeping unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate and prosecute alleged terror suspects and collaborators (including US citizens), imprison them indefinitely in military prisons without proof of guilt, and deny them habeas and judicial fairness protections; and