Rendition, or the transferring; here meaning prisoners. The story has come to light again and in the uncovering of the CIA black sites as I call them, we discuss Camp 7, the real truth about the term Rendition as used in context with “Unlawful combatants”. We look again at Guantanamo bay and the possible Secret US Prisons. Could there be More? …Dana Glenn Smith
CIA black sites, Rendition, and Guantanamo Bay -Secretive US Prisons
A recent news story came to light and again brought up the subject of possible secret prisons. The story found here on our WIBR/WARN Site is CIA Black site revealed in Somali captive testimony before court on a secretive prison known as Camp 7. The other name for it is Camp Platinum and is known for it’s high security among all the Guantanamo Bay detention camps in Cuba. It is one among others there in Cuba.
The existence of secretive locations where the US can keep prisoners has been a long held belief of many who follow the US. It is here that many in high government areas of knowledge will deny their use or even the existence of such camps or prisons. Such was the case of Camp 7 where it had been kept a secret for 2 years. The purpose was for “high value prisoners or detainees”.
It was the Bush administration who in the war on terror held those who fought against them, were captured, and thus labeled as “Illegal combatants”. The term though not directly used, but classified as “unlawful combatants”. Since there were “lawful combatants” it stands to reason and law that there were “unlawful combatants”. Thus since Bush, these things have been used and applied.
CIA black sites, Rendition, and Guantanamo Bay- the ICRC and IHL
Further, there are those who are watching all this. But again, note that all this is possible under the mantle of ‘Enemy combatants’ and it is defined on the ICRC website. The portion we quote now is from the Relevance of IHL in the context of Terrorism. IHL translates to ‘International Humanitarian Law’. The ICRC website says of it’s purpose is to help ‘those affected by armed conflict and promotes compliance with international humanitarian law’. Here are relevant definitions you need to know before proceeding.
*Who is an “Enemy Combatant”?
In its generic sense, an ” enemy combatant ” is a person who, either lawfully or unlawfully, engages in hostilities for the opposing side in an international armed conflict.
The term is currently used – by those who view the fight against terrorism as including a transnational armed conflict against certain terrorist groups – to denote persons believed to belong to, or believed to be associated with terrorist groups, regardless of the circumstances of their capture.
*Who is a Lawful Combatant?
In international armed conflict, members of the armed forces of the States involved (and associated militias) are lawful combatants. It should be borne in mind that in this type of conflict, there are lawful combatants on two (or more) sides: the armed forces of one State fighting the armed forces of another State.
*Who is a “prisoner of war”?
Unlawful combatants do not qualify for prisoner of war status. Their situation upon capture by the enemy is covered by the Fourth (Civilian) Geneva Convention if they fulfil the nationality criteria and by the relevant provisions of the Additional Protocol I, if ratified by the detaining power.
This protection is not the same as that afforded to lawful combatants. To the contrary, persons protected by the Fourth Convention and the relevant provisions of Protocol I may be prosecuted under domestic law for directly participating in hostilities. They may be interned for as long as they pose a serious security threat, and, while in detention, may under specific conditions be denied certain privileges under the Fourth Geneva Convention. They may also be prosecuted for war crimes and other crimes and sentenced to terms exceeding the length of the conflict, including the range of penalties provided for under domestic law.
CIA black sites, Rendition, and Guantanamo Bay-Enemy Combatants
It is here that the United States deems these combatants as “Enemy Combatants”. They are not “prisoners of war”. They are not “lawful combatants”. The whole legaleze of this can be found here Relevance of IHL in the context of Terrorism. It describes more in detail on the process that is used according to the Geneva convention on Prisoners of War!
The problem here is that within the definitions, even US citizens can at some point be deemed an “Enemy Combatant” or related term in order to process Martial law. So if martial law is declared, then those who do not follow orders can be immediately shot or put in prison; no questions asked. If the US government and its allies can do all this with CIA rendition flights, secretive prisons, and Guantanamo bay to anyone they deem as an “Enemy Combatant”, then they will do to anyone who is opposed to them. Even US citizens. It is not paranoia, it is simple math, politics, and military power. Hitler used it. Stalin led the way in it. Mao revelled in it’s use. Today we see similar governments [Iran, Sudan, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia] around the world who use their power and might to put those of their citizenry who don’t follow their letter of the law.
The use of such prisons to keep people without trial, or any considerations has been debated. Because we are at war, since 9-11; we have seen since the Bush administration use of them continued. Although Pres. Obama said he would close Guantanamo, he has not done so.
The detainees held in this camp don hoods when transferred from the camp to other locations for their military commission or other purposes. Some of the detainees, who faced charges before the Guantanamo military commissions, had attorneys who were initially told that they could not interview their clients. The attorneys were told it would be a breach of the camp’s security for them to know the camp’s location. When attorneys Suzanne Lachelier and Richard Federico offered to wear the same hoods the detainees wore to visit the camp, they were eventually allowed to visit the camp without wearing blindfolds. They were transported to the camp in the same windowless van as the detainees, so they did not know the camp’s location
The use of such prisons violate a person’s rights, especially of US citizens. But in the war on terror, we have seen that a prisoner is not a citizen; but a prisoner in a war. As such war time conditions exist as such. But Attorneys have pushed to get rights for all inmates of these elusive prisons. Rendition, a law term meaning ‘handing over’ is used when transferring one thing to another. Extradition is a form of rendition that transfers prisoners from one state or one country to another. For many years it has been thought to exist in American circles of power when dealing with prisoners. America has transferred its prisoners to other places for keeping. But while there, are subjected to torture or other means to get information out of them. This is the ‘rendition’ idea and the threat to people’s freedoms. To be taken without your will somewhere in the world where none of your family knows you are is a viable threat to people today. If the government deems you a threat, then they can make you disappear and no one is the wiser.
CIA black sites, Rendition, and Guantanamo Bay-Rendition flights
This is where the Rendition flights come in at. Many years ago I came across a website that tracked the flights of CIA rendition. I found another site for this article which looks like the one I found back then. I cannot be sure. But know this, these people track the rendition flights. Here is a snippet of what they say:
The Rendition Project is at the forefront of efforts to investigate and understand the use of rendition, secret detention and torture by the CIA and its allies in the “war on terror”. Working closely with a number of other organisations, in particular the legal action charity Reprieve and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, this project aims to bring academic expertise to bear in order to research the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) programme.
In may of 2013 the Guardian ran a story on the Rendition project and also interviewed Crofton Black. He is an investigator with the legal charity Reprieve. Black said of the Rendition project that through its research and working with other organizations has been able to open up and reveal to the world the ‘global system of rendition’ and the ‘secret detention’ in the war on terror that came about after 9-11 by the Bush administration. Black further described it this way:
“The Rendition Project lays bare the inner workings of the logistics network underlying the US government’s secret prison programme. It’s the most accurate and comprehensive resource so far published.”
The full scope of what the US government has been up to since then is not fully revealed, that is; when it is uncovered, those doing it go underground and in the black.
The Guardian article pointed out that:
- 11,006 flights by airplanes were linked to this secretive CIA rendition program since 2002
- 1,556 flights were suspected of being rendition flights or flagged as suspicious
- They also found 20 ‘dummy flights’ where flight paths were logged but never taken
- These ‘dummy flights’ provided covert cover for the real flight to take a different route to pick up or drop off a detainee
CIA black sites, Rendition, and Guantanamo Bay- Testimony of former Guantanamo bay prisoners
To be sure, Guantanamo is not for good guys, but those who were caught in the process of a war on terror. However, how many were innocent. No doubt these prisoners faced their own terror in the system of Guantanamo. It was tough and unlike anything they had seen. But in Rendition the prisoners are taken somewhere else out of the US or it’s territories. Below is some testimonies of former prisoners of Guantanamo. Although these testimonies do not relay in detail rendition, these men were brought to Cuba on flights. Many secretive, at night, with no one knowing where they went. Read these examples below, then think what being transferred to another country or not knowing where you are at would be like. Not knowing if you will ever make it out alive. That is rendition and the secretive prisons of the US government and its allies.
**Tarek Dergoul was transferred to Guantanamo on 1 May 2002, describing the flight itself, he stated:
I was given an orange jumpsuit to wear and I was tied by my arm4 with a rope in a line of other detainees. I was also chained with the three-piece suit [a belt with hand shackles attached to it and with a metal bar leading down to leg-irons] around my arms, legs and waist. I had goggles on my eyes and earmuffs but no gloves or hood. I couldn’t see or hear anything. The elastic on the goggles and the earmuffs was cutting into my ears and eyes. On the plane we were sat on the floor and couldn’t talk. The air was blowing on my head and my head was aching.
***Asif Iqbal, a British detainee, described Camp X-Ray: In my cage there were two towels, one blanket, one small toothbrush, shampoo, soap, flip flops, and an insulation mat to sleep on as well as two buckets, one of water and one to use as a toilet (urinal). [The restrictions on the detainees initially] were probably the worst things we had to endure… in the first few weeks, we were not allowed any exercise
at all; this meant that all day every day we were stuck in a cage of two meters by two meters. We were allowed out for two minutes a week to have a shower and then returned to the cage. … During the day we were forced to sit in the cell (we couldn’t lie down) in total silence. We couldn’t lean on the wire fence or stand up and walk around the cage.
****You can download the PDF 52 [HRW-2004-10-1-REP Guantanamo detainee accounts]
CIA black sites, Rendition, and Guantanamo Bay- is this all there is?
I cannot fully prove that other secretive prisons exist. Many years ago my wife and I were in Iowa. While there I visited an orchard to buy some fruit. The owner was a family man and worked hard in his vineyard. The man was a Muslim, and we discussed at the time many things occurring. At the time, fear was rampant among Muslims in the US due to the Guantanamo program. He heard what I did, and told me to be careful, “they can whisk you away and no one will know where you are”! He would not visit our websites or any such thing. Not that we were combatants, we were not. But the fact that he was worried enough to warn me about the US government proved that there was something there.
Today, many years later I know black projects exist. From interviews and discussions of those in the military and what they saw. Some of it off the record, some I have in interviews. To be sure, America has changed and is not the same America I once knew. Maybe I am smarter, maybe..just maybe..America has been this way all along.
Whatever the case, just as there are Rendition flights; it is proven they exist! There was a secretive Camp 7 kept secret for two years! Plus we are still at war with terror. Between the martial law threat in America and what that really means to Americans, I am convinced that camps exist, not the many so called FEMA camps we find as fodder on the net. I am talking about secretive prisons, both underground and above. In the US and in foreign nations.
If you have information on any of this contact us:
CIA black sites, Rendition, and Guantanamo Bay -Secretive US Prisons
A Commentary in the Writers Pulse by Dana Glenn Smith
“Life Expression in it’s simplest form is simply life in words”
Dana Smith has written three books, and numerous E-books. He has written articles, and published well over 10,000 articles in over 18 years on the WIBR/WARN sites.
Visit our website: www.danaglennsmith.com
*All definitions come from the ICRC website and its page defining Relevance of IHL in the context of Terrorism
**Tarek Dergoul has only one arm. The other arm (his left) was amputated above the elbow after he sustained shrapnel wounds in an air-raid on the house in which he had been staying in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. One of his big toes was also amputated because of an infection following frostbite
***Statement of Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed, “Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay,” released publicly on August 4, 2004, para. 63,65 available online at: http://www.ccrny.org/v2/reports/docs/Gitmo-compositestatementFINAL23july04.pdf, accessed on August 19, 2004. 23 Ibid., para. 76.
****Don’t miss the download of the Gitmo testimonies at the end of the article above