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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 09:52 AM
Original message
Disappeared In the Name of National Security
Edited on Thu Feb-19-09 09:59 AM by babylonsister
Rendition explained.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mohamed-farag-bashmilah/d...


Mohamed Farag Bashmilah
Posted February 19, 2009 | 10:27 AM (EST)

Disappeared In the Name of National Security


From October 2003 until May 2005, I was illegally detained by the U.S. government and held in CIA-run "black sites" with no contact with the outside world. On May 5, 2005, without explanation, my American captors removed me from my cell and cuffed, hooded, and bundled me onto a plane that delivered me to Sana'a, Yemen. I was transferred into the custody of my own government, which held me -- apparently at the behest of the United States -- until March 27, 2006, when I was finally released, never once having faced any terrorism-related charges. Since my release, the U.S. government has never explained why I was detained and has blocked all attempts to find out more about my detention.

What I do know is that the Jordanian government -- after torturing me for several days -- handed me over to a U.S. "rendition team" in Amman, which then abducted me, forced me onto a plane, and flew me to Afghanistan. During this, and several other transfers between CIA prisons, I was subjected to a brutal and deeply humiliating "preparation" ritual. I was stripped naked, dressed in a diaper, shackled, blindfolded and hooded, and then boarded onto a waiting plane. I was forced into painful positions, often reeling from the blows and kicks of the men who had "prepared" me for flight.

During my detention, I agonized constantly about my family back in Yemen, knowing they had no idea where I was. They never once received information about who had taken me, why I was taken, or even whether I was alive. They were never contacted by the U.S. government or the International Committee of the Red Cross. My mother and wife were in such anguish that they had to be hospitalized for illness, stress, and anxiety. My father passed away while I was disappeared and I am still distraught thinking that he died without knowing whether I was dead or alive. I continue to suffer from bouts of illness that medical doctors attribute to the treatment I experienced in the "black sites." My physical symptoms are made worse by the anxiety caused by never knowing where I was held, and not having any form of acknowledgment that I was disappeared and tortured by the U.S. government.

I believe that acknowledgment is the first step toward accounting for a wrongdoing. The American public needs to face what has happened to those of us who were disappeared and mistreated in the name of their national security, demand accountability for those who committed torture and other crimes, and acknowledge the suffering of those who became victims. Today, a group of concerned Americans called on President Obama to take the first steps to do just that, by demanding that he establish an independent commission of inquiry into the treatment of detainees in the "War on Terror."

President Obama himself recently said that "democracy requires accountability and accountability requires transparency." If he establishes this commission, it would break the silence about what has happened and signal a real commitment not only to changing the practices of the past but also to ensuring that they do not happen again. Both the American public and the victims of these past policies need to understand what the CIA did in the name of U.S. national security. We need to find out where we were all held and who is still missing. And we need justice for the crimes that were committed in violation of our most basic human rights -- rights the United States has always claimed to uphold and defend. President Obama's recent order to the CIA to shut down its secret prisons was a significant step in the right direction, but it did not resolve the unfinished business of establishing accountability and restoring transparency.

The American public deserves to know what was done to people like me -- and I deserve to know why I lost nineteen months of my life -- all in the name of protecting their security. It gives me faith to see that Americans are standing up for my rights and calling for the truth to be exposed. It is my hope that the President will not only establish this commission, but that he will also direct the relevant authorities to investigate and prosecute those who broke American laws in ordering the torture and disappearance of people like me. Truth and justice are not in opposition; both are necessary, and both are the right of all Americans and the victims harmed in their name.


Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, a citizen of Yemen, is a client of the International Human Rights Clinic at NYU School of Law, which represents him in his quest for truth and justice.
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Newspark Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. Secret Rendition
There must be innumberable such detentions, with those
detainees that were abused by this nation's agents
(cia/nsa/homeland security/ice) silenced.
Remeber the indigenous American's plight.  MILLIONS
imprisoned or killed outright.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. welcome to DU Newspark!!
:hi:
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. I've sadly discovered that even many Dems are against demanding their right to open government
Edited on Thu Feb-19-09 10:08 AM by blm
and would prefer the secrets for decades of seriously illegal operations by corrupt officials stay closed so the few powerful Dems also involved throughout that time get to keep their true legacies on these matters protected along with BushInc.

The rest of us Dems need to ramp up our support for opening up these matters to full inspection of the American people so they can better understand what their government does in their name and decide best how they want to proceed.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
3. Pathetic, Tragic and Disgusting... paid for with your tax dollars
:argh:

It needs to stop now.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. more people who have been held will be coming out and telling their stories.
we must hold the Bush regime accountable, or some other country will.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
6. The unasked question
Why was the Bush administration so faithless to the country, its people and its resilience? Was one man or one group of men so powerful that he or they could topple the United States unless they were secretly imprisoned and tortured? I'm so old, I remember a time when the United States publicly denounced regimes that did those things. Now we have presidential advisors writing legal-sounding memoranda from their elevated perches justifying secret imprisonment, torture, and state-sponsored kidnapping. If those aren't the tools of a terrorist regime, then terrorist doesn't have any meaning anymore.
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. These are monstrous crimes, committed in our names.
There must be justice, or we are all complicit in them.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah was just denied justice in US Court on 2-9-09
Edited on Thu Feb-19-09 07:24 PM by chill_wind
So were these men:



* In July 2002, Ethiopian citizen Binyam Mohamed, while in CIA custody, was stripped, blindfolded, shackled, dressed in a tracksuit, strapped to the seat of a plane and flown to Morocco where he was secretly detained for 18 months and interrogated and tortured by Moroccan intelligence services. In January 2004, Mohamed was once again blindfolded, stripped, and shackled by CIA agents and flown to the secret U.S. detention facility known as the "Dark Prison" in Kabul, Afghanistan where he was again tortured and eventually transferred to another facility and then to the U.S. Naval Station at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, where he still remains.

* In May 2002, Italian citizen Abou Elkassim Britel was handcuffed, blindfolded, stripped, dressed in a diaper, chained, and flown by the CIA from Pakistan to Morocco where he was tortured by Moroccan intelligence agents and where he is now incarcerated.

* In December 2001, Egyptian citizen Ahmed Agiza was chained, shackled, and drugged by the CIA and flown from Sweden to Egypt where he was severely abused and tortured and where he still remains imprisoned.

* In October 2003 Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah was taken into custody by the Jordanian General Intelligence Department and tortured and interrogated for days. On the morning of October 26, 2003 he was turned over to agents who beat, kicked, diapered, hooded and handcuffed him before secretly transporting him to the U.S. Air Force base in Bagram, Afghanistan. Bashmilah was finally freed on March 27, 2006, never once having faced any charges related to terrorism.

* In November 2002, Iraqi citizen and long-term British permanent resident Bisher al-Rawi was kidnapped and later secretly flown by the CIA to Kabul, Afghanistan. For two months al-Rawi was imprisoned, interrogated and tortured at two separate CIA facilities in Afghanistan, before being transferred to the U.S. detention facility in Guantnamo Bay, Cuba in February 2003. There, he was imprisoned for more than four years until his release on March 30, 2007. On his release, al-Rawi returned to his home in London where he currently resides freely. No charges have ever been brought against him.



http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/29921res20070530.h...

http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/38695prs20090209.h...


We must keep the pressure on our government and insist that justice must be served.

(link edit)
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-19-09 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. That's why using states secrets as a shield to hide this crap has
to be undone. This statement has to be understood by everyday Americans:The American public needs to face what has happened to those of us who were disappeared and mistreated in the name of their national security, demand accountability for those who committed torture and other crimes, and acknowledge the suffering of those who became victims. Today, a group of concerned Americans called on President Obama to take the first steps to do just that, by demanding that he establish an independent commission of inquiry into the treatment of detainees in the "War on Terror."
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-09 04:02 AM
Response to Original message
10. if this person's name was John Henry Adams rather than Mohamed Farag Bashmilah . . .
I think the media might sit up and take notice . . .

then again, maybe I'm giving them too much credit . . .
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