Mitchell Reports | February 05, 2013
>>> a controversial new report out today charges that the united states government under both presidents bush and president obama has had a policy of renditions. basically allowing us to outsource terror -- torture, rather. not terror. obviously, torture for a suspected terrorist. this report by a nonprofit group alleges that suspects were taken to cia secret prisons and then when those were exposed first by dana priest in the washington post , kept being turned over to foreign countries where they could then be tortured and interrogated. the author of this new report is the senior legal officer for the open society 's justice michigantive, a human rights campaign group. thank you very much. tell us what you think is still going on that the current administration needs to answer for.
>> andrea, i think the short answer is we don't know what's going on. in january of 2009 president obama issued an executive order specifically disavvoying torture and closing detention sites. the problem is he did not specifically repudiate rendition. a task force that was specifically set up by that executive order to review interrogation and transfer policy issued a report in august of 2009 , but that report continues to be withheld today. so we don't know what the official policies and practices are with respect to rendition. the other problem is that we don't know what, if any, plans there are to insure that there is going to be a accountability and further transparency with respect to these issues.
>> the policy you're describing is the extraordinary renditions . you're not talking about legally due process , return of guantanamo prisoners to host countries. you're not talking about extradition processes. you're talking about grabbing, snatching a suspect and then delivering that person to syria or to egypt, those leaders are no longer there or no longer those regimes no longer in full control, but to countries where they were then interrogated with technical feeks that had been disavoyed or illegal by the u.s.
>> i'm talking about the rendition which means the transfer without legal process of a detainee to another government for purposes of detention and interrogation, and under the bush administration we know that spawned basically an enormous amount of torture in the custody of governments like egypt, syria , jordan, and so on. we don't know what the policies of the current government are.
>> i know that i was involved in the case of a canadian sit sfwlen who was grabbed at j.f.k. and brought to syria . it's extraordinary when we think about it now. turned over to the assad government to be "interrogated." with the cooperation of the u.s. government , led to a famous lawsuit and a lot of problems and questions in the canadian parliament as well. how much of this do you think is still going on? what is your investigation showing?
>> well, our investigation shows that 54 governments were complicity during the bush administration 's cia, secret detention and extraordinary ren dick program. the fact that 54 governments were complicity and 126 individuals were specifically documented in this report just calls into question what are the policies of the current administration? we don't know. those still remain secret. those need to be disclosed to the public. the task force report needs to be disclosed. the senate select committee on intelligence report immediate to be disclosed. all of these issues must be up for public review and debate.
>> what questions would you want to hear the senate ask of john brennan when he comes before the senate intelligence committee for confirmation hearings on thursday afternoon?
>> well, it's very interesting. john brennan in december of 2005 specifically said that he was intimately familiar with cases of rendition, and specifically said that it was an absolutely vital tool in combatting terrorism. i think the obvious question to john brennan is what did he mean by those statements? what policies would he put in place now, and what is he going to do to insure that there needs -- that there is continuing transparency with respect to these issues so the public can comment?
>> thank you very much. thanks for being with us. sfwlimplgts