On April 9, The New York Times Scott Shane headlined: “CIA to Close Secret Prisons, Scenes of Harsh Interrogations.” He cites CIA claiming it’ll “decommission the secret overseas prisons (infamous for their) brutal interrogation methods, bringing to a symbolic close the most controversial counterterrorism program of the Bush administration.”
This announcement flies in the face of clear evidence that refutes it. In his confirmation hearings, new CIA director Leon Panetta told senators “extraordinary renditions” will continue, and no-holds barred interrogations remain policy for anyone and in any situations warranting them.
Despite Obama’s pledge to end torture and close Guantanamo, conditions at the prison are unchanged. Further, Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base is undergoing a $60 million expansion to hold 1100 more prisoners, above the 600 now there. Also, other detainees are likely held at any number of the hundreds of US bases globally plus a fleet of at least 17 prison ships – out of sight, anywhere at sea, holding unnamed detainees, and subjecting them to the same harsh and brutal treatment.
Closing Guantanamo, Thai, Polish, and other offshore prisons means moving their detainees elsewhere, not ending the “war on terror” or ways chosen to pursue it. Nothing short of that is acceptable. read
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.