George W. Bush’s floating Abu Ghraibs

This video is called Outlawed: Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Disappearances.

From the human rights organization Reprieve in Britain:

US government must reveal information about prison ships used for “terror suspects”


In June 2005 the UN’s special rapporteur on terrorism spoke of “very, very serious” allegations that the United States was secretly detaining terrorism suspects in various locations around the world, notably aboard prison ships in the Indian Ocean region.

Reprieve, the legal action charity, believes that the US has operated a number of ships as floating prisons (possibly as many as 17), where prisoners have been interrogated under torturous conditions before being rendered to other, often undisclosed locations. Details regarding the operation of prison ships have emerged through a number of sources, including the US military and other administration officials, the Council of Europe, various parliamentary bodies and journalists, as well as the testimonies of prisoners themselves.

See also here. And here. And here. And here.

By Chris Floyd, in the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel in the USA:


Outer Darkness: The Gulag Cancer Grows, State Terror Intensifies

Saturday, 24 May 2008

In any civilized country, these facts would provoke banner headlines, marathon television debates, investigations, prosecutions and widespread public revulsion.


The United States government is holding some 27,000 human beings in secret prisons around the world. The overwhelming majority of them are being held indefinitely, without charges, without rights, cut off from the outside world, and subject to “harsh interrogation techniques” (to use the prim locution for “torture” used by the Bush Administration and universally adopted by the American media).

Many of these captives are stuffed into holding pens in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, which is still in operations despite the momentary torture-photo scandal of 2004 — and despite Bush’s earnest promise to Iraqis to tear down that hated symbol of Saddam’s torture. Other captives are crammed into the holds of prison ships floating around the world. Still others languish in the torture chambers of the Bush Administration’s Terror War allies — despotisms, tyrannies, brutal kingdoms — having been “renditioned” there by American agents, sometimes after being kidnapped, or sold into captivity by bounty hunters, or snatched up in mass sweeps or random grabs or simply for having the wrong name, the wrong face, the wrong color, the wrong religion.

Beyond Guantanamo, a Web of Prisons for Terrorism Inmates. Scott Shane, The New York Times News Service: “It is the other Guantanamo, an archipelago of federal prisons that stretches across the country, hidden away on back roads. Today, it houses far more men convicted in terrorism cases than the shrunken population of the prison in Cuba that has generated so much debate”: here.

CIA prison exposed in Romania: here.

6 thoughts on “George W. Bush’s floating Abu Ghraibs

  1. Administrator on June 3, 2008 at 12:07 am said:

    Jun 2, 5:06 PM EDT

    British group alleges the US used military ships to secretly detain terrorism suspects

    Associated Press Writer

    LONDON (AP) — A British human rights organization claimed Monday that the United States had used military ships to secretly detain and interrogate terrorism suspects. U.S. officials denied using ship as prisons.

    The group Reprieve alleged that high-profile detainees including American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh and Australian Taliban supporter David Hicks were imprisoned on the vessels. Reprieve claims that the United States has used ships stationed off the Somali coast and the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia to detain suspects.

    “The U.S. administration chooses ships to try to keep their misconduct as far as possible from the prying eyes of the media and lawyers,” Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith said.

    The U.S. Navy said that ships have been used to hold a small number of prisoners for short periods, but it denied that vessels were used as long-term floating prisons.

    “We do not operate detention facilities on board Navy ships,” said Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman. “Department of Defense detention facilities are in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.”

    Reprieve said it had based its assessment on evidence from the U.S. military and the Council of Europe, and testimony from a former detainee at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    It declined to publish details on its research Monday, saying it plans to issue a report on the use of prison ships later this year. Reprieve has been representing several prisoners at Guantanamo.

    Stafford Smith claimed that the United States may have used as many as 17 ships as floating prisons. He said the organization believes about 26,000 people are being held by the U.S. in secret prisons – a figure that includes land-based detention centers.

    Reprieve identified the USS Ashland, USS Bataan and USS Peleliu as among ships that have been used as prisons. Gordon said Reprieve’s claims were “inaccurate and misleading.”

    However, Gordon acknowledged that Lindh, who was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 by U.S. forces, was held on board both the USS Bataan and the USS Peleliu until early 2002. He said there were fewer than 10 such detainees.

    He said that Lindh – who in 2002 pleaded guilty to offenses of supplying services to the now-defunct Taliban government – and others had been detained there to allow U.S. officials secure access for interviews away from the battlefield.

    Gordon did not say exactly how long they were detained aboard Navy ships, saying only that they were held for “weeks rather than months.”

    British lawmaker Andrew Tyrie said he has appealed to Britain’s Information Commissioner to force the government to release minutes of military talks that could shed light on the allegations.

    The Foreign Office has previously said that during a meeting with U.S officials, the Americans told the British they were not detaining prisoners on board ships off the coast of Diego Garcia, a remote British outpost that hosts a U.S. military base.

    © 2008 The Associated Press.


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