16.12.06

Bush's CIA and their war-crimes: Rendition through Italy for purposes of out-sourcing Torture in violation of International Law

Testimony Helps Detail CIA's Post-9/11 Reach - washingtonpost.com:

All told, the U.S. agency took part in the seizure of at least 10 European citizens or legal immigrants, some of them from countries not cited in that list of 'dangerous people' received by the Italian spies. Four renditions occurred on European soil: in Sweden, Macedonia and Italy. Six operations targeted people who were traveling abroad or who had been captured in Pakistan; European intelligence agencies provided direct assistance to the CIA in at least five of those cases, records show.

Each prisoner was then secretly handed over to intelligence services in the Middle East or Africa with histories of human rights abuses. Some remain imprisoned in those countries; others have been taken to the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One man was later released after being taken from the Balkans to Afghanistan, the victim of an apparent case of mistaken identity.

In the early stages, the CIA had prepared even more ambitious plans, according to the depositions from the Italian intelligence officials, who testified last summer during a criminal investigation into a CIA-sponsored kidnapping of a radical Islamic cleric in Milan.

For example, Pignero said in his deposition that the CIA's Rome station chief had offered in 2002 to abduct a fugitive leader of the Red Brigades -- a Marxist network blamed for dozens of assassinations in Italy -- who had found refuge in South America. 'The Americans would capture him and turn him over to us, and we in return would have to 'extradite' him to Italy without any legal proceedings,' Pignero said.

In exchange, the CIA wanted help in abducting Islamic radicals living in the Italian cities of Turin, Vercelli and Naples, Pignero said. Italian intelligence officials rejected the offer, he added, because it was 'contrary to international laws.'

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