We're Demanding Answers on U.S. Involvement in Torture at Secret UAE Prison Network

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis meeting with the United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, UAE in February 2017.

This week, thanks to excellent reporting by The Associated Press, we learned of horrific conditions and brutal torture at 18 prisons around Yemen that are run by the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. ally, or by UAE-trained Yemeni officials. What’s more, the U.S. confirmed to the AP that U.S. personnel take part in interrogations in Yemen, submit questions to be asked, and receive videos and transcripts of interrogations.

This has set off alarm bells about possible U.S. complicity in or benefit from the torture of Yemenis in the secret prison network. That’s why today we filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the U.S. government to turn over all records relating to interrogations in Yemen

A senior Yemeni military official stated that the United States had sent authorities a list of “most wanted men” — including many who were later detained. In addition, according to multiple senior Yemeni officials, U.S. officials themselves conducted interrogations of detainees on ships off the coast of Yemen.

U.S. military officials reportedly investigated reports of torture and found that it did not happen in the presence of American personnel. The ACLU’s FOIA request covers the results of any investigations and interrogations, as well as any policies on the U.S. role in detention and interrogation at the sites.

The AP article also said there were reports of some interrogations on a ship at sea with or by people described as American “‘psychological experts.’” On behalf of three victims of the CIA’s former torture program, the ACLU has sued the two psychologists who devised and helped implement that program. The new FOIA request was filed with the CIA as well.

The FOIA request also asks for records relating to U.S. transfers of people for arrest, detention, or interrogation by Yemeni or Emirati personnel, and it also covers records related to U.S. training of Yemeni or Emirati personnel engaged in detention or interrogation.

Relatives and attorneys told The AP that some 2,000 men had been sent to the secret prison network, many never heard from again.

As the United States surely knows from its own shameful history of proxy detention and secret CIA prisons, international law bars not only torture, but also complicity or benefit from torture. If the U.S. knew or should have known its allies were engaged in torture, the last thing it should have done is turn a blind eye.

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Anonymous

I was appalled at the Senate Intelligence Committee's report that the US had engaged in torture techniques under GW Bush, and angered with Obama's unwillingness to pursue it. Now we see the foolishness of having let the Bush Administration off the hook—here we are, involved again. Please don't let anyone off the hook for this one. I was tortured as a child using many of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" in the SIC report. At 57, I'm still not over it. These are human beings, and they may never recover.

Meh

Meh, ok so some white bread Midwest boys poured some water into a towel wrapped around the face of a sand nigger, their words not mine. Dont be fooled, he's backed up by his black nigger and beaner brothers.
"At all costs..." that's the directive, fuck your race! It's your religion that's important!

Anonymous II

Oh and I hate to even speculate why the Obama administration was unwilling to pursue it. Too many people look at Obama thru rose-colored glasses: he is NOT the 'great liberal' he is viewed as by those people. But, given choice of Bush and Obama, or Trump and Obama - I would choose Obama any day. I understand why we were in WWI and WWII but somewhere along the line, perhaps as a result of one or both of those wars, we became devoid of a moral compass. Today, given the big fat pay off Trump just gave to House of Saud I can only wonder how many more atrocities are being committed that has engineered, backed AND financed but uses 'allies' for cover.
'Meh' - the other reply to your post - comments that don't seem to relate specifically to the article but are simply highly offensive. And serve to prove that moral bankruptcy.

Anonymous

MBZ is the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, not the UAE. He is Dep. Sup. Commander of the UAE armed forces.

Diablos Advocate

You need to brush up on your reading skills. The caption says: "Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis meeting with the United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan IN Abu Dhabi, UAE in February 2017. " Since you clearly didn't understand that, let me break it down for you: It doesn't say the Crown Prince is FROM - or (your word) "OF" Abu Dhabi. It says the Crown Prince met Jim Mattis IN Abu Dhabi. He IS identified as the "United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince." Your smug superiority is misplaced.
[And, in the event that 'Anonymous' chooses to edit their comment to contradict my comment, what s/he posted was: "MBZ is the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, not the UAE. ...]

Anonymous

We know, from extensive studies, that the U.S. never gathered any worthwhile (much less, life-saving) intelligence through torture in the Iraq or Afghan conflicts, so now all we're doing is embarrassing our nation in front of the entire world so some guys can feel studly by beating people up. Sounds like a good plan. NOT. Morons. Grow up and get a frigging conscience!

Revenge Peter A...

Which is patently false. It is the BIG LIE continually repeated as gerbil food for those who can only think in sound bites. It is premised on the fact that each detainee gave 100 or so names and nothing else. In homage to Bob Hope's joke about McCarthy discovering 5 million more communists because he had the Moscow telephone directory, they were names without anything else. The intelligence that pieced together who they were, what their roles were and how they were communicating with the high command of the captured Al Qaeda came from interrogation, debriefing and through and creative analysis of the data base. Transferring the terrorists to Guantanamo was a mistake in that we had a terrorist think tank in which to interrogate and debrief. They gave us insight into how they thought, how they thought about us, why they see us as weak, and how they have, are doing and will continue to do to exploit us so that they conquer us. They will get us to defeat ourselves, which is working nicely.

There was no torture performed by our services

Anonymous

Ronald Reagan's Convention Against Torture legally mandates that all signatories, including the United States, investigate and prosecute torture. Reagan also believed cruel treatment should also be prosecuted.

To put this in perspective: Reagan would have supported prosecuting Bush superiors, attorneys, interrogators and prison guards violating this legally binding treaty.

Anonymous

And Obamas, and Clintons.

Avenge Peter Ab...

If they were engaged in torture, which they were not. Next issue.

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