The Ghosts of Torture
New attorney general twists the rule of law to which he is 'deeply committed'
by Nat Hentoff
On December 22, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, whose reports on the administration's abuses of civil liberties since 9-11 have been invaluable, wrote a letter to Alberto Gonzales before his Senate confirmation hearing on certain legal issues that arose during his tenure in that office.
One of these concerned "extraordinary renditions," the procedure by which noncitizen prisoners whom the CIA and other agencies can't get to talk are sent to be interrogated in other countries known to engage in torture. Dana Priest's brilliant investigative reporting on the airplane that transports these hard cases ran in the December 27 Washington Post. Titled "Jet Is an Open Secret in Terror War," it begins:
"The airplane is a Gulfstream V turbojet, the sort favored by CEOs and celebrities. But since 2001, it has been seen at military airports from Pakistan to Indonesia to Jordan, sometimes being boarded by hooded and handcuffed passengers."