- Polling Issues
Rendition & torture

After 9/11, the White House authorized the CIA to engage in a program of extraordinary rendition - or the transfer without due process - of suspected terrorists to foreign governments for the purpose of detention and interrogation. Once there, detainees were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs). Most Americans assumed these methods consisted of moderate sleep and sensory deprivation or overload, and waterboarding - pouring water over the cloth-covered face of a restrained suspect to simulate drowning. One suspect was waterboarded 183 times while others were held underwater in bathtubs until near death - with doctors standing by to revive them. Some detainees were deprived of sleep for days, kept awake by bright lights and loud music. Others had their arms shackled above their heads or were confined in coffin-size boxes 22 hours a day for days at a time. CIA operatives and military contractors threatened blindfolded suspects with pistols and power drills while threatening their families. EITs resulted in one detainee’s death and serious injuries to others, including broken limbs, psychological problems resulting in self-mutilation and suicide attempts, and the loss of one suspect’s eye.

It is estimated at least 119 people, including at least 26 innocent people, were held by dozens of complicit foreign governments and tortured. The Bush administration claimed these methods uncovered valuable information and saved American lives. However, FBI agents, questioning suspects before contractors assumed jurisdiction, claimed non-coercive methods were much more effective in obtaining actionable intelligence from detainees, who often stopped talking or gave false information when tortured.

The secret rendition and torture program was conducted in places beyond reach of our laws – while the CIA and White House mislead Congress, the National Security Council, Cabinet Secretaries and the American people. Critics lament this program because it totally disregarded the rule of law, yet no official was charged with these crimes. Many believe torture is not who we are as a nation, and that we need to definitively repudiate its use so another President can’t return us to the time when rendition and torture was the official policy of our nation.

Proposed Legislation: H.R.2390 - No Detention without Charge Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2014)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY)

Issue Suggestions

Suggest an important issue not listed in this sub-category (). (Maximum 60 Characters)

Poll Opening Date
July 4, 2022
Poll Closing Date
July 10, 2022

Democracy Rules respects the privacy of your information.