Dossier: An Ounce Of Detention

The United States has detained approximately 70,000 people outside U.S. territory since late 2001 … It's believed that more than 10,000 are still in U.S. custody in various camps and prisons in the United States, Cuba, Iraq, and Afghanistan ... In a May 13, 2004, story, The New York Times reported that the whereabouts of the high-level al-Qaeda detainees were so secret that “one official said he had been told that Mr. Bush had informed the CIA that he did not want to know where they were” … U.S. agents in Abu Ghraib hid numerous detainees from the Red Cross, according to a leaked report by U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba ... These people were referred to as “ghost detainees” ... According to General Paul Kern, who oversaw one of the military investigations into U.S. policies and practices of interrogation and detention, there were “perhaps up to 100” cases of ghost detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq … American forces have operated at least 17 detention facilities in Iraq and 25 in Afghanistan … According to a report by the New York University Law School and the New York City Bar Association on America's “extraordinary rendition program,” 150 people are estimated to have been “rendered” in the last four years … The four most common destinations for rendered suspects are Egypt, Morocco, Syria, and Jordan ... Upon arriving in foreign countries, they often disappear … CIA–chartered or CIA–owned aircraft involved in extraordinary renditions have used British airports at least 210 times since September 11 … Detainees named under President George W. Bush's 2001 Military Order on the Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism can be charged before a “military commission” or detained indefinitely without charge or trial … The Amnesty International report that notes this also comments that “military commissions are executive bodies, not independent or impartial courts … there is no right of appeal against their decisions to any court” … By the end of 2004, 15 detainees were subject to this military order … At least 128 detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were, by mid-September, on their fifth week of a hunger strike ... The Washington Post on September 13 reported that, according to their attorneys, the prisoners have stated that they “truly feel they have nothing left” and will refuse to eat until either the military gives them a fair hearing or they die.