Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Was waterboarding taping also outsourced?

With one new “war on terror” detainee claiming to have his torture videotaped, we have to wonder how many videos are out there.

And, just who all may have them.

First, the story:

The former prisoner who reported seeing cameras, Muhammad Bashmilah of Yemen, was seized by Jordanian intelligence agents in 2003 and turned over to the C.I.A., according to an investigation by Amnesty International, the human rights advocacy organization. He was flown from Jordan to Afghanistan in October 2003 and held there until April 2004, when he was flown by plane and helicopter to a C.I.A. jail in an unidentified country, Amnesty found. Mr. Bashmilah and two other Yemeni men held with him were flown to Yemen in May 2005 and later released.

Note that he was held in an unidentified country. He may have been taken back to Jordan. Maybe Egypt. Maybe one of the Eastern Europe rendition sites.

Since we know about rendition itself, here’s a possibility:

Given that Bashmilah said he was taken to "an undisclosed country" during the time he said he was taped, maybe the CIA had intelligence officials of this country officially do the taping. That would be another way of trying to keep tapes hidden from U.S. oversight.

Maybe Jordanian or Pakistani intelligence, or Egypt's, has whole libraries of torture tapes. Although Bashmilah saw a full setup, maybe yet other detainees had interrogations, ones that included torture, taped on hidden cameras.

And, as TPM Muckraker notes, there may be more tapes that are still in CIA hands.