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Extraordinary Rendition
Video and Synopsis




Read Stephen Grey's Washington Post online chat from Wednesday, November 7, 2007, where he discusses his story, "Extraordinary Rendition."

In a crowded city in northern Egypt, FRONTLINE/World investigative reporter Stephen Grey tracks down a man who was once one of the CIA’s “ghost prisoners.” The bulky, bearded man he finds is Abu Omar al-Masri, an Egyptian cleric who had moved to Milan, Italy.

“I was kidnapped on the 17th February, 2003,” he tells Grey. “Then I disappeared from history.”

Abu Omar had been preaching at a mosque in Milan. The Italian police began to suspect that he was recruiting young Muslims to wage jihad against Americans. The CIA put him under surveillance, believing he was plotting a bomb attack on a school bus of American children. One day, CIA agents suddenly snatched him off the streets of Milan and loaded him on to a secret Gulfstream jet. The next thing he knew, he was back in Egypt, where he says he was interrogated and tortured.

“They started to beat me,” says Abu Omar, “with their fists, with sticks, with truncheons.”

Abu Omar says his torture lasted 14 months; the worst of it taking place at the secret police headquarters in Cairo. To date, more than 60 prisoners are believed to have been sent there by the United States.

This is the dark story of “extraordinary rendition,” says Grey, a secret program in which the United States captures terror suspects around the world and flies them to countries like Egypt, Syria or Morocco, where, critics say, torture is routine.

“We cannot deny that there could be some excesses, some acts of cruelty by security officers,” Egyptian General Ahmad Omar tells Grey. But he denies that torture is state policy and he insists that Egyptian and U.S. intelligence agencies are justified in taking action against those suspected of terrorist activities.

Now released from jail, Abu Omar maintains his innocence, saying he’s willing to defend himself in court if the Egyptians or the Americans ever charge him with a crime. Guilty or not, Abu Omar and his rendition have become a disaster for the CIA. Italian police investigating the case were able to identify the CIA agents involved. They are set to go on trial, in absentia, on charges of conspiracy to kidnap -- a rare and politically embarrassing instance of a U.S. ally in Europe trying CIA agents in court.

For the last four years, Stephen Grey has been investigating stories of extraordinary rendition like Abu Omar’s. The Bush administration hasn’t spoken about Abu Omar, but under increasing pressure to reveal information about terror suspects apprehended and jailed secretly, they’ve officially acknowledged dozens of cases like his. They claim that when they send terror suspects to other countries, they get assurances they won’t be tortured, but even former CIA officials admit those claims are worthless.

“You can say we asked them not to do it, but you have to be honest with yourself and say there’s no way we can guarantee they are going to do that,” says Tyler Drumheller, who ran CIA operations in Europe at the time Abu Omar was kidnapped and “rendered” to Egypt. “Once you turn them over you have no control over that.”

Drumheller had mixed feelings about renditions abroad, but he was even more concerned about a plan put forward after 9/11 for the CIA to hold prisoners themselves in secret jails.

“We are an intelligence service, an espionage service,” insists Drumheller. “Not jailers, not a policeman, not interrogators. We debrief people; we don’t interrogate them. Everything that the military didn’t want to do or felt uncomfortable doing ended up in the lap of the CIA.”

After the war began in Afghanistan in 2002, the CIA set up its first secret jails or “black sites.” One of them, located just outside Kabul, was known as the “dark prison.”

“The dark prison was run by the Americans,” a former inmate, Bisher al-Rawi, tells Grey. “It wasn’t Afghani people flying the aircraft, it wasn’t Afghani people who sort of shackled me and did whatever they did to me. It was Americans.”

Bisher al-Rawi is an Iraqi-born British resident, who once acted as a messenger between an al Qaeda suspects in London and British intelligence. In 2002, while he was on a business trip to Gambia in West Africa, the CIA had al-Rawi and several colleagues arrested. Bound, gagged and hooded by American agents, al-Rawi was drugged and put on a plane to Afghanistan.

Transferred to the “dark prison,” al-Rawi says he was confined to a cell where, “You can’t see the end of your nose” and where he was subjected to continuous eerie music.

Eventually, he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay, where he spent four years before being released without charge in early 2007. Al-Rawi believes he was held, like many others, just on the hope he’d offer new intelligence.

The “dark prison” in Afghanistan was one of the first CIA “black sites,” but not the last.

By early 2003, the United States was negotiating secret agreements with governments in Eastern Europe to set up black sites on their territory. A report this summer by the Council of Europe declared it had proof of two CIA black sites, one on the east coast of Romania, the other at an airbase in Poland.

“Methods of interrogation were ‘enhanced’, which is a euphemism.  It’s totally unacceptable,” says Dick Marty who led the European investigation of the CIA black sites. “There was waterboarding, when you pretend to drown someone, and you only stop when he’s unable to breathe. Sleep deprivation, bright lights, loud noise. These are all methods of torture.” 

The CIA went to great lengths to cover up evidence of the flights that brought men to the Polish black site, but Grey obtains the flight plan of a Gulfstream jet that left three passengers there, including, it appears, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9-11 attacks.

The problem for the CIA was what to do with such prisoners in the long term, since they were being detained outside the U.S. legal system. Under pressure, President Bush announced in September 2006 that the CIA black sites were finally being emptied.

The plan was to bring the al Qaeda prisoners before military tribunals, but their prosecutions may be compromised because they were held for years in CIA secret prisons and subjected to interrogations using extreme techniques.

“We really have created a mess here, a terrible mess,” says Lawrence Wilkerson, who served in the U.S. State Department during the Bush administration. “For the people who are involved in it.  For the legal system that will have to sort it out, under a new president.  For the country.  For our reputation.  For our prestige around the world.  This has been incredibly damaging.”

New questions about the future of extraordinary rendition have now surfaced a world away in East Africa. Grey travels to Mombasa, Kenya, a Muslim city on the Indian Ocean to chase down a rumor of a rendition that took place earlier this year.

This is also the region where al Qaeda declared war on America in 1998 with simultaneous bombings on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 200 people, mostly Africans. The man accused of coordinating the attacks, Fazul Abdullah, alias Harun, has never been caught.

Fazul was said to be hiding in Somalia. Last December, when Ethiopia moved its army into Somalia, the United States went after him, launching bombing raids against the country’s suspected al Qaeda hideouts. Thousands fled for the Kenyan border. Some were picked up in a dragnet by the Kenyan anti-terrorist police and disappeared without a trace.

Outraged Muslims in Mombasa began to protest and a Kenyan human rights lawyer took up the cause. The activist, Alamin Kimathi, shows Grey a flight manifest he obtained as part of the court case. It is rare documentary evidence of an extraordinary rendition. The Kenyans had taken a page out the CIA’s handbook. Eighty-five people, including 11 children, had been put on the planes. The passenger list includes Fazul Abdullah’s wife and daughters.

Kimathi tells Grey he believes the wife and children were “hostages…pure and simple,” detained in an effort to “smoke out” Fazul Abdullah. The tactic did not work.

A former FBI agent involved in anti-terrorist work, Jack Cloonan, says he believes the Kenyans would not have acted without the knowledge and support of the U.S. “It would be naïve frankly in this day and age to think that the FBI or the CIA, primarily the CIA, is not witting of what's going on. In point of fact I’d suggest to you that they probably were witting and they were the power brokers behind the scenes pushing this forward.”

The prisoners were “rendered” on a Kenyan plane to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a U.S. ally, which has its own conflicts with neighboring Muslim countries.

Grey believes this could be an indication of a new way in which renditions are being carried out by third countries, while U.S. officials remain in the shadows.

“It’s disappointing,” says former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan.  “The thing that you saw in Africa, where people are being held incommunicado and have no legal representation and potentially abused, is unacceptable. You're setting up yourself for revenge by al Qaeda and other Islamists.”

This fall, President Bush was forced once more to defend rendition and secret detention. “I have put this program in place for a reason,” Bush told reporters. “When we find somebody who may have information regarding a potential attack on America, you bet we're going to detain them, and you bet we're going to question them.”

Despite criticism of “extraordinary renditions” by many CIA insiders, the president has now signed a new executive order that clears the way, once again, for the CIA to interrogate terrorist suspects in secret black sites.

share your reactions

Seattle, WA
I am ashamed. It is true, our country has failed us. I pray for forgiveness and justice. These are crimes that can not be forgiven. Thanks for the extraordinary reporting. You are the last bastion of Journalism. The leadership of this country will have to answer to the people of this country and to the world.

Shea Battlier
Billings, Montana

First of all, I didn't read all of the other opinions, so if I'm being repetitive,I'm sorry. I have read tons of info on the things Bush and Cheney have authorized to extract information from "detainees" and am not surprised at the lengths our govt will go to. The thing that gets to me is that so many of the people in this country are oblivious to it.

Why can't the interrogaters use more humane methods like the use of meds that often get secrets deeply buried? I was given such a med prior to one of my many ortho surgeries and I was telling things I thought I would take to the grave.

Nothing Bush, Cheney, or the CIA do surprises me. Horrifies me , yes, but I truly believe our executive branch for the past 8 years has been corrrupt beyond belief. What's worse I think we are only scratching the surface of what is a fact that many American's refuse to believe--because we like to think of ourselves as "the good guys". And some of the things the current President and vice-President have done in the name of America are pretty awful. Maybe the Democrats can deodorize some of the stench of the last 8 years.

R Keith Gargus
coatesville, pa

A friend who is retired, but once in upper level intelligence said: "Torture is useful for getting someone to sign a confession, but not for making one." There is no gain from torture worth the psychic damage to the soul of our country. Bushs' legacy will be torture and the shattering of America's self-image.

Krzysztof Matejkowski
NY, NY

Thank you for this information. As an Iraqi combat veteran I have often wondered what happened to the people we captured. All this talk about fighting for freedom and justice means nothing if we are unwilling to share it.

Quentin
Goleta, CA

There are two major concerns with this piece:
(1) The moral question about the legitimacy of torture.

(2) The general question of the rule of law.

Most of the detractors of this piece really only argue against (1). Yes, it may be true that there are horrible terrorists out there who may deserve to be tortured (although I think this is questionable in MANY ways, I'll grant it). It does not follow that the government can obviate the rule of law, especially that elicited in the Constitution, which clearly states that "cruel and unusual punishments [shall not be] inflicted". Furthermore, President Bush has stated "we don't torture", suggesting that he would not endorse torture even if it were legal.

If you want to deal with (2), you should support a constitutional amendment that says "we can torture people who we deem a threat to our security". Until then, saying "we should torture regardless of law" is tantamount to saying "we should not have law".

Of course, if you want to legalize torture, good luck getting it passed (sorry, but you're in the minority), and good luck getting approval on the global scale.

Stuart Wells
Oxford, UK

How the mighty are fallen. We should remind ourselves of the Rome Statute's definition of a Crime against Humanity: "[Crimes against Humanity] are particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy. " Let us stop quibling over the terminology of torture. Extraordinary rendition has become a US sponsored crime against humanity. Shame on you.

John Self
Dallas, Texas

We are a nation of laws, rights and freedoms. The notion that anything goes to protect our nation ignores the fact that we do not need to run wild to protect our beloved country. In fact, we now know that torture is a notoriously bad way of getting good information from suspected terrorists. In fact, we had good information and our incompetent President ignored it. We need to remember our values and stop this insane practice of believing only that which fits neatly into a FOX News (GOP) sound bite. Reality and Sean Hanity are two words that should never be used in the same sentence.

Roger Cox
Spartanburg, SC

My reaction? 1) Utter contempt for George Bush
2) Disgust with the rest of our government to allow rendition to continue
3) Shame to be a citizen of this country

Charleston
I believe that this is perfectly acceptable. If one terrorist has to be tortured in order to avoid another 9/11 or a school bus full of innocent American children being blown up, I say do it! These people are crazy, they want blood! We have to attempt to stop them in some way.

Berlin
Sometimes I get so angry about what's going on in the USA! You guys in the USA are so easy to manipulate!
It is said that the Caucasian crisis is a product of the Republicans again to influence the elections. Was this ever an issue in the news /in the USA?
This should be tracked and shown.

The USA caused so much suffering in many countries in the name of democracy (what democracy???) pardon in the name of the holy oil.

For me Mr Bush is a war criminal!!!
In Europe we hunt war criminals like Karadzic and send them to jail.
But for the Americans coming from a Land with unlimited opportunities everything seems possible.
After the election in November 2008 there will be a new President and Mr. Bush will get away with everything.
Europe makes a lot of mistakes and many countries are ruled by bad boys but what the USA presumes to do is not acceptable.
Sorry for my English!
N. from Europe

toeg
Los Angeles, California

Yep,America is nothing more than a terrorist state. The people here have spoken. Al Qaeda was started by the CIA and the ISI. Osama was paid directly by both. The mujahideen were organized, funded and directed by the CIA.
And now Americans simply wash their hands of what they themselves created. The hypocritical attitude of Americans today shames this nation before its forefathers and the world. The US gives birth to terrorism, then complains that it exists. Our forefathers would be ashamed of everyone here.

(anonymous)
this is what america means for the world: torture.

(anonymous)
Wonderful and long-live Frontline. Thanks to the reporter and the people like you remains the heroes. For America, being the superpower and having the latest technology and allies over every where.... it is really shameful that they can't prove a single real detainee. And unbelievable that the CIA is just picking innocent peoples without confirmation and putting them behind the bars.

Security should just be for Americans? What about the rest of world?
But I am sure they are just degrading the American society as this is not the fault of normal American but fault of policy makers. Shame. Is this democracy?
Can they show their own real pictures to their own society? Is power everything?


Patrick NOYB
Somewhere, NJ

1) Torture as a policy is bad.

2) Torture as an exception to policy in time of emergency is NOT bad... with oversight.

3) Anyone who believes nations have not engaged in torture since... well, since the begining of written history and before, is fooling himself.

4) Anyone who believes that nations of laws can fully overcome the evil of nations and NGOs without the constraints of law without lowering themselves to some degree are unrealistic in the extreme.

5) The applicaiton of conventional or even peacetime political morals to any aspect of this ongoing global conflict is absurd, as it has always been absurd during any period of national or religious conflict. This 'war' is one of religion, economics, and politics all confusingly mixed up and barely understood by the public as well as most of the politicians and educators/pundits. But no matter your position or understanding, it is folly for one to try and assign the moral limits and structure to this conflict as is being attempted by a liberalized Europe and US; doing so achieves nothing, is utterly pointless in the face of the reality of the situation, and if anything hurts the side you might claim while potentially dragging out this conflict and extending it to the vast misery of the world.

Tom Ward
Walhalla, SC

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Patty Mancuso
Portland, Oregon

I watched the movie "Rendition" last night and had to leave the room several times. My main reaction was shame and disbelief that I live under a government that routinely employs such horror. I remember news coverage that discussed the discovery of "black prisons" after the Bush administration had denied their existence and then it seems the story just faded from the public eye. Does the government control the media? Why are we (I) not protesting in the streets? How does can my country allow this to continue?

Tampa, FL
Reality is that Al Qaeda and it's associated radical islamic terror network is not a band of organized criminals. We can't throw indictments at them and stop another 9/11. If mistakes or abuses have occurred in using the rendition power, then the system (including congresional oversight) must be fixed as we learn from our mistakes. If individuals abused the authority, they must be held accountable.

But as distasteful as rendition may be to any legal scholar, it is a necessary tool to fight an army which has no country, wears no uniform and which has declared war against our nation and our way of life.

Improve the process yes, absolutely. But throwing out the baby with the bath water and going back to throwing indictments at the terrorists is stupid and naive.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq based on Al Qaeda links is intellectually indefensible. Tens of thousands (or perhaps more) innocent people died as a result. Yet the majority of the few Americans who actually vote chose to re-elect the administration who took the disasterous and stupid decision to invade Iraq.

Thus, instead of focusing on a few reported mistakes in rendition authority which have reportedly denied a handful of innocent people their freedom, why don't the people complaining here get outraged about the tens of thousands of innocent people who lost their lives in the Iraq War based on a big lie?

(anonymous)
Many people feel pride in saying the pledge of allegiance. If we wish to continue the policies of torture, rendition, and indefinite detention, it's time to replace the pledge of allegiance to read: "with liberty and justice for the favored."

"Liberty and justice for all" means just that: justice for everyone including the worst human beings to walk the earth. For crying out loud we did it for the Nazi's (the Nuremburg war crimes trials) why can't we do it now?

Harry Lee
London

The documentary has one fundamental and hence fatal flaw, the entire piece of "journalism" is void of the context environment of war and uses a civilian/peace-time mindset in advancing a biased argument that in this war, we have to be civil and compassionate to our enemies. Even a novice journalist can appreciate the basic fact that war means killing your enemy and yes, it also includes those who form a part of it's support structure or/and even those who are symphatetic to their cause/s, which would most probably include, killing me and my loved ones.

America went to war on the 7th of December 1941 because of the attack on Pearl Habour where less than 3000 Americans were murdered. In total, more than 3000 Americans were killed on 9/11 and almost all of them were innocent civilians, so for some unexplained reason we're supposed to be nice, legal and civil to terrorists who booby-traps the remains of our men/women in uniform which they murder instantly upon capture. Rendition and waterboarding are a walk in the park in comparison....

san jose, Ca.
"Peaceful men sleep safe in their beds because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on their behalf" -George Orwell

Cramer T
Los Angeles, CA

Another eye opening investigation. Frontline provides a forum for which those of us who seek the truth can discuss openly the true issues of our time. Without the veil being lifted from the early malaise of the 21st century, we cannot identify the ways that the complex issues that face this world are being played out. The current policies of this Administration are incubating the very problem they claim to be fighting. The military industrial complex is a slow churning machine and I, for one, cannot see the end.

Dallas, Texas
While I feel it is necessary to go after defined, well-known members of al Qaeda, such as Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, there are limits and boundaries that need to be observed. I feel that no one who was not previously determined before capture as a wanted target should under any circumstances be imprisoned. The torture of what are seemingly random, and mostly innocent people who before capture were never heard of, is completely unacceptable. The United States government should own up to its mistakes, not justify them. The so-called "black sites" are completely unnecessary and wholly inhumane. What real information, if any, has any of the black sites obtained? It is brutality without point or reason. If a high-value target such as Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was found and captured, the military would have no problem in declaring who they had captured, and when, how and where they are detaining him. Yet, dozens of seemingly unheard of persons have been held, and are continued to be held, under the tightest secrecy. The United States government claims it is protecting America, but how can it call these acts protection when most of the people seized aren't even known terrorists? What are they protecting us from? It's time our Intelligence Agency actually used intelligence before capturing and interrogating persons. I see no problem in our government tracking down named and known terrorists, but President Bush is going to be hard pressed to convince me of the legitimacy of the disappearance of a dozen children.

(anonymous)
I started this video with an open mind and a neutral stance. I gathered the information about the secret kidnappings and tortures, while weighing the results. But when the extremist from Kenya stated "when the American's are slaughtered, I'll be happy," all the uneasiness about capturing these suspected terrorists disappeared for me.

The thing about the fight against terrorism is that it's not a conventional war. There is no designated nationality or country that you are going to fight against; so conventional war strategies of public capture and detention should change according to this. It frustrates the heck out of me when people accuse the government of being too harsh, or inhumane to the suspected terrorists. If we lived on the battlefield and saw firsthand the cowardly and brutal tactics of terrorists, then I can say with the utmost certainty that we would stop our whining and encourage these tactics of "Extraordinary Rendition." When a terrorist starts planning bombing attacks and shouts that they will destroy all American people, they just signed their death warrant.

(anonymous)
The Egypt Extraordinary Rendition video shows us a dark side to U.S. intelligence. It is clear that America has not been completely straightforward on the way that we treat all of our prisoners. However, in there defense, we are at war and the momentary suffering of one could lead to the salvation of thousands of American lives. We must maintain a code of ethics while tracking down these terrorists but still not be afraid to intimidate them into revealing information. Perhaps it's best if the dirty underworld of the CIA goes unreported because their sketchy practices are no doubt saving our shores.

Richard Saunders
New York, New York

Terrorism is not only a challenge to America's safety and security, but it also is a challenge to her integrity. America should be not in the business of trampling people's civil rights at home or abroad. This film raises some very important questions about 'the war on terror.'

Adrian Ward
Memphis, Tennessee

If the United States is going to continue the black sites the CIA should make sure the person/s they kidnap are terrorist, without doubt, and with absolute proof. Otherwise, the black sites should be discontinued.

ET Anderson
Kent, Washington

The radical Muslims hate us in part because of the great freedom we enjoy. So far, our reactions to the 9/11 attacks have been to curtail that freedom, both at home and abroad. We are letting the terrorists win when we sink to their level.The United States must be totally beyond reproach if it wishes to ever win the public relations front in this war on terrorism, and glorious euphemisms like "extraordinary rendition" bring us no closer to that end.

Many posters here have talked of the trampling the US Constitution has received, but even more egregious is our treatment of the Declaration of Independence. Whatever happened to "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that ALL MEN are created equal..." Not Americans, not our allies, not whites, not blacks, ALL MEN! Even if we disagree with them.

(anonymous)
I'm doing a project on this for my class for school. I had heard bits and pieces of the types of going on, but I never realized how serious this is. I am disgusted with certain members of our government and would like to applaud the media that seeks to unveil the truth rather than succumb to the corporation pressure.

Brian
Katy, TX

If we do not allow the CIA to operate in this manner then how? We often speak of how the CIA should not do this and not do that because it's wrong. Then do you know of a proper way to handle a terror suspect? I am all for human rights but I will not tie the hands of the people who protect me and my family.

(anonymous)
bush and his rich friends are only interested in the billions they are trying to make from iraqs vast oil supplies,the rendition programme was probably put in place to show america and the rest of the world they were taking a stand .but now after grabbing the tiger by the tail they just dont know how to let go.in all this sorry mess my heart goes out to the people of iraq and afghanistan who are just dropping like flies.i havent met one man in the world who wants a war,exept the politicians[of course].maybe we could put all the politicians of the world on an island and let them fight it out there while the rest of us can hopefully live in peace together.

Salt Lake, UT
To torture is vile and should not be condoned in any way on American citizens. State instituted violence on its own people should be guarded against with vigilance. These are not American citizens however, they have zero comprehension of American values, and this is not American jurisprudence. If it did not work it would not be used. If valuable information was not gathered the program would be abolished....

(anonymous)
Ben from Beverly Hills is so off base with his comments. He's assuming that we are "at war" with terrorists, but you can't really be at war with a group that has no government, no authority. Also, torture is an ineffective way to get good information. I wonder if anything they've learned in these prisons has actually been useful. What a waste of money and lives.

(anonymous)
This program like most of Frontline productions have been very informative.I wonder how we are going to repair the damage we have done? Needless to say we need to change our whole approach to foreign relations. I am afraid it has now gone too far to ever recover. If we want to stop evil in the world we need to stop our evil ways.

(anonymous)
I don't care if it is a Democratic or Republican president who engages in such illegal and immoral behavior. The point is that we should be above 'disappearing' people and torture. I am saddened to see so many here defending these practices. I understand you are scared, but try to use some common sense, and remember why the US is great.

The US is not great because we act like terrorists or torturers.

If we do such things, we are no better then them.

Santa fe, NM
If torture doesn't bring us reliable information --then what is the message of torture ? The message is this: live in fear since our government has fully transgressed all human rights and has decended into a dictatorial state, in which no human shall be safe nor free.

Santa fe, NM
If torture doesn't bring us reliable information --then what is the message of torture ? The message is this: live in fear since our government has fully transgressed all human rights and has decended into a facist dictatorial state, in which no human shall be safe nor free.

Michael Lofrano
Wilmington, NC

I am willing to believe with some reservation that the process of rendition as you reported it is a dark and nefarious business. With equal reservation, I may even believe that those interrogated were not the subject of mistaken identity or personal history. In other words, I am willing to believe you made the best professional effort at reporting the facts. Why is it though that you found no need or occasion to report any benefits of the rendition program? Did your journalistic efforts meet with total frustration in this regard, or was it that there was no effort made at all?

(anonymous)
A couple of crazy people with box cutters fly planes into two buildings (strangely causing three buildings to totally collapse) and, admittedly, kill a lot of people, and we are ready to throw the US Constitution in the trash. Personally, I feel the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the world is the Bush administration. Bush and Cheney have used the victims of 9/11 to justify even greater crimes against humanity than Osama ever dreamed of.
The fact that neither the Democratic or Republican Presidential candidates are speaking about this administration's abuses of power means they are all looking forward to giving us more of the same. They are looking forward to becoming an all powerful president who is above the law and is accountable to no one. This is why we need to impeach Bush and Cheney to avoid future abuses of power by future presidents.

Al Zwikker
Woodstock, Ontario

May I suggest that all the people that laud the rendition program be sent off to the dungeons of Syria,tortured for a year,then freed. When sufficiently recovered from the ordeal ask them if they still support rendition.

Keith Gargus
Coatesville, pa

Shameful. Torture does one thing only. It is a symbol of power to a tyrant. George Bush joins Pinochet and other despots in perfidy and bringing shame and sorrow to their citizens.

rob j.
windsor, nj

This is the first Frontline documentary I couldn't stand watching till the end - a dangerous liberal view that undermines the US' defense policies and serves as a proof to Islamic radicals that they can win the war - they have obviously already infiltrated the US and now are winning the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans. Yes, torture in an ideal world is wrong, but comparing the US to terrorist or giving morality as a reason for not detaining and interrogating terrorist suspects is a bit naive.I'm sure the US has done a lot of harm to other (not only Muslim) countries through its failed foreign policies but such has a little to do with what motivates Islamic extremists. They are, however, quite willing to use these blunders (along with this type of one-sided documentary) readily in their propaganda. Those of you who are ashamed to be Americans should perhaps try to understand what really motivates the hate and attacks - again, the US is only one of few the recent target, how about Sudan, Somalia, the Philippines, or any other country where Muslims are committing acts of violence or even genocide?

Also, are we absolutely certain that these detainees were tortured and are innocent as they claim or we simply take their word for it? I'm sure that any inmate who's sitting on a death row in any US' jail will claim his/hers innocence as well, especially in front of a liberal interviewee.

(anonymous)
I thought this report was extremely well done, informative, and disturbing. I showed parts it to my MIDDLE SCHOOL students. Interestingly, they were able to identify that it showed both sides of the issue AND they were able to formulate their own opinions (separate from mine) about the practice and support them with examples from the film. I wish that some of the adults who responded were able to do the same and express their ideas intelligently.

Andrew Simon
Manasquan, New Jersey

I'm all for control along with checks and balances on government policing. However our terrorist/ fanatical enemies are looking for any weaknesses in our system to exploit. Apprehended suspects won't answer to polite questioning. Torture is terrible, "harsh questioning" may approach it. However if harsh questioning of a few credible suspects saves millions of lives- OK with me!

Ed LaFrance
Sebastopol, Ca

I am deeply indebted to Frontline. I use your series consistently in my college classrooms. You are the only media source trustworthy to present the truth without corporate influence. Rendition was extraordinary. Please continue the great work. I PURCHASE your videos. I recently used the "Persuaders," and will, next week, use "The Way The Music Died."Bravo! Frontline. Ed Murrow would be proud.

(anonymous)

Desi Jnk
Pune, India

Thanks to the internet and Thanks to Frontline.... One more in-depth and factual story.

Is this what America is all about -- Safety and Security to the Americans and abuse, detention and in-justice to the rest of world?

And to people who have commented on the posting supporting the acts of the government, please wake up.

Robert Ali
Las Vegas, Nevada

Your report is disturbing. These people are not saints. But we should not allow this to happen. Disregarding the law for any circumstances is dangerous because our own troops could be on the other end of the stick. This will come back to haunt us like other governments that condoned and participated in torture. If the founding fathers knew they would turn over in their graves.

Crystal Elinski
pORTLAND, OR

Wow. This feedback is so telling of where we are as Americans...

For me, this documentary illustrates the grand scheme of things. I am constantly alarmed by the sheer amount of information I run across on a day-to-day basis that reveals how corrupt our government is, and how much faster we inch toward fascism... Is the insanity becoming mundane and commonplace or is my sanity being protected by the numbness?

It is the viewers comments, however, that worry me and show just hard it will be to overcome this trend. I wonder how it is that the average American doesn't have access to the facts. When they do manage to find alternative media sources (and I don't deride them: it is hard, but once you find it, it's also hard to stop), many would rather fight the urge to plunge deeper into self-education to discover the truth in how this is all connected. After all, their disbelief and mine must ultimately be the same thing, approached from different directions.

I look forward to the day we get there, but I hope we don't have to carry it out in a path of destruction.

p.s. Another illustration of how this is all connected: [the documentary reports] "airlines in Kenya were paid in cash...they feared they'd lose their operating license if they didn't comply [with orders to carry out renditions]" Sound familar? AT&T and Verizon say the same about the NSA warrantless wiretapping and the Senate Judiciary Committee decides today on whether to give them {and, by token, the government) immunity....

Chris Jackson
Fresno, CA

Those of you who spout the right-wing rhetoric of "free isn't free", "we need to fight them there", "war isn't pretty" (first of all, it's an occupation, and we were LIED into it), "we're #1, so everyone else can shut up", "the forces of evil", "they're fanatics who will blow up our kids in malls" are sadly whipped into submission by fear-mongering by the Bush Administration who wouldn't hesitate in the least to turn around and do extraordinary rendition on your respective asses. Though plenty of you had a lot of name-calling and bad grammar to throw around, not one of you gave any reference to any evidence, data, resource, quote, website, author that proves your accusations right and this documentary wrong. (except Raymond, but he makes an entirely different [good] point).

The point of the documentary is to show what the U.S. government is doing behind our backs and contrary to our constitution and international law. What reason is there in the world to torture people like this without charging them with a crime. For those of you who insist "these criminals were going to attack us": again, where's the proof? And if you want proof, you DON'T TORTURE THEM, because trials based on testimony under such interrogation and treatment won't hold up in a court of law or military tribunals.

Most have never had charges brought against them, some are still lost in unknown black sites, and those few that have been tried, have been found innocent. YOU might be the next innocent taxi driver rounded up by a gang to get prize money from a secret intelligence service to produce a poster child of Terrorism to the mass public so that nation's leaders and corporate cronies can continue their "war" to steal resources.

You also confuse the military, CIA and the police. If somebody commits a crime...you charge them with a crime and cross-examine them. You don't terrorize an entire nation...

Worst of all, you speak circles around your blatant psychosis of denial and lack of comprehension. First, denying the US engages in torture, then, when that doesn't work, redefining torture, then accusing "the left/the other" of being un-American for questioning the tactics, then, finally, defending the US in use of torture because "they [the enemy] deserved it". Your contradictions and hypocrisy take up so much of your mental capacity that you never bother to ask yourself how the FACTS of secret black sites and extraordinary rendition should be addressed from this point onward...

YOU, lovers of government-sponsored inhumane treatment of human beings, are the ones who are un-American! Why don't the lot of you move to Egypt, where Ahmed Omar loves extraordinary rendition as much as you do?

John Anthony
Salem, Oregon

I want my child and my grandchildren to be safe like everyone else, but not in a way that makes them ashamed to say they are Americans. They and their children will have to face the enemies that we are now creating by these actions. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld~-You govern America with the Constitution you have, not the Constitution you want to have or wish you had. At this point I seriously doubt that anyone in the current administration has actually read the Constitution.

Harry Potter
Andrews AFB, MD

I went to visit Mount Vernon a few weeks ago, the home of George Washington. It struck me how honest and forthright he was with this new nation about government and ethics, and the might of doing what is right. Liberal, Conservative, Left or Right wing, it doesn't matter; America (I mean the government and the people) is far off the track of ethical and honest governance. 9/11, the War in Iraq, playing with the concept of torture; we have gotten what we deserve.

As we continue to behave and reason unethically and as we compromise our freedoms and sense of social justice, the very things our forefathers fought and died for, then it won't ever end, not when there is another attack, not when the thought police kick in your door because you don't agree with the patriotic rhetoric. True patriotism is standing up for what is right, not just putting your life on the line for your country.

Saudi Arabia is a wicked nation, we need to stop placating their barbaric ideals because we want cheap oil. In Pakistan, Musharraf does not respect his country, we need to stop empowering him for the sake of combatting terrorism. I can just see him getting strung up like Sadam Hussein twenty years from now and America will sit there and act like we had nothing to do with his bad governance. 'Rendition' is just another chapter in America's inability to govern itself and it's international affairs with an ethical and accountable hand.

Pittsfield, MA
In response to the person who said "anything to stop those fanatics from getting my kids". Do you think the military, CIA or the NSA is going to stop kidnapping kids in Africa? They can do it in this country to your kids. This administration thinks it is above the Constitution of this country. But we are a country of laws, not men.

(anonymous)
All war is horrible, however, people who are not related to terrorism do not get incarcerated. If this seems barbaric to you - remember the American man who got his throat cut in full view of his family and the world on TV. These men at least live on to survive- not possible when your head has been severed from its neck.If you make an active choice not to support terrorism, you would not get interogated in this manner. To choose to support terrorism is your own choice and then you become responsible for the consequences. Soldiers are not being kidnapped - just under the cover terrorists.

san antonio, tx
Let my know how everyone feels when we are no longer free. Do you think that terrorists will just let you say what you want and when you want? If history says anything, did we not say much of the same things for staying out of WW2? And did we not think that the killing of all the Jews was a lie? Wake up America, united we stand divided we fall. We are not the best, but we are the one the world comes to for help.

Germa~n Alvarado
Roseville, MN

It is about what remains of OUR VALUES as a nation. Are we now to the point that "the end justifies the means"? Is it now that ANYTHING & EVERYTHING is "a go" for the sake of our security? That we're in a "new war" and thus we have permission to become as our adversaries? Mind you, I am a Biblical conservative . . . and this IS a no go! I hear the argument already, "Well what if your city was going to be attacked, wouldn't I do this to protect my family"? When the worst case senario arrives then I will have to decide but, until then everything IS NOT a current worst case scenario! We have no boundaries anymore and we lie to protect the innocent! The thing is that over the last 60 years some think we had fought communism differently than how we fighting Islamism. think again! This is not about being a false patriot or un-American, it's about asking a fundamental question... "who have we become these days in fighting "The War of Terrorism" under this Presidency?"

san luis obispo, ca
Dear Sirs,Thank you for the program. The way I see it, we must render them completely defeated, or we will get rendered. That is the meaning of rendition. Someone has to squelch Islamic extremism...the sooner the better. Casualties are a fact of war... and, make no mistake, this is war. There is nothing "pretty" about war. I don't buy the sob stories or the weak dignitaries in this video. Thanks.

Jeff
Atlanta, GA

Typical leftist media reporting -- one sided....just what I have come to expect from PBS. No toll free number where I can call to give a donation to help with their legal defense?

These sort of covert actions are nothing new...but of course, since this is about a Republican administration and George Bush in particular, they will play to the hilt...especially going into an election year. If the Democrats had been caught in action the press would have given them a free pass.

The liberals in this country really have no idea of the threat we are facing....they feel if we just appease the terrorists maybe they will leave us alone.....Joe Kennedy thought that way about Hitler.

I am not a huge GW fan, but people here are very naive to think this administration holds the patent on this sort of thing.

I for one am glad there are leaders in this country that understand the nature of war and how to win it.


joseph t tillotson
redondo beach, ca

The Program exposes one aspect of the disgusting downward fall that our country has taken during the Bush/Cheney reign. Most of the respondents echo my belief that the U.S. is the real world threat to world peace. One aspect of this situation that has not been mentioned is the undue influence of the Israel lobby that has had disastrous consequences to our foreign policy. We are hated because of our 100 percent backing of Israel. This naturally causes resentment in the Middle East and to the world of Islam. The 9/11 attacks stem from this total, unconditional backing of Israel. I would urge readers to read the book:The Israel Lobby. It says it all.

Patrick Knight
San Anselmo, ca

I swear by Frontline and love it because it works hard to be factual without agenda. I was disappointed in the failure to use the word "alleged" in front of every unsupported accusation by Abu Omar about his treatment. I don't doubt for a minute that he was tortured. I happen to be against it, but the unquestioned, unchallenged acceptance of his charges... is unconscionable and disappointing. I appreciate that we need to be held to account, but his accusations should not be put forth without equal investigation into the nature of his activities that brought him to CIA attention.

Susan Kidder
San Rafael, California

A nation does not win a "War on Terror" by behaving as a Terrorist itself. You do not win the hearts and minds of those who would be your allies, if you only gave a reason to do so, by behaving exactly like the people whose chosen political strategy(gies) you presume to judge. And you do not claim the moral high ground when you behave as this Administration has behaved. Shame on them, and shame on Congress for overturning Bush's first veto on behalf of a water bill and not an issue like this that defines who we are. And shame on us for pretending this isn't happening.

Seattle, WA
All of you who say this is wrong are idiots.This is a group of people who would quickly kill you if you DO NOT follow their perverted version of religion. You cannot reason with them on the grounds of our laws and principles, it just will not work. Tell you what those of you who say this is wrong, why don't we just house them at your place.

Doug Merriman
Detroit, Michigab

Somehow or other, I find this whole process and response very unsettling. I am old enough to remember the "War-In-The-Shadows" between the Soviets and the U.S., where people were snatched off of the streets, never to be seen again. We (the U.S.) always poo-pooed this action as proof of a society in decline (the Soviet Union). But what do we say about this? It is true that the U.S. is now engaged in its own war-in-the-shadows, but this effectively places us in the same bus as the KGB. Torture, Rendition and other extraordinary measures effected by this administration is only the tip of the iceberg. These people participate in a kind of low-intensity fascism that is criminal. I would love to see Bush, Cheney, et al "extraordinarily rendered" to the planet Rimlac, never to return. We would all be better off without these two bombastic nimcompoops.

tio wally
San Luis Obispo, CA

Thank you, Mary Jane Sackela of St. Petersburg, Florida, for once again proving that facts will never stand in the way of rational thought.

Karen Fitzgerald
Pleasant Plains, IL

Stephen Grey did a great job of uncovering the truth about the secret prisons. Fear of terrorism has so infected this country that we have closed our eyes to these injustices just as we did after Pearl Harbor when Japanese-Americans were rounded up and sent to internment camps. Now Muslims are being rounded up and sent to foreign prisons and Guantanamo. They are being held indefinitely without charge just so they're out of circulation in case they might make trouble. When the wives and children of terror suspects are being taken, can there be any question that innocent people are being taken?

Cleveland, OH
Thank you Frontline for showing a story that most Americans know very little about. I was shocked to see what had happened to these people. Seeing that the US is violating all international laws regarding prisoners horrified me. And to know that the mainstream media is not reporting this shocks me further. I am ashamed to say that I am American seeing this. Our government must be held to a higher standard and I hope this report starts that dialog.

(anonymous)
What the hell is going on in this country? Bush is a war criminal! The extremists are surely laughing right now knowing that they have made the U.S. react in a way that makes Americans look so wrong in the eyes of the global community. Bush is running this country like a gang, a mafia. A mafia with endless funds running around the world defecating in the laps of innocent citizens. This campaign on terror must end.

(anonymous)
Don't forget that impeachment of Cheney and Bush could help rejuvenate our collective soul. We could re-remember our power responsibility as citizens...

portland
An excellent program! And the online features very good too. I read almost every bit of it. What our government is doing is appalling, shocking, depressing, embarrassing, terrifying. It makes me want to weep.

Los Angeles, CA
This nation is made up of "flip-flops", this administration, the forerunners in the next election. Each and every one of them are ballless, extremist, and $ and power hungry! there is no learning from history for these folks, else they would have realized that their golden Roman era of the US is in a severe state of decline.

(anonymous)
You raise some very important questions, and highlight the dangers to innocent people that come when due process and transparency are ignored in the name of some "greater good." As Thomas More says in the play and film "A Man for All Seasons": "I give the devil benefit of law for my own safety's sake." Thank you for contributing to this debate.


Brooklyn, NY

I agree. If Hollywood gets to make a feature, this segment deserves at least a full hour.

Steve
Eldora, CO

"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."

I find it telling that many respondents suggest that the torturing of people kidnapped, detained, and held without charge is somehow protecting US civilians. To disregard the rule of law on which this constitutional republic is built (habeas corpus, due process, etc.) in favor of trusting blindly that those in power are right smacks of fascism -- exactly the kind of tyranny that the US fought against during WWII. The US does not need autocracy to preserve security, and the US citizens do not need to allow the flouting of constitutional and international law to bring criminals to justice.

Conspiracy to commit terrorist acts is a crime. Charge the prisoners, put them on trial, and punish the guilty. Anything less and we succumb to the slippery slope of an authoritarian police state, where they slowly start detaining and disappearing US citizens without any of the constitutional protections to which we are entitled. Do not forget the principles on which this country was founded, and do not forget the words of Benjamin Franklin:

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Jim Altman
Stanley, Wisconsin

"Rendition" is nothing new. During the trial of Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky, United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young whipped up a controversy when he told a French newspaper that there are "hundreds, maybe thousands, of people I would categorize as political prisoners" in the US. Young later said he did not mean to equate political freedom in the US and the Soviet Union. But he did not retract his statement about the number of U. S. political prisoners - even though he never said exactly what he meant." (look it up.)

Democrats may bluster, even filibuster, but when it comes time to show and tell they grow strangely reticent. Could it be there are as many blue skeletons hiding in CIA closets as red ones?

Lakeside, MI
I am ashamed to say i am an American. I feel like a stranger in my own land. What must the rest of the civilized world think of our disgraceful actions against fellow human beings. land of the free......home of the brave???

Steve
Rochester, NY

To the guy who said "liberal propaganda, get real".No, pal. YOU get real. The US tortures, that makes this country NO BETTER than any other country. Any American, any human being, should be ashamed at this. I won't/can't call myself an American anymore because of this administration. Frontline, this should be on every major network, but of course, we know THAT won't happen. Thank You for exposing this.


Sacramento, CA

For everything the US government is shown to be responsible for, out of utter mistrust which I am sure that I share with much of the rest of the world, I have to wonder what kind of psychological operation is this aimed at the citizens of the United States.
We are lead to assume the right to the blessing of the privilege we enjoy while most of the world lives in conditions most of us could barely tolerate. It seems almost certain that in the minds of many Americans that extraordinary rendition carried out on foreign peoples is something akin to people being made examples of to make the rest of "them" fall in line. As if our fear of invasiveness into our activities is the same for the average Islamic country. Along with any fear of loss of liberty, fears of invasion of privacy are almost nil among these people.

Oceanside, CA
Those preachers and imams teaching children to murder Americans or Westerners are clearly enemies of the State if you like. We have made the decision as a country in the wake of 9/11 to actively pursue terrorists. The Egyptian Security official said it best: "After 9/11 these countries have the right to protect themselves."

Coddling these people in American prisons and giving them access to the American legal system is neither practical nor effective in protecting our interests both local and international.

I think you would have a hard time formulating a coherent argument for the justification or continuation of the Iraq war. But the issue of extraordinary rendition does not rouse a wellspring of sympathy. People want the government to stop the actions of terrorists before they act.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Lawrence Laskowski
Erie, Pa

I dont feal sorry for them....I just think of the people jumping out of the windows of The world trade center. Jihad can go the other way. Muslims should police there own. Or we will have to do it.

Altoona, PA
What the supporters of the current administration's rendition policy should realize is that today, the loss of civil liberties has taken place [supposedly] to enhance our ability to fight terrorism. This change however allows future administrations to set their own agenda to fight groups even within our own borders [NRA,NAACP etc.] as long as government believes they are a threat to national security. Americans need to wake up and realize, there is nothing patriotic about the Patriot Act. We are no longer the 'good guys in the white hats' and this administration has done more to destabilize world order than any of its' predecessors. Until we face up to who we really are and try to understand why we are so hated in the world, there will be more 911s.


Berkeley, CA

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa. Where were you idiots on Nov 2, 2004? And also let's just stop the cliche rhetoric: other than for WW II, the American values of freedom and democracy that everybody is talking about are pure fiction. many past US governments have been at the center of human right abuses of one sort or another. yet, nobody gives a rat's ass.

Las Cruces, New Mexico
Very interesting, good program. Sad to say the least, but necessary, the terrorist of the world will stop at nothing to put down the "Great Satan". "Death to America" the chant every Friday, they blame us for all there problems. I admit we did cause some of them. My greatest worry is when there is another terrorist attack on the US (and there will be one their is a lot of information being held from us as to what is happening in our country right now) will Americans be put in these prisons and our rights be taken from us? Let's face it, America is in decline it; happens to every Democracy; we are just in our last steps before totalitarianism. There is really no one I can strongly support in the Dems or the Reps they are all spit out of the same mix. I have only voted for the lesser of two evils since I was 18 years old. It is a sad state of affairs. May God have mercy on us.

Tariq Khan
Weston, Ma

Where has this great nation gone -- the forbearer of truth and justice. In this action there is no difference between al-Qadea and the CIA.

John Locke
Pawleys Island, S.C.

In a prolonged ideological struggle, the United States prevailed over the former Soviet Union only to become like them. Why is it that our leaders are not subject to the law of the land as stated in the U.S. Constitution particularly as to the employment of torture? Isn't torture a cruel and unusual punishment? Also, please explain the difference between the CIA's black sites and the former Soviet Union's Gulag Archipelago.

Deb
Seattle, Wa

Reminds me of this bumper sticker I saw the other day..."We're making enemies faster than we can kill them."

Mohammed Miraki
Chicago, IL

I am an Afghan-American living in Chicago. The post 9/11 world proved the falsehood of Western values. I remember Blair had said that the West is rational and has great value systems. Well, the value system(s) has failed miserably. The US has kidnapped Iraqi women and raped them to force their brothers to lay down their weapons. In Afghanistan, the US has taken wives when husbands were absent in their houses. The US has used uranium-tainted bullets in Afghanistan and Iraq.
So, terrorists are not born terrorists, they are created by the barbarism of the US and her allies. And, yes, I raise my hat to those "terrorists" for defending their dignity against the US and West in general. They are the true men putting their lives selflessly to defend their dignity unlike the mercenaries of the US and other Western countries that measure dignity in dollars not values...

Sincerely,

Mohammed Daud mIraki, MA, MA, PhD

Myndi
Dalton, GA

Is this what we are? We're getting to the point that we're no better than the "terrorists" we're after. I mean, we're even kidnapping children. How disgusting is that? How can the people in our government even sleep at night? And why hasn't something been done?
Something needs to happen. Something needs to happen now. America needs to wake up so desperately, but it just isn't happening. If only you could somehow put this on VH1 and add music videos into somehow, then maybe the young people in America would actually see it. As odd as it sounds, it's true. I'm a teenager and I know people who don't even know who the vice president is. The only reason they know who the president is is from a Civics class. Too many people aren't interested in reality, but reality TV. But this is reality on television. Impeachment? Maybe? Before we piss off every other nation, something has to be done.

Asheville, NC
Thank you, Frontline, for this coverage. You promote objectivity and transparency and truth. If such quality programs were readily available to all citizens more often than not, our country would be one of honor and freedom and vision.

Moses West
San Antonio, Texas

It saddens me to depth of my sole to watch the rapid demise of what our republic has stood for in a world that the greatest generation gave so much of themselves to build. All you need do is visit Normandy to get a visual feel of what we have sacrificed. I will continue to do my part as a citizen in the hope that some day very soon we will all come together in protest of this travesty of justice and horrific assaults on all that we stand for as great nation.

Stillwater, OK
When a nation spends more on defense than all other countries combined, it believes it can do whatever it wants: pre-emptive war, special rendition, torture, war crimes, abandon treaties, etc. And at the same time that nation demands that all other countries follow the rules. Hegemony through military strength will keep the rebels in line.

But guerrilla warfare is to the advantage of the weak. It throws a wrench into the spokes and brings empire to its knees. This is how our rebel nation came into being and became the great republic it once was. Unfortunately, the lust for power, for cheap resources, and for security produced an imperial war machine that consumes all that we once held dear. God help us.

toeg effect
Los Angeles

It's amazing how many Americans are quite comfortable with torture of the innocent. They claim that any method to stop terrorism is OK by them. I'm sure that if they were one of the one's illegally detained (as the people in this video) they would quickly change their tune. But as long as other innocent people are tortured, they are perfectly fine with it. These people have no morals whatsoever.

It reminds me of what Benjamin Franklin once said, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." These insane Americans are selling our freedoms and morals for a false sense of security. They are repeating the same mistake the Germans made before WWII and now they have a Hitler who is threatening WWIII.

Raymond Forsch
Hackensack, NJ

This program was a disgrace. I have never seen such a slanted piece of journalism in my life. Bisher al- Rawi has been and continues to be a spokesperson for the terrorists. He works with groups like CAIR to get our own legal system to work against us. As for the list of so-called experts Jack Cloonan, Richard C. Clarke, Valerie Plame, Geroge Tenet - that you love to interview; I have only one thing to say to them. If you were such experts and had done your job back in 2001, there wouldn't be 3,000 of my fellow citizens dead.

Mary Jane Sackela
St. Petersburg, Florida

The use of the black sites by the CIA, and the continued methods of detention and interregation endorsed by the Bush administration are a disgrace to this country.

Oshawa, Ontario
The program on terrorist suspects really made me upset. I understand that there is a war going on, but if we sink to the same depths as those we condemn, God help us.

Doug Schofield
Rochester, NY

Great movie! That was VERY interesting. Keep em' coming - I'll watch them all!

Newburgh, Indiana
Thank you, Frontline, for this online broadcast. Is anyone really surprised that George Bush would do this? Remember the campaign when stories came out that he "branded" students who visited his fraternity? There were many indications that he wasn't just "right" yet he was elected, not once, but twice. And, yes, Cheri Montagu, this behavior began in the 1950s while Eisenhower was in the White House.

(anonymous)
This is a very important matter. It involves the freedoms for which we revolted from the British two centuries ago.We need more PBS investigations of the methods by which an imperial power like the U.S. can effectively both defend itself, protect our freedoms, and get along with other peoples whose beliefs are different than ours.

Malvern, Pa
Too bad a few innocent people got caught up in a rendition. I'm sure the 99 percent that were rendered had ties to Al Queda. If it keeps airplanes from falling on my house they can render til the cows come home.

Toronto, Ontario
Informative, compelling,and easy to follow and comprehend. The facts speak for themselves. Abusive physical and pyschological torture must be stopped.

Kathy Gannett
Vieques, PR

Thanks. We must all do more to protect the civil rights of all people. I am even more ashamed of the US than before.

Fremont, California
Sad to see it. Rumors in the Middle East were true. This documentry shows how the initial denials were and still are a bunch of lies. 9/11 was wrong and no one in their sane mind can say otherwise. However in the name of 9/11, worse was inflicted to people who weren't even the reason for 9/11. What is the expectation from those who are suffering from this abuse of power....?


Oakdale, CA

I am apalled by jets flying into buildings. I am horrified by CIA agents kidnapping people suspected of being terrorists. I hate handwringers too morally indecisive to attempt any military action at all. I loath our government's invasive and irreversable errosion of civil rights. I know we have to keep our guard up, our military strong, our weapons ready. I know the war in Iraq was misguided. I know we have to go after the terrorists, wherever they are. Not to do so invites horror that no civil court will ever arbitrate. I know that Republicans think Democrats have a brain disorder. I know that Democrats think Republicans are amoral monsters.
The truth is hopelessly hidden in personal agenda, expediency, moral outrage, revenge, justification, patriotism and contempt.

The answer is knowing that all Americans are patriots, all Americans want justice, all Americans want freedom. I am an American and I want to do the right thing. I want to shoot the terrorists that behead innocent people. I want to defend the innocent person victimized by extraordinary rendition. I want to help the Iraqi families just trying to survive the madness. I want to bomb the mosques hiding terrorist monsters that use children as shields.

I wish we could listen and empathize with each other more, and scream and demonstrate less.


Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Does this come as a surprise to anyone? How soon we forget! What about the first 9/11, the one that the United States waged against Chile, ousting a freely, democratically elected president--Salvador Allende! Is it any wonder that the world hates us?!

Virginia Jordan
Boca Raton, Florida

Whatever it takes to get information on our enemies (terrorists) is fine with me. I'm more interested in defending America and keeping her safe. Not about what the rest of the world thinks about us! Too many Americans have their "heads in the sand"!

Ron
Antelope, CA

Thanks so much for your work Mr. Grey and thanks to Frontline for airing this program. Hopefully justice will be done in the future and Bush, along with his thugs, will be punished for their war crimes.

Katie N
Chicago, IL

Thank you for reporting on this issue, which impacts our country far more than most people recognize or want to think about.

Chuck Voit
Columbus, Ohio

We have witnessed our country's leadership and near majority of citizenry apparently approve of our unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Apparently, some of us are still surprised to see who we really are. The majority electorate has taken us down the slippery slope, downhill from the moral high ground. It is time to admit who we have become.

m b
gr, mn

Curious that terrorism is used as an excuse for similar horrors. In the 1960s we were learning that political expression was taking a new dimension: terrorism. There was Northern Ireland and Israel. Now it has spread globally, political expression in the form of terrorism. How we react to this political malaise will totally mark this era. Do not be fooled by excuses that a unique situation allows ethics and morality to backslide.These parameters must always be at the forefront or this earth and its inhabitants will never leave the violence, greed and intolerance behind.

al loomis
sydney, nsw

Dubya should be in front of a panel of judges, of the international criminal court. until the US puts him there, you are all complicit.


Indianapolis, IN

We reap what we sow people. We trained and funded Osama Bin Laden and his minions for years fighting Russia in the Afghan War. Yes, radical groups are bent on terrorizing the world, but this has been since virtually the beginning of mankind. Again, we reap what we sow.

Zig Man
Daytona Beach, FL

I don't think we tortured a lot of people during WWII. We used to hold to the Geneva Convention in hopes our prisoners would not be tortured either. Kiss that day goodbye. Our moral compass has gone astray in this administration. The excuse of the "war on terror" label is nauseating. Instead of being responsible for controlling our borders and policing our foreign tactics so people don't hate us so much, we choose the cheap way out, torture people we "think" are terrorists in a Nazi attempt at security. The pride of our power has been broken. And now our self respect and moral values are being thrown in too. God can't be happy with us on this one.

Corpus Christi, Texas
Thank God for true investigative reporters and PBS!! Those who favor torture of a prisoner are the same type of people capable of performing torture upon another human being, or even a helpless animal. America will be known by its deeds and it is shameful that America's deeds have sunk so low due to Bush's administration. These deeds will not be forgotten for generations to come by those who have suffered the most.

Jim Fitch
Ottito, NM

This is really appalling but I'm hardly surprised it's going on. I find all these neo-cons saying it's "OK" also appalling! Shows how there are two splits in the Republican party (if not more). A true Republican would NEVER surrender up an individual's rights like this so easily and hand such power to the federal government.

Right now it looks to be "just Muslim freaks", but who is to say it couldn't be used in future administrations on anyone else deemed an enemy of the state?

Should we randomly round up all of the religious fanatics just because a few bad apples bombed some clinics?

Just another example of our constitutional rights eroding right before our very eyes!

Dave Baird
Tumwater, WA

What shame I feel for my country and myself. We have clearly lost our heart and soul. The fabric of our society is torn.

Hillsboro, Oregon
Dear countrymen this is just the tip of the terrible iceberg of tyranny that is beginning to grip the heart of our country. Open your eyes and put your ears to the ground, you will hear the drum beat of the coming death of our nation. A Nation built on faith justice and rule of law. It breaks my heart to see what is coming upon our country.

Urbana, IL
The idea that rendition safeguards our citizens is laughable. Given the low rate of charges, convictions, and actual proof against many of these detainees, I see very little reason to stand up and say, "Rendition safeguards our citizens!" In fact, practices like these undermine our troops' safety. For every person rendered, there is a family and extended family that has a chance of becoming enemies of United States soldiers. The fact of the matter is, the United States has done many things like this in the past, such as the overthrow of democratically elected government in Iran in 1954. Then, as now, our actions have negative consequences. Then, our actions forced opposition leaders to carry out their political meetings and opposition planning in the one place they were safe from dictatorial persecution - within mosques. We have had a very real role in cementing Islamic fundamentalists with political opposition groups within Iran. We have also provided money and arms to Osama bin Laden and his terrorist groups in the past, to fight the Russians. That has come back to haunt us.

I think it is important that we look at rendition in regards to what will the unintended consequences be. Regardless of strategic analysis of this issue, the inhumanity and lack of compassion implied by the continuation of these practices speaks volumes of our leaders. How would a United States Senator or Congressman react if his or her child, father, mother, brother, sister were "rendered" to another country for "enhanced interrogation"? Are compassion and respect for human dignity to be left at home, just as the negative consequences of our previous actions seemed to have slipped into the memory hole?

(anonymous)
Wake up!- I hear said all too often. One perspective is that individuals need to wake up and open their eyes to Reality A. Others want to wake people up to Reality B. Reality A is that False Flag operations are carried out blaming another entity for the act to achieve a desired outcome. Reality B being huge terror plots are being planned and carried out by mysterious villians we must defend against. It has been publically declared for decades that groups of individuals in leadership in the good 'ol US of A declared their desire for war in the Middle East. Cheney wanted war in Iraq, we are in a war in Iraq. Cheney wanted a war in Iran, we are publically setting the stage in the media and politics for a war in Iran. Torture is wrong. If you are willing to break the law and violate all that we claim to hold as higher values, then you better be willing to face the repercussions of those acts. Black & White, or every shade of Grey, we have rules to follow. When will people use their own intellect and common sense to accept the truth? Yes, we do live in a dangerous world and terrible things do happen, but are you sure who you think is truly responsible??? That's why we have a legal system! Let's use it as the separate entity intended, not by Executive decree calling the shots.

miami, fl
I think it's sick- I understand punishing the guilty but with this new horror called the Patriot Act' you are guilty until proven innocent -- and treating people the way that they are treated is gruesome and doesn't help the situation AT ALL. We are Americans- This Administration has ruined America forever. When a CNN correspondent gets fired for not liking Bush, we are living in an UN-American Country- How could the Patriot Act been pushed under so many noses and everyone be so stupid? Diabolical.

Marietta, GA
This is result of a despotic Admin; a corrupt Congress; and an inattentive electorate too busy or too ignorant to care. The really disgusting aspect of this in Congressional inaction--the supposedly 'good people doing nothing'. Dems with seniority should be regarded and treated as Republicans. These false victims of the neo-con ascendancy used this period to feather their nests and lie down with big money. All Dem and GOP Congressional leadership should be purged!

Bruce Saunders
Detroit, Michigan

Unfortunately, due to their overwhelming fear, Americans who applaud torture and murder to 'make them safe' never reason far enough to understand the importance of checks-and-balances in our government: without the oversight of the legislative or judicial branches of government over the 'anti-terrrorist' actions of the Bush administrations, those who favor evils such as torture do so solely on 'evidence' (unsubstantiated) disseminated from the torturers themselves, attesting to their invaluable heroics - including pulling out fingernails and burning prisoners with lit cigarettes - all in patriotic service to their rightfully fear-consumed public. After the rigged 'town meetings' ('hand-packed' with Bush-ites) propaganda presented through the media as actual news stories and other frauds perpetrated by a devious administration,everyone should objectively examine any 'evidence' from this source, particularly when presented as substantiation for 'fighting evil-with-evil. If torture and murder proved Hussein to be a "brutal dictator" - what do we appear?

Jerry Everhart
Portales, NM

I grew up in a family that discussed politics everyday during the 1960s. We were proud Americans...and my dad was always quick to point out differences in political tactics/moral choices between the, then, Soviet Union and our more noble American approach to life and liberty. Not merely because of this documentary...but because of the decline in moral authority in the US...I am embarrassed that WE are engaged in black operations and that the United States is feared and hated for sanctioned policies of this government. We have hit a new low. I believe that any benefits from rendition are lost in the bad image generated. I have no ill will for our military...just the poor choices that are continually made of our civilian government on behalf of the American people.

Robert
Carbondale, Illinois

"Unconventional war often requires unconventional techniques to combat terrorists." Utter nonsense. You are either a state of laws, where your greatness is measured by the rights of the minorities and your respect for international law, or you are a rogue state... the kind the U.S. seems be, and has really been all along.

chicago, il
America has become the 'great bully' it states other countries are. We are and have lost sight of civil liberties and freedom, with dire consequences. This is something that would never be allowed in regular newspaper print or reporting. Thank you for keeping us informed.

Alan Renga
San Diego, CA

What is most amazing about the program is how black and white people's responses are to it. 1) We are at War and must win at all costs
2) It is hypocritical for us to use such measures to protect our freedoms.

Perhaps the biggest failure of our politicians since 9/11 is not a war we were lied into or the lowering of America in the eyes of the World. It is the fact that they allowed our country to become so divided.

John Novak
Galt, CA

F. Michael Montgomery wrote "It dehumanizes us as we use it to assuage our fear of terrorism" and Linda, Burns wrote, "When a country undertakes torture and rendition against those who are guilty until proven innocent, we cannot complain when it comes back to haunt us."

They have both "hit the nail on the head" with their words. I spent 18 months in Viet Nam and became like what I hated. Some in this country have become dehumanized and when this does come back to haunt us! The shame of it will be that people will be more angry (dehumanized) and want even more blood on their hands.

(anonymous)
Reading the comments of the apologists and supporters of rendition and torture. Do you not realize that this is not mere "propaganda" or "liberal bias". The Bush regime has done more harm to the values and ideals of the US than any terrorist could ever hope to achieve. Kidnapping, torturing and indefinitely detaining people without any legal process flies in the face of the Constitution and the very values this country proclaims to stand for. If you can't see the truth through your ideologically blinkered eyes then you are as big a part of the problem as Bush and his minions.

Yardley, PA
I'm all for anything that stops these fanatics from blowing up my kids at the mall. How else are we to defend ourselves against intolerant people who want nothing more than eliminate us? We should be committed to doing everything possible to eliminate the threat.

carnichael, ca
It is our strength to reveal or show the fact as it is.We often think we learn something from the past history. But it is quite true better to learn now and correct any mistakes as soon as possible.


Gary B.
Belmont, MA

The justification for rendition given by our government and those who support this tactic is that we are "at war". This is weak, to say the least, for numerous reasons. But the most important reason is that the United States is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, which states that these acts are crimes (whether there is a war on or not) and should be punished as such. Period. No gray area or fuzzy math. Bring on the prosecutors and stop justifying criminal acts.

Dresden and the mi lia are also considered war crimes. And the fact that crimes during war were committed in the past is not valid justification for committing them today.

Citizens of any country who are not outraged by this should be ashamed.

hot springs, sd
This program was redacted locally from the SD affiliate, programmed out of Vermillion, in what appeared to be a ham-fisted censorship maneuver. The screen was black with no message for the first half hour, then some specious little feature on a foreign correspondent submitting to quaint medical practices in rural India or somewhere, was aired until about 2 min before the end of the hour, at which time the national feed was switched back on and the credits for the Frontline World episode ran. I'll have to buy the DVD in order to see this important documentary.

FRONTLINE/World's editors respond:
We will be posting the video of the rendition story online here on this Web site. It should be posted by end of day November 7th. So please check back.


Cleveland, Oh

What most people don't understand is that this practice is being targeted at RANDOM people based on age, race, and religion. If these men were really terrorists they would have never been permitted to see daylight again. Recently, two 16-year-old girls were detained in solitary confinement in NY with no charges for 6.5 weeks, and they were released like many others but their file is labeled secret. What good does it do to torture people and then release them? Any innocent person threatened to have their head crushed would make up some lies to live. The people defending these acts in the name of personal security should not be offended that one report tried to give an opposing view, if they really feel secure in their beliefs. After all, if this report is a lie, then it would never cover the "truth" they so adamantly believe in. It might be food for thought to consider that war is not a one way street, and like millions of examples in history, no act of unjust aggression ever goes unresponded to at some point.

(anonymous)
Thank you Stephen Grey and Frontline for giving voice to the voiceless. It disgusted me to watch it. My problem with this whole thing is, once you round up people can't you filter them out and quickly release the innocent right away. How can 11 Children be terrorist that you still have to hold them and subject them to this cruelty. Among the people that were rounded up in Kenya, there are 3 people form a country called Eritrea, East Africa. One is a journalist, one is a photographer and another I am not sure of his occupation ( They were there to cover the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia). Now these 3 people are in the hands of a natural enemy, Ethiopia. Eritrea and Ethiopia are at war. These individuals were presented on Ethiopian national TV as prisoners of war, which is an absolute lie. What breaks my heart is these 3 individuals will never get fair treatment and are subjected to the most cruel treatment. I am speaking from past experience at what Ethiopia is capable doing to Eritreans and Somalis. I pray to God to end their misery fast in any which way. I will be very surprised If they ever release them, if they do, Ethiopia will inject them with the HIV first and condemn them to a life sentence.

Mike Joseph
Oceanside, CA

It never ceases to amaze me that every time Americans hear of depraved and desperate acts committed by Americans we immediately begin our national ritual of moral indignation. Let's drop the hypocrisy America: this is who we are.

Consider that the top Republican frontrunner, Guiliani, speaks openly about rampimp up Guantanamo prison. People respond to that. A large percentage of Americans actually support rendition (torture and secret prisons) in the name of protecting our "way of life". The fact that the secret prisons and "special techniques" aren't very effective doesn't dampen our enthusiasm for these methods. So lets tell the truth: America likes violence...we just prefer that it happen elsewhere.

Gene Lederer
Windermere, FL

I have found that those that are outraged by what behavior free peoples must partake in from time to time to protect themselves from the forces of evil; terror and aggression are very simply ignorant of history. These are the same people that condemn the USA from using an atomic weapon against Japan in WWII. Anyone of the long list of atrocities and war crimes committed by the Japanese justified the use of massive force to reduce additional US causalities. In just one instance the Japanese killed over 100,000 civilians while retreating from Manila. Wake up, we are at WAR. Do you have any understanding of what has happened throughout history in WARS? I do not see any stories where innocent civilians were beheaded, videotaped and displayed as a recruitment tool on the CIA web site. Oh that's right, that is what the poor misunderstood folks that have been subjected to rendition do when they are not planning and carrying out mass murders.

Austin, TX
I hope all Americans were revolted by the actions of our government in these renditions that really did happen! All of these actions by our nation and the war in Iraq are creating generations of terrorists our great-great grandchildren will be dealing with. The sad thing is that most Americans know nothing about all this! The mainstream media has lost all credibility with those who are well informed. Thank you for your efforts. pappy

Francine Last
Bethesda, MA

When the US Government commits terrorism in the name of defeating terrorism, it sets itself up for a long, long tit for tat battle. The sons of tortured victims will come back to haunt those that perpetuate such evil atrocities in the name of freedom. What an oxymoron that is!!! Pure hypocracy.

kit wilson
los angeles, ca

History will judge America and its society with a cold perspective: we allowed fear to win. We allow thugs to rule. We allow our freedoms to be flushed. While the chest-thumping chickenhawks spewed hatred and wingnuts, the truth went unheard. If you love this war so much, why are you still behind your desks?

Tippy Canoe
Provincetown, MA

There's no doubt that the very people commenting here who are advocating this atrocious and despicable behavior would certainly change their attitudes 180 degrees if this sort of thing were happening to their sons and daughters. Torture is NOT the behavior of a great nation. In fact, the world has started to view the United States in the same ugly light that we held the Nazis in once learning of their activities.
The LIES that started these wars are STILL LIES today. That fact hasn't changed. The would-be historians here (invoking WWII, etc. as justification for these horrific acts) need only to revisit General Smedley Butler's 1935 writing of "War is a Racket" and heed the warnings of the military-industrial complex from President Eisenhower's farewell speech.

Check the bank accounts of the war machine. If you actually believe there is a "War on Terror"...then sadly, you've been snowed. And just like they planned, you've fallen for the GWOT storyline and have been deceived. As Hegel said, "We learn from history that we do not learn from history." The supporters of this immoral behavior have proven this - case and point!

Lake Wales, FL
Former FBI agent Cloonan: "You're setting up yourself for revenge by al Qaeda and other Islamists." Thankfully, the first commenter mentioned Munich Olympics, 1972.
How about WTC '93? and then the African attacks by al Qaeda before WTC 9/11?

Everyone that thinks al Qaeda is only motivated by revenge raise their hands - that's what I thought - Agent Cloonan should go work for John McCain - these Islamists are motivated by hatred of classical liberal democracy - just like Japan was in 1941. Get it through your thick skulls - by the Quran -- they can only accept a strict religious law. If we had never even seen their lands or used one barrel of their oil, they would still make plans to conquer our immoral, religious freedom-based government.

Jim Fees
Las Vegas, Nevada

Bravo! This Extraordinary Rendition program is without doubt the best researched and most accurate public program of a highly secretive operation I have ever seen.Outstanding!

Charles Rivenbark
Jacksonville, FL

What a messed up view of how things are. These people who are soliciting for and asking for pity for how badly they are being treated by American forces need to consider how they would be treated if they were considered hostile by the other side.
There would be no psychological advantage taken besides the fact they would witness their comrades either being shot in the head on a public street or beheaded with a dull knife.

This is a ridiculous argument that is being presented. How can you put up a sob story about people that get scared to death and then released compared against people who get scared to death and slowly executed? Is this supposed to gain sympathy for their cause? At least the American mistakes aren't hacked to death in the streets of Baghdad.

Sorry, no sympathy for the people who get wrongfully connected with the murderers they associate with. At least they live to tell the story.

(anonymous)
I was raised to believe that America was something special among nations, that we were a moral people, and that perhaps unlike others, our history was unique in its ongoing struggle for freedom and humanity in a world often steeped in tyranny. This program shows that even the heritage we cherish can be vulnerable... to denial. If our nation's defense must rest on torturing others, can we be America anymore?

While, sadly, I am not surprised to hear of this administration's commitment to inhumanity and illegality--that it is ready and willing to use the tools of the KGB, the Gestapo, the Batallón 601, or even Iran's secret police--I never imagined I would hear in my lifetime other Americans trying to excuse it. That the U.S. has lost whatever moral high ground it once held in the world is obvious: that some of us can evidently no longer distinguish our tactics from the terrorists' is utterly degrading.

I hope the truths of this investigation can shame all of us to better honor all the forefathers who fought and died for our laws and liberties. Thank you Frontline for helping us to renew courage as well as honesty in the battles ahead.

adam
san francisco, ca

Some people replying here seem thick-headed. The point is not to leave America defenseless. No one wants that. The point is how best to defeat terrorism. Jack Cloonan, the very sensible former FBI agent who brought Al Qaeda terrorists to justice, says it best: old-fashioned tough cop techniques work better than extraordinary renditions and torture. Of course we should be tracking down suspected terrorists around the world. And when we capture them they should be brought back to the U.S. and put on trial. If found guilty under our system of law, they can be put away in high-security American prisons.

To the person who recalled the example of the French in Algeria: You got it wrong, sir. The point is that French use of torture worked initially to break the Algerian resistance to French colonial rule. But in the end, the torture caused the majority of the people in Algeria to turn against the French and drive them out.

America can remain strong and safe when it does NOT stoop to the inhumanity and barbarism of its enemies.

Cheri Montagu
San Jose, CA

Frontline's "Extraordinary Rendition", in the tradition of the journalist involved, Stephen Grey, was more of a cover-up than an exposé. Grey is less an investigative reporter than an apologist for the CIA. He makes it sound as if the CIA uses torture only reluctantly and through other nations-- and furthermore, that it holds people in its secret sites only because it has no other choice. But in fact, the CIA has been the primary agency devoted to developing methods of torture in this country. Its program began long before the War on Terror, in the 1950s, and culminated in a manual, the KUBARK MANUAL OF INTERROGATION, which actually forms the basis of the practice of torture in those countries to which people considered-- often wrongly-- to be terror suspects are rendered.

These methods, although they sound more innocent and harmless to us than gross physical abuse, are in fact more effective in "breaking" a victim: i.e. in turning him into a mentally confused psychotic who will say whatever his captors want to hear. And that suits the CIA's purposes perfectly, for it does not want information which will save American lives, but rather to obtain false confessions, extract vengeance and spread terror, terror which will ultimately be used against the American people.

In the October 8 edition of NEWSWEEK, a CIA source who wished to remain anonymous was quoted as saying that although there was opposition within the agency to holding people after they had given all the information they could, others argued that these people were just scum and "they wanted to waterboard them every day forever-- AND THE WATERBOARDERS WON OUT." If one reads Alfred McCoy's A QUESTION OF TORTURE, one will see how far back CIA research and development of torture methods go and that they were in fact modeled on Nazi, Soviet and Chinese Communists methods of "brainwashing"-- that is to say, they are not designed to elicit intelligence but rather to create "parrot-like individuals so conditioned as to merely repeat thoughts which have been implanted in their minds."(see Chapter 2).

As Douglas Valentine argues in his essay, "Homeland Security: The Phoenix Comes Home to Roost", these methods will ultimately be turned on the American people. Indeed, that is what the Military Commissions Act, signed into law by President Bush just over a year ago, makes possible, by denying even Americans who are arbitrarily classified as "enemy combatants" the right to habeas corpus, including a lawyer and due process of law. What the American people need to do is demand that its leaders put a muzzle on the worst terrorist organization in the world-- which may indeed itself have been responsible for 9/11-- America's SS, that pack of thugs called the Central Intelligence Agency.

(anonymous)
The US has become a rogue state that now tortures people just as much as her enemies. The US goes to war over lies (WMD, yellow cake) and false threats and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths in the Middle East and elsewhere. And here we have average Americans applauding the ruthlessness of this administration. These Americans want the US to continue to torture innocent people as much as possible, yet they still don't understand why the rest of the world finds us so disgusting. Maybe someday, when their loved one, or even themselves, are carted away to secret prisons and tortured for no reason, they might understand what "being civilized" is all about. As long as average Americans vote for, applaud and encourage torture by its government, it will reap the hate of the rest of the world. It's no longer the land of the free, it's the land of the oppressed and home of the torturer.

Russell Williams
Glendale, AZ

You that are applauding this docu .... propaganda are forgetting something. WE ARE AT WAR with these savages. God forbid some act of terror strikes your city, your neighborhood or home, you'll be wondering why the "government" didn't do more to prevent it. Wake up you Utopian pacifists. War is ugly ... even when Americans are involved. I'm appalled that my tax dollars are being used to support this patented America-Hating tripe. God help us if we don't prevail in this war that many of you are denying exists.

reno, nevada
After 9/11, there is a new kind of war...it's not army against army or country against country...it's a war against terrorism. Remember all those planes hijacked and bombed by these terrorist? What about the killing of Israelis in Germany for the Olympics Games? Terrorist don't work alone they're a well organized group...they need people spying for them, people willing to be messengers for the next suicide bomb or next attack. Wake up. it's a dirty work, nobody likes it but someone has to do it. Next time, try to investigate how these terrorist plan their attacks -- maybe then people will realize that there's a new war!

F. Michael Montgomery
Santa Rosa, CA

Our current use of torture and rendition flies in the face of our American values. It dehumanizes us as we use it to assuage our fear of terrorism and disgraces our nation, which had been held in high regard for its promotion of human rights and the rule of law. We have compromised it all in our own eyes and in the eyes of the world.Thank you for the courage to report on this heinous practice.

Linda
Burns, Or

When a country undertakes torture and rendition against those who are guilty until proven innocent, we cannot complain when it comes back to haunt us. We have set our own soldiers and travelers abroad (and possibly here in this country) for the same treatment, and given up our right to protest. Many say the world follows America's lead - this time it will be right into the gutter of the New Dark Ages.

Benjamin Dogwood
Bourbonnais, Illinois

Unconventional war often requires unconventional techniques to combat terrorists. The French learned this in Algeria. If it takes rendition to keep my children safe from terrorism, so be it. Maybe the complainers haven't noticed that there has not been another successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the government started doing rendition. Results speak for themselves.Those who speak against it should say how they intend to get information from terrorists to protect us. It is easy to criticize rendition, but what do you propose to replace it? Maybe a tea party with the possible terrorist will cause him to disclose his secrets. Grow up, war is not a nice friendly thing, and the U.S. has been doing things like this long before George Bush.

Pajoh Lublewski
San Francisco, CA

A very good program - well done. I would urge all on this thread to go and see (and take your Republican friends with you) the movie 'Rendition' which really shows the callousness and brutality of the practice. It's not whining liberal propaganda either, the movie shows how nasty the Islamist extremists are along with the interrogators. Unfortunately, the current Administration does not really believe in 'Land of the brave, Home of the free'. Cynical expediency trumps integrity every time.


(anonymous)
Personally I am disgusted that our government stoops to this kind of behavior. We, who set ourselves up as an example to the world; what does the world think about us now? Thanks to you for bringing us this information from under the rock and into the light. Americans and the world need to know what is going on regardless of how they feel about it. It's the secrecy and lack of reporting by the main stream media that scares me the most.

Camryn Barnes
San Francisco, CA

I just watched the movie Rendition, and seeing this episode of Frontline made me infinitely more depressed. We the "torch bearers" of democracy and civil rights lose authenticity and the right to condemn other nations of committing atrocities when we do such inhumane acts. This practice is horrendous and goes against everything our founding fathers stood for.


Lake Tahoe, Nevada

George W. Bush has destroyed America. We can only hope he and his bunch are prosecuted for crimes against humanity and War crimes.

Seattle, WA
Great Program! Classic Frontline example of letting the critics move their gums so they feel like they are saying something important, while giving aid and comfort to the enemy. I have a source that told me that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed broke under interrogation because they took another Guantánamo Bay prisoner in a device that quickly crushed the man's head and splattered brain fragments on Khalid. Waterboarding is for wuzzes.

ian kemp
san francisco, ca

if we intentionally throw away the moral foundations our society has been built upon, to say nothing of the pragmatic arguments against torture as an ineffectual method of gaining credible information, we are in essence destroying the keystone of our country and society before the enemy, terrorist, et al, do so.
If we, as a country, are unwilling to apply our standards of justice and morality to all people of the world, because they are the epitome of what is just and what is right, then how do we dare say they are at all worth applying at home?

B Hoffman
Phx, Az

It's time to flip a `Carville' back on the current Clinton running for President and her ideological like. To include the cast of dolts that prepared this piece of neo-journalistic hand wringing wrapped as a normally credible Frontline report. "It's the WAR stupid", the one you don't appear to have the stomach to win. Courage isn't always heroic; sometimes it just has to be done.

911truthdotorg
Phoenix, Arizona

I just watched this and it was worse than I'd imagined it would be. The monster-in-chief's so-called war on terror is based on an absolute lie because their "official" story of 9/11 is an absolute lie! 9/11 was the catalyst for the Bush crime family's nightmarish neo-con, fascist agenda.

(anonymous)
How can we criticize other countries for abducting and torturing people, when the United States is known to do the same?

Paul Van
Tampa Bay, FL

I find this story tantamount to treason. The story does not have to include names, dates, and actual locations. Now all of this information is in the hands of the enemy and their supporters. If you are a student of history, you would understand this was not allowed during WW2 and anyone who did so was prosecuted. The same should hold true now. Can anyone imagine how we could have won WW2 with the insane and uneducated attitudes many Americans hold today?

Some are looking through some nice rainbow of how things should be, while we are dealing with a new modern high-tech threat by Barbarians. While we confront an enemy that is as barbaric and brutal as any faced in history, we want to give terrorist due process? We have an enemy working towards the goal of placing nuclear weapons and the most terrifying biological weapons in American cities killing millions of us and destroying our way of life! And this gives us pause at keeping these people up at night and playing loud music?

The first people to lose their heads here if the Islamofacist had their ways would be those who advocate such a liberal attitude. Save the nice rules of war for an enemy that is not barbaric! This is a new high tech world where one person can kill thousands or hundreds of thousands which will also result in an economic disaster that would make the depression look like good times!

Do you really want to test this situation? There are so many deserving stories Frontline could do than to give the world our secrets to use against us, DUH!

Alex Chionetti
Newark, N.J

The tonight's program on 'Extraordinary Rendition',was an excellent example of courageous investigative reporting. We hope to see also more investigations from American journalists too.

Having lived during fascist regimes in South America I revive old horrors of what humans can do in the name of a vengeful and false democracy. Is a pity to see governments as the Polish or the Egyptians collaborating with clandestine torture and kidnapping.
The shadow horrors of the Seventies seems to flow again over us.

Fortunately the press and public TV can express and broadcast a continued fight against the heinous web of a secrecy.

John-Paul O'Driscoll
Prattville, Alabama

A major black eye on America's honor, name, and goodwill that will embolden a new generation to act out of hate.

New York, New York
An extraordinary documentary by Stephen Grey. Thank You.I would accept the concept of rendition on individuals who are really terrorists and want to harm us and our nation.
But by just rounding individuals, detaining them without any charges and then finally free them like the Milan based cleric, and a Tunisian individual does not really help us. It actually creates a severe negative picture on our nation and creates more anti-American propaganda around the world.

Let us all agree that rendition program is necessary and vital tool in protecting our nation but it also ought to be done to individuals who really hate us not just randomly.


Ft. Worth, Texas

I found this report validates the saying that it is not Americans that other countries' citizens hate, but rather American policy. This report shows that our government is not perfect, but far from it. How can we call terrorism bad when this is America's response to it?

David Murphy
Roseville, Minnesota

I have been appalled for many years now of the American public's lack of interest in finding out the truth for themselves instead of believing the demagoguery of this administration. Please look at the issues from all angles and make your own conclusions.

Justin Cain
Springfield, MA

To hear that children are disappeared in some of these "renditions" makes me sick and ashamed to be an American. I do not stand for any of this! How much longer will we allow "our" government to bring us down so low? FRONTLINE needs to capture a few minutes on the major networks, soon.

Abdul Hazid
Dallas, Tx

liberal propaganda. get real.

John Hattaway
DeSoto, ks

Thanks for the exposure. If the reaction is muted then it would seem we will deserve whatever degradation accompanies the like inhumane actions. The CIA plot by the Kennedys' boomeranged plot on Castro is an example extraordinaire.

princeton, nj
I'm as much against torture and foul play as anybody, but we can't ignore the fact that there are fanatics out there who will stop at nothing to inflict death on tens, hundreds or thousands of Americans and other Westerners. Some of these people will operate by rules that we recognize as consonant with civilized behavior, but a minority feel themselves bound by no such constraints. Are we to hold ourselves defenseless to such people?

Ben Chernenko
Beverly Hills, CA

Thank God that there are leaders in this country that understand the nature of war and how to win it. For all of the valid criticism that can be waged against the Bush administration, this rendition program that protect citizens is laudable. What do the naysayers think about the tactics used by the Allied powers in WWII? Research what happened in Hamburg and Dresden and you begin to see that to win a war, you have to be prepared to engage in some nasty business and I, for one, am discouraged about our future by the kind of handwringing shown on tonight's FRONTLINE.

Rochester, MN
There is only one reaction that any true American patriot could have to this kind of activity; disgust! What kind of nation have we become when we allow this kind of thing to be done in our name? This president and his thugs should all be sent to these prisons so we can have our nation back. Shame on American citizens for allowing this!

Peter Peters
Winnipeg, Manitoba

I find this story absolutely appalling. How has America fallen so low? The very practices that we in the West declared outrageous when the Soviet KGB practiced them during he height of the Cold War days are now practiced by US CIA agents. How can other nations believe in our values of due process, human rights, etc., when we ourselves do not practice them? Truly the US and by association all of the Western democracies are going to reap a full circle of revenge that will plague us for years to come. I have nothing but total contempt for this practice.

Olympia, WA
Are you the last mainstream media doing any real investigation? Perhaps you are. I am grateful to you because the need for the general public to understand the truth has never been greater. So many people have suffered so much because of a very frightening American Shadow Government that is now virtually acting with impunity. Please do not back down. It is urgent. The world as we know it cannot survive World War III. Only broad understanding of what is happening can prevent it in time..... Thank you.

pepkoka kay
holden, ma

Rendition deserves more than 30 minutes.