The new groundbreaking report, CIA Torture Unredacted, offers “the most detailed public account to date of CIA Torture.” The report fills many of the gaps in public knowledge regarding the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (RDI) program, which remains highly secretive after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence withheld their report on the program from public view. Only a highly redacted executive summary was released in 2014.
CIA Torture Unredacted builds on previous investigations by “shedding new light on the inner workings of the program and tracking in detail the operation of CIA black sites, the use of private aircraft to transfer prisoners secretly between these sites, and the fate and whereabouts of those subject to secret detention, rendition, and torture.”
The report corroborates findings from the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture, confirming that North Carolina played an essential role in facilitating the rendition and torture program. As shown in the flight logs, available in the appendices, half of the 62-rendition missions listed in the report originated from North Carolina. All but one of those operations were conducted by Aero Contractors, a CIA-affiliate headquartered and operated in Johnston County, North Carolina.
As the authors write, “it is important to be clear about the severity and systematic nature of the abuse which lay at the heart of the program. This is especially true given the lengths to which state officials have gone to deny the impact of, or even the existence of, CIA torture, including through the use of euphemistic language. This was not a program of ‘enhanced interrogation’; this was torture.”
CIA Torture Unredacted was released as Congress considers provisions to indefinitely shield the identity of CIA agents — language the agency says it wants because of the RDI program. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has noted that the CIA explicitly referred to RDI when it requested the language in Section 305 of the Intelligence Authorization Act, which is currently being debated in Congress. It is argued to be an attempt by Congress to hold the CIA less accountable.