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Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. Mai 2007

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"'We don't kick the shit out of them, we send them to other countries so they can get the shit kicked out of them.' US official involved in CIA renditions 'Exhilarating... Paglen and Thompson provide a comprehensive look at the ways the CIA hides its operations, and at the brave citizens who have cracked its codes. It paints a mysterious and frightening picture.' Time Out Chicago"


This is an investigative journalism in the mould of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. This is an incredible story of shadowy CIA kidnappings followed by imprisonment and torture. The secret may be out, but the horror remains in this original expose of extraordinary rendition. This is the incredible story of how the CIA's darkest secret of the War on Terror - the 'extraordinary rendition' programme - was exposed. It's no longer a secret: since 9/11, the CIA has quietly kidnapped more than a hundred people and detained them at prisons throughout the world. Often, the detainees are tortured or disappear entirely. Now infamous, the 'extraordinary rendition' programme is a key part of the largest clandestine operation since the end of the Cold War.

In this shocking book, an award-winning investigative journalist and a 'military geographer' explore the programme in journeys around the world: to suburban Massachusetts to profile a CIA front company supplying the agency with planes; to North Carolina to track down the pilots; to the San Francisco suburbs to study with a planespotter who monitors the CIA's movements; and to Afghanistan, where they visit the notorious Salt Pit prison and interview released Afghan detainees. The kidnappings have not stopped. On the contrary, the rendition programme has been formalised, colluding with the military when necessary, and constantly changing its cover to remain hidden from sight. This is a chilling looking at the logistics of torture which shows how far Bush is prepared to go in the 'war on terror'.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x95e83450) von 5 Sternen 10 Rezensionen
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x96cd8480) von 5 Sternen A good overview (and nothing more) 19. Januar 2008
Von Siriam - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The book is an easy read (though not very enjoyable given its subject matter) of how the current situation of numerous unlawful kidnappings of different countries citizens in the names of the US war on terror has come to pass and the potential consequences.

The overall style is investigative reporting but this is no Woodward/Bernstein style opus because the writers have no important inside sources spilling the beans. Instead what you get is a good trail of all the historical evidence, how the position grew under prior US presidents but always with the ability to disclaim knowledge until "Dubya" proved to be the post 9/11 president who wanted to show hands on involvement, and a post 9/11 turf war which the FBI lost and the CIA under George Tenet has probably taken too far in the adverse consequences for that organisation and the US government.

The book is heavy on facts (especially how the global hobby of plane spotting and flight tracking proved the undoing of and publicising of the CIA's secret programme) but poor on analysis. There is for example minimal understanding conveyed of how many governments (such as Sweden and Germany) that had been against the US war on Iraq proved such willing accomplices and without which the US rendition programme would never have worked.

What is clear is that the programme has had minimal success with a great number of irrelevant or innocent operatives having been subject to different forms of imprisonment and torture and in turn the way the programme has been operated making it impossible to bring any proven cases to trial. The end victim is US credibility in many countries though the current US policy hold of not being weak on terrorism has probably obfuscated that immediate impact.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x94fdf870) von 5 Sternen Shocking and poignant. 3. Januar 2007
Von iyacyas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book shows the story of the rendition of "people." One would think that when the subject of "rendition" or kidnapping by government would only concern Taliban or Iraqi insurgents or international terrorists. In many cases it does. In most cases however, it contains stories of people who were just living their lives normally like any other citizen. Some of them were and are innocent American citizens. Guilty of being Arabic or Muslim. I am a Christian, but fear that if the administration in power doesn't agree with my political ideals whether it be democrat or republican, they could render me. It really makes you think.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x95d302b8) von 5 Sternen Extraordinary rendition and irregular rendition and The Taxi 2. März 2010
Von zz top - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is dated already but it is a well written resource.
The author had become skilled at tracking flights.
Private front companies like the famous Air America that operated out of southeast Asia during the Vietnam war but it has all gotten way more sophisticated.
A whole privet airline network of snatch and grab black bag type of dudes. Efficient money making and very "black".
Some politicians state that waterboarding does not constitute torture.
And that may be true however the agency can fly you someplace no one cares and dip you in a vat of acid.
They can fly a guy any place including places where they want to torture guys for cash.
The dark side of the war on terror. If you think the War on Terror is real and necessary then this is a brilliant capitalists secret response to jihad. Neat and tidy and we do not see anything bad.
Apparently they sometimes pick up the wrong guy on the torture taxi.
Use of front companies and even if I remember right the Boston Red Sox's plane to aid in torture is all recounted in this book.
According to wikipida "Within days of his inauguration, President Obama signed an Executive Order opposing rendition torture and establishing a task force to provide recommendations about processes to prevent rendition torture."

FYI it is 3/1/2010 as of the writing of this review Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program is still needed.
1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x94fcc1b0) von 5 Sternen Flights of Pure Evil 22. August 2013
Von Larry Rochelle - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Trevor Paglen & A.C. Thompson have written a dangerous book, shining a light on the CIA process of killing and torturing supposed terrorists without giving them legal representation.

Since its publication in 2006, the book's content has been further refined by the Obama killing machine: in one case of kidnapping and assassination, Obama watched on close circuit TV as bin Laden was kidnapped and murdered. How monstrous this rendition program has become.

Since 2006, whistle-blowers and journalists in the USA have been targeted by the new President. Even Bush Junior kept a scorecard on the disappearances of un-indicted evil-doers. Obama has expanded the Bush killing methods by attacking and assassinating with drones.

The title TORTURE TAXI seems too cutesy for such a horrific book. These CIA airplanes that picked up kidnap victims and transported them to other countries for torture are not cute. They are pure evil, and I am very upset that some of them used North Carolina as their home base.

The photos in the book remind me of the USA white plane that flew over Washington DC on 9/11; it had a huge communication system and would have seen all of the "attack planes" as they went to their targets. Who flew these attack planes, Arabs or CIA drone pilots? When will the real killers in the USA and in the CIA be brought to justice? When will Obama slough off the influence of our right-wing military and stop the assassinations?
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x94fcc348) von 5 Sternen To Live Outside the Law You Must be Honest 28. April 2008
Von Keith A. Comess - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Paglen and Thompson have written an excellent exposition of the "extraordinary rendition" program currently extant in the US. While there are many other articles and books that deal with this new and perverse twist in American Executive Branch authority, this one is unique in it's detailed exposition of the grassroots international network of "plane spotters". These dedicated amateurs initially identified the involved aircraft (the "torture taxis") and their efforts ultimately lead to the public exposure of the program.

A brief historical note places the program in context: it was begun during the Reagan Administration, continued and amplified under Clinton and reached it's zenith during the current Bush Administration. All evidence, the authors assert, suggests it is permanently with us. The litany of terrorist actions that lead to it's creation is briefly summarized.

The argument of the book is as follows: The Executive Branch, under whose aegis this program falls, does not trouble to deny the existance of the program. Rather, it asserts that it's war making authority encompasses "necessary defensive measures" such as this one; these claims are simply preposterous infringements on the accepted legal standard. The mendacious justifications offered by John Yoo and his colleagues at the US Justice Department for this gross and self-evident breach of human rights and de facto abrogation of a plethora of applicable treaties renders the position of the US vis-a-vis our Western Allies and our role as a "model" for the "benighted" Second (former USSR) and Third World risible. Further, Justice's claims are so all-encompassing that they create for the Executive Branch the legal pretext for a variety of encroachments on civil liberties and our established system of governance which genuinely threaten the basis for our current Constitutional form of republican government.

It would be reasonable to conclude that, as a result of precedents such as this program, when US civilians and military personnel are captured and tortured by our enemies, only a perverse, paralogical and cynical objection to their treatment can be proffered by Americans, given the standard successive US governments have set for their own official behavior. Complicity of a variety of "enlightened" EU governments exposes their own hypocritical stances on human rights. Their involvement further undermines Western moral credibility and promotes the "moral equivalence"/post-modernist arguments that frequently derail any attempt to establish standards for individual and nation-state behavior.

The book could benefit from an index and a somewhat more thorough reference section. The occasional use of the "present historical" tense is annoying, as this adds a sensationalist tinge to the otherwise excellent reporting. However, these are truly minor quibbles.

The book really soars in the "conclusion" section. The authors' condemnation of the program is best encapsulated in this paragraph: "Nonetheless, when one is talking about disappearing people, about torturing people, about holding people incommunicado at secret locations throughout the world, one cannot make sensible distinctions between innocence and guilt. Those are legal terms...Indeed, in the absence of law, guilt and innocence become meaningless, even misleading." In short, as Bob Dylan wrote, "To live outside the law you must be honest": our government is not.

Successive US Administrations have undermined the concept of law,, but the Bush Administration, by virtue of this program, has effectively abrogated the American system of jurisprudence. Take, for example, the McCain anti-torture ammendment, overwhelmingly passed by the Congress: it was rendered meaningless, as the Bush Administration "exempted" itself from the law.

The renditions program embodies the very worst and most arbitrary standards of human rights abuse previously thought to be the "exclusive" pervue of various despotic regimes; it is the very same system of extrajudicial retributive policies that our own government has cynically inveighed against over many, many decades. It is, in summary, a disgrace and a shameful episode in American history.

It should be noted that important, new details have been and are being added to the public knowledge-base of the renditions program since this book was written in 2006. Despite the lapse of two years time, Paglen and Thompson have done a fine job in exposing the program in this short and important book. It deserves attention.
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