RENDITION: Thousands of "Suspects" have "Disappeared": Shedding Light on North Carolina's "Rendition" Connection

The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was a searing reminder of the pain felt by those who lost loved ones on that day and in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New York City opened a stunning memorial, which allowed all of us to remember and grieve.

A very different panorama greets the families who last week marked a related anniversary - the opening of the Guantánamo Detention Camp on Jan. 11, 2002, and the beginning of the Bush administration's embrace of what Vice President Dick Cheney termed "the dark side."

In 10 years, thousands of suspects have been detained or even "disappeared," secretly taken on American orders to be interrogated and sometimes tortured all over the world. Some were no doubt guilty. But many were not. All were treated without regard for due process, making a mockery of our commitment to human rights. On this 10th anniversary, the victims of "extraordinary rendition" and torture and their families are largely alone and forgotten.

North Carolina played a crucial role in this abuse. Aero Contractors, the CIA-affiliated aviation company headquartered at the Johnston County Airport in Smithfield, transported dozens of men to overseas jails. In places like Uzbekistan, Romania and Egypt, North Carolina-based pilots and crews delivered prisoners to jails where they were held incommunicado and savagely tortured. Sometimes, the torturers were U.S. officials; other times, Americans had others do the dirty work.

Much of the information obtained was questionable at best and often wrong, making America less - not more - safe.

Extraordinary rendition is a clear violation of international law and U.S. treaty obligations. Many of its victims have since been released, with no charges filed and no

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