January 24, 2006- Council of Europe Investigator Finds Evidence of U.S. Torture Outsourcing Ring

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) today called for action by the U.S. Congress to respond to the findings made in a report issued by the Council of Europe investigation confirming that the U.S. has “outsourced” torture to other countries.  In light of the European Council findings, the Massachusetts lawmaker today sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee urging the Committee to hold immediate hearings on the CIA’s illegal practice of extraordinary rendition.  On December 8, 2005, Rep. Markey introduced a resolution of inquiry, H.Res. 593, requesting that the Administration provide documents indicating whether any persons were subject to torture after being transferred to another country by the U.S. Government.  The Markey resolution has been referred to the International Relations Committee for further action. 

  “This Administration has absolutely no credibility when it states that the U.S. does not engage in torture.  Today’s report indicates that we not only orchestrate an international torture ring, but we strong-arm our closest allies into participating in our shadowy campaign,” said Rep. Markey.   “I am requesting that the International Relations Committee recognize the magnitude of this issue and address it immediately by holding hearings on my resolution seeking information about these practices.  It is embarrassing that other countries are investigating the CIA’s practice of transferring or ‘rendering’ people to countries that are likely to torture them, but Congress has not even held hearings on the issue.  We don’t want to be put in a position where other countries are telling us about illegal, covert, U.S. government practices.  We should be leading the charge on the investigation, not sitting back and watching it happen.”

If the International Relations Committee does not act on the resolution by February 28, 2006, under the House Rules Rep. Markey can force a vote on the matter by moving to discharge the Committee from further consideration of the resolution.
The latest report from the European Commission investigators indicates that various European governments were complicit with the transit of CIA prisoners through European airports, but does not confirm the existence of secret “black hole” prisons at locations throughout Europe.

In addition to the Resolution of Inquiry, Rep. Markey is the author of the Outsourcing Torture Prevention Act, a bill which would prohibit the practice of sending prisoners overseas to a network of prisons.  He has also attached amendments to several appropriations bills to bar funds from being spent in contravention of the Convention Against Torture. 

For more information about his work to end extraordinary rendition and a copy of the letter from House Members check out:

Copy of Letter to International Relations Committee Copy of Letter to International Relations Committee, Januray 24, 2006

January 24, 2006
 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
Nicole Gasparini