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USA: CIA sued over “extraordinary rendition”

Former CIA director George Tenet and other CIA officials are being sued under the US Alien Tort Claims Act, by a German citizen, Khaled El-Masri, who claims to have been wrongfully abducted by the CIA in Macedonia and transported to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan where he was ill-treated. This is the first legal challenge to the CIA’s practice of “extraordinary rendition”, in which terrorist suspects are taken across borders, without due process, to secret detention centres for interrogation. The day of her departure for Europe, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice justified the practice of rendition as a legal, long-standing and vital tool to counter terrorism.