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The 54 Countries That Helped the CIA Kidnap and Torture Terror Suspects

Yes, little old Iceland made the list. So did the Hague's neighbors in Belgium, and Sweden and Finland. Why?

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Yes, little old Iceland made the list. So did the Hague's neighbors in Belgium. According to a new, 213-page report from the Open Society Justice Initiative, a human rights group, the CIA got more than four-dozen countries to help it mount a global kidnapping, torture, and detention operation put into place after 9/11, hoping to put names to a program long shrouded in a cooperative kind of secrecy. Here are the 54 "accountable" countries that allegedly aided in making the torture network possible, according to the group:

Now we had an idea that countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan had secret prisons and torture. And yes, we heard about the CIA's Romanian secret prison back in December of 2011, as the CIA's long-protected list of black sites and other countries began to unravel after the Bush administration. But Iceland? What did Iceland do? And what about all those other seemingly peaceful, anti-torture nations like Sweden and Finland and Belgium? That's really why this report, although unconfirmed and largely based on independent sourcing, stands out — even as countries like Norway were left out.

As The Guardian's Ian Cobain points out, "the OSJI's rendition list also includes states such as Ireland, Iceland and Cyprus, which are accused of granting covert support for the programme by permitting the use of airspace and airports by aircraft involved in rendition flights." That makes sense — that Icelanders weren't holding potential suspects in secret Icelandic prison camps so much as that they allowed the U.S. to transport rendered suspects. And that matters because the U.S., according to the OSJI, is breaking international law by playing ringleader:

Somebody might still call the Hague, but they'll probably call on John Brennan first at his CIA confirmation hearing on Thursday. They'll probably be asking about drones, too.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.