A team of researchers are illuminating some of the shadowy details behind the US government's vast kidnapping and rendition program from the post 9/11 era with a new interactive online project, which sheds "unprecedented light on one of the most controversial secret operations of recent years," the Guardian reports Wednesday.
Researchers from The Rendition Project, who worked with human rights group Reprieve, compiled a trove of data and research – including original documents – that reveals the ways in which the CIA transported hostages through a network of detention and rendition facilities around the world—staying mobile and illusive to avoid detection.
Among the features of the project, the researchers allow you to track CIA flights via an interactive map, showing the trajectories of CIA operatives and their prisoners that criss-cross around the planet and access analyses of the prisoners and the prisons and aircraft used by the CIA.
As the Guardian reports:
The data includes details on 11,006 flights by aeroplanes linked to the CIA's rendition program since 2002. Of those, 1,556 flights are classed as confirmed or suspected rendition flights, or flagged as "suspicious", depending on the strength of the supporting evidence surrounding each. [...]
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The website also weaves together first-hand testimony of detainees of their mistreatment within the secret prisons; the layout and conditions of the facilities; the movements of detainees across the globe; and documents that detail outsourcing to corporations that offered logistical support, from flights to catering and hotel reservations. In some cases, it is unclear whether the airline companies would have been aware of the purpose of the flights.
The project also brings to light new information on the methods used to avoid detection of rendition flights, particularly as journalists became aware of the program. [...]
"The database makes a major contribution to efforts to track CIA rendition flights, and provides the clearest picture so far of what was going on," said researcher Sam Raphael. "It also serves as an important tool for investigators, journalists and lawyers to delve into in more detail."
"The Rendition Project lays bare the inner workings of the logistics network underlying the US government's secret prison program," said Crofton Black, an investigator with Reprieve.
See the interactive map below: