Holding North Carolina Accountable for Extraordinary Rendition and Torture
- Deborah Weissman
Prof. Weissman is the Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law. She helped establish the North Carolina Citizen’s Commission of Inquiry on Torture and serves as Legal Advisor.
- Scott Roehm
- Fionnuala Ni Aolain
Prof. Ni Aolain is a Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center. She is currently serving as the UN Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights.
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States dramatically expanded the use of extraordinary rendition, an intelligence-gathering program through which individuals suspected of terrorism were abducted and transported beyond the reach of the law, held incommunicado, and interrogated by torture.
Declassified documents and news reports have revealed that North Carolina played a unique role in this program. Sources have confirmed that the CIA established an aviation front company in North Carolina called Aero Contractors in 1979 and this company was used after 9/11 to transport dozens of detainees to secret detention and torture sites.
Once it became public that North Carolina’s public resources had helped facilitate the U.S. torture program, a grassroots network of concerned citizens established the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture. They have convened a panel of experts to “do the job the government refuses to do: investigate North Carolina’s involvement in the U.S. torture program, prevent it from happening again, and make North Carolina a leader against torture.”
This discussion will explore these efforts to hold the state and a private contractor headquartered in North Carolina accountable for their actions in facilitating extraordinary rendition.
Read more here about the background of North Carolina’s involvement in the U.S. torture program.