Links for Government Bodies
Various government and parliamentary committees have investigated UK complicity in the global rendition system, although the conclusions of these committees vary.
The Joint Select Committee on Human Rights was established to consider matters relating to human rights in the UK. In May 2006, in its 19th Report, it offered fairly detailed analysis of its attempts to clarify what Britain’s role had been in rendition. Among its recommendations to government, it called on the government to require the submission of passenger lists for aircraft landing in the UK or passing through UK air space.
The Intelligence and Security Committee was established in 1994 to examine the policy, administration and expenditure of Britain’s Security Services. In July 2007 it published a special report on rendition. The Committee concluded that the use of British airports and airspace by the CIA was not in doubt. However, it stated that it had not seen any evidence that suggest any of those flights had transferred detainees through UK airspace.
Established in December 2005, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition is a cross party group of MPs that formed to examine extraordinary rendition and related human rights issues. It has published its correspondence with various branches of government, seeking answers on Britain's role in rendition.
Different departments within the US Government have undertaken investigations into rendition, secret detention and torture.
The CIA Office of the Inspector General was established in 1989 and is responsible for the independent oversight of the CIA. In 2004 it carried out an extensive investigation into the use of so-called ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ against ‘High Value Detainees’, held by the CIA and Department of Defense since 2001. The report was declassified in 2009. The report demonstrates that it was far from clear that the use of torture had elicited intelligence that would prevent terrorist attacks. It also showed that despite efforts to limit and regulate the use of torture, its use was chaotic, and went far beyond what the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel had approved.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, under the auspices of the US Department of State, aims to hold governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments, to promote respect for human rights, to promote the rule of law, to assist the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and to coordinate human rights activities with its allies. It investigates and reports on the human rights performance of over 190 countries annually. Frequently the State Department highlights the fact that many of the countries involved in rendition and secret detention have appalling human rights records, and regularly use torture against detainees.