Report of Thai support for CIA torture is untrue: NSC
Council sec-gen wonders whether Soros had ulterior motive in claim.The National Security Council yesterday firmly dismissed a report that Thailand was involved in the US Central Intelligence Agency's secret detention and torture of suspected terrorists during the post-September 11, 2001 period.
Released by the Open Society Foundations, a George Soros organisation, the report identified 54 governments, including Thailand, as collaborators of the CIA.
"It is totally untrue," the council's secretary-general, Lt General Paradorn Pattanathabutr, said.
He also hit back at Soros, a financier whose speculative attacks on the baht currency were blamed partially for Thailand's 1997 financial crisis.
Paradorn said he wondered whether Soros had an ulterior motive in raising the accusation against Thailand.
According to the report, Thailand hosted a secret CIA prison - where detainees were tortured. The Open Society Foundations attributed much of its findings to the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), which interviewed 14 "high value detainees" in September 2006 after they were transferred from secret CIA detention to Guantanamo Bay.
Among them were Riduan Isamuddin, or Hambali, and Mohammed Nazir bin Lep, or Lillie.
Isamuddin told the ICRC that after being captured on August 14, 2003, in Thailand in a joint US-Thai operation, during his four to five day-long detention in Thailand, he was subjected to stress positions while blindfolded with a sack over his head, kept naked and deprived of solid food. He was later held in a CIA prison in Rabat, in Morocco, and then taken to Romania.
Bin Lep, who was arrested in Bangkok on August 11, 2003, alleged he was held naked for three to four days in Thailand and that he was denied any solid food during the very first days after his arrest.
Abd al Rahim al Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah were waterboarded in Thailand, according to the report by the Open Society Foundations. The report said Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded in Thailand 83 times.
The report said other individuals subjected to CIA secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations in Thailand included Amin Mohammad Abdallah al Bakri, Saifullah Paracha, Abdullah al-Sadiq, and Fatima Bouchar. The extraordinary rendition referred to is defined as the transfer - without legal process - of a detainee to the custody of a foreign government for purposes of detention and interrogation.
Such practice, according to the report by the Open Society Foundations, is part of the CIA secret detention programme, which started in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the US in 2001.