Introductory clip of Extraordinary Rendition, to be broadcast on PBS Frontline on November 6 at 9 pm ET.

On November 6th, Frontline will air a chilling documentary on the CIA practice of extraordinary rendition. One of the men behind the film — journalist Stephen Grey — will be here at FDL for a special Film Salon on Thursday, October 25th, at 11:00 am ET/8:00 am PT. Stephen is the author of Ghost Plane, and has concentrated his most recent investigative work on security issues and Iraq for publications like Atlantic Monthly and the Guardian, among many other projects. From the Frontline press release:

“They pushed me down onto the floor of the van. There was blood everywhere, on my hands, my knees,” Egyptian cleric Abu Omar tells FRONTLINE/World reporter Stephen Grey about being snatched off the street by the CIA.

“As we drove along, I started to choke.… It felt like I was dying. Then I disappeared from history.”

“Somebody came, removed the hood, removed the cuffs and left me in the shackles,” Bisher al-Rawi, a longtime British resident, says of his arrival at an infamous secret CIA “black site” in Afghanistan.

“And that was the ‘Dark Prison.’… It was a very, very cold place. … You had some sort of odd voices, not music, playing on speakers. … You had people coming to check you were alive—not OK, but alive. … [For] the duration of the dark prison I had shackles on. I just took it as it came.”

I hope that everyone will be able to join us for what promises to be a harrowing and extraordinary discussion on a subject that desperately needs much more sunlight.

As you will see from the video, there are a lot of questions that need answers. Including whether this conduct done in the name of the United States under such a sanitized term as “extraordinary rendition” makes us more safe…or much less safe over the long run. This is a subject about which there has been a substantial amount of concern, and while it is a very difficult one in terms of discussion and anger, I think it will be incredibly beneficial to delve into this topic and hopefully to stimulate more discussion in the public sphere.

And while I’m at it, I’d still like to hear some answers to Marty’s questions…because what I’ve heard thus far from both the Bush Administration and Judge Mukasey, the current AG nominee, has been less than satisfactory.

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

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