On Tuesday, Guardian reporter Spencer Ackerman published a piece in which he exposed “an off-the-books interrogation compound.”
Lawyers have called it the “domestic equivalent of a CIA black site” where Americans are effectively taken out of communication with the outside world while they are interrogated. The more official name is Homan Square.
According to some of the victims held, the practices resembled the CIA-led sites as described in the Senate’s review of the use of torture. Detainees were shackled for extended periods of time, beaten, and held without legal counsel for as much as 24 hours. Detainees were as young as 15 years old.
To avoid a paper trail, the detentions and their interrogations were kept of the city database.
The latest revelations came only days after Ackerman discovered that a former Chicago police officer had also worked as an interrogator at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Richard Zuley spent thirty years on the police force and was later exposed to be a “notoriously” brutal detective, using torture and abuse on suspects to get them to confess. Zuley also planted evidence and threatened family members.
Zuley employed the same tactics in Guantanamo Bay.
The continued existence of Homan Square comes at an inopportune time for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel, once President Obama’s chief of staff, has been forced into an unprecedented runoff vote in his race for re-election. He failed to get a majority of the vote in the first round and now must face Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia.
— Chicago Mayor (@RahmAntics) February 28, 2015