The recently-released U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation [torture] Program reveals that three NATO nations in Eastern Europe hosted CIA detention and interrogation centers, also known as «black sites.» The three countries identified as hosting DETENTION SITES BLUE, BLACK, and VIOLET are Poland, Romania, and Lithuania, respectively. A fourth «black site», DETENTION SITE GREEN, was located in Thailand.
Details of the brutal torture tactics employed by the CIA at the Eastern European sites were revealed after successive governments in Poland, Romania, and Lithuania obfuscated about the presence of the facilities in their respective countries and their actual use.
Former leaders of the torture-acquiescent countries all ran for political cover upon the release of the Senate report. Chief among them was former Polish President Aleksandr Kwasniewski who originally denied that the CIA maintained a «black» torture facility in his nation. When a facility at Stare Kiejkuty, near Szymany, Poland was identified in the media as DETENTION CENTER BLUE in the torture report, Kwasniewski gave a mealy-mouthed response similar to those from those Nazis charged at the Nuremberg trials for committing war crimes. Kwasniewski claimed that Poland «took steps to end the activity at this site and the activity was stopped at some point.» Kwasniewski’s vagueness about what he personally did and when he did it to stop the torture speaks volumes about his culpability in violating European Union human rights law.
Kwasniewski claims Poland shut down the Szmany facility at some point in time. He also avers that he asked the Americans to treat those held at the facility as prisoners of war, that is, as humanely as possible, according to the Geneva Conventions. The brutal interrogation methods carried out by the CIA were far from humane, as the Senate report starkly reveals.
Former Prime Minister Leszek Miller joined Kwasniewski in condemning the release of the report. However, their consternation about the release appeared to have more to do with the report’s revelation that a large number of banknotes from the CIA were delivered into Polish hands by the U.S. ambassador in Warsaw. At least a million dollars were paid by the CIA to line the pockets of complicit Polish leaders.
According to the Senate report, after initially rejecting the transfer of high-level detainees, including alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, to Stare Kiejkuty, the Polish leaders became more «flexible» after the U.S. ambassador delivered CIA cash to the Warsaw leadership. Kwasniewski and Miller claim to be shocked by the report’s revelations and the information contained in it. However, these two obvious «coin-operated» Polish leaders appear to be as «shocked» as was Inspector Reynaud in the movie Casablanca when he discovered gambling in Rick’s Café just before collecting his envelope of cash winnings.
Kwasniewski also used the occasion of the report’s release to infer that it somehow affects the West’s relations with Russia. Relying on a totally non sequiter-based argument, Kwasniewski stated that the torture report exposed America’s weakness, especially in the eyes of Russia. The former Polish president stated that «with this publication the Americans lose their potential as an ally." It is a dubious stretch of the imagination to suggest that the exposure of America’s torture of prisoners in Poland somehow strengthens Russia.
Former Polish president Lech Walesa said that Kwasniewski and Miller should face repercussions for allowing the CIA center to operate in Poland.
Dick Marty, the Council of Europe’s chief investigator of CIA black sites in Europe, has charged that Kwasniewski; Marek Siwiec, the chief of the national security office, Marek Siwiec, the head of Poland’s national security office; former Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski, and Marek Dukaczewski, the former chief of Polish military intelligence, were all fully aware of the purpose of the CIA facility in Poland.
Marty’s investigation has also pointed to former Romanian President Ion Iliescu, the outgoing President Traian Basescu, presidential national security adviser Ioan Talpes, former Defense Minister Oran Mircea Pascu, a former defense minister, and former chief of Romanian military intelligence Segiu Tudor Medar as being fully apprised of the purpose of the CIA site, called DETENTION CENTER BLACK in the Senate report, at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base (known as the «MK air base»), located 25 miles northwest of the Black Sea port of Constanta.
Iliescu claimed that he had no knowledge of the CIA interrogation center, echoing similar claims of innocence and ignorance from other leaders of Eastern European NATO countries. Michael Guest, the openly-gay U.S. ambassador in Bucharest at the time DETENTION CENTER BLACK was in operation, denied being informed about the interrogation center. However, Guest’s counterpart in Warsaw, Christopher Hill, was paying off Polish government officials some one million dollars in return for Poland’s «flexibility» on DETENTION CENTER BLUE.
Valdas Adamkus, the President of Lithuania at the time the CIA torture center was in operation near the capital of Vilnius, said he was not aware of its presence. Adamkus, a former member of U.S. Army intelligence during the Cold War, is hardly a person who should be believed when it comes to secret U.S. operations at the Vilnius site. Even when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Adamkus said with a straight face, «I am still convinced that there had been no jails and no prisoners» in Lithuania.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius called on the United States to reveal to Lithuania whether it was operating what the Senate report called DETENTION CENTER VIOLET near Vilnius. However, Butkevicius need only consult with Lithuanian parliamentarian Arvydas Anusauskas who headed up a parliamentary inquiry which determined that the CIA ran rendition flights in and out of Vilnius. Lithuania’s President, Dalia Grybauskaite, said Lithuania would take some sort of «responsibility» for the CIA’s torture if the Senate report’s information turned out to be true. Grybauskaite, who accepts prima facie every iota of propaganda from the Ukrainian regime in Kiev, wants to set a higher standard on carefully researched information from the Senate Intelligence Committee.
It does appear that Washington did consult with leaders of four of the five countries mentioned as hosts for the CIA black sites before the release of the report. Thailand, the location of DETENTION CENTER GREEN, issued a blanket denial that the CIA maintained a secret detention center in Thailand. Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, an aide to the military-appointed prime minister and head of the Thai National Intelligence Agency, said that because «Thailand» was not mentioned by name in the Senate report, no CIA base existed in Thailand. It was a comment worthy of a military-installed fascist government.
It is ironic that the leaders of Poland, Romania, and Lithuania, nations where international «human rights» multi-billionaire advocate George Soros has built huge political and «civil society» infrastructures, would deny the presence of CIA torture centers. However, such hypocrisy is patently a part of the Soros machine’s dirty work on behalf of the CIA. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov rightly called for an investigation of the CIA’s human rights abuses likening them to the worst torture practices of the Spanish Inquisition.
However, CIA director John Brennan, a major architect of the CIA’s rendition and interrogation program, remains unrepentant as he continues to lethally arm some of the world’s worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iraq, and other countries.