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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Poland breaks silence about its secret CIA prison

    Published: March 31, 2012

    Europe: Poles talk about CIA prison, breaking silence



    Photo by AP

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — For years, the notion that Poland could allow the CIA to operate a secret prison in a remote lake region was treated as a crackpot idea by the country's politicians, journalists and the public.

    A heated political debate this week reveals how dramatically the narrative has changed. In a string of revelations and political statements, Polish leaders have come closer than ever to acknowledging that the United States ran a secret interrogation facility for terror suspects in 2002 and 2003 in the Eastern European country.

    Some officials recall the fear that prevailed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and defend the tough stance that former U.S. President George W. Bush took against terrorists. But the debate is sometimes tinged with a hint of disappointment with Washington, as if Poland's young democracy had been led astray — ethically and legally — by the superpower that it counts as a key ally, and then left alone to deal with the fallout.

    Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Thursday that Poland has become the "political victim" of leaks from U.S. officials that brought to light aspects of the secret rendition program. In his most forthcoming comments on the matter to date, Tusk said an ongoing investigation into the case is proof of Poland's democratic credentials and that Poland cannot be counted on in the future in such clandestine enterprises.

    "Poland will no longer be a country where politicians — even if they are working arm-in-arm with the world's greatest superpower — could make some deal somewhere under the table and then it would never see daylight," said Tusk, who took office four years after the site was shuttered.

    "Poland is a democracy where national and international law must be observed," Tusk said. "This issue must be explained. Let there be no doubt about it either in Poland or on the other side of the ocean."

    To some, it sounded like a long-delayed admission that Poland allowed the U.S. to run the secret site, where terror suspects were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics that human rights advocates consider torture.

    "This statement is quite different from any others," said Adam Bodnar, a human rights lawyer with the Helsinki Foundation in Warsaw. "From the general context, he's kind of admitting that something is in the air. You can feel that this is an indirect confirmation."

    For years Polish officials and the public treated the idea that the CIA ran a prison in Poland as absurd and highly unlikely — even after the United Nations and the Council of Europe said they had evidence of its existence. Polish officials repeatedly rebuffed international calls for serious investigations. The idea slowly only began to get serious consideration after Polish prosecutors opened an investigation into the matter in 2008.

    A new breakthrough came Tuesday when a leading newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, reported that prosecutors have charged a former spy chief, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, for his role in allowing the site. Siemiatkowski was reportedly charged with depriving prisoners of war of their freedom and allowing corporal punishment.

    Siemiatkowski has refused to comment, telling The Associated Press he was bound by secrecy laws on the matter. But he did not deny the report. The issue is hugely sensitive because any Polish leaders who would have cooperated with the U.S. program would have been violating Poland's constitution, both by giving a foreign power control over part of Polish territory and allowing crimes to take place there.

    Any officials who were involved could — in theory — be charged with serious crimes, including crimes against humanity. Former U.S. President George W. Bush writes in his memoir "Decision Points" that he ordered the CIA to subject about 100 terror detainees to harsh interrogation techniques, arguing the methods did not constitute unlawful torture and that they produced intelligence that prevented further attacks. Neither he nor the CIA have officially said where the "black sites" were based, but intelligence officials, aviation reports and human rights groups say they included Afghanistan and Thailand as well as Poland, Lithuania and Romania.

    Former CIA officials have told the AP that a prison in Poland operated from December 2002 until the fall of 2003, and that prisoners were subjected to harsh questioning and waterboarding in Stare Kiejkuty, a village set in a lush area of woods and lakes. Human rights groups believe about eight terror suspects were held in Poland, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks; Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi national charged with orchestrating the attack in 2000 on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors; and Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian terror suspect.

    Poland is the only country that has opened a serious investigation into the matter, something which Bodnar says is a sign of maturing in this 23-year-old democracy, with prosecutors, journalists and human rights lawyers all trying to seek truth and accountability.

    "Poland deserves credit for this step, as the first European state to begin to deal with CIA torture on its own soil," said Cori Crider, legal director for Reprieve, a British human rights group. The Polish leaders in office at the time — former President Aleksander Kwasniewski and former Prime Minister Leszek Miller — have vehemently denied the prison's existence.

    But they nonetheless have voiced support for the rendition program in principle, arguing that the U.S. and its allies were at war with terrorists after the Sept. 11 attacks and that tough measures were needed.

    "I will always stand on the side of hurt women, children and the victims of attacks," Miller said in a radio interview this week. "I won't shed tears for murderers. A good terrorist is a dead terrorist."

    Even former President Lech Walesa, the iconic democracy fighter, said he is "against torture ... but this is war and war has its particular rules." Miller, the head of the Democratic Left Alliance, an opposition party, has been the main target of criticism by political opponents this week. Some even say he should face the State Tribunal, a special court charged with trying state figures.

    Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, a senator who was the foreign minister when the site operated, said Miller should take responsibility for what happened 10 years ago. "About a CIA prison in Poland, if it existed, I didn't know," Cimoszewicz said on Radio RMF FM. "But everything indicates that the CIA used a villa in Stare Kiejkuty."

    Human rights lawyers and activists welcome the new openness. "There is some satisfaction here," said Bodnar. "The most important thing is accountability. Intelligence agencies cooperate with each other, but after this they will remember that they need to obey the constitution and that some things they cover up could become public at some point."

    Poles talk about CIA prison, breaking silence - Europe news
    Amnesty for 11 million will increase debt by $6.3 trillion And that doesn't count costs of 22 million additional legal immigrants in just 10 years!
    A Nation of of 3rd World Broke A@@es "AmeriKa" cannot afford an Invasion of Broke A@@es from the 3rd World

  2. #2
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Poland breaks silence about its secret CIA prison

    Mail.com/AP
    April 2, 2012

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — For years, the notion that Poland could allow the CIA to operate a secret prison in a remote lake region was treated as a crackpot idea by the country’s politicians, journalists and the public.

    A heated political debate this week reveals how dramatically the narrative has changed. In a string of revelations and political statements, Polish leaders have come closer than ever to acknowledging that the United States ran a secret interrogation facility for terror suspects in 2002 and 2003 in the Eastern European country.

    Some officials recall the fear that prevailed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and defend the tough stance that former U.S. President George W. Bush took against terrorists. But the debate is sometimes tinged with a hint of disappointment with Washington, as if Poland’s young democracy had been led astray — ethically and legally — by the superpower that it counts as a key ally, and then left alone to deal with the fallout.

    Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Thursday that Poland has become the “political victim” of leaks from U.S. officials that brought to light aspects of the secret rendition program. In his most forthcoming comments on the matter to date, Tusk said an ongoing investigation into the case is proof of Poland’s democratic credentials and that Poland cannot be counted on in the future in such clandestine enterprises.

    » Poland breaks silence about its secret CIA prison Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
    Amnesty for 11 million will increase debt by $6.3 trillion And that doesn't count costs of 22 million additional legal immigrants in just 10 years!
    A Nation of of 3rd World Broke A@@es "AmeriKa" cannot afford an Invasion of Broke A@@es from the 3rd World

  3. #3
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Amnesty for 11 million will increase debt by $6.3 trillion And that doesn't count costs of 22 million additional legal immigrants in just 10 years!
    A Nation of of 3rd World Broke A@@es "AmeriKa" cannot afford an Invasion of Broke A@@es from the 3rd World

  4. #4
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Amnesty for 11 million will increase debt by $6.3 trillion And that doesn't count costs of 22 million additional legal immigrants in just 10 years!
    A Nation of of 3rd World Broke A@@es "AmeriKa" cannot afford an Invasion of Broke A@@es from the 3rd World

  5. #5
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Amnesty for 11 million will increase debt by $6.3 trillion And that doesn't count costs of 22 million additional legal immigrants in just 10 years!
    A Nation of of 3rd World Broke A@@es "AmeriKa" cannot afford an Invasion of Broke A@@es from the 3rd World

  6. #6
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    CIA Wanted 'Torture' Cage for Secret Prison: Official

    By RANDY KREIDER
    June 22, 2012
    Video at the page link

    A Polish official says that prosecutors have a construction order that proves the CIA wanted a cage for terror suspects built at a secret 'black site' prison inside Poland.

    Senator Jozef Pinior claims Krakow prosecutors have a document that shows a local contractor was asked to build a cage at Stare Kiekuty, a Polish army based used as a CIA prison for al Qaeda terror suspects in 2002 and 2003.

    "In a state with rights," Pinior told the Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza, "people in prison are not kept in cages." He said a cage was "non-standard equipment" for a prison, but standard "if torture was used there."

    Asked if he was sure the cage was for humans, he said, "What was it for? Exotic birds?" He said he has not seen the construction order, but that the Krakow prosecutor's office, which is investigating the prison, has a copy of it.

    This week Gazeta Wyborcza reported that the prosecutor's office also allegedly has a signed order from Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, the then-head of Polish intelligence, authorizing the creation of the black site. A source told the paper that the agreement has a space intended for an American signature, but that the Americans did not sign the document "because they do not want to sign documents inconsistent with their own Constitution and international law."

    Siemiatkowski did not confirm or deny the existence of the agreement, but said he could not discuss anything he might have signed because it would be classified.

    Gazeta Wyborcza reported in March that Siemiatkowski had been charged with permitting the corporal punishment of prisoners of war. Siematkowski has acknowledged publicly that he is under investigation.

    Alexander Kwasniewski and Leszek Miller, who were president and prime minister at the time it was allegedly used as a CIA prison, have denied the existence of the Stare Kiekuty black site. Sen. Pinior said he presented his evidence "with regret, because I always valued [Kwasniewski's] presidency."
    Several terror suspects, including Abu Zubaydah, have said they were tortured at the Polish site prior to their relocation to Guantanamo. One suspect claims a gun and a power drill were pointed at his head during his interrogation.

    After Poland launched its official investigation of the Stare Kiekuty site, President Bronislaw Komorowski said the probe was needed because "the reputation of Poland is at stake."

    ABC News previously revealed the location of another CIA prison at a former riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2006, President Bush acknowledged that the U.S. had used "black site" prisons in foreign countries, and said many of the suspects who had been detained there were then moved to Guantanamo Bay. While denying that the U.S. employed torture, he said that the U.S. had used an "alternative set of procedures" to interrogate prisoners.

    The CIA declined to comment to ABC News on the reported black site in Poland or on Senator Pinior's allegations about a cage.

    CIA Wanted 'Torture' Cage for Secret Prison: Official - ABC News

    More from ABC News




    Amnesty for 11 million will increase debt by $6.3 trillion And that doesn't count costs of 22 million additional legal immigrants in just 10 years!
    A Nation of of 3rd World Broke A@@es "AmeriKa" cannot afford an Invasion of Broke A@@es from the 3rd World

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Some officials recall the fear that prevailed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and defend the tough stance that former U.S. President George W. Bush took against terrorists. But the debate is sometimes tinged with a hint of disappointment with Washington, as if Poland’s young democracy had been led astray — ethically and legally — by the superpower that it counts as a key ally, and then left alone to deal with the fallout.

    Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Thursday that Poland has become the “political victim” of leaks from U.S. officials that brought to light aspects of the secret rendition program. In his most forthcoming comments on the matter to date, Tusk said an ongoing investigation into the case is proof of Poland’s democratic credentials and that Poland cannot be counted on in the future in such clandestine enterprises.
    It seems that the Obama administration has more leaks than a sieve. The Obama administration also hosed Poland on Missile Defense, so I think the distrust may be mutual.

    U.S. scraps missile defense shield plans

    • Story Highlights
    • Senior U.S. administration official confirms U.S. has scrapped missile plan
    • Key elements were to have been located in Poland, Czech Republic
    • Decision likely to appease Russia which had fiercely opposed the plans
    • Plan proposed by Bush adminstration, has been under review by Obama


    September 17, 2009 -- Updated 1349 GMT (2149 HKT)




    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Obama administration will scrap the controversial missile defense shield program in Eastern Europe, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN Thursday.
    The U.S. has been testing the ability of ground-based interceptor missiles to hit long-range ballistic missiles.




    1 of 2






    The comment followed similar statements from officials in Poland and the Czech Republic -- where key elements of the system were to be located -- but was the first confirmation from an American official.
    Vice President Joe Biden earlier refused to confirm to CNN that the George W. Bush-era plan was being shelved.
    But he did explain the logic of doing so, saying Iran -- a key concern for the United States -- was not a threat.
    "I think we are fully capable and secure dealing with any present or future potential Iranian threat," he told CNN's Chris Lawrence in Baghdad, where he is on a brief trip.
    "The whole purpose of this exercise we are undertaking is to diminish the prospect of the Iranians destabilizing that region in the world. I am less concerned -- much less concerned -- about the Iranian potential. They have no potential at this moment, they have no capacity to launch a missile at the United States of America," he said.
    Biden said he is "deeply" involved in the review of the missile defense program. See how the system would work » | See a map of the proposed sites »
    The Bush administration had cited the perceived nuclear threat from Iran as one of the key reasons it wanted to install the missile shield in eastern Europe.
    The U.S. reversal is likely to please Russia, which had fiercely opposed the plans.
    Is the U.S. right to scrap plans for a missile defense shield in Europe? Sound Off below
    A U.S. delegation held high-level meetings Thursday in both Poland and the Czech Republic to discuss the missile defense system. While the outcome of the meetings wasn't clear, officials in both countries confirmed the system would be scrapped.
    Czech Prime minister Jan Fischer said in a statement that U.S. President Barack Obama told him in a Wednesday phone call that the United States was shelving its plans. Fischer did not say what reason Obama gave him for reconsidering.
    A spokeswoman at the Polish Ministry of Defense also said the program had been suspended.
    "This is catastrophic for Poland," said the spokeswoman, who declined to be named in line with ministry policy.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. James E. Cartwright, who is vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are scheduled to hold a news conference Thursday morning. The Defense Department has not announced what will be discussed, but Cartwright is the point man for the missile defense shield program.
    Poland and the Czech Republic had based much of their future security policy on getting the missile defenses from the United States. The countries share deep concerns of a future military threat from the east -- namely, Russia -- and may now look for other defense assurances from their NATO allies.
    "At the NATO summit in April, we adopted a resolution focusing on building a defense system against real, existing threats, i.e. short-range and medium-range missiles," Fischer said. "We expect that the United States will continue cooperating with the Czech Republic on concluding the relevant agreements on our mutual (research and development) and military collaboration, including the financing of specific projects."
    By contrast, Russia may view the move as a diplomatic victory after complaining about the program consistently for years.
    There was no comment Thursday morning from Russian officials. But the issue has been a sore point in relations between Washington and Moscow, with Russia believing the shield would ultimately erode its own strategic nuclear deterrent.
    With the program scrapped, it opens the way for Russia to join with the United States in taking a harder line on Iran, CNN Correspondent Matthew Chance reported from Moscow.




    The United States proposed the plans under then-President George W. Bush, but since taking over this year, the Obama administration has been reviewing whether to move ahead with them.
    The missile shield issue came up in July during a meeting between Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow. Obama maintained that Russia had nothing to fear from such a system, which would be designed to intercept a solitary missile from Iran or North Korea, as opposed to "a mighty Russian arsenal."
    U.S. scraps missile defense shield plans - CNN.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Russia slams US for secret prisons on foreign lands


    A small plane taxis at a Polish airport used to ferry terrorism suspects in and out of Poland where the CIA ran a secret prison. (file photo)

    Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:11AM GMT

    Russia has launched a broadside on the United States for running secret jails in a variety of countries across the globe.

    In a document revealed by RIA Novosti on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is running prisons in Poland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Morocco, Thailand, Lithuania and Romania.

    The report, which the ministry has submitted to the lower house of Russian State Duma for deliberations, denounced the US for its dismal human rights record, citing molestation of children, invasion of privacy, brutality of police and restrictions on the freedom of expression.

    The report noted that “hundreds of thousands of children” are maltreated in the US every year, leading to 1,600 deaths in 2010 alone.

    “About one police officer in 100 has been involved in criminal abuses, including sexual harassment, indecent behavior or rape,” it said.

    “The US remains the country with the largest prison population in the world - 2.2 million,” the report underlined.

    The Russian report also heaped scorn on a US legislation authorizing “special services” to keep a tab on all private electronic messages without any judicial order. “Between 2004 and 2007 the number of electronic messages monitored by US special services rose by 3,000 percent.”

    Former US president George Bush, together with a number of other high-ranking US officials, approved the establishment of secret prisons in foreign lands, as early as 2002, by its key spy agency in efforts to carry out harsh interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to extract information from what they introduced as ‘terror suspects’.

    The establishment of such interrogation facilities in foreign, allied nations by the US administration was to avert accountability in the American legal system, since torture is specifically banned by the US Constitution.

    KA/MA

    PressTV - Russia slams US for secret prisons on foreign lands
    Amnesty for 11 million will increase debt by $6.3 trillion And that doesn't count costs of 22 million additional legal immigrants in just 10 years!
    A Nation of of 3rd World Broke A@@es "AmeriKa" cannot afford an Invasion of Broke A@@es from the 3rd World

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