Dec. 5, 2005 — Two CIA secret prisons were operating in Eastern Europe until last month when they were shut down following Human Rights Watch reports of their existence in Poland and Romania.
Current and former CIA officers speaking to ABC News on the condition of confidentiality say the United States scrambled to get all the suspects off European soil before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived there today. The officers say 11 top al Qaeda suspects have now been moved to a new CIA facility in the North African desert.
CIA officials asked ABC News not to name the specific countries where the prisons were located, citing security concerns.
The CIA declines to comment, but current and former intelligence officials tell ABC News that 11 top al Qaeda figures were all held at one point on a former Soviet air base in one Eastern European country. Several of them were later moved to a second Eastern European country.
All but one of these 11 high-value al Qaeda prisoners were subjected to the harshest interrogation techniques in the CIA’s secret arsenal, the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” authorized for use by about 14 CIA officers and first reported by ABC News on Nov. 18.
Rice today avoided directly answering the question of secret prisons in remarks made on her departure for Europe, where the issue of secret prisons and secret flights has caused a furor.
Without mentioning any country by name, Rice acknowledged special handling for certain terrorists.
“The captured terrorists of the 21st century do not fit easily into traditional systems of criminal or military justice, which were designed for different needs. We have had to adapt,” Rice said.
This is outrageous. Reminds me a lot of this story (blogged about here), which none of the usual suspects seem concerned about in terms of how it affects our national security. Jim Hoagland and Thomas Joscelyn were right. People in these agencies are out to get the President and they do so by compromising the very national security they pledge to protect. Disgraceful.
Thanks to ST reader Dan for the heads up.
PM Update: Read more on this via PunditGuy
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