The CIA secret prisons in Europe — Washington’s “European partners in crime”

The West pontificates about “rule of law”. The question is: whose law?

From Global Research, March 4, 2015
By Nako Minchev

secret prison poland

It is common knowledge that at end-January 2015 the global movement Amnesty International published a report, titled “Breaking the conspiracy of silence: USA’s European “partners in crime” must act after Senate torture report”, which throws further light upon the information gathered within the US Senate investigation into torture methods, applied by the Central Intelligence Agency, by referring to media reports on the way CIA-operated secret detention sites were run in Europe – in particular, on the territory of Lithuania, Poland and Romania. As a matter of fact, it was several years ago when it first became known that CIA tortured terror suspects not only in these countries but also on the territory of another EU Member State – namely, Great Britain. According to the Lawrence Wilkinson, former Chief of Staff to the US Secretary of State, after the terror attack of 11th September 2001 the CIA used the US military base on the island of Diego Garcia, located in the British Indian Ocean Territory, to conduct interrogations and torture terror suspects who had been abducted from various countries without any court order whatsoever.

After the US Senate report got published, the European Parliament adopted a special resolution on 11th February 2015 in which it:

“expresses its deep condemnation of the gruesome interrogation practices that characterized these illegal counterterrorism operations; underlines the fundamental conclusion by the US Senate that the violent methods applied by the CIA failed to generate intelligence that prevented further terrorist attacks; recalls its absolute condemnation of torture”.

The resolution also highlights the fact that:

“the climate of impunity regarding the CIA programme has enabled the continuation of fundamental rights violations, as further revealed by the mass surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency and secret services of various EU Member States”.

In this context, the US Government is called on:

“to investigate and prosecute the multiple human rights violations resulting from the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes, and to cooperate with all requests from EU Member States for information, extradition or effective remedies for victims in connection with the CIA programme”.

The European Parliament also:

“reiterates its calls on Member States to investigate the allegations that there were secret prisons on their territory where people were held under the CIA programme, and to prosecute those involved in these operations, taking into account all the new evidence that has come to light”.

At the same time it:

“expresses concerns regarding the obstacles encountered by national parliamentary and judicial investigations into some Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, the abuse of state secrecy, and the undue classification of documents resulting in the termination of criminal proceedings and leading to de facto impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations”.

Furthermore, the resolution “calls for the findings of existing inquiries relating to Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, in particular the Chilcot inquiry, to be published without further delay”.

Considering the above, we are unpleasantly impressed by the fact that the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) have hitherto failed to demonstrate the due will to discuss the refusal of the governmental authorities in Vilnius, Warsaw and Bucharest to investigate the multiple occasions of human rights violations, ensuing from the agreement of these countries to host the establishment of CIA black sites on their territory. Such an attitude erodes the very foundations of the European Union, weakens the belief of European citizens that their fundamental rights are truly guaranteed, divests the EU of its moral authority and discredits its allegiance to the universal human values.

The US Senate report and the one issued by Amnesty International, unequivocally point out that the above three EU Member States, as well as Great Britain, played a key role in the implementation of this CIA “operation” on the territory of the Old Continent. Without the help of these governments the USA would not have been in the position to detain and torture people for so many years, applying such inhumane methods as waterboarding and mock execution, sleep deprivation, use of coffin-sized confinement boxes or sexual threats.

It is high time that Europe became aware of the fact that the time for paying lip service to the condemnation of these crimes or the attempts at their covering up is over for good. The governments of Lithuania , Poland and Romania can no longer hide behind the unconvincing “national security reasons” and “state secret” arguments, thus refusing to bring to light the entire truth about their role for the torture and abduction of people in their countries. Jozef Pinior, one of the legendary leaders of the Polish “Solidarity” trade union, member of the European Parliament in the period 2004 – 2009 and of the Parliamentary committee on secret CIA prisons in Europe, now a Polish senator, points out:

“The information in the Washington Post about the fact that Polish intelligence services received USD 15 million to “host” a secret CIA prison in the country compromises the entire Polish state which should elucidate this issue as quickly as possible. This unquestionably confirmed the grimmest hypothesis that under Leszek Miller Poland turned into a “banana republic” to the USA . Another deplorable fact is that our national services have contributed in no way whatsoever to the disclosure of this conspiracy. This is an extremely disgraceful situation. The Polish state, the judicial system and the Government should publish the investigation findings as soon as possible. Otherwise we are going to become Europe ’s laughing stock. It turns out that we while we give lessons in democracy to countries like the Ukraine , we take money from the US to allow them to practice illicit torture of people on our territory”.

In its turn the Bulgarian Government should state its official support for the appeal of Amnesty International and the European Parliament and urge the authorities in Vilnius , Bucharest and Warsaw to undertake an immediate and full investigation of this case and to prosecute those involved in the tortures. Let us be reminded that most of the victims of these malpractices are Muslims and in the context of surging anti-Islam mood after the terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen it becomes even more important to find out the truth about the secret CIA “black sites” in Europe.

Interview: Former Ukr. Security Chief Yakimenko on the U.S./CIA involvement in coup d’etat and the Maidan snipers

This important interview was conducted shortly after the coup d’état in Ukraine.

From RT, March 13, 2014

There is no doubt there were mercenaries at Maidan, the former head of Ukraine’s security service, Aleksandr Yakimenko, says.

The violence on Maidan which caused almost 100 deaths was organized by some opposition leaders who poured Western money and resources into the coup, Yakimenko told the Russia-1 TV channel. Now Major General Alexander Yakimenko is in the top five of Maidan’s hit list. He made it to that list while he was still in his office in Kiev.

Q: How did you manage to escape?

Aleksandr Yakimenko: I am a Security Service officer.

Q: Where did those snipers come from?

AY: First shots were fired from the Philharmonic building. Maidan Commandant Parubiy was in charge of the building. On February 20, this building was used as a base by the snipers and people with automatic weapons. They basically covered those who were attacking the demoralized policemen running in panic, hunted down like animals. They were followed by armed people with different kinds of weapons. At that point, somebody opened fire at those who attacked the police, and some of them were killed. All this fire was coming from the Philharmonic building. After this first round of fire, about 20 people came out of this building – this was witnessed by many. These people wore special combat clothes and carried sniper rifle cases, as well as AKMs with scopes. There were witnesses, and not just our operatives, but also Maidan activists from Svoboda, Right Sector, Batkivshchyna, and UDAR.

The snipers split into two groups – 10 men each. The Security Service lost track of one of the groups. The other group took a position at the Ukraine hotel. Killings continued. In the beginning, when the shots were scattered, I was asked by Right Sector and Svoboda to mobilize a Special Forces unit and remove the snipers from the buildings.

AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky

AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky

Q: They asked you?

AY: Yes, Right Sector and Svoboda. I was ready to do that, but I needed Parubiy’s [he is now the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine in the Turchinov-Yatsenyuk government] permission to enter Maidan. Otherwise our officers would’ve been attacked by the self-defense forces in the back. Parubiy didn’t give such permission. No weapons could be brought to Maidan without Parubiy’s permission. Hand guns, rifles, scopes – he had to agree to all of that. We had some intel about discharged Ukrainian army special forces participating in those activities. Some reports claimed that these were fighters from former Yugoslavia, as well as mercenaries from other countries.

Q: So you think they were mercenaries?

AY: No doubt. Parubiy removed himself from the picture. This affected the events of the last week. He joined Poroshenko. Gvozd, Malamuzh, and Gritsenko. These forces did what they were told by their bosses – the US. They basically lived in the embassy. They were there every day.

Q: Is it true that Nalivaichenko allowed the CIA agents to work in the Security Service building?

AY: Yes, that’s true. He also handed personal files of his own employees over to the CIA agents to study. But their mission was interrupted by an armed coup. The Maidan do not appoint these people; rather, it’s the US that does it. It’s enough to look at the newly appointed officials: Parubiy, Gvozd, Nalyvaichenko are all people who followed somebody else’s orders, the orders of the US, not even Europe. They are directly linked to the American intelligence. They sought to delay the negotiations and prevent the incumbent president from striking a deal with Russia and Russia from helping to prop up the social and economic order in Ukraine. After that they were planning to depose the president and integrate Ukraine into Europe, using Russian money. Who was troubled by the victory of the EU and the pro-integration forces? Only the US. It was the only country concerned over a possible alliance of Europe, Russia and Ukraine. The Customs Union and the connection between Russia and Ukraine did not sit well with their plans, either.

AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky

AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky

They’d been doing it ever since Yushchenko was president, and we couldn’t get rid of them. Once we started to put pressure, they relocated to Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. The most interesting part is that many regional governments spent budget money to pay for the so-called vyshkoli, i.e. training camps for militants to fight with various types of weapons.

All the orders were given either by the US embassy or by Jan Tombinski, a Polish representative who worked in the EU mission in Kiev. Poland played an invaluable role in the coup. It has always dreamt of restoring its former power and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Ever since the Maidan kicked off, our security service registered a dramatic increase in diplomatic correspondence coming in to various Western embassies in Kiev. There is one more mystery. Straight after this influx of correspondence we saw some foreign money at the Maidan and in Kiev exchange bureaus: the new, re-designed US dollar bank notes.

Q: So they were bringing in cash?

AY: Yes. Poroshenko, Firtash, Pinchuk – they all poured money into the Maidan. With all their assets in foreign banks, they found themselves trapped. So they had to follow orders from the West. All they were supposed to do was back the Maidan; otherwise they would have lost all their assets. They were thinking about their money rather than their own country. Unfortunately we couldn’t prevent the casualties, the people, mainly those who had come from the Western regions, were sent into the line of fire. The Maidan militants had left the barricades after the sniper fire started. But time will set the record straight.

The whole story has affected the Berkut guys, the Internal Troops, the Security Service, too. But ordinary Ukrainians have suffered as well. And I don’t think they should have sacrificed their lives for Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, Poroshenko and others to take their posts. Ukrainians have lots of patience. But one day they will run out of it and remove them from power. I hope that happens soon enough.

Photographs: U.S., Lithuania hold war games near Russian border

Another example: the U.S. and South Korea hold frequent war games next to North Korea. Yet, anything North Korea does is termed an act of aggression, while South Korea and the United States are only supposedly engaged in benign activity, even though their exercises involved simulated invasions of North Korea.

This type of intimidation and threat should be completely unacceptable to all good people.

Xinhua News Agency
February 25, 2015

Soldiers attend the U.S.-Lithuanian combined training in Pabrade, Lithuania, on Feb. 25, 2015. Lithuania held combined training with 250 U.S. soldiers on Wednesday’s media day. (Xinhua/Alfredas Pliadis)






Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade to become operational in 2015

Posted on Fort Russ


Poroshenko creates the Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian militarybrigade. Its command to be located in Poland.

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Petro Poroshenko signed the law ratifying the agreement with Lithuania and Poland on the creation of a joint military unit.

“The brigade is being formed in order to participate in international operations on the basis of a UNSC mandate and decisions by the appropriate government agencies of Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine. The agreement is open to other countries upon their invitation by the three signatories,” the announcement states.

The president’s press service notes that the structure, manning, weapons, and equipment or other aspects of its activities will be regulated by a separate technical agreement between security institutions of the respective countries.

The brigade’s HQ will be located in the Polish city of Lublin. The HQ will operate in accordance with Polish law and relevant components of international law.

Each of the signatories is responsible for the financial support of its units included in the brigade during joint training exercises and operations.

The agreement was signed by Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania in Warsaw on September 19, 2014 and was ratified by the Verkhovna Rada on February 4, 2015.

Defense Minister Poltorak announced earlier that the brigade should become fully operational in the first half of 2015. He estimates that the first group of Ukrainian military personnel will arrive in Lublin in the second quarter of 2015.

Poltorak also said that the number of Ukrainian soldiers included in the brigade will be determined during the working group meetings, and the troops will be subject to rotation.

It sounds something like “fascists of all countries unite.” They have united before, and have come to Russia before, but we also know how these marches had ended. If someone has a short memory, too bad for them.

J.Hawk’s Comment:  This announcement, coming very shortly after Poroshenko’s call for peacekeepers, makes one wonder whether this is how he intends to deal with the Donbass problem, namely by handing over the fighting to Poles and Lithuanians. Because once Poles and Lithuanians start dying, the rest of NATO might be drawn into the conflict. This is a rather artful way of overcoming the inevitable French and German objections to a NATO-led peacekeeping force being sent to Ukraine. This is a trilateral agreement that does not involve Germany or France, therefore they have no official say about it. But once this unit is deployed anywhere, it will quickly become a NATO mission simply because these are NATO countries. There can be absolutely no doubt that Poroshenko wants to continue the war until victory or Doomsday.

However, what is the likelihood if the brigade being deployed? There are many obstacles to the implementation of the plan. The brigade is unworkable, period, and it will not be a militarily effective formation. For starters, Lithuania and Poland are NATO countries whose militaries have been under NATO standards for years. Just to illustrate the level of difficulty here, Polish and Lithuanian soldiers use 5.56mm rifles (Kalashnikov clones, to be sure), while Ukraine uses actual 5.45mm AK-74s. Similar problems exist in all areas of interoperability.

But the real problem is political in nature. Poland and Ukraine (though probably not Lithuania, but we’ll never know) both pretend to be the regional leaders. Poland will treat its former colonies as if they were younger brothers in need of tutelage by their world-wise (and Iraq/Afghanistan experienced) older brother, while Ukraine will naturally feel that since it bore the entire burden of defending Civilization from Russian aggression, it should be in the driver’s seat. It’s unlikely that the shared Russophobia of the three partners is sufficient to overcome their mutual suspicions and megalomania. The Poles’ hatred of Nazis and Banderites might even prove stronger than  Russophobia, for what will happen should one of the units rotating to Lublin be one of the ones which treat Stepan Bandera as their patron saint?

NATO to establish Command Center in Lithuania within months

Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2015

NATO to establish command center in Lithuania in summer

VILNIUS: A NATO command center in Lithuania will be established in the summer, General Hans-Lothar Domrose, commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, said during his visit here on Tuesday.

The top general held discussions on security issues and NATO’s presence in the region with heads of the Lithuanian army.

According to Domrose, the final decision on command centers would be made by defense ministers from NATO member countries in June, but in terms of military preparedness Lithuania was ready.

“Today, I saw an excellent readiness for the establishment of NATO force integration unit in Lithuania. In my view, this staff in Lithuania will be established in the summer and will reach its full capacity this year,” the general was quoted as saying in a press release from the Ministry of National Defense of Lithuania.

“We are on the right track,” he added.

According to Domrose, around 40 officers will work at the command center, with around half of them being Lithuanians and others being sent from other NATO member countries.

Two weeks ago, defense ministers from NATO member countries agreed on posting international military staff in Lithuania and five other Central and Eastern European countries in response to new security threats in the region.

During his visit, Domrose emphasized that this year there will be more NATO military force exercises in the region. Military exercises are to be attended not only by U.S. soldiers but also by the forces of Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary, according to Lithuania’s national television LRT.

Former EU Parliament member speaks out about Washington’s offensive against Russia, and the nazification and possible death of Europe

Translation of interview of Giulietto Chiesa
From, February 12, 2015

Famous Italian politician – the dangers of the modern world

ZAFTRA Mr. Chiesa, the relationship between Russia and the West in general, including with leading European countries are becoming increasingly strained. Sanctions, unacceptably demanding tone, rudeness on the part of the PACE … And “who benefits?”

Giulietto Chiesa. Who benefits from the situation? Beneficial to those who created it. Absolutely clear to me is that the performance against Russia was organized in advance. And the artificial creation of the Ukrainian crisis has been carefully prepared by the American authorities. I do not know how Mr. Obama worked and participated personally in this area. But it is clear that in America today is not run by Mr. Obama. The neocons control, the Republican Party controls, the Pentagon controls, the secret services of the United States control…

The governing elite in the US believe that the time has come when it is necessary to engage in a decisive battle with Russia. For the time being, this fight – economic, diplomatic, sanctions. Not yet a nuclear war. But the American elite go to smash Russia.

They consider that Putin – the man who will not exacerbate the conflict. Mr. Putin protects and does not attack.

And it is clear that since he protects, then it is not he who created this situation. He still has even posed in extremely difficult conditions, acts very carefully and very reasonable. But there is a limit of him and his patience. This limit is clearly visible in the situation with the Donbas. Putin cannot allow that the Russian minority in Ukraine will be destroyed. This is not possible! It is impossible for Russia, its people, it is impossible for the internal psychological state of Putin himself. This is unacceptable because it breaks all the rules of international life. And when Putin says that we are in a situation of total chaos, and the rules are inactive, he is saying things that are obvious.

But it is not he who broke all the rules of conduct, he did not break them. He is called aggressor, though he never attacked, he at no one waged the offensive, he did not attack anybody. His behavior is called expansionist, even though around Russia accumulates NATO weapons, created by a chain of facilities, the borders of NATO expanding. Everything is planned and carried out by the West. In a literal sense intended by the United States and carried out under their supervision.

That is why the present situation cannot be corrected, the tragic situation cannot be remedied if this fix will not take namely the American authorities. It depends on them.

The biggest question – why the organizers of all this accelerated the process and the situation is developing at such a rate? That is the question that stands open. I think that in the West and especially in Europe there are still many do not understand, do not realize what is happening in what they willingly or unwillingly involved. And do not behave the way they should behave as reasonable political leaders, and are like spoiled boys who would like to teach all and very quickly break the enemy triumph over him. How come? Because they are dissatisfied with the current course of the world, the course of its development.

The world goes its own way. But they want the 21 century to be the American century. This very phrase that they repeat says everything. But the present age cannot to be an American one! After the action toward Syria the world has changed radically. And these capricious obstinate boys claim to further rule the world. Although these claims of theirs clearly are not feasible.

And here is the question: either they change their policies, or suffer defeat. I think that the danger of war (risk of a major war) lies in the fact that the world’s elite are playing for broke to get at once, immediately to them the desired result – smashing, the defeat of Russia. And they are confident that afterwards this problem will be solved, because they will become the most powerful, will retain the power for themselves …

But I think that even if Russia does not survive the blow and would have to retreat before them, to hand over their positions, they will not stop. After Russia, China is the object of aggression. But China will definitely be an insurmountable obstacle. And without war there can no longer be avoided. So the situation is extremely dangerous.

ZAFTRA Some time ago, the Estonian authorities have expelled you from the country.[i] That is expelled from the European Union a EU citizen. Maybe the Estonian authorities do not realize what is the principle of the European Union and do not know the rules? Or is it a provocation?

Giulietto Chiesa. I arrived in Tallinn to make a very topical lecture on “Should Europe be afraid of Russia?” I wanted to explain that Europe has nothing to fear Russia, it poses no threat. But the Estonian authorities do not even want to hear about it! They did not give even to hold a discussion on this topic!

With respect to me, they acted, breaking EU rules, which states that a European citizen may choose to travel around Europe if it does not threaten anyone’s security. I did not represent a danger to anyone and no one is threatened. This is obvious. I just wanted to express your opinion and share your point of view, about what has openly declared. But I was not given that opportunity.

So, firstly, I have not broken any European rules. And secondly, I was insulted. The charges which later against me were formulated and presented, far-fetched. Attributes to me statements that I never said. I allegedly encouraged the genocide of the Estonian people. When did I say that? Never. At the time I did an interview with Arnold Meri, and the Estonian authorities claim this, that I encouraged genocide of the Estonian people. It is offensive to me approval.

I demanded that the Estonian authorities, that they bring me an apology. They did not apologize. But if they did not apologize to me, I will file with the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights with the demand to Europe to give a clear and unambiguous assessment of the actions of the Estonian authorities. I shall demand an official statement by Europe.

It is not a question of my own personal situation. It is a question of Europe. Because if Europe issues a verdict that these actions of the Estonian authorities were competent and lawful means, Europe is dead. Meaning the Schengen [Convention] is dead, the fundamental European principles do not exist anymore – they died.

In this regard, I intend to, and am simply obliged to go to the end, and if an apology is not forthcoming, I will take it to the end. It is necessary, at last, to answer the question: can Europe influence the undemocratic behavior of one of its members and in general to manage? Can Europe urge Estonia, and add – Latvia, Lithuania – to order that they act in accordance with European laws and European rules subordinate? Or not?

And those who really are not turning a blind eye, look at the situation on these issues, understand that it is no accident these republics plus Poland operate the way they behave during the crisis in Ukraine. The behavior of of Estonia, which we are now discussing, explains why there is such a relationship with the current government of Estonia in Ukraine. All this is understandable. And if we close our eyes to what is happening and do not stop this madness, we obtain the Nazi Party in the European Parliament. We obtain the Nazi party, which will open to advance on the European institutions.

In addition, in all probability, NATO enters a country that has the same idea as the current Kiev. Occurs literally Nazification of Europe. And this is – a complete denial of the fundamental principles and traditions of Europe. It is not just the expansion of NATO or the inclusion of other states. This change is in the nature and state of political and ideological positions of Europe and NATO. And that means a sharp turn in the history of the continent.

Whence comes the offensive to our principles and foundations? Europe bears a great responsibility for the fact that she did not respond properly, did not prevent the development of a dangerous situation. On the contrary, she was enabling the movement and even associate themselves with this movement. The offensive begins in America. And Europe is responsible for the fact that Western Europe has done nothing to stop this madness.

ZAFTRA How do you assess Merkel and Hollande visit to Moscow and talks with Putin?

Giulietto Chiesa. I do not have any additional information to what took place in the media. But I drew attention to this fact: Mrs Merkel and Mr Hollande decided to fly to Moscow after visiting to Kiev, where their meeting with Poroshenko lasted five hours. So, they diligently tried to convince some ways Poroshenko. This is the first one.

Second. As can be seen in all the information media, the meeting was not agreed with the Americans. And the first step, when the Europeans moved in a different direction. Why do I say “in a different direction?” Because very carefully read the interview of Mrs. Mogerini in the newspaper «La Republica», where she clearly said that to now give the weapons to Ukraine – means to make a decisive step into war. This sentence I highlighted throughout the text, because Mrs. Mogerini cannot make such statements without prior agreement with Germany, and France. It is obvious that this phrase – a key and says that some European leaders are beginning to realize now that America wants to supply weapons Kiev (incidentally, fatal), and are very afraid of this development.

I consider all of this a change in the previous position of the European leaders. They, of course, stay tuned hostile to Russia, but it is clear that they began to speak their mind. That’s the only positive thing that I noticed in this meeting. Can the Europeans get rid of blackmail of the United States? I do not know. But now it seems clear that some of them – which was not until recently – are already beginning to realize the danger of the situation.

ZAFTRA What do you think: will be the effect of the election of the new President of Italy – Sergio Mattarello – on the relations between Russia and Italy?

Giulietto Chiesa. No, on the relationship between our two countries electing a new president will not affect Italy. The new president will continue the same course. His influence on the nature of relations between Russia and Italy is traditionally low.


Interviewed by Catherine Glushik


Also posted on
US blackmails Europe! | Russian Spring

NATO authorizes new NATO headquarters in Central and Eastern European states

January 23, 2015

NATO to create offices in six countries of Central and Eastern Europe

NATO’s Military Committee on Thursday approved the establishment of international headquarters in Lithuania and another five countries of Central and Eastern Europe and intends to submit the proposal to defense ministers, Chief of the Armed Forces of Lithuania Major General Vytautas Jonas Žukas told Baltic news agency BNS on Thursday.

The decision is positive. These headquarters will be established,” the general told the agency by phone from Brussels, according to Baltic online news site Delfi.

The headquarters, which will be directly subordinated to the head of the Allied forces in Europe, is proposed to be set up in Vilnius near the building of the Joint Staff. The staff will consist of 50% Lithuanians and 50% international forces.

The general also said that other similar offices should be established in Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. They are to be set up this year.

The establishment of offices should be approved by NATO defense ministers in early February.

“It’s good news for Lithuania. We were able to achieve what we wanted,” Žukas said.

The offices will liaise between national forces, NATO forces in Lithuania, and NATO leadership in Europe.

“During the discussions we also approved plans to create a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and raised the question of NATO rethinking its strategy and assessing new threats,” he said.


Re-posted on

U.S. torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes

From World Socialist Web Site, December 12, 2014
By Alex Lantier

The publication of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has exposed the European powers’ complicity in ghastly crimes of US intelligence. Even though European states’ complicity in CIA torture and rendition operations has been documented for nearly a decade, no European officials have been held accountable.

In 2005, the Council of Europe tasked former Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty with preparing a report on secret CIA prisons in Europe. He released two reports, in 2006 and 2007, documenting the complicity of dozens of European states in setting up facilities for illegal CIA rendition and torture. The states involved included Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Albania.

The existence of approximately 1,000 CIA flights and of secret prisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Bucharest (Romania), Antavilas (Lithuania), and Stare Kiejkuty (Poland) has since been confirmed.

Nonetheless, after the US Senate recognized CIA use of the grisliest forms of torture—including murder, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and forcing inmates to stand on broken limbs—officials across Europe reacted by insisting that they should enjoy immunity.

Top officials of the Polish government, which is appealing a July ruling against it over its role in CIA torture by the European Court on Human Rights, denounced the report. “Certain secrets should stay that way,” said Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Polish prosecutors have been investigating the case for six years, including a two-year investigation of former Polish intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, without bringing any charges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was waterboarded as soon as he arrived at Stare Kiejkuty. One medical officer there noted: “We are basically doing a series of near-drownings.”

Other detainees at Stare Kiejkuty, which housed Saudi, Algerian and Yemeni detainees, were subjected to mock executions with a power drill while standing hooded and naked.

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski lamely claimed that CIA officials did not explain how they planned to use their secret prisons in Poland. “It was a question as we saw it only of creating secret sites,” he said, adding that he closed down the facility in 2003 because “the Americans’ secret activities began to worry” Polish authorities.

Lithuanian officials confirmed that the black site named “detention center Violet” by the US Senate report appears to be the Lithuanian detention center near the capital, Vilnius, identified in a 2009-2010 parliamentary investigation. Lawmaker Arvydas Anusauskas told Reuters, “The US Senate report, to me, makes a convincing case that prisoners were indeed held at the Lithuanian site.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi detainee now kept at Guantanamo Bay, has stated that he was kept and tortured at the site. Washington paid the Lithuanian government $1 million to “show appreciation” for operating the prison, according to the US Senate report, though the funds were reportedly paid out through “complex mechanisms.”

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius has asked Washington to confirm whether or not the CIA tortured prisoners at its secret prisons in Lithuania.

British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the issue of torture and Britain’s role in rendition flights to countries including Libya, saying that it had been “dealt with from a British perspective.” He told the public to trust British intelligence to police itself, as official investigations had “produced a series of questions that the intelligence and security community will look at … I’m satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues.”

In fact, the CIA torture report has revealed the advanced state of collapse of democratic forms of rule not only in the United States, but also in Europe. What has emerged across Europe since the September 11 attacks is the framework of a police state far more technically powerful than even the most ruthless dictatorships of twentieth-century Europe. The methods deployed as part of the “war on terror” will also be used against opposition in the working class to unpopular policies of austerity and war.

European governments participate in the digital spying on telecommunications and Internet activities of the European population, carried out by the US National Security Agency and its local counterparts, as revealed by Edward Snowden. They also are planning joint repression of social protests, based on talks between German federal police, France’s Gendarmerie, and other security forces with the European Commission.

“During my investigation, people called me a traitor and said I was making things up,” Marty told the Tribune de Genève. “The Europeans disappointed me. Germany, the United Kingdom, and many others blocked the establishment of the truth. In fact, most European countries actively participated in a system that legitimated large-scale state crimes.”

“I think we must recall, and it is very important, that this operation, this anti-terrorist policy, was decided and carried out under the aegis of NATO,” Marty told Swiss television channel RTS.

“The United States invoked Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that if one member of the alliance is attacked militarily [e.g., as Washington claimed, on September 11], all NATO members are required to come to its aid,” Marty said. Once this was accepted, he added, “there were a whole series of secret accords between the United States and European powers. And all the European countries pledged to grant total immunity to CIA agents, which is manifestly illegal.”

The European powers’ participation in the CIA torture program underscores the utter hypocrisy of the humanitarian pretensions used to justify operations ranging from NATO wars in Syria and Libya to this February’s NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in Ukraine.

The ferocious opposition of the European ruling elites to attempts to bring this criminality to light is the clearest indication that the democratic rights of the population cannot be secured by appeals to any section of the state. The defense of the population’s democratic and social rights is a question of the revolutionary mobilization of the working class in an international struggle against European capitalism.

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