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.

PACE deputies threatened to be put on black list for supporting Russia

Posted on Fort Russ

February 2, 2015
Sunday Night with Vladimir Solovyev
Translated by Kristina Rus
(Video 58:00 – 1:06)

Vladimir Solovyev: 

Russian delegation again left Strasburg without having found mutual understanding with most of the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. It was clear before the beginning of the session that the right to vote will not be granted. Why did they go there? Hoped for common sense? And what will be the consequences? Ultimate exit from this platform and exit from the Council of Europe?

I have to point out that the Europeans were surprised by your comment about your exit, are they that clueless? Do they live in their own world?

Alexey Pushkov, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Relations: 

Some of them thought, that although we informed them, in case of sanctions, and in particular – stripping the right to vote, which was the main sanction applied to us, that we will leave until the end of the year. But they thought, so what, “they came here, threatening us, putting pressure on us.” Someone shouted that the Russian delegation is blackmailing them, that if “we approve the sanctions, they will leave, so we should approve the sanctions on principle”.

And part of them didn’t understand, that when they approved the sanctions, and when we congratulated them with such a wise decision, after which nothing in Ukraine depends on them anymore, and all the contacts with Russia are cut, they realized that they cannot demand anything from us.

They wanted to meet with Savchenko and we were prepared to help with this issue in Moscow, if we stayed in PACE, now that we left, PACE will have no access to Savchenko for sure. Other international organizations may have such access, but PACE is excluded from this issue.

They wanted to make a Human Rights report in Crimea. And we allowed such possibility, while we insisted on a Human Rights report in Eastern Ukraine, where they are violated much more then in Crimea. And we told them, yes, we may consider an opportunity for you to go to Crimea and work on such report. Now this issue is closed.

Parliamentary Assembly excluded itself from the process of resolving Ukrainian crisis and from the dialogue with Russia about Ukraine. I think some of them understood that this will happen.  But  they wanted to isolate Russia and push us out. But some of them only got it now.

After our departure on Friday they started to actively discuss what will be their next steps. “The Russians said, we can meet with Savchenko, we can go to Crimea”, and then someone said: “Wait, the Russians are gone!”

And Ukrainians said, “The Russians offered … we should take their offers!” – “Well, then go talk to the Russians!” But where are they? They are already in Moscow!

I think that PACE punished itself in their anti-Russian push, to show us that we are not agreed with, that we have to be punished,  limited in our rights, they forgot that they lost Russia, a key player in Europe.

Now they are getting it. And we hear again talk that the dialogue with Russia is very important, and they can’t afford to loose it. And so on and so forth.

You asked, why did we go there. And I want to answer that question. There are not that many platforms in Europe where we can say the truth about Ukraine. And we speak the truth about Ukraine there.

We relentlessly bring up the issue of Odessa Massacre. We tell them, do you really think, that several dozen people can burn themselves, shoot themselves in the face, suffocate themselves? We talk about the refugees. We talk about the bombings of residential neighborhoods, about the murdered children We talk about what goes on in Eastern Ukraine, the number of killed and wounded in Eastern Ukraine.

If we are not there then no one will talk about it. Only our delegation goes against the mainstream. And sometimes I am asked, if there are any results. Yes, there are results.

I have to tell you that now 64 deputies, about more then 30% of deputies voted against the sanctions. And in April, when we were first stripped of the right to vote, only 20 people voted against.

So we are moving this agenda ahead, and there is much more skepticism towards Ukraine, much less faith.

There are people whom we have established very good relationships with. These is the left faction, some of the socialists, some of the conservatives. Many people came to our defense, representatives of the Serbian delegation, French, Norwegian.

We have to see that this is a platform on which an information war is waged.

V.S.: If this is a platform where a war is waged, then why did you leave?

We left because Russia is not prepared to play a role of a statist.

V.S.: Then why did you go, the British said it will be “good bye”!

Sergey Zheleznyak, Deputy Chairman of State Duma of RF:

The thing is, every year each national delegation is reviewed. The sanctions which were enacted last year expired by the end of 2014. And even at the session of the profile commission, which reviewed this issue, the spread was with a difference of only one vote a day before the parliamentary session.

We paid attention to the extraordinary efforts taken by Western diplomatic missions and international organizations to adjust the positions of those deputies who demanded to keep our privileges. There was talk that those who support Russia will have no political future in their own countries. And those delegates from countries other then EU were directly threatened, that if they support Russia, they will be put on black lists, and won’t be able to go

V.S.: Who told them?

In private conversations with various representatives of Euro-bureaucracy and a large number of Trans-Atlantic lobbyists, who very officially are acting …   Their lobbyists are not just better then ours but much more tougher.

The truth is on our side, but what was remarkable is not only what was done but how it was done.
I was the author of all the adjustments for the final project of a resolution from our country.

When I was preparing them, I set politics aside on purpose and only followed the norms of common sense and international law. For example, if PACE is against volunteers from Russia, then it should be against volunteers from all countries, and not just Russia. When I was told, “no, the ban should only be for volunteers from Russia”  And I said, therefore this is a paradox – that means volunteers from Abkhazia, South Ossethia, Belorus, and other countries may be there? They said, this is not as important, our task is to force Russia to follow our line.

The paradox is that they think that our participation in PACE is a privilege, which we can be blackmailed with. For us only a fair dialogue is acceptable. And we were prepared to have it, but we weren’t heard.

Many important points here including this:

If we are not there then no one will talk about it. Only our delegation goes against the mainstream. And sometimes I am asked, if there are any results. Yes, there are results.

I have to tell you that now 64 deputies, about more than 30% of deputies voted against the sanctions. And in April, when we were first stripped of the right to vote, only 20 people voted against.

 It’s easy to forget this — telling the truth matters. It and our example influence other people. It’s very difficult most of the time to see results or the changes to dominant modes of thinking. And it’s very easy to get discouraged and give up. But speaking the truth brings results. There are always some who listen, some who are curious, some who still ask questions and don’t automatically believe the dominant narrative. And they influence other people — their family, their friends, their co-workers, their neighbors.

Speak up.

It is vital.

Tell the truth and keep telling the truth in as many creative ways as possible to as many people as possible.

Push outside of your comfort zone.

Don’t leave it to the “experts” or the “activists” or the politicians.

If you care about Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, or South and Central America, about freedom, every single person must tell what he or she knows if we are to have any hope of breaking the chokehold of tyranny, of brutality, of evil, of societal and earth murder.

PACE refuses to recognize DPR, LPR as terrorist organizations

PACE is the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

From  Sputnik News, January 28, 2015

STRASBOURG, January 28 (Sputnik) — PACE on Wednesday rejected an amendment to a resolution on Russian credentials in the organization calling for recognizing the self-proclaimed Donetsk andLuhansk people’s republics (DPR andLPR) in eastern Ukraine as de-facto terrorist organizations.The amendment was introduced by the Ukrainian delegation.

In December 2014, media reports suggested that Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, had introduced a bill, according to which DPR and LPR were recognized as terrorist organizations.

Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that this bill was “legal nonsense and absurdity” and an attempt to wind down efforts to find a political solution to the situation in Ukraine.

Lukashevich stressed that if one side of the Ukrainian crisis presented the other side as a terrorist organization, it was unclear whether further dialogue could be useful.

The Kiev forces and the independence supporters of eastern Ukraine have been fighting since April 2014 when Kiev launched a military operation in Donbas. The warring sides agreed to a ceasefire in Minsk in September, but truce violations have been reported from both sides ever since, with the violence seeing a sharp increase in the beginning of 2015.

Ukrainian deputy from the Opposition bloc calls Turchinov “the bloody pastor” at PACE

Pravda, 1-29-15
Translated by Kristina Rus

The people’s deputy of Ukraine at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called Turchinov “a bloody pastor.”

Ukrainian MP Yulia Levochkina urged Europe to stop the current Ukrainian government from inciting war.

The delegate from Ukraine to PACE, MP from the Opposition bloc, Yulia Levochkina, during the debate concerning the adoption of a resolution on Russia on Wednesday, January 28, urged Europe to stop the Ukrainian government and to “put Kiev authorities in their place”, who are waging war in Donbass.

“Today the government is led by the party of war, which seeks to continue the war. And the Secretary of the Security and Defense Council, Alexander Turchinov, has a nickname “The Bloody pastor,” said Levochkina.

She also encouraged the Europeans to stop the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia.

“Our assembly should resist the Ukrainian government, which is trying to build a wall between Ukraine and Russia,” said Levochkina to the delegates and reminded that it is the fault of the current government that the parliamentary elections did not take place in Crimea and Donbass.

Supporters of the Ukrainian authorities were extremely enraged in the social networks by the words of Levochkina and demanded the government to “deal with her according to the laws of wartime.”

400 bodies near Donetsk are evidence of war crimes, says Russian Foreign Minister

Lavrov: 400 Bodies Found in Ukraine Mass Graves Are Evidence of War Crime
Posted at Ria Novosti, 1 October, 2014

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that more than 400 bodies have been discovered in mass graves near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, in what he described as “horrific” evidence that pointed to a war crime.

“This is obviously a war crime. Already more than 400 bodies have been discovered in [mass] graves outside Donetsk and we hope that western capitals will not hush up these facts [because] they’re horrific,” Lavrov said, adding there was an apparent blackout of the incident in Western mass media.

Last week, several mass graves filled with bodies of massacred civilians and independence supporters, killed execution-style, were unearthed 35 kilometers northeast of Donetsk.

“I expect [to hear] a clear, unbiased and responsible response from international organizations. OSCE is already working at the scene. We will make the truth known and, of course, make sure that the justice is done,” Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference.

Speaking at PACE’s fall session in Strasbourg on Tuesday, Russian lawmaker Olga Kazakova called on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to keep an eye on the investigation into this horrendous massacre.

The independence supporters of southeastern Ukraine believe that the civilians were murdered by the National Guard fighters who had stayed in the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, near the city of Donetsk, where the graves had been discovered, since April. Ukrainian authorities later denied this accusation, saying that not a single National Guard fighter had been in the area, adding however that some other Ukrainian units were deployed there at the time.

Lavrov commented on Kiev’s recent claim to conduct an open and impartial probe of the alleged massacre as soon as it regained control of the area, saying it was pure hypocrisy because “these crimes were obviously perpetrated there at the time when Ukrainian security forces were in control of this region.”


Re-posted 10-1-14 at