Saturday, January 02, 2010

CIA Black Sites: As if there’s ever been any other color associated with the CIA!

BlackSiteTowards late December the Lithuanian Parliament finally released its findings into a probe of CIA dark activities in Lithuania, and confirmed that the agency operated two ‘Black Sites’ inside the Lithuanian Capital City Vilnius.

The probe also confirmed that at least five CIA planes landed in the city and that Lithuania’s spy agencies didn’t let their border guards inspect those planes. Lithuania’s government is still denying that they were informed of these activities in advance, and Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius called it a “matter of great concern.” Of course, so far the US government has declined to provide any confirmation or comments.

Last August a little bit of description of these sites and the treatment given to these detainees were published in an article:

Their transformations took place in a sensory cocoon: aboard a CIA aircraft, shackled in place, deprived of sight and sound by blindfolds, headsets and hoods.

The prisoners’ arrival — almost always in diapers — was engineered to achieve that end

They were stripped, shaved and shoved against walls the moment they arrived. What came next was an escalating menu of interrogation options, culminating in a method used in the Inquisition — waterboarding — to make them think they would drown.

Follow-up sessions would start with the prisoner standing with his back against a wall and a towel or collar to prevent whiplash wrapped around his neck. He could be thrown against the wall just once “to make a point, or 20 to 30 times consecutively.”

Prisoners so abhorred the repeated slamming that they would remain in so-called stress positions, such as painful kneeling postures, for hours to avoid a return to the wall, according to one Dec. 30, 2004, memo that amounts to a CIA blueprint for breaking a detainee’s will.

The purpose, of course, was to make them talk. The Bush administration said the United States was in danger of additional assaults after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. CIA interrogators were under orders to get a lot of information, fast. Whether the harsh interrogation methods were necessary to gather the intelligence is still a matter of dispute.

The only glimpse?

The secret overseas “black sites” where the CIA conducted the interrogations are empty now, if not already dismantled. They were never examined by a congressional committee, nor inspected by the international Red Cross.

The black sites not only imprisoned men but reduced them to a near helpless state. The aim, as outlined in one document, was to teach every detainee “to perceive and value his personal welfare, comfort and immediate needs more than the information he is protecting.”

I don’t have to go any further on the human rights abuses and shameful conduct in not only the ‘black’ facilities in Lithuania, but many others we’ve known about, such as those in Thailand, Poland, and Romania, and others that haven’t been publicized – yet.

Based on Wikipedia, Black Sites are defined as: In military terminology, a black site is a location at which a black project is conducted. Recently, the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons operated by the CIA, generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction. It can refer to the facilities that are controlled by the CIA used by the US government in its war on terror to detain alleged unlawful enemy combatants.

In August 2007, the New Yorker reported that the CIA has operated black site secret prisons by the direct Presidential order of Bush right after 9/11, and that extreme psychological interrogation measures based at least partially on the Vietnam-Era Phoenix Program were used on detainees. These included sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, keeping prisoners naked indefinitely and photographing them naked to degrade and humiliate them, and forcibly administering drugs by suppositories to further break down their dignity. According to Mayer’s report, CIA officers have taken out professional liability insurance, fearing that they could be criminally prosecuted if what they have already done became public knowledge.

Okay, there you have the CIA and its Black Projects, Black Operations, Black Sites, Black Budget…Has there ever been any shade other than dark, any color other than black associated with this filthy hornets’ nest thriving in the swamps of our foreign policies? Really, has there ever?