Secret ‘Services’

Council of Europe Confirms Polish-CIA Secret Prisons; What Else is There?

Opinion | Dardis McNamee | June 2007

It is now official: After a nineteen-month inquiry for the Council of Europe, Swiss Senator Dick Marty has concluded that Poland did in fact harbor secret prisons for the American CIA between 2003 and 2005 for some of what he called the agency’s most "high-value" detainees.

"There is now enough evidence to state that secret detention facilities run by the CIA did exist in Europe from 2003-2005, in particular in Poland and Romania," Marty said in the Council of Europe Report.

Polish authorities have been quick to deny the accusations.

"There were no secret bases in Poland," foreign ministry spokesman Robert Szaniawski told Agence France-Presse, claiming that there was "no evidence to back up these accusations," and expressing "regret that Poland once again stands publicly accused."

Unfortunately, there appears to be ample evidence, and Marty asserts that he has "sufficient grounds to declare that the highest state authorities were aware of the CIA’s illegal activities on their territories," – evidence he says would stand up in court, in spite of the confidentiality he has promised his sources.

The chances are excellent that Marty is right: We have heard the same thing, and for what it’s worth, it’s hard to find anyone other than the Polish government who disagrees with him. In fact, our sources in off the record conversations have as good as bragged about this aspect of the Polish-U.S. relationship.

"We’re providing a variety of services for the U.S. government in Poland that would be illegal if carried out in the United States," one high-ranking official told The Vienna Review, with a gleeful expression of a man who had just talked his way out of an expensive speeding ticket.

One can’t help but wonder what these other services might entail.

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