Poland: New evidence of CIA “Black Holes”
9 September 2010
"Did the CIA torture in Poland?" headlines Rzeczpospolita after Associated Press provided further evidence confirming the existence between 2001-2003 of a secret CIA prison in Poland where terrorist suspects were interrogated and tortured. AP cites the testimony of a US intelligence officer who allegedly terrorised a prisoner with an electric drill and an unloaded gun in a ‘black hole’ in Poland at the turn of 2002 and 2003. Polish and international media claim the place was the Polish military intelligence training centre in Kiejkuty in the north-east, near the Szymany military airfield where CIA aircraft landed several times, as stated in the official UN report on the issue.
Following similar reports, Polish public prosecutors have launched their own, classified, investigation into the case (its conclusions are to be published early next year). However, both the then prime minister, Leszek Miller, and then president, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, have consistently denied the existence of any CIA secret prisons in Poland. Gazeta Wyborcza writes that in the light of the revelations, “denials can only harm Poland’s interests”. “In a democracy,” it continues, “the fact that the subject is a villain doesn’t justify torturing him – that’s the principle of our civilisation”. Gazeta is seconded by Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, whose leader argues that there is no national interest that would justify “permitting another country’s secret agencies to break the law”. If prosecutors decide that the law has indeed been broken, the ex-PM and ex-president will face a trial before the Tribunal of State.