Saturday, April 11, 2009

CIA closes secret prisons under pressure from Obama government

There doesn't seem to be much question that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency would have continued to use its network of secret prisons in Europe and Asia if not for the determination of the new Obama administration. From Washington comes word that the CIA is now planning to eliminate the secret prisons, which had been mostly closed since 2006 but were still being maintained, according to the New York Times. The secret prisons were reportedly where suspected terrorists captured overseas were subjected to interrogations that violated the Geneva Conventions definition of torture. The sites are believed to be in or to have been in Afghanistan, Thailand, Poland, Romania, Jordan and other countries, the Times said. In a letter to employees on Thursday, new CIA Director Leon Panetta said his agency "no longer operates detention facilities or black sites and has proposed a plan to decommission the remaining sites." The decision, assuming its implementation as announced, fulfills a campaign pledge of President Barak Obama to end the controversial interrogation program. In a report issued last month, the International Red Cross said that in addition to waterboarding, prisoners were forced to stand for days while handcuffed to the ceiling, held in small boxes and kept in freezing temperatures, the Times said. Panetta's letter also raised another contentious issue, contending that agency employees should not be subjected to any investigations of alleged abuses committed during the program because the Justice Department under then-President George W. Bush determined that harsh interrogations were legal.

1 comment:

BruceS said...

Friday evening President Obama's administration quietly let it be known the Afghanistan prison was to remain open and would continue to "accept" those captured in other countries. Shades of W.