Thursday, March 08, 2007

Former PM Leszek Miller knew about CIA terror camps


Update: Former Polish intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski says CIA had access to two internal zones at the Stare Kiejkuty training school….but thinks the new revelations are to do with US domestic politics...more

British intelligence memo (seen by Raw Story) proves that there was a short term detention centre for keeping terrorist suspects in Poland.

Terror suspects were shuttled in and out of Poland from 2002 to 2004, says the memo. The ‘camp’ was at the previously suspected ex-Soviet intelligence training centre at Stare Kiejkuty, 12 miles from Szymany airstrip.

The centre was only known about by US and British secret services, a few Polish intelligence top brass and the then SLD prime minister Leszek Miller.

"Miller was asked to keep it as tight as possible," the memo said.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano would not confirm to Raw Story.com or deny any allegations about the Polish facility.

He maintained the rendition program was legal and conducted "with great care."

"The agency's terrorist interrogation program has been conducted lawfully, with great care and close review, producing vital information that has helped disrupt plots and save lives," Gimigliano said Monday. "That is also true of renditions, another key, lawful tool in the fight against terror."

What has misled many has been the reporting of gulags and large complexes full of prisoners. In fact the facilities were short term and small, says Raw Story.

What some believe was a network of secret prisons was most probably a series of facilities used temporarily by the United States when needed, officials say. Interim "black sites" -- secret facilities used for covert activities -- can be as small as a room in a government building, which only becomes a black site when a prisoner is brought in for short-term detainment and interrogation.

The rest of the Raw Story report rehashes old (but interesting) material, but it’s the best I have seen of some concrete proof that something was going on in Poland.

A direct allegation has been made against Leszek Miller in particular, so it will be interesting to see what he says about this. And if the British intelligence services colluded in the decision to use Poland as a stop off place for terrorist suspects then how much did Tony Blair know?

21 comments:

Harry said...

Anybody remember who was it who wrote these statements?

"When the original story broke last November, the EU Justice Minister threatened to cut off Polish voting rights (during ministerial meetings) if any torture prisons were found on Polish soil. But as I have pointed out many times, the evidence against Poland on this is as weak and wobbley as a just-born baby horse's legs.

Hopefully the EU will come to the same conclusion as I have: Polish CIA torture prisons are a bit like Saddam Hussein’s WMD. The EU investigating team is like a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat, that isn’t there…"

"In Poland we only have evidence of a handful of flights landing. But we have no evidence that anyone actually got off these planes."

"So, though there is ‘no evidence’ [a complete misquote by the way, the statement was actually 'no DIRECT' evidence'] there is ‘serious indicators’ and it’s on these serious indicators’ that Marty has concluded that that 'authorities in several European countries actively participated with the CIA'."

"Suddenly the case against Poland being the host to ‘gulags’ starts to look a little pathetic. I hope Human Rights Watch has got better proof than this. Otherwise it is going to look very silly indeed.

And it always was a slightly ridiculous argument (see US Auschwitz), begun by the Washington Post and elaborated by Human Rights Watch, the NGO which named Poland and Romania as being the torture camp capitals of eastern Europe after the Post had agreed with the US government not to reveal which countries the camps were in (those brave, independent journalists!). "

"Poles’ reaction is indeed one of disbelief, and some feel insulted that, on the back of circumstantial evidence, Poland is being accused of not just hosting secret camps, but of trying to cover up their existence. "

roman said...

harry,

What's your point?

geez said...

I don't know exactly Harry's point, but the main point in this matter from the linked article is:

"The CIA operated an interrogation and short-term detention facility for suspected terrorists within a Polish intelligence training school with the explicit approval of British and US authorities, according to British and Polish intelligence officials familiar with the arrangements.

AND

"According to a confidential British intelligence memo shown to Raw Story, Prime Minister Tony Blair told Poland's then-Prime Minister Leszek Miller to keep the information secret, even from his own government."

^^^^^^^
Legal? I think not.

* How many were detained?
* How were they detained and for how long?
* Who were they and why were they so detained?
* How were they interrogated and by whom?
* Was any torture involved?

And yes, what did then Polish govenment officials know (not only Miller)?

Looks certainly like Blair and Bush knew the whole shebang was going on.

What a freaking idiotic mess.

geez said...

Oh jeez louise, and when Hillary gets elected, we'll see more of the same.

"Rendition," another new word to enlarge our 1984 vocabularies.

From the linked article: "Rendition programs were first employed by the Clinton administration in order to target suspected elements of al Qaeda. These covert operations, run out of the CIA, were used intermittently and on a limited basis. It was not until the Bush Administration that the use of extraordinary rendition became a matter of policy and was employed on a large scale."

Ladies and gentlemen, this way to the vomitorium....

nemeczek said...

"Former PM Leszek Miller knew about CIA terror camps"... Well, on Onet.pl they quote LM as saying he did NOT know about such camps simply because they did not exist.
He is most likely best equipped to know what he did or didn't know.
Besides, I am yet to understand how the CIA and MI-6 can leak SECRET memos with impunity - if that's true somebody should join Libby in the slammer for this.
The outcry about the whole rendition affair is solid proof that a vast majority of people in the West still apply the rules of every day morality and decency to global politics (which is neither moral nor decent). That's why nasty things are kept away from us, so we can sleep peacefully at night. But deep, deep down we all know geopolitics is ruthless, right? And it is done in our name so, partially, we are all guilty as charged. To feel better, we can still take a higher moral ground and blame 'them' for all things unholy. I will not change a thing, though.

geez said...

NONSENSE:

".... a vast majority of people in the West still apply the rules of everyday morality and decency to global politics (which is neither moral nor decent)."

^^^^^
Nemeczek, it's obvious you are in agreement with bin Laden. By countenancing torture and terrorism, you sanction and abet it's continuation for and by all.

Harry said...

nemeczek said...
"Former PM Leszek Miller knew about CIA terror camps"... Well, on Onet.pl they quote LM as saying he did NOT know about such camps simply because they did not exist.
He is most likely best equipped to know what he did or didn't know.

He is best equipped to know what he did and did not know but that doesn't mean he'll tell the truth about what he did and did not know. Especially given that if he does admit that he knew Poland was running secret illegal prisons he'd face criminal charges and Poland would be nailed to the wall by the EU as a warning to others


nemeczek said...
Besides, I am yet to understand how the CIA and MI-6 can leak SECRET memos with impunity - if that's true somebody should join Libby in the slammer for this.

Libby isn't in the slammer. If he goes it will be for trying to cover up illegal acts, not for leaking. And certainly not for leaking information which is of use to the public and which concerns criminal acts by the leaders of the government.

jannovak57 said...

If indeed these new revelations are true, then it opens a complete new dimension to the story. The allegations that PM Leszek Miller (former communist) knew about CIA detention camps and did not inform the President could be in legal terms acting outside of constitutional authority.

As with what has happened with this story all along there is no smoking gun but hearsay evidence. Is there any evidence that can be put in front of a court?

Thus far we have:
“According to a confidential British intelligence memo shown to Raw Story, Prime Minister Tony Blair told Poland's then-Prime Minister Leszek Miller to keep the information secret, even from his own government. Miller was asked to keep it as tight as possible, the memo said.”

Who has verified the memo was authentic?
Was President Kwasniewski (former communist) informed and did he give his consent?
Did the intelligence officials involved inform the current President of what actually happened?

Based on the past behaviour of the communists these allegations have the potential to be true as the former communists were conditioned to respond to foreign masters without question. This is just another indication that removing former communists from public life is essential and correct.

beatroot said...

Yeah, of course, it's easy to react to the Miller denial with: "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?"

What we need to know is more about this British memo...and I think the Raw Story journos should be pushed on that, which is something I am going to try and do tomorrow.

And what we really need is for one of the Polish ops to come out and say: Yep, there was a memo and it did say that."

At the moment they are all playing from the same song sheet and saying nothing.

The present government is in a pickle: it would on the one hand just love to expose WSI...because the recent report was a bit of a damp squib.

On the other hand it has just started making noises about how NATO is failing as a defense organization and how Poland should start making a seperate defense deal with the Americans.

So digging around a bit more about what the Miller administration did is a political risk for them, as too much information could alienate the US...

nemeczek said...

Geez:
You are either dyslexic or careless while reading posts of others. Nowhere did I say I supported torture of any kind. I believe people in general want to be good and want to be perceived as such. This desire of individuals is in conflict with what geopolitics requires. You individually might be against torture, war, and all things ugly, but the irony is you fully endorse such activities. Who do you think ultimately pays for bullets, tanks, planes, personnel and, dare I say, all the (alleged) torture equipment? Gnomes? We all pay for it. In return, we are free to voice our objection - it makes us feel better while making no real difference whatsoever.

beatroot said...

Who do you think ultimately pays for bullets, tanks, planes, personnel and, dare I say, all the (alleged) torture equipment? Gnomes?

It’s a gnome tax on anyone or anything over 1 metre.

We all pay for it. In return, we are free to voice our objection - it makes us feel better while making no real difference whatsoever.

Man, you have a dire view of free speech. What: they give it to us like a form of therapy? Free speech is Poles’ new vodka?

Just look at history – all the significant movement for social, scientific, artistic change came from the exchange of ideas. That’s what free speech is all about.

Look at KOR and Solidarnosc…that’s why voicing objection really does make a difference.

nemeczek said...

Beatroot:
I look at the history... free speech is surely a good thing. From a state's point of view it is way better to allow free speech than to suppress it and face a bloody revolution. And only strong states, because they can afford it, offer this particular freedom to their citizens. As a result, we end up in a peculiar world in which 90% of a county's population might voice their objection to a particular war, but the country still enters the overwhelmingly unpopular conflict. Sounds familiar? Free speech is effective only if the other party is willing to listen and, if the arguments are valid, change. As of now, words do not carry much weight (therefore, I often wonder why I even bother to post anything on people’s blogs – no value there either).
KOR and Solidarity are not good examples (no freedom of speech at that time in Poland, right?) as the state they operated in was already in a state of decay.

opamp said...

Ah, so there is a leaked CIA memo confirming the existence of the Polish prison for suspected terrorists... Well, with a simple Google search you can find leaked CIA memos proving that the U.S. imprisons extraterrestrials. "Leaked" CIA memos are dime a dozen; if the CIA was really leaking them at such rate, it would be cheaper for them to abandon any pretensions of secrecy.

Anyway, it is interesting to see how the story evolves. First it was a series of gulags across Eastern Europe, then a prison, and now we learn that Polish government was renting rooms for the CIA agents so they could do something with the terrorists. In other words, the required standard of proof in this story is being lowered all the time. It is now at the level where it is basically impossible to prove it either way: it is both probable and impossible to disprove.

On the other hand, the alleged operations in Poland are finally of believable proportions.

I will reiterate my main point: 147 landings in Ireland. 7 in Poland. Prison in Poland. Occam's razor.

jannovak57 said...

Beatroot said:” On the other hand it has just started making noises about how NATO is failing as a defence “
I was wondering when someone would notice that Poland signed a phoney defence agreement, yes your in Nato but! It just not the same deal the original members got.

Beatroot said: “What we need to know is more about this British memo...”
An actual copy of the memo would go a long way, but isn’t possession or dissemination of this document illegal in the UK.

Beatroot said: ”what we really need is for one of the Polish ops to come out and say: Yep, there was a memo and it did say that."
It is unlikely for any Polish op to have seen the British memo but an order from Miller to the Polish intelligence officers could have a paper trail. For someone in Polish ops to come forward is unlikely, they would need to move to another country first.

Beatroot said: “ The present government is in a pickle: it would on the one hand just love to expose WSI...because the recent report was a bit of a damp squib. “
There is nothing to loose as the full details of what happened will come out courtesy of the news media in the US and UK. The corridors of power in Poland should learn sooner than later that the western world doesn’t keep secrets very well.

On the issue of a separate defence deal with the US, Poland will have a better chance breeding flying pigs before they succeed in getting such a deal from the US. It’s Nato take or leave it.

geez said...

Nemeczek: You write that you nowhere wrote you support torture.

But then you write geopolitics require it.

And then you suggest that because you pay taxes you do indeed support it if your government engages in it.

So you are personally opposed to it, but it seems you accept it even if your government has a hand in it as long as you don't know about it because it's the way of the world?

While I pay taxes, I can at least vote for folks who I think will not use my taxes for the war for oil, torture, etc. I can speak out in a lot of different ways even if no one heeds what I say or even listens to me. Or I can sit around and fart and wonder if it really stinks if no one else is around to smell it and collaborate that I am not nuts (jeez maybe I didn't fart at all or maybe my farts don't stink). Or I could also not pay taxes (which would land me in jail). Anyway, back in the day I actually did file for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War although I just missed the draft by one year).

Am I responsible for my government's every action? I don't think so, not even if my tax dollars are used.

All you can do is all you can do. The important thing is to do it (mea culpa if that sounds like a Nike commercial).

Are we wasting our time bitching about it all here? Maybe. But hey, I don't think it's hurting anybody all that much which is more that can be said about lots of other things we do. And maybe our minds change just a little bit for the better in the process -- and that's a good thing.

beatroot said...

Geez
Anyway, back in the day I actually did file for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War although I just missed the draft by one year).

All I can say is that I hope I would have done the same in your position, and you have the beatroot’s Root Veg Respect Award unconditionally and without time limit.

geez said...

Jeez thanks, BR, but nowadays I'm no longer a CO, certainly not in regard to all warfare, although there's mighty little modern warfare I can imagine myself supporting. I was genuinely a CO to all war back in those heady days, but looking back I was dreadfully naive. What else could an 18 year old be?

Harry said...

opamp said...
Ah, so there is a leaked CIA memo confirming the existence of the Polish prison for suspected terrorists... Well, with a simple Google search you can find leaked CIA memos proving that the U.S. imprisons extraterrestrials.

Opamp: You are SO right. This curse of the 'internet' and this curse of 'electricity', they are both totally un-natural! And, as you yourself have told us: things which are un-natural are WRONG. So, for the second time of asking, please give me your address so that I can come and protect you from these un-natural things which have clearly confused you so much.

Tommy Aquinas said...

Who claims that the interet and electricity are "unnatural"?

How can humans transcend nature if they come from and are a part of nature?

Must be with the help of those ET guys.

beatroot said...

Er….anyway:

Geez - I was dreadfully naive. What else could an 18 year old be?

Right from when I was very small Mohammad Ali was my big hero. And I remember hearing about something called The Draft (conscription ended in the UK in 1956 or something) and how people were being forced to fight in wars they didn’t support. Couldn’t get my head around that idea at all. So I was a six year old CO!

But back to now. Just read the US state report on human rights. The bit about Poland shows that these ‘reports’ are done by guys sitting in an office going through the newspapers and blogs for evidence! But the bog gap in that report generally is that it doesn’t have a country report on the US. And compared to Poland the US must have one of the worst records on human rights of any major country today. 9/11 badly screwed the US veeeery badly.

nemeczek said...

Re: update
Siemiatkowski admitted in 2005 (!) the CIA had access to Stare Kiejkuty - hardly breaking news today. Reading your update, one might get a false impression Siemiatkowski gave in under the weight of Raw Story's evidence (sic!) and made his statement today. If anything, it proves that in 2005 the Polish government felt comfortable in admitting that the Americans had access to those, otherwise restricted, sites. Had any illegal activity been going on there, would they have been so forthcoming? I personally doubt it.