Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lithuanian Parliament: CIA Had Two Black Sites

Two CIA black sites but no proof 'al-Qaeda terrorist suspects' were ever housed there. 

That's the main finding of a much ballyhooed parliamentary probe in Lithuania, site of the latest reports of CIA-run 'interrogation' sites in eastern Europe. 

The report is riddled with lots of cautionary wording like 'may have', and 'could have', but the lawmakers did not issue a whitewash. Not exactly.

Yes, the parliament found one site was developed in 2002, and, strangely, was meant to house all of one terror suspect.

The second one is the former equestrian club, pictured above, and first uncovered by ABC.  The Informant has covered that report here.

Once again, it is "Russian Today" with one of the better TV reports on the probe's finding, which is getting scant play in major Western main stream media.  Go figure.

A new detail, this building was bought in March 2004 by a U.S.-registered firm Elite LLC, probably a CIA front.

The AFP news agency adds this interesting tidbit: the US embassy in Vilnius was allegedly involved in acquiring the site for two million litas, or $829,000.

Those are the highlights. 

The lowlight is the probe's failure to say more on the suspects held there.

So, the CIA opened these places, land planes in Lithuania -- as the probe confirmed -- but it's unclear whether the U.S. spymasters plunked terrorist wannabes there and used 'enhance interrogation techniques'?  C'mon.

Arvydas Anusauskas, the chairman of the National Security and Defense Committee, however says the Lithuanians were powerless in their own country to oversee foreign agents. 

Yes, Anusauskas, says CIA flights did land in Lithuania, but the CIA forbade Lithuanian officials to check what was coming into their own country.

"Regarding the 'cargo', I can't confirm anything, because Lithuanian authorities could not carry out the usual checks, so what was being transported was unknown," he explained.

Apparently the CIA was so set on getting its way, former Lithuanian president Rolandas Paksas was impeached for getting in way of Langley's black site plans.  That story from the Informant is here

Reaction among Lithuania's political elite leaned towards the critical.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said the CIA had resorted to "Soviet methods", but stressed Lithuania's fealty to Washington is unwavering. 

The president at the time the CIA was snooping around the country, Valdas Adamkus, who lived in the U.S. for a long time and worked at the post office and served in the U.S. army, is still in denial.

"I am certain this never happened and nobody proved me wrong," Adamkus told the Baltic News Service.

As for Washington, as far as the Informant is aware, not one U.S. journalist has put the charges contained in the probe to the White House.  That's obedience!

Well, credit should go to the Lithuanians.  At least they released their parliamentary report. 
When Polish lawmakers were tasked with probing whether the CIA did much the same thing there they came, they investigated, they caved, refusing to disclose what they found out.  
But the Poles are one up on the Romanians, who never even probed such charges of CIA skullduggery in the land of Dracula. 
The Council of Europe found a massive and systematic violation of human rights" in Poland and Romania.
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