Report: CIA Gave Poland $15M for Use of 'Black Site'

'Washington Post' report sheds light on infamous secret jail
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2014 10:27 AM CST
Report: CIA Gave Poland $15M for Use of 'Black Site'
This Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005 file photo shows the runway and control tower of the airport in Szymany, in northeastern Poland.   (AP Photo, File)

Polish prosecutors intend to look into a Washington Post report alleging that the CIA in 2003 handed Polish intelligence agents two cardboard boxes stuffed with $15 million in cash as a payoff to use a Polish facility as perhaps the agency's most infamous "black site" prison. The report could be explosive, because if Polish officials did cooperate with the CIA, they could be prosecuted, as could politicians who were in power at the time. A prosecution spokesperson tells Reuters that the report will be analyzed for new evidence. Human rights groups say prosecutors already have evidence of Polish officials' involvement with the black site, but have held off on charges for fear of political repercussions. Officially, Poland denies that the secret jail ever existed.

The Post provides a detailed report on the origins of the site, a two-story villa on a Polish intelligence service training base that the CIA secured to replace a site it was using in Thailand (that one described by one former agency official as "just a chicken coop we remodeled"). Polish officials continued to visit the site's common lunch room, but didn't have access to the detainees. The report also details the interrogation and torture of Abu Zubaida (who proved eager to help), Khaleid Sheikh Mohammed (who was very hard to break), and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (whom interrogators quarreled about, with some convinced he was a major terror figure, and others believing he was "an idiot" who "couldn't read or comprehend a comic book.") Read the Post's full report here. (More CIA stories.)

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