CIA Blasts European Report on Secret Prisons

Labeling it "biased and distorted," a spokesperson for the CIA dismissed a European Parliament report finding the spy agency committed "a whole series of illegal acts" by abducting individuals and using torture to interrogate them at secret prisons in Romania and Poland.

"The CIA's counterterror operations have been lawful, effective, closely reviewed and of benefit to many people -- including Europeans -- in disrupting plots and saving lives," the CIA spokesperson said in a statement to the Blotter on

The 72-page report was released today by a committee of the Council of Europe.


It said more than 30 current and former intelligence officers in the United States, Poland and Romania confirmed the existence of the secret prisons, confirming a December 2005 report on

The report said its evidence included flight data, documenting at least 10 flights from Afghanistan to an airfield at Szymany, Poland, between 2002 and 2005.

As reported, the two prisons were closed at the end of 2005 as the existence of the operations became known. Suspected "high-value targets" were transferred to another facility in northern Africa.   

The committee said the U.S. chose to place its secret prisons in Poland and Romania because the two countries "were economically vulnerable" and dependent on American support "for their strategic development."

The committee said it found the President of Poland had direct knowledge of the CIA operation. "We have sufficient grounds to declare that the highest state authorities were aware of the CIA's illegal activities on their territories," said the report's author, Dick Marty, from Switzerland.

The spokesman for the Romania's Defense Ministry flatly denied the report's allegations.  "This is nonsense," Lt. Col. Liviu Flutur said.  "We have no knowledge of this."

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