Friday, January 1, 2010

Poland and Secret CIA Prisons

In September 2006, President Bush publicly acknowledged the existence of a secret
CIA program to detain international terror suspects worldwide. Earlier media reports
alleged that Poland and Romania were among the countries that had hosted secret CIA
prisons, although officials of both governments have denied these allegations. A
European Parliament probe conducted throughout 2006 cited no clear proof of prison sites
in Europe, but could not rule out the possibility that Romania had hosted detention
operations by U.S. secret services. However, in June 2007 a Council of Europe report
claimed to have evidence that U.S. detention facilities had been based in the two
countries. President Kaczynski has stated that, since he assumed office, “there has been
no secret prison — I am 100 percent sure of it,” and that he had been “assured there were
never any in the past either.”17

Some Poles have argued that, despite the human casualties and financial costs their
country has borne in Iraq and Afghanistan, their loyalty to the United States has gone
largely unrewarded. Many have hoped that the Bush Administration would respond
favorably by providing increased military assistance and particularly by changing its visa
policy, which currently requires Poles to pay a $100 non-refundable fee, and then submit
to an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate — requirements that are waived for most
western European countries.


17 “Reports of Secret U.S. Prisons In Europe Draw Ire and Otherwise Red Faces.” New York Times. December 1, 2005. “European Aided US Renditions.” FT. June 8, 2007. “Inquiry Finds Evidence of Secret Prisons CIA Ran Facilities In Romania and Poland, European Agency Reports.” IHT. June 9, 2007.

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