CIA Made Cash Payments To Countries That Hosted Black Sites, Report Says
The report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence also says two secretaries of state were not informed of black site locations.
Updated — 4:05 p.m. ET:
WASHINGTON — The CIA paid millions of dollars in cash to foreign governments to get them to host secret detention facilities where "enhanced interrogation" techniques were carried out, a Senate report on the CIA's controversial detention and interrogation programs says.
The report, released Tuesday after a five-year investigation by Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says the CIA essentially bribed foreign government officials to convince them to host so-called "black sites," secret prisons where the CIA housed and interrogated terror suspects. The report does not name any of the countries that hosted black sites, though the list of countries that did so is known to include Poland, Romania, Thailand, and Afghanistan.
The report also states that the CIA built two facilities that were never used, due to political concerns in the proposed host countries, and that the program led to strained relationships with U.S. allies:
The report also states that in one of the countries, CIA officers gave small amounts of cash to local officials where they were keeping detainees in conditions that didn't meet international standards for detention:
The CIA gave even more than it had been asked for to one of the countries:
According to the report, one of the countries involved was lied to about the full purpose of the site:
The report says that with one of the countries, the detention facility created "ongoing difficulties" — until the CIA gave them an undisclosed number of million dollars, after which "officials, for Country [REDACTED] political leadership, indicated that Country [REDACTED] was now flexible with regard to the number of CIA detainees at the facility and when the facility would eventually be closed."
More broadly, the report says that the CIA's program hurt America's standing in the world and that it "created tensions with U.S. partners and allies," damaging bilateral intelligence relationships.
The report further states that the U.S. foreign policy apparatus was largely kept in the dark and two secretaries of state were not informed of which countries were hosting facilities: "The CIA did not inform two secretaries of state of locations of CIA detention facilities, despite the significant foreign policy implications related to the hosting of clandestine CIA detention sites and the fact that the political leaders of host countries were generally informed of their existence. Moreover, CIA officers told U.S. ambassadors not to discuss the CIA program with State Department officials, preventing the ambassadors from seeking guidance on the policy implications of establishing CIA detention facilities in the countries in which they served."
CIA officials didn't want to inform former Secretary of State Colin Powell in July 2003 about the program, the report says, because he would "blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what's been going on," a CIA official is quoted as saying.
Though the countries in the report aren't named and the sites are referred to by color (Cobalt, Blue, Green, and so on), most of the sites are publicly known. Blue refers to Poland, according to the report, while Violet refers to Lithuania and Black to Romania, according to the Washington Post.
President Obama spoke on Monday with Poland's prime minister Ewa Kopacz, though the White House readout of the call does not include mention of whether the president discussed the report with the Polish leader. A spokesman for the Polish embassy in Washington said Tuesday that Obama had informed Kopacz about the report.
The former Polish prime minister, Leszek Miller, denied on Tuesday having had any knowledge of the facility hosted by Poland.
A spokesperson for the Polish embassy in Washington said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that "Poland remains at the forefront of European states who are actively seeking to uncover the circumstances surrounding the operation of secret CIA sites in Europe. The value of the declassified material revealed in the Senate report will be assessed by the Prosecutor's Office in Krakow, who heads the inquiry into the existence of alleged secret CIA sites on Polish territory. The publication will have no influence on Polish-American ties."
Representatives for several of the foreign governments involved did not immediately return requests for comment on the report.