My supposition that one reasons Dana Priest’s black site article precipitated the torture tape destruction is because the tapes were dangerous to the country on whose territory the CIA tortured Abu Zubaydah led to me to read something I should have already read–the July 2007 COE report on European participation in the US HVD program. This post lays out what it says about Poland. I’m still reading the report, but given the direction of the comment threads on my other posts, I wanted to get this up for discussion.
Assuming the COE report is accurate (it is based on public reports and anonymous sources, including a number of CIA sources), Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and probably al-Nashiri, were in Poland when Dana Priest’s article ran.
In accordance with the operational arrangements described below, Poland housed what the CIA’s Counterterrorism Centre considered its “most sensitive HVDs,” a category which included several of the men whose transfer to Guantanamo Bay was announced by President Bush on 6 September 2006.
We received confirmations – each name from more than one source – of eight names of HVDs who were held in Poland between 2003 and 2005. Specifically, our sources in the CIA named Poland as the “black site” where both Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohamed (KSM) were held and questioned using “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The information known about these interrogations has formed the basis of heated debate in the United States and the wider international community, leading, in Zubaydah’s case, to high-level political and legislative manoeuvres and, in KSM’s case, to the admission of some troubling judicial precedents.
But it remains unclear on whether Abu Zubaydah was moved to Poland in 2002 or 2003. The report describes the HVD program as evolving between 2002 and 2003.
The United States negotiated its agreement with Poland to detain CIA High-Value Detainees on Polish territory in 2002 and early 2003. We have established that the first HVDs were transferred to Poland in the first half of 2003.
It describes top-level Polish officials as being aware of the program starting in 2002.
[S]ome individual high office-holders knew about and authorised Poland’s role in the CIA’s operation of secret detention facilities for High-Value Detainees on Polish territory, from 2002 to 2005.
And it describes the genesis of the program as starting in 2001. Read more