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CIA Operated Black Sites With Full Knowledge of Host Countries

Sputnik News

20:36 18.05.2015(updated 20:41 18.05.2015)

The countries that participated in the US Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) terrorist detainee interrogation and transfer program had full knowledge of what was being done within their borders, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell told Sputnik on Monday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein – Morell commented on the CIA's overseas black sites where terrorist suspects had been subjected to torture and other human rights abuses:

"CIA was not operating without the knowledge of these governments."

Morrell served as US President George W. Bush's daily intelligence briefer in 2001, and was nominated in 2010 to serve as the second in command at the CIA under US President Barack Obama.

"I am telling you what I know, and I am telling you what I perceive to be the truth," Morell continued.

Over the weekend, the European Court of Human Rights forced the government of Poland to pay approximately $250,000 in reparations to two terrorist suspects who had reported being tortured at a CIA black site in Poland.

According to reports, the United States gave Poland millions of dollars to allow the CIA to operate a detention center within the country's borders in 2002 and 2003.

During a Monday press conference at the National Press Club, Morell said that the CIA's management of overseas interrogation sites "was not some rogue operation inside the borders of these countries."

The former deputy director added that the program was supported "by the leadership of those countries."

The exact number of countries that participated in the CIA program during the US War on Terror is unknown, but the existence of the overseas program was confirmed in a 2014 US Senate Intelligence report on the use of what is termed "enhanced interrogation practices" by the US intelligence agency. The report also confirmed the use of "torture" by the CIA in dealing with terrorist detainees.

Morell noted that the countries hosting CIA sites supported the program "because they thought that we would be able to keep all of this secret."

While the host countries wanted the US assurance of secrecy, he added, "we were not able to deliver on the discretion part."

The Polish government faced a Saturday deadline to process payments to the two terrorist suspects who were unlawfully detained in a CIA facility in Poland. The Polish foreign ministry said on Friday that it was processing the payments.

According to independent reports by the Open Society Foundation, as many as 54 countries took part in the CIA's overseas terrorist detention and transfer program during the early years of the US War on Terror.


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