CIA holds terror suspects in secret prisons:
The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.
The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.
Gulags? Not in scale, but nearly so in design, intent, and execution. I know the word "gulag" has baggage, as does "concentration camp", but "prison" doesn't quite do this shit justice.
At any rate, we've now got confirmation of the "archipelago" aspect: look at the locations. No, it's not something in the water there, it's something in the mindsets of the torturers. Sick sick sadistic fucks.
The secret detention system was conceived in the chaotic and anxious first months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when the working assumption was that a second strike was imminent.
"I remember asking: What are we going to do with these people?" said a senior CIA officer. "I kept saying, where's the help? We've got to bring in some help. We can't be jailers -- our job is to find Osama."
Then came grisly reports, in the winter of 2001, that prisoners kept by allied Afghan generals in cargo containers had died of asphyxiation. The CIA asked Congress for, and was quickly granted, tens of millions of dollars to establish a larger, long-term system in Afghanistan, parts of which would be used for CIA prisoners.
The largest CIA prison in Afghanistan was code-named the Salt Pit. It was also the CIA's substation and was first housed in an old brick factory outside Kabul. In November 2002, an inexperienced CIA case officer allegedly ordered guards to strip naked an uncooperative young detainee, chain him to the concrete floor and leave him there overnight without blankets. He froze to death, according to four U.S. government officials. The CIA officer has not been charged in the death.
the CIA began apprehending more people whose intelligence value and links to terrorism were less certain, according to four current and former officials.
The original standard for consigning suspects to the invisible universe was lowered or ignored, they said. "They've got many, many more who don't reach any threshold," one intelligence official said.
In other words, like Abu Ghraib, there is a population in these gulags that probably doesn't even deserve incarceration, much less "invisible" inprisonment away from the Red Cross.
Meanwhile, the debate over the wisdom of the program continues among CIA officers, some of whom also argue that the secrecy surrounding the program is not sustainable.
"It's just a horrible burden," said the intelligence official.
Ah yes, the sadists strike the note of self-pity. How predictable. Maybe Steve Gilliard and the wingnuts will say that the CIA agents, too, are the real victims here.