New information confirming the existence of CIA prisons in Romania has been issued in the public space. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. administration has thousands of photos of the places where terrorists, had been detained, including in our country. However, Romanian officials have denied their existence, even if former President Ion Iliescu acknowledged in an interview to a German publication that he provided to the CIA a “headquarters” in Romania.
The U.S. administration holds about 14,000 photos from CIA-operated secret prisons in other countries, including Romania, where terrorist suspects appear, but also CIA and foreign intelligence services staff, said US officials quoted by the Washington Post.
The bulk of the photographs depict black sites in Thailand, Afghanistan and Poland. There are fewer shots of prisons in Romania and Lithuania, which were among the last to be used before they were closed in 2006.
According the Washington Post, the electronic images depict external and internal shots of facilities where the CIA held al-Qaeda suspects after 9/11, but they do not show detainee interrogations, including the torture of some suspects who were subjected to waterboarding and other brutal techniques.
They do include images of naked detainees during transport, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the material remains classified.
The pictures also show CIA personnel and members of foreign intelligence services, as well as psychologists Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell, among the architects of the interrogation program.
“Among the images are those of cells and bathrooms at the detention sites, including a facility in Afghanistan known as “Salt Pit,” where the waterboard was photographed. A U.S. official described the photographs of the Salt Pit as looking like a dungeon. The official added that many of the pictures appear to have been taken for budgetary reasons to document how money was being spent,” the Washington Post reports.
“The existence of the approximately 14,000 photographs will probably cause yet another delay in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as attorneys for the defendants demand that all the images be turned over and the government wades through the material to decide what it thinks is relevant to the proceedings.Defense attorneys said they have not yet been informed about the photographs and said it is unacceptable that they should come to light now, more than three years after the arraignment of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other defendants accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks”.
“The government will probably resist any attempt to turn over photos of CIA officers and other personnel, arguing that it could endanger their personal security, while the defense will want to identify potential witnesses,” the Washington Post maintains.