AP Locates CIA Secret Prison in Romania
The Associated Press and German ARD TV have located the CIA's secret prison in Romania where terror detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Abd al-Nashiri and Abu Faraj al-Libi were held and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques. You can view the building here.
Air transportation was provided by CIA contractor Richmor Aviation Inc., which also operated flights to Guantanamo and Morocco. The prison was closed in 2006. Porter Goss was the CIA Chief during the time it was used to hold the detainees.
Richmon leased a Gulfstream IV N85VM (later changed to N227SV) owned by Phillip Morse, a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox to the CIA for three years. There were flights to Romania in April 4, 2004. According to a European Parliament report,
Since early 2004, the Gulfstream IV has stopped off in Romania three times: on two occasions it had flown from Jordan; on the third, on 12 April 2004, it had flown from Guantanamo, and made a stop-over in Tenerife. After landing in Romania, it then flew to Casablanca, in Morocco, from where it returned to Washington on 13 April.
Another plane flying to Romania:
Boeing 737 N313P. Initially registered by Stevens Express Leasing Inc and subsequently re-registered by Premier Executive Transport Services. Between 2003 and 2004 the aircraft landed once in Poland and twice in Romania, having flown from Afghanistan. There is no
reason to believe that the purpose of the stop-overs was to refuel.
In particular, on 22 September 2003, N313P flew from Kabul to Szymany, an airport in north-eastern Poland, close to the town of Szczytno. Having landed at Szymany, the aircraft flew south-west to Romania. According to the Eurocontrol data, shortly afterwards the Boeing left Bucharest for Rabat, in Morocco. The following evening (23 September), according to the records, it left Rabat at 8.10 p.m. and reached the Guantanamo naval base at dawn on 24 September.
It had previously been reported that Khalid Sheikh Mohammad said he was held in Poland before being transferred to a black site prison nearby.
The Center’s flight data analysis corroborates previous allegations that there was a secret CIA “black site” near Szymany, Poland. It also lends credence to the accounts of former “black site” detainees such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who believes he was held in Poland. For example, data analyzed by the Center shows that a rendition flight left Poland for Romania on September 22, 2003, the same day that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed believes he was transferred from a secret facility in Poland to another secret prison nearby.
Another plane that flew prisoners to and from Romania was the Gulfstream N478GS. According to the European Parliament's 2007 report, it once got in an accident landing in Bucharest. It called on Romania to investigate:
In its 2007 final report on “the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners,” the European Parliament stated that seven passengers had disappeared after the accident at Bucharest airport. The report condemned the CIA’s use of Romania as a location for extraordinary renditions of “terror suspects,” including British nationals such as Binyam Mohammed.
In the document’s section on Romania, the European Parliament said it regretted “the lack of control of the Gulfstream aircraft with Registration Number N478GS that suffered an accident on 6 December 2004 when landing in Bucharest; recalls that the aircraft took off from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and that its seven passengers disappeared following the accident.”
The report, “Expresses serious concern about the 21 stopovers made by CIA-operated aircraft at Romanian airports that on many occasions came from or were bound for countries linked with extraordinary rendition circuits and the transfer of detainees; deplores the stopovers in Romania of aircraft which have been shown to have been used by the CIA, on other occasions, for the extraordinary renditions of Ahmed Agiza, Mohammed El- Zari, Bisher Al-Rawi, Jamil El-Banna, Abou Elkassim Britel, Khaled El-Masri, Binyam Mohammed and Abu Omar; is particularly concerned that, of the flights referred to, two originated from or were destined for Guantánamo; strongly encourages the Romanian authorities to investigate these flights further.”
Whatever happened to Ramzi Binalshibh? He's one of the five 9/11 defendants now charged in a military tribunal proceeding. Both sides concede he has a psychotic disorder (he was held in overseas prisons from 2002 to 2006 and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques. He was supposed to have a competency hearing, but from the court docket, I can't tell if he's had it yet. Is he catatonic? Are we really going to execute a person this mentally disabled?
According to an August ruling by a military judge, prosecutors have made an "apparent concession" that Mr. Binalshibh "suffers from a delusional disorder-persecutory type" disorder. Mr. Binalshibh has been prescribed "a variety of psychotropic medications used to treat schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder, including Haldol, Abilify, risperidone and Ativan," according to commission records.
The concession is also stated in a petition he filed in the D.C. Court of appeals. The military judge granted his lawyers' request to visit the black site prisons where he was held to prepare for the competency hearing. I guess they'll be adding Romania to their tour now.<
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