Cargo Boxes as Torture Mechanisms: CIA

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A warehouse in a tiny Lithuanian village.. not far from the Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius, is thought to be where the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohamed was held, as well as other prisoners who were subjected to secret confinement by the CIA. It was established in 2004 at the height of the US-led “rendition, detention, interrogation” programme, which saw terror suspects clandestinely captured and transported around the world.

The documents obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (pdf)  disclose inside details of assistance provided by the Lithuanian State Security Department (SSD) to the CIA.

They take the form of dozens of pages of interview summaries gathered during a 2010 investigation by the Lithuanian state prosecutor which looked at allegations state officials had helped US agents set up a secret prison. The cache, which has been secret up until now, forms part of several hundred pages of material disclosed by the Lithuanian government to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2015…

On several occasions, SSD officers describe helping the CIA transfer boxes – which they described as “cargo” – in and out of the facility. The dates of these transfers match those on which lawyers believe that al Qaeda suspects were brought in and out of Lithuania. The boxes were each more than a metre long and needed two people to carry them, the documents say.  Lithuanian officials told prosecutors they did not know what was in the boxes they helped transport, and that although they had access to the building, they did not see all of it.

In shutting down their investigation, Lithuanian prosecutors stated that they had “no data” concerning the “precise purpose of the cargo”. It “could have been communications equipment,” the office concluded.  The country has long denied that CIA prisoners were held on its territory,…But details in the interview summaries correspond closely with findings in a 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA secret prisons, which describes how two facilities were set up in the same country. One of them, known as “site Violet”, was used to hold prisoners in 2005 and 2006…

Abu Zubaydah is believed to have been held in Lithuania during 2005-6, and is suing the country for its alleged role in his detention at the ECHR.

Documents declassified by the CIA in June this year suggeLithuania cooperated with the CIA to secretly transfer prisoners and detain them on Lithuanian territory…

Excerpts from Crofton Black, “Site Violet”: How Lithuania helped run a secret CIA prison, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Oct. 10, 2016

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