UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 10, 2009

CIA STOPS SECRET OVERSEAS PRISONS, SAYS PANETTA

Washington Post - The CIA no longer operates any secret overseas prisons, Director Leon Panetta said yesterday, and has not detained anyone since he became chief in February.

Panetta's statement, contained in a message to the CIA workforce, also said the agency will no longer use contractors to conduct interrogations or to provide security for remaining detention sites.

Referring to "black sites," as the secret prisons were known, Panetta said the agency has a plan "to decommission the remaining sites," an apparent reference to facilities still in existence but no longer operational. . . ."

The CIA has never revealed the locations where it secretly held and interrogated as many as 100 high-level al-Qaeda and other terrorism suspects captured overseas after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. News reports have said the sites were in Thailand, Romania and Poland, among other places.

Panetta's statement was the first public acknowledgement that some of the sites still exist.

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