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The likely location of a CIA black site in Lithuania was first the subject of speculation in a piece that ran at this site, “Inside the World of Dusty Foggo.” When ABC News took the story mainstream, Lithuanian officials rushed to offer formal denials. Under pressure from European authorities, however, Lithuania’s parliament opened a probe. Today, the existence of not one but two black sites, operated with the knowledge of the Lithuanian government, is acknowledged by the parliamentary report.
This finding had been widely anticipated after Povilas Malakauskas, the head of the Lithuanian intelligence service, resigned last week without offering an explanation. Arvydas Anušauskas, the head of a parliamentary committee that issued today’s report, acknowledged that the spy master’s resignation was “partially connected” to the probe.
“The sites existed, it was possible to cross the Lithuania border, and planes landed,” Arvydas Anušauskas told reporters as he presented the findings of a probe launched in early November by Lithuanian lawmakers. Anušauskas cautioned that it was not possible to say with certainty if any suspects were actually brought to the Baltic state for interrogation. “Regarding the ‘cargo’, I can’t confirm anything, because Lithuanian authorities could not carry out the usual checks, so what was being transported was unknown,” he explained.
That “cargo” probably included prisoners who were tortured in CIA custody, potentially including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded repeatedly at a black site that stocked water with labels giving an internet address ending in “.pl” for Poland. Polish bottled water is readily available in Lithuania.
The Lithuanian parliamentary inquiry reports, of course, that the Lithuanian president and other senior officials were unaware of what went on at the site. That explanation isn’t very convincing. To learn what went on there, they only needed to read the daily press, like the Washington Post, which provided accounts on the goings-on at black sites from December 2002. Lithuanians were on notice that torture was practiced at the sites, in violation of Lithuania’s criminal law. What did they do about it? They welcomed it, apparently.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount by which a typical good-looking U.S. worker will out-earn a typical ugly one over a lifetime:
A Japanese inventor unveiled a new invisibility cloak that uses a material made of thousands of tiny beads called “retro-reflectum.”
A couple at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, left their waitress a note telling her “the woman’s place is in the home,” in lieu of a tip.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."