CIA prison exposed in Romania
By Sybille Fuchs
The ORNISS building in Bucharest - an innocent-looking structure where CIA prisoners were held and tortured.
The CIA runs a secret global abduction and internment
operation of persons that they have concluded to be "enemies
of the state." The operation is known as "EXTRAORDINARY
RENDITION." It is estimated that over 5,000 such
"enemies of the state" have been secreted away
into this gulag of horror since 2001. The gulag
consists of a number of different penal complexes scattered
across the world known as "BLACK SITES" where
"torture by proxy" is routinely employed.
One of the great ironies of
today is that men who loudly proclaim Jesus as their "personal
savior" are at the very heart of America's program
of "EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION," and the operation
of America's "BLACK SITES." For
example, Generals Boykin, Petraeus and McChrystal, all
of whom wear their Christianity on the sleeves of their
uniforms for everyone to see, commanded - each in his
own turn - the infamous American death squad known as
"TASK FORCE 121" which was headquartered out
of Camp Nama, a BLACK SITE in Iraq; and all were heavily
involved in the "goings-on" in the "black
room" that was concealed there - a notorious torture
chamber where "intelligence" was extracted from
There is a ridiculous assertion popular among naïve
"know-nothings" that torture is ineffective
in extracting useful intelligence from prisoners.
NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH - and this
comes from someone who was peripherally involved
in extracting information from prisoners at the
NATIONAL INTERROGATION CENTER (NIC) in Vietnam during
Operation Phoenix, the "mother" for all
such operations that have followed over the years.
[Please see "About
But, as paradoxical as it may sound, there is a reason
why all these men - i.e., Boykin, Petraeus and McChrystal
- would very sincerely claim to be Christians. Russian
dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn explains:
Waterboarding in Vietnam
"To do evil a human being must first of all
believe that what he's doing is good ... instead of
bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear
reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors."
For people to think that American
citizens have not been secreted away into this gulag of
horror is very, very naïve. Nonetheless, despite
the danger, Christians who fail to speak out against the
alliance the leaders of today's church have made with
the United States - an alliance that cannot help but impugn
the name of Christ - stand in danger of hearing the words
of Christ on THAT day:
"Whosoever therefore shall
be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous
and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of
man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father
with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)
SR Shearer as an intelligence officer (Captain.)
in Vietnam, and as an instructor at the Phoenix
School at Vung Tau, 1969 to 1970
Journalists from the Süddeutsche Zeitung
and the German television magazine "Panorama" have uncovered
the location of one of the chain of notorious secret torture
prisons run by US Central Intelligence Agency in Europe. The
prison is situated in a residential area of the Romanian capital,
The prison was located in a building housing the Romanian National
Registry Office for Classified Information (Official: Registrului
National al Informatiilor Secrete de Stat) authority. The
transport of prisoners to the prison from Bucharest's airport
was carried out in inconspicuous minibuses.
The cells were located in the basement of the ORNISS building.
The cells were mounted on springs in order to disorientate the
prisoners, who were also subjected to sleep deprivation, water
boarding, beatings or being forced to adopt excruciating positions
for long periods of time.
The prisoners were subjected to sleep deprivation, water boarding, beatings or being forced to adopt excruciating positions for long periods of time.
Some of the prisoners were held there temporarily prior to
being switched and tortured in other locations or transferred
to Guantanamo. The CIA's code-name for the secret prison in
Bucharest was "Bright light". The centre was located at Mures
Street 4. The prisoners held at the facility included Abd al-Rahim
al-Nashiri, who is accused of carrying out the attack on the
US warship Cole in Yemen and now sits in Guantanamo where he
faces trial by a military commission.
Al Nashiri was brutally tortured in 2002 and 2003. According
to CIA documents, he was allegedly threatened with execution
by a gun and a drill. He was also stripped naked, beaten and
subjected to water boarding. Some of the abuse is alleged to
have taken place in Poland. It is likely that he was transferred
from Poland to Bucharest and then to Guantanamo.
The alleged coordinator of the terrorist attacks of September
11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who, according to memos of the Bush
administration was water boarded on no less than 183 occasions,
was also incarcerated in the Romanian prison before he was transferred
The Romanian authorities established the ORNISS in 2002 by
emergency decree in order to co-ordinate the state's secret
operations—in particular with NATO. Its head has the status
of a cabinet secretary and reports directly to the Prime Minister.
Officials must ensure that confidential information is treated
according to NATO standards and only those responsible in each
case have access to such information.
The authority was established at a time when Romania was seeking
entry into NATO. An American in a high NATO position at that
time declared, "The Romanians would have done anything for us."
The then Romanian President Ion Iliescu said that his country
would behave as a de facto NATO member, and then in 2004
the country joined the alliance. In 2001 Iliescu had already
signed a bilateral agreement with the US government which allowed
the US military and civilians to carry out covert operations
on Romanian territory.
The secret prison in the basement of the ORNISS building proved
particularly useful because its employees are pledged to strict
secrecy. Romanian parliamentarians responded to revelations
concerning the torture cells by pleading ignorance and declaring
that Romania had nothing to do with the matter.
NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander of US troops in Europe, General James Jones visits US bases in Bulgaria and Romania.
Accordingly, journalists confronted a wall of silence when
the deputy head of ORNISS, Adrian Camarasan, addressed them
in a room adorned with the Romanian, NATO and European flags.
When asked by a reporter if he had ever seen Americans in his
premises, Camarasan answered, "No, no, I can no longer remember."
According to the Panorama report a spokesperson for ORNISS told
the DPA news agency the reports were "pure speculation."
The research by the journalists was conducted with great care.
They reported that a source in the US intelligence community
had described the location and the appearance of the former
prison in Bucharest. The reporters made their own enquiries
in Bucharest, located and photographed the complex and then
showed their evidence to three of their informants in Washington.
All three recognized the complex located near a railway line.
The prisoners who were taken to the torture chamber were completely
disoriented. Their eyes were blindfolded and their ears plugged,
leaving them with no idea of their location. The cells were
partly constructed from prefabricated parts, and an arrow had
been painted on the floor pointing in the direction of Mecca—a
mocking concession by the torturers to the religious persuasion
of their victims.
would be photographed, both clothed and naked prior to
and again after transfer. A body cavity check (rectal
exami-nation) would be carried out and some detainees
alleged that a suppository (the type and the effect of
such suppositories was un-known by the detainees), was
also adminis-tered at that moment.
The detainee would be made to wear a diaper
and dressed in a tracksuit. Earphones would be placed
over his ears, through which music would sometimes be
played. He would be blindfolded with at least a cloth
tied around the head and black goggles. In addition, some
detainees alleged that cotton wool was also taped over
their eyes prior to the blindfold and goggles being applied….
The detainee would be shackled by [the]
hands and feet and transported to the airport by road
and loaded onto a plane. He would usually be transported
in a reclined sitting position with his hands shackled
in front. The journey times…ranged from one hour to over
twenty-four to thirty hours. The detainee was not allowed
to go to the toilet and if necessary was obliged to urinate
and defecate into the diaper.
The existence of such torture prisons in Europe ("black sites")
was long denied by both the US and the countries involved, including
Lithuania, Poland and Romania. After the attack on the World
Trade Center of September 11, 2001 the prisons were established
as part of the "war on terror" in order to incarcerate
so-called "valuable prisoners" who were subjected to "enhanced
interrogation techniques"—i.e., forced to make confessions
on the basis of brutal torture techniques.
A report by the US Department of Justice from 2004 listed ten
torture techniques that were expressly allowed, including simulated
drowning and sleep deprivation due to days of incessant loud
music and bright neon lights. In addition, detainees were locked
away for hours in small boxes, hung by their arms, or had their
heads banged against the wall. Often they were given nothing
to eat for days or their cells were left freezing cold.
In 2009, the New York Times had suggested that one of
the CIA prisons in Bucharest was located near the Interior Ministry
The Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick in 2006 reported that
secret prisons had also been established in the former military
base Mihail Kogalniceanu in the southeast of the country. The
Swiss intelligence forces had intercepted a fax, which was the
first proof of the existence of secret US prisons in Europe.
According to the classified document, 23 Iraqi and Afghan citizens
were interrogated at the Mihail Kogalniceanu base in Romania.
Similar interrogation centers run by the CIA were established
in the Ukraine, Bulgaria and Macedonia and Kosovo.
The Mihail Kogalniceanu military base had been used by the
US since the Iraq war. When the newspaper asked the commander
of the military base about the existence of such a prison he
categorically denied any knowledge. The existence of CIA prison
sites in Lithuania and Poland has been known for some years,
but there had been no confirmation of such a facility in Romania.
What was known was that so-called "rendition" flights by the
CIA had transported "valuable prisoners" to Romania.
A corridor on the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase in Romania (9 Nov 2005).
Human rights organizations and journalists found ample evidence
of the torture of prisoners following the conquest of Tripoli
by the rebel forces backed by NATO. The complicity of European
governments, including Romania, with these international human
rights violations had already been uncovered by a special committee
of the European Parliament in 2006 and its special investigator
Dick Marty. Marty declared that at least 100 people had been
transported by the CIA to various secret European locations,
including Romania. Leading Romania representatives vigorously
denied the claim.
The report of the Special Committee concluded "that the CIA
was in several cases clearly responsible for the illegal abduction
and detention of suspected terrorists in the territory of the
Member States as well as special renditions, involving, in some
cases, European citizens".
The report of the Special Committee asserted that the purpose
of the special renditions was to ensure "that the suspects should
not be subjected to a court of law." The CIA "terror suspects
were kidnapped by undercover methods, arrested and turned over."
Other countries (including Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Afghanistan)
were entrusted with the prisoners, countries, "which, even the
US government admits practice torture in interrogations."
discovery recently of CIA torture facilities in Libya
gives evidence as to the DUPLICITY and HYPOCRISY of the
United States in its relations with Libya over the years.
A faxed memo sent from the C.I.A. to a Libyan intelligence agency concerning CIA prisoners being transferred to Libya.
The following New York Times report is one
of several now circulating. The report reads as follows:
"Documents found at the abandoned office of Libya's
former spymaster appear to provide new details of the
close relations the Central Intelligence Agency shared
with the Libyan intelligence service — most notably
suggesting that the Americans sent terrorism suspects
at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite
that country's reputation for torture. ...
"A C.I.A. spokeswoman, Jennifer Youngblood, declined
to comment on Friday on the documents. But she added:
'It can't come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence
Agency works with foreign governments to help protect
our country from terrorism and other deadly threats'....
"While most of the renditions referred to in the
documents appear to have been C.I.A. operations, at
least one was claimed to have been carried out by MI-6.
"'The rendition program was all about handing over
these significant figures related to Al Qaeda so they
could torture them and get the information they wanted',
said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human
Rights Watch, who studied the documents in the intelligence
headquarters in downtown Tripoli."
In 2006, US President George Bush admitted that the captured
senior Al-Qaeda suspects were taken to other states. He avoided,
however, identifying these countries, arguing this could cause
enemies of America to take action against its allies.
One of these "valuable prisoners" was Abu Zubeida, an alleged
confidant of Osama bin Laden, who had been abused in Lithuania.
He has now lodged a suit at the European Court of Human Rights
In an article in the New York Review of Books, Zubeida
described the cruel tortures he suffered:
"I woke up, naked, strapped to a bed, in a very white room.
The room measured approximately [13 feet by 13 feet]. . .
. After some time, I think it was several days, but can't
remember exactly, I was transferred to a chair where I was
kept, shackled by [the] hands and feet for what I think was
the next 2 to 3 weeks. During this time I developed blisters
on the underside of my legs due to the constant sitting .
. . .
"The cell and room were air-conditioned and were very cold.
Very loud, shouting type music was constantly playing. It
kept repeating about every fifteen minutes twenty-four hours
He was put in wooden crates in which he could not breathe or
had to sit hunched for hours. He was on a cot. He was strapped
down, his nose sealed with cellophane, and water was forced
down his throat—until he collaborated, an ex-CIA agent
related. In fact CIA memos make clear that Zubeida was subjected
to waterboarding on 83 occasions.
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