Can you tell us a bit more about the black sites in general? How did such prisons stay in secret?
No, I think this is going to be coming out steadily from now on. Let me remind your listeners that my service in the US government ended in 1998, it was before all of this took place. But I have been an opponent as an academic, I am teaching now, and I have opposed the whole notion of not only secret prisons, but what is called the enhanced interrogations. And I believe that this was a situation that was bound to go badly.
Should such agreement be proven real, I mean if they are conducted between the US CIA and Poland, it is obviously done at a very high level, right?
Yes, but remember what the US government would say in a matter of this time, that they had clear guidance from the Department of Justice as to how they would conduct these interrogations and so you have an understanding of how matters would be handled.
What surprised me is actually the price of $15 million. It seems symbolic for such a tricky agreement and sensitive topic.
We’ve gone a little bit away from that particular period of time when we would all hear about potential for terrorist activity. Certainly in the US in the aftermath of 9/11 there was a strong desire to get what information we could to find out who had masterminded this particular attack and where it was located and how they could be brought to justice. But my point is that even following the guidance of the Department of Justice, there is something the US should not have been involved in.
Are such prisons intended only for those who are suspected of terrorism?
Again they are secret prisons because presumably the US went on that basis through the government of Poland and some of the other places where these activities took place. They would probably have to give some idea of what was going to go on and I think the issue was trying to get information that would implicate the terrorists and identify them. And my point is that the techniques of enhanced interrogation would allow that to be done in our name if it is just not advisable, not appropriate.
What about human rights protection?