Wednesday, November 02, 2005

But Real Estate Is So Much Cheaper Over There

We have to admit this confuses us a little. Why transport prisoners all over the place to torture them when it's so much more cost effective to do it right here? There is the deficit to consider you know.

The CIA has been interrogating al Qaeda captives at a secret facility in Eastern Europe, part of a covert prison system established after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Soviet-era compound is part of a network that has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand.

Thailand denied it was host to such a facility. "There is no fact in the unfounded claims," government spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said. "So there's no need for you to go down to the old car factory south of Bancock."

When asked if there ever was "fact" in "unfounded claims" Suebwonglee repeated that there was nothing of interest in the old car factory and journalists should just stop asking him about it.

The existence and locations of the facilities were known only to a handful of officials in the United States and the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country. "Well, until you guys came snooping around," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "Now everybody and his sister knows about them. Except the one that doesn't exist in the old car factory south of Bancock."

The prisons are referred to as "glow stick insertion facilities" in classified U.S. documents and virtually nothing is known about who the "campers" are, how often they are tortured or how long they will be held. "Is that a problem?" McClellan asked.

Several former and current intelligence and other U.S. government officials, said the CIA used such detention centers abroad because in the United States it is illegal to hold prisoners in such isolation. "Well, duh," responded McClellan. "Look the whole idea is not to have to give these guys the rights we're fighting the terrorists to protect. If we do that, the terrorists have won."

The names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program were not published at the request of senior U.S. officials. When asked if the names might be known to the terrorists through those released from the prisons, McClellan explained that prisoners at those prisons never get released. "Don't charge them. Don't try them. Don't let them go. It's the perfect trifecta of defending democracy and individual rights."

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