Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Proof of CIA Secret Sites

The Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick reported on Sunday that it has what it calls "The first proof" of CIA secret "torture prisons in Europe. That," the article claims, "is revealed by a fax between the Egyptian minister of foreign affairs and its message in London. The message was intercepted by Swiss secret service." The report claims a Swiss secret service listening post "a few kilometers south of Berne" intercepted the fax exchanged between the Egyptian minister of foreign affairs, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in Cairo, and its Ambassador in London. "The Egyptians have sources which confirm the existence of American secret prisons," says the fax. The message, written in French, goes on to say that 23 Iraqi and Afghan citizens were believed to have been interrogatred at a military base known as Mihail Kogalniceanu, near Constanza, a Romanian port city on the Black Sea, with similar interrogation centers in the Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria. The Egyptian embassador in Berne would not confirm or deny the authenticity of the fax. The information echoes reports by Human Rights Watch last year of CIA flights from Romania and Poland, and specifically of a CIA flight from Mihail Kogalniceanu on September 23, 2005.

In Switzerland meanwhile, Le Monde reports today of severe embarrassment over the leak on the part of the defense ministry. The Financial Times reports the new disclosures today, so do the Guardian and the Telegraph in Britain, but so far not a single American news source has done so.