Stare Kiejkuty (base)

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On the territory village of Stare Kiejkuty, Poland, is a restricted military area that is the seat of (postal service name, simply) Jednostka Wojskowa 2669 (military unit 2669), Ośrodek Szkolenia Agencji Wywiadu (Agencja Wywiadu Intelligence Agency Training Center). Since 2005 it has attracted scrutiny as being a black site involved in the CIA's program of extraordinary rendition.[1][2][3]

History[edit]

The facility's military uses go back at least as far as World War II, when it served as an outpost of the Nazi German SD (the intelligence service of the SS) and Abwehr. It was a part of Germany then, Ostpreussen.[4] The airstrip that would later be expanded into the modern Szczytno-Szymany International Airport, 20 km away, originally served as a landing strip for Luftwaffe planes for bombing raids on Warsaw. In 1968, it would be used by the Soviet Army to plan operations to crush the Prague Spring.

Its use by Polish intelligence dates to the fall 1971; in the Communist era, it appeared on maps as a nondescript holiday resort. It had a very special status, however, having been the only intelligence training facility in the Eastern Bloc located outside the Soviet Union.

Signs are posted nearby reminding casual visitors of prohibitions against taking photographs, and journalists have reported having their cameras searched (and memory cards confiscated) when taking pictures near the facility.[citation needed]

On December 15, 2005, Zbigniew Siemiątkowski, the former head of the current Polish national intelligence agency, Agencja Wywiadu, confirmed that in the Stare Kiejkuty facility there are two "internal zones" to which CIA officers have access; one of these (referred to as Strefa B) is officially the home of OSAW.[5] Other Polish intelligence officials have confirmed that American personnel associated with the facility have been known to reside in the area for several months at a time, going back five or six years.[6]

In February 2010 Polish officials admitted that at least six CIA flights passed through Szymany airport in 2003, recanted previous denials.[7]

After the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture in December 2014, the President of Poland between 1995-2005, Alexander Kwasniewski, admitted that he had agreed to host a secret CIA black site in Poland, but that activities were to be carried out in accordance to Polish law. He said that a U.S. draft memorandum had stated that "people held in Poland are to be treated as prisoners of war and will be afforded all the rights they are entitled to", but due to time constraints the U.S. had not signed the memorandum.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ H., A. (9 July 2013). "What happened in Stare Kiejkuty?". The Economist. 
  2. ^ Gutman, Roy (13 August 2012). "Poland peels back layers on secret CIA prison for suspected terrorists". McClatchy DC. 
  3. ^ "Hunt for CIA 'black site' in Poland", BBC, 28 December 2006
  4. ^ OST:BLOG: Die polnische Unschuld ist unantastbar!
  5. ^ "Wizyty CIA w Kiejkutach to forma współpracy". 
  6. ^ "Al-Kaida-Häftlinge offenbar in Polen verhört". 
  7. ^ Ian Traynor (22 February 2010). "Poland admits role in CIA rendition programme". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Matthew Day (10 December 2014). "Polish president admits Poland agreed to host secret CIA 'black site'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 

Coordinates: 53°37′52″N 21°04′44″E / 53.63111°N 21.07889°E / 53.63111; 21.07889