A happy Good Friday to all. In celebration of the upcoming holiday new Director of the CIA Leon Pannetta dressed up as a pink bunny* and delivered an early Easter present to civil rights activists. Reuters reports today that the CIA is closing its controversial "black sites." Black sites are foreign facilities used by the CIA to hold and interrogate suspected terrorists. Interrogation methods used at these sites were alleged to be extremely severe. Pannetta said that the sites were being closed down in an attempt to make it clear that the CIA is falling in line with the Obama administration's new policies regarding detention and interrogation. The preferred method of staffing these black sites seems to have been to hire private contractors, but Pannetta aslo says that the CIA will no longer contract out interrogation operations.
I'm gonna be honest. I'm a little skeptical about this. These are black sites. "Black" means that the location of the sites is classified at the highest level. No one really knows where these sites are so how will we know that the CIA has closed them? And even if they do close the existing ones how will we know if they don't open others? I don't mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but those are the questions that immediately popped into my head when I saw this story. However, in the Easter spirit, I will choose to believe the new DCI on this one and take him at his word. As far as no longer farming out interrogations to contractors I think we can definitely keep an eye on that and see whether it is happening or not. I absolutely believe that we need to keep interrogations, as well as a lot of other things, in house so this is a big step. Kudos to Leon and the Obama administration for trying to clean things up a little.
*This is pure speculation. I have no actual evidence that Leon Pannetta dressed up in a pink bunny suit.