Panetta: CIA No Longer Operates ‘Black Sites’

CIA Director Opposes Investigations of Agency Officers.

According to CIA Director Leon Panetta, the US spy agency “no longer operates detention facilities or black sites,” the secret overseas prisons where detainees were subject to particularly harsh interrogation methods. He did however say that the CIA would retain the power to detain suspects “on a short-term transitory basis.” The sites will be decommissioned and the detainees handed over to the military.

However, Panetta declared that since the Bush Administration’s Justice Department declared their sordid tactics perfectly legal, the CIA agents involved in any of the now defunct facilities “should not be investigated, let alone punished.”

The letter also revealed that the agency had fired the contractors involved in guarding the secret prisons, though without making it clear what companies were actually involved in that contract. From now on, Panetta added that no contractors will be used in interrogation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.