In the News

Maciej on Secret Prisons in Poland

Maciej Ceglowski, former hacker, painter and all-round interesting guy, commented on the Washington Post article that refers to secret outside-the-law prisons run by the CIA.

The article teases by saying that these prisons are in “eastern

European democracies”. The Post knows which specific democracies, but

won’t divulge them at the request of the U.S. government, for reasons

of security. Maciej writes that there is a considerable body of

evidence that suggests that his home country, Poland, is one of the

eastern European democracies in question.

Like most first-generation immigrants from oppressive regimes to North America

— myself included — Maciej holds America and its

principles — if maybe not its current administration — in high

regard. (He and I also hold Canada in rather high regard, but he trumps

me for having coined the Ceglowski Axiom,

“Any sufficiently advanced society is indistinguishable from Canada”.)

That’s why his closing paragraphs ring particularly true to these ears:

There’s an almost absurdist irony to the situation. The reason Poland

and other countries in Eastern Europe are so unabashedly pro-American

is that for fifty years, America stood for the antithesis of this kind

of behavior. Poles knew full well about secret prisons, torture,

incarceration without trial, and secret services that operate outside

the law, and they looked to the United States as a society that stood

against this kind of arbitrary exercise of state power.

Fifteen years later, we have television shots of

Polish and American generals standing side by side in in fraternal

solidarity in Iraq, and now perhaps hosting a special little Polish

branch of an American secret prison system. There’s a deja vu to this

that I hope other Poles will find as upsetting as I do. And I get to

feel the shame from both directions, since my adopted country is

colluding with my native one to break the laws of both.

One reply on “Maciej on Secret Prisons in Poland”

Totally understood about his point and not to detract from it… but the fact that its an unnamed source opens the door for the fact that it simply isnt true. or at least, they arent necessarily in poland.. they could more easily be in Baku or Amman. My latest podcast, if anyone is remotely interested, features an interview with a journalist in Warsaw on this subject. Not that it makes it any less disgusting… it doesnt.

Leave a Reply