According to top international human rights groups there is evidence that key congressional members knew about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interrogation and detention programs, and that the United States government covered up the details of its cooperation with Polish authorities in the so-called rendition flights.
The groups—led by Amnesty International USA (AI USA)—received the documents in response to their Freedom of Information Act litigation. Among other things, they reportedly show that in one of his first acts as chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) discontinued efforts by previous chair to implement greater oversight of CIA detention and interrogation programs, failing to fulfill the role of Congress in overseeing the agency.
"These documents reveal that members of Congress colluded in covering up evidence of the U.S. government’s torture program," said Tom Parker, policy director for AI USA. He also called for a "full and impartial investigation" as Congress could not be trusted "to properly investigate itself."
Meanwhile, Open Society Justice Initiative, an advocacy group, said that official flight records—provided by Polish Air Navigation Services Agency in response to a freedom of information request filed by a human rights group—confirm that at least six CIA flights landed in Poland in 2003.
It is the first time a Polish government agency has confirmed that CIA aircraft landed repeatedly close to a suspected CIA secret detention and interrogation site for "high-value detainees."
"These records reinforce the troubling findings of official European enquiries and global human rights groups, showing complicity with CIA abuse across Europe," said Adam Bodnar of the Warsaw-based Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.