This Is What a CIA Black Site Looks Like

The Associated Press' Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman—who have been having a very good year—have tracked down the CIA secret prison where Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and other ghost detainees were tortured and interrogated. It's on a residential street in Bucharest (here it is on Google Maps). Its code name was Bright Light. Sounds cozy.

The existence of black sites in Poland and Romania has long been known, but this appears to be the first time a news outlet (the AP partnered with German public television on the investigation) has actually tracked down an address. Sheikh Muhammad, Ramzi Binalshibh, Abu Faraj al-Libi (the Al Qaeda operative who unwittingly provided information that led the CIA to bin Laden), and others were housed in prefabricated cells in the basement of this Romanian government building in Bucharest, a ten-minute drive from downtown. Neighbors lived across the street, and grocery markets, a beauty shop, and a post office were all within a few hundred yards.

The Bucharest location was set up in the fall of 2003, after a prison in Poland was shut down. According to Apuzzo and Goldman, no one was waterboarded at Bright Light—that appears to have gone down at a prison in Thailand. But detainees were subjected to other varieties of torture, like sleep deprivation, stress positions, and battery.

The most fascinating detail: The basement cells were built on top of springs to keep the floor shifting and the prisoners constantly destabilized.

The AP has put together this little graphic package illustrating what the basement prison looked like, who was held there, and what happened to them.