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Someone should care, maybe not you....

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

11 November 2005

Salt pit


This photo is being distributed through the press as the "Salt Pit" the CIA secret prison in Afghanistan. As I looked at the picture I thought it looked familiar. When I read about it's general location I knew that I was right, it was familiar. I had been there once and drove past it several times.
I was coming back to Bagram from Gardez after a rather productive mission. I was in a convoy with "Task Force 5", a Special Ops group that had run the mission in Gardez. We were being escorted by the "Mohawks" OGA trained Afghan troops. (note OGA stands for Other Government Agency, which could be anyone, the DEA, FBI, NSA, DHS, or the CIA. In this case it was the CIA) This facility was the Mohawks base and we pulled in (through some fairly heavy security, all Afghan) and dropped them and several other people off. The facility was described to me by one of the TF 5 guys as being an old Al Queda training camp that the CIA had taken over to train Afghan soldiers and to use as their base camp. Al Queda had used the lager kind of burned out looking building for simulating raids and doing explosive training. The smaller facility in the back was much newer and looked to be US construction. Needless to say I did not wander around the place. Used the latrine, changed vehicles and headed on to Bagram.
We drove right past the front gate to this place every time we went to Kabul. It was on the Old Kabul Road right before you got to the airport. Here is another pic I took of the facility from the road going into Kabul.


I had the opportunity to talk to a few people who had been detained by the CIA in Kabul (hence I assume, a dangerous act, that it was here). They generally complained that the conditions in Bagram were worse than where they had been held and that we were being stricter on them that the CIA had been. I thought that was a bit strange, but that is what the guy kept telling me.

4 Comments:

Blogger The Appalachianist said...

Interesting. I hope it's more secure than Bagram.

4:43 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Actually Bagram WAS quite secure and after the 4 PUCs escaped I expect it is exceedingly secure now. The advantage to the "Salt Pit" is that there would be very few prisoners, oops, detainees, there which makes it much easier to secure and there is not town right outside for them to vanish into. Kabul is nearby but not right outside the wire. And the most direct rout to Kabul is through one of the most heavily patroled areas in the city, the airport vicinty.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, thanks for sharing. Do you have any additional pictures of this facility?

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to use these photographs in a documentary- how can I contact you?

4:11 AM  

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