A Glimpse into the Spy World: Real-Life Tales from CIA Black Sites

Robert Morton
4 min readApr 7, 2024
Post- 9/11 Was a Time of Moral Quandry, When Even Liberal Politicians Backed CIA Black Sites

In the murky world of espionage and clandestine operations, there exists a shadowy network of sites known only to a select few. These are the CIA black sites — secret prisons scattered across the globe, shrouded in mystery and controversy. After the harrowing events of September 11, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) embarked on a covert mission, establishing these enigmatic facilities for the interrogation and detention of individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism.

The exact number and locations of these black sites remain a closely guarded secret, hidden from public scrutiny and shielded by layers of government secrecy. However, whispers in the corridors of power suggest that there were at least a dozen of these covert facilities, nestled in remote corners of countries like Thailand, Afghanistan, Poland, Lithuania, and Romania, among others.

One such place that emerged from the shadows of secrecy is the village of Antaviliai in Lithuania. Here, nestled amidst the serene beauty of the countryside, lies a dark secret that few dare to speak of — a former CIA black site, code-named Site Violet. The village, once known for its tranquility, became a hub of clandestine activity in the aftermath of 9/11.

The transformation of Antaviliai began with the arrival of mysterious shipments — containers loaded with equipment for a secluded property undergoing renovation on the edge of the forest. What was once a horseback riding academy and a quaint café soon morphed into a fortress of silence, guarded by a security fence that kept prying eyes at bay.

Locals like Juozas Banevicius watched with curiosity and suspicion as muscular young men jogged through the trees at odd hours, conversing in hushed tones of English. The once-open property now became off-limits to the public, its secrets hidden behind layers of security and silence.

Despite official denials and obfuscations, the truth about Site Violet eventually came to light, thanks to intense media scrutiny and judicial investigation. The European Court of Human Rights delivered a damning verdict, ruling that a secret prison had indeed operated in Lithuania, beyond reasonable doubt.

But the tale of Antaviliai is just one chapter in the saga of CIA black sites. In neighboring Poland, another covert facility, known as Site Blue, came under scrutiny after the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the CIA’s use of ‘EIT’, enhanced interrogation techniques. The revelation of Poland’s complicity in hosting such a site sent shockwaves through the international community, raising questions about government accountability and human rights violations.

Amidst the controversy and condemnation, there exists a glimmer of justification — a real-life instance where intelligence from CIA black sites played a pivotal role in preventing terrorist attacks. The case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind 9/11, stands as a testament to the efficacy of such covert operations.

Captured in 2003 and subjected to interrogation at undisclosed black sites, KSM provided valuable intelligence that thwarted numerous plots against the United States and its allies. His revelations about Al-Qaeda’s operational structure and planned attacks led to the disruption of nefarious schemes, including a plot to attack the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles using hijacked airplanes.

Despite the ethical quagmire and moral dilemmas surrounding the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, proponents argue that the ends justify the means. In the relentless pursuit of national security, sacrifices must be made, even if they tread the murky waters of moral ambiguity.

Such moral ambiguity takes place in the spy thriller ‘Mission of Vengeance’, where CIA agent Corey Pearson finds himself in a gut-wrenching scenario. Watching a Russian Spetsnaz soldier endure Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT) at the hands of a CIA team dubbed the ‘Dirty Tricks Division’, Corey couldn’t shake off the queasiness churning in his gut. Sure, he understood the necessity of the torture — lives were on the line, after all — but witnessing it firsthand left him feeling sick to his core. Sometimes, the price of saving American lives came with a heavy burden on the conscience.

Similarly, in real life, in the tumultuous aftermath of 9/11, even liberal progressives found themselves initially supporting the establishment of black sites and the use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT). Among them were Dianne Feinstein, a U.S. Senator from California; Jay Rockefeller, a former U.S. Senator from West Virginia; Jane Harman, a former U.S. Representative from California; Bob Graham, a former U.S. Senator from Florida; and Nancy Pelosi, a U.S. Representative from California and former Speaker of the House. These individuals’ early stances highlight the complexity of the decisions made in response to the unprecedented threat posed by the terrorist attacks.

As the debate rages on, and the secrets of CIA black sites continue to unravel, one thing remains certain — the shadows of secrecy cast long and deep, concealing truths that may never fully come to light. In the clandestine world of espionage, where darkness reigns supreme, only time will tell what other secrets lie buried beneath the surface.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online Spy series “Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster.” Check out his latest spy thriller, Mission of Vengeance.



Robert Morton

Spy thriller author, member of Association of Former Intelligence Officers, thrilling experiences await on my Author Site: https://osintdaily.blogspot.com/