More on the Libya Files

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Following up on a previous post titled Libyan Rebels Claim To Find Evidence That CIA Helped Capture Libyan Dissidents and Used Regime For Renditions and Torture:

Human Rights Watch (HRW), an organization that discovered hundreds of archived documents in Tripoli, said the documents provide evidence of US and UK complicity in torture crimes in Libya during the rule of Col. Muammar Gaddafi. From Human Rights Watch: “Among the files were documents confirming that both the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the United Kingdom’s MI6 sent terrorism suspects to Libya for detention – despite Libya’s notorious record for torturing prisoners.” The documents appear to show that Libyan cooperation with both the Central Intelligence Agency and Britain’s MI-6 agency under Gaddafi was closer than had been acknowledged in the past. According to the New York Times, the CIA sent terrorism suspects to Libya for interrogation at least eight times.

The CIA communications that HRW saw were drafted when George W. Bush was president. The documents included flight schedules—as well as lists of questions that were to be asked of the terrorism suspects. They also show that CIA agents were sent to interrogate the suspects who were being held in Libyan custody. HRW said, “This confirms Human Rights Watch’s earlier findings of US and UK complicity in the torture of suspects in foreign countries, published in 2004. The US claims that it has not transferred any detainees to Libya since 2007.”

The New York Times reported that a British panel that has been investigating the country’s intelligence agency’s behavior toward terrorism suspects plans to examine the “new accusations of close cooperation between British spies and Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government…” The Times also said that it appears unlikely that the Obama Administration will conduct its own public inquiry because Obama had rejected the idea of a broad inquiry into Bush Administration torture, rendition, and detention programs earlier in his presidency when he said that he wanted our country to look forward—and not backward. That decision did not sit well with human rights advocates.


Discovered Files Show U.S., Britain Had Extensive Ties with Gaddafi Regime on Rendition, Torture (Democracy Now)

Secret Intelligence Documents Discovered in Libya: Files Show Intimate Relationship Between CIA, MI6, and Libya (Human Rights Watch)

The United States’ “Disappeared”: The CIA’s Long-Term “Ghost Detainees” (Human Rights Watch)

British Panel to Examine Libya Rendition Reports (New York Times)

16 thoughts on “More on the Libya Files”

  1. Sir,

    With all due respect….How do you know he was in fact involved….Were you there? Do you have an eyewitness recollection….if say 7 or 8 of the 10 recanted or told a different version….would if you were not there and relying purely on hearsay….be still in favor of his execution…..Wow, I don’t think I’d wish for you to be on any jury I would poll….

  2. I Think Them Muthafukers Should Be Executed For Beatinq A Homeless Man Up For No MUthafuckin Reason !
    JUst Like You Guys Were Gunna Execute The Man That KIlled an Off Duty Officer …..BUt I THinkn Its Good That They Are Gettinq Time In Prison For Beatinq To Death,Murderinq && Even Thoe He Had A Disorder You Guys still Beat HIm TO Death !

  3. i truely think that both cops should be executed like the man that munrded an off duty officer.

  4. Blouise,

    I used to be able to embed a video just by copying and pasting the Youtube embed code in the text of post. Now I have to click on the “add a video” icon.

    Kids certainly learn their way around technology a lot faster than we old folks do!

  5. Elaine,

    Give her a couple of years and an iPad and your granddaughter will show you how to do everything with your computer! 🙂

  6. Time to prosecute. Following unlawful orders has its own set of consequences no matter what Yoo opines.

  7. How US, British intelligence worked to bring Qaddafi’s Libya in from the cold:
    Documents uncovered by Human Rights Watch in Tripoli detail how the CIA and Britain’s MI6 worked to develop warm ties with Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi after he vowed to give up weapons of mass destruction.
    Christian Science Monitor

    “MI6 and the CIA knew absolutely how much torture was taking place. They knew that these people would be abused in custody when they were sent back to Libya,” says Peter Bouckaert, the HRW emergencies director who copied the documents in Tripoli and shared them with the Monitor and other media.

    “Why else would you hand them over to the Libyans? You captured him, you have all of your black sites anyway, but you offered him to the Libyans,” says Mr. Bouckaert, whose organization aims to ensure that all Libya’s intelligence and government archives are secured as rebel forces extend control across the country. “Of course the [CIA] letters say, ‘Please commit to us that you will respect their human rights.’ But that’s just talk.”

    Neither American nor British officials deny the authenticity of the fax exchanges between them and the office of Libya’s then-intelligence chief Moussa Koussa. Some begin informally: “Dear Musa,” or “Greetings from the British Security Service.”

    A CIA statement this weekend said: “It can’t come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats.”

    Details of the exchanges
    Often couched in friendly language, the US and UK intelligence correspondence with the Qaddafi regime describe:

    – How CIA and MI6 agents “rendered” to Tripoli for interrogation several top members of the now-defunct Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Among them was its leader, Abdulhakim Belhadj, who today is the commander of anti-regime forces in the capital.

    Mr. Belhadj accuses those agents of abuse and torture, and then details further suffering during seven years in prison. He has said repeatedly that history will not tarnish US and UK relations with the post-Qaddafi Libya, though one document is a letter of congratulations about Belhadj’s rendition, sent to Tripoli by British MI6 counterterrorism chief Mark Allen, who said it was “the least we could do for you” in light of increasing Libyan intelligence cooperation.

    As well as asking for direct access to detainees after their handover, the CIA provided lists of dozens of questions to be asked during interrogations by Libyan agents. Many CIA documents were signed “Steve,” the first name of Steve Kappes, the CIA’s top operative at the time who helped supervise the controversial US rendition program, and whose home phone number was shared with the Libyans.

    – The mechanics of rendition, and how meticulous planning was required to overcome legal and logistical obstacles from as far afield as Malaysia and Hong Kong to secretly detain suspects and deliver them to Libya.

    Libyan agents accompanying an American team for the March 8, 2004, rendition of Mr. Belhadj and his pregnant wife from Bangkok, for example, were “respectfully” requested to “closely follow the instructions of the US personnel to avoid any potential problems on board the aircraft.”

    The faxed letter from the CIA – labeled “Secret Release Libya Only” – asked the Libyan agents to “refrain” from bringing weapons, cameras, or recording devices of any kind, and made clear that US officers were in charge until arrival in Tripoli.

    – How the US and Britain in 2003 and 2004 used a growing series of intelligence exchanges with Libya to convince Qaddafi that his decision to work with the West was worthwhile. A fax from the CIA dated March 25, 2004, requested setting up a permanent presence in Tripoli, and noted that “we talked about it quite some time.” It added that the CIA was also “eager to work with you in the questioning of the terrorist [Belhadj] we recently rendered to your country.”

  8. If this is true….Then why are we squashing our once…ally…oh…the terrors….of the terrors….now who is who depends on whose side you are on….

  9. OS,
    Obama did not want to have a “coup” pn his hands and he wanted to make sure the Teapublicans would cooperate with moving the country forward. How did that work out for hom? Bush/Cheney et al need to be doing the perp walk.

  10. After careful consideration, I am perfectly willing to look backward for a change. We have a lot of unfinished business held over from the past. My parents taught me that when I got through with the dishes, I had to clean up the sink. Don’t leave dirty dishes and garbage laying about because it attracts vermin and will start to stink.

    As a Gestalt Therapist, I have a feeling Mike Spindell will agree with me that leaving unfinished business unfinished can come back and bite you in the butt later on.

    Obama’s mom must not have taught him that.

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