Newly-Discovered Documents Reveal CIA Helped Gaddafi against His Opponents

Sunday, September 04, 2011
Tony Blair and Muammar Gaddafi share a happy moment
Once Libya‘s dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, gave up attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction in 2004, the CIA under President George W. Bush came calling to Tripoli to enlist the Arab country’s help with the extraordinary rendition of terrorism suspects. In exchange, the CIA turned over to Gaddafi men he considered his enemies.
Documents uncovered in the abandoned office of Libya’s former top spy reportedly show how close a relationship the CIA had with Libyan intelligence agents, including the handing over of detainees to Libya, where they may have been tortured during interrogations.
“The rendition program was all about handing over these significant figures related to Al Qaeda so they could torture them and get the information they wanted,” Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, who studied the documents in the intelligence headquarters in downtown Tripoli, told The New York Times. Bouckaert added to the Associated Press, that the U.S. government’s involvement with Gaddafi’s regime is “a very dark chapter in American intelligence history, and it remains a stain on the record of the American intelligence services that they cooperated with these very abusive intelligence services.”
In one now awkward case, the CIA kidnapped Islamic militant Abdel-Hakim Belhadj in 2004. Belhadj claims that he was tortured in Thailand before being handed over to Gaddafi. Now that Gaddafi has been driven from power, Belhadj is a military commander for the new government, leading the forces that control the capital of Tripoli.
In addition to revealing the CIA’s reliance on Libya, the documents indicate that Britain’s MI-6 spy agency worked with Gaddafi’s spies and was even willing to trace phone numbers for them. Also included in the materials was a proposed speech written by U.S. officials for the dictator to use to publicly renounce unconventional weaponry.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Files Note Close C.I.A. Ties to Qaddafi Spy Unit (by Rod Nordland, New York Times)
CIA Once Handed Key Libya Rebel Figure to Kadafi, Documents Show (By Patrick J. McDonnell and Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times)
Moussa Koussa's Secret Letters Betray Britain's Libyan Connection (by Portia Walker and Kim Sengupta, The Independent)


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