David Cameron’s statement regarding the killing of Moammar al-Gaddafi will go down as another piece of brash hypocrisy, which would be breathtaking if it was not so expected from the British premier. He mentioned that he was “proud of the role that Britain has played” in the uprising – intending of course the support given by NATO once it was clear that the Libyan people had risen up against the man en masse.
However he neglected to mention some of the other roles that Britain previously played with the Gaddafi regime which have undoubtedly had an effect on the events:
· Many of the weapons used by Libyan dictator’s regime were in fact purchased from Britain. According to the AP: “Britain sold Libya about $55 million worth of military and paramilitary equipment in the year ending Sept. 30, 2010, according to Foreign Office statistics. Among the items: sniper rifles, bulletproof vehicles, crowd control ammunition, and tear gas”
· Not only did the British arm the forces of the Gaddafi regime, they also trained them. The Khamis brigade troops were also trained by the SAS as well as being armed by British companies.
Cameron also stated that today was “a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi’s victims”. However, he neglected to mention those victims who were kidnapped and rendered to the Gaddafi regime by the British intelligence service such as Sami al Saadi who is now suing the British government for not only being complicit in his rendition and torture, but actually actively organizing it as highlighted by documents unearthed in Libya. Continue reading →
NYT’s Misleading Rendition of the Reason for Rendition
09/06/2011 by Peter Hart, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
Documents discovered in Libya suggest a close relationship between the Libyan government and the CIA. The New York Times described it this way on September 3:
TRIPOLI, Libya — Documents found at the abandoned office of Libya’s former spymaster appear to provide new details of the close relations the Central Intelligence Agency shared with the Libyan intelligence service — most notably suggesting that the Americans sent terrorism suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country’s reputation for torture.
And then today (9/6/11) the Times put it this way:
The cooperation appeared to be far greater with the American intelligence agency, which sent terrorism suspects to Libya for questioning at least eight times, despite the country’s reputation for torture. Britain sent at least one suspect, according to the documents.
As Glenn Greenwald pointed out on Twitter (in fewer characters), the whole point of rendition was to send prisoners to countries the United States knew would treat them a certain way. It wasn’t a series of accidents. In other words, the CIA used Libya not despite its reputation for torture, but because of it.
With the Gadhafi regime in tatters and the Libyan leader on the run, secret files in Tripoli have come to light which detail the depth of cooperation between the US and UK with Libya on the rendition of terror suspects.
The United States and Britain face embarrassing questions after reams of confidential documents discovered in Libya’s External Security agency headquarters exposed the depth of cooperation between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the UK’s foreign intelligence service MI6 and fugitive dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s secret service.
The documents, uncovered by officials from the Libyan transitional authority and researchers from Human Rights Watch during a sweep of government buildings, show that both the US and British intelligence services developed very close relations with Gadhafi. This cooperation took place even before the former Libyan leader was rehabillitated in the wake of his pledge to help in the war on terror and his renouncing of nuclear-weapons in 2004. Continue reading →
With Muammar Qaddafi’s ignominious disappearance to who knows where, fast on the heels of President Obama’s proclamation that “Qaddafi’s rule is over,” it is easy to think of the United States as the dictator’s stubborn, persistent, and ultimately triumphant foe.
One remembers Reagan’s efforts to confront Qaddafi decades ago: the 1986 missile strikes, the skirmishes in the Gulf of Sidra, the labeling of Libya’s leader as the “mad dog of the Middle East,” and of Libya as a rogue state.
But the line that one is tempted to draw between U.S./Libyan relations then and U.S./Libyan relations now isn’t straight. While Qaddafi is now despised as an enemy, for much of the past decade he was treated as a friend. Continue reading →