by Juan C0le, JuanCole.com, September 3, 2011
Human Rights Watch found documents in Libya after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi that it passed on to the Wall Street Journal, which is analyzing them. The WSJ reported today that the documents show that Qaddafi developed so warm a relationship with George W. Bush that Bush sent people he had kidnapped (“rendition”) to Libya to be “questioned” by Libya’s goons, and almost certainly to be tortured. The formal paperwork asked Libya to observe human rights, but Bush’s office also sent over a list of specific questions it wanted the Libyan interrogators to ask. Qaddafi also gave permission to the CIA from 2004 to establish a formal presence in the country.
Qaddafi had been on the outs with the West for decades, but was rehabilitated once he gave up his ‘weapons of mass destruction’ programs (Qaddafi had no unconventional weapons, and no obvious ability to develop them, so his turning over to Bush of a few rotting diagrams that had been buried was hardly a big deal.
I have been going blue in the face pointing out that Muammar Qaddafi is not a progressive person, and that in fact his regime was in its last decades a helpmeet to the international status quo powers.
Now it turns out that Qaddafi was hand in glove with Bush regarding “interrogation” of the prisoners sent him from Washington.
Alexander Cockburn’s outfit has been trying to smear me by suggesting that I had some sort of relationship with the CIA, when all I ever did was give talks in Washington at think tanks to which analysts came to listen; when you speak to the public you speak to all kinds of people. I never was a direct consultant and never had a contract or employment with the agency itself. I spoke to a wide range of USG personnel in those talks in Washington in the Bush years, including the State Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and even local police officers, and the intelligence analysts were just part of the audience.
In fact, we now know that the Bush administration was upset that I was given a hearing in Washington and was influential with the analysts, and asked the CIA to spy on me and attempt to destroy my reputation.
So how delicious is it that those who supported Qaddafi, or opposed practical steps to keep him from slaughtering the protest movement (such as A. Cockburn and his hatchet man John Walsh), were de facto allies of the CIA themselves– and not just allies of the analysts, who try to understand the intelligence, but allies of the guys doing “rendition,” i.e. kidnapping suspects off the street and having them “interrogated.”