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"That foul legacy"

Reader comment on item: Assessing Qaddafi

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Mar 24, 2012 at 14:37

Dr. Pipes wrote :

"A third stage began in 2002, when a tamed Qaddafi paid reparations for the Libyan role in the 1988 downing of a Pan Am plane and gave up his nuclear ambitions. Although the fundamentals of his regime remained in place, he became persona grata in Western countries, while the British prime minister and American secretary of state paid their respects to him in Libya."

It has transpired in the meantime that also other 'respectable' Western institutions like the CIA or MI-6, that later were to stage a rebellion against Qaddafi, paid their respects to him at that time. The honeymoon behind the scenes involved such favors as sending terrorism suspects for questioning and torturing in Libya, tracing phone numbers for the Libyans, ghost-writing politically correct speeches for Col. Qaddafi, helping inexperienced Libyan interrogators with 89 useful extra questions to ask suspects. In one case the CIA even handed over to Qaddafi's men a terrorist suspect (Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq alias Abdel Hakim Belhaj) who later reappeared as one of the leaders for the so called "rebellion" which the US supported so eagerly! To quote the New York Times :

>One document in the C.I.A. binder said operatives were "in a position to deliver Shaykh Musa to your physical custody, similar to what we have done with other senior L.I.F.G. members in the recent past." The reference was to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was dedicated to the overthrow of Colonel Qaddafi, and which American officials believed had ties to Al Qaeda.

When Libyans asked to be sent Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq, another member of the group, a case officer wrote back on March 4, 2004, that "we are committed to developing this relationship for the benefit of both our services," and promised to do their best to locate him, according to a document in the C.I.A. binder.

Two days later, an officer faxed the Libyans to say that Mr. Sadiq and his pregnant wife were planning to fly into Malaysia, and the authorities there agreed to put them on a British Airways flight to London that would stop in Bangkok. "We are planning to take control of the pair in Bangkok and place them on our aircraft for a flight to your country," the case officer wrote.

Mr. Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch said he had learned from the documents that Sadiq was a nom de guerre for Abdel Hakim Belhaj, who is now a military leader for the rebels."

Well, neither the CIA or MI-6 seem to be any longer particularly proud of their past role in fighting Islamist terrorism. Nowadays they seem to be determined to get rid of "that foul legacy".


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