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New report alleges Gaddafi's enemies were waterboarded by CIA

Human Rights Watch are alleging that at least one opponent of Muammar Gaddafi was waterboarded during George Bush’s presidency.

Ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden.
Ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden.
Image: Gerald Herbert/AP/Press Association Images

DAYS AFTER THE Justice Department announced that it won’t charge the Bush Administration for its ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques, a new report alleges that the Bush-era CIA waterboarded at least one opponent of Muammar Gaddafi in black sites in Afghanistan.

The Human Rights Watch report, titled Delivered Into Enemy Hands, is based on interviews with former detainees as well as CIA and MI6 documents.

It details how the US and UK secret services arrested (without charge) dissidents across the world – most of whom belonged to an armed Islamic group that fought ot overthrow Gaddafi – and allegedly tortured them before handing them to the Gaddafi regime.

The 154-page report draws from interviews with 14 former detainees as well as classified documents found in the offices of former Libyan intelligence chief Musa Kusa after Tripoli fell to rebel forces.

Former detainee Mohammed Shoroeiya said the CIA strapped him to a wooden board, ‘then they start with the water pouring… They start to pour water to the point where you feel like you are suffocating… they wouldn’t stop until they got some kind of answer from me.’

Another Libyan described being subjected to “a water suffocation practice similar to waterboarding” and said he was threatened with use of the board by the CIA in Afghanistan.

The accounts contradict claims by Bush administration officials, including former CIA Director Michael Hayden, that only three men in US custody had been waterboarded.

Asked for comment, the CIA said: “The Agency has been on the record that there are three substantiated cases in which detainees were subjected to the waterboarding technique under the program. Although we cannot comment on these specific allegations, the Department of Justice has exhaustively reviewed the treatment of more than 100 detainees in the post-9/11 period – including allegations involving unauthorized interrogation techniques – and it declined prosecution in every case.”

The report describes close cooperation between the US and Gaddafi in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and notes that several of those from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who were rendered and allegedly tortured in US custody now hold key leadership and political positions in Libya after fighting with NATO-backed rebels.

Below is a video summarizing the findings:

(Human Rights Watch/YouTube)

- Michael Kelley

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