Global Politics

Human Rights Watch: Bush Administration Subjected Libyan Prisoners To Waterboarding

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Human Rights Watch report cover (Photo: HRW)

A Human Rights Watch report out Thursday alleges that during the Bush administration, Libyan revolutionaries were subjected to rendition, waterboarded by the CIA, then turned over to the Gaddafi regime to face more abuse.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

Host Lisa Mullins speaks with report author Laura Pitter, who says the evidence disproves the CIA line that only three individuals were waterboarded by the agency.

CIA Statement:
"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."

We can also offer the following on the record on why the US had dealings with Qadhafi and the Libyans, without of course commenting on any specific allegations:

"It can't come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats. That is exactly what we are expected to do."

"The context here is worth revisiting. For example, by 2004, the US government had convinced Qadhafi to renounce Libya's WMD programs and to help stop those terrorists who were actively targeting Americans."

John Tomczyk
Chief, Media Relations
CIA Office of Public Affairs

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