Startling new evidence of the torture, unlawful rendition, and other abuse of Libyan anti-Gaddafi rebels in U.S. detention facilities during the George W. Bush administration was revealed Wednesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The groundbreaking report, “Delivered into Enemy Hands: U.S.-Led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Libya”, was made public one week after Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department’s decision to cease investigations of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials who may have been responsible for the deaths of two prisoners.
The investigation, which initially began with the examination of 101 prisoner cases, was reduced to that of only two already dead prisoners. Additionally, the investigation only encompassed the abuses which were unauthorised by Bush.
Thus, the investigations did not include alleged waterboarding and other forms of torture which were approved by the president, according to Laura Pitter, counter-terrorism advisor at HRW and author of the report.
Pitter told IPS, “The investigation needs to be reopened, it needs to be broadened, and the U.S. needs to make a full accounting of what went on at these sites.”
Pitter’s report unveiled, for the first time, secret service documents recovered from Tripoli, as well as many personal testimonies of former detainees who were released after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi a year ago. These documents and testimonies shed light on unlawful and unethical practices of detention programmes and CIA investigation tactics that had been kept in the dark for years following the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks.Pitter told IPS, “The investigation needs to be reopened, it needs to be broadened, and the U.S. needs to make a full accounting of what went on at these sites.”