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How US, British intelligence worked to bring Qaddafi's Libya in from the cold

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As well as asking for direct access to detainees after their handover, the CIA provided lists of dozens of questions to be asked during interrogations by Libyan agents. Many CIA documents were signed “Steve,” the first name of Steve Kappes, the CIA’s top operative at the time who helped supervise the controversial US rendition program, and whose home phone number was shared with the Libyans.

  • The mechanics of rendition, and how meticulous planning was required to overcome legal and logistical obstacles from as far afield as Malaysia and Hong Kong to secretly detain suspects and deliver them to Libya.

Libyan agents accompanying an American team for the March 8, 2004, rendition of Mr. Belhadj and his pregnant wife from Bangkok, for example, were “respectfully” requested to “closely follow the instructions of the US personnel to avoid any potential problems on board the aircraft.”

The faxed letter from the CIA – labeled “Secret Release Libya Only” – asked the Libyan agents to “refrain” from bringing weapons, cameras, or recording devices of any kind, and made clear that US officers were in charge until arrival in Tripoli.

  • How the US and Britain in 2003 and 2004 used a growing series of intelligence exchanges with Libya to convince Qaddafi that his decision to work with the West was worthwhile. A fax from the CIA dated March 25, 2004, requested setting up a permanent presence in Tripoli, and noted that “we talked about it quite some time.” It added that the CIA was also “eager to work with you in the questioning of the terrorist [Belhadj] we recently rendered to your country.”
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