Uncovered Libya Files Show Close Ties With CIA
Agency apparently sent at least 8 suspects there for interrogation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2011 5:43 AM CDT
In this file photo, a Libyan man takes pictures of the courtyard of Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, Libya. For decades, Libyans knew it as one of the darkest tools of Moammar Gadhafi's regime.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

(Newser) – The CIA developed close working relations with Libya over the last decade and sent at least eight terror suspects there for interrogation—as part of the controversial practice known as rendition, according to documents found by Human Rights Watch in Libya. The group made the files available to news organizations, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. They show that the US and British spy agencies dramatically improved ties with Tripoli around 2003-04, after the nation renounced nuclear weapons, and that the relations were closer than previously believed.

“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," says a CIA spokeswoman. Among other things, the documents show that the CIA not only shipped prisoners for interrogation but provided the questions to be asked. Human Rights Watch has long been critical of the strategy. “The rendition program was all about handing over these significant figures related to al-Qaeda so they could torture them and get the information they wanted,” says a representative.