A Feb. 5 cable records that al Libi was told by a “foreign government service” (Egypt) that: “the next topic was al-Qa’ida’s connections with Iraq…This was a subject about which he said he knew nothing and had difficulty even coming up with a story.”
Al Libi indicated that his interrogators did not like his responses and then “placed him in a small box approximately 50cm X 50cm [20 inches x 20 inches].” He claimed he was held in the box for approximately 17 hours. When he was let out of the box, al Libi claims that he was given a last opportunity to “tell the truth.” When al Libi did not satisfy the interrogator, al Libi claimed that “he was knocked over with an arm thrust across his chest and he fell on his back.” Al Libi told CIA debriefers that he then “was punched for 15 minutes.”
Here was a cable then that informed Washington that one of the key pieces of evidence for the Iraq war — the al Qaeda/Iraq link — was not only false but extracted by effectively burying a prisoner alive.
Although there have been claims about torture inflicted on those rendered by the CIA to countries like Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Uzbekistan, this is the first clear example of such torture detailed in an official government document.
The information came almost one year before the president and other administration members first began to confirm the existence of the CIA rendition program, assuring the nation that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.”
Last September, these red-hot CIA cables were declassified and published by the Senate Intelligence Committee, but in, a welter of other news, one of the most important documents in the history of rendition had passed almost without notice by the media. As far as I can tell, not a single newspaper reported details of the cable. [complete article]
See also, The agonizing truth about CIA renditions (Stephen Grey).