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The Washington Post reports that a “former CIA high-value detainee, who provided bogus information that was cited by the Bush administration in the run-up to the Iraq war, has died in a Libyan prison, an apparent suicide, according to a Libyan newspaper.”
The dead man is Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, and I wouldn’t bet big money that he was a suicide, as Libya doesn’t treat political detainees very well. A few years ago, I reported on the CIA’s close collaboration with Libya in the Bush Administration’s “war on terror.” Here’s an excerpt:
Kadafi has helped the U.S. pursue Al Qaeda’s network in North Africa by turning radicals over to neighboring pro-Western governments. He also has provided information to the CIA on Libyan nationals with alleged ties to international terrorists. In turn, the U.S. has handed over to Tripoli some anti-Kadafi Libyans captured in its campaign against terrorism. And Kadafi’s agents have been allowed into the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba to interrogate Libyans being held there…
Clive Stafford Smith, an attorney who represents Omar Deghayes [and dozens of other Guantanamo detainees], said it appeared his client had been mistaken for a militant in a training video made by Chechen rebels.
Deghayes told Stafford Smith that four Libyan intelligence officers had interrogated him and other Libyans in September 2004. He said he was fully shackled when the Libyans questioned him Sept. 9 about alleged anti-Kadafi activities, in the presence of three Americans in civilian clothes. Two days later, the Libyans questioned him again, this time about anti-Kadafi exiles based in Britain.
According to Deghayes, Kadafi’s agents showed him pictures of badly beaten Libyan detainees, and one of the agents told him: “You will be brought to judgment in Libya, and when we bring you to Libya, I will personally teach you the meaning of this. In here I cannot do anything, but if I meet you [later], I will kill you.”
Deghayes was released from Guantanamo in 2007 and was returned to Britain, where he previously lived.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”