Documents Offer New Details of Western, Libyan Spy Ties

Posted September 3rd, 2011 at 5:10 am (UTC-5)
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Documents uncovered in Libya reportedly show just how close the cooperation was between Western intelligence agencies and the Gadhafi government, especially with the rendition of terror suspects.

Human Rights Watch researchers uncovered the documents Friday while touring an abandoned office in Tripoli. The office apparently was used by Libya's former spy chief and close Gadhafi associate, Moussa Kouassa. The documents have not been verified.

The files are correspondence from as early as 2002 with Libya's intelligence services, and the Central Intelligence Agency and Britain's equivalent, MI-6. The documents include shared intelligence, rendition proposals, rendition schedules, lists of terrorist suspect interrogation questions and a speech apparently written by the CIA for Libya's former leader, Moammar Gadhafi, in which he calls for a weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the Middle East.

Another document is a note allegedly from Stephen Kappes, who was the CIA's number two at the time, to Kouassa, moving for the CIA to establish a “permanent presence” in Libya in 2004. The note begins informally, suggesting a close relationship between the two top spy officials.

An unnamed U.S. official told The Wall Street Journal that around the time of the alleged correspondence, ties between Libya and the West were improving. By 2004, the Libyan government had renounced its nuclear weapons program and vowed to help stop terrorists targeting Americans.

When asked for comment, CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood said that “it can't come as a surprise” that the CIA works with foreign governments to help protect the United States.

The New York Times quoted the British Foreign Office as saying it would not comment on intelligence matters.