President Obama is letting the CIA play a major part in censoring a report on brutal human-rights abuses perpetrated by CIA employees.
This has always been self-evidently absurd: No possible arrangement would present a bigger conflict of interest. What many Americans might not know is that the CIA isn’t just intent on covering up torture. It’s also averse to the public knowing more about renditions, a euphemism for kidnapping people and handing them over to violent thugs.
A rendition victim is now speaking out to highlight this aspect of the controversy. Today, she’s a 23-year-old college student working toward a degree in the humanities. When her family was kidnapped she was a frightened 12-year-old girl.
Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi was in power at the time. For years, he’d been hunting opponents of his brutal regime, including the father of Khadija al-Saadi, the 12-year-old. Her family fled to the United Kingdom and later to China (her father was present at times and away from the family at other times–he describes his two stints in Afghanistan in this interview). Around this time, Tony Blair’s government and the Bush administration were both trying to cut deals with the dictator, hoping to make him an ally in the war on terrorism. And Dick Cheney was still insisting that America had to operate “on the dark side.”