Kommentar

En Al Qaida-løytnant som var av de første som ble tatt til fange av USA, ble overlevert til Egypt for utspørring. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi kom med masse info om at Saddam lærte opp Al Qaida i bruk av kjemiske og biologiske våpen. Men USAs miltære etterretning mente opplysningene ikke var troverdige.

Likevel ble de brukt for alt de var verdt av administrasjonen, for å bevise samarbeidet mellom Saddam og Al Qaida.

Senere har Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi innrømmet at han diktet opp storyene for å tilfredsstille forhørslederne, og CIA vedgikk i 2004 at opplysningene ikke stemte.

At CIA underkjente Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libis opplysninger er kjent, men at informasjonen stammer fra avhør i egyptiske fengsler, er nytt. Det setter praksisen med «renditions» i et tvilsomt lys: Man antar at Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi ble torturert. Dermed har den mye kritiserte praksisen også bidratt til å lede administrasjonen opp i stry.

The officials said the captive, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda only after he was secretly handed over to Egypt by the United States in January 2002, in a process known as rendition.

The new disclosure provides the first public evidence that bad intelligence on Iraq may have resulted partly from the administration’s heavy reliance on third countries to carry out interrogations of Qaeda members and others detained as part of American counterterrorism efforts. The Bush administration used Mr. Libi’s accounts as the basis for its prewar claims, now discredited, that ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda included training in explosives and chemical weapons.

The fact that Mr. Libi recanted after the American invasion of Iraq and that intelligence based on his remarks was withdrawn by the C.I.A. in March 2004 has been public for more than a year. But American officials had not previously acknowledged either that Mr. Libi made the false statements in foreign custody or that Mr. Libi contended that his statements had been coerced.

Det er ydmykende opplysninger for administrasjonen. Tidligere er det kjent hvordan Ahmed Chalabis informanter serverte løgner.

Qaeda-Iraq Link U.S. Cited Is Tied to Coercion Claim