‘Hard to think’ UK didn’t know about US torture program – Ex-CIA exec
AB ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, who as executive director occupied the third-highest role in the Central Intelligence Agency, told the BBC on Monday, “It’s hard for me to think that they didn’t, they’re professional intelligence people, I mean obviously.”
Krongard was executive director between 2001 and 2004, during which time rendition flights were passing through the Diego Garcia airbase which, although leased to the United States military, is a British territory.
Intelligence documents found during the fall of the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 also indicate that during the same period a pregnant woman and four children were ‘rendered’.
That case in currently being investigated by Scotland Yard, and a civil case will be heard before the Supreme Court this autumn.
The documents revealed the individuals concerned were rendered as part of a joint operation involving the CIA and Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI6.
After coming to power in 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron promised a full, judge-led inquiry into allegations of British involvement in the kidnap and torture of terror suspects.
Since then, Cameron has stepped back from his commitment, instead proposing Britain’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) investigate the practice.
Human rights groups, however, contest that decision. Saying that the ISC has neither the authority nor the level of independence to explore the allegations properly.
The role of the UK is still unclear in the Diego Garcia cases, with the government still refusing to publish flight logs from the period the rendition program is said to have been in full flow.
“We already know that the UK played a central role in some of the worst abuses of the ‘War on Terror’ – notably, the kidnapping and rendition of a pregnant woman and young children to Gaddafi’s Libya,” said Kat Craig, Legal director of the charity Reprieve, in a blog on the group’s website.
“However, instead of answers, we have seen repeated attempts by the government to stymie accountability, whether through the courts or a proper, independent inquiry,” she said.
“How much more do we need to hear about British involvement in the CIA torture program before the government finally comes clean?”