For years, human rights groups have accused the CIA of "outsourcing torture" to unsavory U.S. allies. They cite the allegations of dozens of terrorist suspects who have given detailed descriptions of being brutalized in foreign custody. The CIA replies that it has gained valuable intelligence on terrorist plots from rendition and insists that it obtains assurances that prisoners' rights will not be violated.
Documents recently found by Human Rights Watch researchers at the abandoned office of former Libyan intelligence chief Moussa Koussa appear to confirm that the CIA relied on these assurances, however implausible, from Muammar al-Qaddafi's regime. According to the New York Times, a binder in Koussa's office labeled "C.I.A." contained communications about eight renditions to Libya. In a great moment of historical irony, one of the rendered prisoners, Abd al-Hakim Belhaj, was the commander of the NATO-backed rebel troops who led the assault on Qaddafi's compound in Tripoli.
But Belhaj is just one of many alleged terrorists who have been "rendered," only to re-emerge during the Arab Spring, or slip further down the rabbit hole. Here are a few more:
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