Torture Evidence was Used to make Case for Iraq Invasion

From The Guardian

The practice of “extraordinary rendition” was today again in the spotlight with claims that the detainee who supplied the Bush administration’s pre-war claims linking al-Qaida to Iraq did so in Egyptian custody.

Unnamed US government officials, quoted in the New York Times, said Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a Libyan, made his most specific claims after the US handed him over to interrogators from a third country.

Claims from the officials that Al-Libi later admitted to inventing the allegations in order to avoid harsh treatment backed up earlier suggestions from Colin Powell’s chief of staff at the time of the war that al-Libi was possibly tortured.

Lawrence Wilkerson, Mr Powell’s senior aide, last month told the BBC that new information had suggested al-Libi’s statements “were obtained through interrogation techniques other than those authorised by the Geneva [conventions].”

The Bush administration has been on defensive in recent weeks over the “enhanced interrogation techniques” authorised for CIA agents off US soil and “extraordinary rendition” of detainees.