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PCJF files Freedom of Information Act Demand About Imprisonment, Interrogation, and Sudden Death of Bush’s ‘Smoking Gun’ Witness

Detainee’s statements derived under torture used to sell the Iraq invasion

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) filed a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) yesterday with the CIA, Department of Defense, Department of State and other agencies to reveal information in their possession about the imprisonment, torture, false testimony on Iraq and the circumstances of the recent death of a prisoner whose story may have led inevitably to the prosecution of top officials in the Bush Administration.

Under conditions of extreme torture, the prisoner, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, agreed in 2002 to supply the Bush-ordered interrogators what they sought as a political cover for Bush’s marketing of the pending war of aggression against Iraq. Mr. Libi agreed to tell them whatever they wanted in exchange for an end to the torture. The now famous Torture Memos providing legal cover for the torture were written at the same time starting in the summer of 2002.

Libi’s tortured and knowingly fabricated testimony was the source of information used by Bush to sell the war to the U.S. Senate, and the source for Colin Powell’s bogus and lying presentation to the United Nations in 2003.

Once the torture came to an end Mr. Libi recanted his forced testimony. It is highly likely that the Bush Administration feared that his story would become public. That may well explain why Mr. Libi seemed to disappear and was conspicuously absent when other prisoners were shipped in 2006 from secret detention centers to Guantanamo. He seemed to disappear until human rights investigators found him in a Libyan prison a few weeks ago.

His belated discovery by an international fact-finding team, coming at the same time of the release of the explosive Torture Memos, undoubtedly heightened the fear and apprehension among Bush officials who fear possible prosecutions in Spain, other European countries and here in the United States.

Some believe that Libi’s testimony about his own story at the hands of torturers would be the smoking gun that would reveal that the torture regime was not for “national security” but for the personal political aims of Bush and Cheney.

Libi was found dead, allegedly a suicide. Through years of torture and imprisonment he did not commit suicide.

We have demanded answers. The public has a right to know. The Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund demands:

All records and documents including but not limited to emails, letters, cables or other communications, memoranda, notes, minutes, photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, digital recordings, flight manifests, intelligence assessments, or other data that relate to or reference Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi aka Ibn Shaykh al-Libi aka Ali Mohammed al-Fakheri aka Ibn A-Sheikh A-Libi including as an unnamed detainee who was a source for information alleging that Iraq had provided training in chemical or biological weapons to al-Qaeda operatives, or recanting said allegation.

As a matter of clarification but not limitation, your response should include all information related to Libi’s capture, detention, custody, including by any other entity; transfers of custody; interrogation; suggested questions for interrogation; requests for information from White House personnel or other Bush Administration personnel or any other government agency or personnel; proposed and/or employed methods of interrogation; information derived from questioning of Libi; assessments of that information; communications providing that information to U.S. government agencies or administration personnel; vetting and preparation of information derived from Libi including for presentation to the U.S. Senate and/or for use in Secretary of State Powell’s speech to the United Nations in February 2003; determinations and deliberations as to whether or not to transfer Libi to Guantanamo or any other location including secret detention sites, Egypt, and Libya; information as to the death of Libi.