Mark P. Fancher
The CIA’s activities in Africa go and in hand with the huge U.S. military offensive on the continent. The agency “has maintained a continuing presence on the African continent into the 21st Century, engaging in various nefarious activities, including supporting foes of the Gadhafi government in Libya.”
“The impact of the agency’s activities on the African continent must not escape notice.”
Revelations contained in an unreleased nearly 7,000 page Senate Intelligence Committee report about CIA torture of purported terrorism suspects should come as no surprise to those with even a passing acquaintance with the agency’s long history of international crimes.
Among other things, the study reportedly details the CIA’s systematic use of slapping, humiliation, sleep-deprivation, freezing and waterboarding. While this may not be news to informed observers, some might be a bit shocked by the candid reactions to the report by the Obama administration. A leaked White House document says of the report: “This report tells a story of which no American is proud.” President Obama himself said: “…we tortured some folks. We did things that were contrary to our values.”
Everything connected with the torture program is unseemly and unconscionable, and is intolerable everywhere. Africa in particular, with all of its many challenges has no need for any part of it. But as the CIA comes under renewed scrutiny, the impact of the agency’s activities on the African continent must not escape notice. Last year Crofton Black, an investigator for Reprieve, a London-based human rights organization, produced a collection of documents that he claims demonstrates that Africa has been used by the CIA as part of its extraordinary rendition program — the forced transportation of terror suspects to countries where the use of torture is tolerated. In a sworn statement he alleges that a group of private companies acting in concert on behalf of the U.S. government organized five rendition trips between Djibouti and Kabul, Afghanistan.