News you may have missed #0022

  • Australian detained on espionage charge in China. The arrest of Stern Hu, who heads Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto’s iron ore operations in China, comes right after the company backed out of a deal to sell China’s state-owned Chinalco a big stake in Rio Tinto.
  • US diplomat implicated in CIA abduction in Italy requests immunity. Days after the wife of a of Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, who in 2003 was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan, Italy, announced plans to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, a CIA agent involved in the affair has come forward requesting immunity. Sabrina De Sousa, who was listed as a “diplomat” at the US consulate in Milan at the time of Nasr’s kidnapping, has made the request through her lawyer. Last week, Robert Seldon Lady, who was the CIA station chief in Milan at the time, came forward making a similar case.
  • CIA won’t release torture interrogation contracts. The CIA has denied a Freedom of Information Act request for post-9/11 contracts signed between the CIA and Mitchell Jessen & Associates. As intelNews explained last May, Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were the psychologists hired by the CIA to design an elaborate ten-stage interrogation program of “war on terrorism” detainees, which apparently culminated in waterboarding.

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News you may have missed #0016

  • Wife of cleric kidnapped by CIA seeks European Court trial. Nabila Ghali, the second wife of Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr, who was kidnapped by the CIA from a street in Milan, Italy, in 2003, announced plans to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the Italian government’s state secrecy clauses that are hampering the Italian trial on Nasr’s abduction. 
  • NSA to build huge facility in Utah. The National Security Agency, which is tasked with worldwide communications surveillance, as well as communications security, is in the process of renovating its soon-to-be-unveiled 470,000-square-foot Texas Cryptology Center, which will cost upwards of $130 million and be used primarily to store intercepted communications data. This is now to be coupled with another, 1-million-square-foot data center, to be built at Utah’s Camp Williams. 
  • US government to keep CIA black sites open, for now. A government prosecutor has disclosed during the ongoing trial of former Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Galani that the CIA does not plan to close down its black sites “for now”.

Former CIA station chief regrets “trail of evidence” in Italy abduction

Hassan Nasr

Hassan Nasr

For over two years, Italian justice has been after 26 Americans and five Italians who kidnapped a Muslim cleric suspected of terrorist ties and secretly flew him to Egypt, where he was secretly renditioned. The cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, who was kidnapped while walking down a street in Milan, says that his Egyptian jailers held him for years without formal charges and tortured him severely. The Italians’ search for the 26 Americans, all of them almost certainly CIA personnel, has been met with a “no-comment” policy from Washington and the CIA. But now one of the 26, Robert Seldon Lady, has given a rare interview to Italy’s Il Giornale newspaper, in which he essentially admits that the CIA was behind the operation.   Read more of this post