British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for an independent inquiry into allegations that the MI6 intelligence agency was involved in the rendition of Libyan terrorism suspects.
It comes after files discovered in a Libyan government office showed that the CIA and MI6 enjoyed a very close relationship with Libyan intelligence services during Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.
Also, an anti-Gaddafi military leader who was transferred by the CIA to Libya in 2004 wants the UK and the US to apologize. The inquiry said it will investigate.
“We’ve asked the retired judge Sir Peter Gibson to examine issues around the detention and treatment of terrorist suspects overseas, and this inquiry has already said it will look at these latest accusations very carefully,” Cameron told the House of Commons.
“My concern throughout has been not only to remove any stain on Britain’s reputation, but also to deal with these accusations of malpractice so as to enable our security services to get on with the vital work that they do,” he added.
However, former British intelligence officer Annie Machon claims that Cameron is being “incredibly disingenuous” in his calls.
She argues that the inquiry is going to be “toothless,” because under UK law any inquiry that is established, including this torture inquiry, is circumscribed by the very organizations that are being investigated – in this case, the MI5 and MI6.
Machon also noted that Gibson, the very man heading the inquiry, was commissioner of the intelligence services for five years, and has cozy ties with the British intelligence services.
“I doubt he is going to unearth anything,” she predicted.
The diplomatic dance between the West, particularly the UK, and Libya has been going on for decades, the former intelligence officer claimed.
“The UK started up a perfect storm in its relationship with Libya, and it has created problems which are going to go on for years now,” she said. “All of the most dubious practices which have resulted in the war on terror seem to be coming to a ‘nexus point’ in Libya.”