When CIA Airlines isn’t busy ferrying U.S. detainees to torture-friendly foreign countries, it’s apparently bringing men like Sudanese Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh — who played a “key role” in actually directing the massacres in Darfur, according to U.S. officials — to America.
Mass killings? Coordinated rape campaigns? That hasn’t stopped the Bush administration from buddying up to Gosh, the top intelligence chief in Sudan, according to the Los Angeles Times. Just last week, the CIA brought him to Washington “for secret meetings sealing Khartoum’s sensitive and previously veiled partnership with the administration.” It’s all part of a White House plan to “forge a close intelligence partnership with the Islamic regime that once welcomed Osama bin Laden,” offering Sudan increased ties and “normalized” intelligence relations in return for coordination in crackdowns on al-Qaeda militants and other suspected terrorists.
White House officials insist the new ties won’t lead to a softening of its already-weak policy toward Sudan, but an October report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service suggested just the opposite, stating the administration was “concerned that going after these individuals could disrupt cooperation on counter-terrorism.” Just this month, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick “backed away from the Bush administration’s assertions that the mass killings and village burning [in Darfur] amounted to genocide,” despite the fact that “Darfur’s death toll is likely to be even more appalling this year than last,” according to the Washington Post.