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Convicted in Italy for a secondary role in the CIA’s botched kidnap of Abu Omar in 2003, Sabrina DeSousa blames Bush for the bad decision that got her in trouble, and blames Obama for failing to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing of this kind.Click here for GoDaddy deal that benefits the PBC podcast!
DeSousa has tried every channel: CIA internal investigations, US courts, and the Congress, and has been shut out in every case. Jonathan Landay, the fine reporter for McClatchy, broke her story this week, and was kind enough to put me in touch with DeSousa.
DeSousa is particularly frustrated with Senate Intel chair Dianne Feinstein who has ignored DeSousa’s request for relief. Defying a travel ban imposed only on her when she returned from Italy, she was pressured to resign from the CIA in 2009 so she could visit her mother and dying father in India, and lost her pension rights.
DeSousa has added new information to public knowledge of the botched kidnapping in Milan, especially the duplicity of CIA’s Rome station chief, Jeffrey Castelli, who lied to the Italian government as well as his CIA bosses in order to win approval for the caper. She reports the direct involvement of Condaleeza Rice (Bush’s national security adviser) in approving the operations, and states that Bush himself was required to approve it.
DeSousa was not in Milan on the day of the kidnapping, but was convicted in absentia and faces 7 years in prison if she is returned to Italy. She explains how Castelli was hell-bent to conduct a rendition to look good to his bosses, who also lied to Egytian authorities that there was a good reason to snatch Abu Omar
She shares her view that people like her are left to twist in the wind, while the officials who made the decision have not been held accountable. She talks about blowback from these operations, which fuels anger toward the US, and how the layers of secrecy are problematic.
This is a remarkable interview with a strong woman who is determined to get some justice and relief.