Tag: Stephen Kappes

Guilty of Torture: Stephen Kappes

Spencer Ackerman links to me today in his piece, "Do We Really Have to Call Steve Kappes a Torturer?" He picks up on the central charge of my post, that Kappes signed off on the rendition of Abu Omar. He writes as follows:

"The most serious charge against Kappes, as best I can tell, comes from his role in the abduction and rendition of Abu Omar, the Egyptian cleric taken by the CIA off the streets of Milan and tortured in Egypt. A 2007 article from The Chicago Tribune about the rendition reports briefly that Kappes was "one of those who signed off on the Abu Omar abduction." (h/t TalkLeft.) No doubt that's troubling. Extraordinary rendition is legally and morally problematic. Italy is prosecuting in absentia the CIA agents involved in the Abu Omar rendition."

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Stephen Kappes & The Rendition of Abu Omar

It has been reported (here and here) that Stephen Kappes, current Deputy Director of the CIA, is a leading candidate for Director of the CIA under President-Elect Barack Obama. The NY Daily News goes so far as to say that "Some Democrats on Capitol Hill have strongly advocated" the nomination of Kappes.

Critics of the bloggers who were against John Brennan's nomination to a top intelligence position frequently whined that he was getting a bad rap (see Greenwald's article "The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash"). One critic goes so far as to say "Brennan's hands were not very dirty at all. He was apparently thrown under the bus because some ill-informed bloggers thought they were [dirty] and the transition folks didn't have the will to explain that they were wrong." (as quoted by Greenwald from Jeff Stein's CQ article).

Let's see how they choose to defend Stephen Kappes. There can be no vague denials that Kappes had dirty hands - at his feet rests the responsibility for the bungled and unnecessary rendition of Muslim cleric Osama Mustafa Hasan Nasr aka Abu Omar.

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