" ... The East African regime is not just an international pariah for its genocidal track record in the western region of Darfur, it’s officially been branded by Washington as a terrorist state, in part for its past harboring of Islamist radicals, including Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. Despite that, the CIA is continuing to train and equip Sudan’s intelligence service in the name of fighting terrorism. ... "
CIA training Sudan's spies as Obama officials fight over policy
The East African regime is not just an international pariah for its genocidal track record in the western region of Darfur, it’s officially been branded by Washington as a terrorist state, in part for its past harboring of Islamist radicals, including Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. Despite that, the CIA is continuing to train and equip Sudan’s intelligence service in the name of fighting terrorism.
The irony is not lost on critics of the arrangement.
“Certainly," the former intelligence officer added, "the CIA is providing training to the National Intelligence and Security Service,” known as the NISS. “I suspect it was begun … in the very early days after September 11.”
Others say it began in the 1990s.
In the beginning, the CIA-NISS relationship was very close-hold, he said, even shielded from other CIA personnel in the embassy because of concerns over Sudan’s grievous human rights record. Training sessions were probably done outside the country, he guessed.
“There has also been transfers of equipment” to the NISS, he said, “computers, etcetera.”
Another knowledgeable former U.S. intelligence official said the CIA-NISS partnership began even earlier, in the Clinton administration, and called it "incredibly valuable."
The CIA's curriculum with the NISS
In 2005, Bush administration CIA director Porter Goss nurtured the connection.
Only last month, Amnesty International charged that
"The NISS uses a variety of torture methods," it added, "including: beating detainees while held upside down against a wall, electric shocks, whipping, sleep deprivation, kicking and stamping on detainees and beating them with water pipes."
CIA spokesman George Little declined to comment on the agency's relationship with the NISS, saying,
Likewise at the White House, National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said,
Some U.S. officials with intimate knowledge of the CIA's program contend that the spy agency's relationship with the NISS actually fosters human rights.
Another, a senior administration official, said, "We're not blind" to the reality of Sudan. "Everybody understands what's going on there."
"If the Sudanese go outside the box," he maintained, "we can pull the plug."
Such explanations evoke the darkest days of the Cold War, when successive U.S. administrations used the same rationales for allowing the CIA to have close relations with the security services of some of the world’s worst human rights violators, from South Africa to Argentina, Guatemala and Chile, saying they were necessary for the shadowy fight against Soviet-backed communism.
And as during that time, Obama administration officials have barely concealed their sharp differences over what to do about Sudan.