THE CIA has been indicted of branch some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents afterwards sent them home to assistance a US kill terrorists.
The CIA betrothed a prisoners freedom, reserve for their families and millions of dollars from a agency’s tip accounts, stream and former U.S. officials said.
It was a unsure gamble. Officials knew there was a possibility that some prisoners competence fast spurn their understanding and kill Americans.
For a CIA, that was an excusable risk in a dangerous business.
For a American public, that was never told, a procedure was one of a many tip trade-offs a supervision done on a behalf. At a same time a supervision used a risk of terrorism to transparent imprisoning people indefinitely, it was releasing dangerous people from jail to work for a CIA.
The procedure was carried out in a tip trickery built a few hundred yards from a executive offices of a jail in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 8 tiny cottages were dark behind a shallow lonesome in thick dumpy and cactus.
The procedure and a handful of group who upheld by these cottages had several central CIA formula names.
But those who were wakeful of a cluster of cottages knew it best by a sobriquet: Penny Lane.
It was a curtsy to a classical Beatles strain and a riff on a CIA’s other tip trickery during Guantanamo Bay, a jail famous as Strawberry Fields.
Nearly a dozen stream and former US officials described aspects of a procedure to The Associated Press. All spoke on condition of anonymity since they were not certified to plead a tip procedure publicly by name, even yet it finished in about 2006.
Some of a group who upheld by Penny Lane helped a CIA find and kill many tip al-Qaida operatives, stream and former US officials said. Others stopped providing useful information and a CIA mislaid hold with them.
When prisoners began streaming into Guantanamo Bay in Jan 2002, a CIA recognized it as an rare event to brand sources. That year, 632 detainees arrived during a apprehension centre. The following year 117 some-more arrived.
“Of march that would be an objective,” pronounced Emile Nakhleh, a former tip CIA researcher who spent time in 2002 assessing detainees though who did not plead Penny Lane. “It’s a pursuit of comprehension to partisan sources.”
By early 2003, Penny Lane was open for business.
Candidates were ushered from a proportions of jail to Penny Lane’s relations hominess, officials said. The cottages had private kitchens, showers and televisions. Each had a tiny patio.
Some prisoners asked for and perceived pornography. One central pronounced a biggest oppulance in any lodge was a bed – not a military-issued cot though a genuine bed with a mattress.
The cottages were designed to feel some-more like hotel bedrooms than jail cells, and some CIA officials jokingly referred to them collectively as a Marriott.
Current and former officials pronounced dozens of prisoners were evaluated though usually a handful, from a accumulation of countries, were incited into spies who sealed agreements to work for a CIA.
CIA orator Dean Boyd declined to comment.
The US supervision says it has reliable that about 16 per cent of former Guantanamo Bay detainees rejoined a quarrel opposite America. Officials think though have not reliable that 12 per cent some-more rejoined.
It’s not transparent possibly a group from Penny Lane are enclosed in those figures. But since usually a tiny series of people went by a program, it would not expected change a total significantly possibly way. None of a officials interviewed by a AP knew of an instance in that any double representative killed Americans.
Though a series of double agents recruited by Penny Lane was small, a procedure was poignant adequate to pull penetrating courtesy from President George W. Bush, one former central said. Mr Bush privately interviewed a youth CIA box officer who had usually returned home from Afghanistan, where a group typically met with a agents.
US President Barack Obama took an seductiveness a procedure for a opposite reason. Shortly after holding bureau in 2009, he systematic a examination of a former detainees operative as double agents since they were providing information used in Predator worker strikes, one of a officials said.
Infiltrating al-Qaida has been one of a CIA’s many sought-after though formidable goals, something that other unfamiliar comprehension services have usually spasmodic accomplished. Candidates for Penny Lane indispensable legitimate militant connections. To be profitable to a CIA, a group had to be means to reconnect with al-Qaida.
From a Bush administration descriptions of Guantanamo Bay prisoners during a time, a CIA would have clearly had a vast pool to pull from. Vice President Dick Cheney called a prisoners “the misfortune of a unequivocally bad lot.” Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld pronounced they were “among a many dangerous, best trained, infamous killers on a face of a Earth.”
In reality, many were hold on groundless justification and were of small use to a CIA.
While a group looked for viable candidates, those with no terrorism ties sat in limbo. It would take years before a infancy of detainees were set free, carrying never been charged. Of a 779 people who were taken to Guantanamo Bay, some-more than three-fourths have been released, mostly during a Bush administration.
Many others sojourn during Guantanamo Bay, carrying been privileged for recover by a troops though with no wish for leisure in sight.
“I do see a irony on a aspect of vouchsafing some unequivocally really bad guys go,” pronounced David Remes, an American counsel who has represented about a dozen Yemeni detainees during Guantanamo.
But Mr Remes, who was not wakeful of Penny Lane, pronounced he understands a attraction.
“The group we were promulgation behind as agents were suspicion to be means to yield value to us,” he said.
Prisoners concluded to concur for a accumulation of reasons, officials said. Some perceived assurances that a US would resettle their families. Another suspicion al-Qaida had perverted Islam and believed it was his avocation as a Muslim to assistance a CIA destroy it.
One detainee concluded to concur after a CIA dark it would mistreat his children, a former central said, identical to a threats interrogators had done to certified 9/11 designer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
All were betrothed money. Exactly how most any was paid stays unclear. But altogether, a supervision paid millions of dollars for their services, officials said. The income came from a tip CIA account, codenamed Pledge, that’s used to compensate informants, officials said.
The arrangement led to vital discussions inside a CIA: If a agency’s drones had a shot during Osama bin Laden or his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, would officials take a shot if it meant murdering a double representative on a American payroll?
It never came to that.
The biggest fear, former officials concerned with a procedure recalled, was that a former detainee would conflict Americans afterwards publicly announce that he had been on a CIA payroll.
Al-Qaida suspected a CIA would try a procedure like this and a operatives have been unequivocally questionable of former Guantanamo Bay detainees, comprehension officials and experts said.
In one case, a former central recalled, al-Qaida came tighten to finding one of a double agents in a midst.
The US supervision had such high hopes for Penny Lane that one former comprehension central removed discussions about possibly to privately recover a span of Pakistani group into a United States on tyro or business visas. The wish was that they would bond with al-Qaida and lead authorities to members of a US cell.
Another former comparison comprehension central pronounced that never happened.
Officials pronounced a procedure finished in 2006, as a upsurge of detainees to Guantanamo Bay slowed to a trickle. The final restrained arrived there in 2008.
Penny Lane still stands and can be seen in satellite photos. A mud highway winds a approach to a clearing. The special unconcern of Marines that once supposing confidence is gone. The formidable is surrounded by dual fences and dark among a trees and shrubs of Guantanamo Bay.
It has prolonged been abandoned.