That's how the CIA and MI6, its British equivalent, happened to participate in this particular rendition. The family, including our 12-year-old protagonist and her two brothers, age 11 and 9, were kidnapped and forced onto a plane in Hong Kong.
The parents were separated from their kids, she recalled in an essay brought to Gawker by an international human-rights group, Reprieve, that helps document renditions:
The guards took us to see our mother once on the 16-hour flight. She was crying, and told us that we were being taken to Gaddafi's Libya. Shortly before the plane landed, a guard told me to say goodbye to my father, at the front of the plane. I forced myself ahead and saw him with a needle in his arm.
I remember guards laughing at me. Then I fainted.
We were taken off the plane and bundled into cars. Hoods were pulled over my parents' heads. Libyans forced my mother, sister and I into one car, my brothers and father another. The convoy drove to a secret prison outside Tripoli, where I was certain we were all going to be executed. All I knew about Libya was that Colonel Gaddafi wanted to hurt my father, and that our family had always been moving from country to country to avoid being taken to him. Now we had been kidnapped, flown to Libya, and his people had us at their mercy.
Her account is consistent with documents found by Human Rights Watch after the fall of Libya's regime. "The documents, discovered on September 3, 2011, describe US offers to transfer, or render, at least four detainees from US to Libyan custody, one with the active participation of the UK; US requests for detention and interrogation of other suspects; UK requests for information about terrorism suspects; and the sharing of information about Libyans living in the UK," the group stated in a news release. "This cooperation took place despite Libya’s extensive and widely known record of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees."
The Bush administration transferred at least seven detainees into Qaddafi's control, knowing full well that he was a murderer, a tyrant, and a sponsor of terrorism. The U.K. took the lead in al-Saadi's case, but CIA agents were complicit in her treatment. If you'd helped kidnap a 12-year-old girl and delivered her to the henchmen of a Libyan dictator, what would you do to prevent your shameful, embarrass deed from being made public? If given a black pen and the opportunity to ink over the official record, would you?
These are the stakes as the Senate report on CIA practices continues to be suppressed, with Obama's full knowledge. "Lying on the Oval Office desk, I'm told, is an official report about what happened to me and my family on that night all those years ago," al-Saadi writes. "Our story will be part of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report .... The only question is whether you will be able to read it, or whether it will be hidden under a smear of black ink."