A former CIA counterterrorism officer who is set to be extradited to Italy where she faces a four-year prison sentence in connection with the rendition of a suspected terrorist that took place in Milan in 2003 said Hillary Clinton is partially to blame for her ordeal.
Sabrina De Sousa, two-dozen other CIA officers, and an Air Force colonel were convicted in absentia in 2009 in Italy on kidnapping and other charges in connection with the abduction of Osama Mustapha Hassan Nasr, better known as Abu Omar, a radical Egyptian cleric whose fiery anti-American speeches in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 attracted the attention of the CIA. It was the first and only prosecution and conviction involving Americans connected to the CIA’s highly controversial rendition, detention, and interrogation program.
De Sousa, now 60, who worked under diplomatic cover while she was stationed overseas, has long maintained that she had nothing to do with the operation; for the last decade she has tried to clear her name. One of the many US government officials she reached out to for help was then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In a three-page letter dated October 22, 2012 written by De Sousa’s attorney at the time, Bradley Moss, Clinton was urged to invoke diplomatic immunity for De Sousa.
“To date, neither State in particular nor the US Government as a whole has voluntarily taken any action on behalf of Ms. De Sousa,” said the letter to Clinton, which was sent a month after the attacks on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya and referenced one of the victims, Ambassador Christopher Stevens. “[De Sousa] has, in effect, been abandoned by the very agency and Government she dutifully served for over a decade.”