Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about an event that somehow has escaped the major media. Sabrina De Sousa is a former CIA agent caught up in the legal fight in Europe over the US’ controversial “extraordinary rendition” program.
Newsweek provides a summary of the case:
De Sousa, who was freed Tuesday from a Portuguese prison where she was awaiting extradition to Italy, has always maintained her innocence in the case, which was the subject of a sensational 2009 trial. She and 25 other Americans, all but one CIA employees, were convicted in absentia for their roles in snatching an Egyptian cleric off a Milan street and transporting him to Cairo. Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known more widely as Abu Omar, says he was repeatedly tortured while under interrogation there. He was released in 2007 and convicted of terrorism charges in absentia by an Italian court in December 2013.
De Sousa, the subject of an international arrest warrant since her conviction, was detained as she tried to transit the Lisbon airport from the U.S. en route to visit her mother in India in October 2015. (De Sousa was born in the former Portuguese enclave of Goa.) She was freed shortly afterward but ordered to stay in Portugal pending a decision on her extradition. …
As is often the case involving the CIA, the U.S. government had nothing to say about De Sousa’s reprieve this week. The CIA has consistently refused to comment on the case. A State Department spokesman referred Newsweek to the White House for comment, but officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Yet Pete Hoekstra, a former Republican representative and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee who took up De Sousa’s cause, claims she would not have been released “without extraordinary help from the Trump administration.” Hoekstra told Newsweek he began lobbying officials in the Donald Trump campaign, and later the transition, to do something about the former officer’s predicament. He had a number of friends in the national security apparatus from his time on the House Intelligence Committee—people like Michael Flynn, the recently departed White House national security adviser, fellow former Representative Mike Pompeo, now director of the CIA, and former Senator Dan Coats, the new director of national intelligence. And it didn’t hurt that he had chaired Trump’s Michigan campaign.
Ms. De Sousa tweeted the following:
The article also includes a rather sad side note:
De Sousa, 61, a dual U.S. and Portuguese citizen who lives in Lisbon, said she is elated by the last-minute decision, although she feels it came three months too late: Her mother, Julia De Sousa, died in early December at the age of 90. De Sousa couldn’t be with her.
“The sad thing is, I really wanted this to be resolved awhile ago so I could turn to her and say ‘It’s done,’” De Sousa said in a Skype interview on Wednesday. “People don’t seem to realize how a conviction impacts you and your normal daily life. I couldn’t see my family.”
The Obama Administration had a checkered record of how they treated Americans who had worked for America overseas. Hopefully, this story is an indication that the Trump Administration will not abandon people who have faithfully done their jobs.