31 Mar 2011

Not so much The Sweeney as Softly, Softly

“This won’t be like Regan and Carter swinging light bulbs in the man’s face,” a Whitehall source guided me.

The interrogation of Moussa Koussa is, at this moment, it sounds to me, not an interrogation at all. It is more of an exercise in reorientation.The team from the UK Embassy in Libya, familiar faces, are taking what one source described as a co-operative tone with the defector. Moussa Koussa is taking a while to come to terms with the enormity of what he has done.

He’s no stranger to the West, of course – a US university degree behind him, the famous Travellers’ Club Mayfair diplomacy to sort out Libya’s post-9/11 re-entry into polite global society.

We discovered from William Hague that telephone conversations with Moussa Koussa continued even during the British bombing. But that, it seems, may not have prepared him entirely for this moment.

Years at the heart of the regime, doing its dirtiest work, and amply rewarded over the years…you don’t expect to find yourself on Hampshire soil.

What all this means is that it could be quite a while before Moussa Koussa says anything of use. Rush it, the experts in this field seem to think, and you risk ending up with no information of any worth at all.

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