Getting things accomplished in Washington often requires being at the right place at the right time with the right relationships and the right issue. Much ink gets spilled about the gridlock that keeps things from getting things done.
The case of former CIA agent Sabrina DeSousa serves as a perfect case study. In early January, DeSousa faced imminent deportation from Portugal where she lives to Italy where she faced a four-year prison sentence. Italy convicted her in absentia in 2009 for her alleged involvement in the February 2003 rendition of al-Qaida cleric Abu Omar – an event she said she had nothing to do with.
DeSousa spent more than eight years and countless dollars and Euros in legal fees trying to clear her name. Her country had left her behind. The CIA and State Department did not assist her when she was charged or during her trial. On her own, she was left to fend for herself against charges brought against her for things the U.S. government asked her to do. She was in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Nothing got done because the Obama administration did not consider it a priority.
Her back was up against the wall. She seriously believed she was headed to prison. DeSousa thought she was out of options. She decided to use the power of Twitter to contact Investigative Project on Terrorism Senior Analyst John Rossomando unsolicited. He sensed her desperation and the wrong that was being committed. Rossomando and the IPT understand terrorism and the risks our case officers face to keep America safe. You don’t leave them behind.
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