Times Online, February 10, 2010
Times Online, February 10, 2010
The British government has been accused of complicity in Israeli attempts to tear up the rule of international law and smear opponents.
The allegations followed promises made by Attorney General Baroness Scotland in Jerusalem on Tuesday that an effort would be made try to find ways to prevent senior Israeli figures being threatened with arrest on British soil.
The peer’s comments came after it emerged that a number of Israeli military personnel had pulled out of an official visit to Britain fearing arrest on war crimes charges.
The British government’s grovelling apology to Israel after an arrest warrant was issued against former foreign minister Tzipi Livni was compounded by its promise to change the law to allow war criminals to roam freely.
Livni was up to her neck in the mass slaughter perpetrated against Palestinians in Gaza and declares her pride in all her decisions taken with regard to Operation Cast Lead.
British Government should Stop Stonewalling
Human Rights Watch, Nov 24, 2009
(London) – The UK government should immediately order an independent judicial inquiry into the role and complicity of British security services in the torture of terrorism suspects in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 46-page report, “Cruel Britannia: British Complicity in the Torture and Ill-treatment of Terror Suspects in Pakistan,” provides accounts from victims and their families in the cases of five UK citizens of Pakistani origin – Salahuddin Amin, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Rangzieb Ahmed, Rashid Rauf and a fifth individual who wishes to remain anonymous – tortured in Pakistan by Pakistani security agencies between 2004 and 2007. Human Rights Watch found that while there is no evidence of UK officials directly participating in torture, UK complicity is clear.
By Maria J. Dass, The Sun Daily, Nov. 1, 2009
|Former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg, aided by Sami
Al-Hajj(standing) demonstrates how he was shackled at the camp.
KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 30, 2009): The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission today heard harrowing testimonies about the atrocities committed against the Guantanamo Bay detainees, which included psychological torture and routine humiliation.
A total of seven detainees including Sudanese journalist Sami Al’Hajj, and British nationals Moazzam Begg and Rahul Ahmed testified today about the atrocities that took place in the camps including how they were shackled, stripped naked in front of female soldiers, thrown naked into makeshift cells made with barbed wires, injected with substances and subjected to mental torture to the point they hallucinated.
Begg was detained in January 2002 in Pakistan, said he was told that there was no specific reason for his arrest except for the fact that he “fit a profile”.
The US is expected to announce a significant surge of up to 45,000 extra troops for Afghanistan after Gordon Brown said that 500 more British troops would be sent to the country.
By James Kirkup and Andrew Hough, Telegraph.co.uk, Oct 14, 2009
President Barack Obama’s administration is understood to have told the British government that it could announce, as early as next week, the substantial increase to its 65,000 troops already serving there.
The decision from Mr Obama comes after he considered a request from General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, to send tens of thousands of extra American troops to the country.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said: “I don’t want to put words in the mouths of the Americans but I am fairly confident of the way it is going to come out.”
An announcement next week could coincide with a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Bratislava, Slovakia, due next Thursday and Friday.
Suppressing evidence of torture, as the US is asking Britain to do in the Binyam Mohamed case, is a criminal offence
Over the weekend, the government has identified another way to embarrass itself.
Karen Steyn is the barrister representing David Miliband, who has been arguing that we must suppress evidence of torture in the case of Binyam Mohamed. On Saturday, the high court judges sent the foreign secretary a transcript of their interrogation of Steyn for him to confirm in writing whether he really means what she says.
The issue at stake is whether the government really wants to suppress seven paragraphs that apparently include American admissions that they tortured Mohamed. First, Steyn confirmed that the material that she wanted suppressed had no intelligence value – it did not “conceivably identify anything that is of a national security interest”, it simply identified criminal acts of torture.
Glenn Greenwald | Salon.com, July 31, 2009
I’ve written several times before about the amazing quest of Binyam Mohamed — a British resident released from Guantanamo in February, 2009 after seven years in captivity — to compel public disclosure of information in the possession of the British Government proving he was tortured while in U.S. custody. At the center of Mohamed’s efforts lie the claims of high British government officials that the Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to cut off intelligence-sharing programs with the U.K. if the British High Court discloses information which British intelligence officials learned from the CIA about how Mohamed was tortured. New statements from the British Foreign Secretary yesterday — claiming that Hillary Clinton personally re-iterated those threats in a May meeting — highlight how extreme is this joint American/British effort to cover-up proof of Mohamed’s torture.
The CIA has been secretly pressuring the British Government to help it cover up its use of torture, documents filed in the High Court have revealed.
The documents, to be discussed at a hearing this week, suggest that the UK authorities did everything they could to accede to the CIA’s wishes while at the same time trying to conceal the fact they were talking to the agency.
It is the latest twist in the saga of Binyam Mohamed, 30, the Ethiopian UK resident released from Guantanamo Bay in February after seven years in US captivity.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday earlier this year, he told how he was captured in Pakistan, interrogated by the CIA, tortured, then sent to Morocco for further ‘medieval’ torture on a CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ flight.
After 18 months there, he was tortured again in the CIA’s ‘dark prison’ in Afghanistan. He alleged that UK officials from MI5 were ‘complicit’ in his ordeal.
In a judgment in July last year, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones wrote a seven-paragraph summary of Mr Mohamed’s treatment, based on documents by US intelligence officials. The judges said this amounted to evidence he was tortured.
But the summary has been ‘redacted’ because Foreign Secretary David Miliband insists that if the court were to publish it, US intelligence agencies would cease to share information with Britain, so damaging UK security.
The court will make a final decision about publication after the hearing this week.
The only piece of evidence Mr Miliband’s lawyers have produced is a letter, redacted, unsigned and undated, with its letterhead concealed, which, they say, summarises the views of US President Barack Obama’s administration.
It states: ‘Public disclosure of the information contained in the seven paragraphs could likely result in serious damage to UK and US national security.
‘If it is determined that HMG [Her Majesty's Government] is unable to protect information we provide to it, even if that inability is caused by your judicial system, we will necessarily have to review with the greatest care the sensitivity of information we can provide in future.’
After an order from the judges, Government lawyers were forced to admit the letter had been sent to an unnamed officer in MI6, and had been written by someone at the CIA.
Former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said it was ‘deeply disappointing that the British Government seems to have been prepared to do the CIA’s bidding’.