What will follow Gaddafi in Libya and beyond?

Less than 24 hours after the death of Gaddafi, thousands of people have already committed predictions for the future of Libya to print and/or cyberspace. Some of those indulging in speculation are more informed than others, but the simple reality is that nobody knows what happens next.

Although I have visited the country, and have conducted numerous telephone interviews with people in Libya over recent months, I do not profess any special expertise. Instead of offering an opinion, I will restrict myself to posing some fairly basic questions. Continue reading

Which Minister authorised UK rendition?

What did Labour ministers know?

There are two revelations in the latest batch of CIA documents found abandoned in Tripoli which are truly shocking. One is that the British Government didn’t just tamely comply with the US rendition programme, but actively ran its own rendition operations organised by MI6. Second is the repeated assertion by senior officials in Whitehall that in doing this, they were following “ministerially authorised government policy”. Rendition is the utterly illegal activity of running a network of agents to seize targeted individuals off the streets anywhere in the world and to fly them to detention in countries where it was arranged that they would be interrogated under torture. The British Government has always previously insisted that it had no part in the US rendition programme, let alone run its own, and that it never approved the use of torture. The Tripoli documents now reveal that these are lies. Continue reading

The Blairites are morally bankrupt

The likes of Alistair Darling are keen to step-up to the plate and sling mud over our record in government but rather less willing to discuss a real issue, like our record on conducting and assisting torture and ‘rendition flights’. This shows the complete moral bankruptcy of the politics of Blairism in this Party. It spoke with such compelling moral force in its prime, but now it’s a sad whimper of that, exposed like the Emperor of legend, completely naked, bereft of clothes and any moral authority. Over the weekend, we have been subjected to a barrage of revelations about Mr Blair’s links to the Gaddafi dictatorship which should make all decent members of this Party, at least those who have any moral fiber to call their own, blush with shame. Continue reading

The questions on Libya Tony Blair needs to answer

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair and former Foreign Secretaries Jack Straw and David Miliband, now face some extremely tough questions as to how much they knew about the extraordinary rendition of prisoners to Libya where they were tortured. The discovery of some extraordinary archives in the ruins of the Ministry of Information in Tripoli by Human Rights Watch suggest that the British security services had much stronger links with their opposite numbers in Gaddafi’s Libya than hitherto thought. And while the security services will befearing even worse revelations, they must also be kicking themselves for not getting to the files first. Continue reading

MI5 exposed as a state within a state

Documents abandoned in the ruined British embassy in Tripoli reveal that MI5 was working hand in glove with Gaddafi’s intelligence services from 2005 onwards to obtain details extracted under torture from ‘terror suspects’ (opponents of the Gaddafi regime) in return for information updates on the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in Britain. Yesterday’s Sunday Times story (and the one in today’s Guardian) is disturbing on three grounds. Continue reading