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

Libya: three reasons to curb the euphoria

Despite the initial euphoria about the downfall of a brutal and erratic autocracy in Libya, three uncomfortable matters emerge from the wreckage – and not just the obvious question of whether the National Transitional Council can bring about the reconciliation for a secure, viable and democratic future for the country.

One issue, which should not be lost sight of in the rebels’ victory, is the deliberate manipulation of UN Resolution 1973 to achieve ends manifestly beyond and not covered by its text. Continue reading

Libya after Gaddafi

After exercising a dictatorship over Libya for more than four decades, Muammer Gaddafi now seems to be effectively at the end of his rule. Following a bitterly-fought and surprisingly close run civil war that lasted for six months, the insurgents have reportedly almost completed the capture of Tripoli.

The development meets with approval across the spectrum, from rightwing ruling class politicians to the bulk of the far left, save for a handful of microsect oddballs who declared in favour of the Colonel at the start of hostilities. Continue reading

Time to break consensus on Libya

The time for Labour to break with the consensus on Libya is long overdue. The line that continues to be peddled by Jim Murphy from the front bench is “we back the Nato-led operation and continue to offer the Government our support wherever possible.” What criticism is made is to argue that more resources should have been made available in the defence review — and he’s not arguing it should come from cancelling the Trident replacement! Yet no-one pretends that the Coalition’s current objectives remain based on the security council’s view and half the public now think the Coalition’s military action in Libya is going badly. Continue reading