The whole narrative of the UK government’s response to the brutal revelations of US rendition and torture at Guantanamo and ‘black sites’ spread across E. Europe, the Middle East and Asia has been one of subterfuge, deception and downright lying, in sharp contrast to the determination of the political class in the US to get (most of) the ugly truths out in the open. It casts a profoundly dishonourable shame on this country both for its smothering blanket of secrecy and almost total lack of accountability for the grave misdeeds of Britain’s deep shadow State. The duplicity of all UK governments over this issue in the last decade has been shocking. Continue reading
You know things are not going well when even the puppet government installed by the occupying US forces criticises its masters. In January, President Hamid Karzai publicly accused the American military of torture and arbitrary detention at Bagram Air Base, the largest US-run prison in Afghanistan. Continue reading
The news about the police is unremittingly oppressive.
Firstly, for the first time ever in crowd control they used a taser at the Dale Farm evictions, amid sickening scenes of unnecessary violence.
Secondly, we now discover that senior police officers authorised undercover officers to conceal from the courts their real identities when giving evidence under oath while being prosecuted for offences committed during their secret deployment. Continue reading
The killing of Baha Mousa, who died from 93 wounds inflicted by British soldiers at Basra in September 2003, cannot be dismissed as the obscene work of a few violent bullies who got out of control in this shameful incident. Nor is it reassuring to hear the MOD intone that all necessary reforms have now been put in place so that behaviour like this will never happen again. How many times have we heard that solemnly rolled out, as we did again yesterday, and given the Government Department the benefit of the doubt – until something similar does indeed happen again? Anyway that begs the question as to how such a barbaric murder of an innocent civilian in custody could ever have happened in the first place if proper safeguards over interrogation procedures were in place. But this was not an isolated incident. Continue reading
The evidence now emerging about systemic abuse by British soldiers against Iraqi prisoners is exceptionally serious. We have preened ourselves hitherto that, by contrast to the Americans who routinely used torture in their Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan and Abu Ghraib in Iraq (as well as in their global secret network of ‘black prisons’ where people disappeared after rendition), the British would never behave in this inhuman manner. Detailed reports now suggest otherwise, and it is imperative that there should now be a full independent public inquiry to lay bare the extent of these brutalities, how they were allowed to happen, and what needs to be done to prevent their being repeated in any war situation in future. Continue reading