Tony Blair’s complicity in torture


This video says about itself:

This video contains clips highlighting the denials made by the British Government concerning the use of UK territory in CIA rendition “torture” flights. It now appears that UK territory was used by the US in at least two rendition flights. Either the British Government lied or they were kept in the dark by Washington. It is simply not believable that the US took six years to discover whether any of its aircraft ever touched down on UK soil.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Blair ‘knew abuse risk’

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Tony Blair jumped into bed with the US “war on terror” despite knowing within weeks of its launch that there was a risk Britons were being tortured, according to newly published secret documents.

The information, contained in an internal government memo, came to light after High Court judges forced the government to release a number of confidential documents on Tuesday.

In the memo Blair acknowledged the possibility that British nationals and residents were being tortured by the US in January 2002.

Yet despite concerns being voiced, MI5 and MI6 continued providing questions for US interrogators to put to suspects.

The documents were ordered published as part of an ongoing civil case being brought by six former Guantanamo detainees against the British state over its alleged complicity in their detention and abuse.

Lawyers representing Binyam Mohamed, Bisher Al Rawi, Jamil El Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes and Martin Mubanga have condemned the glacial speed of government disclosure of key documents, which it is believed would support their clients’ claims.

Among the newly released documents is a letter from the Foreign Office to the Prime Minister’s Office containing handwritten comments that appear to come from Mr Blair.

The letter is entitled UK Nationals Held in Afghanistan and Guantanamo and includes a chart listing detainees who might be British.

The comment, apparently made by Mr Blair, reads: “The key is to find out how they are being treated.

“Though I was initially sceptical about claims of torture, we must make it clear to the US that any such action would be totally unacceptable and very quickly establish it isn’t happening.”

Lawyers for the former detainees asked Mr Justice Silber to ensure that further documents be disclosed to the court without delay in accordance with the disclosure orders he had made in July.

Richard Hermer QC said there had also been a “deeply troubling” failure by the security services and government departments to answer questions that went to the heart of the case.

Commenting on the disclosure Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said: “What Tony Blair knew about torture allegations and when he knew it should form an important part of the forthcoming torture inquiry.

“This letter – and any others like it – should be carefully examined by the Gibson inquiry.

“The inquiry should leave no stone unturned in an effort to get at the truth, including whether senior ministers turned a blind eye to torture.”

Secret documents disclosed in Britain’s High Court revealed former British prime minister Tony Blair was warned in the weeks after US forces began rounding up terrorism suspects that British nationals held by the US in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay were being tortured, the Guardian said on September 30: here.

Relatives of those killed in the July 7 2005 bombings have condemned attempts by the Metropolitan Police and MI5 to have evidence at the inquest into the atrocity heard in secret: here.

A Scottish MSP accused the Crown Office on Wednesday of ducking questions regarding a possible prosecution of key government figures over the war in Iraq: here.

Britain: One police force slated another on Thursday over a controversial CCTV scheme which saw more than 200 surveillance cameras installed in two largely Muslim Birmingham neighbourhoods: here.

Judge to US: Yes, Really, Torture is Illegal: here.

A US judge blocked the government on Wednesday from calling a key witness in the first civilian trial of a Guantanamo Bay detainee: here.

A Tale of 2 Gitmo Opinions: Ruling Altered to Hide Evidence of Dead, Tortured Witnesses: here.

Obama admin caught censoring and rewriting judge’s Guantanamo ruling: here.

Clinton Cabinet Member Sought Iraq Provocation But W. Himself Sought Provocation: here.

Sarkozy prosecuted for racism


This video says about itself:

14 September 2010

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, will have no choice but to start a legal action against France for its expulsion of Roma, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said Tuesday during a press conference.

“Enough is enough,” said Reding. “I am personally convinced that the commission will have no choice.”

“I intend to recommend to President Barroso the fast track infringement procedure, so we lose no time,” she said.

Reding called France’s expulsion of the Roma people a “disgrace.”

On Monday French media published a leaked French official memo suggesting the Roma had been specifically targeted by the authorities.

The memo contradicted assurances to EU officials from Besson and Lellouche that immigrants were being treated on a case-by-case basis.

The order, dated 5 August, was sent from the interior ministry to regional police chiefs.

“Three hundred camps or illegal settlements must be cleared within three months, Roma camps are a priority,” it said, according to the BBC.

Besson told France 2 television on Monday that he was “not aware of this circular”.

Last week the European Parliament urged the French government to halt the deportations – a call rejected by Paris.

Today: European Union To Take Legal Action Against France Over Roma: here.

Hungarian state television announced on Wednesday that it is appealing to the Supreme Court to block a vile political ad by a populist party that characterises Roma people as “parasites” and “criminals”: here.

Afghanistan war continuing


This viodeo from the USA is called Rethink Afghanistan War (Part 5): Women of Afghanistan.

Amid signs of increasing desperation in the nine-year US war in Afghanistan, Washington has simultaneously launched a major offensive in Kandahar and escalated its attacks across the border in Pakistan: here.

Pre-trial hearings began Monday into atrocities committed by US Army soldiers over the past year near Kandahar: here. And here.

A soldier’s exposure of the circumstances of a colleague’s death is being exploited to push for the deployment of more Australian troops to the Afghan war: here.

Spreading democracy in Afghanistan, arrest of one journalist at a time: here.

A Nato raid in Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province has killed four children and wounded three adults, an Afghan official has said: here.

Obama’s Wars, the new book by journalist Bob Woodward, reveals that the CIA has been running a private army of 3,000 Afghan mercenaries since 2002, operating in both Afghanistan and Pakistan: here.

Ann Jones has spent much of the past nine years in Afghanistan working as a journalist, photographer and humanitarian aid worker. She has focused largely on the impact the war has had on the women of Afghanistan. Her new book is War Is Not Over When It’s Over: Women and the Unseen Consequences of Conflict. [includes rush transcript]: here.