British collusion in torture


This video is called Extraordinary Rendition [Documentary about War on Terror and Guantanamo Bay / Binyam Mohamed].

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Britain’s secret shame revealed

Thursday 23 June 2011

by Paddy McGuffin, Home Affairs Reporter

Documents released detail involvement in ill-treatment of prisoners

Previously secret documents show a catalogue of “mishaps and failures” by the MoD in regard to its policy on extraordinary rendition, a group of MPs said today.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition (Appger) published a number of documents detailing the handing over of detainees to the US by British forces.

The documents show that the recent announcement by the Gibson Detainee Inquiry that it would not investigate detainee transfers “now looks unsustainable,” the group stated.

Commitee chairman Andrew Tyrie MP said he had been seeking the documents for more than three years but that the MoD had refused to disclose them until forced to do so by the Information Tribunal last month.

Among the documents are the previously secret 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between Britain and the US, further extracts of a 2008 Detention Practices Review and statistical information on detainees captured in Afghanistan.

Mr Tyrie said the documents revealed “a catalogue of MoD mishaps and failures, including a failure to track detainees handed over to the US, a weakening of protections for those handed over and a failure to keep proper records.

“The Detainee Inquiry’s position, that ‘military detention operations should not be one of the key themes for the inquiry’, now looks unsustainable.

“Without a comprehensive examination of rendition the drip-drip of allegations will continue.

“This is why it is essential that the Gibson Inquiry into rendition covers detainee transfers in theatre.”

He said that the fact that the MoD had relied on US standards of treatment for detainees was of particular concern as practices such as waterboarding have been declared lawful by the US.

Specific provisions to enable Britain to demand the return of people handed over to the US were removed from the memorandum in 2008, he added.

The documents also showed that from March 2003-June 2004 there was no tracking of detainees handed over to the US and full records on detainee handovers in Iraq were not seen or analysed during MoD investigations.

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen said: “These are just the latest revelations to add to our concern that the UK has been negligent over prisoner welfare and potentially complicit in rendition.

“While the UK makes the claim that it did not physically hand over prisoners in its custody to be tortured, there is clear evidence of a host of ways that UK officials were involved in rendition and prisoner ill-treatment.”

Also from the Morning Star:

The government will be challenged at the High Court tomorrow over its interrogation guidance to intelligence officers and the armed forces.

The guidance, announced by David Cameron last year, controversially allows the practice of “hooding” detainees despite the recognised serious health risks associated with the practice and its associations with the abuse of prisoners in British custody and Abu Ghraib.

Flawed government interrogation guidance could expose British troops and intelligence agents to charges of complicity in torture, the High Court heard today: here.

Eric Lichtblau and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times: “The Justice Department announced Thursday that it was opening a full criminal investigation into the deaths of two terrorism suspects in CIA custody overseas, but it was closing inquiries into the treatment of nearly 100 other detainees over the last decade. Attorney General Eric H Holder Jr said that a two-year review by a specially appointed prosecutor, John H Durham, had determined that any further investigation into that large group of cases ‘is not warranted.’ The inquiry into the two deaths, though, could result in criminal charges against Central Intelligence Agency officers or contractors”: here.

USA: Torture crimes officially, permanently shielded: here.

Campaign groups demanded today that the coalition government acts to end the illegal detention of the last British national in Guantanamo Bay: here.

Despite New Denials by Rumsfeld, Evidence Shows US Military Used Waterboarding-Style Torture. Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout: “In the controversy over whether torture, especially waterboarding, was used to gather information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden, former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld told Fox News’ Sean Hannity recently that ‘no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo by the US military. In fact, no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo, period.’ In his memoir, ‘Known and Unknown,’ Rumsfeld maintained, ‘To my knowledge, no US military personnel involved in interrogations waterboarded any detainees, not at – or anywhere else in the world.’ But as we shall see, Rumsfeld was either lying outright, or artfully twisting the truth”: here.

From the BBC:

The story – and the controversy – about the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay is familiar and well-rehearsed.

But less-known is the story of what some have dubbed “Gitmo the Heartland” or “Guantanamo North” – two prison units on the US mainland where other inmates in the wider “war on terror” are being held in conditions that civil liberties groups regard as another post-9/11 challenge to normal judicial standards.

British government of war and torture


Anti-war campaigners have called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be be tried for war crimes as the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war opened in London: here. See also here. And here. And here.

This video from the USA is called C.I.A. Kidnapping & Torture Challenged In Africa.

British intelligence colluded in the torture and abuse of five British nationals by Pakistani security forces, Human Rights Watch has said.

‘Cruel, illegal, immoral’: Human Rights Watch condemns UK’s role in torture: here.

BRITISH COMPLICITY IN TORTURE – indicted by Human Rights Watch: here.

The Defence Secretary is expected to announce a public inquiry on Wednesday into allegations of torture and murder of Iraqi civilians by British troops: here.

Inquiry launched into claims 20 Iraqis were murdered and nine others tortured at a UK base in 2004: here.

Iraq was not the biggest worry for British officials trying to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction two years before it was invaded, the inquiry into the conflict has heard.

Until Chilcot hears UN weapons inspectors’ testimony, the fiction of Britain honestly seeking a WMD smoking gun prevails: here.

CHILCOT INQUIRY– ‘COME THE DAY YOU’LL BE THERE’ – Rumsfeld was sure that UK would go to war: here.

The British army has detained Lance Corporal Joe Glenton for 28 days after a hearing on Wednesday of last week for speaking out against the war in Afghanistan: here.

Reprieve investigation reveals MoD badly misled parliament – and defamed victims – on UK renditions case: here.

CIA kidnappers convicted by Italian court


This video is called Trial Over C.I.A. Kidnapping to Continue.

From The Raw Story in the USA:

Italian court convicts 23 Americans of kidnapping in CIA rendition case

By Muriel Kane

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 — 10:30 am

Twenty three Americans have been convicted in absentia, after an Italian court found them guilty of kidnapping in the CIA rendition of a Muslim cleric, the Associated Press reports. Three other Americans were acquitted.

The New York Times reported earlier today, “Italian prosecutors have charged the American officials, all but one of them alleged to be agents of the Central Intelligence Agency, and seven members of the Italian military intelligence agency, in the abduction of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, on Feb. 17, 2003. Prosecutors say the cleric was snatched in broad daylight, flown from an American air base in Italy to a base in Germany and then on to Egypt, where he claims he was tortured.”

Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, says that the conviction in Italy of 23 Americans, most of them CIA employees, for the kidnapping and torture of an Egyptian cleric is some good news, for a change, on the issue of torture: here.

At the end of last week, Italian president Giorgio Napolitano issued a pardon to US Colonel Joseph Romano. Romano, the head of security at the US Air Force base at Aviano in northern Italy, was involved in the CIA-led abduction of the Muslim cleric, Abu Omar, in 2003: here.

Former CIA official: Italian leaders colluded w/ US to shield Bush, Rice, Tenet & senior CIA aides from prosecution: here. …

A US registered plane named in a 2007 European Parliament report into alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “extraordinary rendition” flights was observed to land at Birmingham Airport in England on October 2 of this year: here.

Britain: MPs demand law to ban rendition flights: here.

United States, British, rendition and torture


This video from the USA says about itself:

Stop the torture. Stop the torture flights.

A protest picket outside the headquarters of Jeppesen Dataplan in San Jose, CA. Jeppesen handles the flight logistics for the CIA’s torture flights.

By Robert Stevens:

United Nations condemns US, Britain and other states over rendition

12 March 2009

A report issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council this week strongly condemns the United States, Britain and other states for breaching basic human rights and international law.

The document, drafted for the UN General Assembly by Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinen, indicts the US specifically for numerous violations of international law, including the use of torture.

It goes on to state, however, that Washington could not have carried out these crimes without the aid of numerous allies. The help extended to it, moreover, has had the effect of “corrupting the institutional culture of the legal and institutional systems” of many additional countries. And, in some instances, states have used the war on terror to switch from ordinary law enforcement to the use of special intelligence agencies so as to circumvent democratic safeguards.

ITALY’S highest court has dealt a blow to the trial of 26 US citizens accused of involvement in the alleged CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian man in Milan in 2003: here.

Obama deconstructs Bush´s torture policies


Waterboarding Santa, cartoon

This cartoon from the USA about George W. Bush´s torture policies is called Waterboarding Santa.

From British daily The Guardian:

Obama shuts network of CIA ‘ghost prisons’

Rendition and torture to be barred

• Terror fight ‘must not breach ideals’

* Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
* Friday 23 January 2009

Barack Obama embarked on the wholesale deconstruction of George Bush’s war on terror, shutting down the CIA’s secret prison network, banning torture and rendition, and calling for a new set of rules for detainees.

“The CIA shall close as expeditiously as possible any detention facilities that it currently operates and shall not operate any such detention facility in the future,” the order from Obama said.

The president’s decision to shut down the CIA’s clandestine interrogation centres, or “black sites”, went far beyond the widely anticipated move to wind down the Guantánamo Bay detention centre.

Obama carried on his demolition of the legal apparatus Bush set up for al-Qaida suspects by outlawing waterboarding and other coercive interrogation methods, and banning rendition.

A critical comment on this: here.

From British daily The Morning Star:

BRITISH human rights campaigners welcomed US President Obama’s executive order closing Guantanamo Bay on Friday but warned that his administration had a long way to go.

See also here. And here. And here.

Investigate US torture and prosecute those responsible: here.