“British secret services lied about torture”

This video is called Sexual abuse and torture by British troops in Iraq.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Spooks ‘lied to MPs over torture

Tuesday 11 August 2009

by Paddy McGuffin

Secret service agents deliberately gave false and misleading information to a select committee of MPs and the High Court regarding the secret service’s role in torture, a leading human rights lawyer claims.

Evidence given to the intelligence and security committee (ISC) by secret service officers regarding the role of MI5 and MI6 operatives in the kidnap and torture of terror suspects including Binyam Mohamed was fabricated, Mr Mohamed‘s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith of legal action charity Reprieve insists.

If true, the allegations would make the committee’s 2007 report on the issue widely inaccurate.

The claims are made in a letter, seen by the Morning Star today, from Mr Stafford Smith to ISC chairman Kim Howells.

This week, Mr Howells stated that the ISC had found no evidence of secret service involvement or complicity in torture of terror suspects abroad.

But according to Reprieve there is clear evidence that testimonies from intelligence officers to the committee and the High Court regarding the detention and torture of Mr Mohamed contained glaring omissions.

Mr Stafford Smith writes that new information which came to light during the recent High Court case between Mr Mohamed and the Foreign Office exposed the extent of the false and incomplete testimony to both the ISC and the High Court.

He adds that, due to this false evidence, the ISC report contained a number of factual inaccuracies and he calls for the investigation to be reopened.

Mr Stafford Smith writes that “British Intelligence had previously stated that all efforts to follow up with Binyam Mohamed‘s status ended in February 2003.

“The judges state that the British secret intelligence services continued to feed questions and or receive information from the CIA on Binyam Mohamed until at least March 2004.”

The lawyer also highlights the fact that the secret service knew that Mr Mohamed was in a covert facility run by another country and that torture was used there.

He points out that an agent, known as “witness B,” who questioned Mr Mohamed, had visited Morocco three times while Mr Mohamed was there but had not been asked to explain the reason for these visits.

Mr Stafford Smith concludes by stating: “As you will appreciate, the implications of these revelations for the ISC’s assessment of the extent of British secret intelligence services complicity in torture are extremely serious.”

Regarding the falsified testimony, the Reprieve director said: “British agents seem to have committed perjury when telling the court that all efforts to question Binyam ended in February 2003 – and they also misled the intelligence and security committee, to whom they are supposedly accountable.

“In fact, the shameful co-operation with Binyam’s torturers was still going on 15 months later when Binyam had left the Moroccan torture chamber and arrived in the dark prison in Afghanistan.”

Regarding witness B’s trips to Morocco, he quipped: “We can surmise that the agent wasn’t on a Club Med vacation, so he needs to explain what he was doing.”

The Morning Star contacted the Home Office to put the allegations to them but a spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Star also contacted the ISC to ask whether the information contained in Mr Stafford Smith’s letter had been acted on but there was no response.

See also here.

Anti torture petition: here.

It will have come as no surprise to Morning Star readers to learn that Britain had failed to stand up to Washington and for justice in the case of Binyam Mohamed: here.

Binyam Mohamed, the British resident tortured with the alleged complicity of the CIA and MI5, won a High Court victory on Friday which would force the British government to publish details of his abuse: here.

The High Court judgement in the case of Binyam Mohamed versus the Foreign Office means full details of the illegal abuse and torture of the former Guantanamo detainee can be made public for the first time: here.

The family of one of the youngest prisoners ever held at the US prison camp at Guantanamo will sue Washington to compensate him for abuse and an adolescence lost to nearly seven years in a cage: here.

Lawyer ‘denied access to tortured Guantánamo detainee’: here.

MI6 reports own officer over torture allegations: here.

Liberal Democrats demand public inquiry into government torture allegations. Party’s call for investigation into claims of complicity comes after revelation that police have been asked to investigate MI5 and MI6: here.

Security service MI5 kept a secret file on Labour’s Harold Wilson throughout his years as an MP and prime minister, a new history of the service has revealed: here.

MI5 monitored union and CND leaders with ministers’ backing, book reveals: here.

Britain’s Labour government is continuing its efforts to suppress evidence of intelligence service involvement in the torture and abuse of former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed: here.

Miliband tries to conceal evidence of torture of Binyam Mohamed: here.

5 thoughts on ““British secret services lied about torture”

  1. Red Cross given access to secret U.S. detainees: reportSat Aug 22, 2009 7:21pm EDT

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. military has begun to share with the International Committee of the Red Cross the identities of militants held in secret camps in Iraq and Afghanistan, The New York Times reported on on Saturday.

    Citing three unidentified military officials, the Times said the policy would give the Red Cross access to dozens of suspected terrorists and foreign fighters captured in Iraq and Afghanistan detained in Special Operations camps overseas.

    The new policy took effect this month with no public announcement.

    The Obama administration has been reviewing U.S. interrogation and detention practices. The Pentagon had previously maintained that providing information about these Special Operations detainees could jeopardize counterterrorism missions.

    The Red Cross has been allowed access to most U.S. military prisons and battlefield detention sites in Iraq and Afghanistan excluding these Special Operations locations.

    A Department of Defense spokesman, Bryan Whitman, on Saturday declined to comment on the Special Operations camps.

    “There are no hidden or unaccounted for detainees held by the department,” Whitman told Reuters. “We make every effort to register detainees with the ICRC as soon as practicable after capture … and that normally occurs within a two-week time.”

    A Red Cross spokesman declined to comment, citing its standing policy of not disclosing confidential discussions about detention issues.

    In another development, the Central Intelligence Agency on Monday will release a sharply critical 2004 report by the CIA’s inspector general on the agency’s interrogation program.

    The report provides new details about abuses that took place in the agency’s secret prisons. CIA officers conducted mock executions and threatened at least one prisoner with a gun and a power drill, in violation of a federal statute against threatening detainees with imminent death, the Times reported.

    The U.S. military maintains Special Operations camps, called temporary screening sites, in Balad, Iraq, and Bagram, Afghanistan. As many as 30 to 40 foreign prisoners have been held at the Iraq site at a time, the Times said citing military officials.

    (Reporting by Chris Michaud in New York and John Poirier in Washington; Editing by Alan Elsner)


  2. Pingback: Mussolini was British agent | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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