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.

5 thoughts on “British government of war and torture


    Inquiry inspires no faith in Iraq

    Asked about the Chilcot inquiry as they struggle to survive, Iraqis say Tony Blair and George Bush have already escaped justice

    o Sami Ramadani

    Tuesday 24 November 2009 07.00 GMT

    “US policymakers, followed meekly by most of the British political and establishment notables, planned the invasion and “destruction” of Iraq many years before 2003. They cite the 13 years of murderous sanctions from 1991 to 2003 as a prelude for the occupation of the country.”

    The daily lives of ordinary Iraqis are such that an inquiry set up by the British government to look into the war on Iraq is almost totally brushed over in the country. Iraqis are avid followers of the news and most are very aware of the inquiry, but their situation today has become desperate; the lives of millions have been transformed into a bitter struggle for survival.

    The attitude of those in Baghdad who are invited to comment on the inquiry swiftly changes from expressions of pain and sadness to that of anger and strong denunciation of the war and its architects, George Bush and Tony Blair. It is striking that the one common thought that comes to the fore is that Bush and Blair have escaped justice and “got away with murder”.

    They certainly don’t have any confidence that the outcome of the inquiry will lead to Blair appearing before a legal tribunal to account for his role in engineering and launching the illegal war.

    The terms of the debate in Iraq are very different from those here in Britain. For while here people are seeking to establish beyond much doubt who did what, when and why, people in Iraq regard it as an open and shut case: US policymakers, followed meekly by most of the British political and establishment notables, planned the invasion and “destruction” of Iraq many years before 2003. They cite the 13 years of murderous sanctions from 1991 to 2003 as a prelude for the occupation of the country. They stress that Saddam Hussein’s 35-year dictatorship and non-existent WMD were “used as a pretext” for the war.

    What makes Iraqis very bitter is that more than six years after the invasion, the situation for most of them has deteriorated beyond all gloomy expectations. One Iraqi last week was in tears as he spoke about his extended family, for whom life has become dominated by death and destitution. He told the Baghdadia satellite TV station:

    How long will we continue dying like this? When the bombs don’t get us, we perish of water-borne diseases, as we drink the dirty water. When the bombs don’t get us, our babies are born deformed because of the depleted uranium they used on us. Six years of hell were preceded by 35 years of oppression. When is it going to all end?

    The composition of the inquiry panel itself doesn’t inspire confidence as to how deep it will dig into the war’s planning and motives. Michael Crick of the BBC writes that inquiry member Sir Lawrence Freedman, who was a key Blair adviser, told him in 1999 “he was contacted by Downing Street seeking his thoughts” for a Blair speech.

    When was military action justified for liberal, humanitarian reasons? Sir Lawrence says he was astonished when he heard and read Blair’s famous Chicago speech — that it was based largely on the memo he sent to No 10.

    One memo, however, that the inquiry needs to examine carefully is the one seen by international law expert Philippe Sands QC, in which Bush was noted as telling Blair that perhaps they should paint a US plane with UN colours, hoping that Saddam would shoot at it and give the US the pretext for war. The memo of the 31 January 2003 meeting also makes clear that both leaders acknowledged lack of evidence on WMD.

    One suggestion I heard from a Baghdad resident is that Sir John Chilcot and his panel should pack up and go to Iraq to talk to the people suffering the terrible aftermath of war and sanctions.

    Let them come and see how some of our children and families have been reduced to searching rubbish dumps to make a living in one of the richest countries in the world. Let them come and talk to the widows and orphans of the US-led war.


  2. On the war fronts

    Last update: November 24, 2009 – 9:43 PM

    An inquiry into Britain’s role in the Iraq war opened Tuesday with top government advisers testifying that some Bush administration officials were calling for “regime change” — Saddam Hussein’s ouster — as early as 2001, two years before the U.S.-led invasion.

    “We were aware of these drumbeats in Washington, and internally we discussed it. Our policy was to stay away from that,” said William Patey, a Foreign Office Mideast specialist at the time.

    Critics hope the hearings, convened by a government-appointed panel, will expose alleged deception by the government in the buildup to fighting.

    Three Afghan Cabinet officials and 12 former ministers are under investigation for alleged corruption, the attorney general’s office said, without naming them. President Hamid Karzai, under pressure from Western governments, pledged in his second inaugural address last week to support the arrests of anyone involved in corruption.

    A top official of Iraq’s election commission said recent developments had made it “impossible” to hold elections in January as required by Iraq’s constitution. The statement from Qassim al-Aboudi came as Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni Arab, threatened a second veto of a parliamentary bill governing the elections after it was amended and passed by Shiite and Kurdish legislators.

    Google is documenting the ancient treasures of Iraq’s National Museum and will post photographs of them on the Internet early next year, Google chief Eric Schmidt announced in Baghdad. The museum was ransacked in the chaotic aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s ouster in April 2003, and only a small number of visitors are allowed in to see the collection. Schmidt, who toured the museum with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill, said it was important for the world to see Iraq’s rich heritage.



  3. Pingback: Blair’s Iraq war lies ‘based on taxi driver’s gossip’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Bush, Blair, and the Iraq war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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