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.

5 thoughts on “British collusion in torture

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