‘British government never tortured’. Yeah, right

This video says about itself:

“We Don’t Torture

Torture, according to international law, is “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person…”

This song is called “Armagh.” It’s cut down from the 1981 album “Playing with a Different Sex” by the greatly influential post-punk British band, Au Pairs.

Bush and torture, cartoon

From the Google cache, of when my Dear Kitty blog was still at Modblog.

Date: 7 November 2005 at 6:51PM

According to the BBC, George W. Bush said: “We Do Not Torture“.

Probably Bush was inspired here by the chorus of a 25-years-old song by British band the Au Pairs.

It is called Armagh (in Northern Ireland; on the British women’s prison there):

We don’t torture, we’re a civilized nation
We’re avoiding any confrontation
We don’t torture, we don’t torture

American hostages in Iran
Heard daily on the news
forget about Vietnam

You can ignore the 32
There are 32 women in Armagh jail
political prisoners here at home
the British state’s got nothing to lose
It’s a subject better left alone –

We don’t torture
we’re a civilized nation
We’re avoiding any confrontation
We don’t torture, we don’t torture

Alleged crimes withheld information
She gets no sanitation
dries her shit on her cell wall
feeling cold and sick
She gets a couple of valium
Now she’s relaxed for the next interrogation
naked spreadeagled on her back

it’s a better position for internal examination
it’s a better position for giving information
An armed guard squad she gets a beating
bleeding and wounded she’s stopped eating
has a baby gets nothing for pain
they came and took her baby away

Now, to December 2015.

By Will Stone in Britain:

‘Britain has never been complicit in torture

Tuesday 15th December 2015

Jack Straw accused of ‘rewriting history’

JACK STRAW was reminded yesterday that a pregnant woman and four children were seized and forcibly flown to Colonel Muammar Gadaffi’s Libya on his watch after he denied British complicity in torture.

The former foreign secretary had claimed: “The British government never condoned nor was complicit in the torture or ill-treatment of detainees, wherever they were held.”

Mr Straw made the “outlandish” claim while desperately trying to defend himself against allegations made by former Guantanamo Bay inmate Shaker Aamer.

Mr Aamer, who was held in the prison camp without charge for 14 years, argued that both Mr Straw and former prime minister Tony Blair knew while they were in office that he was being tortured.

Human rights charity Reprieve has now highlighted MI6 correspondence, a High Court judgement and admissions by Mr Straw’s own cabinet colleagues proving British government complicity in torture during his time as foreign secretary.

M16 director of counterterrorism Sir Mark Allen wrote a letter to Libyan spy chief Moussa Koussa in 2004 in which he took credit for an operation with the CIA.

The operation saw Libyan dissident Abdul-hakim Belhadj and his five months’ pregnant wife Fatima Boudchar kidnapped and flown to Col Gadaffi’s prisons where they were subsequently tortured.

Alongside them were Sami al-Saadi’s family, including his four children aged 12, 11, nine and six.

The Saadi family accepted a substantial out-of-court settlement in 2013.

Mr Allen wrote that while “I did not pay for the air cargo … the intelligence was British.”

He added: “This was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over the years. I am so glad.”

The operation, which took place while Mr Straw was foreign secretary with responsibility for MI6, is now the subject of a Metropolitan Police investigation.

Files have been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is considering charges.

A CPS spokeswoman told the Star it was “continuing to advise the police and to look at all the evidence in relation to what is a very large and complex investigation.”

However, she couldn’t say when there would be sufficient evidence to make a final decision.

Reprieve director Cori Crider said: “Mr Straw’s claims seem to be an attempt to rewrite history.

“We already know that Britain was complicit in the US torture programme — the only questions remaining are how far this went, who knew about it, and who signed it off.

“As the minister responsible for MI6 when it helped render a pregnant woman and four young children to Gadaffi’s prisons, maybe Mr Straw could start giving us some answers.”

A High Court ruling in 2009 in the case of Binyam Mohamed, who in 2002 was captured and sent to a secret prison in Morocco where he was extensively tortured, also flies in the face of Mr Straw’s claim, the charity said.

Mr Mohamed claims that interrogators repeatedly cut his penis and chest using scalpels and razor blades.

Judges found “the relationship of the United Kingdom government to the United States authorities in connection with Binyam Mohamed was far beyond that of a bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing.”

The British government awarded him £1 million in compensation in 2011.

And two of Mr Straw’s cabinet colleagues in 2008 admitted that British personnel and territory had been involved in the US rendition programme, under which detainees were flown to secret prisons around the world to be tortured.

Then foreign secretary David Miliband acknowledged that CIA rendition flights, carrying prisoners, had used the British territory of Diego Garcia on two occasions in 2002.

And then defence secretary John Hutton admitted that, in 2004, British personnel had captured people in Iraq and handed them to the US, which then sent them to a secret prison in Bagram, Afghanistan, where they were tortured.

2 thoughts on “‘British government never tortured’. Yeah, right

  1. Pingback: Mass anti-nuclear weapons demonstration in London | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: ‘Investigate British government’s torture’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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