by craig on July 4, 2010 11:03 am in Rendition
This is Linda Duffield’s take on the vexed moral question on whether or not it can be justifiable to boil somebody alive to obtain information from them:
There were difficult ethical and moral issues involved and at times difficult judgements had to be made weighing one clutch of “moral issues” against another. It was not always easy for people in post (embassies) to see and appreciate the broader picture, eg piecing together intelligence material from different sources in the global fight against terrorism.
Linda is now the chief executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, an all-party supported organisation, funded by the FCO, to spread democracy abroad. This is their blurb:
Established in 1992, WFD is an independent public body sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, from which it receives an annual grant. Over the years we have grown in strength and diversity, working to achieve sustainable political change in emerging democracies. Working with and through partner organisations, we seek to strengthen the institutions of democracy, principally political parties (through the work of the UK political parties), parliaments and the range of institutions that make up civil society. We believe that, for a democracy to flourish, all of these institutions must be strong and sustainable.
I don’t imagine this includes training in the reasons why it can be OK for a democracy to condone boiling people alive, but who knows? I have worked with WFD in Poland and it used to do very good work, but it was distorted by Blair to focus its work in support of places we were invading, occupying, bombing or selling arms to. See how many of the current case studies on its website fall into that category?
And what an interesting gathering this was in Prague of the proponents of “democracy” by invasion, organised by “democracyandsecurity.org”.
The conference brought together Richard Perle, Aznar, the American Enterprise Institute, the exiled Cuban opposition, numerous Israeli representatives and the neo-con funded Amir Abbas Fakhravr of the “Iranian Freedom Institute of the USA”. From Wikipedia about Fakhravr:
In late April 2006, he arrived in the United States from Dubai where he had been greeted by Richard Perle  who interrupted his trip to central Asia in order to meet Fakhravar in a hotel.  They had been in touch through a contact since 2003.  Their meeting in Dubai was recorded and some of it is included in a documentary titled “The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom”. 
Since his arrival he has called for a unified Iranian opposition to the Islamic government, in order to bring regime change in Iran.  He has had several meetings with American officials from the Pentagon to the State Department, as well as with Vice President Dick Cheney.
Some very interesting other delegates included the Las Vegas Sands Corp.. From Wikipedia:
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) is a casino resort company based in Paradise, Nevada. It is the world’s leading Casino based company with a market capitalization of $17.3 billion as of April 2010. At one point in 2007, it had a market capitalization of $43.7 billion, making its majority shareholder, Sheldon Adelson, one of the world’s richest men.
Any idea what they were doing there? Oh yes, and Linda Duffield was there too. Doubtless it was relaxing to be in the company of so many who might share her views on the efficacy of torture.