Scottish Parliament Motion on UK Complicity in Torture 4

Bill Wilson MSP has put down the following motion in the Scottish Parliament:

Short Title: UK Government’s Admission of Complicity in Torture

S3M-03949 Bill Wilson (West of Scotland) (SNP): That the Parliament

considers the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s recent report on human rights in which the UK Government tacitly admits to using “intelligence possibly derived through torture”; further notes Craig Murray’s statement that the names of sources are omitted from intelligence reports so that it cannot be proven that torture was used in producing that intelligence; believes that the report therefore negates the UK Government’s supposed condemnation of torture and that when it uses evidence obtain from practices such as immersing victims in boiling water, as used in Uzbekistan, or taking them to the point of drowning , as extensively practised by the United States of America under the euphemism of waterboarding, then it is as guilty as the government or agency that carries out the torture, and is of the opinion that torture does not protect lives but simply ensures that the victim provides whatever “evidence” is required by the torturer and that the use of torture can only increase hatred and violence, not reduce it

His office have put out the following press release:

UK Government’s admission of complicity in torture highlighted in Scottish Parliament

Dr Bill Wilson, an SNP MSP for the West of Scotland, today lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament highlighting a recent human rights report by the Foreign and Commonwealth office that contains a tacit admission the UK Government uses evidence obtained through torture.

Dr Wilson commented: “The UK has a long and appalling record when it comes to human rights. The latest revelation is of a piece with its support for Indonesia’s genocidal Suharto regime, its treatment of the inhabitants of Diego Garcia, its earlier support for sanctions against Iraq and its later invasion of that country, and its support for Israel, despite the latter’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory and its brazen flouting of the human rights of Palestinians and various opponents of its brutal policies (not least the brave Jewish Israeli youngsters thrown into prison for refusing to serve in the Israeli Defence Force!).

“The UK Government’s weasel words cannot disguise its effective support for torture. As my motion makes clear, this undermines any pretence the UK might have to higher ethical ground. How can the UK effectively combat terrorism when it condones atrocities committed by its so-called friends and allies? The bitterness and hatred stoked by this hypocrisy is surely considerable.

“Furthermore, it’s nonsense to suggest that tortured people will say anything other than what they think their interrogators want to hear. If you are taken to the point of drowning and believe that the only way you can save yourself is to say that X, Y and Z are members of Al Qaeda, then you would likely do so, regardless of the truth.

“Perhaps the worst aspect of torture, however, is that those who have taken part in it are driven to justify what they have done. Of course they want to believe that the cruelty they have been guilty of produced useful information, and so they are likely to go to great lengths to deceive both themselves and others in this regard. Having justified it, then, they will persist in practising it.

“Torture is always wrong in my opinion, and the ‘ticking bomb’ argument a dangerous myth. The criminals complicit in torture, who can be found at the highest levels of the UK Government, must be held accountable. ”

My analysis of the FCO’s stunning admission to receiving intelligence from torture is found here:

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