Calling Government To Account For Complicity In Torture 17


There is a very good article in the Independent by Simon Reid-Henry about the urgent need to call the government to account for its complicity in torture – something parliament seems not to care about at all.

Even without a judicial inquiry, therefore, perhaps there is at least one lesson to be learned from all this: that we must unpick ourselves from the dangerous tangle of national security and state secretiveness. As worrying as the prospect of British complicity in torture is, more worrying still is the apparent capacity of our government to keep brushing such claims of complicity aside

.

http://opinion.independentminds.livejournal.com/831661.html


17 thoughts on “Calling Government To Account For Complicity In Torture

  • KevinB

    The only way for a society to seriously deter the practice of or complicity in the practice of torture by any of its citizens or government operatives is to prosecute them with all the vigour the law allows and punish them if found guilty.

    Tony,

    Yup, I’m a physics/maths teacher myself. The physics does it. Trumps anything that comes out of anyone’s mouth on the subject of 9/11. The case for controlled demolition is what Americans call a ‘slam dunk’. Proven……and it is not even difficult physics. Key stage 4 stuff.

    It is possible that the tide is turning on this issue in the USA. More than one third of the country don’t believe the ‘official narrative’.

    Last week a ‘Fox News’ station, (of all broadcasters!) gave an astonishingly sympathetic listening to Richard Gage of ‘Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’. Usually such people get someone like Bill O’Reilly screaming “Lunatic” at them when they say this kind of thing.

    It took my breath away. See for yourself: (sorry Craig, link here)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO2yT0uBQbM

    I’ve been talking to people about what this could mean. Here’s a possibility. It seems there’s a split in the USA over the issue of attacking Iran. The Neo-Cons/Israel want to attack but Obama’s sponsors, the old guard Baker/Bryzinsky faction (who have control at the moment) are against it. Maybe there is a threat dangling somewhere here. You want us to let 9/11 truth issue break big-time??

    ….bad for the neo-cons……but people, including me, are just guessing.

  • tony_opmoc

    Hilarious

    Already Deleted

    If You don’t Behave I Will Delete as Well

    Well I wouldn’t actually do that

    I don’t delete

    Tony

  • tony

    KevinB,

    I personally find it really interesting what were Craig’s personal motivations in deleting my two posts.

    I would like to think he is just a bit naive.

    Other possible explanations are that he thinks I am mad and is trying to protect me.

    Or that he didn’t actually do it himself – and has subcontracted the moderation to somebody else whilst he is in Africa?

    Or that he Really Is On The Other Side of The Political Chart he posted yesterday

    Incidentally my scores were

    Your political compass

    Economic Left/Right: -7.12

    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.59

    netcurtains – 30 May’09 – 08:44 – 4358 of 4360

    Did you know the Baltic Sea freezes over at Helsinki during the winter.

    That must be a triffle chilly. Good thing I bought a hat.

    opmoc – 31 May’09 – 22:50 – 4359 of 4360 edit

    John,

    I suggest you come home. The weather here is really nice – and the newspapers are even funnier than the Beano.

    Any I just posted this on Craig Murray’s blog – where he will probably delete it. He’s a funny bloke. He posts stuff like – well You NAME are a CRIMINAL – inviting himself to be sued. Now whether or not NAME is a criminal or not – well I don’t know – I haven’t seen the evidence. A newspaper hack might have made it all up for all I know.

    And on Friday morning I spent half an hour writing what I thought was a completely sane normal rational and sober response to what someone had posted – and he deleted it. In fact he deleted rather a lot of very sensible comments from other people – yet he leaves himself so open to attack.

    The starting point of our societies current descent into starting illegal wars and committing torture was 9/11.

    On the day of 9/11 I was on a “flash” computer training course.

    I knew something terrible had happenned before I got home – because London was itself in a near state of panic.

    And then I got home and saw the news.

    My wife was a Childminder at the time. She was looking after Twin Blonde Baby Girls. Their Grandmother was in one of the Twin Towers when it was hit. She phoned the Mother of The Twins from inside the WTC. And then all the phone lines went dead – and for 24 hours we thought she was dead as well (she survived unharmed)

    I was completely and utterly totally shocked and contacted the Family in America where my Son had stayed a few months earlier as part of a trip organised by the local Scouts to offer my support and condolences about the tradgedy.

    But even on Day 1 – I didn’t believe the Offical Story – that was pouring out of the TV screens and Newspapers. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t know who had done it but it had to be someone incredibly evil. Why should Muslims from Afghanistan have done it – knowing what the likely reaction would be?

    And it just didn’t look right.

    So I go back to school the next day – finding that London was really quiet and many people seemed to have stayed home in panic thinking WWIII had started.

    But I still couldn’t understand what had happenned…

    And then before the Iraq War started – I looked again objectively at the video evidence.

    I realised that what I was seeing was impossible in terms of the Official Story that virtually everyone believed.

    I was at work at the time. I said look at this to my colleagues – I did Physics and Maths to University level – and this is impossible.

    The only way those buildings could have been brought down in the way that they were was by controlled demolition. Any other theory defeats the basic laws of Physics – and you can’t defeat the basic laws of physics.

    And I suddenly felt as if someone had kicked me incredibly hard in the guts. It was even more shocking than the event of 9/11 itself.

    The Evil must have come from within my own culture.

    And now In His New Book, John Farmer, Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission, Says, Official Story of 9/11 “Almost Entirely Untrue”

    So exactly what is the Truth?

    We already know this from the testimony given on video and broadcast on US TV

    Mineta: “During the time that the airplane was coming into the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President…the plane is 50 miles out…the plane is 30 miles out….and when it got down to the plane is 10 miles out, the young man also said to the vice president “do the orders still stand?” And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said “Of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary!??”

    Sorry, but I feel I have a Responsibilty to the Twin Baby Girls who my wife saw recently to find out the truth.

    She said they are incredibly beautiful.

    Tony

    opmoc – 31 May’09 – 23:36 – 4360 of 4360 edit

    Of course I don’t know the entire truth – and I always admit I could be wrong. It is because I was trained as a scientist.

    I have never joined a 9/11 Truth Group – and only tried to convince my friends about the physics and maths of the event – shortly after it happenned.

    The reactions varied – from Pretending to Agree With me – yet thinking I had gone completely mad – and trying to humour me To Outright AGGRESSION.

    I thought FFS I am just telling you about the Physics and Maths – I Am Not Saying Who Did It. I Don’t Know Who Did It.

    All I am Saying is That Two Planes Fly into Two Buildings

    And Three Buildings Fall Down – Exactly as if They Had Been Brought Down By Controlled Demolition

    And The BBC had been warned in Advanced About The Third

    She Broadcast Live Saying That WTC7 Has Also Fallen Down

    And In The Background WTC7 was still standing

    But She is English

    She didn’t Recognise WTC7

    And WTC7 was demolished 20 minutes later

    Now what the fuck am I supposed to think?

    It would be nice to think that I have got it all wrong and that I am simply sufferring from delusions and that I am the one that is mad (there is enormous evidence to support this theory – whilst I have never been admitted to a mental hospital – my Dad, Brother and Sister Have) – so if it makes you feel better believe that.

    And Dick Cheney is a Really Nice Guy – and Our Culture is Really Nice to Try and Save These Evil Muslims in Their Own Countries From Themselves By Dropping Bombs on Them and Torturing Them

    Yes We Are Really Nice

    And I am as MAD AS HELL

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    KevinB,

    Where do you live? I would like to met you – do you like Live Music?

    You posted this

    “Here’s a possibility. It seems there’s a split in the USA over the issue of attacking Iran. The Neo-Cons/Israel want to attack but Obama’s sponsors, the old guard Baker/Bryzinsky faction (who have control at the moment) are against it. Maybe there is a threat dangling somewhere here. You want us to let 9/11 truth issue break big-time??

    ….bad for the neo-cons……but people, including me, are just guessing.”

    I am seriously impressed with your knowledge and analysis.

    Personally I think Obama is even more dangerous than the Bush cabal

    BushCo just wanted control over the Oil

    Whilst the Obamaboys want control of the World

    I almost completely gave up posting in the UK – cos all intelligent conversation got spammed to hell with shit.

    I actually find America more Civilised.

    I have only been banned once – well O.K. – maybe twice – but from different websites

    And they have far more traffic than Craig’s little blog

    I still think he is a hero by the way – and I often quote him in America

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    KevinB,

    We are going to loads of music Festivals this summer – all in the UK.

    If you want to met me

    That is me in the tent farting and snoring away

    With the Biggest Flagpole

    No – It Really is Seriously Big

    And at the top

    I will be Flying a Flag

    Depending on Events

    The Flag May Say

    Craig Murray is a Hero

    (Only Joking)

    But The Flagpole is Big

    Tony

  • tony

    If I Was a Real Cunt I could write a script that would read Everything that was posted on Craig’s blog

    And when he deletes stuff make it re-appear in bold type in exactly the same position. It would be incredibly easy to do.

    But I am not a Cunt

    Cos that would be taking the Piss

    Tony

  • tony

    opmoc – 1 Jun’09 – 04:35 – 4367 of 4369 edit

    I Realise That not Only I am a Northern Working Class Drunken Old Fart From Oldham

    But that I have been (sort of) accepted in The South of England

    And Everyone Loves My Wife Julie – Cos She Just Says it As it Is in Broad LANCASHIRE

    So I Always Support The Decisions Of Her

    Sometimes I Feel For Fucks Sake

    Stop Being So Nice

    But She is Making All The Decisions

    About Two Thirds of The Regular Bands Who Play In Our Pub about Every 2 Months or So

    Have Been introduced to the Pub By Julie

    She just nags them to death

    You have just got to get this band on

    We have seen them – and they will go down a storm here

    The audience will love them

    And you will sell loads of beer

    Tony

    opmoc – 1 Jun’09 – 05:08 – 4368 of 4369 edit

    My wife Julie is a complete Angel

    I Fell In love With Her The Moment I Met Her

    Now nearly 30 years later

    She is getting me to go diving in the Maldives

    Regularly Walking For Miles in The Depths of Winter

    Redocarating the House

    And Saying Well When Are You Going To Actually Finish Decorating The Bedroom

    And Hang This Massive Print Above Our Bed

    Its All In Spring Flowers

    And The Spring Flowers

    Say

    LOVE

    opmoc – 1 Jun’09 – 05:23 – 4369 of 4369 edit

    I Don’t Want Any more than this for Me

    I have got a Wife I Completely Love

    And Two Children I Completely Love

    O.K. I would like to be a GrandDad

    But if my luck continues I will live

    Well I reckon – a Good 25 Years at least

    The amount of sex I get is completely phenomenal

    I do it more now than when I was 15

    So I can’t really Complain

    If As a Start

    We Get Richard Cheney and Anthony Charles Linton Blair on Trial For War Crimes Against Humanity

    I am Going To Outlive Tony Blair

    I will Get That Cunt on Trial and In Jail Before I Die

    Tony

  • nextus

    Reid-Henry’s article is good, but it could be sharper. He merely highlights the government’s ‘ambiguity’, and is quite light on Sands’s accusation of complicity, merely saying that it’s “arguable”. Surely he could be more definitive than that?

    If you purchase a single item on the cheap and it turns out to be stolen, you can reasonably plead ignorance; but if you buy continually buy bulkloads of them, and their origins are unknown, the defence won’t be accepted and you’ll be convicted of receiving stolen goods. Wilful ignorance is no defence. Now, suppose you were already cautioned in advance that some of the stuff was stolen (and faulty). That is full-blown complicity, no? Shouldn’t the same argument scale up to the government’s attitude to CIA intelligence??

    ===================

    [Tony, can I take you aside for a moment?

    If you’ve got something worth saying, don’t bury it in nonsense. Keep your messages succinct and relevant; use paragraphs And Stop Capitalising – and your deletion anxiety will probably disappear.

    Please don’t respond with more of the same. We’re not here to debate about you and your personal thought processes. Why not create a stream-of-consciousness blog and build up your own readership instead of hijacking Craig’s. You’ll be able to set your own rules that way.]

  • mary

    I was wondering when the article was written as there is a reference to the JPHRC hearing at which Craig gave evidence being held ‘last week’ when it was actually a month ago.

    There are some interesting comments below the article including some on Blair. Instead of appearing in the dock at The Hague, he will be sitting in the Grimond Room at Portcullis House today giving evidence as the ridiculously named Quartet Envoy. He will flash some smiles, make some jokey remarks and give his usual gloss on the matter.

    ________________________________________

    Forthcoming meetings: Global Security: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    Monday 1 June in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House (room subject to change)

    Only House of Commons passholders will be admitted to the room but video coverage will be streamed live to a nearby overspill room.

    At 11.00 am:

    Rt Hon Tony Blair, Representative of the Middle East Quartet

    The Committee is likely to question Mr Blair on his work as Quartet Representative and his assessment of recent developments in, and international policies towards, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    The members are

    Mike Gapes (Chairman) Ilford South Labour

    Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell QC North East Fife Liberal Democrats

    Mr Fabian Hamilton Leeds North East Labour

    Rt Hon David Heathcoat-Amory Wells Conservative

    Mr John Horam Orpington Conservative

    Mr Eric Illsley Barnsley Central Labour

    Mr Paul Keetch Hereford Liberal Democrats

    Andrew Mackinlay Thurrock Labour

    Mr Malcolm Moss North East Cambridgeshire Conservative

    Sandra Osborne Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock Labour

    Mr Greg Pope Hyndburn Labour

    Mr Ken Purchase Wolverhampton North East Labour

    Rt Hon Sir John Stanley Tonbridge and Malling Conservative

    Ms Gisela Stuart

  • KevinB

    Tony,

    Craig has every right to protect threads on his blog from being ‘hijacked’ and diverted onto some other undesirable (as he sees it) topic. I’ve been banned here and there myself.

    I have a blogger friend who says his biggest problem is editing out the lunatics, shills and others who disrupt.

    By the way, if I sound well-informed, I just pay attention to what Webster Tarpley and one or two others are saying. Tarpley predicted Obama’s win while he was still running second to Hilary Clinton (he recognised a CIA media operation was underway to ‘big him up’). He wrote 2 brilliant books on Obama that were published as he was assuming office. He has been right in every aspect about what Obama is about.

    (use link below for contact)

  • Craig

    The problem is, if you have a view that something is responsible for world events (like a 9/11 false flag, or bildeberg, or bankers), in your view that makes it relevant to pretty well everything. Whareas those who don’t hold that view only see threads constantly hijacked. The above post is not about 9/11. If you want briefly to comment that in your view it all stems from 9/11, fine. If you want to add in a sentence that in your view 9/11 was an inside job, feel free. But if you want to hijack the thread onto a discussion of whether or not 9/11 was an inside job, you’ll get deleted.

    I did say about a week ago I am starting to edit comment for relevance.

    There are thousands of 9/11 blogs out there you can post on.

  • Abe Rene

    This raises the question: how can people in power be called into account? If countries like Chile provide a guide, only when they are no longer in power – and not always then. Ford pardoned Nixon, Obama doesn’t seem likely to take action against Bush. How likely is it that a future cabinet will arrange for present cabinet members to be prosecuted for complicity in torture?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Simon Reid-Henry’s article in the Independent includes this recommendation:-

    “In order to obtain the truth of the matter, therefore, it seems clear that a full judicial inquiry is required. Such an inquiry will have to establish two things above all others: how complicit UK agents have been in the practice of torture, and how far up the chain of command knowledge of that complicity goes.”

    The salinet points are:-

    1. A Judicial Inquiry, will be constrained by considerations of:-

    i) Who heads the Inquiry

    ii) What are the terms of reference

    iii) The degree to which public

    representations are permissible

    iv) The final report and

    recommendations made

    v) What, if anything, is finally

    done that is effective, based

    upon the Inquiry’s

    recommendations ( assuming that

    anything of substance even

    emerges out of the Inquiry).

    It would actually be the government investigating the government’s actions on the government’s own terms of reference.

    If a truly independent body of concerned citizens did in fact investigate, there might then be a better chance of the truth emerging, and something effective being done, if the government were bound to act upon those “independent” recommendations.

    However, the system is as it is ?” and the government might investigate the government’s action, and then profess that there has been an independent inquiry.

    2.”how far up the chain of command knowledge of that complicity goes.”?

    This point is a far simpler one to respond to. The answer is ?” the complicity goes right to the top. How else would that level of government involvement take place?:-

    i) The UK permits rendition flights into UK territories ?” so would this not suggest, at the very least, approval at ministerial and cabinet level?

    Having said that ?” is there any realistic prospect that Tony Blair or his successor(s) will bring political compatriots at the top to book? I think not.

    But I think that some sort of legal charade might be played out ?” then middle ranked officials somewhere up the ladder can become the sacrificial lambs.

    3.The truth may be implied and be known by way of intelligent inference drawn from a judicial inquiry ?” as with the “Mishcon letter” in the Princess Diana inquiry. In the note Princess Diana warned that she would be murdered. Surprise, surprise ?” she was not a clairvoyant.And likewise, the truth will not be honestly stated by the establishment, in any inquiry involving official complicity in torture, and the criminality at teh top will not be squarely addressed ?” it would take a revolution to do that.

    That’s how systems work, with denials, cover-ups, the invoking of legal concepts of privilege, reliance on concepts of national security, use of every conceivable device to provide a rationale for torture, then ultimately the responsibilities are shielded, and shelter is found for those at the top who made the decisions for which they will be exonerated of complicity.

    Which brings us full circle right back to the prevailing corruption in Parliament, as it exists elsewhere in government – which any judicial inquiry into the British Government’s complicity with torture, will make clear, if not be express admission, then by way of intelligent inferences.

    Aluta continua!

  • mary

    I came across this aeticle on Information Clearing House by David Leigh (it was originally in the Guardian)

    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22742.htm

    UK Forces Taught Torture Methods

    The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources.

    The techniques devised in the system, called R2I – resistance to interrogation – match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

    One former British special forces officer who returned last week from Iraq, said: “It was clear from discussions with US private contractors in Iraq that the prison guards were using R2I techniques, but they didn’t know what they were doing.”

    He said British and US military intelligence soldiers were trained in these techniques, which were taught at the joint services interrogation centre in Ashford, Kent, now transferred to the former US base at Chicksands.

    “There is a reservoir of knowledge about these interrogation techniques which is retained by former special forces soldiers who are being rehired as private contractors in Iraq. Contractors are bringing in their old friends”.

    /….contd

    I assume that these horrific methods used in Iraq will be used in Afghanistan and on the NW Frontier of Pakistan.

Comments are closed.