Miliband Lies About Torture 41

David Miliband refused to testify to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights about UK complicity in torture. That in itself is an example of how useless our parliament is and of the contempt in which the executive hold it. Thr JCHR was set up by the Commons and Lords specifically to monitor the UK’s compliance with its international human rights obligations. In the case of a most serious breach, government ministers can simply refuse to appear before the committee. What use is it?

Had Miliband testified at the JCHR, he would have been confronted with my evidence and that of others and expected to respond.

Instead, Miliband appeared before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, with its absolute New Labour majority.

I am in Accra and have not had any internet connection for two days. Today I have, but very very slow and I can’t watch Miliband’s appearance. If I buffer for three minutes I can get a twelve section tape. So I have been sampling his evidence. As far as I can tell nobody confronted him with my evidence. But from around 48 minutes he tells a direct lie, that we do use intelligence from torture but only where it concerns a direct threat to life.

As I testified to the JCHR, the torture material which I was seeing from Uzbekistan plainly did not fall into this category, yet I was told it was “Useful” to the intelligence services and we ahould continue to receive it. The meeting at which Iwas told this was minuted by the FCO.

Our parliament is pathetic in allowing Miliband to testify before a different body to that which heard the contrary evidence. But even so, even from the snatches I have been able to view, Miliband comes over as shifty and the government’s determination to continue receiving intelligence from torture glare through the carefully contrived answers.

Comment from those more able than I to see a fuller part of his evidence would be very welcome.

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41 thoughts on “Miliband Lies About Torture

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  • dreoilin

    Nice one, Polo.

    I haven’t watched Milly’s performance and maybe I’m too late now. The very fact that he had the ability/right to refuse to appear before the same committee as Craig astounded me. Wouldn’t you think the media would hightlight this fact, and say that his very refusal suggested the smelling of a nasty little rat.

  • Anonymous

    Old habits die hard. When DM was at the DfES he got half a million pounds grant for the London Symphony Orchestra when they were skint – coincidentally his wife Louise was on the board of the orchestra at the time.

    Around the same period the orchestra got a big bill from HMRC for non-payment of National Insurance. Same connection with Mr & Mrs Miliband got some help from Gordon Brown to forget about the idea of collecting NHI from orchestras who employ musicians and call them freelance to get round PAYE.

  • mary

    Dreoilin – Long after Miliede has left office this video/audio will be available until June 2010.

    By the way I just love the job title of the biddy sitting alongside him –

    Susan Hyland, Head of Human Rights Democracy and Good Governance Group, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

    So ironic and an absolute joke.

  • Militant

    “There is a need for humility in the West but there is also a need for responsibility from all sides rather than finger pointing.” David Miliband writing on Spirit 21’s blog

  • dreoilin

    Thanks Mary.

    I stopped paying any attention to job titles when binmen (as we always knew them) began to be called Garbage Disposal Engineers. I could probably make up a 13-word title for myself — but not as ironic.

  • avatar singh

    there is no doubt that war criminal tony bastard blair msut be captured by any means and briought to trail -if the british are not going to hand over him to international trial then let others do that. included amonst thse criminals -soon to be condemdned -should be that bastyard blunkett tyhe terrorists and so called justice minister of today-all thse and most ogf the journlaists of england msut be put to trail and lawfully killed after found being accessory to the war crimes.

  • mary

    Did anyone spot Milipede’s claim for his line dancing photos? A laughing stock.

    FOREIGN Secretary David Miliband billed the taxpayer for photos of himself line dancing.

    The South Shields MP has already come under fire over his claims and handed back £434.24 – despite previously saying: “I think that the claims I have made have been right”.

    But he could now face fresh controversy after the Commons authorities released hundreds of pages relating to the office and second home claims of all the country’s MPs.

    Buried deep in the Foreign Secretary’s expenses is a bill for the pictures, with the claim submitted on November 14, 2006.

    An apparent invoice for £50 relates to “Photographs of David Miliband line-dancing at Cleadon Park supplied on CD”.

    Because of swathes of information being blacked out, it is impossible to tell what the photographs were purchased for.

    The Foreign Secretary’s incidental expenses provision claims also show taxpayers being charged £41.13 for an “arrears letter fee” on 23 June 2006.

    It appears to be related to a letter sent by the BNP Paribas lease group relating to an “agreement” dated June 21, 2006 ?” although it is unclear what that is because of information being blacked out.

    The letter, which has Mr Miliband’s name at the top, states that the agreement is £346.85 in arrears.

    It adds: “Please note that late payments may be registered with a Credit Reference Agency and may affect your future credit rating.

    “An arrears admin fee is charged on all overdue payments. An arrears letter fee of £35 plus VAT has been debited to your account and should be included with your payment for the arrears above.”

  • mary

    Another question for Miliband that needs answering honestly if he is capable. Why are we linked up with torturers of this nature and when are we getting out of Afghanistan?

    Allegations of abuse and neglect at a US detention facility in Afghanistan have been uncovered by the BBC.

    Former detainees have alleged they were beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with dogs at the Bagram military base.

    The BBC interviewed 27 former inmates of Bagram around the country over a period of two months.

    The Pentagon has denied the charges and insisted that all inmates in the facility are treated humanely.

    All the men were asked the same questions and they were all interviewed in isolation.

    /…. continues

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