Who Cares About Torture in the UK? 89


This is perhaps the best of eleven analyses I have found so far on major US blogs of the new material I recently posted proving a UK ministerial policy of torture.

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/07/01/torture-and-truth/

I have done numerous foreign press interviews in the last two days, including Liberation, Boston Globe and Der Spiegel. But I got the brush off from the Guardian and Telegraph, no response from sending the documents to Channel 4 and the BBC, in fact precisely zilch from the UK media. What is wrong with this country?


89 thoughts on “Who Cares About Torture in the UK?

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  • Tom Welsh

    Eric Hoffer nailed this syndrome long ago:

    “To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth. Though it is held before our eyes, pushed under our noses, rammed down our throats ?” we know it not”.

  • brian

    First of all can I just say I am as convinced as anyone here that the war criminals we’ve just voted out are complicit in torture.

    Secondly I’m perhaps a bit more hopeful than some here that the Lib Dems in government can genuinely be a force for good to counter this evil.

    I’ve offered this line before and Craig’s jumped all over me but, the trouble with Craig’s heavily redacted documents from the previous post is that there is no smoking gun. They discuss in principle whether it is an offence to possess torture derived intelligence and that there is a risk this offence might be occurring, it does not explicitly show that it did happen.

    It just seems to me that an incriminating paragraph would consist of two sentences.

    1. We, HMG, are knowingly and currently making use of information gathered using torture.

    2. We do not think there is a legal problem with the possession of torture derived information.

    We have sentence number 2, but not sentence number 1. We all know it happened, but sentence number 1 is still behind the black marker pen.

  • Anonymous

    The practice of ethics in this country/world is approaching the non-existent.

  • Anonymous

    You’ve been told what’s wrong with this country numerous times, but didn’t do anything about it, which is also something that’s wrong with the country. Disconnect from the puppet politics. Ignore them and dont’ pay tax.

  • Bert

    I’d say that no-one is going near the subject of torture, becasue any digging around the subject of UK knowledge of torture would axpose the case of Salahuddin Amin – associated with the Operation Crevice case. The Crevice case (which is intertwined with the 7/7 case more than they’d want us to know) hinged on the confessions extracted from Salahuddin Amin by the Pakistan ISI (under knowledge of the UK authorities), and on the testimony of overworked Al Queda supergrass Mohammed Jaunid Babar – see details here:

    http://tinyurl.com/2yuwht .

    Also, unprecedented measures were required in UK courts (see http://tinyurl.com/33pkavg ), all in the name of ‘National Security’ of course.

    A full investigation of UK involvement with torture would/should expose these nefarious connections.

    I guess that is why there is no pick up by the compliant media.

    Shameful

  • Anonymous

    Nevermind Bert, we’ll just vote in some politicians that will uncover and cure everything. Whoops!

  • Anonymous

    ‘no response from sending the documents to Channel 4 and the BBC’

    Anyone taking up the offer at ‘Channel 4 and the BBC’ would be out of a job, within seconds.

    What we need is a peoples tv station, hmmm, it would never be allowed an operating licence.

    Look on the bright side, we live in a free and democratic democracy, we are told that by successive governments and the media, so it must be true.

  • Bert

    ^

    Big Whoops indeed.

    No that won’t happen & never will, but it doesn’t stop me highlighting /exposing this info.

  • King David

    Heard in the corridors of MI5 – thanx R

    Seems like Joe needs reminding again of ‘the threat’ talk to ‘N’

  • Anonymous

    Bert I wasn’t being personal. Your comment was dead on.

    I’m just saying, we are forced to live with a shit government which is forcing a shit system upon us with increasing levels of shittyness every month and we keep voting for that shit again and again even though we know it’s shit. WE are responsible for its perpetuation. The shits are us I’m afraid.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m just saying, we are forced to live with a shit government which is forcing a shit system upon us with increasing levels of shittyness every month and we keep voting for that shit again and again even though we know it’s shit. WE are responsible for its perpetuation. The shits are us I’m afraid.”

    Cheer up!

  • ingo

    Thanks for those links bert and thanks for all that shit at July, so nice to wallow in its perpetuation innit?

    As experienced at every election, one can believe that this self perpetuation has something to do with a defect in the national psyche, a political apathy gene that periodically comes to the fore and induces a national feeling for more of the same, not unlike masochists screaming for more and more…….shit.

  • Vronsky

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this country that isn’t wrong with every other one, and to about the same degree. Nor do I think that this is a new situation – it has always been this way, and the difference betwen a dictatorship and a democracy is merely one of method. Democracy is the most readily sustainable form of dictatorship, requiring only a modest internal security service and a captive press.

    What might be new is the widening understanding of the problem, thanks to the internet. The government’s position seems to be that it doesn’t matter if a few vocal people know what’s happening – they can simply be ignored. There is of course precedent for this hope – every government crime in history was understood as such by at least some of the population. In this context, the regular appearance on these threads of trolls seems to suggest an elevated level of establishment concern. It’s sad to note that there seem to be very few blogs worthy of their attention.

  • Clark

    Political apathy is cultivated. Yes, there’s a lot of shitty shit; is it any surprise that the majority don’t want to put their hands into it?

  • Clark

    “What is wrong with this country?”

    Not enough?!

    When things are basically OK for people, they have no incentive to become activists. People can eat, they have homes, healthcare, some luxuries.

    “Torture is something foreign governments do to foreign people. I don’t have time for all that, I have a mortgage to pay, and mouths to feed. I vote for X to keep Y out of power. I get my news from a reputable paper / TV station, you can’t believe all this minority stuff on the Internet, which I don’t have time to research. And what could I do about it anyway?”

  • Roderick Russell

    Craig, I think I can answer your question. It’s not so much what is wrong with the country as what is wrong with its press and human rights agencies. How can one expect the government or parliament (or people) to risk dealing with real human rights issues if the press and human rights industry are scared to back them up?? Yes, it’s true that we are lions dealing with Pinochet types thousands of miles away where neither our establishment, or MI5 / MI6 are involved. But involve either MI5/MI6 or the establishment and OMERTA becomes the order of the day.

    As an example, take the Lahane case I recently referred to on this blog. As the review of the book “UNPERSON A Life Destroyed” stated he ?” “refused to work undercover for the CIA and MI5”; they then in revenge “spread rumors that he was insane, an alcoholic and a serial rapist” . What is appalling to me about this case is that it seems that the press lacked the courage even to defend one of its own from abuses by MI5 ?” so how can one expect cases such as mine or these central Asian ones to be dealt with honestly.

    The publisher of Mr. Lahane’s story subsequently commented in Media Lens about our press, saying this ?” “We used to have a press that was noted for its investigative tradition. Now, seemingly, it has become too scared to tackle a subject where human liberty is sacrificed to condone those elements in government willing to abuse the power they hold from an invisible position in an unaccountable cause.”

    Take my own case and my experience with the Guardian and Amnesty International that is well documented in my WIKI (click on my signature to see). At the time I thought the behavior of these two organizations was shocking; now I just think it is rather pathetic. A good analogy I would suggest for the double standard and craven attitude of our Press and Human Rights Industry on issues that involve our establishment or MI5 / MI6 is this: They are a little like a Gelding in the presence of a Mare: they like to whiney a lot about other human rights issues elsewhere, but they haven’t got the balls to deal with human rights issues in front of them that involve MI6 or the establishment.

  • Ruth

    Roderick,

    What we need to do is set up our own human rights organisation which deals exclusively with people who have been abused by UK state agencies. I think significant underlying patterns will emerge. Isolated we can’t be as efffective as we would be together.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, the Lahane story is a case-in-point. A journalist who was targeted, his life destroyed, simply because he refused to spy for the hard state. He hadn’t done anything wrong, he was no threat – in fact, he hadn’t done anything at all. It seems to have been done simply in order to teach him, and others, a lesson, to deliver a message widely. A message of threat.

  • Malcolm Pryce

    Vronsky

    I think your point is spot on. There is nothing new here – we were, by all accounts, torturing a-plenty during the Mau Mau uprising. The difference, as you say, is the internet and the access it grants us to the information. That’s the good news. The bad news, of course, is the elites know this too. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they attempt to control the net. I’m not sure if they will succeed, but I am sure they will try.

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone else noticed, that any organisation that comes into being that will have any detrimental effect on the status quo is taken over/infiltrated or just destroyed. The Labour party, TUC, BBC, Media, are examples. How many ex-trade union leaders are now in the house of Lords, or have been elevated to the house of Lords in the past?, a lot. There are a lot of very intelligent people out there that have just given up the fight, they think that what they are up against cannot be beaten.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Of course, anonymous poster, the structure will either co-opt, marginalise or destroy. Nonetheless, they don’t get everyone. No, no. Resistance is NOT futile!

  • Ruth

    I count it a victory each time somebody becomes more knowledgeable about the true state of affairs in the UK.

  • tony_opmoc

    Although I do not post here any more, I do occasionally mention Craig Murray elsewhere. Good to see that some real progress is apparently being made.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cameron-to-launch-inquiry-into-mi5-torture-allegations-2014031.html#comment-59969822

    tony_opmoc [Moderator] 2 days ago

    This is highly encouraging. However there is evidence, that some members of the UK Government itself were made fully aware, that torture was taking place, and that they did nothing to stop it. In fact there are serious allegations, that some individuals in Government not only did nothing to stop it, but went to great lengths to cover it up. This in fact was the subject of the UN Convention Against Torture Joint Committee on Human Rights attended by Craig Murray – Former Ambassador to Uzbekistan. There has been very little publicity about this, and it appears that the media has been complicit in its suppression, even though the inquiry took place in open session in the UK Parliament. I am not a journalist. Why was this not broadcast by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 or SKY – or at least some news reference to it? Less than 5,000 people have watched this in over a year. What exactly are journalists for? What purpose do they serve? Shouldn’t they be finding out the truth and publicising it. How can anyone accept Torture as being acceptable under any circumstances?

    youtube.com/watch?v=LF9spgagSHI

    Tony

  • nextus

    Employers have an unwritten rule that you must not damage the interests of the company/institution/state. I often heard “off the record” stories about failed whistleblowing attempts when I related my own gripes. Nonetheless, the advice was usually to toe the line for the sake of self-protection. Sad, but all too common. And yes, having fought the system, I have to say you have be genuinely prepared to lose everything.

    Lots of mainstrean organisations are staffed by former activists who had once been very passionate about principles (to the point of being arrested on demonstrations) but gave up fighting because they realised they couldn’t beat the system. A pal had a good word for them: she called them “de-activists”

    🙂

  • tony_opmoc

    Unless people who are in a position to do so, have a little courage to stand up against “authority”, initially to point out in the strongest terms that something is very wrong, sometimes completely by-passing the chain of command, then it is not just the individual who will lose “everything”, which in most cases merely means getting fired – but we all lose everything.

    Our humanity is destroyed. Our planet is destroyed.

    I can point out numerous examples – for example BP and The Gulf of Mexico.

    I think “Western” Democracy over the past 15 years have totally and completely Lost The Plot.

    We deserve everything we get, because we have lost our courage and we have lost our morality.

    We have become Pathetic.

    Tony

  • Anonymous

    Suhayl Saadi

    Why is it that I keep thinking that the recent expenses scandal was set up to get rid of some from the commons?. To get new and more right wing MPs in?. A new intake of MPs that would be more supportive for extreme measures should things get out of hand. I just find it strange that it all happened at the time it did and the way it did.

  • tony_opmoc

    Scouse Billy,

    I have played my guitar every single day since it arrived about 3 months ago, when I was last up in Lancashire. I am back up in Scouse land now, and have just picked up my Father-in-Law from a Scouse hospital. He’s just had a scouse ticker fitted. Hopefuly it will give him a new lease in life such that he will make 100. He ain’t that far off.

    I brought my guitar with me – my old one actually. I wouldn’t trust my new one with all these thieving scousers everywhere.

    Tony

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