SNP Hires Abu Ghraib’s CACI For Scottish Census

Which means the SNP are in the shit, the census will be a catastrophe as it will be rightly boycotted and public money will fill the coffers of a corporation that is well known for intimidatory law suits against its critics. Or…the SNP realise they just acted like the worst kind of NuLabour slime and set about finding a way to cancel the contract without paying out huge fees to CACI and they show some realisation that doing business with corporations involved in torture and the war crime of invading Iraq (which erm aren’t the SNP sort of against?) is not how a party acts if it wants y’know… any -more- votes (I mean just what lessons are they drawing from NuLabour’s defeat? -Whoa, cool let’s do what they are doing-?)

Granting CACI (UK) – a subsidiary of the firm accused of torture – the £18.5 million contract has not only badly wounded the SNP government’s claims of being more ethical than Labour and putting human rights at the top of its agenda, but has also led to fears personal data on millions of Scots collected by the company might be sifted by the US government given the close relationship between the Bush administration and the CACI head office in Arlington, Virginia.

Scotland’s leading human rights campaigners have damned the appointment, accusing the SNP of selling its soul, and raised the spectre of a mass boycott of the census by the nation’s population.

Two of Scotland’s leading human rights campaigners savaged the SNP for appointing CACI as the nation’s census-takers. Human rights lawyer John Scott said: “The Scottish government, and any government with a principled stance, should not be going near any firm with such associations, even indirectly.” Scott said he believed the company would be willing to assist the US government in information gathering.

“The government is opening itself up to significant and justified protest,” he said. “Ordinary members of the public could refuse to have anything to do with the census. A boycott is something to be considered. It would be a legitimate step. We cannot ignore our principles.”

Aamer Anwar, another leading Scottish human rights lawyer, said: “The Scottish government was elected on a mandate that it had a human rights conscience and was different to Labour. Now it seems the Scottish government is already closing its eyes to what is going on overseas. Would we say it was OK if a firm connected to Mugabe was hired to run our census? It is unacceptable that they have been hired. This will horrify most ordinary people It is unacceptable that the Scottish government should be selling its soul to an organisation accused of torturing human beings.”

Anwar added that when it came to respecting data privacy “the US government doesn’t give a damn about people’s rights, it’ll gather data in any way possible how can we be sure that the census information will not be handed over to the US government in the interests of homeland security?”

Now the article goes on reporting the legal excuses of both the SNP and the corporation that as CACI personnel have not been convicted, everything is just peachy (Yep, Good Faith is all we need to be innocent for evermore!)

CACI’s problem is, ultimately, with reality. The firm claims that it was vindicated by the military’s investigations into Abu Ghraib, including in a Washington Post editorial by Koegel in which he wrote that “no CACI employee has been charged with any misconduct in connection with interrogation work.” It’s technically true in that no CACI employee has faced formal charges — it’s unclear what jurisdiction civilian contractors in Iraq fall under, if they fall under any — but the Taguba Report (PDF) said that CACI’s Steven Stephanowicz had encouraged MPs under his command to terrorize inmates, and “clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse.”

CACI’s strategy has been two-fold: its flacks have distorted well-documented facts in the public record beyond recognition, and its senior management has lawyered up, suing or threatening to sue just about every journalist, muckraker and government watchdog who’s dared to shine a light on the firm’s unique role as a torture profiteer.

In May Emad Al-Janabi filed a lawsuit against CACI-

a 43-year-old Iraqi blacksmith, who alleges that he was beaten and forced from his home by people in U.S. military uniforms and civilian clothing in September 2003. He was released from Abu Ghraib without charge in July 2004.

The defendants are CACI International Inc. (NYSE: CAI) and CACI Premier Technology, Inc., of Arlington, Va.; L-3 Communications Titan Corporation (NYSE: LLL), of San Diego, Calif.; and former CACI contractor Steven Stefanowicz, a Los Angeles resident known at Abu Ghraib as “Big Steve.”

According to the Complaint, Mr. Al-Janabi was:

• Subjected to physical and mental torture in sessions where the defendants acted as interrogators and translators;

• Transported to a detainee site in a wooden box and covered with a hood;

• Scarred on his face when his eyes were clawed by an interrogator;

• Exposed to a mock execution of his brother and nephew, and told by defendant translators that he would be executed or crushed by a helicopter or a tank;

• Hung upside down, with his feet chained to the steel slats of a bunk bed until he lost consciousness, and hung by his arms;

• Repeatedly deprived of food and sleep; and

• Threatened with dogs.

On Oct. 2, 2003, during a surprise inspection of Abu Ghraib, the International Committee of the Red Cross discovered Mr. Al-Janabi naked, chained and bruised in a cell in the “hard site” of the prison. He was a so-called “ghost detainee” who was intentionally hidden from the Red Cross on subsequent inspections and held without appearing on the prisoner lists.

The lawsuit – which alleges multiple violations of U.S. law, including torture, war crimes, and civil conspiracy – notes that CACI provided interrogators used at Abu Ghraib and that L-3 employed all translators used there. Mr. Stefanowicz was linked to Abu Ghraib abuses in military court martial proceedings and was said to have directed low-level U.S. military personnel in detainee interrogations.

Now a sharp suited corporate stooge might say- ah buy CACI UK is a separate legal entity from its US parent- to which I say

So you don’t want to be associated with them, why’s that if they/you are so innocent?

And …this is how you pressure corporations to act ethically, you withdraw business from them and their subsidiaries, and failing any war crimes trials this is the only responsible recourse at present.

So SNP peeps it’s up to you, do you cheerfully don the clothing of NuLabour and then act all surprised as your support vanishes, or do you make an effort to live up to your rhetoric? Email SNP HQ-

snp.hq@snp.org

(ht2 Red Star Solidarity & Kraant)

PS. The history of govt. ties to CACI is a long and inglorious one, from 2004-

BRITISH Muslims are calling for a boycott of more than 40 UK firms, including Scottish Widows, which are involved with the US- owned corporation accused of directing the torture of Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

Among the firms which use CACI in the UK are Honda, Renault, Barclays, AXA Direct, Friends Provident, House of Fraser, The Woolwich, Cadbury, Unilever, Danone, The Co-op, WH Smith, the Royal Mail, Peugeot, O2 and British Gas. CACI also works for a number of local authorities including Greater London, and British Telecom.

The Department of Health also has three short-term contracts with CACI. Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price has asked Health Secretary John Reid to suspend the contracts, saying taxpayers’ money should not go “to a company linked to one accused of the torture of prisoners of war in Iraq”.

CACI Ltd in the UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of its US parent company CACI International. It has offices in London and Edinburgh. CACI International was hired in America to work with US intelligence services, such as the CIA, and co-ordinated interrogations at Abu Ghraib.

It’s real simple, when one part of your corporation engages in torture for profit you need to make that right, PR and lawyers does the opposite, it screams- we are guilty as hell and this response makes us all complicit in the crimes.

It is now incumbent upon us to demand our government agencies do not give business to a corporation (and its manifest differing legal entities, m’kay?) acting in such a manner.

PS. And some Taguba report cuts featuring CACI-

11. (U) That Mr. Steven Stephanowicz, Contract US Civilian
Interrogator, CACI, 205th Military Intelligence Brigade,
be given an Official Reprimand to be placed in his
employment file, termination of employment, and
generation of a derogatory report to revoke his security
clearance for the following acts which have been
previously referred to in the aforementioned findings:

Made a false statement to the investigation team Read the rest of this entry »