The government admitted today that British troops in Iraq handed over terror suspects to the US, which then secretly rendered them to a prison in Afghanistan.
After a year of allegations and repeated ministerial assurances to the contrary, the admission was made in the Commons by John Hutton, the defence secretary, who apologised to MPs for inaccurate information ministers had previously given them.
He said British soldiers, believed to have been SAS troops, handed over two terrorist suspects to the US in Iraq in February 2004. The men had been captured outside the UK-controlled zone covering south-eastern Iraq.
But Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said damaging “secrets about British complicity in rendition and torture continue to seep out” and a judicial public inquiry into was the “only hope for lancing the boil and moving on”.
The call was echoed by Human Rights Watch, which described the internal review announced by Hutton as an apparent “bureaucratic and documentary exercise designed not to get at the truth but to cover tracks by ring-fencing any incriminating evidence in official records”.
In the Commons, Crispin Blunt, the Tory security spokesman, welcomed the information about the two detainees but said Hutton had left open the “glaring hole” of wider UK complicity in torture. Fellow Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, told Hutton that as ministers had previously denied a number of allegations that turned out to be true, he hoped he could “understand that we have less confidence than we did in assurances being made now”.
In March 2006, Ben Griffin, a former SAS soldier, revealed that Iraqis and Afghans had been captured by British and American special forces and rendered to prisons where they faced torture. The MoD said at the time that it did not comment on the activities of special forces.
The government subsequently obtained a gagging order in the courts preventing Griffin from saying any more.
Not burdened with the wisdom or responsibility of a newspaper I am quite happy to say- they have been lying to cover up their role in torture and continue to do so. Isn’t lying to the House meant to be bit of a no-no? Yet this is odd, no one seems too upset, are they all pretty comfortable with facilitating torture? Resignations, prosecutions, hello? Anyone giving a fuck, or is the new Obama era leading the way, appear contrite while not actually doing that much different. Time for the gagging order to be challenged/lifted and for Ben Griffin to get national exposure for his testimony, or does the mainstream media only like SAS troopers when they write shitty books about ‘slotting ragheads’. Mother hating psycho Hutton (formerly in charge of destroying welfare. See how it goes, you despise the poor then you get to play with torture, oh yeah baby you better believe it’s all connected, sadism abides) peddles this shit-
Hutton said the pair, believed to be Pakistanis, were still being held in Afghanistan. He said they were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned organisation that he said was linked to al-Qaida. The US had assured Britain the two continued to represent “significant security concerns” and it was “neither possible or desirable to transfer them to either their country of detention or country of origin”, Hutton told MPs.
The US had assured him the men were being held in humane conditions and had access to the Red Cross, Hutton said.
Thing is Johnny boy there is ample evidence the US tortures and lies about it, therefore these assurances are worthless and anyone taking them at face value is similarly likely to be seen as co-conspirator in war crimes. Clearly no one fears they will ever have to explain themselves in a court of law and the whole lying to Parliament bit, hey what does it matter, it’s only torture.
Get used to it, that’s where we live now- Hey what does it matter, it’s only torture.