Mohamed said he was determined that the officer, known only as Officer B, should not be scapegoated. “It’s very important that we get to the truth, for everyone in the future,” he said
So the government in the guise of Baroness Scotland (oh, Labour!) has referred the case of Binyam Mohamed to be investigated by the Met. What exactly is there to investigate? Because we know MI5 was involved, so the govt must know and we know Jack Straw has covered up UK use of information obtained by torture (now tacitly admitted to). So here we are again, a government that has engaged in criminal actions gets another institution to ‘investigate’ the externalities of its criminal policies. Hoping to give the appearance of some naughtiness that no one knew about and a government deeply concerned at getting to the truth.
To the extent this investigation reveals anything prosecutable about senior figures it will be down to the professional pride of detectives willing to buck the institution that employs them, or in other words- don’t hold your breath. Not to mention the Met is acting on behalf of a tortured kidnapped Muslim man, things they are not averse to doing themselves and covering it up for years.
Police officers involved in a “serious, gratuitous and prolonged” attack on a British Muslim man that led the Metropolitan police to pay £60,000 in damages this week have been accused of dozens of previous assaults against black or Asian men.
But the Guardian can reveal that the Met was aware for years that the six officers involved were the subject of repeated complaints. According to documents submitted to the court, four of the officers who carried out the raid on Ahmad’s home had 60 allegations of assault against them – of which at least 37 were made by black or Asian men. One of the officers had 26 separate allegations of assault against him – 17 against black or Asian men.
The Met has confirmed that since 1992 all six officers involved in the Ahmad assault had been subject to at least 77 complaints. When lawyers for Ahmad asked for details of these allegations it emerged that the police had “lost” several large mail sacks detailing at least 30 of the complaints.
A full public judicial inquiry was wanted, this is what the government has done instead so we can also assume this is their tactic for having the appearance of an investigation but one they expect to be able to control by fair means or foul.
Much of the evidence is still being suppressed following gagging orders demanded by David Miliband, the foreign secretary, and the US authorities. Leading politicians and campaigners yesterday said that the issue went far beyond the particular case of Officer B, and that a broader inquiry was needed.
Clearly they hope the Met will not put any of the guilty in jeopardy, other than maybe a sacrificial goat or two. A public enquiry with full subpoena power is the least that is needed to really investigate this. We really need outside investigators from a country not in thrall to us or the US and reporting to the International Criminal Court. Yeah I know.
However- Dear Plod tasked with this, please prove me wrong, go on you’ll enjoy showing a whiny lefty with a blog just how wrong they are. Just one tip though, Tony Blair often has armed bodyguards so when you pull him- full armed response unit. And hey, why not get those officers that offed Jean Charles deMenezes, that Blair is dangerous, he’s heavily implicated in the deaths of over a million people, no point in taking any chances (the rest of the cabinet and Campbell should be easier, they’ll just whine and do the- Don’t you know who I am?- routine).
Meanwhile the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón who went after Pinochet has the six US torture lawyers/weasely cowards in his sights, not quite the top men but pretty close to the top-
- University of California law professor John Yoo
- former Department of Defense general counsel William J. Haynes II (now a lawyer working for Chevron)
- former vice presidential chief-of-staff David Addington
- former attorney general and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales
- former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, now a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith
Notice all the eminent positions they now occupy, ain’t the establishment grand? Of course pressure on Spain may derail this, but I think they should welcome proper judicial process, the alternative can be a lot more…summary. If courts fail because they are in thrall to the powerful, then Natural Law has a place. You feel me torture boys?
A claim letter sent to Government lawyers alleges: “UK intelligence services officers were present whilst Mr Aamer was beaten. They provided information and encouragement to his US torturers. They made no attempt to stop his ill-treatment or any enquiries into his well-being.”