How Britain, under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, defends torture

There are times when the Western state is exposed as outright liars.

The case of tortured British citizen Binyam Mohamed is a case in point. The details are astounding. Senior government officials, intelligence services and ministers all lied.

We really shouldn’t be surprised. “Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied“, once wrote Claud Cockburn.

The criminality of the British establishment is clear for all to see:

Since September 11 Britain has connived, wittingly or otherwise, in the secret rendition by the CIA of British residents and others. Mohamed was not the only case. Miliband has had to admit that, contrary to earlier assurances, CIA flights carrying terror suspects for secret interrogation had twice landed on the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia.

Following a number of reports in the media, the cross-party parliamentary intelligence and security committee described in 2007 how MI5 contributed to the seizure of two British residents by the CIA, which secretly flew them to Guantánamo Bay in a move with “serious implications for the intelligence relationship” between Britain and the US.

The Security Service passed information to the Americans on Bisher al-Rawi, an Iraqi, and Jamil el-Banna, from Jordan, as they flew to the Gambia to set up a business there in 2002. Both men had lived in Britain for many years. MI5 alerted the CIA to their trip to Gambia. The CIA ignored MI5’s request that they should not be seized.

Both MI5 and MI6 were “slow to appreciate” the post-September 11 change in US policy, the intelligence and security committee said.

Evidence, from the committee’s reports and elsewhere, shows that MI5, MI6, and military intelligence officers were not trained properly or advised about Britain’s domestic and international obligations in law, including the Geneva conventions.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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