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Britain’s Complicity In Torture And Our Lack Of Moral Authority

By Dark Politricks

Following on from last weeks court judgement which ordered the release of previously blocked American intelligence regarding the torture of a British resident a Mr Binyam Mohamed whilst in custody in Pakistan, its worth looking at some previous claims of torture and the British governments use of intelligence gained from it.

Whilst on the surface like most western democracies the UK wants to project an image of human rights, justice for all and the obedience to the rule of law if you scratch the surface it doesn’t take too long to find some dirt that they would rather not be known. In recent years there have been allegations of collusion in loyalist murders in Northern Ireland, the cutting off of prisoners ears in the Falklands, abuse of prisoners in Iraq and the collusion with the Americans to allow extraordinary rendition and the torture of suspects in far away hell hole prisons.

When will people realise that in the years since 2001 we have lost so much respect from the rest of the world for our sudden decent into medieval practises and whether we do the actual dirty deed ourselves or gain from it by allowing proxies such as the USA or Pakistan to pull the finger nails it doesn’t matter, we have all been tarred with the same brush.

How can we expect to lecture countries like China and Burma on human rights when we employ such double standards ourselves. Having such moral authority was a luxury and an honour but we have thrown that away and cannot expect to regain it any time soon. Not only does it act as a major recruiting tool for those who disagree with our foreign policy but it affects society as a whole and any social worker or teacher can tell you that once violence has become normal behaviour in a family or social group it is very hard to reverse.

How is it that we managed to live out the Cold War, in the shadow of nuclear annihilation, without resorting to such measures. And how did we face down the threat of the IRA, terrorists that lest we forget a large number of Americans supported as they bombed us for over a quarter of a century, an enemy that carried out many more bombing campaigns that Al Qaeda has managed to do without completely changing our way of life.

This was an enemy that regularly caused massive disruption by closing down schools, train stations and city centres with only a phone call during my youth but there was no rush to implement draconian privacy destroying measures such as ID cards, Body Scanners or the technological equivalent of the day. We just got on with our daily lives and didn’t let the killings and bombings change our society as that would have meant the terrorist would have won.

Why is it that a bunch of pissed off Arabs in caves has managed to revert us from a civilised path to one where not only are certain forms of torture not considered as such anymore but whole swathes of the US media are now up in arms calling President Obama weak and dangerous for trying to reverse the recent trend to treat any captured terrorist as a water purifier for the CIA.

There are always loons who think with their fists in any society but it seems that in the US they are in too many positions of power including the government and the main stream media. To me it looks like the terrorists have managed to win as we have become a bunch of scared little children running to government and begging them to protect us whilst we sleep, travel and work.

The following video is Craig Murray who was the UK’s ex ambassador to Uzbekistan giving evidence to a select committee on the use of intelligence gained by torture. Its interesting to note that he worked in a country that used torture as a first resort on prisoners and in his own experience when he had a chance to investigate the intelligence gained from these “interviews” found it to be almost useless even though the intelligence agencies themselves claimed that useful info was often provided through these means.

Its also interesting to note that he wrote twice to the UK government to inform them that intelligence was being gained from torture and that he had no reply on either occasion. When he was called back to the UK and got to discuss the matter he was told that it was better to not put these things in writing. Looks like the Labour government wanted to make use of the intelligence without the public knowing how it was being gathered. In my uninformed youth I always presumed that the Labour party were a pro human rights party but it seems from Mr Murray’s questioning that whereas Mrs Thatcher gave direct orders to the intelligence agencies not to use any info gained by torture the Labour party had no such qualms.

Mr Murray no longer works for the UK government as he was forced out for making his views on Uzbekistan’s policy of torture public.

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