When is torture not a crime? When ‘we’ say so!

'We' make the secret rules, and 'we' hide the truth.

We Brits are a self-righteous lot! We supported the US in an illegitimate invasion of Iraq “to enforce democracy”, we supported their occupation of Afghanistan, we are active in the “war against terrorism” – some real, some imagined; and now it comes to light that, yes, possible torture of suspected “terrorists” was in fact sanctioned by the British government – for almost 10 years, until the so-called rules were re-written in July 2010.

Britain produces mealy-mouthed statements about protecting human rights, the rule of law, upholding democratic accountability, protests the inhumanity of foreign dictators; and then we discover, through The Guardian, that secret service officers (MI5 and MI6) were “allowed to extract information from prisoners being illegally tortured overseas”.[1]

I never voted for Tony Bliar’s labour party when it came to general elections, preferring instead to vote for the Welsh Nationalist party, Plaid Cymru – not because I’m an extremist, but because I am a patriotic Welshman who wants to be represented by like-minded politicians on the domestic and international scene.

So, I was disappointed, dismayed, shocked to read this article in today’s edition of The Guardian. They have read the offending secret document and possess a copy of it, they claim. Yet, this paper will not necessarily be made publicly available to the imminent  official inquiry into British complicity in torture and rendition. No wonder that 10 respected human rights organisations have announced their withdrawal from what will probably turn out to be yet another official whitewash, led by Sir Peter Gibson, a retired judge who previously served as the intelligence services commissioner, the very security services shortly to be scrutinised.

The present government has, mealy-mouthed yet again, declared there is no conflict of interest in his appointment to head the enquiry.

And final discretion as to the public release of documents rests with the UK cabinet secretary.

What a shining example we give (not again!) of our sophisticated democratic ways.

By the way, we never got to the bottom of the conundrum surrounding David Kelly‘s death, either.[2]

Keep passing the whitewash!

Source [1]: The Guardian

Source [2]: Wikipedia

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