Monday, May 16, 2011

National covers up torture

Last month, allegations were made suggesting that the government's policy on prisoner transfers in Afghanistan had made the SAS complicit in torture, in clear breach of domestic and international law. The allegations are serious and backed by multiple witnesses; on the face of it, the government has a case to answer. The best way to answer that case is through an independent inquiry. Such an inquiry must get to the truth, uncover any wrongdoing, ensure prosecutions if necessary, and ensure that the policy is changed so that nothing like this ever happens again.

Last week, the government had a chance to establish such an inquiry, though the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. They voted against it. By doing so, the National Party MPs on that committee - Jacqui Dean, John Hayes, Paul Hutchison, and Todd McClay - have made themselves complicit in torture, accessories after the fact. They have brought Parliament, this country, and themselves into disrepute. But that's what happens when you fight other people's wars and ally yourself with torturers: you end up complicit in their crimes.

(As for the MP's themselves, people shouldn't vote for people who cover up for torture. Remember that on election day, and de-elect these scum).