Wednesday, February 08, 2012

More British war crimes in Iraq

Another day, another exposure of British war crimes in Iraq and their complicity in US torture. Today its the story of Tariq Sabri al-Fahdawi, who was beaten to death by British soldiers in a helicopter. The Ministry of Defence lied about his death, lied about why he was in the helicopter, and didn't even bother to verify his identity. The reason? Because they were covering up a darker secret - that the victim was being transported to a US black site notorious for torture - making the RAF complicit in the disappearance and torture of Iraqis:

The holding facility appears effectively to have been a secret prison – a so-called black site. It is entirely possible, according to international law experts, that taking prisoners to H1 could amount to "unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement", and that the prisoners were subjected to "enforced disappearances", both of which are war crimes under the Rome statute of the international criminal court.


According one well-placed source with knowledge of Operation Raker, the RAF police investigation into the death, there were some at the MoD who were concerned about the possible consequences of a more thorough inquiry: people who were filled with dread at the thought that it could lead to accusations that British forces and others had been involved in crimes against humanity.

But it gets worse: the British weren't just providing transport, but had a special forces unit serving as a snatch squad, disappearing people so they could be tortured. They may also have had staff from MI6 involved in the interrogations - which included waterboarding and rape. When a British soldier went public about this, their government used the courts to silence him.

These are the actions of a government deeply complicit in crimes against humanity, and desperate to cover up that fact. They should not be allowed to. Instead, there must be full transparency - and full accountability. Only by bringing every single one of those involved in these crimes to justice can we prevent them from happening again.