Thursday, July 10, 2014

How convenient

The other day we learned that the Home Office had conveniently "lost" 114 files on alleged child abuse by senior members of the British establishment. But its not just them: it turns out that the Foreign Office - which was caught last year running its own illegal secret archive - has "lost" files on rendition and torture:

The government's problems with missing files deepened dramatically when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK's role in the CIA's global abduction operation had been destroyed accidentally when they became soaked with water.

In a statement that human rights groups said "smacked of a cover-up", the department maintained that records of post-9/11 flights in and out of Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean, were "incomplete due to water damage".

The claim comes amid media reports in the US that a Senate report due to be published later this year identifies Diego Garcia as a location where the CIA established a secret prison as part of its extraordinary rendition programme. According to one report, classified CIA documents state that the prison was established with the "full cooperation" of the UK government.

Against that background, "water damage" probably means "we threw them in the ocean". And the reason is obvious: because these files would prove absolutely British complicity in US torture, exposing both the government and then-Ministers to civil and possibly criminal charges.

Its another perfect example of how the British establishment protects itself - and of why the UK needs to rid itself of them.