Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Britain is still covering up its role in rendition and torture

First Britain denied any role in the US policy of rendition and torture. Then it said there may have been some inadvertent mistakes. Then it held an inquiry to "draw a line" under the allegations, only to have it collapse due to an utter lack of credibility. And no wonder. Because while they were doing that, they were suppressing key evidence:

Key documents that could shed light on allegations of UK collusion in torture and rendition are being suppressed by the British government. The newly uncovered files include confidential exchanges between former PM Tony Blair and former president George Bush about treatment of detainees at Guantanamo. Possibly most significant are five other documents, communications between the former UK foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and former US secretary of state, Colin Powell, expressing interest and concern about the welfare and legal status of UK detainees at Guantanamo.

While the documents may relate to casual expressions of care for the welfare of UK citizens, former detainees have alleged that British officials have either been present at, or submitted questions for, “extreme” interrogation by US officials. The US government has been required to make public a large number of files which relate to British involvement in the treatment of prisoners in the years following the 9/11 bombings.

Litigation continues across multiple US departments over the possible release of mainly intelligence-derived documentation. But 12 documents found in the US State Department’s search, not derived from intelligence, were also withheld. These relate to interventions by British politicians and officials over the treatment of detainees and interrogation techniques. In court papers, the State Department reported: “After reviewing the documents, the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office requested that all 12 documents be withheld in full from public disclosure.

[Emphasis added]

Which naturally invites the question: what are they trying to hide? Especially as they also hid most of these documents from their own whitewash inquiries. The obvious implication is that if they were revealed, not even a handpicked establishment stooge would be able to look the other way and avoid allocating blame.

The other thing it highlights is just how central lies and cover-ups are to the British establishment's method of government. When they're caught, they tell everyone that that's all there is to find, while they desperately sweep everything under a different rug. And then when that gets found, they repeat the same lies and "reassurances". And somehow, people keep falling for it. Because, despite the fact that they've lied before, repeatedly, those nice old men in suits wouldn't lie this time, would they? Britain really does get the government it deserves. Though with an unfair electoral system and a society rapidly descending into tyranny, its difficult to see how they could change it, even if they wanted to.