Sunday, November 06, 2005
God Bless Uzbekistan
The reality of Britain's reliance on torture
Craig Murray, British ambassador to Uzbekistan 2002-2004
Torture means the woman who was raped with a broken bottle, and died after 10 days of agony
Published: 27 October 2005
The Government has been arguing before the House of Lords for the right to act on intelligence obtained by torture abroad. It wants to be able to use such material to detain people without trial in the UK, and as evidence in the courts. Key to its case is a statement to the Law Lords by the head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller. In effect she argues that torture works.
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We do not receive torture intelligence from foreign liaison security services sometimes, or by chance. We receive it on a regular basis, through established channels. That plainly makes us complicit. It is worth considering, in this regard, Article 4 of the UN Convention Against Torture, which requires signatories to make complicity with torture a criminal offence.
When I protested about these practices within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, I was told bluntly that Jack Straw and the head of MI6 had considered my objections, but had come to the conclusion that torture intelligence was important to the War on Terror, and the practice should continue. One day, the law must bring them to account.
A final thought. Manningham-Buller is arguing about the efficiency of torture in preventing a terrorist plot. If that argument is accepted, then in logic there is no reason to rely on foreign intermediaries. Why don't we do our own torturing at home?
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UnderTheSameSun.org has posted about this:
Sending People to Be Boiled to Death to "Combat Terrorism": Meet the 21st Century State, and the 21st Century Propaganda System