Records published under Britain’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Act have compounded concerns that the UK government lobbied US officials to keep Britain’s role in CIA torture and rendition out of a soon-to-be published Senate report.
Newly-released data reveals Britain’s ambassador to the US, Peter Westmacott, engaged in at least 21 separate meetings with members of the US Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) prior to its publication of this report, heightening existing allegations that the British government may be seeking to sanitize the document.
– Aussie Govt. Whitewashes FBI Assassination/Rendition Try For Former Spy (Veterans Today, Oct 9, 2012)
– The Truth About The Woman Who Stopped The 2007 Invasion Of Iran (Veterans Today)
Amnesty International has accused the EU being “weak” and failing to protect human rights, citing the bloc’s tolerance of the CIA’s rendition flights and secret detention programme.
The group said several European countries had repeatedly violated rulings by the European Court of Human Rights against the return of terror suspects to countries where they are at risk of torture.
The human rights group’s annual global report, released on Thursday, also noted “clear accountability gaps” in the EU’s foreign policy.
It cited the bloc’s “weak and incoherent” response to a UN report which found that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza in 2009, and to similar allegations against government forces in Sri Lanka.
Amnesty also criticised the UN for its failure to intervene during the fighting in Sri Lanka. Thousands were killed during the war, and the UN at the time described the conflict as a “bloodbath”.
Amnesty also accused the EU and the US of using their influence with the UN Security Council to “shield” Israel from accountability in Gaza.
There is no change:
“The Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration’s shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions,” said Ben Wizner, an ACLU lawyer representing the five men, in a press release. “The CIA’s rendition and torture program is not a ’state secret;’ it’s an international scandal.
If the Obama administration has its way, no torture victim will ever have his day in court, and future administrations will be free to pursue torture policies without any fear of liability.”
Here is what consequences this could have for every human being on earth. They can do this to everyone in their way:
MILAN/ROME (Reuters) – An Italian judge sentenced 23 Americans to up to eight years in prison on Wednesday for the abduction of a Muslim cleric, in a symbolic condemnation of the CIA “rendition” flights used by the former U.S. government.
The Americans were all tried in absentia because the United States refused to extradite them.
The U.S. State Department expressed its disappointment with the verdict, the first of its kind, but campaigners who have long complained that the renditions policy violated basic human rights said the ruling set an important precedent.
“This decision sends a clear message to all governments that even in the fight against terrorism you can’t forsake the basic rights of our democracies,” said prosecutor Armando Spataro.
This is a MUST-READ.
This is “winning the hearts and minds of people” in action. This is how the US creates real terrorists.
Soldiers wake up! You die for nothing in Afghanistan except corporate profit benefiting only the elite.
The following videos were posted to YouTube by the Real News Network on Oct. 26 and Nov. 4, 2009.
The CIA relied on intelligence based on torture in prisons in Uzbekistan, a place where widespread torture practices include raping suspects with broken bottles and boiling them alive, says a former British ambassador to the central Asian country.
Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland and until 2004 the UK’s ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the CIA not only relied on confessions gleaned through extreme torture, it sent terror war suspects to Uzbekistan as part of its extraordinary rendition program.
“I’m talking of people being raped with broken bottles,” he said at a lecture late last month that was re-broadcast by the Real News Network. “I’m talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession. I’m talking of people being boiled alive. And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA, and was being passed on.”
Human rights groups have long been raising the alarm about the legal system in Uzbekistan. In 2007, Human Rights Watch declared that torture is “endemic” to the country’s justice system.
Murray said he only realized after his stint as ambassador that the CIA was sending people to be tortured in Uzbekistan, country he describes as a “totalitarian” state that has never moved on from its communist era, when it was a part of the Soviet Union.
Suspects in Uzbekistan’s gulags “were being told to confess to membership in Al Qaeda. They were told to confess they’d been in training camps in Afghanistan. They were told to confess they had met Osama bin Laden in person. And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed these themes.”
“I was absolutely stunned — it changed my whole world view in an instant — to be told that London knew [the intelligence] coming from torture, that it was not illegal because our legal advisers had decided that under the United Nations convention against torture, it is not illegal to obtain or use intelligence gained from torture as long as we didn’t do the torture ourselves,” Murray said.
IT’S THE PIPELINE, STUPID
Murray asserts that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting natural gas out of the region.
Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.
“The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan,” Murray noted.
“The Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration’s shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions,” said Ben Wizner, an ACLU lawyer representing the five men, in a press release. “The CIA’s rendition and torture program is not a ‘state secret;’ it’s an international scandal. If the Obama administration has its way, no torture victim will ever have his day in court, and future administrations will be free to pursue torture policies without any fear of liability.”
Change you can believe in!
The American Civil Liberties Union had strong words on Friday for the Obama administration’s efforts to block the release of torture photos and its attempts to end a lawsuit over extraordinary rendition.
The ACLU criticized the White House’s deal with Congress, struck on Thursday, which eliminated a provision in a military financing bill that would have blocked the release of torture photos – but only after President Barack Obama promised to “use every legal and administrative remedy” available to keep the photos from the public.
“Keeping the photos secret while letting the high level perpetrators off the hook cannot be tolerated if we are to get an America we can be proud of again,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU. “This information is necessary to create an accurate historical record and to force an increasingly recalcitrant Justice Department to undertake a criminal investigation of those who authorized and implemented the Bush administration’s torture program.”