Tony Blair’s approach to torture

This entry was posted on
Monday, February 27th, 2006
8:59 am and is filed
under Tony ‘King Blair.

Observer – Using terror to fight terror: The first English-speaking prisoners to be freed from Guantanamo, they told of abusive interrogation sessions, of worthless false ‘confessions’ and frequent beatings by an ‘immediate reaction force’ of guards. In the days after the story’s publication, government agencies on both sides of the Atlantic did what they could to neutralise its influence. In the US, Pentagon spokesmen told reporters that the Tipton Three’s claims were simply untrue. According to Steve Rodriguez, Guantanamo’s chief interrogator, he and his staff had gathered intelligence so valuable that, ‘We have been able as a result of information gained here to take operational actions, even military campaigns.’ As the New York Times dutifully recorded, he emphatically denied ‘the specific allegations of mistreatment made by prisoners recently returned to Britain’. Less than three months later, internal US administration memos confirmed that the treatment described by the three men corresponded exactly to official Pentagon policy. In London, the spin machine chose Trevor Kavanagh, then political editor of The Sun. Sourcing his claims to the London US embassy, he wrote that two of the three Tipton men had trained to be killers at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in 2000 – ignoring the fact that MI5 had already proved that they did not leave Britain at any time that year. Kavanagh quoted an anonymous cabinet minister: ‘God knows why we are bringing these people back to Britain. The best thing that could happen is that they fell out of the plane somewhere over the Atlantic.’

Short version: Forget the foreigners and foreign nationals; Mr Liberty only campaigned for the Brits to be released… and when they were released he sought to downplay revelations of torture by briefing against them. What a guy.

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