Wednesday, February 4, 2009

UK judges accuse Obama Administration of suppressing torture claim ~Update~

Posted by Christian  |  at  4.2.09



Foreign Secretary David Miliband will address yesterday's report alleging the cover up of the torture of Binyam Mohammed. He will make a statement to the House of Commons.

Miliband was spinning away yesterday saying the Americans made no threat, while at the same time acknowledging the U.S has told Britain there would be serious and lasting harm if this information was published. He went on to tell the BBC,

"If I authorise the sharing of information with another country I don't want them (the judges) to jeopardise our intelligence service by releasing that information against our will."

~end of update~

Say it ain't so Barack! And fast!

Two senior British judges say they have been informed by lawyers for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, (FCO) that the new American administration has extended a threat from the former regime, to stop co-operating with Britain on intelligence matters if they produce evidence showing that a British resident, Binyam Mohammed, held at Guantánamo Bay, had been tortured into confessing crimes.

  Last August, these same two judges discovered that MI5 had taken part in unlawfully interrogating Mr.Mohammed. They ruled that the British Government was under a duty to disclose evidence that it held about Mr.Mohammed's treatment while at Guantanamo.
In an effort conceal their crimes, the Americans objected and issued their ultimatum.

  The British government caved and the judges were forced to edit out any details in any reports written by American intelligence officials. This way, not only are the Americans actions protected, but at least potentially, so are those of the Brits.

  Different media organizations then launched their own legal challenge to have the US reports made public. Today's statement from the judges is a result of their request.

  Downing Street says Gordon Brown was not aware of the US stance, and condemns torture, yada, yada. We shall see.

In a withering ruling that condemned America for a lack of principles, the judges said: "We did not consider that a democracy governed by the rule of law would expect a court in another democracy to suppress a summary of the evidence contained in reports by its own officials . . . relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be.

"Championing the rule of law, not suppressing it, is the cornerstone of a democracy," the judges wrote. He said the US threat was a “matter of utmost importance” and urged the Foreign Secretary to “come clean”.

Campaigners also joined the call for answers, with Mohamed's lawyer Clive Stafford Smith accusing the UK of “capitulation to blackmail, pure and simple”.


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