Thursday, February 11, 2010

Espionage, Torture and those seven paragraphs

For a telling commentary on yesterdays Appeal Court decision in the Binyam Mohamed torture evidence case, have a look at Obsolete's Blog. The whole thing is worth reading but a couple of quotes:
Reading the seven paragraphs that have finally been released detailing the CIA's treatment of Binyam Mohamed after today's ruling by the Court of Appeal, it's initially difficult to know quite why the government was so determined that they should remain secret. They tell us absolutely nothing that we didn't already know: that the US was systematically mistreating almost anyone that came into their custody in either Afghanistan or Pakistan; that this was just the start of the torture regime which Binyam Mohamed found himself under; that the CIA, despite the claims of our security services, had been letting them know just what they were doing to individuals connected to this country; and that despite knowing full well that what the CIA was doing to Mohamed at this early stage would breach our obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights, as found during the 1970s when the "five techniques" were outlawed in Northern Ireland, they did absolutely nothing to intervene to stop his mistreatment
Indeed, the only reason why the Court of Appeal decided that seven paragraphs could today be published was that far more gruesome evidence of the torture which Mohamed underwent was released by a US court in a judgement in November of last year. Lord Neuberger quotes from it in his section of today's ruling (paragraph 126):

[Mr Mohamed's] trauma lasted for two long years. During that time, he was physically and psychologically tortured. His genitals were mutilated. He was deprived of sleep and food. He was summarily transported from one prison to another. Captors held him in stress positions for days at a time. He was forced to listen to piercingly loud music and the screams of other prisoners while locked in a pitch-black cell. All the while, he was forced to inculpate himself and others in various plots to imperil Americans.
At page 58, she said that "[t]he [US] Government does not challenge or deny the accuracy of [Mr Mohamed's] story of brutal treatment" and repeated that point at pages 62 and 64. On pages 61-2, she said that his "persistence in telling his story" and "very vigorous… and very public ... pursu[ance of] his claims in the British courts" indicated that his evidence was true and "demonstrates his willingness to test the truth of his version of events in both the courts of law and the court of public opinion". In the passage just quoted from page 70 of her Opinion, she referred to Mr Mohamed's "lengthy prior torture" as an established fact.
Compared to the seven paragraphs we have today, it doesn't really get much more damning.
It moved me to make the following comment:

This sort of stuff really is your forte Obsolete. That is one cracking analysis which I wouldn't presume to add to, other than with a rather apposite quotation from Joseph Persico's 'Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage' (hat tip to Cryptome)

Espionage involves peeking at the other fellow's hand, marking the cards, cooking the books, poisoning the well, breaking the rules, hitting below the belt, cheating, lying, deceiving, defaming, snooping, eavesdropping, prying, stealing, bribing, suborning, burglarizing, forging, misleading, conducting dirty tricks, dirty pool, skulduggery, blackmail, seduction, everything not sporting, not kosher, not cricket. In short, espionage stands virtue on its head and elevates vice instead.

- all to further our mission to do good in the world naturally - so that's OK then.

Some things never change eh? and despite all the pompous, ridiculous - not to say comical if it weren't so damned depressing - protestations of their apologists (well he would say that wouldn't he? - aka Mandy Rice Davies) the routine behaviour of our own SIS's are most certainly no exception.

Does ANYONE seriously believe that this will have ANY effect other than to make them and their political puppets - to whom offers may be made that simply cannot be refused - that much more careful, deceptive - and all the other attributes mentioned above - when going about their business of protecting us from their manufactured and calibrated milieu of TERROR?

After all, Robert Cecil is their archetype - and we STILL celebrate his brilliant 'just-in-time' capture and execution of those dastardly gunpowder plotters some 400 years later eh?

Indeed some thing never NEVER CHANGE and the Sheeple remain as credulous as ever.

Hat tip to 'Deep Politics Forum' for the picture 

Update: This post was prompted by 'Obsolete's' take on the '7 paragraphs'. His subsequent posts on the matter are well worth reading too:

Scum-watch: Whose side are you on? - This is one of his routine demolitions of our appalling tabloid press. The Sun in this case, though there is precious little to choose between them in the utter garbage stakes apart from contrived left-right biases. Of course, like the sheep-dog in the picture above, their real purpose is to herd the sheeple while dividing them over trivia.

The seven paragraphs fallout continues

1 comment:

  1. james8:29 am

    I went and had a look at Obsolete's post and was struck fair between the eyes by that quote of Jack Straw's.

    If I ever need an example of what's beyond 'chutzpah', that's it. It's hard not to use expletives!