5 March 2009

New Labour and Torture

Britain’s involvement in torture is too well documented now for Miliband to claim that it is contrary to New Labour policy.

It is not simply a matter of Britain standing quietly on the sidelines while the US did it, reprehensible as that would be. MI5 interrogators have sat in rooms feeding questions to torturers plying their trade in the room next door. CIA planes carrying people for torture travelled through Britain and used British overseas territories. And so on.

Put simply, Bush applauded torture (e.g. waterboarding, extraordinary rendition to secret prisons); Obama says it should stop. Your government, a puppet of the US in foreign policy matters, has been a lying and cowardly accomplice in torture.

It is the British government which does not want the details of Binyam’s torture at the hands of the Americans to be made public for the suspected reason that the details would show British involvement.

Torture is a terrible crime and is always wrong; and your government’s hands are stained with that crime.

Another point is this. The Bush Administration openly used torture (waterboarding. Gitmo, rendition to secret prisons, etc); and Britain was a subservient junior partner in that project.

In the US, however, the administration has changed. Obama says he wants torture to stop. Yet in London, New Labour limps on, subservient as ever to the US, but now to a US under new management. Today Miliband et al are pleading with the US to conceal its collaboration with torture under the previous administration.

This New Labour government is an embarrassment and disgrace to the people of this country.

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