Tuesday, July 22, 2008

With Friends Like These...

As reported yesterday by UK's The Guardian:
In a damning criticism of US integrity, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said ministers should no longer take at face value statements from senior politicians, including George Bush, that America does not resort to torture in the light of the CIA admitting it used "waterboarding." The interrogation technique was unreservedly condemned by Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who said it amounted to torture.
This is our #1 ally in Afghanistan, Iraq, and against global terrorism, saying that we are not to be trusted when it comes to claims that "we do not torture." This could have serious implications in the future when the US asks the UK to extradite prisoners.

Not to be satisfied with simply blaming the US, the MPs, in a multi-party approach, turned their microscope on their own government, challenging them to see that they were not used by the Americans to assist in rendition flights. As the Guardian articles notes:
The UK had repeatedly accepted assurances that it had not, but it was discovered earlier this year that two rendition planes refuelled on the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

In fact the tiny island archipelago, which I visited in summer 1995, was used as a detention center to hold US suspects, a way station when rendering suspects in US custody to countries where torture bans did not apply.

Given that the UK is calling us out on our denials about torture, while at the same admitting that it too participated in such acts, it's a pretty scathing illustration of how far we've fallen as a nation.

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