Saturday, September 10, 2011

How the UK Learned from its US Master

The world is well aware of the crimes of George Bush with his secret prisons and torture regime. But with the fall of Gaddafi, the UK is now getting its chance to shuck and jive in the public limelight and offer up excuses and the necessary exculpations for its behaviour. From an article in the UK's Guardian newspaper:
Sami al-Saadi is considering whether to sue the British government after he and his family were 'rendered' in an operation between MI6 and Gaddafi's intelligence services

A Libyan Islamist has told how he and his family were imprisoned after being "rendered" in an operation MI6 hatched in co-operation with Muammar Gaddafi's intelligence services. The rendition occurred shortly before Tony Blair paid his first visit to the dictator.

Sami al-Saadi, his wife and four children, the youngest a girl aged six, were flown from Hong Kong to Tripoli, where they were taken straight to prison. Saadi was interrogated under torture while his family were held in a nearby cell.

"They handcuffed me and my wife on the plane, my kids and wife were crying all the way," he told the Guardian. "It was a very bad situation. My wife and children were held for two months, and psychologically punished. The Libyans told me that the British were very happy."

Saadi says he is now considering whether to sue the British government, making him the second Libyan rendition victim to threaten legal proceedings in less than a week.

The evidence that the family were victims of a British-led rendition operation is contained in a secret CIA document found in the abandoned office of Moussa Koussa, Gaddafi's former intelligence chief, in Tripoli last week.

In London, meanwhile, an official inquiry into Britain's role in torture and rendition since 9/11 says the government has provided information about the UK's role in the affair, and Whitehall sources defended intelligence agencies' actions by saying they were following "ministerially authorised government policy".

It is the first time evidence has emerged that the British intelligence agencies ran their own rendition operation, as opposed to co-operating with those that were mounted by the CIA.
Go read the whole article.

Democracy only works if government is transparent. When governments have secret armies, especially secret torture chambers, carrying out crimes on "behalf of the people" for which the people do not agree and are horrified to discover, then you don't have a legitimate government. Apparently this simple truth hasn't yet registered on the US or UK governments. You can't run secret "wars" and commit "secret crimes" on behalf of a democratic people if you don't tell them what you are up to and get their permission.

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