Dual standards apply

#1
From today's Times On Line
March 10, 2005

British agents 'broke rules' in Abu Ghraib
By Jenny Booth, Times Online

British intelligence officers sometimes broke the Geneva Convention while interrogating terror suspects held overseas in controversial US-run prisons, MPs warned today.

UK intelligence personnel from MI6, MI5 and the Defence Intelligence Staff conducted or witnessed just over 2,000 interviews of prisoners held in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq.

Tony Blair has said that information gained from the interviews in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay had made an important contribution to identifying and countering threats from Islamic extremist terrorist activity in the UK.

Amnesty International has complained that information obtained by alleged torture is unreliable and unacceptable.

In a report today, the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee said that MI6 officers were twice involved in questioning Iraqi detainees while they were hooded, in breach of the Convention.

It also found that when concerns were raised by UK intelligence officers about the treatment of prisoners by the Americans, they were not properly followed up with the US authorities.

The Committee, which oversees the work of the intelligence agencies, criticised them for failing to keep ministers properly informed about the interrogations, and about the concerns that had been raised with the US. Concerns were reported on fewer than 15 occasions.

The Committee chairman, senior Labour MP Ann Taylor, said: "We have concluded that the intelligence personnel deployed to Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq were not sufficiently well trained on the Geneva Convention prior to their deployment, nor did they know that the UK had prohibited certain interrogation techniques in 1972.

"As a consequence of this failure in training, MI6 officers in Iraq twice interviewed detainees who were hooded - which is a breach of UK policy."

She added: "Additionally we have concluded that the relevant ministers were not consulted before MI6 and MI5 personnel conducted interviews of detainees in Afghanistan and we recommend that they are consulted prior to such interviews.

"Ministers were also not informed in a timely way about the reports from UK intelligence personnel outlining potential abuse of detainees by the US authorities and we recommend that in future they are informed immediately."

The first incident involving the interrogation of a hooded Iraqi detainee by MI6 officers took place in June 2003. The suspect had been brought in by US guards shackled and hooded. The MI6 officers believe that these measures were for security purposes and were unaware that the hooding was unacceptable to the UK.

In April 2004 a second detainee who was arrested by the Iraqi Civilian Defence Corps was handed over to British military personnel whilst hooded, and remained hooded during an interview with an MI6 officer, who was also not aware of any rules against hooding and thought it was a reasonable measure to protect his own identity.

The report stressed that Britain was not the detaining authority in Guantanamo Bay or - with a few exceptions - in Afghanistan, where access to detainees was controlled by the US authorities.

The agencies were also said to have received intelligence from detainees held by the US to whom they did not have access, and whose locations and terms of detention they did not know - which had proved to be of the "highest value".

The Committee said that because it was "exceptional" for the agencies to interview detainees held by another country as the result of an armed conflict, the ministers concerned should have been consulted prior to the interrogations.

The Committee also stressed that when concerns were raised about the conduct of the US authorities they should be properly followed up by the UK and as far as possible fully investigated.

It said that in future the British Government should seek agreement with its allies on the methods and standards for the detention and interrogation of suspects held in future operations.

But it conceded that US interpretations of such conventions "were different to the UK view", which made such an agreement unlikely.

The report revealed that a number of UK personnel were embedded in the controversial Abu Ghraib prison, the scene of US abuse of prisoners. The Committee did not know when British officials became aware of the abuse or whether they were present at the time.

"It is possible that they may have had visibility of some of the US SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures for the handling of the detainees) but we have no record of them raising any concerns," the report said.

Ghost prisoners, those who are detained at undisclosed locations and do not have access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, also featured in the document.

The Committee said it had no idea where these prisoners were being held, but said intelligence of the "highest level" which was relevant to the UK had been gleaned from them.

Ms Taylor said although the UK had not been involved in questioning ghost prisoners, "it is not impossible that information comes through a third party".

The issue of torture was loosely alluded to in the report, which quoted Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on the issue, saying: "Now, torture is completely unacceptable and (we would) query whether that was the reason why we got the information ... but you cannot ignore it if the price of ignoring it is 3,000 people dead."

When asked why the remark was included, Ms Taylor said: "We thought it was a statement over an issue which matters a great deal, which is relevant to the work we have been doing."
I suppose the difference between these guys who will not be charged and soldiers who have been imprisoned is that there was no photographic evidence. We have same thing where they ignored rulesand failed to effectively report such abuses as they did see. One might say that as intelligence officers they would have better idea of moral standards than infantry as their work is likely to involve such considerations.
 
#2
"In a report today, the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee said that MI6 officers were twice involved in questioning Iraqi detainees while they were hooded, in breach of the Convention.
As a consequence of this failure in training, MI6 officers in Iraq twice interviewed detainees who were hooded - which is a breach of UK policy."
In April 2004 a second detainee who was arrested by the Iraqi Civilian Defence Corps was handed over to British military personnel whilst hooded, and remained hooded during an interview with an MI6 officer, who was also not aware of any rules against hooding and thought it was a reasonable measure to protect his own identity."

The mind boggles.
john
 
#3
One wonders how the Saudi and other ME Intelligence organisations view such reports; 15 'bad guys' were scooped today in a town to the North of Riyadh. I expect their Human Rights in the matter of hoods, white noise, stress positions etc will be fully respected.
 
#4
Personally, I could care less if we tortured those prisoners. If it saved one American or Brit life, I say go ahead and do what needs to be done. Get the intel and save some lives...
 
#5
IMHO the most basic Human Right is the 'Right to Life'; if an individual or organisation is proven to be or implicated in breach of that basic tennant or is actively organising or preparing to deny other individuals of that most basic right then morally they who would break such a law have no redress under it.
 
#6
IMO it all boils down to whether you believe that those in the prisons are guilty or innocent (The principle of innocent until proven guilty, obviously dosn't count when you are scooped up on a battlefield) If you believe all mankind is good then you will believe whatever excuse you are given, If you think they are all bad you won't. Armed forces, security services etc are all a lot more "conservative" than other political sides and therefore are willing to "go the extra mile" in order to achieve the aim. Does it really matter that the information was gained by MI? or Pte/LCpl etc on the ground, if it helps to save "our lives" then go for it. Having served there I know even the prisoners segregate thmselves from "common " and politicals. Everybody out there knows who has the information it all boils down to how much you want it and what you will do to get it.
 
#7
Letterwritingman said:
IMHO the most basic Human Right is the 'Right to Life'; if an individual or organisation is proven to be or implicated in breach of that basic tennant or is actively organising or preparing to deny other individuals of that most basic right then morally they who would break such a law have no redress under it.
Ah yes - but how do you determine "proven to be or implicated" ? They usually do not truthfully answer polite queries and it is rare that their first answer is same as final answer.
 
#8
Letterwritingman said:
IMHO the most basic Human Right is the 'Right to Life'
Probably being a bit controversial here, but I've never understood the concept of people having a "right" to life. The creation of new life & the loss of life is largely whimsical.
 
#9
Yeah there never was any right or wrong any good guys live bad guys die, as one Wit said, Life is'nt fair, never was, never will be.
You can go through life trying to live a decent one but we all make mistakes and providing they aren't the sins of idle or I donn't give a FCUK I don't FCUKing care then generally speaking fair enough.
Do your best and put your faith in whatever God you choose.
john
 
#10
Heh - Jon. You been on the waccy baccy? I cannot make sense out of your

"You can go through life trying to live a decent one but we all make mistakes and providing they aren't the sins of idle or I donn't give a FCUK I don't FCUKing care then generally speaking fair enough."
 
#11
No smoke.
I would always try on behalf of a guy if he was having problems.
However to the best of my memory I only ever threw, two to the dogs and both because they convinced me that basically they didn't care about anyone but themselves.
What I used to call the scouse attitude, I don't give a dam I don't fcuking care.
They all cared when it was their neck on the line, but for others, fcuk em.
I never killed anyone, helped others do the job. I do beleive that if I had to then fair enough, but I would have never have been able to live with myself if somone had lost their life or limbs, through my ignorance, idelness or so what attitude.
john
PS. I have never claimed to be a writer and just bang out my posts as quickly as the words form in my head.
 
#12
yea you liberal do-gooders make me mad. they dont think of our human rights when they cut off peoples heads in the name of their jihad do they :evil: :evil: ??.
i say fight fire with fire and Fu*&k them.
 
#14
Good grief, you don't need to torture anyone, just tell em your going to slot them and bury them in a pigskin coffin.
 

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