Minister admits govt involvement in rendition

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by nigegilb, Feb 26, 2009.

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  1. Where does this leave the ex SAS man who was handed a court injunction for his claims over SAS involvement in rendition?

    Ben Griffin gagged over rendition claims

    UK Govt claims it is opposed to extraordinary rendition

    Ministers apologise as they admit Britain DID hand over two terror suspects to U.S. for 'torture flights'
    Last updated at 4:31 PM on 26th February 2009

    Admission: John Hutton told MPs Britain was involved in extraordinary rendition

    Ministers admitted today that two terrorism suspects captured by British forces in Iraq were flown by the US to Afghanistan for interrogation.

    The suspected members of an al Qaeda-linked group were detained by the SAS in Baghdad in February 2004 and handed over to US forces before being flown to Afghanistan.

    British officials, believed to include MI6 officers, knew about the transfer in 2004, MPs were told. Two years later, papers prepared for the then foreign secretary Jack Straw and home secretary Charles Clarke included brief references to this case.

    The astonishing admission is the closest yet to confirming the accusation that Britain was involved, or at least knew, that terror suspects were being secretly flown to countries where torture and other abuses are widely believed to be used.

    The terror suspects, both Pakistanis, are believed to have been targeting Coalition troops in Iraq and are still considered to pose a security threat if released.

    Defence Secretary John Hutton stunned MPs with his statement on the case to Parliament this afternoon.

    While stressing that his predecessors had been unaware of it, he said: "In retrospect, it is clear to me that the transfer to Afghanistan of these two individuals-should have been questioned at the time."
    Mr Hutton apologised for "inaccurate" information given to the Commons on this issue in the past which will raise fresh questions over past statements by other Cabinet ministers.

    For example, Mr Straw told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in 2005: "We do not practise rendition. Full stop." However, his spokesman said today: "Jack was not specifically alerted to the significance of this case."

    Mr Hutton stressed that the two men who were taken to Afghanistan were members of Lashkar e Tayyiba - a proscribed organisation with links to al Qaeda.

    The US government had explained that they were moved to Afghanistan because of a lack of linguistic skills in Baghdad to interrogate them effectively, he added.

    Papers prepared for the then home secretary Charles Clarke (left) and foreign secretary Jack Straw included references to an extraordinary rendition case

    Mr Hutton told MPs he was told of the transfer in December last year and a review had now established that British officials knew about it five years ago.

    "It has also shown that brief references to this case were included in lengthy papers that went to the then Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary in April 2006," he added.

    "It is clear that the context provided did not highlight its significance at that point to the ministers concerned."

    Mr Hutton later said he had no evidence that the two men had been mistreated and the Ministry of Defence believes this is an isolated case and systems have been put in place to ensure it is not repeated.

    Last year, Foreign Secretary David Miliband was forced to admit that two so-called "torture flights" were allowed to use British sovereign territory.

    Two flights in 2002 refuelled at a joint British-American airbase called Camp Justice at Diego Garcia, off the coast of Sri Lanka.

    Neither of the two detainees being transported were British or British residents. Both were being taken to the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba.

    And Tony Blair also insisted that he did not believe that America had since 9/11 rendered an individual through Britain.
  2. Get the feckers in the dock - not the squaddies, the ministers who authorised these handovers.
  3. The sheer mendacity of the statements are incredible.

    Mr Straw's spokesman said "Jack was not specifically alerted to the significance of ..." The wording is designed to avoid the issue. He stood up and stated to Parliament that the UK did not use the process of illegal rendition. He may or may not have been alerted to the significance of the incidents, but he knew about them therefore he lied. He therefore should apologise to Parliament and face the consequences of his actions. He has a duty to understand the significance of what he is authorising his staff to do. If he genuinely did not know, that is exactly what his spokesman would have said.

    John Hutton so far seems to be doing the honourable thing and coughing on behalf of lesser men. He seems to have been put up to cover for those who knew this was going on
  4. Would be good to hear from Ben Griffin over this. Hopefully he has some good lawyers and can nail Straw and Co.
  5. The only people who could clear this crap would have to be at the highest level and without doubt broke the Geneva convention , war crimes trial coming up, like hell
  6. This is complete BLX. The British did not hand over the duo "for terror flights" as is alleged. It's quite obvious they were handed to US custody. The Yanks then did what they did without consulting the UK. The question is whether the government knew about it. I believe the proof is that they didn't and that ministers have only recently found out.

    The scandal is the US policy of rendition. not anything done by the UK.
  7. That's not what Ben Griffin was saying and Ashie, pardon me if I completely ignore what you are saying on the subject. There is no question that Ben Griffin was lying, only Zanu NL Ministers.
  8. I think the basic principle at stake is that if you hand a captive over to an ally, that does not absolve you of any responsibility.

    The US policy is a scandal. Our government has consistently denied any involvement, they have now been found to be lying on at least 2 counts. Handing over suspects you know will be subject to rendition and allowing rendition flights to use your territory - both illegal.

    It is a difficult corner to be in, denouncing the Americans whilst still supporting the UK government who are implicated in the very same acts. Guantanimo is going to highlight even more examples (torture, abuse and rendition) as it un-ravels.
  9. So ashie, handing over the prisoners to US custody absolves UK PLC of all responsibility for their care and handling, under the Geneva Convention?

    It makes us just as complicit in Extraordinary Rendition and probably torture as the US, and blows a hole through the protection granted to combatants and civilian population under the Geneva Convention.
  10. I have no doubt that 'ashie' is an agent of some description of this

    disreputable, dishonest, disgraced, deceitful, duplicitous, devious, desperate and doomed so-called government.

    What confounds me is that the mindless bunch should front up 'ashie'! What a waste of time.
  11. Oh FFS! The UK didn't render anybody. AFAIK nobody has ever suggested that we have. Nor does it see that we have never handed anyone over specifically to be rendered. What seems to have happened is that in a couple of cases, suspects have been rendered after we handed them over. And Ministers didn't seen to know about it.

    It's hardly a scandal is it? It not as though Ministers have lied. Just the opposite as far as I can see. As soon as they find there's an issue they go straight to parliament to tell them about it even if it is embarrassing (which it undoubtedly is). This allows the rabid right to begin frothing at the mouth about a:

    disreputable, dishonest, disgraced, deceitful, duplicitous, devious, desperate and doomed so-called government.

    Catch a grip boys!
  12. Ashie in the scale of things it is a huge scandal, prisoners have been tortured for confessions. This makes us as bad as the people we have been fighting. That ministers in a supposedly model "free" country where free speech, human rights and the freedoms are so heavily respected (though these rights have been constantly infringed) have allowed people to be tortured for confessions, through the process of rendition.

    Hardly the model of Freedom that these Cnuts inherited when they walked into Parliament in 1997.
  13. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    So what evidence do you have to support that view point?
  14. "As soon as they find there's an issue they go straight to parliament to tell them about it even if it is embarrassing"

    Hasnt prevented them from lying to the house in the past though ashie. Deceitful, lying, mendacious. Jack Straw has a large amount of egg on his face now, and I suspect we will soon see Miliband covered in the same over the Guantanamo scandal.
  15. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Er, that would be the rabid LEFT, Shirley?

    The rabid RIGHT would be the neo-Cons who sanctioned ER, waterboarding, X-Ray, Abu Grave and all the other bollocks what has lost us any moral high ground we ever had.

    I'll do me best. Thanks.