Friday, 24 April 2009

Obama Torture Memos Tony Blair

Obama releasing the CIA torture memos has been like lighting a fuse. The information being released is staggering in it's implications, torture by the Bush administration had generally been dismissed as "a few bad apples", yet the information now shows the Bush officials set-up "interrogation methods" as early as July 2002. Which is before the memos that reviewed and created their legal frame work. That approval has been linked to Condoleezza Rice, Cheney and Rumsfeld, with a lot of talk of prosecuting how far will they go?

What makes the information particularly relevant is, they created a torture programme from the start. Worst still the torture that started before invading Iraq was being used to get an Iraq - al Qaeda link. They didn't just lie to invade Iraq, but they used torture to enforce that lie, then lied about the torture. They even prosecuted people for what happen at Abu Ghraib prison, when they authorised the abuse, knowing the "few bad apples" were them.

What about the effect here in Britain, can our government really keep saying they just didn't get the memo or not know anything for over 7 years? The memos being released has had it's first effect, Guantánamo torture evidence that was suppressed is being bought into question for release. Secondly the 7 men who were at Guantánamo bay in their case have accused 17 members of MI5 and MI6 of 'collusion in torture, unlawful rendition and unlawful detention'. Their cases are certainly stronger off the back of this.

Yet should the agents be prosecuted? They're accountable to the government, not us. So why isn't the government's investigation pressing ahead to address this, rather than former prisoners and us having to use the courts to get answers, and how far can we go with prosecution? As who were the MI5 and MI6 agents asking the questions for, who moved them to countries that out source torture, and who else needed a reason to invaded Iraq. Tony Blair himself said in his "give war a chance" speech:
I still believe that those who oppress and brutalise their citizens are better put out of power than kept in it.
It is not for our politicians to pick and choose who should get human rights, that's what laws are for, nor is it right for our politicians not to be subject law themselves. Particularly since their actions can not be justified as a consequence of war, they didn't act under fire, they acted in a clear and premeditated way.

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