Video: Blair, Brown – and Tory – govts ‘appalling’, ‘inexcusable’ on ‘horrific’ torture

An image of a rendered prisoner by artist Banksy (image: Eadmundo, Wikimedia Commons)

A damning report issued by the House of Commons’ Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) finds the UK government and intelligence services guilty of knowing collusion in the rendition and torture of prisoners by the US.


The ISC reports:

  • 198 cases of UK intelligence personnel using information they knew – or had no excuse for not knowing – had been obtained via torture
  • 232 instances of UK personnel continuing to supply questions or assistance to allies whom they knew or suspected to be mistreating prisoners to obtain information
  • 128 examples of UK intelligence officers being told by foreign intelligence personnel about mistreatment of detainees
  • 25 incidents of detainees themselves reporting mistreatment to UK officers, often without any investigation of the claims
  • 13 cases of UK security personnel personally witnessing abuse or torture

Many of these incidents took place under the Blair and Brown governments. But human rights lawyer Shami Chakrabarti and Reprieve director Bella Sankey told the BBC this morning that the situation still continues:

The ISC report describes the collusion and failure to act of the UK government and intelligence services ‘inexcusable’, while Sankey and Chakrabarti went so far as to call it ‘horrific’ and ‘appalling’.

It is all of these things – and during eight years of Tory government, Cameron and May appear to have done absolutely nothing to end the unforgivable collaboration our government in the unforgivably inhumane treatment of detainees.

Labour is under new management and any previous Labour Prime Minister found to have co-operated in torture should answer for their actions at The Hague.

But the Conservatives are in government now and in full ‘business as usual’ mode. Theresa May and her ministers have serious questions to answer.

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  1. These are appalling indictments of the past ‘Labour’ and present UK Governments and all those involved should be brought to book.

    Instead of Britain trying its hardest to sit at the top table based upon our muscle of nuclear weapons and powers of destruction, we should and will be under Jeremy Corbyn, at the top table based upon our fairness, humane treatment of others and our integrity.

    Under Jeremy Corbyn we can influence and lead the world in showing how a decent Government treats fellow human beings and does not resile from ostracising others where they fall short.

  2. “Should have been taken seriously… it was mistaken to dismiss them… considered rhetoric at the time” is revisionary bollocks the clear intent of which is to avoid prosecution for their crimes.
    The question “When did you find out?” has to be asked because at some point the fact of torture became clear and still they colluded.
    By acquiescing and colluding everyone in the know who kept silent is as guilty as the perpetrators.
    The “following orders” defence was rejected at Nuremberg despite the certainty of death for any German soldier refusing orders – how much less defensible is it willingly to collude with torture and murder from a comfortable office?
    Blair and Bush obviously bear the ultimate responsibility and should never see the Sun again.

  3. Britain has a long and dark history of torture, rendition etc, so it is no surprise to me UK uses so called evidence obtained from torture and is therefore complicit.

    Annie Machon (MI5 whistle blower) mentions the unaccountability of British security structure, even to government and Parliament. There are one or two other nuggets in this interview, one 1. how medical data was used by May to track immigration when Home Secretary and 2. private security services ex British spies move into when they leave, yet retain close contact with former colleagues and can provide plausible deniability.
    Push the slider back to get the whole interview.

    Some serious work to be done bringing security services under proper control to work for the British public not to their own agenda. Labour is going to need a majority of committed MPs and a good electoral majority to do even a small part of what is required to clean out the cess pit that is the British establishment.

    1. I suggest people read Craig Murray’s twitter feed. He is an ex British ambassador to Uzbekistan, sacked due to written opposition to using torture for intel and who gave evidence to this report. He is commenting on the report. For eg. May controlled evidence given and bared committee from questioning officials at risk of prosecution from giving evidence.

      Protecting their own… as long as this persists there will be no let up or end to the illegal, immoral, largely covert and heinous foreign policy of the British ‘establishment’ and subservient UK governments whatever the colour.

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