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UK complicit in post 9/11 US torture programs

Freedom and democracy are words that stick in their mouths like glue

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The British Intelligence and Security Committee has released a report detailing how the British government and intelligence participated in and/or turned a blind eye to torture programs aimed at obtaining intelligence from ‘suspected’ terrorists. British intelligence and government personnel were complicit in or else willingly overlooked the inhumane treatment of these persons, who were being held and tortured without going through any due process, even while at least some of the persons who were enduring the harsh treatment and torture were British citizens. But British officials and top dogs manage to manipulate the process of discovery and accountability in such a way as to avoid being held to account.

The Independent reports:

British intelligence officers witnessed prisoners being tortured and played active parts in the rendition of terrorist suspects into the hands of the secret police of brutal regimes knowing that they faced inhuman treatment, a scathing report has said.

The British authorities, the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) concluded, turned a blind eye to routine mistreatment by US authorities although the UK intelligence agencies became aware from an early stage that this was going on.

The ISC noted that the official US policy remains that prisoners should not be mistreated, in spite of President Donald Trump’s previous assertion that “torture works’.

But the committee called on the government to conduct a review of “consolidated guidance”, the rules under which intelligence officers do not become complicit in torture by the British state or allied countries.

Tony Blair’s government, in power during the period of the investigation, could have done more to influence the policies of George W Bush’s administration, the committee said.

Jack Straw, the then-foreign secretary, said after the report’s publication that although he was in charge of MI6 and GCHQ, he was unaware of some of the collusion in abuse. “I have today learnt much about the activities and the approach of these agencies of which I was not aware before,” he said.

Although the report, “Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition”, gives goes into detail about UK collusion in abuse by the US and other foreign governments, the ISC said it was stopped from talking to several key witnesses by Downing Street. As a result the intelligence and security services are held to account in the document, but the politicians escape relatively unscathed.

The committee was prevented from questioning Mr Straw and David Blunkett, the then-home secretary in charge of MI5, even though cabinet secretary Jeremy Heywood assured the ISC when the report was commissioned in December 2013 that it could summon “relevant former ministers and officials”.

The report says: “Had the further witness statement we sought been made available to us and had we therefore continued the inquiry beyond this point, we may have differently categorised some of the cases of concern, and taken a different viewpoint.”

One of the questions Mr Straw would have faced is in a passage in the report which noted that MI6 “sought and obtained authorisation from the foreign secretary” for paying for a plane in which rendition was carried out.

Mr Straw insisted in response that he would have been happy to give evidence. He said: “These are extremely important reports which need to be taken very seriously and their conclusions followed through. As the report makes clear, I was not invited to give evidence to the committee, though I would have been pleased to do so, had I been asked.

“Although I was formally responsible for both SIS and GCHQ during my period as foreign secretary (June 2001 to May 2006), I have today learnt much about the activities and the approach of these agencies of which I was not aware before.”

The investigation by the committee found that British spies witnessed detainees being mistreated at least 13 times, were told by prisoners on 25 other occasions that they were being mistreated, and were told of mistreatment by foreign agencies on 128 other occasions.

But despite knowing of the abuse, the UK agencies continued to supply questions for interrogations, the committee said. It found there were 232 cases this took place despite the knowledge or strong suspicion that the information was being obtained by torture or other abuse. The damning statistics charted show that there were 198 cases where there was definite knowledge of mistreatment.

There is no evidence, said the report, that British officers themselves took part in torture, and there was “no smoking gun” suggesting otherwise.

The UK agencies played a major role in the rendition of suspects, the committee said. MI6 and MI5 financially subsidised, or offered to subsidise, the rendition of suspects on three cases and provided information enabling arrests and transportation in 28 cases as well proposing or agreeing to rendition on 22 others. They failed to stop rendition in 23 cases, including those of British nationals or residents. Two renditions took place through Diego Garcia, the British owned island on the Indian Ocean whose population had been deported to make way for an American base.

British intelligence and security services responded that the inquiry found its officers did not take part in any mistreatment. But a senior Whitehall security official said: “We are used to being held to account by the ISC and oversight bodies, and it is right that we as a service are subject to a robust system of independent oversight and accountability.

“We have engaged transparently and fully with many parliamentary processes, civil cases and police investigations that have taken place since post-9/11. The ISC’s reports are frank and clear. We were simply not prepared for the work we became involved in following 9/11. There were deficiencies in capability and understanding; and therefore in the guidance and training that we gave to staff.

“But it is important to understand and remember the shock of 9/11, and importantly the huge boost it gave to terrorist groups around the world. It was simply unprecedented in its scale. Governments in Europe and North America anticipated further terrorist attacks imminently, and [the UK government] believed that the UK was a likely target. The demand placed on the security and intelligence services were huge. SIS [Secret Intelligence Service] had to deal with a sudden upsurge in counterterrorism work for which we were not prepared … Post 9/11, the instinct of the British people and our government was to act in solidarity with the United States.

“Our staff were under pressure to deliver intelligence on the threat. We had few sources. Potential value of detainee information was obvious. The immediate demand, to deliver intelligence to defend against the terrorist threat, became the overriding priority. Our officers found themselves in unfamiliar, exceptionally challenging environments, undertaking interviews of a different nature to those they were used to and trained for.”

The ISC report says: “We have considered the actions of those in the agencies’ head offices. Immediately after 9/11, the agency heads and deputies were briefed by the CIA: these briefings clearly showed US intent but were not taken seriously.

“It is difficult to comprehend how those at the top of the office did not recognise the pattern of mistreatment by the US. That the US, and others, were mistreating detainees is beyond doubt, as is the fact that the agencies and defence intelligence were aware of this at an early point. The same is true of rendition: there was no attempt to identify the risks involved and formulate the UK’s response. There was no understanding [within the UK government] of rendition and no clear policy – or even recognition of the need for one.

Theresa May issued a statement saying the lessons of what happened in the aftermath of 9/11 “are to be found in improved operational policy and practice, better guidance and training, and an enhanced oversight and legal framework”.

She added: “We should be proud of the work done by our intelligence and service personnel, often in the most difficult circumstances, but it is only right that they should be held to the highest possible standards in protecting our national security.”

Sonya Sceats, Freedom from Torture chief executive, said: “At this time when President Trump openly endorses torture and has placed a suspected perpetrator in charge of the CIA, it is more important than ever that Theresa May delivers on her predecessor’s promise of a judge-led inquiry to show in deeds, not just words, that Britain stands firm in its support for the absolute torture ban.”

The Trump administration is pro torture and the British government, while trying to put on a nice face, are about dodging any repercussions of violating human rights, while they are also attempting to apply ‘human rights violations’ to other countries via accusations and politically motivated international reports and investigations.

They want to pretend like they are the shining city on a hill, examples of freedom and democracy, while they arm, train, and fund terrorists and state sponsors of terror, and genocidal regimes. Even imprisoning little children, for accompanying their asylum seeking parents.

They pretend to be upstanding defenders of law and order while carrying out violations of the very international order which they built following the second world war. The West exposes itself as hypocritical, cruel, inhumane, as each month passes, and is complicit in the atrocities being committed around the world while behaving as if they uphold the highest standards of ethics and morality. Freedom and democracy are words that stick in their mouths like glue.

 

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Same crowd involved in this:

Criminal Charges Against Migrant ‘Rescue’ NGOs – Report… https://europe.infowars.com/german-officials-to-file-criminal-charges-against-migrant-rescue-ngos-report/

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UK complicit in post 9/11 US torture programs

Plus Romania, Poland and Kosovo.

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James Woods Suspended From Twitter Over Satirical Meme That Could “Impact An Election”

James Woods crushes Jack Dorsey: “You are a coward, @Jack.”

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Outspoken conservative actor James Woods was suspended from posting to Twitter over a two-month-old satirical meme which very clearly parodies a Democratic advertisement campaign. While the actor’s tweets are still visible, he is unable to post new content.

The offending tweet from July 20, features three millennial-aged men with “nu-male smiles” and text that reads “We’re making a Woman’s Vote Worth more by staying home.” Above it, Woods writes “Pretty scary that there is a distinct possibility this could be real. Not likely, but in this day and age of absolute liberal insanity, it is at least possible.”

According to screenshots provided by an associate of Woods’, Twitter directed the actor to delete the post on the grounds that it contained “text and imagery that has the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election.

In other words, James Woods, who has approximately 1.72 million followers, was suspended because liberals who don’t identify as women might actually take the meme seriously and not vote. 

In a statement released through associate Sara Miller, Woods said “You are a coward, @Jack,” referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “There is no free speech for Conservatives on @Twitter.

Earlier this month, Woods opined on the mass-platform ban of Alex Jones, tweeting: ““I’ve never read Alex Jones nor watched any of his video presence on the internet. A friend told me he was an extremist. Believe me that I know nothing about him. That said, I think banning him from the internet is a slippery slope. This is the beginning of real fascism. Trust me.”

Nu-males everywhere non-threateningly smirk at Woods’ bad fortune…

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Another witness named by Ford becomes third person to deny being at party

A woman believed to have been one of five people at a party 35 years ago where Ford claims she was assaulted by Kavanaugh is now the fourth person to deny being at any such party.

The Duran

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Via The Washington Examiner


A witness, reportedly named by Christine Blasey Ford as one of the people at the high school party where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday she was not there.

The attorney for Leland Ingham Keyser told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Keyser does not remember being at the party Ford described as the location of the alleged assault.

“Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” Keyser said in the statement. CNN reported Keyser is a lifelong friend of Ford’s.

Keyser, whom the New York Times reported is one of the people Ford named as being in attendance at the party, is the third witness who has denied knowing about the alleged assault. Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth said earlier this week they did not remember the party in question.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegation.

The news comes after Ford, through her attorneys, tentatively agreed to testify on Thursday, after days of negotiations over the timing and conditions of her

Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had repeatedly extended deadlines set for Ford’s team on the decision, including three on Friday and one at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Grassley threatened to proceed with a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Monday if he did not hear from Ford.

“Five times now we [have] granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed [with] her desire stated one [week] ago that she wants to tell senate her story,” Grassley tweeted Friday. “Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u.”

The extended discussions have been labeled a delaying tactic by some Republicans.

Ford’s attorneys and Grassley’s aides will reportedly continue negotiations Sunday on the details of the conditions of Ford’s testimony, per the New York Times.

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Was NYT Story About Rosenstein ‘Coup Attempt’ A Setup?

The New York Times is reporting that Rod Rosenstein pushed a plan to record President Trump and invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

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Via Zerohedge


Is the FBI trying to goad President Trump into firing the man in charge of supervising the Mueller probe? That’s what Sean Hannity and a handful of  Trump’s Congressional allies think.

According to a report in Politico, Republicans in Congress are approaching a story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein attempting to organize a palace coup with extreme caution, despite having twice nearly gathered the votes to remove him in the recent past.

On Friday, the NYT reported a bombshell story alleging that Rosenstein had tried to recruit administration officials to secretly tape conversations with the president in order to help justify removing Trump under the 25th amendment. Rosenstein vehemently denied the story, which was largely based on confidential memos written by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. And others who were reportedly in attendance at meeting between McCabe and Rosenstein said the Deputy AG was being “sarcastic” when he suggested that the president be taped.

Meanwhile, Trump allies including Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz are saying that the story should be treated with suspicion. Jordan and Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows once filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. But now, both Meadows and Jordan intend to proceed with caution, telling Politico that he would like to see the memos that the story was based on.

House Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, who led a charge to impeach Rosenstein this summer, have said they want to hear from Rosenstein and see documents allegedly describing the comments before they decide what to do.That’s awarded Rosenstein a courtesy they’ve never given him in the past.

“I think Rod needs to come before Congress this week and explain under oath what exactly he said and didn’t say,” Meadows said at the Values Voters Summit Saturday.

The newfound hesitation to oust Rosenstein highlights a cautious approach Trump allies have adopted as the Republican party barrels toward a potential bloodbath in the midterms. Some Republicans fear Trump firing Rosenstein now would only further energize Democrats making the case to voters that the president is corrupt and needs to be reined in by a Democratic House.

[…]

In a Friday interview, Jordan, one of Rosenstein’s fiercest critics in Congress, sidestepped questions about whether the House should revisit Rosenstein’s impeachment or try to hold him in contempt of Congress. Rather, he said, a more focused push to obtain sensitive documents from the Justice Department — which Trump’s allies say would expose anti-Trump bias and corruption the FBI — is the most urgent priority.

“I want to see those memos and evaluate them,” said Jordan, who has clashed publicly with Rosenstein over access to documents and accused him of threatening House Intelligence Committee staffers, an allegation Rosenstein denied.

Politico cites two possible explanations for lawmakers’ hesitation: Republicans are running out of time before members devote themselves full-time to their reelection campaigns. Republicans are worried that the story could have been intentionally planted to provoke Rosenstein’s firing in order to improve Democrats’ chances of retaking the Senate AND the House (Trump actively moving to crush the Mueller probe would be quite the propaganda win for the Dems).

Sean Hannity took this latter theory a step further during his show on Friday evening, where he urged Trump not to fire Rosie and instead insisted that the story could have been a “trap”. He added that he had been told by “multiple sources” that the story was planted by unspecified “enemies of Trump.”

“I have a message for the president tonight,” Hannity said Friday night. “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody…the president needs to know it is all a setup.”

Still, a handful of conservative commentators, including Laura Ingraham, urged Trump to fire Rosenstein immediately. And for Trump’s part, he hinted at a rally Friday night in Missouri that he planned to “get rid” of the “lingering stench” at the DOJ, which many interpreted as a hint that his firing is imminent.

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