Inquiry into allegations of complicity with torture

British spies accused of secretly colluding with the CIA and foreign governments in a plot that sees people tortured in foreign countries. Not only does it sound like the storyline of many a political thriller, take that story and place it in almost any post-war decade and you’d expect it to be a Conservative government doing the colluding and Labour MPs decrying the international conspiracy, with a campaigning left-wing journalist thrown in for good measure publishing scoops and demanding an independent judicial inquiry.

Except, of course, in the topsy turvey political days that we live it was a Labour government that was accused and it is now a Conservative foreign secretary, in a Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition, announcing plans for the judicial inquiry.

The inquiry itself is extremely welcome, particularly given the severity of some of the allegations that have been made. It will also come with an interesting political twist because one of the Foreign Secretaries whose record will be under scrutiny is that of Labour leadership contender David Miliband.

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16 Comments

  • If there were denials, could there be prosecutions? It would nice if the Conservatives were to think that it could be in their party interest to pursue Labour over this. This is one advantage of the party system – people may do the right thing for the wrong reasons

  • Patrick Smith 21st May '10 - 4:11pm

    The defence of the human rights of individuals under the Human Rights Act Ming Campbell was expounded brilliantly on BBC `Question Time’ this week, when he told us that it maintains continuity in the UK with the European Convention of Human Rights, in its universality of application.

    We cannot afford to be selective about what parts of Human Rights law are seen at any one time to be important as the universality of the European Convention of Human Rights, is binding on all liberals in a free society.

  • Paul McKeown 21st May '10 - 4:32pm

    @Kehaar
    Labour under Blair and Brown under pressure goes all Stalin, Bush & Trotsky, then when they’re booted out just whine from the sidelines. Grow up, please.

    It is clear that the great majority of people in this country are fed up of being tarred with the same brush and want a return to the status quo ante: a commonsense, fair and liberal criminal justice system and a similar treatment of our enemies. Unless you were watching and listening to last night’s QT with red-tinted prejudice.

  • Paul McKeown 21st May '10 - 7:41pm

    @Kehaar
    “There was no suggestion that the two A-Q operatives were at risk of mistreatent due to their sexuality or ethnicity, as Campbell attempted to imply”

    That is plain rubbish, you just made that up, Ming said nothing of the sort. Just a naughty little Labour troll. Run away before the sun rises.

  • Paul McKeown 21st May '10 - 9:15pm

    @Kehaar
    “Campbell said just those things in response to a question about A-Q members being allowed to stay in this country.”
    Campbell made a general point about circumstances in which it would not be correct to allow anyone to be deported. He made the specific point that the two men in question might face torture or death in Pakistan from the security services there, no claim was made regarding their sexuality being the cause of such treatment. Your point is so contrived as to be so stupid that you would be embarrassed to make it, if only you were not so obtuse.

    “As it stands, this is an open blog and you cannot control what is discussed.”

    You made that up too, it was just pointed out what is obvious to anyone reading your posts for the last week or two. Just a Labour troll, hopping mad that the Liberal Democrats should form a government without the permission or presence of your beloved party.

    “calling him by his first-name or derivative thereof sounds unctuous”
    Lessons in etiquette from you don’t wash; the man is universally known as “Ming”, so “Ming” he is. Anoint yourself with oil, if you so must and as you see fit, but drip poison elsewhere, please.

  • Paul McKeown 21st May '10 - 10:28pm

    @Kehaar

    You have had absolutely nothing positive to say here for a fortnight, not a single post, not a single paragraph, not a single sentence, not a single word, not even a single emoticon. Most of your arguments are thin at best and many are simply contrived, not to say ill tempered. Troll. The word fits. Wear it.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd May '10 - 12:06am

    Kehaar, my dear friend, I have been happy to participate on Labour and Conservative blogs and have had people agree and disagree with me. However, you are unique, in my encounters. You are unremittingly negative, have no point to make or defend, but post solely to disrupt the discourse. People are quite welcome to do a search on your posts and investigate this point. You wish ill to the project that the Liberal Democrats have undertaken; your posts are green-eyed.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd May '10 - 1:21am

    @Kehaar
    “There was no suggestion that the two A-Q operatives were at risk of mistreatent due to their sexuality or ethnicity, as Campbell attempted to imply”

    To which:
    “He made the specific point that the two men in question might face torture or death in Pakistan from the security services there, no claim was made regarding their sexuality being the cause of such treatment.”

    I note that you have been unwilling to defend this point, instead accused Ming Campbell of filibustering. So therefore, clearly, and after watching the QT debate again on BBC iPlayer to check this, your statement that Ming Campbell said that the two men concerned would be persecuted in Pakistan due to their sexuality is simply untrue. You made it up, for whatever reason only you would know.

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