Cruel Britannia: Torture history exposed
By Maeve McClenaghan | TheBureauInvestigates.com
At the beginning of 2012 the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg stated that the government Ďcompletely condemns torture and inhumane treatmentí and that Ďwe never support it or ask other people to do it on our behalf.í
They are words that have echoed for decades, in one form or another. The UK is a signatory to the International Convention Against Torture and our political leaders are vociferous about the fact that we do not practice torture. The UK has even gone to war, in part, on the premise of toppling torturous regimes.
But these words are beginning to lose their meaning, juxtaposed as they are against images of orange-jump-suited British prisoners kneeling in the unforgiving Cuban sun at Guantanamo Bay; stories of UK soldiers torturing civilian victims at black-site bases in Iraq; or the sight of British national Binyam Mohammed stepping off the plane back onto UK soil after being held and tortured in Pakistan.
Still the UK government has tried to distance itself from these images. Rogue soldiers misbehave, we are told. The UK had no way of knowing what happens to their citizens held in prisons outside our shores. And, of course, we certainly would never condone such behaviour.
But the cracks in the system are beginning to show. Cleggís words came in the wake of a decision by the Criminal Prosecution Service that MI5 and MI6 agents would not be charged with the ill-treatment and torture of UK resident Binyam Mohamed while he was in Pakistan. Nor would they be charged for the torture of another detainee who had been held at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
And so the public is left wondering, just who is telling the truth here, and can we believe the governmentís denials any more?
The search for answers to these questions has molded much of Ian Cobainís professional life. As an investigative reporter Cobain has for years followed cases of alleged torture and renditions. He has now pulled together his wealth of experience in the book Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture. The result is a compendium of examples that together lend weight to the argument that not only does the UK practice torture even against its own citizens, but has a well-developed, if informal and unwritten, policy on how and when such methods are used.
How did we get here?
The title of Cobainís book promises a history and that is what he delivers. The story stretches as far back as the Second World War when one of the most sought after streets in Kensington Palace Gardens became the address for a UK internment base, where prisoners of war were held and interrogated. As their upper-class neighbours went about their daily business, residents of what became known as the London Cage suffered beatings, grueling tasks, were deprived of sleep and forced into stress positions, all in attempts to extract information.
A few years later, during the UKís colonial rule of Kenya, torture was again used by the British forces to put down the Mau Mau uprising for independence. Just last month those torture victims, now in their 70s and 80s, were told they could sue the UK government for the treatment they received, which they say included castration, brutal beatings and detention.
Read the full article at: thebureauinvestigates.com
Whistleblower who revealed CIA torture sentenced to prison
Americaís moral degeneracy: Acceptance of torture is Mark of the Beast
One Place to Cut Spending: Kidnapping and Torture
No Accountability for Torturers
Accused: the men who tortured Bradley Manning
Chomsky: Bush kidnapped & tortured, Obama murders
Canadaís Non-compliance with the Convention against Torture
Canada allows spy agency to use info obtained through torture
Clemency sought for child soldier at Guantanamo
Latest News from our Front Page
Amid Russia tensions, US nuclear bombers to conduct military drills in Sweden
The Pentagon is planning to send nuclear bombers to Sweden for a military exercise next month amid growing tensions with Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
The warplanes, the B-52 Stratofortress, will participate in a naval exercise on June 13, Swedish general Karl Engelbrektson said.
They are set to fly from the United States nonstop and simulate a drop of anti-ship mines near ...
'Netanyahu to US: Give 50% more money, we'll shut up'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is asking the United States to provide Tel Aviv 50 percent more money for weapons and ‚Äúwe‚Äôll shut up‚ÄĚ on Iran nuclear talks, an author and investigative journalist in Philadelphia says.
Dave Lindorff made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday while commenting on a report which says Israel has asked Washington ...
Britain To Outlaw "Hate" and "Extremism"
UK home secretary Theresa May : "But what we're talking about is they key values that underline our society and are being undermined by the extremists. Values like democracy, a belief in democracy, a belief in the rule of law. A belief in tolerance ...eh... for other people. Equality and acceptance for other people's faith and religions.
One of the great ...
Killer robots will leave humans 'utterly defenceless' warns professor
Robots, called LAWS ‚Äď lethal autonomous weapons systems ‚Äď will be able to kill without human intervention.
Killer robots which are being developed by the US military ‚Äėwill leave humans utterly defenceless‚Äė, an academic has warned.
Two programmes commissioned by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are seeking to create drones which can track and kill targets even when ...
Here's how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill
Critics of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership are unlikely to be silenced by an analysis of the flood of money it took to push the pact over its latest hurdle.
A decade in the making, the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its climax and as Congress hotly debates the biggest trade deal in a generation, its backers have turned on the ...
|More News » |