Police have been called in to investigate the claims of torture by Binyam Mohamed and determine whether any MI5 officer was complicit in the torture. This is entirely appropriate and as I have mentioned before, there should be no place in civilised society for methods of interrogation which are not only medieval but quite simply counter productive.
I’m finding it very difficult to believe that the US would threaten to stop sharing intelligence with the UK if details of Binyam Mohamed having allegedly been tortured are made public. The Foreign Secretary must clarify whether he informed the Judges in the Binyam Mohamed case that they should refrain from disclosing any facts relating to the alleged torture, and if true who from the US government communicated this threat to him.
Any form of torture should be unreservedly condemned. We cannot have any moral authority and lecture others on convictions obtained after torture has been used let alone indefinite detention without trial based on evidence obtained under torture. If what has been alleged is true, the Foreign Secretary should firmly stand up to the Americans and dismiss any interference in the administration of justice in the UK courts. He should remind them of what President Obama said in his inauguration speech:
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.’
Anyone from the UK involved in any torture should be prosecuted and brought to justice as should those in the US. After all, if members of the armed forces are held to account for irresponsible and abusive conduct, members of the intelligence services should not be allowed to do as they please under the pretext of gathering intelligence in the war on terror.