This is not the finding of an unofficial report. This is not an investigation by a pressure group or engaged activists. This is the official finding of the UK Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee led by the country's former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve. His view is that the behaviour of British ministers and spy chiefs at the time was "inexcusable." As this article from the Guardian makes clear, Prime Minister Theresa May is also under fire for blocking access to key intelligence figures as part of the investigation. The article states..."Lord MacDonald, the former director of prosecutions, described May’s blocking of the inquiry as “a scandal” and that her justification for doing so was “bogus”. “Her purported reason for refusing the ISC access to the officers actually involved in these events – that there was ‘legal uncertainty over the protection that would be offered to officers appearing as witnesses before the committee’ – is completely bogus, as she and her advisers must have known,” he said.
“This was a contemptuous and cynical response to a grave national scandal, doing nothing to develop public confidence in the integrity of the agencies, most of whose members are dedicated public servants whose work is essential and beyond reproach. She has let these people down through her own political cowardice.” The fact is, former foreign minister Jack Straw, seems also have been complicit and has some difficult questions to answer - notwithstanding the fact that he has acknowledged that the US is driven by lunatics.
What all this reveals - apart from trampling over basic standards of human rights - is that the British were lap-dogs to a puffed-up and radicalised America in pursuing policies and behaviours that were in clear breach of the international prohibition on torture. It's been clear for some time that the US does not respect these basic rights - indeed Bush had his Attorney General at the time write a report which described the internationally recognised humanitarian values of the Geneva Convention as "quaint" - and that they could be safely ignored. Enter torture.
This next paragraph is taken from Atlantic Magazine... "On February 7, 2002 -- President George W. Bush signed a brief memorandum titled "Humane Treatment of Taliban and al Qaeda Detainees." The caption was a cruel irony, an Orwellian bit of business, because what the memo authorized and directed was the formal abandonment of America's commitment to key provisions of the Geneva Convention. This was the day, a milestone on the road to Abu Ghraib: that marked our descent into torture -- the day, many would still say, that we lost part of our soul. Drafted by men like John Yoo and pushed along by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales the February 7 memo was sent to all of the key players of the Bush Administration involved in the early days of the War on Terror. All the architects and functionaries who would play a role in one of the darker moments in American legal history were in on it." (Read more here..)
Leading human rights groups have already indicated that these findings of the UK Parliamentary Committee are "just the tip of the iceberg." If you are wondering how the democratic world has come to be in such a mess, this is where it all started.... the botched US response to 9/11; the failed wars causing the fearful populations to lose confidence; the inability of politicians to show real leadership in the face of the ridiculously hyped mass psychology of fear; the subsequent jettisoning of democratic values in the face of "security" concerns - and the fact that supine also-rans like the UK under Blair were poodles for the US to lead wherever they wished. The fact is, no country that has supported the US in the so-called "war on terror" has come out of it morally, politically, economically or socially enhanced. Europe's refugee and immigration problems - threatening the integrity of the EU itself - can be laid at the door of wholly unnecessary and botched US military interventions.
If things were bad under Bush, they're woeful under Trump and his regime of hysterical imbeciles. Trump has already said he approves of torture and the killing of terrorists' families. And the majority of Americans agree with him. The US needs to be isolated it its pursuit of this most stupid of "wars" until it comes to its senses and realises that all it has done since 9/11 is to make matters worse at every turn.
And Britain needs to wake up to the fact that it has already behaved disgracefully and needs to distance itself from this behaviour. Human rights are key to democracy. Period.
Why did they bother deposing Saddam? What more is there to say? Torture is wrong. Always.