Wednesday, July 7, 2010

British Torture Inquiry

From British Prime Minister Cameron's statement to the House of Commons announcing a committee of inquiry into the abuse of suspects held by the security services:

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a Statement on our intelligence services and allegations made about the treatment of detainees.

For the past few years, the reputation of our security services has been overshadowed by allegations about their involvement in the treatment of detainees held by other countries.

Some of these detainees allege they were mistreated by those countries.

Other allegations have also been made about the UK’s involvement in the rendition of detainees in the aftermath of 9/11.

These allegations are not proven.

But today, we do face a totally unsatisfactory situation.

Our services are paralysed by paperwork as they try to defend themselves in lengthy court cases with uncertain rules.

Our reputation as a country that believes in human rights, justice, fairness and the rule of law – indeed for much of what the Services exist to protect – risks being tarnished.

Public confidence is being eroded with people doubting the ability of our Services to protect us and questioning the rules under which they operate. And terrorists and extremists are able to exploit these allegations for their own propaganda.

Mr Speaker, myself, the Deputy Prime Minister, the coalition government – we all believe it is time to clear this matter up once and for all.

(Andrew Sullivan has the whole statement here.)

Still waiting for our own President to do something, anything, along these lines. . . .

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