Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bush and Cheney have much to fear from British police investigations.

The recent allegations made by Binyam Mohamed, that British security agents were complicit in his torture, appears to have opened a very large can of worms, and it's a can of worms that holds potentially serious problems for George Bush and Dick Cheney.

It is today being reported that MI5 and MI6 have uncovered at least 15 cases in which British intelligence officers may have been complicit in the torture of terrorist suspects.

The two services reviewed their files after Scotland Yard announced last week it would investigate claims by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed that former MI5 officers were complicit in his interrogation and torture. Mr Mohamed alleges that an MI5 officer supplied detailed questions concerning acquaintances and locations in London to his interrogators when he was tortured at a secret prison in Morocco following his arrest in Pakistan in 2002.

The 15 new cases concern individuals believed to include British nationals who were questioned under US control by British officers looking for information on possible terrorist attacks in the UK. Most date from between 2002 and 2004, when large numbers of terrorist suspects had been captured in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Unlike the US agents, the British officers were told to work within the provisions of the Geneva Convention, it was reported. In some instances the British officers voiced concerns that suspects were being mistreated, but their fears were not followed up.

Most of the interrogations were conducted immediately after the September 11 attacks, sources told the Daily Telegraph, when officers were not prepared for either the heavy caseload or the approach of their American counterparts.

This is extremely dangerous for the Bush administration because, here in Britain - unlike the USA - there will be no opposition demanding that any investigation is a "partisan" witch hunt, or that it would be better for one and all if we "looked forward, not back", or that torture might be bad but it saved lives, or any of the other myriad of reasons currently being put forward by American right wingers to excuse what we all can clearly see were crimes committed by the Bush administration.

This has now become a police matter and no British politician of any stripe will dare to interfere as, to do so, would be a criminal offence.

This will provide a stark contrast to events in the US where Obama continues to release damning evidence of Bush's crimes without following that evidence to it's logical conclusion and demanding a criminal investigation of what the Bush/Cheney regime actually did.

But perhaps this will all be taken out of Obama's hands, as evidence of criminal behaviour by MI5 and MI6 will inevitably lead one to look at the people who the British security services were interrogating suspects on behalf of, and that is going to lead directly back to the Bush administration.

Miliband might claim that he can't give the police the evidence they need on the grounds that the Americans might stop sharing intelligence with us, but the courts will only accept such nonsense up to a point. When we start looking at fifteen cases - as opposed to the case of Binyam Mohamed alone - such excuses simply won't hold water.

This dam will burst and, when it does, I really feel that the actions of the Bush administration will be laid bare for all to see.

Bush and Cheney have much to fear from British police investigations, as any investigation into criminality on behalf of MI5 and MI6, will inevitably become an investigation into the demands of their masters: the Americans.

The Bush/Cheney regime might currently be protected by the American system's bizarre fear of "partisanship", but such protection will be harder to maintain if British courts start finding evidence of clearly criminal acts carried out at their behest.

At such a point one feels that Obama would have no choice other than to appoint a special prosecutor to look into their crimes.

This is all quite a way down the road, but what happens in Britain is bound to one day cross the pond.

Bush and Cheney aren't out of the woods yet, not by a long chalk.

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