Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 12 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/7/10

7/7, Terror and Torture: Protecting the Deep State

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Nafeez Ahmed
Become a Fan
  (16 fans)

Five years on from the London tube bombings, we remain no closer to a full, complete and impartial understanding of the terrible events of that day. Today, the coalition government has demonstrated that it has largely fallen in line with the steps of its predecessor.

The announcement that the government will hold an official inquiry into allegations that the secret service was complicit in torture of 'terror suspects' is, needless to note, welcome. But its arrival on the anniversary of the most devastating attack on London since WW2 is no accident.

While in opposition David Cameron and Nick Clegg both supported the call for an independent public inquiry into the 7/7 terrorist attacks. Yet now that power is theirs, the duo's coalition regime is challenging the 7/7 inquest's attempts to explore the "preventability" of the attacks. Three weeks ago, MI5 declared they were now preparing to apply for a judicial review of that decision.

While the government underhandedly attempts to quash the only independent inquiry process currently available in the form of the inquest proceedings, Cameron's much-lauded declaration of a decision to hold an inquiry into the torture allegations has served to eclipse public recollection of the whole 7/7 inquiry issue. Yet the proposed torture inquiry is not designed to involve a meaningful investigation, but has far more to do with damage-control over the pending lawsuits of 12 torture victims suing the intelligence services for their complicity in their torture. Those lawsuits pose the danger of exposing in public hearings the systemic misconduct of the intelligence services with high-level Whitehall approval, through potentially damaging disclosures from subpoena requests and witness calls.

The official announcement of a torture inquiry follows Cameron's confirmation yesterday that the government would offer large compensation sums to the 12 claimants on condition that they drop their lawsuits. Meanwhile, the proposed inquiry has been emasculated before even beginning. As the Guardian's Richard Norton-Taylor reported:

"Cameron yesterday suggested, and government officials made clear, that most of the evidence to the inquiry will be heard in private, and as a non-statutory inquiry, its powers will be limited. "It will not establish legal liability, nor order financial settlement,' Cameron said in a letter to Gibson, published yesterday.

It will not summon witnesses from foreign countries, such as current or former CIA officers. And it will not be able to compel any individuals to give evidence. Last night, Whitehall officials said that former Labour ministers, including Tony Blair, will not be asked to give evidence, even though the treatment of British citizens and residents under investigation happened on their watch."

The government has also refused to disclose the official guidelines to intelligence officers for handling detainees which applied during the periods detainees were allegedly abused. Instead, it has offered to publish new "consolidated" guidelines, and while simultaneously showing no inclination to properly investigate or even acknowledge the official policy under which British security services oversaw torture.

Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail further points out that the 3 proposed panel members to head the inquiry seem to have been hand-picked for their subservience to the Whitehall establishment, particularly the security services:

"The signs are worrying. Sir Peter is a thoroughly acceptable figure to British spies because he has been Commissioner of the Intelligence Services since 2006, and was reappointed only last year.

Most of his work is carried out away from the public eye, but I have heard no reports of Sir Peter asking probing questions of MI5 and MI6 bosses over the past few years, despite the publication of a mass of troubling material during that period.

A second member of the tribunal, Peter Riddell, is a retired journalist from the Times newspaper who, five years ago, published a book celebrating Tony Blair's relationship with George W. Bush and the U.S. -- by coincidence at almost exactly the moment the worst of the alleged torture abuses were taking place.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Nafeez Ahmed Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. A former Guardian writer, he writes the 'System Shift' column for VICE's Motherboard, and is also a columnist for Middle East Eye. He is the winner of a 2015 Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian work.

Nafeez has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How the CIA made Google

Capitalism, Consumerism and Materialism: The Value Crisis

The Great Unravelling: Tunisia, Egypt and the Protracted Collapse of the American Empire

Bin Laden - Dead or Alive? Threats, Lies and Videotapes

Hitchens Has No Clothes: A Response to 'Vidal Loco'

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend