‘Systemic cover-up of torture- biggest scandal in UK’
RT:Nick Clegg has suggested a case might be made for a full legal inquiry into British complicity in torture. How much of a case could there be considering the UK's involvement in extraordinary rendition after 9/11?
Tony Gosling: I don’t think the involvement is just alleged. We clearly have been involved- there is quite a lot of evidence for that. Also helping torture, we have the case of Binyam Mohamed who had some horrific torture done to him whilst our secret services MI5, in that case, were actually present in the room, and giving the torturers the so-called information which they were using and trying to interrogate during this torture. If I was to kidnap or torture somebody I would be prosecuted and put in jail for decades. What we are talking about here is systemic cover-ups, state terrorism or war crimes. It is probably fair to say that this is the biggest scandal that comes out of the 9/11 attacks.
I think it should also force us to look at those attacks to see if we’ve got the response to them right and even understood what happened that day. It is quite clear that rendition certainly had been going on with British complicity. And I’d also point to the crash of the Gulfstream jet back in September 2007. One of the jets which should have been used for that rendition program has been spotted by plane spotters in various countries. The same Gulfstream jet crashed in Mexico and four tons of cocaine was found on that plane. So what we are looking at here is basically a criminal elite and a criminal misuse of the secret services. The reason why the Labor opposition here in Britain hasn’t had anything to say is because they were involved with David Miliband, the brother of the leader of the opposition here, the Foreign Secretary at that time complicit in covering up torture back when Labor were in power.
RT:Nick Clegg said he's confident UK agents are not using torture. How about you?
TG: Not at all, because there is no proper oversight about secret services here in Britain. Particularly I mean even Sir Francis Richards, the former head of GCHQ [Government Communications Headquarters], was saying that sir Malcolm Rifkind who is the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee shouldn’t be doing that job because he is a senior conservative. What you need is someone at least to oppose to the present government… an opposition figure for example to oversee our secret services.
We have got no proper oversight of secret services at all here. So I’m not at all confident that this isn’t still going on. And when we’ve got a runaway criminality using our secret services, it seems, and no proper oversight by our elected officials .The elected officials seem to be very far down the food chain when it comes to this kind of criminal activity. The gains from it, you might wonder what they are, of course this is big geostrategic… important… that countries that are being taken over as the result of these secret service activities, for example, the massive secret service involvement in the takeover of Libya. And we are talking about oil; we are talking about enormous grabs of national natural resources.
RT:There will be no official held accountable after the US torture report. How realistic is it to assume if a UK probe went through that British officials would pay a price if it was proved they know about acts of, or aided in torture?
TG: Let’s look for example at the Chilcot inquiry here into the Iraq war. We had an extensive inquiry and lots of witnesses, but still the report was never produced because it is too embarrassing. I go back again to almost like the lack of the rule of law, seems to be even worse here in Britain than in the United States because we haven’t seen at least the Senate intelligence committee who produced this torture report. We haven’t seen anything on the equivalent lines here in Britain. Let’s not forget also that during the running of this inquiry and the report in the US it was proven that the CIA was spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. So I’ve got little confidence that here in Britain will be a proper inquiry into this at all. I’m very concerned [that] there are many people involved on the periphery of, or even have been in the past, involved in torture who would like to blow the whistle and they are really afraid to. They are looking at the case of people like Chelsea Manning and Assange, the publisher, and wondering: “Can we blow the whistle?” I would suggest they probably need to get in touch with groups like the British Military Personnel, Veterans for Peace, so they can blow the whistle without ending up in the Tower of London. Essentially a kind of feudal system we seem to have here where many of these elites and the secret services particularly, rich and powerful, and doing so well out of the past 9/11 wars, they are above the law.
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