Thursday, October 26, 2006

Guardian: CIA tried to silence EU on torture flights
The CIA tried to persuade Germany to silence EU protests about the human rights record of one of America's key allies in its clandestine torture flights programme, the Guardian can reveal.

According to a secret intelligence report, the CIA offered to let Germany have access to one of its citizens, an al-Qaida suspect being held in a Moroccan cell. But the US secret agents demanded that in return, Berlin should cooperate and "avert pressure from EU" over human rights abuses in the north African country. The report describes Morocco as a "valuable partner in the fight against terrorism".
These are the good guys apparently.

As usual, our government has issued a non-denial denial.
The Foreign Office said yesterday that the government had "not approved and will not approve a policy of facilitating transfer of individuals through the UK to places where there are substantial grounds to believe they face a real risk of torture".
That is clearly not the same as saying "this has not happened and will not happen". In fact, this comment, just like every other one they make on the subject, is entirely consistent with the sort of "no questions asked" attitude which would allow the government to maintain a degree of plausible deniability.

Of course, you can only take plausible deniability so far before you start to sound unhelpful and evasive.

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