The Torture Report

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The lies of the Iraq War era live on. Tony Blair continues to strut across the world’s stage and there has been no closure to a chapter of recent history that includes torture, kidnapping and murder in “black prisons” signed off on by the leaders of democratic states; icing on the cake of a war based on lies that cost UK taxpayers alone £10 billion and Iraq half a million civilian deaths.

Senior and unapologetic politicians complicit in this continue to populate the Labour Party – with only former foreign secretary Jack Straw made to sweat faintly in court for his connection to torture. In the U.S., Dick Cheney has been wheeled out by the New York Times to repeat old and long since disproven lies, as the CIA issues a heavily redacted report on its torturing (pdf).

In the UK, we’ve never even got that close. Even the Chilcot Inquiry on the Iraq War remains unfinished, four years into its investigations (few would have high hopes of much more than a Hutton Report-like whitewash…) Meanwhile approximately 74,991 servicemen and women are believed to suffer as a result of the war, either physically or mentally.

This is a burning injustice at the very heart of our body politic, swept under the rug by a supine herd of politicians happy to cheer at any mention of a war somewhere.

The disgusting idiocy of their enthusiasm to launch one based on egregious lies in 2003 further poisoned the world for our children, set the Middle East in flames (and further radicalised thousands), made genuine international agreement on true humanitarian intervention nigh impossible, defanged the political reporting of the BBC, further politicised the intelligence services (with a government spin doctor allowed to chair a meeting on raw intelligence), triggered the stripping of civil and legal liberties and corrupted our democracy with an unparalleled propaganda campaign.

It is clear that there are people who plot terrorism. What this report makes clear is that it is human intelligence that normally catches them. Torture meanwhile led to false intelligence that was used, against us, as propaganda. This is a chapter in our and the U.S.’s history that should not be left alone. It was approved in the highest levels of government and those who did so should be held accountable and jailed. The report, although heavily redacted, is a very important read.

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