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Diplomats ‘trying to censor’ US Senate report on British role in CIA activities

Posted on August 18th, 2014 at 22:46 by John Sinteur in category: Mess O'Potamia -- Write a comment

[Quote]:

Desperate diplomats are trying to censor a US Senate report that would blow open Britain’s role in torture and rendition, legal action charity Reprieve said yesterday.

Britain’s ambassador to the US has held at least 22 meetings with US intelligence select committee senators since they began looking into leaked CIA cables in 2009.

Newly released Foreign Office documents show “the desperate attempts being made by the UK to censor the Senate’s report on CIA torture,” stormed Reprieve executive director Clare Algar.

Current ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott most recently tried to lobby Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich on July 14.

He has also courted six other senators since July 2012, including committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and vice-chairman Saxby Chambliss.

  1. Once you declare the King and Queen as above other people, other people become expendable.

  2. @chas: I don’t think it’s to do with the (largely) ceremonial Head of State being a hereditary position vs. an elected one.

    It’s about British (and other) governments being obliged to please the USA. Or actually wanting to please them.

  3. And the House of Lords is ceremonial too?

  4. The House Of Lords actually works as a revising chamber and prevents the House of Commons from ramming through some pretty odious legislation. The Lords have been instrumental in legislating some of the more humane and enlightened laws (few though they are) such as gay rights. Things are not always what they seem. Having said all that I think the French had the right idea of how to deal with aristocracies. But you have to start where you are and preferably not from a point of ignorance.

  5. Some confusion here surely. The House of Lords is an unelected and unrepresentative body which exists solely to provide jobs for superannuated career politicians. The membership tend to be drawn from bands of politicians who have retired and from toadying business and professional elites. Their number is supplemented by a few hereditary positions and some seats are reserved for senior members of the Church of England.
    While it is no longer acceptable for the Lords to buy their seats somehow contributors to the two main political parties seem still to find themselves mysteriously appointed. All of this must help the widely held belief that the Brits are Stupid. Come the revolution all their Lordships will be shot.

  6. It’s not possible to disagree with any of that. The confusion arises because they Lords does in fact serve to humanise and mitigate the worst excesses of that worst of all political systems (except for all the rest) untempered democracy. See USA for unending examples.

    There’s an awful lot of competition but I think we can safely say that Brits are indeed Stupid. Not Stupider than most, perhaps, but Stupid like the rest. I note that we all choose to express these thoughts in our Stupid language.

  7. Perhaps we might agree that many political systems work in many parts of the world to varying degrees. Nothing to do with this issue.

    The particular problem is that several countries (Britain, Canada, Poland and probably others) are complicit in what are essentially kidnap/torture conspiracies. They were doing it for the US.

    At least one has been exposed and partly compensated (not by the US though): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar (this man was entirely innocent).

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