Bloggers Publish UK torture memos

Craig MurrayFormer UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray today published two documents at his website despite a ban imposed by British officials. Murray, whose book regarding these documents has been blocked for months by the UK Foreign Office, recently likened Uzbekistan to North Korea in this Guardian article.

These documents are damning indeed and as the mainstream media will not publish their contents, the blogosphere has come together today to expose these harrowing details of British (and American) endorsed torturous interrogation tactics.

Blairwatch has extensive coverage and images of these documents as well as the government’s side of the story here.

Murray had long been encouraged to resign after repeatedly questioning British interrogation practices, and was suspended indefinitely in October, 2004.
Murray made the following statement prefacing the documents on his web site:

In March 2003 I was summoned back to London from Tashkent specifically for a meeting at which I was told to stop protesting. I was told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtain and to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers.

After this meeting Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s legal adviser, wrote to confirm this position. This minute from Michael Wood is perhaps the most important document that has become public about extraordinary rendition. It is irrefutable evidence of the government’s use of torture material, and that I was attempting to stop it. It is no wonder that the government is trying to suppress this.

I have made the text of these letters available here.

Several web sites are taking the lead on this including: Daily Kos, CathiefromCanada, IntoxiNation, AgitProp, The Talent Show, and Perfect.

Top 10 Myths about Iraq in 2005

If you somehow happened upon this blog, but have yet to read Juan Cole’s “Top 10 Myths about Iraq piece in 2005,” piece published today, here is the link. Professor Cole’s Informed Comment blog is an essential component of my RSS Newsfeed (opml file).

The myths:

    1. The guerrilla war is being waged only in four provinces.
    2. Iraqi Sunnis voting in the December 15 election is a sign that they are being drawn into the political process and might give up the armed insurgency.
    3. The guerrillas are winning the war against US forces.
    4. Iraqis are grateful for the US presence and want US forces there to help them build their country.
    5. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, born in Iran in 1930, is close to the Iranian regime in Tehran.
    6. There is a silent majority of middle class, secular-minded Iraqis who reject religious fundamentalism.
    7. The new Iraqi constitution is a victory for Western, liberal values in the Middle East.
    8. Iraq is already in a civil war, so it does not matter if the US simply withdraws precipitately, since the situation is as bad as it can get.
    9. The US can buy off the Iraqis now supporting guerrilla action against US troops.
    10. The Bush administration wanted free elections in Iraq.

Padilla Update

I wrote last week of the Bush administration’s attempts to further manipulate and even quash the Jose Padilla case to ensure that he would not receive a fair trial by any historic definition of democratic justice.

From a realistic point of view this seemed to be a case of BushCo toying with the judiciary to emphasize its unhindered/unchecked command, most especially in cases of unlawful mistakes.

Michael Luttig, who was shortlisted as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement in the Supreme Court, heading a uninamous decision in 4th circuit appeals court, wrote a “scathing rebuke of the government’s manipulation of the court system suggesting that the administration might have unjustifiably held Padilla as an enemy combatant.” He previously awarded the president the authority to hold enemy combatants, as Padilla was originally held and suspected, without charge (whilst still under GW’s spell pre-Alito)?

The government’s careless and downright wrong handling of the Padilla case is a textbook example of the dictatorial tendencies of our lawless commandantes.

Seattle Times takes these words right out of my mouth:

Let’s not forget the whole thing. This question of whether any president can declare a citizen an unlawful combatant and imprison him on a military base will come up again. It will have to be decided. Let’s decide it now.

Dante Chinni is remarkably clear in his column in the Christian Science Monitor: “a lot of people in Congress and the courts aren’t exactly celebrating the White House’s prosecution of the “war on terror.”

The Trib’s Steve Chapman, who I often have trouble reading, is most eloquent in his analysis entitled:

Ed Brayton and stcynic take it from there.