Anyone here a fan of genital mutilation? I’m not. I’m the sort of person who collapses to the floor when a tennis ball hits me in the nuts, softly. It’s fairly safe I don’t particularly want to have my “penis slashed with a scalpel“. Sadly though some Pakistanis have a fondness for this, albeit on other people. Maybe they do it to themselves too, it’s their choice after all, I won’t comment. This man, however, just happened to be a British citizen (albeit a non-white one).
Anyway one or two or you may have noticed that he has been in the news recently, as the appeal court have ruled that the government cannot “suppress a summary of what happened to Binyam Mohamed on the grounds of national security.” Naturally this is a disaster. Britain’s compliance in torture isn’t exactly a secret, but all the same, this just isn’t cricket.
Now, surely to any decent human being, this represents a horrific event, one that should be punished. But some people just can’t see what is wrong.
Here’s just one op-ed complaining, not that our government was privy to the torture of a British citizen, but the courts are allowing the information to come up. The swines.
It starts nicely:
Binyam Mohamed was released from Guantanamo Bay last year at the insistence of the British Government. It persuaded the American government to drop terrorist charges against him. Now our Government has been repaid for its efforts on his behalf.
Yeah Binyam, you ungrateful bastard. The British government did all it could for you. Fine, it was privy for your years of torture and abuse, but it did persuade the US to drop charges, so what do you have to complain about? (A cynic might add the fact that the US dropped the charges as they had no basis in fact. But not me)
It carries on, bemoaning a
legal judgment that undermines this country’s ability to get information on our deadly enemies.
Oh nose. That pesky torture ban, preventing us from getting information.
Then a bizarre example of Doublethink
Few of us want anyone tortured, and most of us want a system of justice that is independent of government. But we do not want a country that cannot protect itself from attack, or judges who take political decisions upon themselves. Yet this is what we are getting.
We don’t want people tortured, but it’s bad to prevent it? Gotcha.
The article continues very boringly justifying the opinion by saying not complaining about torture helps our foreign relations. Aww. Still, some mass hilarity at the end.
I feel a similar anger on behalf of “Witness B”, the MI5 officer who flew out to interview Mohamed. Why do our snug, smug judges feel that they can undermine him and his service, who take such risks on our behalf?
Aww, poor Witness B. I feel so sorry for him, being undermined like that, when he is so brave taking a “risk” in allowing a man to have his penis slashed. In fact, I’m so moved by his plight, I think we should have a collection on his behalf.
Still, nothing like some quasi-fascist views to end an article:
Yes, individual rights matter (though one notices that Mohamed himself, now living in Dorset, has no personal interest in this case, which is being run politically). But collective rights matter greatly too. There is such a thing as a national interest, and it must be defended.
Translation: Individual rights matter only for white people, darkies need to submit for the “national interest”.
The Telegraph further informed us of the plight of our torturers by complaining that MI5 officers are “going through files to determine whether they are relevant to cases involving 14 men – two of whom are convicted terrorists – who are using taxpayers’ money to pursue damages claims.”. Sod the fourteen people tortured (which is justified by the fact that two of them are guilty), our poor officers have paperwork. I always knew there was a downside to torture, excessive paperwork.
However we can laugh off the Torygraph’s opinions as the right wing guff that they are, but the head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, felt the need to join the debate.
He starts off with the same justification as the Telegraph did:
The US, in particular, has been generous in sharing intelligence with us on terrorist threats; that has saved British lives and must be protected.
How kind of them to save lives from threats no evidence for is given, and were only put in danger by our government’s subservience to US policy in the first place.
We must hope, for our safety and security, that this does not make it less ready to share intelligence with us.
Notice he is accusing us of undermining our security by wanting the truth, not MI5 for commiting the act in the first place.
Still, nothing like a lie to support your point:
We did not practise mistreatment or torture then and do not do so now, nor do we collude in torture or encourage others to torture on our behalf.
Tell that to Craig Murray.