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It’s time to stop covering up

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david milibandMiliband’s stand smacks of big government.

The involvement of the Foreign Secretary and South Shields MP David Miliband in the ongoing legal wrangles involving Binyam Mohamed and a panel of judges at the High Court is beginning now to look unseemly, and smacks of “big government” determined to have it’s way and protect the public from knowing just how involved Britain is in using medieval torture methods to gain what we think is “intelligence”. The longer he holds out the faster he loses the argument that we are fighting abroad to protect ourselves at home, no person of sanity can possibly accept that torture and abuse of human rights is acceptable in any western liberal democracy or society, and if it is abundantly clear that we condone such methodologies then we ought not to be surprised that we become the legitimate target for retaliation.

The judges revealed that seven paragraphs in a key document Miliband insists must remain secret “relate to admissions of what officials of the US did to BM during his detention in Pakistan”. They repeated their earlier finding that “what is contained in those seven redacted paragraphs gives rise to an arguable case of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

The court has heard that a British security service officer interrogated Mohamed in Pakistan and officials passed information about him to the CIA. It was clear, the judges said, that the relationship of the UK to the US in connection with Mohamed “was far beyond that of a bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing”.

In one stinging passage, the judges said yesterday the foreign secretary “was not prepared either to produce evidence or address argument to us”.

This is not a sustainable position for Miliband or the government to make a stand on and his repeated rebuff to the High Court damages the reputation of Britain and our position in the world as being a place where justice is seen to be fair, one would hope that he might be prepared instead to reject the advice being offered to him by the security services and accede to the requests of the court.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Ed Davey has said of the case:

“The Government’s claim that this evidence would endanger national security looks more flimsy than ever. David Miliband must end this shameful episode now and allow the judges to publish the redacted material from their judgement.

“It is especially galling that the Foreign Office has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in an attempt to cover up the truth.”

On December 10, 1948, The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights set out that all people anywhere in the world are entitled to basic rights: life, liberty and security, religious and political expression, freedom from torture and cruelty. Britain is a signatory to this landmark UN Declaration and Miliband must be reminded of this fact, God forbid that one day soon when Amnesty International gathers together evidence for it’s annual report on nations abusing human rights that the UK will be featuring prominently within it along with the USA.

We cannot be seen to be totally Janus headed over the issue of human rights and have a Foreign Secretary bemoaning the failures of others if we are just as involved ourselves.

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Written by curly

November 22, 2009 at 11:29 am

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Curly15, Curly15. Curly15 said: Shop gossip It’s time to stop covering up: Miliband’s stand smacks of big gov.. from Curly […]

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