Torture

“The United States does not use torture, expect its agents to use torture or condone torture by an member of the US forces or intelligence services, ” stated that nice, smiley Condoleeza Rice lady (naturally I am being sarcastic here – I think that woman has the coldest, deadest eyes, as if the soul has been scooped out). We at the Gazette are convinced that she speaks the truth – the US does not carry out torture. They have friends in other countries to do that for them.

It is interesting to hear these very weak almost-but-not-quite denials, especially given the fact that the administration has said in the past that although the use of torture would be unconstitutional, if carried out to protect the US then really it would be okay. Bit like Tony and his chums saying, we would never allow torture in Britain, but you know, if we happen to have intelligence which was gathered in another country where torture is practised then we may as well use it. Obviously that wouldn’t be anything like showing tacit support for the use of torture at all…

And before anyone asks ‘who cares? They’re all foreign terrorists’ let’s just look at this. For starters it is utterly illegal and morally indefensible – we do not protect out civilisation by stooping to hideous, illegal acts which undermine everything we stand for – there can be no excuse for acting like the Gestapo, especially when the person being so abused may in fact be totally innocent (but who will now harbour a deep hatred for the West for this treatment). Second, even if the British or US don’t allow torture but are prepared to use intelligence from other nations gathered using torture then that makes our governments accomplices in a clear abuse of human rights and a violation of both national and international law.

Third – even if you still don’t agree and think any tool is valid to be used in the great War On Terror (or WOT as it is known) then consider the simple, pragmatic reasoning here: torture as a means of extracting useful information has always proven to be utterly useless. As a means of gaining intelligence it is highly unreliable, gives often misleading or false ‘information’ and is ultimately self-defeating.

Our governments and intelligence services have managed to give us enough misleading ‘intelligence’ without half-baked tales wrung out of some poor sod in a foreign jail who would have told you he wore his sister’s underwear during Ramadan if he thought it was what you wanted to hear so you’d remove the pliers from his dangly bits. Hats off the the Law Lords in the UK today for telling Blair’s cabinet of war criminals that the use of ‘evidence’ gathered in countries where torture was used is utterly illegal in Britain. Or perhaps Tony will want to change that – after all, this is the man who once remarked that certain section of the European Convention on Human Rights could be ‘re-written’… And will he actually do anything about the CIA process of ‘rendition’, where they use British airports to fly kidnapped prisoners to third part nations who partake of an interesting mix of wet rags, wires and batteries…