Wednesday, 10 December 2014


In the wake of the Senate intelligence committee report on the use of torture by the CIA, Scotland's Lord Advocate has instructed Police Scotland to review it in connection with their investigation into the use of Scottish airports for 'rendition' of suspects.

The Senate report reveals that the CIA inflicted pain and suffering far beyond what was legal and included techniques such as
weeks of sleep deprivation, slapping and slamming of detainees against walls, confining them to small boxes, keeping them isolated for prolonged periods and threatening them with death. Three detainees faced the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding. Many developed psychological problems
Let's just think about this for a minute.  There are some degrees of pain and suffering that are legal in the US?  A quick look at Wikipedia tells us that
"torture" means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
There's a nice weasel phrase in there 'other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions'.   I'd be interested to know just what that means.

It would appear that permission to use Scottish airports for rendition flights has to come from the UK government rather than the Scottish government.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Responsibility lies with the UK Government, who state that permission for rendition flights would only ever be granted if the UK government was satisfied that the rendition would accord with UK laws and our international obligations.
 The government at the time was the Labour government.

Torture is illegal in the UK, so to allow rendition flights here, certain officials are either knowingly complicit or adopted a 'don't ask,. don't tell' stance on the matter.  The outcome of the police investigation must therefore be a subject of some worry for members of the government at the time.  Let's hope those who were responsible are not allowed to get away with this.

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