British Judges Blast U.S. For Withholding Gitmo Evidence
Binyan Mohamed's allegations of torture while at Guantanamo are making their way through the British courts. In a joint ruling, two British Judges issued a ruling blasting the U.S. for not releasing evidence that would show if British agents were complicit in torturing Mohammed and for threatening Britain.
The ruling implies that torture has taken place in the Mohamed case, that British agencies may have been complicit, and most important of all, that the United States Government has threatened our High Courts that if it releases this information, the US Government will withdraw its intelligence co-operation with the United Kingdom on matters of security.
"'We had no reason to anticipate there would be made a threat of the gravity of the kind made by the United States Government that it would reconsider its intelligence sharing relationship, when all the considerations in relation to open justice pointed to us providing a limited but important summary of the reports."'
A companion article has more on the ruling by Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones:
"In the light of the long history of the common law and democracy which we share with the United States it was in our view difficult to conceive that a democratically elected and accountable government could possibly have any rational objection to placing into the public domain such a summary of what its own officials reported, as to how a detainee was treated by them and which made no disclosure of sensitive intelligence matters.
The judges are also unhappy with President Obama's refusal thus far to change course:
The judges said they had been informed by lawyers for Foreign Secretary David Miliband that the threat to withdraw co-operation remained even under President Barack Obama's new administration.
Unfortunately, the upshot is:
The judges decided not to release the evidence because the US had threatened to withdraw cooperation over terrorist intelligence and "the public of the United Kingdom would be put at risk".
Binyan Mohamed is an Ethiopian ghost air detainee.
In July of 2002, Ethiopian native Binyam Mohamed was taken from Pakistan to Morocco on a Gulfstream V aircraft registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as N379P. Flight and logistical support services for this aircraft were provided by Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. In Morocco, Mohamed was handed over to agents of Moroccan intelligence who detained and tortured him for the next 18 months.
In 2004, Mohamed was rendered to a secret U.S. detention facility in Afghanistan. Flight and logistical support services for this aircraft, a Boeing 737 business jet, were also provided by Jeppesen. In Afghanistan Mohamed was tortured and inhumanely treated by United States officials. Later that same year Mohamed was rendered a third time by U.S. officials, this time to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba where he is presently.
In 2007, the ACLU filed suit against Jeppeson , a subsidiary of Boeing, over Mohamed's (and two other detainees')treatment, but the case was dismissed. In September, 2008, the ACLU asked the federal appeals court in California to reinstate the lawsuit. The case is still pending. The ACLU's brief is here.
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