High Court rules against UK and US in case of Guantánamo torture victim Binyam Mohamed

30.8.08

Binyam MohamedAndy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, reports on the UK High Court’s significant judgment in favour of British resident Binyam Mohamed last week, in which the judges ruled that the British government had an obligation to hand over evidence in its possession relating to his rendition and torture, and the Court’s second judgment on Friday, in which the judges ruled that the government’s attempts to prevent disclosure for reasons of “national security” were insufficient –- but allowed the government one more week to comply.

In the lawless world of Guantánamo –- and the United States’ even murkier network of secret prisons run by or on behalf of the CIA –- it has taken six years and four months for British resident Binyam Mohamed to secure anything resembling justice.

Seized in Pakistan in April 2002, Binyam was rendered to Morocco three months later, where he was tortured on behalf of the US for 18 months, in sessions that regularly included having his genitals cut with a razor, and was then held for nine months in Afghanistan, first at the “Dark Prison,” a secret prison run by the CIA, where he was also tortured, and then at Bagram airbase. He has been held at Guantánamo since September 2004.

When justice finally came for Binyam, it was not at Guantánamo, but in London’s High Court, where, last Thursday, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones delivered a stinging rebuke to both the British and the American governments: to the British for the complicity of the UK intelligence services in the US administration’s post-9/11 policies of “extraordinary rendition” and torture, and to the Americans for the lawless conduct of the trials by Military Commission that were established in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to deal with “terror suspects” like Binyam (even though the judges professed in their ruling that they “did not consider it necessary to form any view about the overall fairness of the Military Commissions procedure”).

The road to the High Court opened up in May this year, when Binyam’s lawyers at the legal action charity Reprieve, who represent over 30 Guantánamo prisoners, teamed up with solicitors at Leigh Day & Co. to sue the British government, seeking the release of information relating to British knowledge of Binyam’s rendition and torture, in preparation for his impending trial at Guantánamo.

In the event, this was prescient, as charges were leveled against Binyam on May 28, in connection with the spectral “dirty bomb” plot that was dropped years ago against US citizen Jose Padilla. It was, therefore, imperative that potentially exculpatory evidence –- which the British possessed, and which they had also handed over to the Americans –- was made available to his lawyers so that they could begin preparing a defence, and, preferably, discover evidence of torture, which would back up Binyam’s claims that the charges against him were based solely on confessions obtained through torture, and would, therefore, make the US administration call off his forthcoming trial.

It was an indication of how far removed the Military Commissions are from legal norms that, although Binyam’s lawyers contended that he had been tortured, and had discovered the records of “extraordinary rendition” flights that matched his accounts, the US administration had not only provided no information to enable them to defend him, but had also categorically refused to account for his whereabouts before his arrival at Bagram.

Whatever information they and the British possessed would, it was stated, be made available to Binyam’s military defense lawyer, Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley, at the discovery stage, should his trial go ahead, but as the trial of Salim Hamdan demonstrated in late July, some evidence was withheld from the defence until the last possible moment, and other evidence –- relating, for example, to coercive interrogations of Hamdan conducted by the CIA in Afghanistan –- was ruled off-limits by the military judge presiding over the trial, and was, essentially, regarded as though it didn’t exist at all.

In Binyam’s case, his lawyers sued the British government after an earlier attempt to secure potentially exculpatory evidence from the British government was turned down, when the Treasury Solicitors, acting on behalf of the government, attempted to brush aside British complicity in Binyam’s rendition, torture and false confessions by claiming that “the UK is under no obligation under international law to assist foreign courts and tribunals in assuring that torture evidence is not admitted,” and adding that “it is HM Government’s position that … evidence held by the UK Government that US and Moroccan authorities engaged in torture or rendition cannot be obtained” by his British lawyers.

Last Thursday, following a judicial review in the High Court that was triggered when Binyam’s lawyers sued the government, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones demolished the government’s defence of its actions in a 75-page judgment (also available as a five-page summary).

The judges made clear that, after Binyam was captured and US agents came to regard him as “a serious potential threat to the security of the United Kingdom,” the British intelligence services had “every reason to seek to obtain as much intelligence from him as was possible in accordance with the rule of law and to cooperate as fully as possible with the United States authorities to that end.” They concluded, however, that the actions of the intelligence services from May 2002, when a British agent visited Binyam in US-supervised Pakistani custody, until February 2003, when the British last received information from the US regarding his interrogations, had placed the British government in a position where it “was involved, however innocently, in the alleged wrongdoing,” which it had helped facilitate.

Regarding Binyam’s time in Pakistan, where the British agent who visited him on May 17, 2002 made it clear that the British government “would not help [him] unless he cooperated fully with the US authorities,” the judges ruled that Binyam’s detention was “unlawful” under Pakistani law, because he “was being detained by the United States incommunicado and without access to a lawyer.” Furthermore, the judges noted that the British intelligence services “provided further information to the United States and further questions to be asked of BM [Binyam]” for nine months after this visit, even though he “was still incommunicado and they must also have appreciated that he was not in a United States facility and that the facility in which he was being detained was that of a foreign government (other than Afghanistan).”

The judges noted that all of the above was particularly significant because the information obtained from Binyam was “sought to be used as a confession in a trial where the charges … are very serious and may carry the death penalty,” and that it is “a long-standing principle of the common law that confessions obtained by torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment cannot be used as evidence in any trial.” They therefore ruled that “by seeking to interview BM in the circumstances found and supplying information and questions for his interviews, the relationship between the United Kingdom Government and the United States authorities went far beyond that of a bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing.”

The gravity of this was brought home during the judicial review, when the agent who had interviewed Binyam in Pakistan was cross-examined for several days in closed sessions that were clearly so perilous for the agent, in terms of potential criminal liability for war crimes under the International Criminal Court Act of 2001, that he brought his own legal adviser with him, and, it was revealed in the judgment, initially refused to answer the judges’ questions, fearing self-incrimination. This, of course, is in marked contrast to the position held by the US administration, which has refused to sign up to the International Criminal Court, and which, in addition, maintains that it “does not torture” and continues to do all in its power to deny that it has been responsible for gross human rights abuses.

In the second part of their ruling, the judges took as their starting point an admission by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, which took place “after the commencement of this application but before the hearing,” that he had “identified documents which he considers could be considered exculpatory or might otherwise be relevant in the context of the proceedings before the Military Commission.” After stating that David Miliband had informed Binyam’s lawyers and had “provided these documents to the United States Government,” the judges added, “It is a matter of regret that the documents have not been made available in the proceedings under the Military Commissions Act in confidence to BM’s lawyers, who have security clearance from the United States authorities to at least secret level.”

This was not the judges’ only thinly-veiled criticism of the behaviour of the US authorities, but it was for three specific reasons that they proceeded to rule that the Foreign Secretary was “under a duty” to disclose “in confidence” to Binyam’s legal advisers the requested information, which was “not only necessary but essential for his defence”: firstly, because the Foreign Secretary had not made the documents available to Binyam’s lawyers; secondly, because the US authorities had also refused to do so; and thirdly, because the Foreign Secretary had accepted that Binyam had “established an arguable case” that, until his transfer to Guantánamo, “he was subject to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by or on behalf of the United States,” and was also “subject to torture during such detention by or on behalf of the United States.”

Having demolished the cases put forward by both the British and American governments, the judges nevertheless held out a lifeline for the Foreign Secretary, pointing out that they would “make no order for the provision of the information” until he “had an opportunity to consider the interests of national security in the light of these judgments,” and set a date for a second hearing on Wednesday August 27.

On the day, what was initially regarded as a straightforward hearing for the Foreign Secretary to announce his response to the judges’ ruling turned into another long session as the government responded to the security concerns mentioned by the judges by filing a Public Interest Immunity (PII) Certificate seeking to suppress disclosure of the documents on the grounds of national security, and the US State Department attempted to strike a deal through correspondence with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

John Bellinger, the US State Department’s Legal Adviser, claimed that public disclosure of the documents was “likely to result in serious damage to US national security and could harm existing intelligence information-sharing arrangements between our two governments.” His only concession to the judges’ ruling was to note that the Office of the Chief Prosecutor in the Office of Military Commissions had agreed to provide the British intelligence documents (44 in total) to the Commissions’ Convening Authority, Susan Crawford, if she requested them, “subject only to the condition that the names of American and British government officials and the locations of intelligence facilities will be redacted from the documents prior to their being provided.” He added that, if Binyam’s trial were to go ahead, the redacted documents would be made available to his military lawyer at the “normal discovery phase” of the process.

In a separate email to the FCO, Stephen Mathias, one of John Bellinger’s deputies, offered a further concession “by way of update,” in which he stated that the Legal Adviser had now decided to present the documents to Susan Crawford, without waiting for her to ask for them. Describing this as “a significant development,” Stephen Mathias proceeded to claim, with a degree of force that appeared rather intimidating, “Ordering the disclosure of US intelligence information now would have only the marginal effects of serious and lasting damage to the US-UK intelligence sharing relationship, and thus the national security of the United Kingdom, and of aggressive and unprecedented intervention in the apparently functioning adjudicatory processes of a longtime ally of the United Kingdom, in contravention of well established principles of international comity.”

As Ben Jaffey (for Binyam) argued in court, neither the State Department’s “carefully calibrated concessions” nor the British government’s claim of Public Interest Immunity were tenable. He pointed out, as the judges did in their ruling, that the case did not involve public disclosure of the documents, but only the confidential disclosure to Binyam’s lawyers, Lt. Col. Yvonne Bradley and Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s Director, who both have US security clearance. He added that the supposed concessions demonstrated merely that the US government was determined to find any method possible to prevent disclosure, and added that nothing offered by the State Department addressed the “central question” relating to Binyam’s rendition and torture. “Where,” he asked, “was Mr. Mohamed between 2002 and 2004?”

Ben Jaffey was equally dismissive of the British government’s PII claims, noting, in particular, that David Miliband had effectively conceded that the British government was going to hand over the intelligence documents to Binyam’s lawyers until the State Department intervened, and calmly dismissing the government’s national security claims. His composure was in marked contrast to that of the government’s representative, Tim Eicke, who struggled to maintain a coherent argument, despite the best efforts of the many representatives of the government and the intelligence services at the back of the court, who kept slipping him notes suggesting new twists on the spurious national security case.

On Friday, the judges delivered their second judgment on Binyam’s case. Noting that the correspondence from the US State Department effected a “significant change” in the US position, they nevertheless refused to accept the British government’s position regarding its Public Interest Immunity Certificate. They were, it seemed, convinced in particular by submissions from the Special Advocates, Thomas de la Mare and Martin Goudie, who represented Binyam in the various sessions of the court that were closed to the public when confidential material was being discussed. In the opinion of the Special Advocates, the PII Certificate, and other proposals presented in a closed session on Wednesday, “failed to address, in the light of allegations made by BM, the abhorrence and condemnation accorded to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Adding that this issue was something whose significance had been “accepted on behalf of the Foreign Secretary,” the judges proceeded to note that the Foreign Secretary “nevertheless contended that the issues arising out of BM’s allegations of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment were implicitly dealt with in his Certificate,” and in the documentation used in the closed session. “Having carefully considered this matter,” the judges wrote, “we do not consider that the issue arising out of the allegations made by BM is implicitly dealt with in these documents.”

Refusing to push the matter further, the judges commended the Foreign Secretary and the FCO’s Legal Adviser, Daniel Bethlehem QC, for having “gone to very considerable lengths to provide BM with assistance,” noting that it was “evident” that they had “been engaged in lengthy discussions which have led to the important changes” summarized in the second judgment. “This,” they added, “has been time-consuming and burdensome, and has rendered very real assistance to the interests of justice in this case.”

As a result, the judges concluded their second judgment by giving the Foreign Secretary another week to come up with a response to their initial ruling and the developments since. They suggested that this could be in the form of another security certificate, although I hope, of course, that, having been thrown another lifeline, the government might find it preferable — bearing in mind the Special Advocates’ description of “the abhorrence and condemnation accorded to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” — either to give Binyam’s lawyers what they require, or, preferably, to convince the US administration that, in order to keep the door to the torture chambers firmly shut, the only available course of action is to drop the charges against Binyam and return him to the UK.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and see here for my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

As published on CounterPunch, Antiwar.com, the Huffington Post, ZNet, American Torture, ukwatch.net and Indymedia.

See the following for a sequence of articles dealing with the stumbling progress of the Military Commissions: The reviled Military Commissions collapse (June 2007), A bad week at Guantánamo (Commissions revived, September 2007), The curse of the Military Commissions strikes the prosecutors (September 2007), A good week at Guantánamo (chief prosecutor resigns, October 2007), The story of Mohamed Jawad (October 2007), The story of Omar Khadr (November 2007), Guantánamo trials: where are the terrorists? (February 2008), Six in Guantánamo charged with 9/11 attacks: why now, and what about the torture? (February 2008), Guantánamo’s shambolic trials (ex-prosecutor turns, February 2008), Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials (March 2008), African embassy bombing suspect charged (March 2008), The US military’s shameless propaganda over 9/11 trials (April 2008), Betrayals, backsliding and boycotts (May 2008), Fact Sheet: The 16 prisoners charged (May 2008), Four more charged, including Binyam Mohamed (June 2008), Afghan fantasist to face trial (June 2008), 9/11 trial defendants cry torture (June 2008), USS Cole bombing suspect charged (July 2008), Folly and injustice (Salim Hamdan’s trial approved, July 2008), A critical overview of Salim Hamdan’s Guantánamo trial and the dubious verdict (August 2008), Salim Hamdan’s sentence signals the end of Guantánamo (August 2008), Controversy still plagues Guantánamo’s Military Commissions (September 2008), Another Insignificant Afghan Charged (September 2008), Seized at 15, Omar Khadr Turns 22 in Guantánamo (September 2008), Is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Running the 9/11 Trials? (September 2008), two articles exploring the Commissions’ corrupt command structure (The Dark Heart of the Guantánamo Trials, and New Evidence of Systemic Bias in Guantánamo Trials, October 2008), Meltdown at the Guantánamo Trials (five trials dropped, October 2008), The collapse of Omar Khadr’s Guantánamo trial (October 2008), Corruption at Guantánamo (legal adviser faces military investigations, October 2008), An empty trial at Guantánamo (Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, October 2008), Life sentence for al-Qaeda propagandist fails to justify Guantánamo trials (al-Bahlul, November 2008), 20 Reasons To Shut Down The Guantánamo Trials (profiles of all the prisoners charged, November 2008), How Guantánamo Can Be Closed: Advice for Barack Obama (November 2008), More Dubious Charges in the Guantánamo Trials (two Kuwaitis, November 2008), The End of Guantánamo (Salim Hamdan repatriated, November 2008), Torture, Preventive Detention and the Terror Trials at Guantánamo (December 2008), Is the 9/11 trial confession an al-Qaeda coup? (December 2008), The Dying Days of the Guantánamo Trials (January 2009), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns Chaotic Trials (Lt. Col. Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Torture taints the case of Mohamed Jawad (January 2009), Bush Era Ends with Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession (Susan Crawford on Mohammed al-Qahtani, January 2009), Chaos and Lies: Why Obama Was Right to Halt The Guantánamo Trials (January 2009).

And for a sequence of articles dealing with the Obama administration’s response to the Military Commissions, see: Don’t Forget Guantánamo (February 2009), Who’s Running Guantánamo? (February 2009), The Talking Dog interviews Darrel Vandeveld, former Guantánamo prosecutor (February 2009), Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough (May 2009), Obama Returns To Bush Era On Guantánamo (May 2009), New Chief Prosecutor Appointed For Military Commissions At Guantánamo (May 2009), Pain At Guantánamo And Paralysis In Government (May 2009), My Message To Obama: Great Speech, But No Military Commissions and No “Preventive Detention” (May 2009), Guantánamo And The Many Failures Of US Politicians (May 2009), A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad (June 2009), A Broken Circus: Guantánamo Trials Convene For One Day Of Chaos (June 2009), Obama Proposes Swift Execution of Alleged 9/11 Conspirators (June 2009), Obama’s Confusion Over Guantánamo Terror Trials (June 2009).

For updates on Binyam’s case, see US Justice Department drops “dirty bomb plot” allegation against Binyam Mohamed, Guantánamo’s bleak farce, Contempt of court, Guilt By Torture: Binyam Mohamed’s Transatlantic Quest for Justice, British Torture Victim Binyam Mohamed To Be Released, Don’t Forget Guantánamo (February 2009), The betrayal of British torture victim Binyam Mohamed (February 2009), Hiding Torture And Freeing Binyam Mohamed From Guantánamo (February 2009), Binyam Mohamed’s Coming Home From Guantánamo, As Torture Allegations Mount (February 2009), Binyam Mohamed’s statement on his release from Guantánamo (February 2009), Who Is Binyam Mohamed, the British resident released from Guantánamo? (February 2009), Seven Years of Torture: Binyam Mohamed Tells His Story (March 2009), Binyam Mohamed’s Plea Bargain: Trading Torture For Freedom (March 2009), Guantánamo, Bagram and the “Dark Prison”: Binyam Mohamed talks to Moazzam Begg (March 2009), Obama’s First 100 Days: Mixed Messages On Torture (includes the Jeppesen lawsuit, May 2009), UK Government Lies Exposed; Spy Visited Binyam Mohamed In Morocco (May 2009), Daily Mail Pulls Story About Binyam Mohamed And British Spy (May 2009), Government Bans Testimony On Binyam Mohamed And The British Spy (May 2009), More twists in the tale of Binyam Mohamed (in the Guardian, May 2009), Did Hillary Clinton Threaten UK Over Binyam Mohamed Torture Disclosure? (May 2009), Outsourcing torture to foreign climes (in the Guardian, May 2009), Binyam Mohamed: Was Muhammad Salih’s Death In Guantánamo Suicide? (June 2009), Miliband Shows Leadership, Reveals Nothing About Torture To Parliamentary Committee (June 2009).

25 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    After this article was published on CounterPunch, I received the following message:

    Mr. Worthington,
    Sir, I want to thank you for your continuing reporting on the abuses done to people by the criminal US government.
    I have read your reports in the past and this latest is finally some bit of good news, in that some British judges have finally started to demand accountability.
    I have not replied to your articles before for a reason. I am a former US Marine and a Vietnam veteran. That is not quite why I have not replied to your previous articles. I have not done so from shame. Absolute, utter shame and contempt for “my” government. Yes, I served in Vietnam during that imperial war, but the abuses done by the current US government go beyond any that were done in that war in southeast Asia.
    How can, or how does any person with any sense of decency reply to your articles? That is why it has taken me this long to do so. Most everything you have written before has been bad news, news that makes me ashamed of being an American. I know that if Dad was still alive, he would be even more pissed than I have been and continue to be. He was an Army veteran of World War Two and loved his country very much. He would be appalled at what this government has done and continues to do.
    I am very ashamed of my government, but one disabled former Marine cannot do very much to change this. Would that I had some power to change things, I would demand justice for those who have done these crimes and those who ordered them to be done.
    Please continue to report on the abuses done by the criminal gang who run America today. You will have me as a loyal reader sir. Your work has been outstanding and of the very highest quality. You deserve some recognition and awards for your excellent work.
    Thank you very much for your time reading this humble reply.
    charlie ehlen
    Glenmora, LA

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    I then wrote back to Charlie:

    Thank you very much for your comments. They are truly appreciated, and I am impressed at the eloquence with which you have expressed your contempt for the “criminal gang” who have been running the White House since 2000, as well as your comments about your service and your memories of your father.
    Comments like yours are what keep me going. I don’t actually receive many comments, but am always encouraged when I do (apart from the odd piece of hate mail that drifts my way). I am, of course, sorry that you have been unable to respond to me until now, as the shame is not yours, but that of the government.
    And you are, of course, not powerless. Telling your friends, people you meet, what you think is one important way of spreading the word about injustice, and hopefully, too, a new administration will resolve to return America, morally and legally, to the place it was in on Sept. 10, 2001.
    I would also like to post your comments on my website, if I may. If you would prefer to be anonymous, that is fine by me, but I would like to do what little part I can in publicizing your opinions, as I think they both important and well-expressed.
    Thanks again.
    With best wishes,
    Andy

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    And this was Charlie’s reply:

    Mr. Worthington,
    Sir, I am honored that you wish to use my comments. Please do so, AND use my name with it. I am NOT ashamed of how I feel. As long as you put my name with my comments, you have my permission to use them.
    I also have a blog where I let go as it were on a variety of subjects. It is at:
    http://bear47.blogspot.com
    I write there more often than not to “express myself” as it were.
    I have read your articles, but, man, how does any sane person comment on your work?
    Yes, the shame OUGHT to be on the “rulers” in America, but they seem to have no shame, nor any sense of decency at all. If they had any, they would not have done as they have these past seven plus years.
    I hope you are able to continue your outstanding work, we all need to learn as much as possible about the crimes being perpetrated in our name.
    Also, this old former warrior (me) believes as did General Smedley Butler (who was awarded the Medal of Honor…..TWICE) there are only two reasons for war. One; to defend OUR homes. Two; to defend the Bill of Rights. He was right after 33 + years as a Marine, his words are STILL right today.
    Thank you for your most kind reply to me.
    Yes, use my comments as you see fit. Again, thank you for this honor, there isn’t much an old disabled guy like me can do to change things, if your use of my comments makes some small difference, then I will be very happy indeed to have been of any help at all.
    Thank you sir, you have made me feel quite a good bit better. There may yet be some hope for the world with courageous people like you seeking and telling the truth.
    semper fi,
    charlie ehlen

  4. joni says...

    Andy and especially Charlie,

    Do not give in to despair over the current administration – they may get away with it, but forever their names will be tarnished in the words of history. We must remain vigilant against the types of abuse they have encourged and allowed. And as you rightly say, Andy, our job is to get the truth out to as many people as we can.

  5. UK High Court « Readings From A Political Duo-ble says...

    [...] High Court rules against US and UK [...]

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    I also received the following:

    Dear Mr. Worthington,

    Hi, I hope you are well. My name is Linda Rigas — I am a revolutionary political activist and law student in the United States.

    I am writing you today to praise you on your continued exposure of the human rights abuses that are happening in our names. General Janis Karpinski and former ambassador to Uzbekistan, both part of the Bush Crimes Commission, have spoken out on the UK’s complicit role in abetting the U.S. in this unconscionable programmatic pattern of torture.

    Every human being has the most basic human right not to be tortured. There are no exceptions to torture, no legal justification or evidence that validates the use of torture, and no moral debate that allows for the perpetuation of torture. However, torture practices continue due to the purposeful misrepresentation of anti-torture policies and disregard for law that preserves fundamental human needs. At the heart of these torture violations are lawyers and policy makers invested in emphasizing bureaucratic rule, expanding presidential power, and funding the militarization of capitalist hegemony. Those in the highest positions of governmental power have led the most egregious assaults on human lives during our time.

    I work with No To Torture–John Yoo Must Go! and Physicians for Human Rights, both of which are dedicated to ending these human rights abuses. No To Torture–John Yoo Must Go! is currently planning various events in Berkeley, California, where John Yoo is employed by the University of California — Berkeley’s law school and continues to be legitimized by that space despite having published The Torture Memos that have given the Bush Administration the green light to torture.

    The need to expose and develop consciousness regarding these war crimes and crimes against humanity is especially needed right now, as the U.S. is expanding its imperialistic military police torture state throughout various parts of the world. I am concerned about the younger generation of world citizens that need to be engaged in developing a movement of mass resistance to what is happening. Are you planning to come to the U.S. to speak more about your book and the developments you have found since then? It would be useful if I could work with you to organize a campus tour, along with others who are exposing what is happening.

    Again, I am grateful for your continued commitment to exposing torture as it is really convenient to get demobilized and there certainly has been a lot of silencing around torture practices globally. Thank you for your time and consideration; I hope to hear from you soon.

    Sincerely,
    Linda


    Linda Rigas
    http://www.firejohnyoo.org
    http://www.physiciansforhumanrights.org

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    This was my reply:

    Hi Linda,
    Great to hear from you. I know of Physicians for Human Rights, of course, but had not heard of the “No to Torture — John Yoo Must Go” campaign until your email arrived. Very appropriate. While I was pleased last year that Yoo was at least prepared to talk publicly about his warped view of the law (as opposed to, say, the hermit horror that is David Addington), what then disturbed me was that he presented his torture justifications as nothing more than an interpretation of the law, as though there is no absolute prohibition on torture, and that it can, indeed, be wished away by redefining it.
    I was fortunate enough that my publishers arranged for me to visit the States in March (report here: http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2008/03/27/the-guantanamo-files-andy-worthingtons-us-tour-report/), but I’m not sure that I’ll be able to do it again. Believe me, if I lived in the States, I would have committed myself to a campus tour long ago.
    Thanks again for getting in touch.
    Best,
    Andy

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    And Linda’s reply:

    Dear Andy,

    Thank you for your prompt response; I am sorry for my delay. I saw that you were here in March; it is unfortunate that there is nothing planned for the future at the current moment. I have seen your materials and find them extremely useful in engaging with students. Thank you for allowing me to use them and spread the word about the work you have done. I am currently working on a statement for students to sign on to as this pressing matter has received very little discussion among youth. Please do post my comments on your site — the work of No To Torture — John Yoo Must Go needs to get out there as well!

    I will keep you posted with what will be happening. Thank you for all your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Linda

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    [...] case in the UK, two high court judges — Lord Justice Thomas and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones — ruled that the British government’s decision to be involved in an exchange of intelligence about Mohamed, without knowing where he was being [...]

  16. US Torture Under Scrutiny In British Courts by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] April, and I have reported its twists and turns over the last 15 months, involving, in particular, a judicial review in the High Court, in which the judges — Lord Justice Thomas and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones — [...]

  17. UK Judges Order Release Of Details About The Torture Of Binyam Mohamed By US Agents by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] their judgment last August, the judges made it clear that they were appalled by the global torture program in which they had [...]

  18. UK Judges Compare Binyam Mohamed’s Torture To That Of Abu Zubaydah by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Mohamed was still in Guantánamo, facing a trial by Military Commission, when the judges first attempted to make their summary available to the public last August. In the months that followed, the US [...]

  19. Torture in Afghanistan: UK Court Orders Release of Evidence | themcglynn.com/theliberal.net says...

    [...] 16 months, the British government has refused to allow the judges to release a seven paragraph, 25-line summary of these documents, written by the judges themselves, [...]

  20. UK Court Orders Release Of Torture Evidence In The Case Of Shaker Aamer, The Last British Resident In Guantánamo by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] 16 months, the British government has refused to allow the judges to release a seven paragraph, 25-line summary of these documents, written by the judges themselves, [...]

  21. UN Secret Detention Report Asks, “Where Are The CIA Ghost Prisoners?” by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] moaning about “unsubstantiated and irresponsible” claims, have dared to challenge their well-chronicled complicity in the secret detention policies underpinning the whole of the “War on Terror, which do not [...]

  22. “¿Dónde están los prisioneros fantasma de la CIA?” | Amauta says...

    [...] “irresponsables y no comprobadas”, se han atrevido hasta el momento a desafiar su bien relatada complicidad en las políticas de detenciones secretas, lo que confirma que, un año después de que Obama [...]

  23. “¿Dónde están los prisioneros fantasma de la CIA?” « Identidad Andaluza says...

    [...] “irresponsables y no comprobadas”, se han atrevido hasta el momento a desafiar su bien relatada complicidad en las políticas de detenciones secretas, lo que confirma que, un año después de que Obama [...]

  24. Binyam Mohamed: Evidence of Torture by US Agents Revealed in UK « moof says...

    [...] been opposed by the British foreign secretary, David Miliband, since August 2008, when the judges delivered a stern rebuke to the British government, ruling that, “by seeking to interview BM [Binyam Mohamed] in the [...]

  25. By One Vote, US Court OKs Torture and “Extraordinary Rendition” « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] pointed out that, in February this year, the Court of Appeal in London, which “had already viewed the formidable evidence” in Binyam Mohamed’s case, had brought to an end 18 months of Obama-style stonewalling by [...]

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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