On the importance of stating the obvious

The Appeals court has confirmed today that it rejected the UK government’s attempts to keep secret, information relating to the torture (or “alleged torture” as the BBC has it) of Binyam Mohamed whilst in US/Pakistani/British custody. What is really interesting is that this is hardly a debate over the facts,  pretty much everyone agrees that […]

Blogs, Ceasefire Bites, Politics - Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 23:46 - 0 Comments

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The Appeals court has confirmed today that it rejected the UK government’s attempts to keep secret, information relating to the torture (or “alleged torture” as the BBC has it) of Binyam Mohamed whilst in US/Pakistani/British custody.

What is really interesting is that this is hardly a debate over the facts,  pretty much everyone agrees that Mohamed was tortured and pretty much everyone knows it would have been astonishingly inconceivable for the British government not to be aware of this fact at the time. The fact the Government is even fighting to keep what is essentially an “open secret” from becoming an open secret is partly down to this: basic simple obvious known truths still have a huge impact when simply allowed to be stated. The government knows that for people to know about its collusion is bad enough but for them to hear it confirmed, in a court of law and in the public arena, brings out the stench and the visceral nastiness of what realpolitik really means when translated in terms of its impact at the individual, human level…

As Binyam’s solicitor says, the actual information now being declassified is mere “crumbs” compared to what is still covered-up. It’s good when ministers in clean suits talking at the dispatch box are forced to think (even for a mere instant) about what their actions have meant for the life of another human being.

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