The news last week that President Obama had bought into and signed off on the full boat of shameful state secrets assertion in the case of Binyan Mohamed v Jeppesen Dataplan set off a wave of criticism. Obama came to the criticism the old fashioned way, he earned it by breaking his campaign promise and continuing the wretched excess of unitary secrecy. Obama’s about face, and turn to the dark side of Bush/Cheney secrecy shocked even Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Mary Schroeder when confronted with it at the Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan hearing.
That is the part of Obama’s war on Binyam Mohamed through Bush style secrecy that has been widely reported, but there is much more that is not as well known. It ought to be. From this morning’s Guardian:
A policy governing the interrogation of terrorism suspects in Pakistan that led to British citizens and residents being tortured was devised by MI5 lawyers and figures in government, according to evidence heard in court.
The existence of an official interrogation policy emerged during cross-examination in the high court in London of an MI5 officer who had questioned one of the detainees, Binyam Mohamed, the British resident currently held in Guantánamo Bay. The officer, who can be identified only as Witness B, admitted that although Mohamed had been in Pakistani custody for five weeks, and he knew the country to have a poor human rights record, he did not ask whether he had been tortured or mistreated, did not inquire why he had lost weight, and did not consider whether his detention without trial was illegal.
Mohamed was eventually able to tell lawyers that before being questioned by MI5 he had been hung from leather straps, beaten and threatened with a firearm by Pakistani intelligence officers. After the meeting with MI5 he was "rendered" to Morocco where he endured 18 months of even more brutal torture, including having his genitals slashed with a scalpel. Some of the questions put to him under torture in Morocco were based on information passed by MI5 to the US.
The Guardian has learned from other sources that the interrogation policy was directed at a high level within Whitehall and that it has been further developed since Mohamed’s detention in Pakistan. Evidence of this might emerge from 42 undisclosed US documents seen by the high court and sent to the MPs and peers on the intelligence and security Read more