The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said last week, “The UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the government does not rely on such assurances in the future.”
It is true that the US has used torture as a central part of the “war on terror” – but so has the British government.
New Labour lied over the rendition flights that sent people who had been kidnapped to be tortured in “friendly” countries. British intelligence has stood and watched people being tortured in Greece and Pakistan. In other cases torture abroad has provided “evidence” for highly dubious terrorism trials in Britain.
Torture serves the same role as repressive legislation – it is intended to terrorise its victims and create a climate of fear and passivity. Behind Labour’s Islamophobia lies the screams of victims of waterboarding and beatings.