Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The drip drip drip on torture 

For those who don't know - this is how Waterboarding was (is?) carried out by the CIA. That is by the United States. On our behalf allegedly. There is an official manual for the process:

Interrogators were instructed to start pouring water right after a detainee exhaled, to ensure he inhaled water, not air, in his next breath. They could use their hands to "dam the runoff" and prevent water from spilling out of a detainee's mouth. They were allowed six separate 40-second "applications" of liquid in each two-hour session – and could dump water over a detainee's nose and mouth for a total of 12 minutes a day. Finally, to keep detainees alive even if they inhaled their own vomit during a session – a not-uncommon side effect of waterboarding – the prisoners were kept on a liquid diet. The agency recommended Ensure Plus.

Waterboarding for Dummies - an article in SALON online magazine March 2010

I wonder if George Bush knows about these details.

Oh and the Guardian is uncovering allegations of an UK-run torture house to rival Abu Ghraib.

Unfortunately the constraints of office are compromising the LibDem response to this

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is resisting an inquiry, however. In a statement to the Commons on Monday, Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat armed forces minister, said the MoD should be allowed to investigate the matter itself, adding: "A costly public inquiry would be unable to investigate individual criminal behaviour or impose punishments. Any such inquiry would arguably therefore not be in the best interests of the individual complainants who have raised these allegations."

Not remotely good enough Nick.

Inquiry be damned. We may not be able to touch a former US President but surely we cannot escape the duty of prosecuting some former UK government ministers for war crimes.

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