New confirmation: Obama threatened U.K. to conceal torture

Obama administration threatens Britain to keep torture evidence concealed.

New documentation has come to light that confirms in no uncertain terms that the Obama administration has browbeat the U.K. into concealing evidence of torture, breaking international law. Moreover, as the U.K. has capitulated, the appearance is now that of collusion on the part of the U.K. in the concealment of that evidence to benefit itself as well.

“If a British court describes Binyam Mohamed’s torture, then the U.S. will no longer inform Britain of terrorist plots, Obama threatens.”

May 14, 2009

By Glenn Greenwald
(Glenn Greenwald’s “Z Space” Page)

Ever since he was released from Guantanamo in February after six years of due-process-less detention and brutal torture, Binyam Mohamed has been attempting to obtain justice for what was done to him. But his torturers have been continuously protected, and Mohamed’s quest for a day in court repeatedly thwarted, by one individual: Barack Obama. Today, there is new and graphic evidence of just how far the Obama administration is going to prevent evidence of the Bush administration’s torture program from becoming public.

In February, Obama’s DOJ demanded dismissal of Mohamed’s lawsuit against the company which helped “render” him to be tortured on the ground that national security would be harmed if the lawsuit continued. Then, after a British High Court ruled that there was credible evidence that Mohamed was subjected to brutal torture and was entitled to obtain evidence in the possession of the British government which detailed the CIA’s treatment of Mohamed, and after a formal police inquiry began into allegations that British agents collaborated in his torture, the British government cited threats from the U.S. government that it would no longer engage in intelligence-sharing with Britain — i.e., it would no longer pass on information about terrorist threats aimed at British citizens — if the British court disclosed the facts of Mohamed’s torture.

As I wrote about in February, those threats from the U.S. caused the British High Court to reverse itself and rule that, in light of these threats from the U.S., it would keep seven paragraphs detailing Mohamed’s torture concealed. From the British court’s ruling:

“The United States Government’s position is that, if the redacted paragraphs are made public, then the United States will re-evaluate its intelligence-sharing relationship with the United Kingdom with the real risk that it would reduce the intelligence it provided (para. 62) . . . . [and] there is a real risk, if we restored the redacted paragraphs, the United States Government, by its review of the shared intelligence arrangements, could inflict on the citizens of the United Kingdom a very considerable increase in the dangers they face at a time when a serious terrorist threat still pertains.” (para. 106)

Just think how despicable that threat is: if your court describes the torture to which one of your residents was subjected while in U.S. custody, we will withhold information from you that could enable you to break up terrorist plots aimed at your citizens.

In the aftermath of that ruling, there was some dispute about whether the Obama administration had really issued this threat to Britain or whether it was merely a residual threat from the Bush administration. But in the wake of a recent motion by Mohamed’s lawyer to the British court for re-consideration of its ruling, in response to which the British government submitted the written threats from the Obama administration, there can now be no doubt not only that Obama made these threats to Britain, but did so in a remarkably extreme and heavy-handed manner.

The Washington Times’ Eli Lake reported [on May 12th] that “the Obama administration [said] it may curtail Anglo-American intelligence sharing if the British High Court discloses new details of the treatment of a former Guantanamo detainee.” … read more

Here is the lastest document that hangs it all: Click here

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