‘CIA tortured suspects on UK territory’
A new report suggests the US spy agency, CIA tortured terror suspects on a British territory in the Indian Ocean.
The CIA carried out some of its “interrogations” on the atoll of Diego Garcia, a senior Bush administration official has told Vice News.
Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff of ex-Secretary of State Collin Powell, said the British territory was used as a “transit location” for the CIA’s “interrogations” and other “nefarious activities” when other bases were unavailable.
He said: “What I heard was more along the lines of using it as a transit location when perhaps other places were full or other places were deemed too dangerous or insecure, or unavailable at the moment.”
“So you might have a case where you simply go in and use a facility at Diego Garcia for a month or two weeks or whatever and you do your nefarious activities there.”
His account contradicts the official line of the British government that it was not complicit in torture in the years after 9/11.
Last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK was investigating allegations that MI6 spies were involved in the torture of foreign detainees. Amnesty International and others have criticized the investigation, arguing that the government retained a right to withhold information it deemed detrimental to national security.
Now London-based anti-war activist Jim Brann from ‘Stop The War Coalition’ says “we know …that the British government certainly was part of the American rendition and torture program” despite London’s rejection of having knowledge about the issue.
Brann told Press TV’s UK Desk that “we know the registration number of American aircraft that carried prisoners, and it is known how many times they passed across Britain or landed in Britain. It has become more and more difficult for the British government to defend its position.”
He also referred to a Westminster ban on torture, saying: “There is a torture act of British Parliament which gives effect to the international torture convention within Britain… If you participate in torture or if you assist with it, even if you do not directly participate in it, you are still guilty. So, simply on the basic facts that we know of, the British government must be responsible for collaboration with the American program.”
The UK territory of Diego Garcia has been an important British military outpost since 1966. The previous Labour government admitted the location was used to facilitate rendition flights by the US, but did not comment on torture or interrogation techniques on the island.