Men of Straw
Last week’s brought us further revelations about our government being actively involved in renditioning a Gaddafi opposition leader and his wife back to Libya to ‘sweeten’ Libya’s return to the fold - and give BP access to their oil. They were returned to years of torture. The principal players in this cosy deal were Jack Straw, the then Foreign Secretary and Tony Blair who was PM. How were they to know that with the fall of the Gaddafi regime there would emerge letters among the rubble? And that these letters would be handed in to Human Rights organisations? The letters were sent from our secret services confirming the arrangement to ‘render’ this couple via the CIA and their US air base in Diego Garcia (British territory). This is the same rendition that so many Ministers at the time insisted we had nothing whatsoever to do with (including one D. Miliband).
Blair claimed ‘he had no recollection’ and Straw said that as Foreign Secretary he was not aware of everything that went on....... Chuck in the sordid details of Megrahi’s release from Scotland and you get a glimpse of just how unethical Labour’s foreign policy became. Robin Cook would have been outraged.
Straw and Blair along with many of their former colleagues are liars of the first order. Matthew Norman, writing in the Independent today had this to say, “Jack's claims to ignorance of Mr Belhaj's kidnap in Bangkok and rendition to Tripoli in 2004 have suffered another setback. The Mail on Sunday quotes one diplomat saying he "was shown certain papers and accepted that he had known about it" ("bullied into owning up", in English, "by those desperate to cover their backs"); and another describing Jack's repeated denials of any knowledge as "an unexpected loss of memory" (to translate once again, "giant whoppers"). There would be a certain symmetrical charm if the Met rendered the adorable scamp to Tripoli, where interrogators may have ways of jogging a sluggish memory.”
This will not happen. It is also significant to relate that the Coalition has succumbed to the wormtongues of MI5 and MI6 and is looking to hold certain trials/inquests/inquiries in secret, which will mean there will be a complete lack of transparency. It will mean this type of disgraceful and deeply shaming behaviour will go unreported and unpunished. Democracy it isn’t.
The secret trials proposal is also another denial of the Coalition Agreement which states:
“The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.” and
“Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.” Oh yeah.
Even so, Mr Pants on Fire must be getting a little nervous as events unfold beyond the control of the establishment. And the Reverend Blair will have to scrutinise his travel arrangements with even greater care - he may find himself being arrested in a country with greater regard for the rule of law than ours and sent to the Hague.......fingers crossed.
Thanks to Steve Bell for the terrific image.