The UK not only complicit in rendition and torture but proud of it
Libyan Case Study: Duplicity of Britain’s foreign policy could not be more flagrant.
In a letter from a senior MI6 officer, Mark Allen, to Col Gaddafi’s intelligence chief, Musa Kusa, Allen refers to Abdel Hakim Belhaj’s rendition to Libya; congratulates the Libyans on the “safe arrival” of the “air cargo”; and boasts “the intelligence was British”.
The letter, sent in 2004, was found last year in the rubble of Musa Kusa’s headquarters, which were bombed by Nato.
Mr Belhaj is now head of the Tripoli Military Council in the new Libya and was instrumental in leading the fighting to overthrow Col Gaddafi’s regime with the support of the British in 2010. But in 2004 he was said to be the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, regarded by Britain to have links with terrorism.
This is the expose of BBC correspondent Peter Taylor who further alleges that Mr Belhaj’s rendition was given ministerial approval.
In 2004 Jack Straw then Labour Foreign Secretary under Tony Blair’s prime ministership categorically denied in the UK parliament Britain’s involvement in rendition and torture. Successive British governments have maintained this pretence.
This episode again exposes the unashamed hypocrisy of British foreign policy. In the political context of war on terror Britain was not a silent partner but was proud of working hand in hand with dictators to render and torture so that the likes of Col Gaddafi could maintain the oppressive hold over their people. In today’s political context of the Arab spring Britain’s duplicity could not be more flagrant. Today Britain’s Foreign Secretary hypocritically claims to support the will of the Arab people in helping to remove the likes of Col Gaddafi.
As Muslims, who Britain’s political class frequently courts by promoting an ethical foreign policy, we need to be watchful. Rather the reality demonstrates the true face of Britain’s foreign relations, which is not the interests of foreigners or even human rights as both have been readily and wilfully abandoned time and again.