The Brits don't trust the US

BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | UK 'must check' US torture denial
The foreign affairs select committee said the UK and US differ on their definitions of what constitutes torture and it urged the UK to check US claims.

It recommended the government carry out an "exhaustive analysis of current US interrogation techniques."

The MPs also said the government should check claims that Britain is not used by the US for "rendition" flights.

The committee highlighted the technique of "water-boarding" - a practice which simulates drowning.

The US describes it as "a legal technique used in a specific set of circumstances" and President Bush has refused to ban it.

However, the UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said it is torture and "the UK unreservedly condemns the use of torture."

In its report, the committee said: "Given the clear differences in definition, the UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the government does not rely on such assurances in the future."
I.e, a number of british MPs point out the clear difference in views between the british and the US officials on the use of torture and renditions, and recommends the government takes proper precautions to follow British and international law.

(welcome after, as they say)


Endangered Species
What a misleading and loaded title! How do you conclude that the Brits don't trust the US??

Regarding the article and to help you understand it:

It is about consistency, clarity and definition.
The UK will NOT extradite to any country if their is risk of the use of torture or execution. What differs is the two nations view on torture; The UK does not condone water-torture whilst the USA actively uses water-boarding.

This different use of the words combined with the USA leasing land for military use from the UK,that suspects have been transported to, leads to the problem of extraordinary-rendition. This has led to red faces by all parties, the UK for condoning it(if it knew about it) and the US for doing it(if it knew what it was doing was wrong).
All this has raised questions over the UK making extraditions to the USA and has required some reassuring to stay on terms with UK policy, European policy and International policy.

For the interest of the article. Today Abu-Hamza Al-Masari a cleric accused of soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred has failed to have his extradition to the USA over turned on all the above issues.

It has NOTHING to do with trust.
"Given the clear differences in definition, the UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the government does not rely on such assurances in the future."
..*shrug* They don't trust that assurances about torture not being used are worth very much?
Yeah. Compared to Egypt and Syria, for example, whom the US do not have special security arrangements with. Oh - hahaha. Laughing my arse off. Really.


Endangered Species
..*shrug* They don't trust that assurances about torture not being used are worth very much?
I repeat, it has nothing to do with trust. It is about calling a spade a spade(note: this phrase can mean different things under different definitions, the same as the word torture can in this instance)

You are completely misreading the article. It is clear and simply saying that if the US say they are not using torture then we can not rely on their definition of torture being the same as ours. It is you who is inserting the word trust and not Mr Miliband.
Ok.. So they can't trust..em.. believe the assurances from the US about them not using torture, because the US defines torture and waterboarding as friendly interrogation techniques.

And the implication is that the US will not be possible to have a security arrangement with, since the assurances about due process and no torture are obviously bunk.

But you object to the idea that the British government cannot trust American assurances.

Why? ..Are you maybe suggesting that the matter of defining what torture is, is a trivial bureaucratic matter that has no impact on the relationship between countries, or the agreements that bind them? If so, how does that change the fact that Britain does not trust the US's definitions on torture, and that this has a major impact on the British/US relationship?

Or are you perhaps suggesting that the Brits and the US meet regularly to review the differences in how they define torture, and that this will soon be settled, as per between friendly nations? After which this storm in a teacup will abate?

Of course - I trust the US to always come up with a justification for anything, and then lie squarely in the face of evidence that they made the whole thing up. I also trust that a cadre of followers will always suggest that what the US does is beyond reproach, specially when it isn't. And that no end of strange craziness will be insisted upon in order to stop the screeching cognitive dissonance.

Still - in this case we're talking about trust in the sense of whether or not the Brits can be certain that American assurances when extraditing prisoners and so on can be believed to in fact be based in reality. That "due process" does not in actual and real terms (that is, not the same as what is said, but what is done in practice) mean "indefinite imprisonment without charge". In other words, they don't trust the US to tell the truth about torture and prisoner abuse.

Which of course is six- seven years too late. And the issue only turns up now because more commitees and other groups are involved in an effort to stop the local implications that sprout from secret top- government level security policies based on "assurances" between nr. 10 Downing Street and, for example, Washington.

So as I said - welcome after. Really, who's laughing about countries in the cold North harboring terrorists now, hmm?


- Diderot Reborn -
wait, so let me get this straight. they don't trust us when we say we don't torture people?

how dare they?! the obvious course of action is to torture them. all of them. the entire country.

you heard me, America has to clip some electrodes to England's balls, and crank up the juice.