Binyam Mohamed

At the moment I try to avoid the news, as I’m particularly busy, and it just pisses me off too much, but someone passed me the Guardian  newspaper on Saturday…

Government fury after judges attack security services (27th Feb, 2010)

The recent court case of Binyam Mohamed: it reveals to us (if we had not already drawn this conclusion from other signs) 1) that we no longer live in a democracy; 2) that it is the parliamentary politicians who most ardently attack and who evidently seek to destroy democracy.

Firstly, it is evident that MI5  and MI6 have knowingly colluded with the torture of British citizens. What we can’t properly substantiate, but is a distinct probabilty, is that the government also knowingly participated in this process (note the changes in paragraph 168 of Lord Neuberger’s verdict: the draft incriminated the government, but this was revised out through probably not excessive political caution).

Secondly, it is evident that all watchdogs who should have exposed this are simply puppets and yes-men who have acted as nothing more than apologists and defenders of these abuses – particularly the government’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC).

Thirdly, at every stage the government and the secret services have tried to block publication of evidence relating to this, even to the extent of propagating lies – cf.  the Public Interest Immunity (PII) scandal. As well as attempting to block the publication of the evidence upon which this trial has hinged at every available point, the government’s  barrister, Jonathan Sumption QC was criticised by Lord Neuberger for attempting to supress the publication of a controversial and damning paragraph from the verdict (para. 168) without following proper legal process. Moreover, what makes me particularly indignant is that since the publication of this verdict, the government has not only denied the accuracy of the judge’s verdict, but has mounted a campaign to diseminate misinformation and cast doubt on the severity of this judgment. What is plain is that the government thinks it is above the law, and that it has absolutely no respect for the law, or its processes.

We might also note, that this whole disgusting episode has been carried out, and consistently excused by the goverment in the name of national security. What this case calls into question in a very concrete and real way is the logic that has underpinned much of our politics – both domestic and international – since at least 9/11. The logic that puts “national security” before proper democratic process, government accountability, freedom of speech and movement, access to fair trial, freedom from false imprisonment – in other words, before human rights. This logic has infiltrated every aspect of our lives: witness the increase in CCTV, in “Terrorist Legislation” arrests, the inhuman treatment of immigrants, the suspicion and the monitoring of, for example, students and academics, the awful policing of the G20 protests… unfortunately I could go on….

…and on and on and on…

That  God we called Democracy is long dead, and upon closer examination we discover we have been embracing all this time a rotting corpse with a knowing, sneering, death-rictus.


To Binyam Mohamed: I’ve been following your case for… what, a year now? Certainly a long time. You’ve always had my solidarity. News of your treatment was the final straw for me, was a sign, and opening for the articulation of my long held mistrust of this government (and all MPs). I remember discussions with a friend during the G20 protest: we frequently came back to your case, your terrible treatment. I remember I promised then that I would never vote for a government that had allowed torture to occur, though that means I may end up never voting again, since I hold all MPs  responsible for creating a political climate where this sort of abuse was possible – indeed, even acceptable.  Since then I have watched each development with anger, disgust and shame. I hope that  you soon receive justice; that all those responsible are properly brought to account for what they have done. In continuing friendship, and solidarity – Wit.


~ by Wit on March 1, 2010.

One Response to “Binyam Mohamed”

  1. […] to take into account, for example, the differing roles it has played in the case of Binyam Mohamed (which I’ve posted about previously) and this story about the “illegal” Train Strike. On the one hand (in the case of the […]

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