Thursday, 26 February 2009

Rendition lies

The Guardian is reporting an admission from defence secretary John Hutton that British troops did indeed hand over "terror suspects" to the US, which rendered them to a prison in Afghanistan.

It is also clear that ministers knew about it.
Hutton revealed that officials knew about the transfer of the two prisoners in 2004, and references had been made in "lengthy papers" sent in April 2006 to Jack Straw and John Reid, the then foreign and home secretaries. "It is clear that the context provided did not highlight its significance at that point to the ministers concerned," Hutton said.
The Independent says that Charles Clarke was home secretary at the time and I think they are right. But what an astonishing piece of spin. Ministers were told about this and lied about it but it wasn't their fault.

The Guardian is linking the case to allegations made by former SAS soldier Ben Griffin, who blew the whistle on SAS involvement in rendition, before being gagged by the MoD.

UPDATE: The Guardian has now decided that it was indeed Charles Clarke who didn't read the report properly.

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