Thursday, January 19, 2006

Blair fully aware of US torture flights

The New Statesman has obtained a memo from the Foreign Office to Number 10 on "extraordinary rendition". The memo is certainly extraordinary; it advises on spin control, and makes clear that the government was fully aware of what the US was doing.

The most hilarious section points out the hypocrisy of the UK criticising assurances from torture states when Blunkett was trying to rely on said assurances to deport immigrants back to those states:

The document advises the government to rely on a statement by Condoleezza Rice last month when the US secretary of state said America did not transport anyone to a country where it believed they would be tortured and that, "where appropriate", Washington would seek assurances.

The document notes: "We would not want to cast doubt on the principle of such government-to-government assurances, not least given our own attempts to secure these from countries to which we wish to deport their nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism: Algeria etc."

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