Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, reports on three important court cases in the UK this week, focusing on “extraordinary rendition” and torture in the “War on Terror.” These cases have implications not only for the complicity of the British government in the Bush administration’s flight from the law, but also for the Obama administration, which, on a number of fronts, appears to be doing all in its power to either maintain Bush-era policies or to shield the previous administration from accountability for its actions.
Binyam Mohamed and Jeppesen, “The CIA’s Travel Agent”
Using some old-fashioned clerical detective work, Reprieve, the legal action charity that represents around 10 percent of the remaining 240 prisoners in Guantánamo, has compiled a report, “Ghost Detention on Diego Garcia” (PDF), identifying one of two prisoners rendered through the British Overseas Territory of Diego Garcia as Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni (and tentatively identifying the other as Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the former “ghost prisoner” who died in a Libyan jail last month). A dual Pakistani-Egyptian national, seized in Jakarta, Indonesia, and rendered for torture in Egypt, Madni was later transferred to Guantánamo and released in August 2008.
Reprieve’s director, Clive Stafford Smith, had been planning to unveil the report at a meeting of the Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs two weeks ago, but when the government pulled the plug on the meeting (as I reported here and here), because Stafford Smith also intended to talk about former Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed and the recently disclosed evidence that a British spy had visited him while he was being held by the CIA’s proxy torturers in Morocco, his revelation about the identity of Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni was also shelved.