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Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, personally intervened to suppress evidence of CIA collusion in the torture of a British resident, the high court heard today.
The dramatic turn emerged as lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, the UK resident abused in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco and Guantánamo Bay, joined by lawyers for the Guardian and other media groups, asked the court to order the disclosure of CIA material.
However, David Miliband, the foreign secretary, has repeatedly told the court that the US would stop sharing intelligence with the UK if the CIA material was published.
Clinton was indeed saying that if the seven-paragraph summary of CIA material was disclosed, the US would "reassess" its intelligence relationship with the UK, a move that "would put lives at risk".
The British government's claims about these threats led the British High Court to conclude that it could not disclose those facts in good conscience because the U.S. was, in essence, threatening to put the lives of British citizens at risk by terminating intelligence-sharing over terrorist threats. When re-affirming its decision (.pdf) to withhold that information in light of American threats, the Court pointedly wrote:
"We did not consider that a democracy governed by the rule of law would expect a court in another democracy to suppress a summary of the evidence contained in reports by its own officials or officials of another State where the evidence was relevant to allegations of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be."
Ever since this controversy became public, there have been disputes over exactly what threats the Bush and Obama administrations were really issuing. Were the threats real; were they contrived and issued at the request of the British government in order to give them a pretextual weapon to bully the British High Court to keep the torture facts concealed...
Originally posted by YourForever
It is Obama policy to only broadcast a good image of the United States. Her action is in concert with that. Unfortunate as it is.