While British lawmakers think about the future direction of their parties, they come back from their vacations affirming that they have not forgotten the problem related to the transfer of arrested Islamists to secret camps where they can be tortured. A trans-party parliamentary group is working on this on its own. It is chaired by Andrew Tyrie, conservative member of parliament, supported by Chris Mullin and Mr. Menzies Campbell. They expect the government will answer to them.
What really lies behind this problem is, once again, the alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States and the differences between our legal systems. This issue has been present since the beginning of the war on terror when the hypothesis of Osama Bin Laden’s arrest by the British troops came out. Was it necessary to turn him in to the American troops knowing that he would undoubtedly be executed?
To pretend that the transfer of prisoners is legal is impossible in Great Britain today. Therefore, British ministers don’t want to hear about it and the United States no longer speaks of the matter. The government just gives evasive answers about the issue and tries to block any parliamentarian initiative that might lead to an investigation. Nowadays, there are three judicial inquiries about the “extraordinary renditions”: one in Spain, one in Italy and another one in Germany. A public investigation in Canada, a parliamentarian investigation in Switzerland and a government-run investigation in Poland are added to the list. Nothing in the United Kingdom! It seems that ministers do have something to hide.
“If you ask no questions”, by Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, January 10, 2006.