Fighting an enemy that you can’t pin down can be a nasty business, and we all want our country to be secure, but that hasn’t stopped a sense of unease at revelations of torture – some of it violent and sadistic – visited on suspects in the name of the so-called “War on Terror”. It seems that some unfortunates have been flown to countries with less than squeaky clean human rights records especially to enable this abuse to take place.
So it’s interesting to hear the new man at the FO, William ‘Ague, say that there will be a judicial enquiry into claims that the UK’s various intelligence agencies were complicit in the process of “rendition” and torture. This shows that Master ‘Ague, who previously challenged David Miliband over the matter when the latter was Foreign Secretary, was not just politicking and is serious about getting answers.
So credit where credit’s due. Because this kind of behaviour is meat and drink to the terrorists and particularly those recruiting them: if the decadent West says it’s OK for human beings to do this to one another, then you can be sure that the followers of Lardy Binman will be more than prepared to do it to our soldiers and anyone associated with them.
But Master ‘Ague has a problem with the torture business: there are those in his own party that are in favour of a bit of torture, so long as they don’t have to be on the receiving end of it. Our old friend Donal Blaney, CEO of the Young Briton’s Foundation (YBF), considers waterboarding to be perfectly acceptable, so much so that he believes the practice would not cause significant psychological damage. And, as a Guardian investigation showed, he names Master ‘Ague and even Young Dave among his contacts.So perhaps William ‘Ague could get Blaney to reassess his approach to torture. After all, the YBF has trained many party activists in the recent past, so it would not look good for its CEO to take a stance against his preferred party.