Thursday, July 19, 2012

US Spies Resorted To Torture

The head of the Secret Intelligence Service also admitted that some of the activity of British agents when questioning alleged terrorists was “close to the line”.
Sir John's comments come at a sensitive time for Britain’s intelligence service, which is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police over the alleged rendition of two Libyans. Sir John described the cases as "chilling".
The Daily Telegraph understands that ministers have now received a copy of the evidence about any alleged British complicity in torture gathered by high court judge Sir Peter Gibson.
Ministers will tell MPs next week that they are combing through the evidence to ensure that its publication will not damage national security.
Sir John, who is known in Whitehall as “C”, described his agents as “secret squirrels” and said that there was “always a danger” that agents could go too far when questioning suspects.
“The Americans have done that over their interrogation techniques after 9/11. They got so obsessed with getting a right answer that they drifted into an area that kind of amounted to torture.
“We’ve never been there, we’ve never been involved in that, and I think our accountability, our disciplines, have helped us keep on the right side of these lines.
“It’s not always been easy. There are investigations gong on about things which are close to the line.”
In January, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said Scotland Yard detectives had taken three years to decide there was insufficient evidence to bring charges in relation to claims by Guantánamo Bay detainees.
“There are one or two chilling cases that are involved in a criminal investigation. We have to front up and say ‘yeah okay the police think this is sufficiently serious for them to investigate it and we have to co-operate 100 per cent’.”

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