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Jack Straw Faces Legal Action for Playing Bit Part in U.S. Torture Program, the Architects of Which Have Books to Sell You
A Libyan military commander is taking legal action against Jack Straw, to find out if the ex-foreign secretary signed papers allowing his rendition.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj claims CIA agents took him from Thailand to Gaddafi-led Libya, via UK-controlled Diego Garcia.
His lawyers have served papers on Mr Straw after the Sunday Times reported claims that he allowed this to happen.
UK ministers have denied any complicity in rendition or torture and Mr Straw did not comment further.
He said he could not do so because of the ongoing police investigation into the UK's alleged role in illegal rendition.
Earlier this month, the BBC revealed that the UK government had approved the rendition of Mr Belhadj and his wife - Fatima Bouchar - to Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime, though it was unclear at what level.
On 15 April, the Sunday Times published an article, which quoted sources as alleging Mr Straw had personally authorised Mr Belhadj's rendition to Libya.
On Tuesday, Mr Belhadj's lawyers - Leigh Day & Co - served papers on Mr Straw, referencing the article and seeking his response to allegations that he was complicit in torture and misfeasance in public office.
The civil action is against Mr Straw personally - Mr Belhadj's lawyers believe it is the first time legal action of this kind has been taken against a former foreign secretary.
Mr Belhadj and his wife allege Mr Straw was complicit in the "torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, batteries and assaults" which they say were perpetrated on them by Thai and US agents, as well as the Libyan authorities.
They are seeking damages from Mr Straw for the trauma involved.
By Michael Collins
From New York Times:
SOMETIME late last Aug. 8, NATO warplanes flying from Europe arrived over the Libyan farming village of Majer, where forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi were withdrawing and anti-Qaddafi forces were claiming ground. Civilians were in motion, too — seeking pockets of safety away from the roaming sides, neither of which fought with precision or clear rules. This is the type of situation in which air support can be especially risky and in which, even with a careful calculus of modern target planning, mistakes are likely.
The aircraft that night have never been publicly identified by NATO, which has treated their origins and nationalities as strict military secrets.
From the standpoint of public accountability and civilian control of the military, this position serves as a kind of case study in the costs of withholding unpleasant facts, effectively denying civilians and taxpayers of NATO’s member nations their responsibility to assess their military services’ performance — a task that is difficult enough in an allied operation, under which the roles and responsibilities of each nation’s forces can be hard to map.
Shortly before midnight, those as yet unidentified aviators released several laser-guided 500-pound bombs. The first bombs destroyed a house crowded with families. The next bombs destroyed two more. Then the aircraft struck again, survivors and local doctors say, dropping high-explosive ordnance on Libyans who had rushed to the victims’ aid.
The results, by the available evidence, were a horror. By the time NATO’s planes departed, at least 34 people had been killed, many of them women and small children, according to investigations by journalists, human-rights organizations and the United Nations. At least three dozen more people were wounded.
IN a report quietly made public early this month, a United Nations commission pointedly noted that after examining the destruction in Majer, interviewing survivors, reviewing documents and conducting an analysis of satellite imagery from before and after the attack, it found no evidence that “the site had a military purpose.”
It added that “it seems clear that those killed were all civilians.”
The commission recommended that NATO investigate this bloody occurrence (and several others that have been ferreted out in the face of repeated official denials) and follow its own practices in Afghanistan for taking responsibility for civilian casualties and making compensation payments.
Then a well-established pattern repeated itself. NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the alliance had examined the allegations of civilian casualties and, essentially, had nothing to account for. “This review process has confirmed that the targets we struck were legitimate military targets,” he said.
NATO presented no evidence supporting this claim. Instead, it has declined repeated requests — including from survivors — to release weapons-systems video or other material demonstrating that anyone but civilians was present where and when the bombs struck.
Virginia's Fifth Congressional District had been long disgraced by the racist buffoon Democrat turned Republican Virgil Goode when Tom Perriello was elected as a non-racist buffoon Democrat in 2008. For partisans, just getting elected and doing what President Obama told him was all Perriello needed to do. For national "progressives" he was a star, which was usually explained to me in terms of how awful his district was relative to how limitedly awful he was.
Out of Control Violence in Libya
by Stephen Lendman
Wherever NATO intervenes, massacres, mass destruction, and unspeakable horrors and human misery follow.
Once Africa's most developed country, Libya today's a ravaged, out-of-control charnel house. Tens of thousands died. Multiples more were injured, made homeless, and forcibly displaced.
By Dave Lindorff
The attacks and attempted attacks this week on Israeli embassy personnel in Georgia, India and Thailand should serve as a serious warning to the people of both Israel and the US that there will be an increasingly heavy price to pay for the kind of government-sponsored terror that both countries have long practiced, and that too many Americans and Israelis have mindlessly cheered on.
The technology of terror has become so wide-spread, and the materials needed to construct magnetically-attached car bombs, cell-phone detonators, armor-piercing IEDs, diesel/fertilizer bombs and the like, so accessable at consumer shops, hardware stores and local junkyards, that any government, and even any relatively savvy non-government group, can assemble and employ them.
Torture and Abuse in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
NATO's alleged "responsibility to protect" was subterfuge. Months of terror bombings left Libya a charnel house.
Africa's most developed country was ravaged. Tens of thousands were killed, multiples more injured, and millions left on their own sink or swim.
Independent Libyan Fact-Finding Mission
by Stephen Lendman
A joint report was released by the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC).
Violence Rages in Libya
by Stephen Lendman
Occupied Libya isn't pretty. Libya SOS said its government "recognize(d) the presence of the forces belonging to 14 different nationalities in the country under the umbrella of the training, assistance and advice."
By Dave Lindorff
The Iraq war may be over, at least for US troops, but the cover-up of the atrocities committed there by American forces goes on, even in retrospectives about the war. A prime example is reporting on the destroyed city of Fallujah, where some of the heaviest fighting of the war took place.
On March 31, 2004, four armed mercenaries working for the firm then known as Blackwater (now Xe), were captured in Fallujah, Iraq’s third largest city and a hotbed of insurgent strength located in Anbar Province about 40 miles west of Baghdad. Reportedly killed in their vehicle, which was then torched, their charred bodies were strung up on a bridge over the Euphrates River.
Libyan Violence and Instability - by Stephen Lendman
NATO's killing machine ravaged a nonbelligerent country posing no threat. Tyranny replaced Jamahiriya government. Violence followed stability.
On January 3, Middle East Online contributor Jay Deshnukh headlined, "Ex-rebels' war for money, power: Fierce clashes erupt in Tripoli," saying:
Selective Sympathy: War’s Mayhem and Murder is Somehow Less Hard to Bear than the Humane Termination of an Injured Animal
By Dave Lindorff
The officer rested his arm holding the stock of the assault rifle on the top of a log pile, and aimed directly between the target’s eyes. She was looking directly at him, unblinking, from 30 feet away, and exhibited no fear. “I hate doing this,” he muttered, before finally pulling the trigger.
A sharp “bang!” rang out, her head jerked up and then her whole body sagged to the ground, followed by some muscle jerks, and it was over.
The officer went over and checked the body, decided no second shot was needed to finish the job, and then walked back to his squad car, took out his phone, and called in the serial number of his rifle, reporting his firing of one round, as required by regulations.
By Dave Lindorff
By David Lindorff Sr.
By Peter Dyer
If there is one thing the “humanitarian” intervention in Libya has convincingly demonstrated it is this: the only real international law is the law of brute force.
The Libyan dust now appears to be settling. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been summarily executed and the NATO intervention has officially ended. The dominant narrative is that the intervention was a timely, legal and morally justified action that fulfilled the primary purpose of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, passed on March 17: the protection of civilians in Libya’s civil war.
But there is an alternative narrative: three major powers invoked the United Nations Charter in order to violate it. The United States, the United Kingdom and France engineered a “humanitarian” intervention that was in reality an unprovoked act of war against a sovereign state.
The intervention resulted not only in illegal regime change — a violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter — but in the extrajudicial assassination of its head of state.
The primary stated purpose of UNSC Res. 1973 was indeed the protection of civilians – through an immediate ceasefire – but that was not how the resolution was implemented.
Washington's Man in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
After ousting independent leaders, Washington replaces them with puppets. Mustafa Abdul Jalil is interim chairman. Until October 23, Mahmoud Jibril was prime minister.
Abdurraheem el-Keib replaced him, a dual US/Libyan citizen. He lived in America, holds a doctorate in electrical engineering, and taught at North Carolina State University and the University of Alabama for years.
The UN said in its resolution said that they wanted to protect civilians. I am a civilian. I'm asking the United Nations and the National Transition Council for help for the citizens of Sirte. Ali Salah Arzaga, Sirte, Libya. (His home and business were destroyed in the final assault on his city.)
There are very public smoking guns that inculpate the rulers of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and others in war crimes in Libya.
The rationale for NATO's entry into the Libyan conflict was based on humanitarian principles, correctly noted by Mr. Arzaga. (left, text and image: VOA video). The United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1973 on March 17 and NATO followed up with actions that the alliance and its partner Qatar claimed conformed to the resolution. The sole purpose of NATO’s involvement was to "protect the Libyan population," we were told.
The outcome has been anything but humanitarian. Tens of thousands of Libyans are injured or dead. The nation's infrastructure is in tatters. One city, Sirte, was destroyed during the final push while another city, the non-Arab Black Libyan town of Tawergha, is absent its entire population, 25,000 residents. They were there just a few weeks ago.
Washington Wants Its Imperial Model Replicated in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Washington ran NATO's imperial war against Libya to colonize, occupy and plunder another vassal state. Democracy and humanitarian considerations are non-starters. Only wealth and power matters.
Libyans will be ruthlessly exploited. Decades of vital social gains are lost. NATO turned Libya into a charnel house. Tens of thousands of corpses bear testimony.
Libya: War Without End - by Stephen Lendman
Libya will long be remembered as one of history's great crimes. For over eight months, NATO's killing machine ravaged the country, killing tens of thousands.
Years of protracted conflict lie ahead. Libyans will keep struggling until they're free from NATO's scourge.
Anti-Imperial Voices - by Stephen Lendman
Last August, over 140 prominent Africans expressed opposition to NATO's imperial war against Libya. South African signatories to an open letter included former President Thabo Mbeki, former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils, former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad, and ANC National Executive Committee member Jesse Duarte.
Killing Gaddafi: Longstanding US Policy - by Stephen Lendman
Absent reliable independent proof, some sources believe a double was killed, not Gaddafi. More on that below.
Nonetheless, clear evidence shows Washington wanted him dead for years.