As the Guardian revealed yesterday, the UK authorities relied on Bangladeshi intelligence despite well-documented accounts of their use of torture. The then home secretary Jacqui Smith flew to Dhaka for face-to-face meetings with the Bangladeshi authorities. Not only did the likelihood that suspects were being tortured not deter those meetings, it was apparently never even mentioned.
Complicity in torture is of course one of many violations of international law associated with the invasion of Iraq and the interrogation of detainees that followed. So again, it is right to focus not only on the politicians who ordered the invasion, but also the government lawyers who pronounced on its legality. In these terms, the most obvious culprit for having approved the legality of the war itself is Lord Goldsmith, Tony Blair’s attorney-general, whose advice notoriously changed in the run-up to invasion. This issue is far from resolved and is bound to arise again this Friday when Blair is recalled to the Chilcot inquiry. Even those familiar with the details of the Blair-Goldsmith relationship confess to being in a state of confusion about Goldsmith’s latest statement this week.
Posted on 19 January, 2011 by Mathias Vermeulen
Afua Hirsch seems to suggest so in her comment is free article in The Guardian: