Uncle Sam to John Bull: Keep Shtum!

by JimLarkinsGhost on May 12, 2009

It has become apparent that lawlessness and secrecy were the order of the day during the GWB administration.  But this story, via Glen Greenwald, does not reflect well on the Obama DOJ, either.  The story revolves around Binyam Mohamed, who was tortured and held in Guantanamo for six years, and America’s attempt to keep evidence from coming to light in Britain.  Greenwald:

In February, Obama’s DOJ demanded dismissal of Mohamed’s lawsuit against the company which helped “render” him to be tortured on the ground that national security would be harmed if the lawsuit continued.  Then, after a British High Court ruled that there was credible evidence that Mohamed was subjected to brutal torture and was entitled to obtain evidence in the possession of the British government which detailed the CIA’s treatment of Mohamed, and after a formal police inquiry began into allegations that British agents collaborated in his torture, the British government cited threats from the U.S. government that it would no longer engage in intelligence-sharing with Britain — i.e., it would no longer pass on information about terrorist threats aimed at British citizens — if the British court disclosed the facts of Mohamed’s torture. 

As a result of the American threats, the British High Court ruled that it would keep crucial evidence of Mohamed’s torture under wraps.  And, according to Greenwald, the new administration appears to be helping to cover up the crimes of the old one:

In the aftermath of that ruling, there was some dispute about whether the Obama administration had really issued this threat to Britain or whether it was merely a residual threat from the Bush administration.  But in the wake of a recent motion by Mohamed’s lawyer to the British court for re-consideration of its ruling, in response to which the British government submitted the written threats from the Obama administration, there can now be no doubt not only that Obama made these threats to Britain, but did so in a remarkably extreme and heavy-handed manner.

The rule of law is really, really in trouble.

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