I see the SAS has forsaken the nightspots of Hereford and nipped over to Libya whilst we were asleep in our beds. They brought back 150 civilian oil workers in danger of being held as human hostages. Good, good. That is their function; that is the function of our government that trains and pays them. That is why we pay our taxes.
They arrived in civilian clothing on regular flights and collected their weapons from the diplomatic bags. You can hear the carping from here already.
You mean they didn’t play fair with those innocent Libyans? They hoodwinked them? I heard that one of them crept up behind a civilian guard brandishing an AK47 and silently slit his throat! Didn’t give him any warning whatsoever. Noooo! There’s one for the war crimes tribunal. The ‘Cameron has blood on his hands’ banners are probably being printed as we speak.
Elsewhere, the Foreign Office has its knickers in a twist because Cameron claimed , in an off the record briefing, which was passed onto someone not present at the briefing, and therefore, by their tortuous rules, not bound by the off the record bit – that Britain had paid ‘bribes’ to get flights into and out of Libya. No bribes, No Siree, we paid no bribes, squeaked the Foreign Office, we merely paid ‘enhanced landing fees owing to the current difficult conditions at Tripoli airport’.
When are we going to stop being so schizophrenic about our defence? You either have a defence force and accept that they won’t always issue a 28 day warning (with accompanying appeal) that if you don’t put down your gun and stop threatening British citizens, we may be forced to shout at you in a threatening manner – or don’t expect us to have a defence force. At the moment we have a defence force which is expected to protect us against people who apply none of the Geneva conventions, indeed who are proud of their unconventional warfare, and yet we send our young men to fight them hobbled by convoluted Human Rights legislation. Those same terrorists are only too happy to retreat behind the comforting blanket of intricate legal waltzes and claim ‘abuse of process’.
We have been treated to alarming headlines for months. ‘Britain complicit in torture’ alleged Rangzieb Ahmed, and the main stream media were only too happy to publicise his claims. He was convicted of a terrorist offence. The gist of his defence was that it mattered not a jot whether he was guilty or not, indeed he admitted he was a terrorist, but, he claimed, it was an abuse of process to try him, for he had been held in a Pakistani prison, and wasn’t it well known that the USA supported Pakistan?, and further, wasn’t it well known that the USA and Britain were closely linked? Therefore – cue more lurid headlines, Britain was complicit in his torture!
Torture which he claimed amounted to one fingernail being removed from his left hand. (Not that this ever stopped newspapers referring to his fingernails being removed). Lo! When he was interviewed by the British some time later, had he not had a bandage on his left hand? But he hadn’t actually mentioned his fingernail during that interview! Why, surely his interviewer realised that the bandage was proof that his fingernail had been pulled by Pakistan on American instructions and thus the British should have refused to interview him? How could they now use that interview as part of the case convicting him of being a terrorist?
Quite easily it seems, for unfortunately for Rangzieb, he had many years beforehand told his brother-in-law that his fingernail had been removed by his previous Indian captors when he was part of a Kashmiri terrorist organisation fighting India. His brother-in-law gave evidence. The Supreme Court ruled:
“Rangzieb was not tortured by or on behalf of the British, nor with their encouragement and he was not tortured at any time before the single occasion when he said he was seen by British officers. Indeed, whether or not he was tortured at all is not properly resolved”.
Do you see any headlines saying ‘Britain not complicit in Torture? No, I thought not.