...a blog by Richard Flowers

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Day 2608: Extraordinary Apology!


Mr Millipede, Secretary of State for directing passengers though the Airport Lounge of Airstrip One, has apologised.

He has apologised on behalf of the Foreign Office for misleading the House of Commons, and, as I am sure you realise, that is quite SERIOUS.

It is ILLEGAL to put people on aeroplanes against their will and fly them off to countries that practice torture with the aim of having them tortured on your behalf, since you are reluctant to be seen with their blood on your fluffy feet.

That is, WE call it "illegal". The Americans call it "Extraordinary Rendition".

We are signatories, without reservation, to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which states explicitly under article 3:

No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

The very SECOND that any plane lands in British Territory, anyone and everyone on board should be subject to the FULL FORCE of British Law and all protections that are owed to them.

So it is ILLEGAL to let someone (i.e the Americans) do this, or to allow them to do this out of our airspace.

The Foreign Office had said that the Americans had NOT flown ANY of their rendition flights into, out of or over British airspace. That turns out not to have been completely true.

Flicking through their back catalogue, they discovered that a couple of their EasyTorture Airways flights DID touch down for refuelling on the lonely British atoll of Diego Maradona.

There IS an argument for saying that the British Government did not know anything about this… but that just shows that they were allowing a dangerous foreign agency go completely out of control on their watch.

Of course it is a LITTLE bit harsh to blame the barely-out-of-short-trousers Mr Millipede, since he wasn't the one in charge when this happened and he isn’t the one who told FIBS to the House of Commons.

The ACTUAL Foreign Secretary at the time, was of course fleshless Mari Lwyd Mrs Margaret Bucket.

She was on the Andy Marmite show over the weekend, trying to brush it all under the carpet.

Mr Andy pressed her on the claims that between 170 and 200 CIA registered flights had been spotted landing at British airports like Glasgow and Prestwick. Ms Charming Chakrabati of Liberty had called for an inquiry; shouldn't Mrs Bucket, as Foreign Secretary, have set one up?

"But there have been inquiries," she protested.

You can picture the scene:

Bored American voice: "good mornin', CIA inquiries desk, how may I help you today?"

Mrs Bucket: "ah, hello. I'm calling from Her Majesty's Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, her Dominions and Territories, etc. I was wondering about all of these planes of yours that are flying in and out. DO any of them have, well, er, anyone on their way to be tortured on board?"

Bored American voice: [flicks through magazine for a minute]: "no, ma'am"

Mrs Bucket: "oh, well, good, that's jolly good"

Bored American voice: "you have a nice day, ma'am"

Some how I do NOT think that that was the sort of inquiry that Ms Charming had in mind, do you?

Anyway, Mrs Bucket isn't the Foreign Secretary any more. Mr Frown has put her in the chair of the Intelligence and Security Select Committee.

So, it's good to know that our security and intelligence are in capable hands.

That's "capable hands" meaning "the hands of a complacent incompetent" and "good" meaning "utterly terrifying".

The CIA responded to the news with a statement

"Torture is against our laws and values"

they said, for some reason inexplicably forgetting to continue:

"…so we redefine what the word "torture" means, 'cos it don't half look cool when Jack Bauer gets to do it!"

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