Home' InDaily : March 12th 2010 Contents www.independentweekly.com.au
The Independent Weekly
March 12 - 18, 2010
Including The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Independent and AAP
LONDON: American officials have
reacted with dismay to the charge
by the former head of MI5 that US
authorities deliberately concealed
mistreatment of terror suspects
from their British colleagues.
The unexpected public statement
by Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller
is said to have significantly added
to the strains in the relationship
between the two countries on
At the same time, the former
secret service chief faced criticism
from human rights groups who
expressed scepticism about her
claims of being kept in the dark by
Washington. Amnesty International
said it was "extremely surprising"
that she and her organisation were
unaware of the allegations of abuse
which were being widely aired.
The Liberal Democrat home
affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said
Dame Eliza s "revelations make an
unanswerable case for a judicial
inquiry into the alleged mistreat-
ment and torture by security
Dame Eliza s condemnation of
American conduct during the war
on terror comes in the wake of
consternation in Washington over
a decision by High Court judges
in London to release sensitive,
US-supplied information on
Guantanamo detainee Binyam
Mohamed. There was also
condemnation across the Atlantic
of the release of Abdelbaset Ali
al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of
the Lockerbie bombing.
During a lecture at a meeting in
the House of Lords, Dame Eliza said
the British Government had made
an official complaint to Washington
over the abuse of detainees. But no
further details have emerged on
either side of the Atlantic of when
this complaint was made, or what
form it took.
In her speech, highly critical
of the US s conduct during the
war on terror, the former secret
service chief implied the leadership
in Washington was inspired by
watching the TV espionage thriller
24. "Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld
certainly watched 24," she said.
Dame Eliza added: "The Americans
were very keen that people like us
did not discover what they were
doing." She insisted she had been
unaware of what was going on until
her retirement in 2007.
One of her retrospective discover-
ies was the interrogation method
used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
When she asked her subordinates
why the senior al-Qaeda member
was offering so much information,
they told her he was "very proud of
his achievements when questioned".
She added: "It wasn t actually until
after I retired that I read that he had
been water-boarded 160 times."
The White House refused
to comment on Dame Eliza s
allegations yesterday. However,
US security officials were said to
feel particularly let down that the
charges had come from someone in
her senior position, and denied that
American intelligence had used
subterfuge with British colleagues.
A senior Pentagon official said there
was "a degree of understanding"
in the cases of Binyam Mohamed
and Mr Megrahi, because the hands
of the British authorities had been
forced by the courts.
"Things are also done on a need-to-
know basis," he said. "What was
there to say that ... the courts would
not have directed agencies in the
UK to disclose sensitive material?
I would also like to point out that
the Brits were always very happy to
receive information we gave them
emanating from Mohammed."
Asked whether President George
W Bush, Vice President Dick
Cheney and Defence Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld watched 24, the
official said: "We are not aware of
their television habits. It s quite an
image, though. These three busy
guys sitting down together at a very
busy time to get their lead from Jack
A protest against the alleged mistreatment of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. PARIS: An affaire d tat? Two
affaires de tit for tat? Or just an
affaire de Twitter which proves to
The French first lady, Carla
Bruni-Sarkozy, said this week she
"trusted" her presidential husband
"never" to have affairs. Good for
her. And for him. But why is that
France is allegedly awash with
rumours that both Nicolas Sarkozy
and Carla are involved in liaisons
dangereuses. France is, in truth,
not awash with such rumours. The
reports have spread, unverified,
from Twitter to the blogosphere
to some parts of the international
press, without ever being given
credence by the French mainstream
Are they true? According to
one French magazine, L Express,
the rumour began as a hoax by
a French trainee journalist. He
wanted to see how easy it was to get
an unverified assertion from the
chat website Twitter on to random
blogs and into the mainstream
media. If so, he succeeded beyond
his wildest dreams.
The Carla and Sarko "rumours"
have appeared in newspapers in
Britain and Italy and websites in
the United States.
The L Express report of a hoax
cannot be verified either.
As a result of the rumours, Sky
News last night brought forward
the release of an interview with
Ms Bruni-Sarkozy in which she
was asked whether she feared her
husband might have affairs.
"Do you trust him?" the
interviewer, Anna Botting, asked.
"Oh yes -- very much," Ms Bruni-
"He would never have affairs."
TEL AVIV: The final moments of
Rachel Corrie, the American peace
activist crushed to death beneath
a pile of earth and rubble in the
path of an advancing Israeli army
bulldozer, were described to an
Israeli court by an eyewitness this
The parents of the 23-year-old,
who was killed by the bulldozer in
March 2003, were present to hear
the harrowing account on the first
day of hearings in a civil lawsuit
they have brought against the state
of Israel. The country has never
acknowledged culpability over Ms
Corrie s death.
Richard Purssell, a British
activist with the pro-Palestinian
International Solidarity Movement
(ISM), said he watched in horror as
Ms Corrie was dragged four metres
by the bulldozer moving forward at
a "fast walking pace".
He told how her fluorescent
orange jacket became invisible
beneath a pile of earth churned
up by the blade of the 56-tonne D9
Mr Purssell said Ms Corrie had
climbed on to the earth mound
being created in front of a bulldozer.
"She is looking into the cab of the
bulldozer," Mr Purssell recounted.
"The bulldozer continues to move
forward. Rachel turns to begin
coming back down the slope ... As
she nears the bottom of the pile,
something happened to cause
her to fall forward. The bulldozer
continues to move forward and
Rachel disappeared from view."
Mr Purssell said he and two
other ISM volunteers had been
summoned earlier in the day to help
five activists prevent bulldozers
from carrying out what they
feared would be the demolition
of Palestinian homes. The five,
including Ms Corrie, were in the
suburb of Hai Salaam, close to the
border with Egypt.
Ms Corrie s parents, Craig and
Cindy, from Olympia in Washington
state, have brought their civil action
in part to challenge the military s
account of their daughter s death.
Israel claims its troops were not
to blame and the bulldozer driver
did not see her or run her over
deliberately, even though witnesses
insist she was clearly visible.
Activist's family suffer
last moments for justice
An affaire de Twitter?
Links Archive March 11th 2010 March 15th 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page