Release of Egyptian rendition records would be explosive
Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-01
It’s a fair bet by anyone familiar with Egypt’s Ministry of the Interior, that this ministry was a subcontractor providing torture services to some great powers, and the details of those services were well-known by the governments of middle and lesser powers to.
In Western countries, any government in power since rendition entered the vocabulary of the well-read will be desperately hoping Egyptian records proving Western complicity in torture will never become public knowledge.
Who benefits most if the Ministry of the Interior is burnt, if paper and electronic records can’t get leaked to the press or the wider internet?
Whether or not the current regime is eventually toppled, many present and former leaders would love evidence to be destroyed.
There has been enough detailed evidence, merely relating to the torture of Habib, an Australian citizen, in Egypt (by the new VP of Egypt, no less) and Gitmo, for the ALP government to initiate a serious investigation – an investigation that would, with even public knowledge that there actually was an invesigation, even without enough evidence to ensure conviction of crimes we are duty bound to prosecute under the ratified UN Convention Against Torture, would taint many in the current Coalition Parliamentary Party and the Coalition party machine.
The failure of the ALP to investigate, to use an opportunity to devastate their political opponents must puzzling to anybody who has kept abreast of international affairs for the last decade, unless they suspect that parliaments worldwide having basically two major parties are basically duumvirates, voters merely deciding which party is the senior partner term by term.
It’s certainly not in the interests of pro-democracy forces in the middle east if records of torture are destroyed. Those records are key to legitimizing protest and any revolution.
Even detestable Islamist extremists have nothing to gain, and everything to lose, if the records of misrule are destroyed?
Why set fire to the most inflammatory material that can destroy their enemies?
Cui Bono? Who benefits?
The existing Egyptian regime, and all those colluding with them, have strong motives to destroy evidence of crimes, and with agents provocateurs easily placed in demonstrating crowds, certainly have means and opportunity.
The interesting thing with the destruction of the evidence will be how straight a face Western leaders can manage with their "Tut tut tuts" at the destruction of any buildings by violent members of the protest groups.
I bet, if such destruction of evidence happens, Western leaders will, explicitly or by suggestion, blame the destruction on Islamist extremists who desperately want that evidence as a weapon.
- "The Torturer’s Apprentice" (Richard Neville, The Home Page Daily) names names and mentions 85 thousand documents our diplomatic, military and intelligence services have on the treatment of Habib. Hat tip John at En Passant.
- "Looting linked to Mubarak as Cairo unravels" (The Age, 2011-02-01)