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Senior Bush Administration Security Official to Launch Torture Report at Parliament
LONDON - October 16 - A major US report which is highly critical of America’s use of torture in the ‘War on Terror,’ and specifically condemns the 2004 ‘rendition’ of Libyan Gaddafi opponents in a joint CIA-MI6 operation, is due to be launched in Parliament by a senior member of President George W Bush’s Homeland Security team tomorrow (Thursday, 17 October).
Asa Hutchinson, former Under-Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security and former Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration under Bush, and Ambassador Thomas R Pickering, who represented the US at the United Nations under President Reagan, will address MPs on the conclusions of their report on Detainee Treatment.
Both Under-Secretary Hutchinson and Ambassador Pickering were members of US bipartisan watchdog the Constitution Project’s Task Force, which produced the report. Among other members of the Task Force were two retired US generals who had senior roles in military intelligence, David R Irvine and Claudia Kennedy, and a former Director of the FBI, William S Sessions.
Their report states that, “In one of its most important findings, the Task Force concluded that the extraordinary rendition program — which has inherent problems with human rights and international legal standards — was extended, and thus abused, to deal with people like the Libyans, who had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or the September 11 attacks.”
Two of the Libyans concerned, Abdel Hakim Belhadj and his wife, Fatima Boudchar, who was heavily pregnant when she was kidnapped and ‘rendered’ to Gaddafi, are currently bringing a legal case against the UK Government, MI6, and then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw over their alleged role in their abuse. The next hearing in the case is set for the week commencing 21 October.
The report, first published earlier this year, also concludes that, “it is indisputable that the US engaged in the practice of torture.”
Its UK launch will be hosted in Parliament by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, chaired by Andrew Tyrie MP, on Thursday, October 17, from 1100 to 1230.