Binyam Mohamed – a British resident released from Guantanamo in February, 2009 after seven years in captivity — was tortured while in U.S. custody.
Torture is an illegal war crime and he would like his day in court. In August 2008, the British High Court ruled in Mohamed’s favor, concluding in a 75-page ruling (.pdf) that there was credible evidence in Britain’s possession that Mohamed was brutally tortured and was therefore entitled to disclosure of that evidence.
In May, The Washington Times reported a letter sent to the British by the Obama administration saying that “the Obama administration may curtail
Anglo-American intelligence sharing if the British High Court discloses new details of the treatment of a former Guantanamo detainee.” The Guardian reports, according to David Miliband, the UK foreign secretary, that threats were issued by the Obama administration not only in the form of that previously disclosed letter, but also personally by Hillary Clinton in a May meeting with him and other British officials.
In May, The Washington Post‘s Dan Froomkin — in a column entitled “President Obama Joins the Cover-Up” — wrote: “The president who came into office promising to restore our international reputation and return responsibility to government now seems to be buying into the belief that covering up our sins is better than coming clean.”
This has gone well beyond a passive failure to apply the rule of law (and comply with our treaty obligations). A cover up operation is in effect. Covering up war crimes, refusing to prosecute them, promoting those associated with them, and suppressing evidence of them are themselves violations of Geneva and the UN Conventions. What could possibly justify this full-scale joint effort by the Obama administration and the British government to cover-up evidence of Mohamed’s torture?