Files About UK's Role In CIA Renditions 'Accidentally' Destroyed

from the yeah,-right dept

Remember how the tapes of the CIA's torture campaign were "destroyed" under suspicious circumstances, despite orders not to destroy them? It appears something similar has happened in the UK, where files on the UK's role in CIA rendition efforts have been "accidentally destroyed." I'm wondering if anyone can read that claim without rolling their eyes.
When Tyrie asked the Foreign Office (FCO) to explain which government department keeps a list of flights which passed through Diego Garcia from January 2002 to January 2009, FCO minister Mark Simmonds replied: "Records on flight departures and arrivals on Diego Garcia are held by the British Indian Ocean Territory immigration authorities. Daily occurrence logs, which record the flights landing and taking off, cover the period since 2003. Though there are some limited records from 2002, I understand they are incomplete due to water damage."

The Foreign Office would not say whether the damaged files were UK or US records, or say where they were located. An FO spokesperson maintained that because the damage "was only recently discovered" it did not know how or when it occurred.
Convenient story. As the report notes, this follows earlier vehement denials from the UK government that Diego Garcia was used for rendition... only to later have to admit that they were lying.
Ministers of successive governments have repeatedly given misleading or incomplete information about the CIA's use of Diego Garcia. In February 2008, the then foreign secretary, David Miliband, was forced to apologise to MPs and explain that Tony Blair's "earlier explicit assurances that Diego Garcia had not been used for rendition flights" had not been correct. Miliband said at this point that two rendition flights had landed, but that the detainees on board had not disembarked.
Once again, it appears that the intelligence community is more focused on covering its tracks than on making sure it's not violating everyone's rights.

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  1. identicon
    Whoever, 10 Jul 2014 @ 1:22pm

    The winter of 1967 ...

    [last lines]
    James Hacker: How am I going to explain the missing documents to "The Mail"?
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, this is what we normally do in circumstances like these.
    James Hacker: [reads memo] This file contains the complete set of papers, except for a number of secret documents, a few others which are part of still active files, some correspondence lost in the floods of 1967...
    James Hacker: Was 1967 a particularly bad winter?
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: No, a marvellous winter. We lost no end of embarrassing files.
    James Hacker: [reads] Some records which went astray in the move to London and others when the War Office was incorporated in the Ministry of Defence, and the normal withdrawal of papers whose publication could give grounds for an action for libel or breach of confidence or cause embarrassment to friendly governments.
    James Hacker: That's pretty comprehensive. How many does that normally leave for them to look at?
    James Hacker: How many does it actually leave? About a hundred?... Fifty?... Ten?... Five?... Four?... Three?... Two?... One?... *Zero?*
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes, Minister.

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