Sunday, August 21, 2005

Britain's Military is corrupt?

One group that has been linked to the shooting of Mr de Menezes is the SAS.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1743820,00.html

David Leppard, in the Sunday Times, 21 August 2005, writes that sources close to the military claim that the SAS (UK special forces) is facing an internal inquiry into allegations that
'hundreds of thousands of pounds have been misappropriated during some of its covert operations in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East'.

Sources said that military investigators queried certain invoices. There are suggestions that 'they may have been inflated and the extra cash channelled elsewhere'.

The SAS 'is thought to account for 10% of the Ministry of Defence’s £31 billion annual budget'.

The SAS 'has always had access to its own funds to ensure that it has the ability to obtain anything it needs and to bypass the often bureaucratic processes to which other regiments are subject'.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2005/08/21/do2101.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/08/21/ixportal.html

Max Hastings, in the Sunday Telegraph, 21 August2005, writes about the British army.

Hastings, who has close links to the military, begins by telling us: "The British Army may not be the biggest, but it is the best... Yet today this great institution faces a crisis of self-confidence."

There have been scandals at Deepcut barracks and in Iraq.

Hastings reminds us about Colonel "Mad Mitch" Mitchell who 'did shocking things to Arabs in Aden in 1967, while becoming a hero at home.'

Hastings writes:

"Almost 30 years ago, an SAS trooper described to me a long, weary 1943 battle which he and his squadron fought in Italy, confronting Germans across a ravine. Suddenly, he said, an iron-tough former booth boxer in the next foxhole sprang up and ran to a bridge 200 yards distant. The man had spotted some women sheltering under the stonework. My eye-witness said with a grin: 'Our bloke got to the bridge, had one of the women and was back in the trench, shot at both ways, inside ten minutes.'

"A straightforward case of rape," comments Hastings.

Hastings continues: "Henry V's soldiers at Agincourt may have enchanted Shakespeare, but their behaviour in France formed part of a century-long saga of pillage and massacre... In 1916, the Royal Flying Corps briefly employed a psychiatrist to screen trainees for psychopaths, obsessives and the like. The practice was abandoned when it was noticed that most aces fell into one category or another."

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THE BRITISH ARMY - LONG HISTORY OF USING TORTURE

The British army has a long history of using torture.

The writer Mark Curtis says that in 1971 an official British investigation found that the British army's torture techniques "played an important part in counter-insurgency operations in Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus and the British Cameroons (1960-1), Brunei (1963), British Guiana (1964), Aden (1964-7), Borneo/Malaysia (1965-6), the Persian Gulf (1970-1) and in Northern Ireland (1971)".

KENYA

The British used beatings, sexual humiliation, hooding, sleep deprivation, and bombarding with white noise.

32 Whites were killed by the Mau Mau during the five-year state of emergency. More whites died in traffic accidents in the capital city, Nairobi.

Kenyans were forced into concentration camps and routinely tortured.

Some 150,000 Africans died as a direct result of the British policy.

There was a "constant stream of reports of brutalities by police, military and home guards", wrote Canon Bewes, a British missionary.

"Some of the people had been using castration instruments and two men had died under castration."

Other brutalities included slicing off ears, boring holes in eardrums, flogging people to death, pouring paraffin over suspects and setting them alight and burning eardrums with cigarettes.

A British district officer admitted, "There was outright abuse of power and some of the crimes committed were horrific. One day six Mau Mau suspects were brought into a police station in the neighbouring district to mine. The British police inspector in charge lined them up against a wall and shot them."

A mobile gallows travelled the country. Over 1,000 were hanged, their bodies displayed at crossroads and market places.

MALAYSIA

The British used terror in Malaya.

This involved aerial bombing, massacres of villagers, dictatorial police measures and the "resettlement" of hundreds of thousands of people.

CYPRUS During the state of emergency, from 1952 to 1957, the British army used torture.

Cypriot Nicos Koshies:

"They took me to the Special Branch and they started beating me. They took off all my clothes, they tied my hands and feet. They asked somebody to come in. He was taking a stick to put up my bottom, he was putting cloths in water and putting them on my face so I could not breathe, he threw me down and danced on my stomach when he was wearing boots. After 12 days I could not recognise myself."

James Callaghan in the House of Commons:

"On 29 June 1957 an inquest was held into the death of Nicos Georghiou. Dr Clearkin said in evidence that bruises in the head were sufficiently severe to have caused the injuries to the brain, perhaps bumping the head against a hard object."

IRAN

In 1953 a coup organised by the British and the USA overthrew Mossadeq and gave power to the Shah.

British SAS forces trained the Shah's Savak secret police.

SAS officers helped train the Iranian army in special operations against the Kurds.

The Shah's regime used torture until it was overthrown in 1979.

ADEN/SOUTH YEMEN

In Aden, later known as South Yemen, SAS squads used terror against local villages.

An official investigation found that from 1964 to 1967 detainees at a British interrogation centre were routinely tortured. Their eardrums were burst.

Others were forced to lean against walls with their fingertips for day and subjected to white noise for hours.

BAHRAIN

Former detainees in Bahrain have described being beaten, electrocuted, whipped, tied in excruciating positions for days on end, kept awake, starved and having their toenails torn out.

NORTHERN IRELAND

The Compton official inquiry acknowledged that the army hooded suspects, fed them on just bread and water and blasted them with noise.

An Amnesty International report said, "It is because we regard the deliberate destruction of a man's ability to control his own mind with revulsion that we reserve a special place in our catalogue of moral crimes for techniques of thought control and brainwashing. Any interrogation procedure which has the purpose or effect of causing a malfunction or breakdown of a man's mental processes constitutes as grave an assault on the inherent dignity of the human person as more traditional techniques of physical torture."

A European human rights report found that British army techniques amounted to "inhuman and degrading treatment" causing "at least intense physical and mental suffering".



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