Torture docs kept from Obama?
US defence officials are preventing Barack Obama from seeing evidence that a former British resident held in Guantánamo Bay has been tortured, the prisoner’s lawyer said last night, as campaigners and the Foreign Office prepared for the man’s release in as little as a week.
Clive Stafford Smith, the director of the legal charity Reprieve, which represents Ethiopian-born Binyam Mohamed, sent Obama evidence of what he called “truly mediaeval” abuse but substantial parts were blanked out so the president could not read it.
In the letter to the president, Stafford Smith urges him to order the disclosure of the evidence.
Stafford Smith tells Obama he should be aware of the “bizarre reality” of the situation. “You, as commander in chief, are being denied access to material that would help prove that crimes have been committed by US personnel. This decision is being made by the very people who you command.”
It is understood US defence officials might have censored the evidence to protect the president from criminal liability or political embarrassment.</em>
Embarrassment? He wasn’t the guy in charge when it was done, why should it embarrass him? And certainly George Bush has no sense of shame or the ability to be embarrassed.