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March 11, 2009

Minority Leader Calls for Full Torture Inquiry
Posted by Adam Blickstein

No, of course not Republican House leader John Boehner, but rather British Tory chief David Cameron:

David Cameron today called for a full inquiry into British intelligence agencies' alleged involvement in torture amid mounting concern that they may have breached international law.

The Tory leader said that an existing inquiry into the mistreatment of one man, Binyam Mohamed, would not go far enough and insisted on the need for an inquiry led by a judge.

"The attorney general is going to be looking at whether a crime has been committed, quite rightly, but isn't really looking at our moral authority and whether it's been maintained," Cameron told the Commons during prime minister's question time.

As I've said a few times before, more clarity on the extent of America's use of torture might come from overseas than from domestic inquiries here in the U.S. Regardless, it's refreshing to see an opposition party more interested in the rule of law and openly examining past transgressions to prevent future abuses than obfuscation, denial and political opportunism.  But it surely exposes the politics clearly in play when the party in power, Labour, are the ones actually more skeptical of any independent examination of Britain's torture complicity. On both sides of the Atlantic, though, examining to what extent torture was used as a tool against terror suspects should transcend politics. And regardless of the geographical divide, that would be the true conservative approach.


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