Thursday 8 October 2009

Rashid Rauf: downright unbelievable

Over the summer Ian Cobain of the Guardian gave us a series of articles raising serious questions about the collusion of the British government in torture.

One of the cases highlighted was that of Rashid Rauf who was arrested in Pakistan in August 2006. The official narrative of Rashid Rauf was that he subsequently escaped from the authorities, a narrative greeted with scepticism by Rauf's lawyer who predicted that a few months after the "escape" there would be a report that Rauf had, conveniently, died. Sure enough, a few months later the authorities claimed that Rauf had been killed in a drone strike. The Guardian accurately described this story as "downright unbelievable". It suggested that it was far more likely that Rauf had died in custody as a result of the torture, and that the unbelievable story had been concocted to cover this up.

The Telegraph and Express have come to the government's rescue by assuring us that not only is Rashid Rauf alive and well (and not tortured to death) but, having allegedly masterminded July 7th 2005 and just about every terror plot to have affected Britain in recent years, he is now, according to MI6 no less, as dangerous as Osama bin Laden!

Those who have been following the myth of al-Qaeda carefully will recognise the re-cycling of an old story line, that of al-Zarqawi, who was reported killed on several different occasions, and reported alive again on almost as many.

Craig Murray has given some insight into how MI6 spends large sums of money to obtain the intelligence that sustains this farcical drivel. (If you prefer a more mainstream source, a recent Sunday Times article describes another MI6 man flying around Afghanistan in a helicopter dispensing thousands of dollars in bundles).

Strangely, this waste of money was not targeted in plans for the biggest cuts in public spending for 30 years. The same prospective government is giving a high priority to abolishing our human rights, so perhaps it is not so strange after all.