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 Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US

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PostSubject: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:38 am

Quote :

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was tonight urged to intervene after an extraordinary row erupted between the British courts and the US administration over the release of documents relating to allegations of torture.

Two senior judges said the US government had threatened to review its intelligence-sharing relationship with the UK if the material was placed in the public domain. The documents contain details of the treatment by the US of Ethiopian Binyam Mohamed, a former UK resident being held in Guantanamo Bay, who claims British agencies were complicit in his torture.

The High Court ruled the dossier provided by the US authorities should remain secret but bitterly criticised the Americans over the way they had sought to prevent the information from being released.

Political uncertainty and economic vulnerability combined seem to be disturbing the "best friends" relationship between the US and Britain and the EU. There is the friction over growing protectionism, with "furiously angry" exchanges having been reported yesterday between Europe and the US over exclusion of non US steel from "bailout" projects. Now there is this.


Quote :
British officials insisted there had been no direct threat from the US to future intelligence-sharing, although there would have been clear implications for future exchanges of information if the material had been made public. In their ruling, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones said it was "difficult to conceive" that a democratically elected and accountable government could have any rational objection to the summary of Mohamed's treatment by US agencies being published.

While it contained "evidence ... relevant to allegations of torture'' it did not reveal sensitive intelligence material despite being "politically embarrassing".

"We did not consider that a democracy governed by the rule of law would expect a court in another democracy to suppress a summary of the evidence contained in reports by its own officials ... relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be," they said. "We had no reason ... to anticipate there would be made a threat of the gravity of the kind made by the United States Government that it would reconsider its intelligence sharing relationship, when all the considerations in relation to open justice pointed to us providing a limited but important summary of the reports.''

They said they had decided not to release the material as Mr Miliband believed there was a "real risk'' that the potential loss of intelligence co-operation would seriously increase the threat from terror faced by the UK. They urged the new US administration of Barack Obama to reconsider the decision.
Breaking News

In the context of US/UK fears about terrorism, and undoubtedly also civil unrest, the threat to withhold sharing of intelligence is not that far from a threat of violence.


Last edited by cactus flower on Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:41 am

Yes, the Rule of Law rolls over to "national interest" ... Miliband on bbc2 right now
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:49 am

Watching it - Poliicisation of the Justice Department - Alberto Gonzales - no recollection of anything he did as head of department.
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:51 am

Miliband has had his spine stiffened since the Channel 4 news earlier this evening! He was definitely more equivocal / honest Shocked during the C4 news, from my memory anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:54 am

Missed Miliband - what did he say?
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:01 am

Among other things, Gonzales has just mentioned the "Miranda Warning" - ie the Gitmo men cannot fit into the US "normal" criminal system cos they didn't receive the Miranda warning that is standard in the US -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_warning

ie the old "right to remain silent" etc etc warning

It is intensely interesting how legal systems will play this out. Let's not mention the politicians just for a moment ...
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:06 am

Aber bezueglich Miliband - my memory from earlier this eve is that he was definitely more equivocal - ie more uncomfortable about the whole thing. Will chase up the link in a mo.
I'm also intrigued to know which judges these were, as a matter of interest.
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:08 am

Atticus wrote:
Among other things, Gonzales has just mentioned the "Miranda Warning" - ie the Gitmo men cannot fit into the US "normal" criminal system cos they didn't receive the Miranda warning that is standard in the US -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_warning

ie the old "right to remain silent" etc etc warning

It is intensely interesting how legal systems will play this out. Let's not mention the politicians just for a moment ...


A right to remain silence would really take all the good out of torture.
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:25 am

Miliband has been embarrassed into acting a bit more peeved, but reality is that he wont actually call for America to make a statement renouncing the implicit threat or calling for it to co-operate with the Courts in Britain. The Government only want this to go away, so supine and subservient have they become, it is left to the Judges and the Tories to stand up for the Rule of Law in Britain...
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:30 am

Atticus - what is the story about the secret inquests proposal in the UK?
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:33 am

toxic avenger wrote:
Miliband has been embarrassed into acting a bit more peeved, but reality is that he wont actually call for America to make a statement renouncing the implicit threat or calling for it to co-operate with the Courts in Britain. The Government only want this to go away, so supine and subservient have they become, it is left to the Judges and the Tories to stand up for the Rule of Law in Britain...

...funny, 15 / 20 years ago, it was the Judges and Labour (well, sort of, sometimes, not really) ... but immer die Juristen ...
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:48 am

cactus flower wrote:
Atticus - what is the story about the secret inquests proposal in the UK?

Ah now there is an interesting question! Are other countries as accomplished as the British govt at encompassing so many different policy objectives in apparently unrelated pieces of legislation? - probably!

Being honest, must check the latest on this, a right piece of cover-up methodology if ever there was, if I remember the original launch anyway.

Will leave you with a link, sorry but simply MUST get to bed for 5am rise, a little bit of Alfred Brendel on the telly while I make the cocoa (not!) ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jan/14/jack-straw-terrorism-criminal-justice
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:21 pm

It seems to some folks, that it's okay to watch a torture session as long as you don't participate, you apparently have a legal out, with regard to being charged with being complicit. Having hear this last year, when it arose, I waited to see if it would be dealt with in the House of Commons.

William Hague's testicles seem to have dropped at last. He asks some very interesting questions in this video. I cannot wait to see the answers.

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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:31 pm

C4 news led with this tonight... it was wayyy down the agenda on the Beeb. C4 doing sterling work leaking letters containing the disputed US "non threat" to intelligence sharing.

Someone should give those boys and girls a medal for services to washing the Establishment's dirty linen in public. Not to mention a few US items
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:33 pm

Did anyone else here this interview with Tom Petruno on the growing rift between the US and Europe on economic policy coming up to the G7 ?

Morning Ireland today
javascript:playClip(2506721, null,209)

He was saying that there is a glut of production world wide and that this problem - oversupply - underlies the crisis.
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:07 pm

Yes it has been relatively widely reported in the Financial Times and the Economist.

The supply issue is one of the problems but equally there is plenty of politics at play here. Europe, or more particularly the Eurozone, is unkeen to engage in the kind of largescale economic bailout process that America and Britain have embarked upon. This has annoyed the Americans no end who view it as another example of "Old Europe" dragging its heels and making bad (sic) decisions.

On the otherhand, Europe wants to push ahead with globalised rules for the regulation of the banking industry. As one might imagine, the French and the Germans can get a bit moralistic about this sort of thing and the Americans are not going to have any of it. Their opinion is that their economy, the most powerful in the world (sic), is not going to be dictated to by Europe.

The last sting of a dying wasp, perhaps.
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:14 pm

The EU has a larger GNP and population than the US.
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:18 pm

Art wrote:
The EU has a larger GNP and population than the US.

True but that doesn't give you the overall picture. The US has a single foreign policy and a single federal economic policy. The European Union has 27 and a Community one. You can't really compare them as like actors in the global setting. A prime example of that is Britain who are, despite what alot would have you believe, vitally important in the running of European politics and European economics. However, their approach to dealing with this crisis is vastly different to the Eurozone economies.
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PostSubject: Re: Tension between the Britain/ The EU and the US   Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:20 pm

johnfás wrote:
Yes it has been relatively widely reported in the Financial Times and the Economist.

The supply issue is one of the problems but equally there is plenty of politics at play here. Europe, or more particularly the Eurozone, is unkeen to engage in the kind of largescale economic bailout process that America and Britain have embarked upon. This has annoyed the Americans no end who view it as another example of "Old Europe" dragging its heels and making bad (sic) decisions.

On the otherhand, Europe wants to push ahead with globalised rules for the regulation of the banking industry. As one might imagine, the French and the Germans can get a bit moralistic about this sort of thing and the Americans are not going to have any of it. Their opinion is that their economy, the most powerful in the world (sic), is not going to be dictated to by Europe.

The last sting of a dying wasp, perhaps.

The reality is that the US is the biggest military power, and is grossly indebted, but because so much international trade (including oil) is undertaken in the dollar, that debt is underwritten by the rest of the world. There is an FU reflex arising from that. Some commentators are sceptical as to whether US is overconcerned about paying its debts back. Perhaps this is the hidden message in Obama's pack of "American Classic" DVDs. China today is giving out anxiety signals about the seaworthiness of its assets held in US bonds.

The problem for the US is that the global economy is now so intermeshed that no national economy, not even the US's, can hope to innoculate itself from the tsunami effects of economic collapse elsewhere in the globe.
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