Weasel words from Westminster

| Fri Mar. 25, 2005 10:41 AM PST

Via AP: Is Britain getting intel extracted through torture in third countries, as the US apparently is? The Blair government has repeatedly ducked the question, to the immense irritation of a parliamentary committee charged with looking into the matter.

We find it surprising and unsettling that the government has twice failed to answer our specific question on whether or not the U.K. receives or acts upon information extracted under torture by a third country.

We recommend that the government give a clear answer to the question. The government should ensure that it is understood by other governments that the mistreatment of British nationals is unacceptable and will be met with appropriate action.

This, apparently, is the British government's idea of a clear answer:

[The government] condemns the use of torture and has worked with international partners to eradicate the practice. ... The government never uses torture or instigates others to use torture.

Pretty clear where the truth lies, no?

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