Britain to seek access to CIA torture report

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2014 10:27 AM

LONDON (AP) — A U.K. parliamentary panel wants access to information not made public in a U.S. Senate report that may pertain to Britain's role in the interrogation and rendition of terror suspects following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, told the BBC on Sunday that the panel investigating allegations of British involvement in torture would request access to the Senate's findings related to Britain.

Prime Minister David Cameron's office has acknowledged that some parts of the report were blacked out for national security reasons, but says none of it related to any alleged British involvement that in "activity that would be unlawful in the U.K." The requests for the material to be omitted from the executive summary published last week was made by British intelligence agencies to the CIA, rather than the government.

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA interrogations exposed years of misrepresentations that seem designed to boost the case for the effectiveness of brutal interrogations.

When asked whether he was hopeful he'd get the information, Rifkind replied, "I do not say I would be confident."

The CIA report has led to demands that Britain halt negotiations with the United States over the use of Diego Garcia, a British atoll in the Indian Ocean where the Americans have a military base. Britain has previously acknowledged that Diego Garcia was twice used by the U.S. as a refueling stop during the 2002 secret transfers of two terrorism suspects.

The 50-year agreement allowing the Americans to use the island runs out in 2016.

"The negotiations on the lease can focus minds on establishing the scope and limits of Britain's involvement, direct or indirect, in extraordinary rendition," Andrew Tyrie, chair of the all-party group on rendition, told The Observer.