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Liars of the Free World? Britain Can't Trust America

Liars of the Free World? Britain Can't Trust America


Trust, a crucial component of most healthy relationships, has become an elusive ingredient in the transatlantic alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. England's House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee just issued its annual human rights report, which states that America's word can no longer be trusted when it comes to torture and human rights abuses.

The committee recommended the following:

The UK can no longer rely on US assurances that it does not use torture, and we recommend that the government does not rely on such assurances in the future. We also recommend that the government should immediately carry out an exhaustive analysis of current US interrogation techniques on the basis of such information as is publicly available or which can be supplied by the US.

This past February, the UK's Foreign Secretary apologized to parliament after records revealed that US planes, carrying terror suspects, twice landed in the UK dependent territory of Diego Garcia to refuel, apparently without UK permission. This rendition scandal, as well as the CIA's admission that it used waterboarding, most likely encouraged this decision that could impact whether the UK extradites certain suspects to the US. Does this call to verify US statements signal a significant blight on America's record, or is Britain's double checking no big deal?

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