English human rights solicitor and Dispatches from the Dark Side author Gareth Peirce joined Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, where she discussed recently uncovered files detailing ties between U.S. and British intelligence and the Gaddafi regime's torture of dissidents.
In response to Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama's rejection of investigations into torture and extraordinary rendition, Peirce says,
It is absolutely critical that this not be put to rest, it's critical that if it's investigated, it be done publicly. Every organization in the world that has experience in how to eradicate torture insists upon two essential ingredients: first, that all the data that reveals torture is publicly known and understood; and secondly, that those on whose watch it happened, who were responsible, be brought to account. And neither of those preconditions is in existence in the construct that is present in Britain at the moment.
The Guardian reports on the controversy caused by revelations in leaked US cables that the UK government was concerned about "harsh and immediate action" from Libya if it failed to release one of the men convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombings, Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, on compassionate grounds.
But as Gareth Peirce, human rights lawyer and author of Dispatches from the Dark Side, points out in an interview with the Irish Independent, the real controversy should be about Al-Megrahi's conviction
Stuart Jeffries interviews Gareth Peirce, author of Dispatches from the Dark Side: On Torture and the Death of Justice, as well as Gerry Conlon of the 'Guildford Four' and Moazzam Begg, whose wrongful convictions were overturned by Peirce.
Peirce's debut book presents a set of devastating yet elegant essays, each written as an "urgent SOS" from ‘the dark side'—"the shadows in the intelligence world"—so swiftly embraced by Dick Cheney, just days after 9/11. They lay out, eloquently, the legal principles that might provide a life raft "where the facts suggest that the ship of state is sailing towards moral and political catastrophe," and call for an accounting of the British government's activities in the torture, rendition and internment without trial of those suspected of involvement in terrorism.