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Rifkind requests CIA material on UK

Rifkind requests CIA material on UK



Sir Malcolm Rifkind is to request that the US hands over any material documenting the UK's role in the CIA's post-9/11 interrogation programme.
A US Senate report found "brutal" treatment of al-Qaeda suspects in the wake of 9/11.
Downing Street has said some material was removed from the report at the UK's request, for national security reasons.
But it said no redactions related to British involvement in the mistreatment of prisoners.
Sir Malcolm is head of the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee, and is chairing an inquiry into the involvement of British intelligence agencies in the CIA's programme of detaining and interrogating al-Qaeda suspects.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he said his committee needed to discuss whether the government or intelligence or security agencies had tried to have redacted parts of the Senate report that might have been embarrassing.
'Brutal' interrogations

Sir Malcolm said it was for the US government to decide whether to supply his inquiry with redacted material, rather than the Senate committee.
"We are taking the steps that are normally taken to try to obtain information," he said.
"There are various ways in which this might be dealt with."
Asked if he was hopeful of success, he said: "I do not say I would be confident."
A 525-page summary of the report, compiled by Democrats on the committee, was published earlier this week - although the full version remains classified.
It revealed that the CIA carried out "brutal" interrogations of terrorism suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks. Among the abuses, the committee found:
  • Detainees were subjected to repeated waterboarding, slapping, stress positions and sleep deprivation
  • One suspect was kept confined in a coffin-sized box for hours on end
  • Others were threatened with severe harm - psychologically and physically
However, the summary contains no reference to UK agencies.
National security

The CIA admitted that some mistakes had been made, but insisted that the interrogation programme had saved lives and was "critical" to the agency's understanding of al-Qaeda.
A version of the report was finished in 2012, but there were disagreements about what should be published. Part of this process was a "classification review" by the CIA into what information should remain secret.
When the report was published, Downing Street said any requests for redactions from the UK had been made by British intelligence agencies to the CIA.
It said the requests had made for reasons of national security on intelligence operations, and later added that Number 10 itself had not made any requests for redactions.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Telegraph reports that Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has called for former Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to reveal what they knew about the CIA's torture and rendition programme when they were in office.
"It's for ministers in that [former Labour] government to account for their actions," he said.
"That is our tradition and that's the expectation. I hope they will cooperate with any parliamentary inquiry."
Following Mr Fallon's comments, Mr Straw said: "I was never complicit in any of the CIA illegal processes. I consider it to be revolting, unlawful and also unproductive, as has come out in the Senate report.
"Of course, when it is possible for legal reasons for full inquiries to take place I will cooperate fully with them, as I always have done."
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