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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:22 PM


Cruel Britannia: a secret history of torture

The hidden story of Britain's torture record has been told for the first time, a hand grenade into the heart of the establishment.

In 2006, Cpl Donald Payne was the first British soldier to be convicted of a war crime in this country under the International Criminal Court Act 2001. His crime was the inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners held by British Forces in Southern Iraq in September 2003. He received a year in jail and was dismissed from the British Army for his crime. However, whereas a foot soldier who is complicit in torture is sent to jail – as the book reveals, for those higher up the social spectrum a CBE, knighthood or peerage await. Such is the hypocrisy in the British history of torture...read Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain.

His book is a remarkable narrative and will come as something of a shock to most readers who are taken in by Britain’s image of fair play and decency abroad. This is a myth, as Cobain explosively demonstrates. When the publishers sent me the manuscript I wrote to them that it was like hand grenade rolled into the heart of the British Establishment. Here is why.

Firstly, the book is explosive because it reveals direct participation by the United Kingdom in torture since 1944. This probably will come as a great surprise to many readers but the official line that “the British do not participate in torture”, is revealed as just part of a deliberate and well-practised line of deceit. The book charts the use of torture from “the Cage” in London used to interrogate leading Nazis at the end of the Second World War, through the colonial campaigns of Kenya, Cyprus and Aden and then makes the link to Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan with the repeated and wilful use of “the five techniques”. It exposes the exceptional brutality of the British in the treatment of the Mau Mau in Kenya - as is just beginning to emerge in the case of Nzili, Nyingi and Mara, currently being heard in the High Court.

Evidence reveals that one British policeman at the time described the conditions in the camps as “far worse than anything I experienced in my four and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese”. To hear the British described as being more brutal than the Japanese will come as a great shock but, should there be any doubt as to the depravity of British Forces, the description in the book is unequivocal..

“Men were whipped, clubbed, subjected to electric shocks, mauled by dogs and chained to vehicles before being dragged around. Some were castrated. The same instruments used to crush testicles were used to remove fingers. It was far from un-common for men to be beaten to death”


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HiPointDem Dec 2012 OP
Narraback Dec 2012 #1
Smilo Dec 2012 #2

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:33 PM

1. Thank you.

I have booked marked to site and will get the book next year.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:34 PM

2. Wow

truly disturbing. And yet if one human being can think it is okay to torture another - then there are bound to be many more that go along with the idea.

The big denial throughout the world "we don't do it - it's those other guys" - now we are beginning to know just who those other guys are and see the finger pointing back at the "denier".

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