Calls mount for inquiry into UK complicity in CIA torture

David Cameron is facing pressure to launch an investigation into Britain's role in the CIA abuse scandal.

There were no "real surprises" in the 525-page report into CIA torture released this week by the Senate intelligence committee, says Geoff Dyer in the FT. "Approval came from the top, the techniques were ineffective and there was much lying and deception."

But at least, thanks to the "courage and steely persistence" of Dianne Feinstein and her Senate committee, America now knows the truth, says Jenni Russell in The Times. "We in Britain do not." We know that as America's ally, we were involved, but we don't know the extent of our complicity.

This is leading to mounting cross-party pressure on David Cameron to approve a judge-led investigation into Britain's role, says Andrew Grice in The Independent on Sunday.

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However, we should be "wary" of any state-directed inquiry, says Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the same paper. Whatever happened to the Chilcot inquiry? "The establishment pulls together because all agree that extreme confidentiality maketh the nationinvincible."

So much for leaders proclaiming "without a blush" that Great Britain is an exemplary democracy.

Stop using the report as a politically motivated "stick with which to beat both the CIA and the British government", says Melanie Phillips in The Times. Let's be realistic. The CIA may have crossed the line, but "sometimes it is a moral imperative to use limited ill-treatment if the purpose is to save innocent lives".

Our enemies know the difference, and they are laughing at our response to this report, undermining our defences as it does.

Wrong, says Matthew Scott on All the CIA has achieved is to ensure "cruelty and injustice will now more than ever be seen by our enemies as essential Western values', which will almost certainly lead to the recruitment of more people to aggressively anti-Western causes".

The report is "a first step in reversing this effect", but the "prosecution and conviction of those responsible" is now needed.

Emily Hohler

Emily has extensive experience in the world of journalism. She has worked on MoneyWeek for more than 20 years as a former assistant editor and writer. Emily has previously worked on titles including The Times as a Deputy Features Editor, Commissioning Editor at The Independent Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, and she spent three years at women's lifestyle magazine Marie Claire as a features writer for three years, early on in her career. 

On MoneyWeek, Emily’s coverage includes Brexit and global markets such as Russia and China. Aside from her writing, Emily is a Nutritional Therapist and she runs her own business called Root Branch Nutrition in Oxfordshire, where she offers consultations and workshops on nutrition and health.