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In our Taking Liberties blog, not only will we keep you uptodate on the progress of the film, we'll also post news about the ongoing civil liberties movements we're related to.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Torture: An Experts guide

There's been a mini malestrom on the internet over the past week, as someone with a guilty conscience - or a great sense of humour - has uploaded the US Handbook for Camp Delta Guantanamo Bay onto Wikipedia. It's since been pulled from counteless sites but it's now safely out in the vortex. There's a fairly relaible link here, but please let me know if this gets pulled.

Some of the more revealing extracts are:
-Incoming prisoners are to be held in near-isolation for the first two weeks to foster dependence on interrogators and "enhance and exploit the disorientation and disorganization felt by a newly arrived detainee in the interrogation process."
-Styrofoam cups must be confiscated if prisoners have written on them, apparently because prisoners have used cups to pass notes to other captives. "If the cup is damaged or destroyed, the detainee will be disciplined for destruction of government property,"
-The manual also indicates some prisoners were designated as off limits to visitors from the International Committee of the Red Cross, something the military has repeatedly denied.
-"Detainees are not allowed to color their hair."
-It contains instructions as only the military can write them, such as how to use pepper spray on unruly prisoners. "Aim at the eyes, nose and mouth when possible. Use a 1/2 to 1 second burst from a distance of 36 to 72 inches away."


And the Magic Number is... 58!
Well done to Mrs Cricklethorpe in Doncaster for correctly guessing the number of days pre-charge detention that the Brown Government would eventually come out and tell us we need to stop the world exploding in terror. A T Shirt with the words "Recruiting Seargant" is on it's way to you now. Yes after much anticipation of what number they would announce we need to hold people without charge has been unveiled. The battle lines a re clearly drawn with the Government, the Police and the security services on one side, and the tories, lib dems, the "arkward squad" of Labour MP's and Shami on the other. For me the most interesting chapter in way the announcement was managed was the antics of the defence minister Lord West. At 8.20am on the Today Program, he made it clear that he was in no way convinced of the need for extending the pre-charge period. 2 hours later - after a chat with Comrade Brown in Downing St -he completely change his mind and said that extending it to 58 days was the best idea since someone first took a breadkinfe to a crisp white loaf. When questioned over this blatant U-Turn, West said he got his words bit muddled as he was just a "simple sailor". It's nice that we can all rest in our beds at night knowing the security of the nation is in the safe hands of Captain Pugwash: "Ho Ho Me hearties, we're going to thrwart the Islamist Terrorists!"

Radio Gobsh*te. Again
Some fool invited me on Richard Bacon's Radio 5 live show last night, which was unfortunate timing as I'd just been out for a heavy dinner with my accountant. Several Mojito's were consumed over the meal, and then I had to make my way to Broadcasting house to bandy words with Bacon, and a nice chap called Peter Power who was there to support the new terror proposals. Peter is an ex copper who makes a lot of money now telling businesses how to protect themselves from terror. It started pretty well, and I got a few good points in about how extending the the pre-charge limit will only act as a recruiting sergeant for fundamentalists, and how you have more chance of winning the lottery than you doing of being killed by a terrorist bomb. But during the newsbreak my final mojito kicked in and I told Bacon he reminded me of Alan Partridge and it was all down hill from there. By the end they were really laying into me and Bacon gleefully read out a message that accused me of being a descendant of Neville Chamberlain and if it was up to me we'd all be dead tomorrow. Hopefully I enraged them enough so they won't ask me back, but that's what I thought last time...

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