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SAS collecting Afghanis for torture

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, August 16th, 2010 - 12 comments
Categories: afghanistan, crime, war - Tags: ,

A UK Court has banned the UK military from handing over prisoners to the Afghani government’s National Directorate of Security because it tortures its prisoners. It seems our government does not have the same scruples as the UK courts. Wayne Mapp has confirmed that the SAS has been involved in handing prisoners over to the NDS. Mapp indicated he didn’t give a damn what happens to the prisoners after that, calling them an “Afghan responsibility”.

Sorry, Mapp, but you’ve got to take responsibility. Torture is illegal under international law and so is handing someone over to people you can reasonably expect will torture them. There’s no moral or legal difference between being the torturer or the torturer’s prisoner collector, which is what the SAS is acting as.

In June, Defence Chef Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae told a select committee that the SAS had been present at 22 incidents where people were arrested in Afghanistan. How many people they helped deliver into the hands of torturers, the government won’t reveal.

Assisting torture is despicable in and of itself and illegal but, additionally, I can’t help but think that the role of our SAS is harming our other activities in Afghanistan.

the Provisional Reconstruction Team was previously pretty safe and well regarded by the local population that had benefited greatly from the reconstruction work. But since our SAS was deployed by the Key government, attacks have increased dramatically, including the attack that killed Tim O’Donnell.

I can’t help but wonder if the SAS’s actions have made all Kiwi soldiers targets in the Taliban’s eyes. The Taliban knows that to get rid of the SAS it just has to make the war more unpopular with the New Zealand public by upping the cost, and the PRT is a much softer target than the SAS itself.

12 comments on “SAS collecting Afghanis for torture ”

  1. comedy 1

    “I can’t help but wonder if the SAS’s actions have made all Kiwi soldiers targets in the Taliban’s eyes”

    I can’t help wondering if you are just a political hack or whether you are completely retarded ?

    • Tigger 1.1

      So you agree that it’s okay for us to hand prisoners over and wash our hands of it?

    • freedom 1.2

      The second NZ troops hit the ground in Afghanistan they became legitimate targets in an illegal War.

      There is no spin.

      If we stay there, More will die.

    • Ari 1.3

      I’m sure Eddie will let you know when you inform us whether you’ve stopped beating your wife. 😛

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    I’d disagree with the second part, re attacks on the PRT being related. Basically speaking, we should try and avoid the temptation to think that others actions are actually all about us. They operate to their own timetable and plans. It’s unknowable and distracting from the main point, IMV.

    Otherwise though , yeah.


    Lawyer types, are articles 3, 4 and 5 relevant?

  3. Xy 3

    Man, reading this made Four Lions an even more uncomfortable watch than it already was…

  4. Bill 4

    Em. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that the SAS are or have been involved in the assassination squads that go after specific individuals? So going with that reasonable assumption, it’s okay to murder people but not to harm them?

    And what is this idea that the UK is somehow morally superior on the torture front because of a UK court decision? That’s a bizarre leap.

    Anyway, is it to be seen as preferable for prisoners are handed to US torturers now? Or British torturers? Or should NZ set up its own torture unit? That would be much more civilised, no?

    Spring fresh, bottled waterboarding versus tap or well waterboarding? No comparison.

    • Ari 4.1

      If you accept the Afghan war is legal, (I know, it’s a big if) then yes, at least legally speaking, it’s okay to target specific combatants and assassinate them in a legal war, while it’s not okay to torture prisoners.

      I agree that it’s an over-generalisation to say that the UK is morally superior to us, but we should be very worried that they’re managing a better policy on torture, given how bad they are on other fronts.

      I think the point is that we shouldn’t be involved in supporting any sort of torture, ours or others’.

  5. Frank Macskasy 5

    And just to pour petrol over the conflagration, we now learn this…

    “KABUL, Aug. 15, 2010 (Reuters) — Afghanistan said on Sunday it had discovered an oilfield with an estimated 1.8 billion barrels in the north of the war-ravaged country, where U.S. and other foreign forces are trying to tame a Taliban-led insurgency.” – http://tinyurl.com/32le585

  6. Debby 6

    @ Freedom who said: “The second NZ troops hit the ground in Afghanistan they became legitimate targets in an illegal War.

    There is no spin.

    If we stay there, More will die.”

    I absolutely agree!

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