UK may stop intelligence sharing with the US if Trump brings back torture

Theresa May Donald TrumpThe British government may limit or end intelligence cooperation with the United States, if Washington revives its post-9/11 torture program, according to reports. On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said he had asked “people at the highest level of intelligence […], does torture work?” and had received the answer “yes, absolutely”. He added that he was considering reviving some of the torture techniques that were used in the “war on terrorism”, including waterboarding and, in his words, “a hell of a lot worse”.

But on Thursday, the British Prime Minister Theresa May warned that her government might be forced to reexamine its intelligence-sharing relationship with Washington, if the US reinstituted torture as a method of interrogation. Speaking to journalists during a flight to the US to meet President Trump, the British prime minister stressed that the United Kingdom “absolutely condemn[ed] the use of torture” and that she would deliver that message to her American counterpart. According to British law, government officials and intelligence personnel are forbidden from sharing intelligence with countries that are known to employ torture against detainees. They are also not allowed to use intelligence gathered by other countries through the use of torture.

Thursday’s comments by Theresa May point to a potentially serious rift between American and British, as well as European intelligence agencies, whose attitudes toward so-called ‘enhanced interrogation’ differ widely from those of President Trump. British newspaper The Daily Mail quoted Matt Tait, a former information security specialist for Government Communications Headquarters, Britain’s signals intelligence agency, who warned of a potential split between British and American spy agencies. If Trump reinstituted torture as a form of interrogation, it would mean that the United States Intelligence Community would “intentionally engage in war crimes”, said Tait. That would “make it impossible” for the UK to cooperate with the US “across a range of intelligence programs”, he added.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 27 January 2017 | Permalink

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3 Responses to UK may stop intelligence sharing with the US if Trump brings back torture

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ok – then we will allow the UK to fall to Radical Islamic terror xD

  2. Rich Hawk says:

    This is what 3rd world nations who sponsor and promote radical Islam want. To create an us vs them dichotomy designed to create a wedge between the Western alliance and N. A. T. O. Ironically this is what the Western alliance has enjoyed through the years-create confusion among the ranks of enemies. It’s looking more and more how those who are elected “by the people ” are treating each other between the aisles of Congress. It’s looking more and more like those terrorist sponsored nations are more united than, well, the United States, which, we really aren’t. In the words of Donald Trump, “terrible.” Until our elected officials in government and N. A. T. O. shelve their individual hubris of what’s best for the world and embrace a collective effort of a common goal of a more peaceful world through a united effort, then then radical Islamist sponsored nations win.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Somehow after all the allegations of collusion with the US over rendition and torture I cannot ever see a situation where Theresa May, herself embroiled in these events, would stop intelligence sharing, given the enormous American investment into the surveillance architecture built n the UK.

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