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Posts Tagged ‘David Miliband’

Virgin Media |10 February 2010 10:12am

'Torture files': Binyam Mohamed and Foreign Secretary David Miliband

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has lost his appeal court bid to prevent senior judges disclosing secret information relating to torture allegations in the case of Binyam Mohamed.

The former Guantanamo Bay detainee says he was tortured in Pakistan while held by the CIA, with the knowledge of the British.

The allegations claim that Mr Mohamed was subjected to sleep deprivation, was given threats and inducements and was shackled during interviews. His fears of being removed from the US and “disappearing” were also played upon.

Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones want to disclose summaries of information held by the British security services.

Mr Miliband, branded them “irresponsible” in an unprecedented attack on the judiciary, but three of the country’s highest-ranking judges rejected both the minister’s accusations and his appeal. (more…)

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Virgin Media | 27 July 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has stepped up pressure on the Afghan government to undermine the insurgency targeting British troops by holding talks with elements of the Taliban.

miliband-420x0Mr Miliband said the insurgency was “divided”, with many of those fighting against international forces doing so for “pragmatic” rather than ideological reasons.

Speaking at Nato’s headquarters in Brussels, he said the Afghan authorities should offer incentives to persuade insurgents to switch sides.

He also called for the UK’s Nato allies to take up a greater share of the military burden in Afghanistan.

Mr Miliband said the insurgents were being squeezed by military operations either side of the Durand Line separating Afghanistan from Pakistan.

“From this position, we need to help the Afghan government exploit the opportunity, with a more coherent effort to fragment the various elements of the insurgency, and turn those who can be reconciled to live within the Afghan Constitution. The basis for both reintegration and reconciliation is a starker choice: bigger incentives to switch sides and stay out of trouble, alongside tougher action against those who refuse.

“The Afghan government needs effective grass-roots initiatives to offer an alternative to fight or flight for the foot soldiers of the insurgency. Essentially this means a clear route for former insurgents to return to their villages and go back to farming the land, or a role for some of them within the legitimate Afghan security forces.”

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The phrase gives a false idea of a unified global enemy, and encourages a primarily military reply

David Miliband (U.K. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs | The Guardian | Thursday 15 January 2009

The terrorist attacks in Mumbai seven weeks ago sent shock waves around the world. Now all eyes are fixed on the Middle East, where Israel’s response to Hamas’s rockets, a ferocious military campaign, has already left a thousand Gazans dead.

Seven years on from 9/11 it is clear that we need to take a fundamental look at our efforts to prevent extremism and its terrible offspring, terrorist violence. Since 9/11, the notion of a “war on terror” has defined the terrain. The phrase had some merit: it captured the gravity of the threats, the need for solidarity, and the need to respond urgently – where necessary, with force. But ultimately, the notion is misleading and mistaken. The issue is not whether we need to attack the use of terror at its roots, with all the tools available. We must. The question is how.

The idea of a “war on terror” gave the impression of a unified, transnational enemy, embodied in the figure of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. The reality is that the motivations and identities of terrorist groups are disparate. Lashkar-e-Taiba has roots in Pakistan and says its cause is Kashmir. Hezbollah says it stands for resistance to occupation of the Golan Heights. The Shia and Sunni insurgent groups in Iraq have myriad demands. They are as diverse as the 1970s European movements of the IRA, Baader-Meinhof, and Eta. All used terrorism and sometimes they supported each other, but their causes were not unified and their cooperation was opportunistic. So it is today.

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