MPs accuse Washington of lying over rendition flights

MPs are to launch an investigation into US activities on Diego Garcia after accusing Washington of lying about extraordinary rendition flights from the British-controlled island in the Indian Ocean. They described false assurances given by the US about its use of Diego Garcia for the controversial flights as "deplorable".

Following one of the strongest British condemnations of the US rendition policy, by which terror suspects are sent overseas for interrogation, the influential Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) plans to scrutinise Whitehall's supervision of US activities on Diego Garcia, including all flights and ships serviced from there.

The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, was forced to apologise to the Commons in February after it was revealed that two US "extraordinary rendition" flights had landed on UK territory in 2002. Britain had previously been told that no such flights had passed through its territory.

His apology came after the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, admitted that two suspects had been on flights to Guantanamo Bay and Morocco in 2002 that had stopped to refuel on Diego Garcia. In a report published today, the MPs conclude that it is "deplorable that previous US assurances about rendition flights have turned out to be false. The failure of the US administration to tell the truth resulted in the UK government inadvertently misleading our select committee and the House of Commons."

Andy Tyrie, a Tory MP, welcomed the report last night. Mr Tyrie, chair of the parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, said: "In October 2007, I started asking questions about Diego Garcia. I was very concerned that Britain and British territory could have become complicit in America's programme of extraordinary rendition, whereby people have been kidnapped around the world and taken to places where they may be maltreated or tortured. The Foreign Secretary persistently gave me the brush-off. He said we could rely on US assurances. My allegations were correct. The Foreign Secretary's brush-off was not just misplaced, it was a disgrace."

He continued: "We must get to the bottom of British involvement in rendition. The Foreign Secretary's latest attempt to do so is wholly inadequate. We must have confidence that the US has not been using our airports to service their planes to or from a rendition, but the Foreign Secretary has refused to even ask the Americans if this is the case. This is yet another issue on which a weak and indecisive Prime Minister should have given leadership."

The FAC said the Government should also do more to support exiled inhabitants who were forcibly removed from Diego Garcia and adjoining islands when the US established a military base there.

In addition, it called for a public inquiry into allegations of official corruption in the Turks and Caicos islands, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. MPs who visited the islands described the allegations as "very serious", saying they had experienced "a palpable climate of fear" while there, and warning they would take action against anyone who tried to intimidate witnesses who had spoken to them.

They also demanded evidence from the Foreign Office that it was fully investigating allegations of corruption in Bermuda and Anguilla, accusing the Foreign Office of being "too hands-off" in its administration of overseas territories.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?