MOSCOW, December 15 (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — The involvement of the United Kingdom in the CIA torture programs has been redacted from the recently published US Senate intelligence report due to the special relationship between the intelligence communities in the two countries, former intelligence officers told Sputnik News Agency.
"The key thing is that the particularly close intelligence ties between the US and the UK – this is the core of the special relationship between America and the UK," Annie Machon, a former intelligence officer for MI5, the UK Security Service said.
Karen Kwiatkowski, a former Pentagon and intelligence official agreed with Machon and told Sputnik that the redaction of the UK's involvement is very likely given the close cooperation and intelligence sharing between the two countries.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee released a summary of the detailed investigation into interrogation techniques that were used by the CIA following the 9/11 attacks on alleged al Qaeda agents between 2001 and 2006.
Following the release of the report, the Guardian reported, citing the prime minister's deputy official spokesperson, that there had been UK-US discussion on the report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee prior to its publication to remove any suggestion that Britain was complicit in US torture practices.
"I'm sure what was sanitized was any information that would allow anyone (former prisoner, class action, justice group or foreign government) from filing a lawsuit (civil or criminal). Avoiding accountability in a court of law is primary in these kinds of things, where a government has consciously broken or violated a treaty or a domestic law," Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.
At the same time, Annie Machon underlined that there are protocols on what you can do with intelligence coming from the intelligence agencies of allies.
"For example, if they want to release the information they received from the British intelligence community they have to get the private permission of that community in order to use it. Now, in this case it is very clear that MI5 or MI6 or GCHQ [Government Communications Headquarters], have not given that permission which is why the US authorities had to redact everything about their involvement onto the torture program," Machon said.
She also stressed that the UK intelligence agencies can do much more with fewer legal restraints than their American counterparts, so that the British often offer their help to the American agencies in order to do the "dirty work."
"So the US can't afford to break that relationship with the UK intelligence community, they allow them to do a lot of things which they can't do," Machon pointed out.
The comprehensive US Senate report was commissioned by the Intelligence Committee in 2009 and contains a 6,300-page description of CIA interrogation techniques used against detainees, including waterboarding, threats of sexual assault, forced nudity, prolonged sleep deprivation, use of stress positions, mock executions, threats against children and family, use of power drills and many other torture practices carried out in CIA detention centers around the world.