'Cruel Britannia: A secret history of torture' by Nicholas Cobain is the title of a new book on the history of the UK's military's use of torture from 1944:


NT on Amazon.com, although it has been published for a month.

The book was discussed at The Frontline Club recently; link to the podcast:http://www.frontlineclub.com/cruel-b...-of-torture-3/

A comprehensive review by Nicholas Mercer:
Firstly, the book is explosive because it reveals direct participation by the United Kingdom in torture since 1944. This probably will come as a great surprise to many readers but the official line that “the British do not participate in torture”, is revealed as just part of a deliberate and well-practised line of deceit....The second reason why the book is explosive is because it exposes the institutional cover up that has been perpetrated throughout the post war years.....Finally, the most explosive part of the book is the fact that complicity in torture and rendition are potentially war crimes and are required to be outlawed in our domestic criminal law.

Nicholas Mercer being an unknown name to me, I followed a link and had a shock:
The army's former chief legal adviser in Iraq has accused the Ministry of Defence of moral ambivalence and a cultural resistance to human rights that allowed British troops to abuse detainees and beat the Basra hotel worker Baha Mousa to death.

Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mercer, now an Anglican priest, spoke exclusively to the Guardian in the week he was presented with an award by the civil rights group Liberty, and the appeal court threw the MoD into turmoil over the latest allegations of ill-treatment by troops in Iraq.

Mercer's advice on how British soldiers should treat prisoners was repeatedly ignored. Instead, he was effectively suspended – "sent into the wilderness," as he puts it.....he was vindicated in 2009 by the supreme court, which upheld the advice Mercer had given six years earlier: that British troops occupying a foreign country were bound by the Human Rights Act.

Now a long time ago I remember the agony and more when it was clear torture had been used in Northern Ireland. Remarkably the 'lessons learnt', which included guidance from an outraged Lord Gardiner, then the head of the judiciary, had been "lost" by time Iraq came along.

Only this week have more documents been produced from the archives on deaths in Hola Camp, Kenya during the Mau-Mau campaign; a civil action is under-way by three Kenyan claimants and the policy 'Oh no we don't' remains:
The government accepts that the colonial administration tortured detainees, but denies liability.