Abu Ghraib Torture Company With Deep British Connections Re-Hired For Syria

31st July 2016 / Global, United Kingdom

In December 2014 the Independent reported that “Hundreds of new cases accusing British soldiers of abusing – in many cases torturing – Iraqi men, women and children, aged from 13 to 101, were to be considered by the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

To add to the dreadful truth that was still emerging ten years after the first torture claims, an official report into allegations that British soldiers mistreated and unlawfully killed Iraqis in 2004, it appeared there was evidence of official British knowledge of the use of torture to obtain intelligence from suspected insurgents and terrorists.

Back in 2004, the first MoD investigation came about just at the time as it was announced that the US military was launching their own investigation into ‘interrogation procedures‘ which included the use and role of private contractors in military prisons across Iraq after continuing evidence of torture and sexual abuse at an army-run jail, Abu Ghraib near Baghdad, which could no longer be ignored.

At the time, British ministers were in full denial that torture was being used. Geoff Hoon, the then Defence Minister who was embroiled in various military contractor scandals and sacked in his role by NATO continued with these denials in 2005 stating that Britain did not use torture methods to obtain information. A subsequent inquiry found that Iraqi prisoners (many innocent) were beaten, threatened with mock execution, stripped and sexually humiliated.

One Iraqi government worker, whose evidence was submitted to an inquiry was reported to have been “repeatedly beaten,” “electrocuted” and suffered “severe psychological injuries” as a result of his treatment. The end result of his ordeal was that a year after his release he set himself alight and killed himself.

Years later, the Chilcot enquiry was released a few weeks after Britain’s EU referendum, which provided considerable cover for what must surely be the biggest scandal since WW2; that alongside the so-called ‘dodgy dossiers,’ faulty evidence was extracted by torture and then used to justify the US and UK invasion of Iraq that ended in one million dead and the whole region now a breeding ground for terrorism that is subsiquently enacting its revenge upon Europe.

It would be reasonable to conclude from such overwhelming evidence that lessons had been learned from the awful truth at Abu Ghraib, that policy had changed and subsequently implemented to ensure that acts of torture or complicity by the British army and its intelligence services was halted for good. It would also be reasonable to expect that allies, especially the United States also upheld international and domestic laws against torture, not least because it is deemed unacceptable by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights but by signatories of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Not so, it appears that the British taxpayer continues to fund the activities of private organisations where allegations continue against them to this day. CACI is one such company.

CACI International, Inc, is a multinational professional services and information technology company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, United States, just down the road, conveniently to the headquarters of the CIA. CACI provides services to many branches of the US federal government including defense, homeland security and intelligence. It is also member of the Fortune 1000 Largest Companies.

After a name change from California Analysis Center, Incorporated,” to “Consolidated Analysis Center, Incorporated” but keeping the brand name in 1967, CACI International founded CACI Limited in the UK. Its CEO Greg Bradford is an American who served in the US military.

In the UK, CACI appears to be nothing more than an a successful IT solutions outfit to private business with some government contracts. But look no further than the homepage of its website for a hint of its military DNA. Its business strap-line is positively gung-ho. “INFORMATION DEPLOYED. SOLUTIONS ADVANCED. MISSIONS ACCOMPLISHED.”

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Business and Human Rights reported that On 9 June 2004, a group of 256 Iraqis sued CACI International in a US federal court. The plaintiffs, former prisoners, allege that the company directed and participated in torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity, sexual assault, as well as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment at Abu Ghraib prison. While the plaintiffs were detained at Abu Ghraib they allege that they were raped, repeatedly beaten, detained in isolation, urinated on, prevented from praying and forced to watch family members being tortured. They further allege that CACI were negligent in the hiring and supervision of their employees in Iraq. The US Government had hired CACI to provide interrogation and translation services at military prisons in Iraq.

The Court of Appeals ruled in favour of CACI on 11 September 2009, it also ruled that CACI also had government contractor immunity. In April 2010 the plaintiffs filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to hear an appeal. The Supreme Court announced on 27 June 2011 that it would not hear the appeal in this case. Two more cases were launched by the defendants through to 2014 and in both cases the court found in favour of CACI on the grounds that it was a political question that could not be answered by the judiciary. The case is still ongoing with yet another appeal underway.

CACI’s Executive Chairman in the USA, Dr London wrote and published “Our Good Name” (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2008), documenting CACI’s campaign to challenge what he terms “the grossly distorted and exaggerated media reporting of the company’s work in Iraq for the U.S. Army at Abu Ghraib prison.”

CACI, now covered in political armour from the courts have just been re-engaged by the US government, this time in Syria, of which Britain is a close ally.

It is now reported that “the U.S. army recently contracted CACI for “intelligence analysis services” in Syria. The Syrian government has not invited or otherwise allowed U.S. military or its contractors to enter the country. Any such activities infringe on Syria’s sovereignty and are thereby in violation of international law.” 

The re-engagement of such a controversial organisation for services in the area obviously boosts the recruitment appeal of Islamic State because many of them or indeed their relatives and friends were subject to the aforementioned treatment by CACI in Iraq.

Meanwhile, David Cameron told Britain back last December it had a moral and military duty to attack Islamic State for its own security in Syria, the latest battleground with ISIS.

During the height of the torture scandal, CACI was awarded the contract to manage the most sensitive data of UK nationals, namely that of the UK Census. It designs and prints the census forms, and provides the hardware and software required for the scanning, capture and coding of the census forms. It was granted the same contract for 2016. The Irish and Scottish governments also hired CACI for the same work amid some protest from citizens groups.

From that contract it is able to enhance its widely available ACORN system which breaks down the demographics of British citizens. This allows it to supply further IT solutions to other government departments. In fact CACI knows everything about UK citizens, from credit card use to property ownership from ageing, education and health to lifestyle surveys.

Even the UK’s Dept of Education awarded seven contracts via OFSTED worth hundreds of thousands to CACI as the British police did trying to work out police funding reforms. There is almost nothing that CACI does not know about Britain.

CACI is also getting deeper into very sensitive British government contracts. It recently acquired Purple Secure Systems, a Bristol, U.K.-based government IT business that builds software for national security, defense and government customers. Britain’s CACI CEO Greg Bradford said Purple Secure Systems is the company’s “stepping stone” into the defence and intelligence markets.

In 2012, the British government declared it was taking a greater role in protecting UK interests during international mergers and takeovers, not so it seems from US organisations closely working with the CIA, military and intelligence services. This seems to stitch in nicely with the full spectrum surveillance complex built by MI5 and MI6 alongside the CIA which makes Britain the most surveilled country in the world.

If the British government wanted to give terrorists fundamentally aligned to extremism emanating from failed foreign crusades in the Middle East any type of excuse to attack Britons in the first place, then look no further than the awarding of contracts to organisations such as CACI. Having learned nothing from Abu Ghraib, or Iraq more widely, no-one should be surprised if exactly that happens quite soon.




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