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Blog: A leader (“An open or shut case”) in the UK Guardian on 20 October hits the spot when it alludes to the concern of UK spymasters “to protect sensitive and secret techniques”, ie the torturing of suspects. The Justice Department’s plan to hold secret trials with government-approved lawyers in cases where spies are accused of torture is not, I suggest, in order to protect sensitive intelligence. It is to stop the torture from being made public. It has become clear from the wars in Asia that torture (Guantanamo, Bagram, Basra, etc) and the “rendering” of unconvicted suspects to dictatorial regimes for the purposes of torture are now part of the normal stock-in-trade of western armies. If this torture can be hushed up, so much the better. Then the torturers can get to work with impunity.