"The intelligence and security committee, whose job is to scrutinise the
activities of MI5, is looking at Mohamed's case, having received further
information from his lawyers.
The committee, which has recently come under mounting political
pressure over claims it failed to adequately investigate allegations of
collusion in torture by British agents, met with Stafford Smith in private this
Mohamed's lawyer told them it would have been 'absolutely impossible'
for it to have cleared MI5 of involvement in torture had it seen the secret documents. The committee is likely to hear further evidence relating to Mohamed, although his lawyers maintain that access to the documents will be key to its ability to conduct effective scrutiny." [emphasis supplied]
Access is huge. How is it possible that Bush was able to shut out so many members of the Congressional intelligence committees and get away with it? It shouldn't be up to the executive branch to write laws, and then decide themselves when they are crap (as Goldsmith did withdrawing a Yoo memo). As is becoming clear, if insane loyalty to Bush was not altering your literary comprehension, then you should've been able to see that the Bush torture memos were total crap. Sadly, no one was there - no one independent - to call that out.
If we reinvigorate our system of checks and balances, I will have more faith in our government's ability to turn away from torture permanently. But right now we have a lot of holes to plug before I am confident. And Obama's apparent unwillingness to give up executive power in national security areas is troubling.