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the torture trade

Allen L. Barker alb at datafilter.com
Fri Aug 1 17:33:26 EST 2003

[Now if we only knew which corporations and people manufacture
the mind control torture devices currently being tested and
applied on nonconsensual citizens...]


Torture, lies and videotape. (trade of electro-shock weapons)


New Statesman (1996)
August 15, 1997

Author/s: Martyn Gregory

The conspiracy of silence over Britain's trade in electro-shock
weapons is still protecting at least one company that broke the law

The [pounds]5,000 fine handed out in Glasgow on Tuesday to Frank
Stott, who had pleaded guilty to possessing electroshock weapons,
is the latest act in a political and legal drama that began in
1995 when my Dispatches film The Torture Trail revealed Britain's
role in the torture trade.

The prosecution of Store, the managing director of ICL Technical
Plastics in Glasgow, by the Procurator Fiscal, comes as a welcome
surprise in a saga hitherto dominated by depressingly predictable
performances from the other key "defence" industry players. It is
now clear that Stott will be the only person prosecuted. The
Procurator Fiscal, unlike the Director of Public Prosecutions, has
departed from the defence establishment's post- Torture Trail
cover-up script.

The electro-shock batons we secretly recorded Stott offering to sell
are known as "the universal tool of the torturer". Applied to the
base of the spine, they turn the victim's central nervous system to
jelly in seconds. According to Amnesty International, torturers also
apply them to armpits, necks, faces, inside legs, soles of the feet,
on the genitals and inside the vagina. Torturers like these weapons
as they inflict maximum pain and leave no traces. British law classes
them as illegal weapons, in the same category under the 1968 Firearms
Act as machine guns.

To film the highly secret trade in these weapons, we posed as British
agents wanting to buy 15,000 for the Lebanese police force, which was
practising electro-shock torture at the time. Stott demonstrated the
batons and shields in London and in his Glasgow office, and made us
a written offer worth [pounds]1.5 million. He boasted about making
the weapons in his Glasgow factory with the permission of the local
police, selling them to China with DTI support less than a year after
the Tiananmen Square massacre, and cutting deals with the (apartheid)
South African regime and various Middle Eastern outlets. He cancelled
a trip to South America to do more electro-shock deals only after he
was exposed in The Torture Trail "I don't ask too many questions with
this kit," Stott muttered, as he demonstrated his illegal weapons for
us in London's Hilton hotel. "They're all grown men."

The successful prosecution of Stott is in telling contrast to the
reaction of the English authorities; for the past two years the CPS
had said it was waiting until the Scots had decided whether to
prosecute Stott before deciding whether to press charges against a
British Aerospace salesman, Philip Morris, and his accomplice, Gerry
Hall, a small-time London businessman, director of International
Procurement Services. BAe had made us an astonishing $3.62 million
offer to sell electroshock weapons.


Subsequently it transpired that the sample baton we were shown in
Chorley had been (illegally) imported into Britain from the US by Hall
on BAe's behalf. In the fusillade of parliamentary questions fired at
the government by Ann Clwyd MP after The Torture Trail was broadcast,
the Home Office stated that BAe did not possess a licence for any of
the illegal electro-shock devices they had shown us.


Politically the cover-up of Britain's involvement in the torture
trade has been ham-fisted and crude. So far the new government has
settled for pious policy declarations, showing no appetite for
rooting out the truth of BAe's role in selling electro-shock weapons.

The Conservative DTI minister, Earl Ferrers, bristling with indignation
on behalf of the companies we had exposed, told the House of Lords in
1995 that all the companies in The Torture Trail had "behaved
reasonably", and accused us of "entrapping" them. The President of the
Board of Trade, Michael Heseltine, who as Secretary of State for
Defence had signed the Al Yamamah deal, went further, accusing us of
fabricating our evidence and "inventing a story that would not
otherwise have existed".

By the summer of 1995 this had been proved to be a libellous lie. I won
a libel action against the government as a result of Heseltine's
comments, receiving an unreserved apology in the High Court, and
[pounds]55,000 in damages and costs; the government's apology included
the acknowledgement that the programme had been "properly researched".

A week later the government admitted that Heseltine and his ministers
had also been lying. In a parliamentary answer the DTI confessed that
it had issued a licence for the trans-shipment of electro-shock batons.
Ministerial lies were commonplace in the last government, but the
motives for the lies about The Torture Trail are only now being
incontrovertibly revealed to parliament and the public. Last month the
new government stated that the trans-shipment licence in question was
issued in April 1993, for the export of electro-shock batons via
Britain from the US to Saudi Arabia. That licence was granted shortly
after John Major won a large fighter aircraft deal for BAe with Saudi
Arabia under Al Yamamah.


Mind Control: TT&P ==> http://www.datafilter.com/mc
Home page: http://www.datafilter.com/alb
Allen Barker

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