Skip to main content

Editorial: Johnson and Raab get ready to lick Pompeo's boots

NOBODY who supports justice in international affairs should welcome US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Britain on Monday.

The best that can be said about his visit is that it should provide the opportunity to raise serious concerns with the US administration about its stance on climate change, institutional racism and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will be more like nodding dogs than watch-dogs.

That their transatlantic compass is set to “supine” has just been confirmed by the announcement to obey US President Donald Trump and exclude Huawei from Britain’s 5G super-fast mobile network.

At the very least Johnson and Raab should demand that the US rescind its refusal to extradite past or present CIA operative Anne Sacoolas to Britain to face a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

Last August, teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn was killed outside a US military and intelligence base in Northamptonshire by a car driven by Ms Sacoolas.

Pompeo, who is a former director of the CIA, rejected Britain’s formal extradition request in January, calling his decision “final.” He claimed that sending Sacoolas back to Britain for trial would make nonsense of the concept of “diplomatic immunity.”

There was nothing in law or practice preventing Pompeo from withdrawing her alleged immunity then or now, but he has chosen not to do so.

In fact, under the secret Britain-US arrangements reached between 1995 and 2001 on immunity for US personnel at what is laughably known as “RAF Croughton,” it is clear that Ms Sacoolas did not enjoy any such status as the spouse of a US intelligence officer at the base.

Raab expressed regret at the extradition refusal and now suggests that arrangements are being made with the US authorities to ensure no such case can occur again.

This is wholly inadequate and a slap in the face for Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles.

One can only imagine the British government’s stance had an officer of Russia or China’s foreign intelligence service been behind the wheel on that tragic autumn day.

At the very least, embassy and intelligence staff would have been expelled, probably backed up with other sanctions.

In the case of Dunn, the British government should be threatening under Article 24 to terminate the 2007 Extradition Treaty with the US.

None of this is likely to happen. Even less likely is the prospect of the people of Britain finding out the full extent of what happens at “RAF Croughton.”

We do know that it is a key hub of the vast military, intelligence and espionage apparatus controlled by the US state machine across Britain and much of Europe.

Bearing this in mind, the whole Dunn affair has been immensely embarrassing for the US regime and its British sidekicks, turning a spotlight on a secretive relationship between the two sides that has existed for more than 70 years.

When Raab turned up at the US embassy last October to deliver a formal request to prevent the repatriation of Ms Sacoolas to the US, one day after her departure, his lateness was certainly convenient.

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 6,436
We need:£ 11,564
26 Days remaining
Donate today