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An ethical Scottish census in 2011

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To: The Scottish Government

We, the undersigned, are gravely concerned that CACI Ltd, a wholly-owned UK subsidiary of a company that has been involved in interrogating prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq, has been awarded a Scottish Census 2011 contract for census printing and data capture services (Sunday Herald, 27th July 2008).

We think that it is wrong to give millions of pounds of taxpayers' money to a subsidiary of a firm that helped run Abu Ghraib, where prisoners were systematically subjected to appalling abuse.

We also think that it is wrong to ask Scots to give personal information to a company whose parent company is closely linked to the US military and intelligence communities.

We think that the Scottish Government's decision to work with CACI is in conflict with its opposition to the war in Iraq and with its duty to uphold human rights. And we fear that the Scottish Government's relationship with CACI may in future prevent it speaking out about concerns over the activities of CACI and other private contractors in war zones around the world.

We the undersigned call on the Scottish Government to cancel the contract awarded to CACI Ltd and to take steps to ensure that the Scottish people can have confidence in the ethical probity of the 2011 Census.

Supporters include:Richard Haley, Julia Davidson, John Pilger, Tony Benn, Bruce Kent, Iain Banks, Alasdair Gray, Tom Leonard, Malcolm Chisholm MSP, Terry Brotherstone, Des Loughney, Moazzam Begg, Dr Terry Wrigley FRSA, Mark Thomas, Councillor Jim Bollan, Jock Morris, Ken Imrie
and many more.

16 September 2008 – 11 May 2009

  • Eleven US soldiers have been convicted and five officers disciplined for abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib
  • No senior officers or senior officals in the US Administration have been convicted.
  • No private contractor or employee of a contractor has been convicted.
  • CACI was contracted to provide "interrogator services" in Iraq from August 2003 to the Fall of 2005. CACI says that a total of 60 of its employees served in Iraq as interrogators at various times in this period.
  • In September 2003 Major General Geoffrey Miller - the commander of Guantanamo Bay - recommended the "gitmo-isation" of Abu Ghraib. He proposed the creation at Abu Ghraib of a detention guard force subordinate to the Joint Interrogation and Detention Center (JIDC) Commander that "sets the conditions for the successful interrogation and exploitation of internees/detainees."
  • The torture and humiliation of prisoners by US guards at Abu Ghraib in the Fall of 2003 became public knowledge when photographs were released in April 2004 and has been documented in numerous official investigations.
  • Civilians employed by CACI had a major role in interrogations at Abu Ghraib. 32 CACI employees (out of a total of 149 personnel) were indicated as working for the Joint Interrogation and Detention Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib on 23 January 2004 in a US Army document annexed to a report by Major General Antonio M. Taguba (although CACI says it never had more than 28 employees working in Iraq at any one time). Though some details are unclear, it appears from this and other sources that CACI employees made up nearly half of all personnel working as interrogators or analysts at Abu Ghraib.
  • No one has been charged with torture at Abu Ghraib. But in SACC's view the treatment proven to have been meted out to Abu Ghraib detainees amounts to torture.

Back to the petition

Ethical Census Background and campaign update
The Abu Ghraib Files