Scotland’s Registrar General Duncan Macniven persists in complaining that the arguments against CACI’s involvement in the census are founded on “allegations” that he describes as “unproven” and “unfounded.”

He is is misrepresenting the argument. Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC) has made it clear since 2008 that our primary concern is the undisputed presence of CACI interrogators at Abu Ghraib in 2003-2004. Long-term detention without charge or trial, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation and intimidation by dogs were officially-sanctioned elements of the Abu Ghraib regime of which CACI International was a part. These practices are human rights violations. CACI International’s involvement in them is a matter of record, not an allegation.A further concern is that former Abu Ghraib prisoners allege that CACI was responsible (along with other) for forms of torture and other ill-treatment that were not officially permitted. These allegations are as yet unproven (lawsuits by the former prisoners are under way in the US), but they are not unsubstantiated. They are supported by a substantial body of evidence. The Register Office of Scotland could have taken this material into account before awarding the census contact to CACI.  EU rules give a contracting authority discretionary power to exclude a bidder that  “has been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authorities can demonstrate.”

Duncan Macniven is a civil servant, not a politician. If he wishes to intervene in the public debate over the census he should do so honestly and professionally. So far he sounds  more like an employee of CACI than an employee of the Scottish people.

SACC has written to Duncan Macniven to demand that he cleans up his act. Read the letter here.

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