Gitmo prisoners
© Getty/Shane T McCoy/AFPAlleged al-Qaida and Taliban detainees in orange jumpsuits kneel in a holding area at Camp X-Ray at Naval Base Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. This photo was released on 18 January 2002 by the US Department of Defense.
To be fair to Britain's security services, the gathering of intelligence can be the most difficult of jobs.

The claim on Wednesday from the former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, that the US hid from the UK security services the torture they were meting out to the Muslim men they had labelled terrorists, comes as a bit of surprise.

In a lecture given in the Palace of Westminster, she related:
"I said to my staff, 'Why is he [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] talking?' because our experience of Irish prisoners and terrorists was that they never said anything ...
"They said the Americans say he is very proud of his achievements when questioned about it. It wasn't actually until after I retired that I read that, in fact, he had been waterboarded 160 times."
She went on to claim that "The Americans were very keen that people like us did not discover what they were doing."

It did not require a high degree of James Bond-style espionage for MI5 to realise - much earlier than she says it did - that Guantánamo and other US sites were places where torture was practised.

Before her retirement in 2007, then, all that Manningham-Buller needed to have been doing was read a decent newspaper or use a web search, either of which would have produced headlines and articles that would have pricked the curiosity of even the dullest of minds. Never mind those who see themselves as among the sharpest and brightest.

So, for the benefit of the former intelligence chief, the list of reporting of disturbing allegations and evidence of torture employed by the US and its allies in the war on terror starts here - but please add your own in the thread below:

Guardian: Father fears for son held by US in Afghanistan, 10 February 2003
Guardian: Briton held as terror suspect says CIA threatened torture, 4 October 2003
Guardian: Officials 'knew of beatings at Guantánamo', 15 May 2004
Observer: US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp, 16 May 2004
New York Times: Threats and responses: The interrogations; Account of plot sets off debate over credibility, 17 June 2004
Guardian: US abuse could be war crime, 5 August 2004
Times: Britons accuse US Government of 'torture' at Guantánamo Bay, 28 October 2004
Times: Guantánamo report reveals 'torture', 1 December 2004
Guardian: Guantánamo Briton 'in handcuff torture', 2 January 2005
Independent: My nightmare of torture and assault, by Briton held in Guantánamo, 30 January 2005
Washington Post: Va. terror suspect testifies to torture, 20 October 2005
Guardian: Hunger strikers allege 'force feed torture' at Guantánamo, 21 October 2005
Guardian: Torture claims 'forced US to cut terror charges', 25 November 2005
ABC News: History of an interrogation technique: Waterboarding, 29 November 2005
Telegraph: Torture law victory for terror suspects, 9 December 2005
Guardian: US accused of using gangster tactics over terror suspects, 25 January 2006
Washington Post: Guantánamo force-feeding tactics are called torture, 1 March 2006
Guardian: Evidence against terror suspect extracted by torture, hearing told, 10 May 2006
Times: Bush admits that terrorist suspects were held in secret prison network, 7 September 2006
Guardian: Cheney condemned for backing water torture, 28 October 2006