It has been declared that the former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and the Government will have to "defend claims", the Guardian reports, that they participated in the 2004 kidnapping of a Libyan dissident and his wife. But whilst it may seem abhorrent what was done, what needs to be appreciated is this is the world that we live in where security and safety trumps all else.

What happened?

Abdel Hakim Belhaj claimed that the MI6, which Straw was then responsible for, helped the United States (US) kidnap him in 2004. It was also claimed by the BBC that Belhaj was tortured as a result.

He went further to state that "I continue to hope justice will one day be done". Mr. Straw however has rejected claims that he was aware of the rendition.

Examples of similar behaviour

Although this possibly will tarnish the reputation of Great Britain as a great and moral nation, what is important to note is that this is the world that the intelligence agencies live in and that this is normal accepted behaviour amongst many of the so called civilised democratic countries. Within the United States, there are many examples of underhand behaviour by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In a Senate report into the CIA's secret torture programmes, they found that detainees were "rectally fed" as the Telegraph stated.

In 2002, an Afghan militant being held died of suspected hypothermia after being stripped naked and made to sit on a bare concrete floor. In 2003 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, was water boarded 183 times in March of that year. Even within another democratic nation, Israel, there are further examples.

The Human Rights organisations 'Hamoked' and 'B'Tselem', found that Palestinians held at the Shin Bet's (Israeli Security Agency) Shika interrogation facility were tortured as reported on the +972 Magazine. Some of the detainees described the use of physical pain, being served uncooked, inedible food for weeks and the use of solitary confinement, which "broke" one Palestinian man.

It's the world that we live in

Although I do not condone the use of such force and behaviour, unfortunately this is the world that we live in. Under constant threat from groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, certain tactics, however abhorrent, need to be applied to prevent death and destruction from occurring. This line of thinking was reflected in a High Court ruling in Israel in 1999, who stated to Shin Bet that if an agent decided that "torturing a terrorism suspect is necessary to stop an imminent attack", the necessity of stopping a "ticking bomb" becomes an adequate defence for the use of torture. It may not be pretty and certainly not befitting of a civilised nation, but sometimes it is necessary to ensure that the safety and security of its citizens are ensured.