FCO Finally Admits To Receiving Intelligence From Torture 43


With thanks to Andrew.

This is the most important blog post I have ever made. I would be grateful if you could do everything in your power to disseminate a link to anyone you know who has the remotest interest in human rights – or should have. This blog will be silent for a few days now.

Tucked away at Page 15 of its annual Human Rights report, the FCO has finally made a public admission of its use of intelligence from torture. Despite the Orwellian doublespeak about “unreserved condemnation of torture”, this is the clearest statement the government has ever made that it, as a policy, employs intelligence from torture.

“One example is the question of the use of intelligence

provided to the UK by other countries. The provenance of

such intelligence is often unclear ?” partners rarely share

details of their sources. All intelligence received, whatever

its source, is carefully evaluated, particularly where it is clear

that it has been obtained from individuals in detention.

The use of intelligence possibly derived through torture

presents a very real dilemma, given our unreserved

condemnation of torture and our efforts to eradicate it.

Where there is intelligence that bears on threats to life, we

cannot reject it out of hand. What is quite clear, however, is

that information obtained as a result of torture would not

be admissible as evidence in any criminal or civil

proceedings in the UK. It does not matter whether the

evidence was obtained here or abroad.”

http://www.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/pdf15/human-rights-2008

Let us take this apart.

Let me start by noting that it confirms precisely the response I was given by the FCO when I tried to stop this back in 2003. http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/documents/Wood.pdf

It is worth noting two things. First it follows not just the precise legal distinctions made by Sir Michael Wood between intelligence and evidence, but it also very carefully mirrors the heading of his letter by referring to “Intelligence possibly obtained under torture” – even where there really was no actual doubt.

Secondly, it deploys the argument that you cannot be sure if the intelligence was obtained by torture or not, because the intelligence report does not give you the source. As I explain in my evidence statement to the Joint Commission on Human Rights, that is a deliberate double blind. The name of the source is always omitted from the intelligence report, on purpose so you cannot prove they were tortured to give that intelligence.

Trying Again to Stop Torture: My Formal Statement for the Joint Committee on Human Rights

I might pause here to say that this stunning new admission by the FCO proves I was telling the truth all along. Given that Jack Straw in particular and the FCO in general have been calling me mad and a liar for the last five years, I hope you might forgive me for asking you to dwell on that for a moment.

Now let me return to analyse what the FCO statement means. It is a piece of mind-blowing hypocrisy. You cannot, in the same paragraph, argue our unreserved condemnation of torture, and that it save lives so we use intelligence from it. I would add that it is also an outright lie. Not a single one of the many pieces of torture intelligence I saw in Uzbekistan had the slightest bearing on saving lives in the UK. In fact the “intelligence” was, on the whole and in detail, highly misleading. Yet the FCO made a very definite policy decision to continue to receive it – because it came from the CIA.

The FCO has in fact under New Labour never rejected any intelligence on the grounds that it came from torture.

The fact that the government accepts that it cannot use such intelligence as evidence in court, is not of great comfort when instead it is used to have people kidnapped and sent on extraordinary rendition, or severely beaten and detained without charge, or deported to home countries where they will be murdered.

The ticking bomb scenario is a Hollywood myth. 99 per cent of the tens of thousands of cases of torture in the War on Terror have been “Fishing expedition”. Torture does not work. The tortured individual will not tell you the truth, but will tell whatever he or she thinks will satisfy the torturer and stop the pain. We know this from history. People confessed under torture that their cat was the Devil and they flew on broomsticks. In my time in Uzbekistan children were tortured in front of their parents and dissidents were boiled alive.

Yet by accepting torture material for “Careful evaluation” we create a market for it. We increase the amount of torture in the World by putting a value on its result. And we are breaking international law by complicity in torture, which is plainly against Article 4 of the UN Convention Against Torture.

The government has set up its usual planned exoneration by allowing their cronies at Scotland Yard to conduct a highly circumscribed investigation into the MI5 agents involved in the torture of Binyan Mohammed.

In fact the guilt lies plainly with those who set this policy of compliance with evil. The most guilty is Jack Straw.


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43 thoughts on “FCO Finally Admits To Receiving Intelligence From Torture

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  • technicolour

    I know someone who says Erica-things like “We didn’t torture anyone but we may have had information from other governments from people who had been tortured. So what. That’s probably been happening since the dawn of time”.

    The person I know is ex civil service and for them the problem is that this is the simple, unvarnished truth. “Yes, it really is like that. This happens. So?”.

    The person I know is nice enough to always explain that, although he’s saying this kind of thing, he doesn’t himself agree with it. I suppose it’s hard, when it has been one’s accepted reality.

    “Erica”, on the other hand, is obviously trying to be gung-ho about it, like an episode of 24.

    Erica! Throw off your mental chains! I expect it has only happened *periodically* since the dawn of time, and then only in certain societies. I doubt the Swedes go much in for this kind of thing, for example.

    As for the other guy, he sounds like a joker.

    PS As far as I can see, among many other reasons, this kind of thing’s happening because the UK needs to keep its reputation as the USA’s second-in-command and its seat on the Security Council.

    What are we scared of? What would happen if we did without either?.

    Good perspective from anticant, thank you.

  • opmoc

    I sense a change – a turning point away from the ocean of depravity that our culture has become. Corruption is being exposed and Good People are standing up against it. Its easy to walk away and just accept the slide into evil. People from all political persuasions are demanding change. We really do not like living in a world where our leaders are so disgusting that they embrace torture. I am astonished that we have sunk so low. Things may get considerably worse before they get better. But we must support men of courage such as Craig Murray – who stand up against the tide of filth.

    Torture happens in the UK too. My 15 year old daughter was subjected to it. She was walking home with her friends after an end of summer party in the local park. The police turned up with their meat wagons. All her friends ran for it. She had done absolutely nothing wrong and stood firm as she was smashed to the ground and had a knee in her back whilst being handcuffed and taken to the police cells to be interrogated until 3:00am.

    She refused to give her real name and address. The police tortured her for 5 hours trying to obtain it. But she refused to tell them.

    They wouldn’t let me see her for over 4 hours. I of course did all the wrong things – and signed all the papers they put in front of me – just to get my daughter out of hell. We went to the official warning – and sucked up to the police – telling them what a brilliant job they were doing. We felt ashamed – until we discussed our experience with other parents – and found exactly the same thing had happenned to their teenage children. All in the name of Blair’s war on terror and collecting eveyone’s DNA.

    Should we Protest – or should we allow such depravity to continue?

  • Sam

    “My 15 year old daughter was subjected to it. ”

    Opmoc, that is outrageous! I’m lost for words – almost…how shocking for your daughter, I hope she’s recovered?

    I hope you’re speaking with IPCC?

    But to erica, and all those shoulder-shruggers: THIS is why Craig needs to take a stand, this is why we need to support him.

    Those who sanction the torture of foreigners in far off countries, are the same people who licence the police to torture our own good people in our own neighbourhoods. It’s all part of a very sick piece.

    Again, injustice for one is injustice for all.

  • opmoc

    Sam,

    This was over 3 years ago. My daughter wasn’t the slightest intimidated – in fact it made her much more emotionally stronger. She has been offered a place at a brilliant university – and I am almost certain she will get the grades to get in.

    I am old and soft. I can’t be bothered to fight for it.

    But I do want the DNA records resulting from my daughter’s arrest deleted

    My daughter is now classed as a Criminal – although no charges were ever brought against her.

    She cannot just go to America on a tourist visa

    Because unless she confesses the truth about her arrest – and applies in advance for a visa to America – which can take months to get approved…

    If she just arrives in an American airport – they already have her on file.

    They are likely to either arrest her – like they did my nephew – who was just visiting his sister who was a Maths Professor at an American Universtity – and after interrogation be sent back home at his own expense

    Or – if she gets Mouthy and Tells The Cunts To Go And Stick Their Gun Up Their Fucking Arse – be rendered to Guantanamo Bay for Torture and Interrogation

  • opmoc

    You might assume I am White, English and Working Class

    Cos I am White, English and Working Class

    But what if I had actually married one of my first proper Girlfriends?

    She Is Black, English and Working Class. Her Parents were born in Pakistan

    And so if my Children were BLACK and Looked Like Muslim Terrorists…..

    I mean – do you understand what I am trying to Say?

    We are all humans on this planet

    And I Will Not Take Fascism From Any Cunt

    And Neither Will My Daughter

    She Will Stand Up For Her Human Rights

    As Should We All Regardless Of Our Race and Colour

    Tony

  • opmoc

    Personally I think Jack Straw is a piece of Excrement

    And Blair is Completely INSANE – but very clever – I try and dismiss him because he comes from over the border

    But I have to deal with The piece of shit Jack Straw – because He Represents The Lovely People of Blackburn

    Look I can take the Southern Tossers No Problem

    But I do Not Expect Fascists To Come From Lancashire

    Tony

  • Anas Taunton

    In the 1980s Mrs T said society didn’t exist. That means us, southern tossers and northern tossers. Today society has come back with a vengeance to tell these politicians who think democracy means that we hand over power to them to do what they like without any accountability, that we, society, hold the power in this country, and we choose to delegate the day to day running of things to professionals so that we can get on with our lives in peace.

    We choose to put our money in the banks so that we can get on with creating wealth, not so that the financial institutions can eat every piece of flesh out of our earnings.

    From now on we will tell them what the deal is. From now on there is no such thing as government. It doesn’t exist.

  • Jason

    “It is clear to anyone that by using a product (whatever it may be) the user is creating and sustaining the incentives for production. Our government has been doing that for torture derived intelligence for some years.”

    This is the perfect line to pursue. After all, exactly the same logic is employed in the government rhetoric on The War on Drugs and The War on Child Porn, etc. Is the UK government to become a customer of regimes that torture? Are we to form partnership with the most heinous regimes on the planet in order to battle… the bad guys? How much will this habit cost, both in financial and diplomatic terms and who will watch the torture? Will Jack Straw be sent videos? Maybe Jacqui Smith’s husband can try a drop o’ the hard stuff after his blue movies…

    And are we also going to explain to the British public that they too are now ‘fair game’ (in the words of Steve/Eddie) and may be drafted into this industry at a moment’s notice, to do their duty, while walking down the wrong street in Prague, Gdansk, Milan, etc, wherever the goon squad falls upon you and whisks you to the nearest base for your waiting flight to Syria or wherever.

  • mods@cm-org

    If you’ve just arrived from twitter, facebook etc – this and a couple of other posts were accidentally retweeted during back end work to fix old broken links. Someone forgot to unclick a button 🙂 However Craig is aware and these are important posts so we will let the tweets stand. Comments are now open again on this post.

    Thanks for reading.

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