Giving Evidence to Parliament 13


As I prepare for my evidence session before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on 28 April, I was looking back for the evidence I gave to the European Parliament on extraordinary rendition. Unfortunately it seems that no transcript was made of the committee questioning me (unless anyone who knows the system there better than I can come up with one) but rather a kind of precis made of my evidence as a “working document”.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/tempcom/tdip/working_docs/pe374341_en.pdf

It also helpfully published the supporting documentation I gave.

What still surprises me is that, after I gave my evidence, I was mobbed by media, gave numerous television interviews, and was headline news all over Europe. Except in the UK where there was no mention of it at all. I was pondering this over the weekend as I read a very large number of commentary pieces, in every serious newspaper, on the apparent complicity in torture and what enquiries into it may find.

I have been answering the question of the moment – was there a policy of torture – for the last five years, with eye-witness testimony backed up with documentary proof. Yet I appear not to exist to the media. Will my testimony to the JCHR also be simply ignored?

At least this time I am going to get to give evidence. This was the response when I tried to give evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in 2006:

Dear Mr Murray, The Committee considered your e-mail at its meeting yesterday, 15 March. As you requested, it was made available to all members. The Committee decided not to receive the communication as evidence. Steve Priestley Clerk of FAC

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/07/duck_here_comes.html

It is, I think, worth thinking about this again

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/11/blacklisted.html


13 thoughts on “Giving Evidence to Parliament

  • 925

    The post about being blacklisted reminds me of one of my favourite films, “The Front”, starring Woody Allen, about the McCarthyite era. Allen plays a front for blacklisted artists who, at their request, sells their manuscripts as his own and takes a cut of the proceeds. Brilliant film, available on DVD.

  • Comrad E.

    Speaking about being blacklisted, I recommend the film “The Front”, starring Woody Allen,about the McCarthyite era in the 1950s in America. Allen plays a front for blacklisted artists who, at their request, sells their manuscripts as his own and takes a cut of the proceeds. Brilliant film, available on DVD.

  • Craig

    MJ

    They have confirmed to me the hearing is on. let us hope the listing catches up soon.

    Craig

  • MJ

    If the listing doesn’t appear within the next week or so I will begin to suspect that it is a deliberate attempt to downplay the whole thing and let it slip by unnoticed.

  • Ron

    Craig

    I am also concerned that you don’t even receive emails. Not being funny, but I’ve forwarded you a correspondence between Private Eye and me, but I haven’t even seen an acknowledgement from you. I doubt you would be so rude as to not even acknowledge me, so unless I’m going in your junk folder, something else rather odd is going on.

    Ron

  • Chuck Unsworth

    ‘The Committee decided’? How? When? Was any vote taken? How was the Committee consulted in this matter?

    Next up, how was the Committee informed of the content of the large number of e-mails sent to it? What was the detail of the information passed to the Committee, bearing in mind that all evidence as to its content had been destroyed on the direct instruction of the Committee Chairman? Why did the Committee Chairman think it fit and proper to issue such an instruction? Destruction of evidence is a criminal offence – except, it seems, in this Committee.

    The Committee is charged with the investigation of a grave and serious matter. Why is its Chairman prejudging the outcome – and directly seeking to manipulate information placed before it?

  • Jon

    @Ron – I wouldn’t worry about it. I emailed Craig some while back, but I didn’t get a reply either (think it was Craig’s Russian address mind you, so perhaps it was Putin’s lot that spiked my message ;o). I would imagine that there are many hundreds of people who would like to place demands on Craig’s time (sadly not including the mainstream media!) and I dare say he can’t get back to all of them.

  • frog2

    CHUCK

    Excellent point . Even 500 mails don’t take up that much space …..

    Perhaps those who sent, could re-send, “” for the record” ?

    dave

    PS saw you round at Mick Smith’s Times blog .

  • Ron

    Jon

    I first put it down to his being busy/inundated with emails. I certainly don’t take it personally, but I was surprised not to see an acknowledgement that he at least received them.

    I’m a businessman (please don’t shoot – not a financier) and you’d be surprised how many very senior people have the ability to reply to their own emails – some very quickly.

    Ron

  • frog2

    CHUCK

    Excellent point . Even 500 mails don’t take up that much space …..

    Perhaps those who sent, could re-send, “” for the record” ?

    dave

    PS saw you round at Mick Smith’s Times blog .Interesting reminiscences.

  • amk

    I’m reminded of George Orwell’s original introduction to Animal Farm, in which he described how the British media wilfully censors itself. At the time, scandals around the British elites could be read about in foreign papers, but not in British.

    Orwell’s introduction didn’t make it into the published edition, itself only published after Uncle Joe Stalin ceased to be a wartime ally, thereby suggesting Orwell was right. It’s available online here, and recent US edition includes it.

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