New Evidence Jack Straw Guilty On Torture – A Smoking Gun 49

Finally I have indisputable documentary evidence that the British government had a positive policy of using intelligence from torture in the War on Terror, and that the policy was personally directed by Jack Straw.

Here are the minutes of the meeting at which I was told this:

Download file

All references to the CIA and MI6 have been literally cut out, but the meaning is till perfectly unmistakeable particularly given the heading of the minute.

And here is the absolute smoking gun of Jack Straw’s involvement::

Download file

Straw has been lying about this for five years. He dismissed my evidence on this to the Parliamenary Joint Committee on Human Rights as “Entirely untrue”.

Straw ruined my career over my opposition to torture intelligence, after I had been appointed Ambassador by his predecessor, Robin Cook, who was rather more well disposed towards human rights. It is wonderful that it is Robin Cook’s Freedom of Information Act which I have used to finally prove beyond any doubt that slippery Straw was up to his neck in approving intelligence from torture.

Minutes available as a JPEG here:

49 thoughts on “New Evidence Jack Straw Guilty On Torture – A Smoking Gun

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  • Anonymous

    Jack Straw is a Whore

    No one loves him any more!

    Everyone everywhere knew what he got up to.

    Just as everyone everywhere knew there were no wmd’s except for the ones the UK and America are using in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    They used torture because it worked. It got them what they wanted. What they wanted wasn’t correct information. What they wanted was confessions. And it got them that.

    It doesn’t matter whether the confessions are true or not. All that matters is they can use them to show they are getting hold of people. And it worked. They used to confessions to make the case for war, and used the wars to become very very rich. The country got poorer but that doesn’t matter, they and their friends got very very rich.

  • Big pension No morals

    Didn’t you have an earlier meeting/correspondence with La Duffield in which her primary and indeed only concern was to suggest that you were placing human rights concerns above commercial interests, as if that were the only game in town?

    These minutes are oleaginous in their endeavour to show that “they care too”, about human rights, oh yes we do.

    Surely human rights have never been a major concern, unless as a stick to beat our enemies. It was pointed out at the time, that Robin Cook’s “ethical foreign policy” was a bit naive.

    This of course was pointed out by people who would have no problem attacking enemies for their lack of human rights. The BBC make such attacks regularly whilst saying little about the human rights abuses of our friends.

    It’s called hypocrisy, and you would have been expected to internalise this great British tradition on your rise up the greasy pole of FCO. Failure to internalise it ought to have stopped your career before you got so far.

    Lord knows, you might have ended up as our man in Washington had they not caught you so soon. And then where would we be; you running around the place telling the truth about what the Americans get up to.

    I mean, who’d want an appaling vista like that?

  • George Dutton

    “Straw has been lying about this for five years. He dismissed my evidence on this to the Parliamenary Joint Committee on Human Rights as “Entirely untrue”.”

    Question: In light of this…What are the “Parliamenary Joint Committee on Human Rights” going to do?.

  • JimmyGiro

    Although I’m against capital punishment for the citizen, I believe it is necessary for the integrity of government, that citizens with power over other citizens, must have extra cause to be true and honest in accord to their extra responsibilities. That extra cause should be the death penalty; the Dameclesian incentive to: not take liberties with liberty.

  • L E Weasel


    Looks like Peter Oborne has an investigation into the Zionist lobby pack, tonight at 8.00pm on Channel 4. Even though Oborne’s a Tory, he seems like a decent bloke with a consistent morality, unlike many in that party.

    Should be good, and a breath of fresh air for a change.

    Looks like neocon Zionist supporters like Guido have got their rebuttals in early.

    If it weren’t for all the propaganda and goodie baddie labelling that the likes of Guido have been engaging in for years, the Israelis would have been forced to make peace with the Palestinians years ago.

  • the_leander

    Uh, these pdfs are both broken and no amount of redownloading them is helping.

    Any chance of someone who managed to download them to put them on rapidshare or similar?

  • the_leander

    Uh, these pdfs are both broken and no amount of redownloading them is helping.

    Any chance of someone who managed to download them to put them on rapidshare or similar?

  • Abe Rene

    Cold Jack Straw be prosecuted in a court of law in the EU on the strength of such evidence? Could the Spanish judge who ordered Pinochet’s extradition, for example, have taken action against him?

  • Craig

    This is strange: they open fine for me. But most happy for anyone who can post them anywhere else.

  • George Dutton

    “This is strange: they open fine for me. But most happy for anyone who can post them anywhere else.”

    Something to do with the internet browser you are using. Have come across this before going around the web.

  • Clark

    Is it to do with the application used to view them? I think Adobe may have gone over to the Bad Guys recently, and started violating their own PDF format. I’m opening them in an old version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, version 5.0.5, in which they’re fine.

    PS, you can follow the link below:

  • Sam

    “…that did not mean that we took their concerns any less lightly”

    I am a pedant, and no doubt “any less seriously” or just “lightly” was intended, but I regard that as a bit of a giveaway.

  • Andy

    Could someone provide some context for these documents? I know generally about your experience as ambassador to Uzbekhistan but I’m not quite sure why these PDFs are a “smoking gun”.

  • Craig

    Amazingly this seems to have shut up the NuLab trolls who normally swarm in when I raise this issue

  • Andy

    The first sentence of this article:

    Finally I have indisputable documentary evidence that the British government had a positive policy of using intelligence from torture in the War on Terror, and that the policy was personally directed by Jack Straw.

    I should have thought that was extremely clear. The government has flatly denied both points, but these minutes prove them. Or are you being deliberately obtuse?

  • tony_opmoc

    Personally, I think the only person who handled this well was Craig Murray, not just from his own moral and legal position, but also because he was effectively providing moral and legal protection for those he reported to – right to the top of the chain. If he hadn’t have reported it, in the strongest possible terms, it would be a complete breach of his most fundamental duties, not just as an Ambassador, but as a human being.

    People were actually being tortured to death, by being boiled alive. What else could Craig do?

    The reaction was like a scene from Macbeth

    Macbeth: Act 4, Scene 1

    Thunder. Enter the three WITCHES.

    First Witch

    Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.

    Second Witch

    Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

    Third Witch

    Harpier cries “‘Tis time, ’tis time.”

    First Witch

    Round about the cauldron go;

    In the poison’d entrails throw.

    Toad, that under cold stone

    Days and nights has thirty-one

    Swelter’d venom sleeping got,

    Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.


    Double, double toil and trouble;

    Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.


  • tony_opmoc

    So according to Channel 4 tonight many of our politicians of all the main parties receive significant financial “gifts” from the interests of a foreign government. When I was employed, there were very strict rules about receiving gifts from anyone – which were rigourously observed and enforced. Any hint of corruption of any kind would be treated exceedingly seriously…

    But just look at what our politicians are doing? This goes way beyond the corruption of the MP’s expenses scandal, and in my view amounts to treason.


  • Jon

    Andy Luke,

    At one time – certainly under Thatcher and perhaps later – there was a specific and rigorous policy that the British government did not accept or work with torture material. It was simply understood that merely accepting tainted intelligence “created a market for it”, and ergo we would not touch it. At some point since then, it appears that there was a change of heart in Whitehall (i.e. material that was known to be tainted by torture would be accepted) and a strong suspicion exists that it was within Blair’s tenure and during his cabinet’s neoconservative enthusiasm for the ‘War on Terror’.

    The issue at stake is who within the chain of command decided and agreed the change of policy. It is important because this is likely to break international law, specifically the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT). This incidentally is the view of prominent international human rights lawyers, such as Phillipe Sands.

    Now, it has long been suspected that Jack Straw was responsible for the decision, or at least aware of it. He has denied this, which perhaps he sees as his only alternative to admitting overseeing a situation that broke international law. Craig even went to a House of Commons committee to report about the complicity to them, and also to note Jack Straw’s involvement in particular, but unfortunately they chose to give him a hard time about it. Worse, the media reaction was close to silent; even the Guardian – who has covered UK torture complicity in the past – did not cover the session.

    So, if in the second of these documents the writer is telling the truth – that the Foreign Secretary read the memo and asked Mr McDonald to thank Linda Duffield on his behalf – then it means Straw knew about the issue when he has previously said he did not. It strongly suggests that he has been lying, basically.

    My grasp of the significance in terms of the jurisdiction of international law is shaky, so perhaps someone can tell me if the following is just a pipedream. I note that Spain has started extradition proceedings in a number of cases (famously against Pinochet when he visited the UK for medical treatment), based on alleged breaches of international law. Now, if Spain is still in something of a radical mood, if evidence emerges that the British Foreign Sec knowingly turned a blind eye to breaches of UNCAT, it could issue extradition proceedings against Jack Straw. I believe we would be obliged to hand him over to, unless the current Foreign Secretary was able to raise any legitimate objections (no doubt they would try to think of some).

    So if there are any Spanish judges reading this, and they fancy doing humanity a huge favour, now’s their chance!

  • Strategist

    “could someone provide some more context for this?”

    My take on this is that Craig had asked his superiors for explicit political direction on whether he should stop complaining that intelligence information from the Uzbek authorities was coming from torture, and that this meant Britain was in breach of its obligations under the UN convention.

    The decision conveyed to Craig was no it was not illegal and yes he should shut up about it. Having satisfied himself that this was the direction of the Foreigh Secretary himself, Craig said that he would abide by the decision and get on with the job, even though he didn’t agree with it.

    Para 6 of the memo says:

    “You [the Permanent Under-Secretary] and Ministers had decided how to handle this question”

    For “Ministers” read Jack Straw, and in case you might argue that that term doesn’t prove Jack personally took the decision, the second document proves he was aware of the decision and approved of it.

    Therefore for Jack Straw to say he never took any such decision, and has no idea what Craig Murray is talking about is proved to be a lie.

    Have I got that right?

  • Strategist

    Like Craig, Jack’s had a busy week too!

    On Thursday he abolished the centuries-old right to an independent inquest under a coroner for an unexplained death (dates back to the Plantagenets I believe)

    Which provoked this head scratching in a Guardian editorial on Monday

    “Campaigners for legal reform, such as Inquest or Liberty, are puzzled about why the state has felt the need to take a hammer and chisel to chip off a bit of the constitution for no pressing reason. They speculate that the government may now have a way of holding in secret inquests that otherwise might embarrass ?” like that of Jean Charles de Menezes, or a future inquest into the victims of the 7 July bombings. Speculation has been fuelled by Mr Straw’s inability to name more than one coroner’s inquest in the past five years to which the new regime might apply. The one he did name is the still-delayed inquest into the death of Azelle Rodney, shot by the police in 2005.”

    I was wondering if the reason was fairly obviously to do with Dr David Kelly? If I remember rightly some time ago the Oxfordshire coroner was insisting on his right to hold an inquest and wasn’t accepting that he had to accept the Hutton Report whitewash. And to the best of my knowledge that inquest has not yet happened and now may never will?

  • Chris Dooley

    Congratulations Craig, I am astounded that your FOI request worked (and so quickly too). I guess it was too much to hope for Jack Straw’s cover note too. Hopefully the wheels of justice will now start turning.

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