E-liar Manningham Buller 56

Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, is engaged in an outrageous attempt to rewrite history, by claiming we were unaware that the CIA was getting intelligence from torture.


The government knew the CIA was sending us intelligence from torture from at least November 2002, when I sent a diplomatic telegram to Jack Straw and others – including MI5 – informing them so. I repeated it in February 2003, and was called back to a meeting on March 7 2003 where I was told that, as a matter of policy in the War on Terror, we were using intelligence from torture. Sir Michael Wood said at the meeting that in his opinion this policy was not contrary to international law.

I have made available indisputable documentary evidence of this, and that the policy of using intelligence from torture was sanctioned by Jack Straw:

Download file“>Download file

Download file“>Download file

Download file“>Download file

The redactions were made by the government.

I am astounded that, having obtained the first two documents under the Freedom of Information Act last November, no mainstream media outlet will mention them and refer to them, despite acres of reporting on whether Ministers had an intelligence from torture policy.

Plainly these documents disprove entirely the Eliza Mannigham Buller claims that we did not know. But don’t expect to see them referred to in the media.

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56 thoughts on “E-liar Manningham Buller

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  • Orb

    There’s been quite a desperate media blitz on this today.

    The arguments presented are quite interesting.

    It’s either the ticking timebomb defence or the “we didn’t know” defence.

    Unsurprisingly, neither works.

  • Jives

    @ Charles Crawford

    Is that a “let’s move on” in the same sense Tony Blair said it when pressed on where Iraq’s non-exitent WMD were?

    Or a “lets’ move on” because this is becoming mightily uncomfortable/embarrassing for us?

    Either way it’s a piss poor statement.

    Mind you,having visited your blog i must say it doesnt surprise me.Your self-aggrandising careerist pomposity is quite breathtaking.

  • Cide Hamete Benengeli

    Charles Crawford: I am not sure whether you are arguing:

    1) HMG was not knowingly receiving any information obtained from torture, and these documents report a completely hypothetical discussion as whether it would be legal.


    2) HMG _was_ knowingly receiving information obtained under torture, and it is not illegal under international law to do so.

    Please would you clarify, thanks.

  • Sir Perfidy Albanus

    I suspect Charles Crawford is arguing for an increase in pension or knighthood or both.

    By the time this business is over though, the new regime will more likely be hoping Craig will accept a knighthood.

    Poor Charles.

  • Craig


    I am with Cide on this one. What do you think those documents do show? Presumably they do have some point, or the various authors would not have created them. What do you think it was that Jack Straw was agreeing with?


  • tony_opmoc


    Laughing Out Loud.


    That piece always makes me cry.

    I realise I can’t say any more.


  • Jives


    Interesting thread about Manninham-Buller’s speech in todays Grauniad.I post as Dreadmorayeel and have referenced your blog there,and its extreme relevance to the article.

    However,Matt Seaton of said aprish seems to think you’re in dispute or vexed with the Gruaniad hence wont play media-ball.I have expressed my doubts about this.

    Maybe you should contact him to clarify?


  • mary

    Off topic but there is a big mob (including the likes of the EDL) assembling at a planning meeting in Camberley. There is a proposal to demolish a (listed?) Victorian school building that is disused and to replace it with a mosque including two minarets.

    It is very near the boundary of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.

    Us racist? Nous?

    I do not envy the planning committee their task.

  • anno

    Charles Crawfull

    It really is just a game for you, isn’t it?

    What’s the weight difference between a tonne of steel and a tonne of feathers?

    You think that if there was the smallest chance a UK service person was going to be tortured, as for example when they were encarcerated in Basra, commandos should be instantly despatched , as they were, to blow out the side wall of the prison. But it doesn’t matter how many wogs rot in the torture cells.

    Therefore, the implication that UK take intelligence from the CIA which has been derived from torture, has no significance to you. You are a disgraceful, immoral, racial supremacist. Your kind have destroyed the pride of the United Kingdom after Nazism was defeated by our mothers and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers. You and your peers are incapable of any strategy except lying. You have shredded the international justice embedded in the Geneva Convention.

    If you had the slightest understanding of the implications of your snotty drivel, you would be looking for a new identity in South America like your Nazi predecessors.

  • Freeborn

    Manningham-Butler,according to one of her critics who spoke to Gordon Thomas for the latter’s Inside British Intelligence book from last year,

    “has an imperious way of looking down her nose when someone annoys her.Rebuke delivered,she sails away like a galleon in full sale(12).”

    Consider youself rebuked Mr Murray!

    In his unduly sympathetic portrait Thomas notes a “high point” in Butler’s career was when she led the MI5 investigation of the Lockerbie Bombing.

    That’s the outrage many believe saw a passenger airliner being shot out of the sky though the official line was that Libyan secret agents had wired up an explosive transistor radio!

    At any rate most investigators have pinpointed the likelihood of Lockerbie being a CIA inside job.

    Strange it is then that the year after her resounding success in uncovering the true perpetrators of Lockerbie Butler was posted to Washington as MI5 liason officer with the CIA and FBI during the first Gulf War.Butler was known to be an admirer of the former outfit.

    Butler once likened Al Qaeda to “a piece of crochet.It is complex,interwoven and inpenetrable.You think you have one bit of it,then suddenly the whole thing unravels in your hand(66).”

    In the light of her frankly absurd denials of London’s complicity in US torture we might find these words somewhat incriminating.

    Just which bit did the torturers watch unravel in their hands?

  • Courtenay Barnett


    The problematic brief:-

    “There’s been quite a desperate media blitz on this today.

    The arguments presented are quite interesting.

    It’s either the ticking timebomb defence or the “we didn’t know” defence.

    Unsurprisingly, neither works.”


  • glenn

    Ah, our little troll is back!

    Larry you’ve ducked the question too often now. Why won’t you just tell us why you hate America so much?

  • Titus

    Larry , thanks for pointing out the conspiracy theorist nature of this blog. Good work, you can log off now, fill in your time sheet and head home, your works done, again.

  • Tits

    Also, I think its great LARRY, that what it IS you do is point out lies against the C.I.A.

  • Titus

    After failing to put my name, I decided to copy and paste and sign my name to a repeat of the message. But the U on my keyboard is sticking so it ended up as ‘Tits’. ha ha ha ha . Still Larry deserves to have a focus on his messages.

    You deleted my last direct accusation against Larry , and thats fine , but of course the nature of his work is to disrupt, cause arguments and accuse the blog of being full of crazy conspiracy theorists whilst pretending to be just a normal blogger. I won’t mention it again and will just ignore him from now on. But he really does set off warning signs to me and with the background of your work I think its a fairly natural assumption based on his words.

  • Larry from St. Louis


    Didn’t you see what Craig’s belief is? I’m an agent of New Labour!

  • mary

    Re Camberly Mosque –

    I watched the webcast of the planning meeting. The original permissions for the demolition of the school and the building of a mosque were rescinded.

    Much mealy mouthed ‘reasoning’ – lack of car park spaces, we love our Victorian school (disused for 15 years incidentally), the mosque dome 5 metres higher than the tower, the excessive height of the minarets, conservation area, blah blah. Any councillor supporting the mosque was jeered at and any one opposing was given applause by the audience in the Camberley Theatre.

    The very weedy and awful Gove is the local MP.


  • Paul J. Lewis

    Re the first post by John.

    The U.S. has Pacific Radio and, in particular, Democracy Now! (www.democracynow.org). John’s right. We need a Democracy UK!.

  • Roderick Russell

    Like Charles Crawford, I have some sympathy for Eliza Manningham-Buller, which I expressed recently in a comment in The Independent titled — “WHY SHOULD MI5 BE MORE HONEST THAN OUR HUMAN RIGHTS INDUSTRY?” Its URL is:


    The comment sympathizes with Eliza Manningham-Buller’s difficult position, pointing out that Torture is usually divided into two categories ?” fashionable torture, which our human rights industry slavers over with righteous indignation, and unfashionable torture which it ignores completely.

    Indeed it is unusual to find our human rights industry targeting our own intelligence services ?” MI5/6 ?” at all. It must be very galling for MI5 to find that a torture (water boarding) that was once fashionable, has now become unfashionable so that items where the press and human rights industry once freely adopted “reservatio mentalis” (closing ones mind to), and didn’t report on, have now become open for discussion.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    There seem to be a lot of people in the UK who are desperate to believe rubbish about how anything that was done wrong was done only by the Americans, not the British. In the US many Americans try to pretend it was the British that were to blame. Karl Rove recently claimed Bush would never have invaded Iraq if he’d known there were no WMDs, but that Blair would have.


    On both sides of the Atlantic the ridiculous claims about torture having been down to “a lack of training” or a “few bad apples” keep being repeated, when it’s been established that torture was standard procedure in Iraq and Afghanistan – and may well still be for all we know, because the formal rules provided to the press and public are not the same ones soldiers are supplied with.

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