New Labour’s Complicity in Torture – Truly Evil 99

I have now obtained under the Freedom of Information Act a heavily censored copy of one of my telegrams from Tashkent protesting at the use by the UK government of intelligence obtained under torture.

Every British person should read this telegram and hang their head in the deepest of shame. This is the pitch blackness of New Labour’s embrace of authoritarianism. Read it, and remember I was both smeared and sacked for this attempt to apply simply the most basic of humane standards.

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The censored passages detail British ministers’ receipt of the torture intelligence from the CIA, and point out that the purpose of the CIA intelligence is consistently to paint a false picture, exaggerating the strength of al-Qaida in Central Asia. Miliband approved the redactions from the telegrams “On grounds of national security”. Those are precisely the grounds on which he unsuccesfully sought to suppress the evidence of UK collusion with torture in the Binyam Mohammed court cases.

Here is the text of the telegram Miliband did not redact. It is incredibly damning – you can imagine just how damning the redacted parts are!



Manuscript Note: Matthew Kidd, Redacted

Grateful for views from both Redacted and Legal Advisers.

Wm Ehrman

Fm Tashkent

To Routine FCO

TELNO Misc 01

Of 220903 January 03



Your relno 323


1. Thank you for TUR. I apologise for not findng you at the Leadership Conference, but I had decided to drop this. What seemed to be a major concern seemed not a problem to others, and this caused me some self-doubt.

2. However I see that the Economist of 11 to 17 January devoted its front cover, a full page editorial and four whole pages of article to precisely the question I had raised. Reading a newspaper on the flight back here 12 January, I was astonished to find two pages of the Sunday Mail devoted to exactly the same concerns. Back in Tashkent, I find Human Rights Watch urging the US government not to extradite Uzbek detainees from Afghanistan back to Uzbekistan on the same grounds. All of which emboldens me to think I am in good company in my concern. These stories all quote US sources as indicating that the CIA is accepting intelligence obtained under torture by “allied” governments. As I already explained, I too believe that to be most probably true here.

3. Redacted. You accept that torture of detainees in Uzbekistan is widespread. Redacted.

4. Redacted. I can give you mounds of evidence on torture by the Uzbek security services, and I have et victims and their families. I have seen with my own eyes a respected elder break down in court as he recounted how his sons were tortured in front of him as he was urged to confess to links – I have no doubt entirely spurious – with Bin Laden. Redacted.

5. Redacted.

6. I am worried about the legal position. I am not sure that a wilful blindness to how material is obtained would be found a valid defence in law to the accusation of having received material obtained under torture. My understanding is that receiving such material would be both a crime in UK domestic law and contrary to international law. Is this true? I would like a direct answer on this.

7. Redacted.

8. The methods of the Uzbek intelligence services are completely beyond the pale. Torture including pulling out of fingernails, electrocution through genitals, rape of dependants, immersion in boiling liquid – is becoming common, and I weigh those words very carefully. Redacted.



Single Copies



The final codes are significant. it means that this was considered so hot that only a single copy was made in the FCO – very unusual indeed – and given to the Director General Defence and Intelligence.

It is both pathetic and evil that Miliband is still attempting to hide the UK’s complicity in torture by redacting those parts which state in terms that the CIA torture material was being given to me and to ministers in the UK. I am willing to testify on oath anywhere that this was stated clearly in the redacted material.

Miliband’s redactions are not in the interests of national security, but rather are intended solely to hide New Labour complicity in torture – just as the judge ruled in the Binyam Mohammed case.

It is also very significant that Miliband has redacted my observation that the torture intelligence painted an entirely false picture which exagerrated the strength of Al-Qaida.

All of which explains why the security services are desperately working to keep the LibDems out of office.

That is why it is essential that Miliband’s enthusiastic espousal of Jack Straw’s torture policy should debar either of them from any potential coalition involving the Lib Dems after the election. It also explains why I view those thinking of voting New Labour as endorsing the most vile practices know to mankind.

It is now beyond argument that, taken together, the documents I have obtained under FOI prove that there was a positive UK policy of complicity in torture. They also prove beyond doubt that, contrary to the lies of Jack Straw and Michael Jay, my account of events in Murder in Samarkand is true, not only in general but in the finest detail.

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99 thoughts on “New Labour’s Complicity in Torture – Truly Evil

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    “The press are in full pro Cameron throttle, I see.”


    Told you. It’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and he’s Susan Boyle – except Susan Boyle really does have talent.

    David Cameron is Jedward.

    Oh, damn, 18 years of warmongering, lying Tory rule followed by a lying, torturing, warmongering regime of Atlanticist ‘Labour’ betrayal, then another x years of warmongering, lying Tory rule.


    As I said somewhere, earlier, on election night, I will need to play ‘The House at Pooneil Corners’ very loudly, backwards.

  • Craig

    Richard –

    Yes, one of my favourite jokes too. Got it on a mug somewhere.

  • brian

    Clark, tories may have voted for the war and deserve disdain for doing so, but I don’t think they voted to collude in torture. Anyway – no excuse for voting for murderers and torturers.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    For precisely the same reasons to the ones to which Craig alludes in this post, the Tories right now seem to be targeting Norman Baker’s constituency, Lewes, Sussex with massive amounts of money.

    Anyone in Lewes with any kind of a conscience ought to vote for Baker. We need people like him in Parliament so that such matters are raised and so that cover-ups do not proceed smoothly.

    Lewes is where Tom Paine wrote some of his most important works. There seems a peculiar poignancy and irony in that.

    I, for one, would not like to see people like Baker ejected and a brace of ex-SIS officers elected to Parliament.

    A crucial matter:

    And here’s a small example of his doggedness and attention to legal detail:

    “Norman has encouraged the government to issue further guidance to police forces to ensure that anti-terror laws relating to photography in public places are applied with common sense. Mr Baker’s appeal came after a local journalist was last week told to stop filming outside Worthing station. Under anti-terror laws, the police are allowed to stop a member of the public, including journalists, and confiscate articles they believe may be evidence of terrorism.”

    I think that people like Craig Murray and Norman Baker both deserve the fullest support from all those who deplore torture, warmongering and the willful despoilation of our legal systems and ancient rights, from all those actually – whether they call themselves conservative or radical – who care about this country and its people.

  • Abe Rene

    Suhayl: ‘David Cameron is Jedward’

    I admire Jed Bartlet, so it looks like Cameron is taking a step in the right direction. Now all we need is for Craig to convince him to defect to the Lib Dems…

  • Clark

    Technicolour, sorry, I had to go out.

    Our votes are deemed to serve two purposes: (1) to elect our representatives and (2) to “send a message” to the parties. So I suppose the discussion is about which of these functions should take priority. I would argue that the answer depends upon the prevailing mood of the voters of the given time and constituency.

    If the constituency result is essentially a foregone conclusion, then send a message with your vote. But in a marginal constituency, in an election poised as this one is, we should not waste the chance to elect a house that gives power to neither of the two big parties, that gives us the chance to change the political landscape for ever.

    There are other ways to send a message to your representatives, such as letters, e-mails, or writing to the press. Voting is the only method available of influencing the complexion of the House of Commons.

    As for “having to vote for what you believe in”, I think that it is no coincidence that the two big parties favour a system such that if you do vote by conviction your vote is marginalised into insignificance. Let’s vote to change that system while we have this rare opportunity.


    the Tories were useless in opposition on this issue. Just imagine the political stink they could have kicked up over the framing of a British ambassador for his opposition to torture. But they chose not to. For me, that makes them complicit too.

    And I’m not looking for an “excuse”, Brian, or being “Jesuitical”, Technicolour; I’m not hoping for a Labour government. I’m arguing for something I find repellent, but necessary.

    Does anyone really believe that a Tory government would hold anyone, especially the SIS, to account for complicity in torture?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Interesting link. Sounds like he may be trying to position himself for the post-Brown era in the Labour Party – a publicity hound: woof! woof! It’s probably based on Marketing/ PR theory or something – the Situationists were right. I would be a West Wing fan, it looks great – but I just never had the time to watch it regularly and you know with these things, unless you watch them regularly, you lose the plot of who’s who. I like Martin Sheen, though, I think he’s been consistently against oppression. Great in Apocalypse Now! too.

  • technicolour

    Tcah. My man who I love says tactical voting is bollocks. No-one should do something repellent ‘for the greater good’.

    clark, be yourself.=

  • Abe Rene

    Suhayl: Norfolk NW looks like a very safe Tory seat, so I wondered about Sood’s motives.

    I myself never saw the West Wing while it was being screened. It was only after the complete series had become available on DVD that I saw it going at a bargain price and grabbed it (it’s even cheaper now). Once I began to see it, it was addictive. I’ve been though the whole lot twice and am on my thjird time!

  • Clark


    I’ll vote with my heart under a voting system that uses that vote as my heart would have wished. Until then, my conscience requires me to use my head.

  • technicolour

    Bollocks are sweet small relatively furry things – are you arguing against them?

  • BusterGonad

    “Bollocks are sweet small relatively furry things – are you arguing against them?”

    Speak for yourself….

  • technicolour

    All ways, way off the point. Are we going to vote for these sickos or not?

  • Vronsky


    Please try to keep up – we’re not allowed to discuss that stuff here. The Angrylarry team appears to have other engagements, so in its absence I’ll deputise and tell you that you’re a moron, a loon, a silly goose, a conspiraloon, a foaming, swivel-eyed …oh, I can’t remember all the script – check it out over on the quarantined thread at

  • Ruth

    I completely agree with Suhayl. MPs like Norman Baker are no longer wanted; they’ll disturb the new parliament made up of so many intelligence agents posing as MPs. Presumably the reason for letting rip the expenses scandal was to out a number of MPs to make further room.

  • MJ

    Vronsky: a brief aside. A few weeks ago you posted an interesting link about Zenden, or Zersten, or something, thinking. I’ve just formatted my hard drive and forgot to back up my favourites folder, so am trying to repopulate it. Any chance of the link again? Thanks.

  • Tom

    Just watched Jenny Something, boss of the Electoral Commission, on Newsnight.

    My impression is that she’s totally completly useless.

    I expect that’s why New Labour and their friends employed her.

    Same as that useless cow who runs the IPCC.

    Things are bad, very, very bad…

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    I have to agree with you Clark, the Conservatives voted to smash Iraq and would themselves be implicit in torture if in power, this beyond doubt. I cannot condemn a person for voting tactically to keep the Conservatives from gaining power.

    Please, please people remember this:

    Gove, together with Ed Vaizey MP (a Cameron ally), is a supporter to the Henry Jackson Society ?” a UK based think tank that shares neocon principles, and whose other supporters also include Michael Ancram MP (a former Conservative frontbencher), David Willetts MP (part of Cameron’s Shadow Cabinet team), David Trimble (who sits on the Conservative benches in the House of Lords), as well as Sir Richard Dearlove ?” former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service. Other supporters for this Society include the American economist Irwin Stelzer ?” known to be close to media magnate Rupert Murdoch ?” a Cameron supporter ?” and Richard Perle and William Kristol two of the signatories to the Project for the New American Century.

    Mr Osborne, who is Shadow Chancellor and a school friend of Cameron’s, once hailed the ‘excellent neo-conservative case’ for action against Iraq and that he was a ‘signed-up, card-carrying Bush fan’!

    Mr Osborne switched his second home from London to Cheshire in 2003, taking out a £450,000 mortgage on the property and claiming the interest payments.

    Multi-millionaire wallpaper heir Mr Osborne is also facing calls to “pay back” tax on the £1.45million sale of the London home.

    There is nothing worse than a corrupt war-monger!!

  • MJ

    Ruth: yes. Another good’un going is Bob Marshall-Andrews. Referring to the recent Mossad hit in Dubai, he said:

    “…this action was not aberrant-it was a measure of the impunity and illegality with which Israel acts. At this very moment, as we speak, 1.5 million Palestinians are illegally trapped, blockaded and destitute in Gaza, and in the west bank their land and their water are stolen daily and defenceless children are shot. When are we going to take this forward on a greater level and condemn more actively than we do the wider actions of an ally that is rapidly becoming a rogue and pariah state?”

    I wonder how many of the new lot will have the inclination to say something like that in parliament.

  • Ruth

    I wonder how many of the new lot will have the inclination to say something like that in parliament.

    Very, very few. Stuffing parliament with intellegence officers will give the semblance of a democracy and this democratically elected parliament will bit by bit strangle the people.

  • Ruth

    I think it’ll be really important for the people of Lewes to watch very, very carefully how their votes are counted. A massive Conservative presence before the election would add credence to a Conservative win and cover up electoral fraud which may be specifically carried out to oust Norman Baker who’s honest and speaks his mind, the kind of man no longer wanted in MI5 infiltrated parliament.

  • Craig

    Suhayl, Ruth,

    Lewes has its own very strong radical tradition. No matter how much the Tories spend, they won’t oust Norman Baker. Relax!

  • Alfred


    Thanks for the 9/11 update. Certainly, we don’t need the official theory shills on our case.

  • Clark

    Mark Golding,

    I’m glad someone agrees with me! Thanks.


    sweet? Well there’s only one way you could know. Who is the unlucky (former) man?

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