Westminster Foundation For Torture 57


This is Linda Duffield’s take on the vexed moral question on whether or not it can be justifiable to boil somebody alive to obtain information from them:

There were difficult ethical and moral issues involved and at times difficult judgements had to be made weighing one clutch of “moral issues” against another. It was not always easy for people in post (embassies) to see and appreciate the broader picture, eg piecing together intelligence material from different sources in the global fight against terrorism.


Linda is now the chief executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, an all-party supported organisation, funded by the FCO, to spread democracy abroad. This is their blurb:

Established in 1992, WFD is an independent public body sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, from which it receives an annual grant. Over the years we have grown in strength and diversity, working to achieve sustainable political change in emerging democracies. Working with and through partner organisations, we seek to strengthen the institutions of democracy, principally political parties (through the work of the UK political parties), parliaments and the range of institutions that make up civil society. We believe that, for a democracy to flourish, all of these institutions must be strong and sustainable.

I don’t imagine this includes training in the reasons why it can be OK for a democracy to condone boiling people alive, but who knows? I have worked with WFD in Poland and it used to do very good work, but it was distorted by Blair to focus its work in support of places we were invading, occupying, bombing or selling arms to. See how many of the current case studies on its website fall into that category?


And what an interesting gathering this was in Prague of the proponents of “democracy” by invasion, organised by “democracyandsecurity.org”.


The conference brought together Richard Perle, Aznar, the American Enterprise Institute, the exiled Cuban opposition, numerous Israeli representatives and the neo-con funded Amir Abbas Fakhravr of the “Iranian Freedom Institute of the USA”. From Wikipedia about Fakhravr:

In late April 2006, he arrived in the United States from Dubai where he had been greeted by Richard Perle [5] who interrupted his trip to central Asia in order to meet Fakhravar in a hotel. [23] They had been in touch through a contact since 2003. [23] Their meeting in Dubai was recorded and some of it is included in a documentary titled “The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom”. [24][25]

Since his arrival he has called for a unified Iranian opposition to the Islamic government, in order to bring regime change in Iran. [23] He has had several meetings with American officials from the Pentagon to the State Department, as well as with Vice President Dick Cheney.[26]

Some very interesting other delegates included the Las Vegas Sands Corp.. From Wikipedia:

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) is a casino resort company based in Paradise, Nevada. It is the world’s leading Casino based company with a market capitalization of $17.3 billion as of April 2010. At one point in 2007, it had a market capitalization of $43.7 billion, making its majority shareholder, Sheldon Adelson, one of the world’s richest men.

Any idea what they were doing there? Oh yes, and Linda Duffield was there too. Doubtless it was relaxing to be in the company of so many who might share her views on the efficacy of torture.

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57 thoughts on “Westminster Foundation For Torture

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  • Anonymous

    Well done. Nice article. This torture whore as well as the institution she now runs should be exposed for all to see.

  • MJ

    “actually I can’t stop focusing on that wall light”

    It’s those chunky ankles that draw me in. Nice.

  • Scouse Billy

    What’s wrong with you people?

    She has strong calves and an enigmatic pout.

  • ingo

    “actually I can’t stop focusing on that wall light”

    I’m more drawn to the French fireplace in the background, its mediocre, it can not be one of the main Whitehall abodes,imho, it would have more opulence to it.

    Her ankles seem to do for some of you chaps, I could not possible say as everything about her screams NOOooo, please don’t touch.

    This looks like a display of looted goods from somewhere, could be in some side office of Admirality House maybe, slap me down if I’m wrong.

  • Apostate

    Now tell me about Sands nightclub…I mean like Larry’s got a cathouse in St Louis he runs for Larry Silverstein this guy, Adelson’s running one he inherited from Meyer Lansky in Vegas, right?

    So these so-called Democracy Foundations with Orwellian names like AEI, OSI, and WFD are all in league with Moshepoche outfits like Sands to promote democracy and think deeply about torture?

    You guys are even more naive than I thought!


  • Neil Barker

    “This is Linda Duffield’s take on the vexed moral question on whether or not it can be justifiable to boil somebody alive to obtain information from them”

    Craig, you are deliberately misleading your disciples. The vexed moral question that you mention is not whether torture is acceptable – Linda Duffield does not defend torture. The moral question is about what to do with information someone else has obtained by torture – ignore it/use it/reject it etc.

    And you are sounding more pompous by the day. Get an independent friend, if you have one, to look through your recent output.

    And beware of door-rattlers!!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Neil Barker, do you know her? Personally? Lucky man. I thought you were in a far-off outpost, with not a penny to your name: our man in Gondwanaland. No? You actually in London? Our man in Legoland?

  • MJ

    Clark: sorry, but in my my book that’s not brightened up, it’s pixelated down. Her ankles still seem to follow me round the room though.

  • Clark


    I couldn’t see much in the darker parts of the photo, so I adjusted the brightness curve. Maybe I should check the gamma correction for my monitor. I know I overdid it a bit. I also increased the image size and the saturation. What do you mean by “pixelated down”?

  • Richard Robinson

    “You actually in London? Our man in Legoland?”

    (Denmark, shirley ? – ed)

    “the work horse of the apocalypse”

    Fantastic ! Thanks, ingo, wonderful phrase.

  • MJ

    “What do you mean by “pixelated down”?”

    Nothing really. I made it up. I just meant it seemed a bit blotchy and pixelated compared with the original.

    Incidentally I’ve just come across an excellent and free graphics programme called Photofiltre (it’s French). Portable too, no install. You might want to check it out.

  • Freeborn

    On the euphemistic contortions performed by the US press to avoid use of the word, “torture”, to describe waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques”:


    WARNING: This is an anti-Zionist blog and some of you may find the content offensive.


  • Anonymous


    The mad design matches the minds of the inmates. It is a completely hideous building. I like the idea that there’s a tunnel connecting it to Whitehall.

    When you walk along the pavement at the rear, you get a very creepy feeling of being watched and filmed by unseen others. There never seem to be many other pedestrians about.

  • Richard Robinson

    “If it’s Monday, it must be Denmark,”

    “If it’s Denmark, it must be Monday”, I say.

  • Charles Crawford

    You’re stretching this one a bit, Craig.

    As a notoriously unamused Vegan, Linda D is just right to head the WFD which (although it may disappoint your followers to hear the bad news) is about as polite and ineffectual a force for regime change as we are ever going to see on Earth.

    Have you a shred of evidence to support the assertion that WFD was ‘distorted by Blair’?

  • Paul


    “Question to Edward: do you think the dastardly handling by US/UK and the French, ‘holing up’ German soldiers returning from the war in fileds, starve them slowly to death at below survival ration calories, some 300.000 of them, was slow torture? against the standing conventions of POW’s?”

    If I read this right then you are saying that 300,000 German POWs were starved by allied forces (or US, UK, France). Not to death, if I understand you, but as a form of punishment/torture.

    Do you have documentary evidence for this claim? I’d be very interested to find out more, if you do.

    “subsequent destruction of all relating evidence to that torture feast by the victors”

    If this is true, how did you come to hear about this?

  • Paul

    @Chubby Charles

    “Didn’t the American government kind of make it in the first place?”

    Inter-networking was developed as a collaboration between DARPA and a couple of US universities (I forget which, MIT was probably one). It evolved from there. By the way, don’t confuse ‘the internet’ with the worldwide web, that evolved from Tim Berners-Lee’s work (whilst at CERN, I believe).

    “But how can they shut down the Internet in England or in other countries? Can they do that?”

    Strictly, no. Though shutting down the internet in (and through) the US would cause massive disruption outside the US too. (Much as say, shutting all US ports and airports would, for instance.) You can be sure that all sorts of ways to disrupt the parts of the internet outside of direct US control exist though. Most of these would probably be construed as an on that other country though.


    “(by the way is “internet” with a capital “I” or small “i”?)”

    Well, ‘internet’ means any internet (i.e. a network of networks). The global internet is sometimes spelled ‘Internet’ though. Usually, though people writing ‘internet’ mean the global one.

  • Paul


    @Chubby Charles

    “Didn’t the American government kind of make it in the first place?”

    MJ: “Good lord no. It was developed by academics who wanted to be able to share research papers etc instananeously and across different platforms.”

    As mentioned, I think MJ seems to be confusing the worldwide web (used to ‘share research papers’) and the internet. The WWW rides ‘on top’ of the internet (as does email, etc). The internet, at the very beginning, was a joint development of DARPA (US Govt’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) and some US universities. It has grown far beyond that now.

    “But how can they shut down the Internet in England or in other countries?”

    MJ: “In theory they can’t but ICANN, the system that administers domain names and IP addresses, is based in the US and if it were shut down it would cause havoc world-wide.”

    It is true that ICANN does this sort of administration but they are not directly involved in the minute-to-minute routing of internet traffic. They manage the ‘list’ not the technology that makes copies of the ‘list’ available to the world. If they were shut down this would certainly cause a lot of confusion; but the internet wouldn’t suddenly stop working.

    Also, there is more than one official, top-level DNS server (the server that knows were to go ‘next’ when presented with ‘.com’, ‘.uk’, ‘.jp’, etc, suffixed domains). They are in more than one country. Also, there is nothing to stop unofficial top-level servers being set up (there are some, in fact).


    Hypothetically, if the US shut down it’s entire internet infrastructure for a prolonged period, you could expect that I.T.-types all over the world would charging around in overdrive fixing stuff. You could expect services (which didn’t, of necessity, originate or end in the US) would slowly be ratcheted back up to something resembling normal activity over days, weeks and months. In the very long run, capacity would have to be routed around the US (perhaps meaning new cables). It’s hard to imagine what could cause such a scenario though: maybe a massive natural disaster; or an intentional act by an utterly authoritarian government. Even then some connections to some parts of the US might remain available and working.

    This is distinct though from an intentional cyber-attack by one country against another (or the whole internet). There are very many different ways this can be attempted (and many possible counters).

    Bare in mind that one of the goals of the original research was to find way for interconnected networks to resist single points of failure (accidental, or from deliberate attacks or sabotage) and to keep the networks working (even if at a degraded level).

    In many ways it parallels the development of the interstate road network in the US, which had a similar original rationale.

  • mark golding

    A president or prime-minister can order torture illegal but that is not enough. Repealing and passing legislation will not be enough. A commission, inquiry or independent panel is not enough.

    The British and American people want a criminal trial & Prosecution (USA Today Gallup Feb 2009: BMRB Jan 2010).

    A criminal prosecution is likely to obtain more information than anything else – and more information is likely to quickly be made public.

    State secrets and jeopardising national security is a fallacy (Silvio Berlusconi and Romano Prodi – torture by electroshock to genitals)


    CACI International Inc

    L-3 Communications

    John Ashcroft

    Larry Thompson

    Tom Ridge

    Tommy Franks






    electric shock


    deprivation of food and sleep

    threatened with dogs

    stripped naked and humiliated

    forceably shaving genitals


    forced to witness murder

    faeces poured on face

    held down & sodomized with tooth brushes

    paraded naked with other prsoners

    forced consumption of water until vomiting blood and fainting

    plastic ties around penis to prevent urination

    [David Dishneau, ‘Abu Graib Inmates Sue Contractors, Claim Torture’ AP July 1 2008]

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, anonymous @09:11hrs, it is a creepy, awe-inspiring place, intentionally so, of course.

    I also get the feeling that some of the ‘Big Issue’ sellers and other hangers-about nearby are not really ‘Big Issue’ sellers and hangers-about at all, but people keeping an eye on the streets in the area to protect against potential attack, with studiedly ordinary folk moving in and out of the line of sight. They remind me a little of undercover cops pretending to be junkies and watching a house where drugs are being grown/sold/transited, etc. Their movements are too controlled, too premeditated. They are also too physically clean.

    At times, it seems almost like a stage-set. I half-expect Natalie Wood to coming leaping out of Vauxhall Station, singing, ‘Na-na-na-na-na-namerica!’ Too purposefully casual, naowha’a’mean? Well, once not so very long ago, I guess the IRA did launch a mortar at the building.

    No raincoats, though – disappointing, eh! What on earth has happened to covert couture?

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