Straw in the Stink 1095


The Mail on Sunday is doing a very good job on the odious Jack Straw’s involvement in torture and persecution. I think that at last the truth has entered the established narrative. There is a little box in the report about my own evidence to Scotland Yard. I will type it out here as the Mail’s box format here is not internet searchable:

“Torture” Evidence Handed to the Yard

Further pressure was piled on Jack Straw last night over the “rendition” of Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhadj after sensitive documents were handed to Scotland tard detectives.

Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, passed the documents to police as part of the inquiry into the behaviour of Ministers and intelligence officials over the detention of Mr Belhadj in Bangkok in March 2004.

The opponent of Colonel Gadaffi was flown to Tripoli, where he claims he was tortured.

Mr Straw, who was Foreign Secretary at the time, has denied ever condoning the use of torture to extract information.

But the documents appear to cast doubt on that position.

One memo, headed “Uzbekistan: Intelligence Possibly Obtained Under Torture” contains minutes of a meeting Mr Murray held with senior Foreign and Commonwealth officials on March 8, 2003 to discuss his concern that the UK could be in breach of international law by possessing intelligence obtained by torture.

The minute, dated March 10 2003, quoted Linda Duffield, then the FCO’s Director of Wider Europe, apparently justifying the use of such material as part of the fight against terrorism.

A second memo, dated March 14 2003, and written by Simon McDonald – the Straw’s principal Private Secretary – to Ms Duffield says Straw has read the minutes and “agrees that you handled this very well”.

Mr Murray is understood to have told police that during Mr Straw’s time at the FCO diplomats were told to only refer to the policy on torture verbally.

Mr Murray said last night “My evidence stated that Jack Straw introduced a policy of allowing evidence obtained by torture to be used. I also told them that written evidence had been destrpyed, and we were told to not commit details into writing.”

There is a slight misquote in the above. It should say Jack Straw introduced a policy of allowing intelligence obtained by torture, not evidence. In fact it was specifically stated such intelligence would not be produced as evidence in court (people were imprisoned without charge or rendered instead). The instruction not to put things in writing was given to me personally, I don’t know if others were told the same. As I was the only one protesting, perhaps not.

These links are to the documents in question.

duffieldminute

mcDonald

Wood

The first two were obtained by Freedom of Information Act request. Details of the CIA’s colllusion with the Karimiv regime’s torturers have been redacted by the FCO. Last week Jack Straw came out and argued strongly for the effective abolition of the Freedom of Information Act. Now there is a coincidence for you.


1,095 thoughts on “Straw in the Stink

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  • nevermind

    Where would we be without a little bit of blue sky thinking, enpowerment of jobcentre staff, indeed elevating their jobs description to that of a doctor, and for peace and quiet.
    Will this make coke nosed City gents feel even better about their losses?
    Does this mean all 26 bars serving subsidised booze in the house of commons will be shut down?
    Job centre plus will have to beef up their security I fear and the influx of suit wearing job seekers reading bibles might become the norm now.
    Enough to drive you to drink and rugs ….
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/22/jobseekers-alcohol-drug-addiction-benefits-cut

  • Komodo

    Beecroft is a co-founder of Apax (see also “Sir” Ronald Cohen,chair of the extremely shady Portland Trust, former huge donor to Labour, and chairman under the new lot of the Big Society Capital)a firm dedicated to making money without making anything else.
    Question for anyone who does economics: why do “venture capital” firms flourish while we are pumping billions into banks which apparently don’t want to invest or lend to business?

  • pollok

    Iran’s military chief-of-staff, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi…

    “The Iranian nation is standing for its cause and that is the full annihilation of Israel”.

  • Komodo

    Looks mutual to me, Pollok. Pot and kettle.
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/235388.html

    (Don’t like Press TV? At least I supply links.)

    My cause is full disclosure of Israel’s nuclear activities and savage sanctions on it (tuned to cause maximum distress to the population at large) until it relinquishes nuclear weapons. Sauce for the goose….

  • pollok

    press tv… even the wacho murray doesn’t think they are a reliable source of info.

    But I see what you mean, israel geting some training jets and a new anti-missle intercept system … is just the same as the president of the country and then the head of its army saying that raison d’etre of his coutry is to ANNIHILATE another country.

    Probably another bad translation, he meant to say hug…surely???

  • Komodo

    What I am saying is only that you have not credibly attributed your news. Which is fortuitous, is it not, coming just as Israel announces that even if agreement is reached on Iran’s nuclear programme, it reserves the right to a pre-emptive strike? As Israel does its best to scupper talks and insert its own paranoid agenda?
    .
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/israel-skeptical-iranian-nuke-deal-16404200
    .
    Or would you prefer the Jerusalem Post as the source of all truth everywhere?
    {http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=271101}
    .
    I do hope he doesn’t change his mind in a fit of back-to-his-roots euphoria…
    .
    Whether an Iranian general said what you say he said (as far as I can see, Yahoo News and a fundy site are the only ones carrying this) is supremely irrelevant. Intelligent Israelis will be asking themselves whay Iran is so hostile, and advancing answers that might not rely on a persecution complex and self-pity. They might even see that Israel is as much a threat to Iran as Iran is to Israel, and think about de-escalating a situation which both sides have been enthusiastically racheting up.
    .
    Tell me this, would Israel be blustering as loudly as this if it didn’t get $3bn annually from the US?

  • Mary

    The ‘Lyon’ with no teeth is investigating our Jeremy.
    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2114111_jeremy_hunt_facing_inquiry_over_donations
    .
    Also Messrs Myler, Crone and Hinton are subject to investigations by the HoC Standards Committee! I bet they are scared 🙂 {http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18151789}

    Membership of Standards and Privileges Committee
    {http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/standards-and-privileges-committee/membership/}

  • Komodo

    I see the Muslim Brotherhood’s site is down. During elections, too. Wonder who crashed it? Still, there it is for when it comes back…
    http://www.ikhwanweb.com/
    .
    As a transnational Islamic party, the Brotherhood has the potential to do what the weak and Western-subverted Arab League cannot do by way of aligning the Arab states in the Maghreb and Middle East. This is obviously hampered by the Western-fostered Sunni-Shia divide, but I’m guessing that if Israel attacks Iran, that divide will not look so fundamental after all – a Muslim is a Muslim’s brother.
    I really do wonder who took that site down….

  • Mary

    On Medialens –
    Massive UK arms deal with Saudi Arabia – BBC silence
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18173779
    .
    No mention of a few inconvenient facts from the BBC, protecting the government on these issues, as ever:

    ‘Between July and September 2011, Britain sold weapons worth £2.2m to Bahrain, of which £1.3m was specifically for military use. It included gun silencers, naval guns and weapons sights.
    .
    ‘At least 35 people died as the Gulf state’s monarchy crushed the so-called Pearl Revolution last year. It called in help from its ally, Saudi Arabia, which sent troops and armored vehicles across the causeway linking the countries.
    .
    ‘Over the same period £8.9m-worth of arms were sold to Saudi Arabia, of which £4.5m was for military use. It included parts for combat aircraft, for army vehicles and for machine guns.
    .
    ‘As well as the suspicion that the UK could have indirectly helped to put down the Bahraini uprising, MPs will also raise concerns over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.’
    .
    {http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cable-and-hague-to-be-questioned-over-middle-east-arms-deals-6612062.html}

  • Mary

    The BBC is fanning the flames on Iran.
    .
    0810
    .

    As a second round of negotiations begins today on Iran’s nuclear programme between Tehran and the members of the UN security council, how real is the threat of of a conflict between Israel and Iran? Mohammad Marandi, a professor at Tehran University and Dan Meridor, Israel’s minister of intelligence and atomic energy, debate the prospects of conflict occuring.
    .
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9723000/9723105.stm
    .
    Earlier Rupert Wingfield Hayes speaking from Israel was speaking quite casually on the logistics of bombing the underground facilities.
    .
    There is no irony in the choice of location for these high level talks, it being Baghdad, the scene of USUKIsNATO barbarity.
    .
    23 May 2012 Last updated at 11:12
    .
    Iran nuclear talks open in Baghdad
    Iran is enriching uranium in its heavily fortified underground plant at Fordo, near Qom
    Iran nuclear crisis’Last chance’
    UK mulls options
    Success or failure?
    Q&A: Nuclear issue
    .
    Six world powers have begun a fresh talks with Iran about its controversial nuclear programme.

  • DonnyDarko

    http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFBRE84M0GE20120523

    reuters reporting Britain discusses how to react to conflict in the region.
    HTF can we support a nation armed to the f**n teeth with Nukes attacking a sovereign Nation guilty only of pursuing what all members of the security council already have plus quite a few others ?
    Not one UN resolution adhered to and it’s, how can we support them diplomatically, and you can bet militarily.Legally ,we cant !!
    We’ll just keep putting our ships into harms way until they are hit and we HAVE to join the fray.
    And all from a minority party that cant wait to have another war! How did our country skid so far into the cesspit of fascism ?

  • Komodo

    More emergency aid for tiny broke harmless country –
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4233005,00.html
    .
    “There should not be one scintilla of light between the positions of Republicans and Democrats on the issue of the security of Israel,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson.
    .
    Who he?
    .
    {http://togetherwithisrael.wordpress.com/tag/johnny-isakson/}
    .
    What a surprise.

  • Passerby

    Mary,
    The facts clearly point to the inability of the US, UK plutonomies to cope with their own Frankenstein creation: isreal, in a cogent, and coherent fashion, that results in an never ending financial burden to be born by both US, UK. As well as no probable end to the endless wars of the ziofuckwit supremacists. These, supremacist suffering from masada complex en mass are compelled these to be engaged in eternal wars, for they fear the absence of any external enemy, would mean these supremacist to turn their aggression inwards and inflict harm and death upon themselves.
    ,
    Hence the constant efforts of the isreal firsters to undermine any and all efforts for US, UK et al to make any headways in the mid east independent of the future of the bastard child these unleashed upon the poor Palestinians. Therefore it should come as no surprise to find the fishwife diplomacy practiced by the BBC and other “media” outlets that are patently in opposition to the interests of UK, and US.
    ,
    Furthermore given the extent of the distrust between Iran and US, and the long chains of command involved in any discussion, or debate. Then Baghdad is the obvious choice for the main parties to sit around a table and away from the prying eyes (isreal lobbyists) to get on with some meaningful exchange of views instead of the usual megaphone diplomacy that is the preferred method by the gaggle of fishwives set in place to keep the elected politicos on the straight and narrow.
    ,
    Finally isreal can in no shape or form attack Iran, and also the sponsors of israel are in no shape to attack Iran. This fact is born by the simple reality to this date: none have dared to do such despite the many existing and passed opportunities to initiate such a war.
    ,
    The fact that there are so many “pundits” (who chooses these?) engaged in beating the drums of war with Iran, somehow has left the real dangers of war in the area to be pushed aside. Fact that US and Pakistan are stones throw away from starting a full fledged shooting war is not even hinted at, anywhere in the “media”.
    ,
    However, the fact remains that after seventy years the only “…ish state” proves to be failure and an inhuman experiment that despite its reckless disregard of human values and moral imperatives and wholesale slaughter of Palestinians and Arabs, and endless land grab dashes. This so called country/state todate remains wholly dependent on financial aids of US, UK, et al, to have some kind of an economy! This is akin to the forty odd years old offspring still living in the parental home with no probable end to his dependency on the dead legs of his.her parents, to boast of his independence and means of sustaining himself.
    ,
    “There should not be one scintilla of light between the positions of Republicans and Democrats on the issue of the security of Israel,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson.
    ,
    Is a point of fact admission that is telling of a failed state in constant need of injections of external aid to remain viable. This point is always forgotten in any debate about the shitty little strip of land that somehow has come to dominate most of the headlines we see in the news.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    Pollock,
    .
    The translation is this:
    .
    ..the Iranian nation will remain committed to the full annihilation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end.
    .
    We note again the subtle difference. My view is the worldmust annul this right-wing extreme Zionist faction specifically Lieberman and Netanyahu.
    .
    Again Iran is threatened by these terrorists, and again I write to President Putin asking for enhanced protection for senior observers (Iran) of the SCO Treaty…

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that Komodo I sent the ‘popularity’ link over on to the Spiegel forums, although there’s not much going on, some of their issues are never debated.

    cameron is loosing his cool because the newbie and his newbie cabinet have run out of options. Only dependents like the BBC and electoral commission are now supporting this rabble.

  • Komodo

    Aye, something Cameron and his UCT* crew need to learn from us commoners is that if you can’t take it, you shouldn’t try to hand it out. Hope der Spiegel takes some notice.
    .
    *Upper Class Twat

  • mark_golding

    What Must be Said
    .
    It’s the alleged right to a first strike
    .
    that could destroy an Iranian people
    .
    subjugated by a loudmouth
    .
    and gathered in organized rallies,
    .
    because an atom bomb may be being
    .
    developed within his arc of power.
    .
    Yet why do I hesitate to name
    .
    that other land in which
    .
    for years – although kept secret –
    .
    a growing nuclear power has existed
    .
    beyond supervision or verification,
    .
    subject to no inspection of any kind?
    .
    This general silence on the facts,
    .
    before which my own silence has bowed,
    .
    seems to me a troubling, enforced lie,
    .
    leading to a likely punishment
    .
    the moment it’s broken:
    .
    the verdict “Anti-semitism” falls easily…
    .

    Günter Grass

  • Mary

    Oh so that’s alright then.
    .
    Tory MP Patrick Mercer won’t face probe over pass for security firm head
    By Gary O’Donoghue Political correspondent, BBC News

    ,
    Patrick Mercer said payments from security firm were declared
    .

    Related Stories
    Probe urged into MP’s consultancy
    MP refuses to discuss PM ‘attack’
    Reaction to Patrick Mercer’s comments
    ,
    A Conservative MP will not be investigated by standards authorities over claims he broke Commons rules.
    ,
    Patrick Mercer had been accused of breaking the code of conduct by sponsoring a parliamentary pass for the head of a firm he was being paid by.
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18176066

  • Mary

    LATEST:Prime Minister David Cameron calls on eurozone to come up with a ‘decisive plan’ for Greece

    .
    I would say that it is up to the Greek nation to decide their own future not a bunch of vultures in banks, hedge fund and private equity outfits.

  • Mary

    Today in the HoC following PMQs.
    .
    G8 and NATO Summits. Kaufman delivered thia question. Waffle from Cameron.
    .
    Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab):
    With regard to the Prime Minister’s discussion with the President of Pakistan, does he deplore Barack Obama’s offensive discourtesy towards the President, the sovereignty of whose country the United States has violated with deadly effect? Will he confirm that Britain stands shoulder to shoulder with our Commonwealth partner in defying American colonialism?

    The Prime Minister:
    I have to say that I would not put it like that. We need to work very closely with our American allies, within our special relationship, to try to deal with the terrorism that has come out of Afghanistan and is still coming out of parts of Pakistan. It is in our national interest to do that, but I always urge all international friends and partners to show patience and understanding with Pakistan because it is the biggest victim of terror of all. It has complex politics, and it needs to be given the space to resolve some of those issues. It also needs to know that its friends, such as Britain, will not leave it after the Afghan conflict is over, and that we are there for long-term partnership, friendship and support.
    .
    A few planted questions from the likes of Soames and Ottowayn within.
    http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/198/

  • Fedup

    Just watch this broadcast:
    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2012/March/Belgistan-Sharia-Showdown-Looms-in-Brussels/
    ,
    Note the parallels with the other memorable clip of rats swarming the place as was used in the other bout of hate mongering.,
    ,
    The war on all things Muslim will only end in tears, odd as this may appear, the various sheikh’s and puppet kings set in charge of Muslims will not manage to hold forever, and the resulting waves of change will bring about a new world order in which the hate mongers will be losing the game, set and match.
    ,
    ,
    ,
    Meanwhile back at the Eurolands;
    Cameron is waxing lyrical about what should be done? How it should be done? Whilst of his coteries seem to have reminded him of:
    1- UK is not in Euro zone, ie it does not have anything to do with Euros, has never wished to do so, and has always fought to stay out of it.
    2- WTF is it any business of his to pontificate about something that he is not a part of?
    3- The punters in UK are only used to the negative Europe, as in the EU will out law British Sausages case. Hence Cameron’s forlorn dreams: to get on his soap box there and order the Europeans around somehow will help his poll ratings.
    4- Physician heal thyself principle holding, IMF reports somehow do not convey the optimistic “UK media” and their phrase;”zero growth” economy, ie depression, or contraction of the economy.
    ,
    Therefore it would behoove Mr. Cameron well to stop wasting gas money to fly across to EU meetings, when every penny counts in the current depression in UK.

  • Komodo

    “LATEST:Prime Minister David Cameron calls on eurozone to come up with a ‘decisive plan’ for Greece”
    Thanks, Mary. Any word on when Cameron is coming up with a ‘decisive plan’ for the UK?
    .
    4 panellists discussing rush to war by (censored) on R4 right now. Names: Sheinwald (Craig will know him, I guess) Symons, Steinberg, Jenkins. So, no obvious Muslims, then…

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