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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  • Komodo

    Fedup – would have loved the clip but was unfortunately getting born again when you posted itm hallelujah, glory, amen, yeah.
    Roughly what you might expect of an outfit founded by Pat Robertson –
    http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/11/pat-robertson-islam-isnt-a-religion-treat-muslims-like-fascists/
    …who “was presented with The State of Israel Friendship Award by the Chicago chapter of the Zionist Organization of America in July, 2002.” (Sourcewatch) and whose involvement in the blood diamond trade has raised some eyebrows among those who, unlike him are not Saved(tm).
    .
    ROFBC*
    *biting carpet

  • Komodo

    “الاحجام الكبيرة”, above links to something called “xxx-l.blogspot.com”. I wouldn’t. I really wouldn’t.

  • Mary

    I will feel great relief when June 6th dawns and it’s all over. They are all getting in on the act even the non talented and renowned hanger-on Bono.
    .
    Diamond Jubilee: Arts A-list gathers for the Queen Rock star
    Bono praised the Queen for her visit to the Republic of Ireland last year
    .
    The Diamond Jubilee
    Armed forces in Jubilee parade
    In pictures: Armed forces parade
    World royals mark Jubilee
    In pictures: Monarchs at Windsor
    .
    The Queen is meeting hundreds of leading cultural figures at one of the most glittering gatherings of actors, writers and artists the UK has seen.
    .

    Sir Derek Jacobi, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Paul McCartney and David Hockney were among the 850 luminaries due at the reception to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18181742

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    Thanks for the link Kashmiri – I have written to Dr. Ruth Blakeley thanking her and the team of interns involved in researching the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of suspects during detention and transfer and for a wonderful contribution to learning and awareness in defense of basic human rights that recognises the fact that continued rendition and proxy detention have not been ruled out by President Obrama and the US Government.

  • Mary

    Every time there is another report of a cut in services in the NHS (becoming more frequent) Simon Burns pipes up to say ‘Outrageous. This should not be happening. Blah Blah’. The irony is probably lost on this dunderhead who contributed to the onset of the Health and Social Care Act, ie the end of the NHS as we know it.

    .
    This time it’s reduced funding of eye surgery by the PCTs. In my area, the wait for cataract surgery is now so long that people are spending their savings to have the operation performed in the private sector. A few years back, there was no waiting list.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18176017

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mary
    .
    No surprise about facebook. It’s second in command is Sheryl Sandberg former Goldman Sachs underling. It has long been speculated that facebook floatation is hugely inflated. It is just going to become another money laundering/quick profit generating and economically useLESS piece of sh…t.

  • nevermind

    Straw in the stink is now taking a long time to load and I shall refrain from adding to it any longer.

    Its time for a new thread.
    Unless this is the last straw and the end of the line.

  • Mary

    For UK Government read Royal Dutch Shell. The terms are synonymous.
    .
    UK government defends the rights of Royal Dutch Shell to commit mayhem in Nigeria
    .
    May 24th, 2012 –
    Jane Croft, Law Courts Correspondent for the Financial Times reports that the UK government is facing pressure from human rights activists about why it has intervened in a US lawsuit brought by Niger Delta communities who are suing oil major Royal Dutch Shell, claiming that Shell is responsible for serious human rights abuses and environmental damage in the region.
    .
    http://political-cleanup.org/?p=5358

  • DonnyDarko

    Mary, I’m no expert, but I think the FB fiasco has unfolded just the way the scammers planned it…. Inflated the price of IPO for a few hours and then there was a massive sell and profit taking.Some bodies scored big out there and your pension funds that invested in a sure thing suffered once again.

    Isreal still trying to prove that they were somewhere 3000 yrs ago to give their presence now some legitimacy.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9285604/Ancient-Bethlehem-seal-unearthed-in-Jerusalem.html

    I hope that Craig comes back to his blog soon. Roy Castle would have been frothing at the mouth with this thread.

  • Mary

    Huhne’s partner loses case against Associated Newspapers and is ordered to pay £250,000 costs! She says she is appealing.
    .
    Huhne partner loses privacy caseThe partner of the former Liberal Democrat, Cabinet minister Chris Huhne has lost her High Court case against Associated Newspapers for alleged breach of privacy and harassment.

    Carina Trimingham, a PR adviser, was “not the purely private figure she had claimed to be”, the judge said as he ordered her to pay £250,000 costs.

    She said the judgement could become a “blueprint for bullies and bigots”.

    The Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce said it was a “vindication of our journalism”.

    Speaking outside court Ms Trimingham said she was disappointed by the judgement and indicated she intended to appeal.

    She said although the court accepted that “repeated mocking” of a person on account of sexuality would “amount to harassment” it stopped short of accepting that it was the same in her case.
    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18189668

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    Mark Stephen Golding
    .
    The nuclear negotiations with Iran have reached a cross-road. I believe we are at a point in time where nations have to decide whether to accept American and British preponderance in fiscal manipulation and arm-twisting. The sanctions against Iran are an act of war on account of their damaging effects on ordinary Iranian lives, the growth and expectations of Iran’s people and the vitality of Iran’s children.
    .
    These vindictive and retaliative measures taken against Iran have given the world an intuitive awareness of what will supervene if American and British dominion is repudiated in the future.
    .
    The financial and military might of world war victors dominate our planet and it is time for Russia and China to exert their own authority and compassion to achieve equilibrium and harmony.
    .
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/barbara-slavin/could-iran-nuclear-talksbr-found.html

  • Dead Beat

    The way to simplify this is to say it is about money. The wars, the torture, the invasions, all serve a purpose. At the end of the rainbow there is a pot of gold. The United States prefers to hang around, creating trillions in kickbacks and defence procurement orders. One only needs to look at the over the top preparations for the London Olympics to see how the security industry will benefit massively or the interesting names of some of the directors of said firms. A simple way to steal a nations wealth from the taxpaying victim is to create a situation where a high price is paid to “ensure” security. Just whose security are they ensuring? I’m guessing here by saying themselves, you know hello old boy

  • Komodo

    Exactly, Dead Beat. Check this:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2140568/London-2012-Olympics-security-ban-bottled-water.html
    If you have arms and legs, prepare to lose them now…
    .
    You can’t always believe what you read in the papers, and virtually never in the Sun, but this indicates the uselessness of the “security” measures:
    {http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4300166/Olympics-scandal-as-worker-smuggles-fake-explosive-on-to-site.html}
    .
    G4S is the official security provider on site: “Lord” (Keelie John) Reid is a director of this, as well as “Director, John Reid Advisory Ltd (risk management; homeland security strategy; remuneration for the advisory services given by the Member to the Chertoff Group (strategic/security consultants) and Glaysen Holdings Ltd (financial holdings) is paid to John Reid Advisory Ltd; any income from the Member’s speaking engagements, articles etc listed under category 2 is also paid to John Reid Advisory Ltd)” (www.parliament.uk). See also “Lord” (Knacker of the Yard) Condon, who joins Reid on the board.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    Dear Mark,
    .
    Thank you very much for your kind words. My research partner, Sam, and I really do hope this work will bear fruit that is of real value to organisations like the Children of Iraq Association, involved in such important efforts to represent those affected by Western foreign policies.
    .
    Very best wishes
    .
    Ruth and Sam
    .

    Dr Ruth Blakeley
    .
    Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Kent
    .
    The Rendition Project: http://www.therenditionproject.org.uk
    .
    Follow me on Twitter: @ruthblakeley

  • Rose

    OK – I’m concerned about the length of this too and note the comment from the Media Lens Message board which Mary referred to.

    What bugs me about all this commenting/posting stuff is the obvious insider knowledge of some – hence the winks and nods and references which I don’t understand – and I suspect other casual visitors don’t either – I’m talking about ML here, which is confusing and exclusive.

    I like this place because people like Mary and Komodo and others do make an effort to be inclusive; so please, exactly what is the score re Craig? His voice is important and I miss him.

  • Joe Blogs

    Hi, Just an observer.
    It seems to me that this blog is becoming somewhat elitist? It is not inclusive.
    Since Mr. Craig’s absence I have noticed the changes. I do hope he will return soon.
    Sorry for being a bit negative.

  • mark golding

    Joe Blogs,
    .
    I think you are saying the same as Ruth in that this thread has lost some synergy. I completely understand Ruth’s frustration after leading with the incisive and trenchant post that said in part, ‘…barbarity of the British government, but all its treachery to turn on its best buddy, Gadaffi.’
    .
    After listening to war criminal Blair’s ‘non-recollection’ of the Belhaj case and the ‘complicity’ document from MI6 Bfound in Libya, I too am angry and frustrated at the way truth is swept ‘under the carpet’ and litigation seems painfully slow or non-existent for the likes of Mr Blair and cohort Mr Straw.
    .
    Nevertheless I personally am encouraged by the standard of posts here that inevitably encompass other recent events in light of the threads age and direction which although embraces comment will, for some, be somewhat ephemeral or irrelevant.
    .
    The thread seems to have come full circle which I find pleasant and assuring. Most of us are of the same ‘ball of wax’ which means torture, terror, rendition and murder-in-custody are all not only abhorrent to us but possibly a path that will lead to a ‘mission accomplished’ which in our book means victory over torment, suffering, discrimination, control and the big black pen of criminal redaction.

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