UK Moves to Block US Senate Report to Protect Blair, Straw and Dearlove 461

From a British diplomatic source I learn that Britain has lobbied the United States against the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and extraordinary rendition.  The lobbying has been carried out “at all levels” – White House, State Department and CIA.  The British have argued that at the very least the report must be emasculated before publication.

The British argument is that in a number of court cases including the Belhadj case, the British government has successfully blocked legal action by victims on the grounds that this would weaken the US/UK intelligence relationship and thus vitally damage national security, by revealing facts the American intelligence service wish hidden.  [We will leave aside for the moment the utter shame of our servile groveling judges accepting such an argument].  The British Government are now pointing out to the Americans that this argument could be fatally weakened if major detail of the full horror and scope of torture and extraordinary rendition is revealed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.  The argument runs that this could in turn lead to further revelations in the courts and block the major defence against prosecutions of Blair, Straw and Dearlove, among others, potentially unleashing a transatlantic wave of judicial activism.

The unabashed collusion of two torturing security states in concealing the truth of their despicable acts – including complicity in the torture of women and minors – and blocking criminal prosecution of the guilty is a sign of how low public ethics have sunk.  Fortunately there are still a few people in the British Foreign Office disgusted enough to leak it.


461 thoughts on “UK Moves to Block US Senate Report to Protect Blair, Straw and Dearlove

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  • doug scorgie

    You’ve changed your tune Habbakuk.

    You said it was all a “conspiracy theory”.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mr Scorgie

    I don’t recall ever saying anything about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture, but I might of course be mistaken. Do you have a link/quotation?


    Support the GBP, the USD and the CHF, sell reals, rubles and renminbis.

  • Herbie

    Here’s the point back in 2009 when UK judges weren’t totally convinced by the FCO’s argument that disclosing the UK’s complicity in torture would harm relationships with the US:

    “What made the FCO ratchet up the dispute is the judges’ devastating ruling last month, when they accused Miliband of acting in a way that was harmful to the rule of law by suppressing evidence about what the government knew of the illegal treatment of Mohamed.”

    Miliband has since gone on to take up the role of president and CEO of IRC.

    The CIA has long had an active role in this ngo. Others like NED were deliberately created as CIA front organisations during the period when the CIA was under political pressure over its illegal activities.

    NED was heavily involved in Ukraine, for example, and Putin has moved to close down these US ngos activities in Russia, much as Kennedy wanted the Israeli lobby organisations to register as foreign entities. Never happened after his assassination.

    Sibel Edmonds, in a wide ranging interview on Gladio and its successors, has pointed out that the CIA now prefers to base its foreign staff within such ngos than in more obvious embassy attachment.

  • Herbie

    This article explains how clever neocons made torture legal:

    “But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.”

    Amnesty USA’s take on the matter:

  • Mary

    Back to Miliband D who ran off and found a niche.

    David Miliband’s move to the US : A staff of 12,000 and a salary of £300,000 on the aid gravy train
    •Top job at International Rescue Committee charity includes number of perks
    •Complimentary private health care and gold-plated, tax-free pension
    •Likely to be paid five times salary of Labour MP for 37-and-a-half hour week–A-staff-12-000-salary-300-000-aid-gravy-train.html

  • Herbie

    Even The Daily Mail saw through Miliband’s role:

    “But the odds-on favourite to win the leadership contest, former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, is finding it very hard indeed to disentangle himself from the most sordid and shameful aspect of New Labour rule – British involvement in the torture of numerous terror suspects overseas.”

    They further claimed that the trail led all the way to Blair:

    “Tony Blair was accused of ordering Jack Straw to ‘violate the law’ as the row over Britain colluding in torture took a new twist.

    Previously secret documents exposed their alleged roles in sanctioning British citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay, where they were abused.

    For the first time, the former Prime Minister’s office is implicated in a series of explosive classified files which Labour ministers battled to suppress but which have been released on the orders of the High Court.”

  • Herbie

    Interesting look at how the torture issue is played out politically in the US:

    “Gordon’s book, like most others, speaks of torture as being largely in the past — even while admitting that it isn’t really. “Bush administration-era policies” are acknowledged to be ongoing, and yet somehow they retain the name “Bush administration-era policies,” and discussion of their possible prosecution in a court of law does not consider the control that the current chief perpetrator has over law enforcement and his obvious preference not to see a predecessor prosecuted for something he’s doing.”

    Seems similar to how the issue plays politically in the UK.

    Here Liberty explain how the UK colludes in torture using secret courts to conceal their complicity:

    “In recent times extraordinary steps have been taken to keep any information about possible UK complicity in torture secret. The previous government sought to use principles of public interest immunity to restrict access to government documents and to suppress parts of a court judgment in the case of Binyam Mohamed which outlined what the UK knew about torture and ill-treatment of detainees in US custody.”

  • Brennan First

    The transatlantic panic comes from US review by the Human Rights Committee (HRC), which just assessed US compliance with the ICCPR, a binding treaty with which all domestic legislation must be brought into compliance and supreme law of the land equivalent to federal statute. Here’s what the HRC said: “Interpret the Covenant in good faith.”

    Holy shit.


    “Accountability for past human rights violations
    5. The Committee is concerned at the limited number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions of members of the Armed Forces and other agents of the U.S. Government, including private contractors, for unlawful killings in its international operations and the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees in U.S. custody, including outside its territory, as part of the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” program. While welcoming the Presidential Executive Order 13491 of 22 January 2009 terminating the programme of secret detention and interrogation operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Committee notes with concern that all reported investigations into enforced disappearances, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that had been committed in the context of the CIA secret rendition, interrogation and detention programmes were closed in 2012 leading only to a meagre number of criminal charges brought against low-level operatives. The Committee is concerned that many details of the CIA programme remain secret thereby creating barriers to accountability and redress for victims (arts. 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 14).

    “The State party should ensure that all cases of unlawful killing, torture or other ill-treatment, unlawful detention, or enforced disappearance are effectively, independently and impartially investigated, that perpetrators, including, in particular, persons in command positions, are prosecuted and sanctioned, and that victims are provided with effective remedies. The responsibility of those who provided legal pretexts for manifestly illegal behavior should also be established. The State party should also consider the full incorporation of the doctrine of ‘command responsibility’ in its criminal law and declassify and make public the report of the Senate Special Committee on Intelligence into the CIA secret detention programme.”

    Article 7, which deals with torture, is a non-derogable right and a peremptory norm to boot. That gives every country in the world a responsibility to stop the US breaches and hold the state and its officials to account.

    And this is only the warmup. The US goes before the Committee Against Torture in November. Then the US response gets tested against the binding requirements for investigation, prosecution, and compensation in the Convention Against Torture. Granted the US and UK have pissed away virtually all their influence, standing, and soft power, but now the whole world is watching them try to squirm out of this commitment: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

    NATO’s already a mile wide and an inch deep but this could fatally weaken it. As it is, NATO allies in Afghanistan are afraid to hold prisoners at all, they pass them off like hot potatoes to avoid the appearance of refoulement to the US torture state.

    Think Ukraine cannot blow up? The US needs a war to get out of this.

  • Jemand

    I’m not going to hold my breath for a candid release of information from the Americans. But I do like the idea of both the UK and US being embarrassed for having to hide this information from the people they purport to represent.

  • Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    “The US needs a war to get out of this.”

    All roads lead to Teheran.

  • Brennan First

    @ben hell, the US has got nothing to lose from aggression at this point. The Special Rapporteur on Counter-terrorism and Human Rights stated that US policy authorities are promulgated with the intent of “practically shielding from criminal and disciplinary responsibility all those involved in what appears to be a joint enterprise leading to widespread and systematic violations of Article 7.” That is, a serious crime of concern to the international community. Specifically, a crime against humanity. Universal jurisdiction, no statute of limitations. No impunity for heads of state.

  • mike

    Blair’s had no major honour yet, which is usually given to senior politicians when they boost the military-industrial capacity to kill lots of foreigners.
    His brand is toxic. So why is he being protected? Maybe he’ll tell tales out of school if he gets collared. I wonder if he’ll fall ill quite soon like Cook and Kelly…

  • Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    “His brand is toxic. So why is he being protected?”

    Can you imagine the length and breadth if he gets squeezed and starts talking?

    Blair likes to travel without fears about his chances of arriving safely. He’s being protected because so many need protection.

  • Herbie

    Toxic Tony.

    And that’s just what his friends say.

    Yeah. I’ve long thought they’ll be looking for a scapegoat:

    “Tony Blair: from New Labour hero to political embarrassment

    Friend of the Murdochs, adviser to authoritarian regimes and associate of the super-rich – the former prime minister’s reputation is on a downward spiral. And each new revelation manages to be more jaw-dropping than the last”

    “It would be hard for him to move into working for more liberal international institutions,” says a former ally, “because he’s toxic.”

    Puts Zoe Williams hagiographic article, the subject of the previous thread, in new light. He must now be desperate for any positive media he can get. Pity it wasn’t well received.

  • Jay

    Thanks Craig.

    On public ethics. Humans are supposed to work and co-operate. As Craig shows
    we are not so far away from deciphering our true being although the diversionary tactics employed by the status quo disable us to become the image of man?

  • fred

    “So why is he being protected? ”

    It’s traditional, politicians always protect their predecessors. It means they themselves can do what they want, legal or illegal, and there won’t be any comeback.

  • fred

    “And they call it Democracy?”

    Yes. In dictatorships ex heads of government tend to be hung from lamp posts or rodgered with bit of stick or something.

    Both systems have their merits.

  • Jives


    MAJOR respect for this post…holy hell you’ve got balls of steel for daring to push this post.

    One of the most important posts in the history of this blog-which is saying something indeed Craig.

    How much longer can the architects of this global institutionalised torture,gang-stalking,MK-Ultra programme hide?

    Thank you so much for this brave,vital and defining post Craig.

    Deep respect.

  • Jives

    Allow me also,Craig,to add my deepest respect for those extremely brave,principled and moral souls in the British FO who’ve leaked this vital info.

    I’m usually no fan of the Establishment but this act of bravery and principle shines so much positive decent humane light on the last decade or so of weak cowardly reptiles lies.

    Thank you all.

  • Mary

    There is no mention of Craig’s work here (I second Jives above) or any mention of Blair’s involvement with torture in the comments sections on these rather feeble Guardian articles.

    Don’t be nostalgic about Tony Blair. His effect on Britain and beyond was toxic
    The Iraq war is rightly seen as a defining low point in Blair’s career, but the damage he did does not stop there
    Chris Nineham STWC 14 April 2014

    Publish Chilcot report on Iraq war now, says Nick Clegg
    Deputy PM appears to suggest that those likely to face criticism in inquiry’s conclusions are partly to blame for delay
    Rowena Mason, political correspondent Monday 14 April 2014

    not forgetting the Zoe Williams’ whitewash.


    Clegg’s piece is risible. I am sure that when he roars, the powers-that-be roll over.

    PS The Guardian US and Washington Post have been awarded the Pulitzer prize for ‘public service’.

    Edward Snowden refers to a ‘free press’ in this piece.

    So free I suppose that the Guardian give Blair houseroom.

    Articles by him
    and articles that discuss him or refer to him by the thousand.

  • intp1

    It is perfectly predictable, if power answers to no-one it will happily become absolutely corrupt.

    I ask sincerely and apparently naively: What UK law, or lack of it, allows intelligence /diplomatic sensitivity to essentially trump the rule of law?

    The politicians are supposed not to be above the law but “there is nothing to see”? when the intelligence agencies are routinely above serious, despised by all British, crimes?

  • Ba'al ZZevul (Follow The Money)

    Blair’s had no major honour yet…

    The most plausible reason for not taking his simpering mug to the Lords is perhaps that he would have to make a checkable disclosure of his finances. Which, as his duplicate parallel networks of income-hiding companies indicate, would not be convenient.

    Significant, in that case, that Blair’s dealings are even dodgier than those of his mucilaginous chum, “Lord” Mandelson, whose shining trail across the decks of numerous luxury yachts is more clearly visible.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    What UK law, or lack of it, allows intelligence /diplomatic sensitivity to essentially trump the rule of law?

    The Official Secrets Act.

  • Abe Rene

    I imagine that the Senate Intelligence Report will be leaked by some “Ed Snowdon II” and so the truth will be made known in the long term anyway 🙂

  • Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    What UK law, or lack of it, allows intelligence /diplomatic sensitivity to essentially trump the rule of law? (2)

    The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005

    The Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011.

    The Justice and Security Act 2013

    I particularly recommend the last section of this piece: “The Ghost of Carl Schmitt”, as it underlines the legislative convergence between the UK and a fascist state.

  • fred

    “Blair’s had no major honour yet…”

    George’s Day is coming soon, he could well get his reward for services to the establishment yet, I believe the sad demise of Mrs Thatcher created a vacancy.

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