Jack Straw Responds to Alex Salmond with Blatant Lie 203

Jack Straw continues to lie about his involvement with torture. On Sunday, Alex Salmond told Alex Marr on the BBC that an inquiry must discover what Straw and Blair knew. On Monday Straw responded in the Guardian:

Straw said Salmond’s comments were completely untrue. “The British government was never complicit nor condoned torture or other ill-treatment of detainees wherever they were held,” he said.

I can offer absolute and definitive proof that Straw is lying (redactions made by FCO):



The Foreign Secretary was Jack Straw. Simon MacDonald was his Private Secretary in the FCO.


It has been a source of astonishment to me that journalists are prepared to continue to publish Straw’s denials of involvement in torture, when there is indisputable documentary proof that he is lying. I offered these documents to the Guardian years ago, but was not surprised when that Blairite rag refused to publish.

I was however surprised by this. When Straw criticised Salmond on Monday, I immediately offered these documents to the National as proof that Straw was lying. The National too refused to publish. Firstly they said that they had to consult their lawyers about whether the government would sue them. Then they said they could not work out how to condense the information into a short article (which begs the question why it had to be short). They then said they were too busy.

The reason I did not post for a week was that I was extremely dejected to receive an instant rejection, without interview, for the post of Chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Commission. This is an appointment of the Scottish Parliament and the decision is made by a committee of Scottish MSPs. It is a job for which I undoubtedly meet all the published requirements. I lecture regularly on human rights all round the world, and have been called to give evidence in person to the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. I have a great deal of senior level public sector management experience, also a requirement.

When I published a few weeks ago that I had been considering my future while in Ghana, it was because I was considering applying for the job on the Scottish human rights commission. That would have entailed going back to being a public servant and ceasing political activity, including giving up this blog. I certainly can do this – for the 21 years I was in the FCO, nobody except those close to me knew my political views. I decided eventually that the chance to work on human rights in a positive way might enable me to do more good in the world than I am achieving as a campaigner. I definitely did not expect to get the job, but could not apply honestly without interrogating myself as to whether I really was prepared to meet the conditions.

I did not however expect an out of hand rejection for a position for which I was not only qualified but which was also junior and less well paid than previous public appointments I had held.

I did not necessarily expect to get the job, but to be refused without being interviewed is not something I expected, and it hit me hard. As a whistleblower you become a non-person. That is why the media publishes Straw’s denials of all knowledge of torture despite the existence of these documents. It is unpleasant to be a non-person, who cannot even be interviewed for a job for which they are abundantly qualified.

The SNP plainly have a major problem with me as a member. Before the SNP Conference in Aberdeen, I was approached by the Embassy of Ecuador. They wished to have a meeting with the SNP on behalf of the alliance of seven South American states including Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia who have a broadly anti-imperialist stance and were interested in learning about the Scottish independence movement with a view to possible cooperation in international fora. It so happened the Spanish acronym of this group is ALBA! The Embassy know me through Julian Assange and I was their only contact in the SNP, so they asked me to arrange the meeting. I emailed every suitable SNP contact I could think of, and made a number of phone calls, over a four week period. I eventually received a one line rejection, and had to host the Ambassador myself (apart from a short reception the SNP hosted for the diplomatic corps, to which I was refused entry).

Taking all these things together – my repeated rejection as a candidate, the refusal to meet ALBA, my out of hand rejection (by a SNP led committee) for the human rights job, the National’s refusal to run my evidence of Jack Straw lying, I feel not just rejected but despised by the hierarchy of the Independence movement. As I have moved back to Scotland with the sole motive of carrying on the campaign for Scottish independence, I really have this last week been looking hard at myself and considering what the future may hold. I suppose I was naïve to imagine that the hospitality and exclusion shown to whistleblowers in Whitehall would not be mirrored in Holyrood.

Which leads me back to the minutes above. When I objected to, and tried to stop, the policy of getting intelligence from torture, I knew I was probably blighting my future in the FCO. But I did not fully appreciate that it would lead on to me being backlisted by the establishment – including the Holyrood establishment – for my entire life. It is rather a hard cross to bear. Fortunately I have much else in life to be thankful for.

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203 thoughts on “Jack Straw Responds to Alex Salmond with Blatant Lie

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  • fred

    “The reason there isn’t already a second road bridge at Queensferry is the Labour Party.”

    Isn’t it about time they devolved responsibility?

    What with Ba’al and his “that was Thatcher” and you blaming Labour all the Nationalists ever do is look for somebody to blame for their failings. Nicola should change her name to Elsie because all she can say is “it’s someone elsies fault” and Whinge over Scotland should stop whinging about Westminster and start taking our failing Scottish government to task.

  • fred

    “The SNP is working with the restriction that 5% voted NO.”

    If it wasn’t for people having the good sense to vote no Scotland would be going cap in hand to the IMF.

    Oil $37 a barrel, no got it right, yes voters got it wrong.

  • Alcyone

    17 Dec, 2015 – 3:46 pm
    Think about it.

    “I don’t mind a little inconvenience”, “I don’t mind some of my comments going. I don’t mind etc, etc.

    You do a disservice to the aims your profess to stand for, and you stand FOR IT so obediently.

    I don’t know the perfects system, but one where those clearly on board have an input?. But No, your worthless here. Your comments can go anytime and for any reason. Why the hell would anyone stay in a place like this? “fighting for human rights”..

    The sacrifice is worth it? Freedom within limits is control. He could publish many places. He could not have comments at all. Better in many ways. Though I suspect some vary insensitive articles would still be up if others could not point out such things.

    But i’m the bad guy here? fine. Think what you want. You demonstrate what that’s worth in your actions.”

    Macky , Ishmael’s bosom-buddy, can you please translate this?

  • Macky

    Alcyone; “Macky , Ishmael’s bosom-buddy, can you please translate this?”

    Surely somebody who claims to understand the mystical mumbo jumbo of a certain Krishnamurti, can understand Ishmael’s little comments !

    Since I’m in a generous mood, it’s basically along the lines of having the self-respect of treating others as equals, by living up to your own professed righteous ideals, etc

    Hope that’s simplified enough for your Krishnamurti enhanced mega-mind ! 😀

  • Ishmael

    Alcyone, Don’t know much about fascism do you? It’s ok, nor does Craig, and hard to see when your in it.

    let me simplify it, and ill be polite unlike yourself.

    In surrendering yourself, your granted privileges (as they are very much on this blog) you erode everyone else’s also. As in society, it’s like saying we will surrender, privacy or freedom of movement etc. etc..

    I’ll throw in a quote. “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

    And what you want is your clean little controlled, undisturbed worship room. And Craig want’s that also. But this has got sod all to do with human rights. Glad it’s restrained to this blog.

    This blog. where most people are more than happy to go along with Craig’s order even though he entertains (in my guess) some of the most vile people i’v ever had the misfortune to come across. But they follow his order so that ok. They think about as much of themselves as i’m guessing you do, to put up with all this.

  • Ishmael

    It is how those at the center, control and abuse the masses while at the same time making them believe the best is being done. Strip them of there self respect, but the ring answerers to one alone.

    They where, all of them, deceived.

    This is why contestantion upsets you. Because you don’t quite know whats going on. And your not ‘happy’ unless others think as you do. But it never works.

  • Macky

    Ishmael; “Dam Macky, and I wrote all that…”

    On the contary, you have a knack for insightful comments that go over many heads here, so my poor little reply was a cheap effort in dumbing down !

  • Alcyone

    ^ Two peas in a pod.

    Guess it’s the season, buy one get one free! Cartoons!! (who wish to be taken seriously?). Keep digging.

  • Ishmael


    On the contrary. It was a skillful dissection of my crawling around the block 6 times to describe something quite simple.

  • Chris Jones

    When is the penny going to finally drop with well meaning people in general? Most of the mainstream game is rigged and most opposition controlled – this is true in politics, media, press,science, the courts, economy and even many aspects of culture and entertainment. Why and by whom? By those that can afford to do it and those sick enough to need to do it.

    ‘If’ Jack Straw has lied, as he has all his life, then the answer is very simple for him and all other public servants – they need to be arrested, tried by a Common Law Court (not a Crown court) andif/when found guilty, jailed. It really is that simple. There’s no need to make it any more complicated. Arrest Straw, Arrest Blair, Arrest Campbell, Arrest Cameron. Start with these men

  • Ishmael

    Anyway this blog continues to repulse me, I tried. Maybe i’ll try again someday, maybe not. I Just can’t stomach this.


    @Chris Jones, the only opposition is us. Law is corrupt to the bone. They can at least be held to account in public opinion, witch has an effect.

    Myself I try to push for some kind of accountability, but I can’t bring myself to support the brutality and torture of prisons. They do, so maybe it is justice for them. But that’s not my business.

  • ian foulds

    Mr Murray,

    An invidious position for you and the rest of us who support Independence for OUR Country.

    However, like many before you who are not recognised (by the CURRENT powers-that-be) in your Homeland this will change when those powers-that-be are removed and the PEOPLE once again are sovereign.

    Kind regards and more power to your elbow,


  • YouKnowMyName

    The practice of releasing a string of statements on the last day of a parliamentary sitting in order to limit scrutiny is not entirely new. In Whitehall it is known as ‘taking out the trash’. But Westminster observers yesterday could not recall it ever being deployed so flagrantly in the past. Downing Street claimed the rash of announcements was simply a coincidence. . .

    Last week, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham described the [Blair Freedom of Information act] review as an attempt to return to the ‘dark ages’ of ‘private government’.

    This week, Lord Kerslake – the former head of the Civil Service – said transparency needs to be increased as ‘the default is to conceal’. He criticised his successor Sir Jeremy Heywood – known as Sir Cover-Up – who has claimed the FoI Act is having a ‘chilling effect’.

    What could they wish to cover-up, by releasing 400 last minute documents? Muslim Brotherhood?

    PRESTON? lets look back to some more Blair/Straw’isms NTAC & PRESTON

    Home Office News Release, 30/03/2001, 096/2001

    50 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AT
    (night line: 020 7273 4595) Fax: 020 7273 4660
    Public Enquiry Line: 020 7273 4000


    Assistant Chief Constable Ian Humphreys will be the new Head of the National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC) Home Secretary Jack Straw confirmed today.

    The National Technical Assistance Centre will help the Government respond to criminals, such as pornographers and paedophiles, who use encryption to conceal the contents of their computer files.

    NTAC will give law enforcement agencies the ability to fight crime in the information age and provide a facility for the processing of lawfully intercepted communications and lawfully seized protected electronic data, which can then be used to bring serious criminals to justice.

    NTAC will remain under the day to day control of the Home Office, and the new Head Ian Humphreys, who is on secondment to the Home Office from Kent County Constabulary, will be accountable to the Home Secretary.

    Home Secretary Jack Straw said: “The Government is committed to action against hi-tech crime in line with our objective of making the UK the best and safest place in the world to conduct and engage in e-commerce.

    “The National Technical Assistance Centre will give law enforcement the capability to derive intelligence and evidence from new information and communication technologies.

    “It will provide techniques for lawful interception of modern multimedia communications and improve facilities for deriving evidence from lawfully seized computer data.

    “NTAC will make the difference between serious crimes such as paedophilia, extortion and fraud being prevented or punished and criminals going unpunished and free to continue their activities.”

    Head of the National Technical Assistance Centre Ian Humphreys said: “NTAC represents a major new initiative in the fight against criminals engaged in serious and organised crime, such as paedophiles, drug traffickers and fraudsters. We will provide specialist technical support to the law enforcement effort to counter the evil intent of those determined to exploit technology to the detriment of decent members of society.”

    NTAC will be a twenty-four hour centre operated on behalf of all the law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, to provide a central facility for the complex processing of encrypted material derived from lawfully intercepted computer communications.

    It will make technically possible the provisions included in Part III of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 requiring the disclosure of keys to lawfully obtained protected electronic data. These powers are expected to come in to force in late 2001.

    The Chancellor announced in the budget in April last year that £25 million of capital modernisation funding had been made available to the Home Office over two years for the capital costs of developing a National Technical Assistance Centre.

    This followed the Cabinet Office Performance Innovation Unit’s report “Encryption and Law Enforcement”, published in May 1999, which recommended the establishment of a Technical Assistance Centre to assist law enforcement agencies to gain access to communications protected by encryption.


    1. NTAC will be part of the Home Office and not a statutory body. The Home Secretary will be accountable to Parliament for NTAC. The work of NTAC will be subject to statutory oversight by the Interception of Communications Commissioner, the Intelligence Services Commissioner and the Surveillance Commissioners. It will also be subject to the scrutiny of the courts in respect of its handling of lawfully seized material and material lawfully acquired through the exercise of statutory powers.

    2. Interception of communications is carefully regulated, by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and can only be conducted under a warrant signed the Secretary of State.

    3. NTAC will undertake any processing necessary to make intercepted material intelligible. NTAC will not analyse the intelligible content of any intercepted material. That will remain a function for the agency which applied for the interception warrant.

    4. In November last year the Government announced £25 million to fund the National Hi-Tech Crime Strategy and Unit (Home Office press release 359/2000 refers).

  • YouKnowMyName

    That’s Straw & NTAC – or you can have THIS VERSION of that ‘secret agency’ (sorry about the tits)


    REVEALED: MI5 has been snooping on Brits under ‘Operation Preston’, says Edward Snowden

    BRITS have been snooped on by MI5 for years under a special Operation known as “Preston”, according to leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden. (well, rather it has been investigative journalist Duncan Campbell who put it together)

    “The ‘Big Brother’ comprehensive national database system feared by many MPs has been built behind their backs over the last decade”
    Duncan Campbell

  • YouKnowMyName

    The actual source of PRESTON news is in the online tech journal The Register


    Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him
    Elected MPs were deliberately misled by Brit spy agencies

    16 Dec 2015 at 14:03, Duncan Campbell
    Slurping and storing your bank card records … because nobody’s innocent

    NTAC’s officially authorised interception targets now also include international banks and airlines, in order to copy, decrypt and store personal credit card and banking transactions and flight bookings.

    Some airlines such as BA have agreed to co-operate and voluntarily hand over their passengers’ details to NTAC’s data stores; those who do not agree, or have not been asked, have their data networks tapped under special warrants by NTAC in an operation codenamed CATSUP. Since 2006, NTAC has been managed by GCHQ and integrated into all agencies’ operations. . .

    David Davis MP told The Register this week that “much of the debate for the last 15 years appears to have been a charade about data that the government very likely already held. It is also clear that the legislation that the government relied upon was being interpreted in ways that Parliament never imagined.”

    He intends to raise the significance of the long term concealment of the national call record centre in evidence to Parliament’s review committee on the new Investigatory Powers Bill, which also seeks to legalise the massive collections of “Personal Bulk Datasets affecting millions of Britons” that the Home Office now admit has been taking place for a decade.

    There are now dozens of intelligence “Bulk Personal Datasets” on millions of people, “the majority of whom are unlikely to be of intelligence interest”, as the government has admitted in documents accompanying the draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

    Intelligence agency staff have stated: “These datasets vary in size from hundreds to millions of records. Where possible, Bulk Personal Datasets may be linked together so that analysts can quickly find all the information linked to a selector”, such as a telephone number or search query. The information retrieved “may include, but is not limited to, personal information such as an individual’s religion, racial or ethnic origin, political views, … medical condition, sexual orientation, or any legally privileged, journalistic or otherwise confidential information.”

    NTAC has access to NHS information, according to official documents. . .

    As the minister who arranged for the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to pass through Parliament, David Davis says that officials never conveyed, even secretly, how they saw the law as authorising the creation of a joined-up secret national database.

    “What is becoming ever more clear in the latest revelations around the IP Bill is that the level of intrusive surveillance has for over ten years been massively more than the government ever admitted to Parliament, most particularly in the field of bulk data sets”, he told The Register

  • Linda Ferris

    Have heard you speak several times. Always interesting and enjoyable. Always admired you.
    Two questions –
    1. You were going to speak at the SNP conference against a motion but when you were called you weren’t in the hall. Just wondered about that.
    2. re your job application – When I recruit at work I am obliged to interview candidates who meet the criteria of the job. Also to give applicants feedback if they are not successful. Did you request feedback?

  • Silver99

    I think its the first time you have used the B-word Craig in all the time you have commented on the Establishment’s efforts to smear and sabotage your post-FO work and reputation.

    Even after the New Statesman incident and when you were regularly being blocked from appearing on mainstream TV and radio you refused to say the word because (I suspect) you didn’t want to come across like David Icke without the turquoise jumpsuits.

    You’re not the first person to be ostracised by the British political establishment. Unfortunately and unlike Livingstone, Archer, Galloway et al, you don’t have either the money or the political power base by which to force or flatter your way back to the top table, or at least a top table somewhere.

    I don’t know what you should do at this point except
    (i) give silent thanks every day in the knowledge that you have been right more often than not and have lived long enough to see many of your enemies fall by the wayside. Today’s news is a case in point.
    (ii) persistence always pays when it comes to jobhunting. 99% of the jobs you will ever go for are held by wankers who neither know nor care what you have done and what you have to offer and never had the slightest intention of employing you in the first place. There is absolutely nothing to gained by losing sleep over such people – that just wastes time you could be using to practice for your next interview. Just move on to the next vacancy.

  • N_

    Point 3 of Linda Duffield’s memo is a classic piece of bullshit to justify the unjustifiable, before the altar of “the global fight against terrorism”.

    Or, as the “global war against terror” is also known, submission to Benyamin Netanyahu and pals.

    But they take things “seriously” you know. Oh yes sir! Especially when the profits from torture pile up. Oh, ever so seriously.

    Torture is a kind of terror.

    Enough of the “global” and “war” crap. There’s no argument there. Torture is a kind of terror.

    They’re a bunch of cunts, Craig. Lying cunts. Lying thieving cunts with a sense of entitlement. The guilty have no conscience. You’re much better off now you’ve left that job.

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