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):

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

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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.


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

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  • Canexpat

    You are a good man Craig. The Establishment is punishing you both for having the courage of your convictions and to make an example out of you to deter other like-minded public servants from speaking out against evil.

    Unfortunately, it would seem that the SNP hierarchy are just as captured as the scumbags in Westminster. No doubt the Scottish Deep State is just as entrenched as the one South of the border.

    The last thing the powerful want is someone who would do their job properly and who would hold the rule of law higher than the interests of the elites.

  • Tatlery Hatlery

    Jack Straw lies shock horror.

    The SNP’s refusal to respond to an approach from some sovereign states is short-sighted and foolish. Don’t they care about raising their (and Scotland’s) profile internationally? Even if they took the ball from Craig and then shooed him out the door it would have been better than this.

  • Giving Goose

    I would imagine that the SNP are hyper sensitive to possible accusations from the MSM and (by extension) their political enemies on various topics deemed to be of a sensitive nature.

    Let’s face it Craig; you are hardly a run of the mill person, and that fact should be worn as a badge of pride by you.

    The SNP need to be seen by their peers as “Mainstream” and you are most definitely not Mainstream.

    No “Mainstream” political party is going to flirt openly with the Scottish equivalent of Assange and that is exactly what you are.

    So please wear the rejection with pride.

    From your vantage point outwith the mainstream you can achieve a lot more than from within.

    Keep up the good work and keep smiling! You are far better in the position that you are!

  • fwl

    Craig, what I have difficulty in understanding is that given you were in FCO for 21 years what was it that happened when you were in Uzbekistan, and by that what I mean is: was it

    (1) that you witnessed the reality of torture and our complicity in the process or its results for the first time when in Uzbekistan, or

    (2) that it was somehow at a more serious level either in degree or frequency, or pointlessness or

    (3) that something changed in you so that you felt you could no longer accept what was happening nor turn a blind eye?

  • Muscleguy

    This hyper cautiousness of the SNP is one reason I am falling out of love with them. At least I never actually joined. I think we will just have to focus on getting a proper and more radical opposition into Holyrood.

    Have you looked at joining RISE Craig? or at least sounding them out? Though you will have to be prepared to resign from the SNP first as if your approach leaks you will have to anyway. I see no reason why you continue to be a member of a party that clearly doesn’t want you and will continue to frustrate your attempts to gain elected office.

    Stop banging your head against that brick wall. Find a way around or over it.

  • Ruth

    This is a lesson that the Establishment wants to show every potential whistleblower. They are so steeped in corruption that very strong measures have to be taken against those who don’t tow the line. They can use almost any institution/government agency/judge/defence lawyer/politician etc to achieve their aim, which could be to make a whistleblower’s life miserable or actually murder (Gareth Williams)or set somebody for murder as possibly in possibly Wang Yam’s case. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/22/national-security-fair-trial-wang-yam-european-court-human-rights

    You have to develop you own life and not apply for positions that they won’t let you have.

  • annony

    “It is a job for which I undoubtedly meet all the published requirements”

    Yes, the trouble is you might be too effective Craig.
    You have demonstrated that you care passionately about this subject. You have a large blog following, your newsworthy.
    Best to get in a ‘fake’ who is more of a ‘team player’ when it matters.

  • fwl

    Craig obviously suffered a serious detriment, but nothing comparable to what he would have suffered if he had been a diplomat of some of other countries.

  • Habbabkuk (defend reason, combat cant)

    “I suppose I was naïve to imagine that the hospitality and exclusion shown to whistleblowers in Whitehall would not be mirrored in Holyrood.”

    ___________________

    Should not that be “..hostility and exclusion…” ?

  • Habbabkuk (defend reason, combat cant)

    It could be both, I suppose. But “hospitality” needs thinking three times.

  • Glenn

    Craig, the previous comments convey my own sentiments regarding your rejection, you are a remarkable, morally correct man with very strong convictions. Therefore you must not give up the fight against the venal cabal in London and their hold over the rest of the United Kingdom. Their evil treachery is boundless and is pushing the world towards armageddon:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/15/putin-gives-kerry-a-chance-to-pull-back-from-the-brink/

    You are an inspiration to those of us who are aware of the direction the world is heading.

  • giyane

    Craig

    I don’t have words to express my admiration of your stand against torture. the establishment is living in Narnia or some other dream world where torture is normalised and necessary. When you experience despair do you ever remember the tortured and the level of despair they must feel. because if you did, it would surely make you realise that your stand was worthwhile.

    You are in the real world, experiencing rejection. The establishment is in the rejected (by God at least) world and experiencing satisfaction. God tests whom he loves and leaves the complacent to their soft armchair world. you are in the company of the dispossessed of Syria and Palestine. If you knew the gospels you could remember Jesus pbuh beautitudesd: blessed be the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.

    It’s the right place to be. Make your roots in this place. Many are called but few are chosen. The companions of the prophet SAW used to fear when they became comfortable that God would deprive them of their afterlife reward if they took it on this earth.
    Muslims are happy to be miskeen/poor rejected because the know that God is with the patient.

    Indeed they are in total loss, except those who call to truth , and call to ( the ensuing ) patience (that will be required for truth-speaking.

    carry on counting your blessings and try to change down a gear. Have trust in God and knock on His door . He definitely answers any who sincerely ask for His assistance. Guaranteed..

  • Frazer

    Bolloks to the lot of them Craig. You are better than all those lying scumbags and idiots grovelling to the establishment political line.

  • fred

    “It is becoming clear that all western politicians have one master. The SNP are no different.”

    Yes, all politicians have one master, the people.

    I was active on the internet back near the start of the century and arguing in the forums against torture, I was very much in a minority. Time and again I received the same argument, what if a terrorist had planted a bomb and if the authorities didn’t find out where hundreds would be killed? I would say that after TV programs like 24 the vast majority would have said under some circumstances torture would be permissible and I think it has always been so.

    We have an election next year and the SNP’s only concern is buying votes whatever the cost.

  • glenn_uk

    While reading this, I got the impression that you’d gone up against the Establishment, not just the FCO, and it has a very long reach. (In)Justice has not only to be done, but seen to be done, after all. Clearly, they’re after some drone, who’ll only look concern themselves with the human rights of virtuous victims. Non-worthy victims are of no interest.

  • fwl

    Craig did not encounter FCO complicity in torture earlier in his long career which suggests to me that FCO complicity was by no means as pervasive as some on here would like us to believe.

    I begin to understand why the establishment might wish to keep a lid on particular instances and that is because not everyone carefully considers the facts of a particular complaint. There are many who revel in a disclosure and seek to whip up hysteria. Isn’t that trolling?

  • giyane

    When Shaker Aamer said that anyone whose anger leads them to want to attack people in this country had better get out quick, because Islam does not permit the killing of innocent civilians, I shouted out Allahu Akbar 3 times, not the dubbed BBC takbirs from their mercenaries in Syria.

    By rejecting your whistleblowing and blocking your future they have confirmed their love of human torture. you should be happy that they have underlined and underscored their totsl commitmernt to this evil path.

  • bringiton

    Craig,
    Alex Salmond was rejected at one time by the SNP establishment as being too radical.
    Perhaps you are a bit ahead of the times.
    The SNP have to appear as a “safe” pair of hands with a largely conservative electorate and perhaps that has something to do with their stance.
    You are a great ambassador for human rights and I hope you continue to expose abuses and short comings where necessary.
    Keep the faith.

  • Vronsky

    Sadly no surprise but as others have pointed out, rejection from those quarters is an endorsement of your worth as a person.

    The SNP may be much closer to the axis of corrupt power than many imagine – their steadfast refusal to hold an enquiry into the conviction of Megrahi for the Lockerbie bombing is deeply suspicious. The SNP had no known complicity in his conviction and so had much to gain if Labour were shown to be in the pocket of the CIA.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Someone posted up a video of the expulsion of a representative(kelly/labour) from the chamber.
    I am not taking sides here because I was actually embarrassed that this exchange was going on in the uppermost forum/debating chamber of Scotland-a political entity of some kind, with more than 5 million people.
    That two people-one an ‘elected’ representative and the other the chosen convenor of the chamber, both significant positions, should behave like petulant, nit-picking squabbling schoolchildren was shaming. It was unworthy even of some of what passes for debate in some local council chambers ( and I have seen some corkers in my time).

    One must accept that lying has become the accepted norm in the circles in which someone like Jack Straw moves. He is trading in that ‘excusably dishonesty zone’, which is muddied always with the concept of ‘national interests’.

    A sideways take on the reaction to the rejection: I am not surprised that you were rejected because these positions are nearly always filed by some kind of makeweight,who have a reliable history of unsullied ascent through the ranks of quasi-public offices. I suspect this is a position where the incumbent is required talk to power without
    troubling them with scruples, to adopt a ‘theoretical position’ or tone for the examination of human rights. It is semi-administrative, and I guess, quite schmoozy and lubricious and ultimately a position that exists to show a face towards human rights.
    Do you really think you were cut out for that kind of position?
    I guess you might also take heart from the fact that we are approaching the nadir of the year, the midwinter solstice when our energies and optimism are at their lowest point and when most of us retreat into the comforts of family and food.

  • glenn_uk

    Fred: “Yes, all politicians have one master, the people.

    Not sure I agree, Fred. Isn’t the Establishment their master? The people will be led by the Establishment, so the latter needs to be kept happy as an absolute priority. Fully agree with your comments on attitudes to torture. Again, the Establishment decided it was OK now, and the people – as always – are largely swept along into acquiescence, if not full approval.

  • fwl

    I can understand an establishment mindset that says lets investigate an allegation of our complicity in torture and punish the wrongdoer (not the whistle blower) but lets do it in Latin because if we are complicit we must know, deal with it but limit awareness to those who have also spent time learning Latin and who might be trusted not to become hysterical.

    Because although unfair and elitist that is preferable to a New Labour establishment, which preaches transparency but then manipulates the message with an eye not to ensure justice in a particular case, but to control the spin and the popular public perception. I count Cameron as New Labour.

    Maybe both approaches are similar. They both stifle the truth, but the nuanced difference in the former is at best to get at the mischief (torture) as opposed to a weak acceptance that these things happen but best to turn a blind eye and cover up.

    In short, my conclusion is that if your going to be in the establishment you need back bone, like defence counsel whose duty is to fearlessly defend.

    Craig has back bone and I vote he be invited to rejoin the establishment and not encouraged to join some opposition.

    Unfortunately my vote doesn’t count.

  • Colin

    Craig, you are far too valuable to the world where you are, on the outside, and at least for now, free to tell truth to power, just losing this blog would be seriously bad news.
    As you’ve discovered, again, the establishment is extremely thin skinned, despite all their power and influence. It’s almost as if they have a VERY SMALL part of their consciousness which knows they are committing all manner of shameful wrongs, and they REALLY can’t bear to be reminded of that fact.
    As Anonymous say, “Karma is a bitch”, and Jack Straw, along with many of his ilk, will face a judgement with real consequences for their futures. Sadly, none of us will be allowed to watch.

  • Ishmael

    ALL significant jobs (and as many insignificant as they can effect) Are given to those who are obedient to central authority.

    How this is not obvious to you….

  • william

    stick to your guns and bear your cross craig…and carry on down the road less travelled – there are people right behind you in case you didnt know

  • Graham Harris Graham

    If its any comfort Craig, I blew the whistle during a previous career when I presented testimony to a panel of US Senators on Capitol Hill in the case of 14 deaths caused by an easily preventable explosion in a sugar refinery in Georgia in 2008.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Georgia_sugar_refinery_explosion

    The company hired the largest legal firm in the USA and spent tens of million of dollars covering their arse & about $2 million just trying to rubbish my name.

    Imperial Sugar’s board was staffed by directors from illustrious brands such as Sarah Lee Corporation & Harley Davidson. None of them had any intention of accepting responsibility or blame so they focused on the working class guy from Glasgow (me) who laughably joined the company only 10 weeks before the explosion.

    I used the slow but mighty US Justice system and the same lawyer who represented Sherron Watkins who blew the whistle in 2001 during the Enron Corporation energy fraud scandal.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherron_Watkins

    For a long while, I checked under the car every day for explosives & I stashed a 38 Smith & Wesson Revolver under the front seat just in case someone decided that I needed to go away.

    So we sued the bastards & forced them to reach an out of court settlement. Ye see, I don’t take shite from anyone, especially from some fat cat executive with mental problems or some egotistical attorney who wears a $2,000 suit but no socks.

    But my career in the USA was over because my name was tarnished by a compliant media especially in Georgia. And I experienced the pressure from at least one US Senator whose political campaign was partly funded by these bastards.

    So I moved on & did something else when I returned to the auld country in 2009. Yet I still know a lot about whistleblowing & how to take on wealthy vested interests even when the odds are stacked in favour of the big guys.

    So don’t give up on career crony Jack Straw or the British Establishment. So what if that rag The National doesn’t want to publish your story. Fuck them. They’re just a side show to help pay for Magnus Gardham’s frenzied wanking at The (SNP Bad) Herald.

    Keep publishing here & do whatever it takes to get other’s to publish it online too. And if it’s money you need, put up a bloody PayPal button. You might be surprised how much we. the people value your wisdom.

  • Beth

    Do you think the SNP realise how many of us are only committed to supporting them until we gain Independence ?
    After reading this I won’t be buying the National any more. Very disappointed.

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