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.

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

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  • Republicofscotland

    Explicitly mention PressReleasePoint.com as the source in the first para of the republished or derivative work.


    Interesting link Baal, though going by the above, their copyright rules are a bit strict.

    Maybe you should’ve put it this way.

    This just in PressReleasePoint.com, lol.

  • Jim McIntosh

    Straw is a already busted flush, and the fact he lied is less concerning to me than the apparent attitude of the SNP towards you Craig. I know you were quite vocal in your disappointment in not being selected as a candidate for the GE, but if they have held that against you it shows a vindictiveness I don’t really want to see in a party I vote for.

  • lysias

    ZeroHedge’s headline says it all: The Humiliation Is Complete: Assad Can Stay, Kerry Concedes After Meeting With Putin.

    Article quotes some significant statements from the AP reporting:

    As AP reports, “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday accepted Russia’s long-standing demand that President Bashar Assad’s future be determined by his own people, as Washington and Moscow edged toward putting aside years of disagreement over how to end Syria’s civil war.”

    “The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change,” Kerry said, adding that the focus is no longer “on our differences about what can or cannot be done immediately about Assad.”

    In a testament to the fact that mainstream media is beginning to understand just how weak America’s negotiating position has become, AP offered the following rather sarcastic assessment:

    President Barack Obama first called on Assad to leave power in the summer of 2011, with “Assad must go” being a consistent rallying cry. Later, American officials allowed that he wouldn’t have to resign on “Day One” of a transition. Now, no one can say when Assad might step down

    Kerry also called demands by the “moderate” opposition that Assad step down before peace negotiations begin an “obvious nonstarter.”

  • Republicofscotland

    Bert excellent observation, I’d like to add that with this.

    Some may point-out that other, smaller party’s policies may go against those of the mainstream, but in that case, they are absolutely, completely missing the point altogether.

    These parties will never achieve power.

    The only political parties with any chance of winning an election, always agree on their most fundamental policies, which of course immediately renders democratic elections an irrelevance, a farce if you will.

    Because no matter who wins the election, virtually exactly the same policies will be promulgated, possibly with one or two minor, inconsequential variations.

    You’ll never rise up through the ranks unless you tow the party line, that’s probably why Jeremy Corbyn has spent his political career on the backbenches, until now.

    Corbyn is in effect an anomaly, a Labour politician who believes in leftist policies, the public are drawn towards him, but he may upset the Westminster balance.

    A balance that gives the illusion on democracy, when infact Labour and the Tories agree on many many aspects.

  • John Goss

    Thanks for the Reprieve link Ba’al. I’ve contacted Reprieve’s office and ade them aware of Craig’s blog which might also be of interest to their case.

  • Tony M

    Ba’al’s bad cat purrs: “Evidence that people were tortured, is evidence derived from torture and thus inadmissable in proving torture!”.

    It could logically go on to mewl: “The fact that a criminal is caught red-handed should not be allowed to prejudice their case!”

    IANAL furred or otherwise, yet article 15 above very explicitly says such evidence can of course be used against persons accused of torture, thankfully. Complicity is comparable, equal to, an accessory to before and after, and HMG & Co. and its cringing underling Straw knew the ‘product’, passing into and through their hands, was tainted with fresh blood.

    Banged to rights, why are he and boss Blair still at large, if so?

  • fred

    “Let me put it this way Fred, with regards to Labour and the Tories at Westminster, all the other parties are unlikely to produce a British Prime Minister, in the near future.”

    John Swinney must think they’re doing a good job, he’s not going to use his new powers to increase income tax and mitigate austerity measures.

    Or could it be it’s because it’s an election year.

  • jake

    Maybe the job was already filled, in all but name, before it was ever advertised. Happens a lot and the advert is just for show and “compliance” purposes. There’s always some waiting in the wings, “preferred candidate” , buggins turn, or a word in the ear and encouraged to apply. Of’times an agency is used to advertise and sift; it confuses the paper-trail and keeps the internal paperwork looking neat and above-board. Short-leets can be stuffed with numpties just to make the preferred candidate look good in comparison…a particularly handy ploy if some on the selection panel have meritocratic tendencies and can’t be relied upon to choose the “right” candidate. On the other hand, maybe it was just plain ol’ defensive recruitment.

  • Tony_Opmoc

    Jack Straw was elected President of The National Union of Students when I was at University. I did not vote for him….yet I would have voted for Harold Wilson. I had seen Harold Wilson on a fruit box in Oldham outdoor market during the General Election Campaign of 1964.

    Jack Straw is personally responsible for completely turning me off anything to do with Politics..until after I retired 11 years ago..and eventually read Craig Murray’s book “Murder in Samarkand” …and then I “seriously” disliked Jack Straw…though I thought Craig Murray was a bit of a hero…..

    I am not sure this is a direct reaction to Jack Straw, or some kind of subconscious human thing among Traditional English Country People.

    The Burning of the Straw Jack is a Very Old Traditional English Harvest Festival.

    Guess what happens to this…



  • Republicofscotland

    “John Swinney must think they’re doing a good job, he’s not going to use his new powers to increase income tax and mitigate austerity measures.

    Or could it be it’s because it’s an election year.”


    Watch the video Fred, Swinnney will explain why he can’t mitigate poverty.

    Come think of it Fred, which government/country has mitigated poverty, certainly not Westminster, who’ve probably killed many people through sanctions, in recent years. Thatcher dare I say it only killed industries and jobs.


  • fred

    “Blimey my link I posted above re Jack Straw gave an exception – “untrusted link” – sorry about that..I thought it was a legit link…I don’t think there is anything wrong with it…maybe “The Force” has had it “Proscribed”. I have no idea why..but I do normally test these things.”

    It’s a bug in the software that runs this blog, sometimes it puts an “s” on the end of “http” that shouldn’t be there. Delete the “s” and the page will work.

  • Pete Barton

    The reason Snp will not touch you at present is that their mindset involves a real defensiveness as enemies of the (new) state are legion.

    Ally that to their strong desire for acceptance at not just Scottish voter level but UK and International level.

    Does the end justify the means, i.e. we can only fight so many skirmishes on the way?

    That you are still on the outside tells you quietly what you need to know.

    I consider you a most invaluable outrider on our journey, and could not remain as such should you tak the shillin.

    An auld story of perseverance involves a spider and a man observant.

  • John Goss

    This is another blatant example of dictatorship and further war-crimes this time by Cameron’s government with Michael Fallon unprepared to say whether our drone-strike policy was the same as that of the US. Thanks to Reprieve again. All decent people should support Reprieve if it is the only charity they do support.


    Harriet Harman knows what the answer is because she has been in government. Our policy is not the same, not until we get our orders from the US. Then it’s the same.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Craig, just to re-iterate what others have said. You are a good man. Millions of people do respect the tremendous sacrifice you made. It is galling for you – and you are correct that whistleblowers, especially wrt such major matters as those which concerned you – routinely get blacklisted in the manner you have suggested. Even tradesmen in the construction industry get blacklisted in an organised and corporate conspiratorial manner – this has been proven in court. But in political/diplomatic/public sector circles, as we know, these matters are more subtly deployed. There is no paper trail, there is just a closing of ranks and whispered voices at cocktail parties.

    It surely is of little material sustenance to you, or those on whose behalf you strive, to know that (to paraphrase that over-used yet still poignant quote, “We are back, and we are millions”. Your work matters. You matter. That is why we all are here, with you. You are a bright light in the midst of darkness.

  • Republicofscotland

    Ishmael I agree with some of your points, still we’d be in the dark about certain events, if Craig hadn’t informed us about them, it’s a trade off I can live with.

  • Ishmael


    Guess it’s simply a positioning issue for me. I’v shared and would share some of his work again. But the worship goes a little too far for me. A lot in fact.

    He’s surely gone through some stuff, as many people do. But the capacity for good human nature is nothing special.

  • Nasir Ali

    I am a regular reader of this blog and some of the comments but only rarely comment myself.
    I was excited at the time of referendum and would have been very happy if the yes vote had won. But even at that time I did not trust the SNP. My hope was that once independence was achieved we will see something like the Corbyn phenomenon in Scotland as I have always believed that Scottish Labour voters were much more on the left than the English.
    My view is that SNP is just as much neo-con as New Labour. This view has been strengthened with the current leader.
    So, essentially, our only hope is Jeremy Corbyn; and I suspect eventually you will move away from SNP to Labour if Corbyn wins the fight against the Establishment and the MSM.

  • Republicofscotland

    Washington is pressuring Kiev not to implement the Minsk agreements designed to end the conflict between the puppet government in Kiev and the break away Russian republics.

    Washington refuses to cooperate with Russia in the war against ISIS. Washington continues to blame Russia for the destruction of MH-17, while preventing an honest investigation of the attack on the Malaysian airliner.

    Washington continues to force its European vassals to impose sanctions on Russia based on the false claim that the conflict in Ukraine was caused by a Russian invasion of Ukraine, not by Washington’s coup in overthrowing a democratically elected government and installing a puppet answering to Washington.

    Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), allegedly a neutral, non-political world organisation, has been suborned into the fight against Russia. Under Washington’s pressure, the IMF has abandoned its policy of refusing to lend to debtors who are in arrears in their loan payments to creditors.

    In the case of Ukraine’s debt to Russia, this decision removes the enforcement mechanism that prevents countries (such as Greece) from defaulting on their debts.

    The IMF has announced that it will lend to Ukraine in order to pay the Ukraine’s Western creditors despite the fact that Ukraine has renounced repayment of loans from Russia.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Guess it’s simply a positioning issue for me. I’v shared and would share some of his work again. But the worship goes a little too far for me. A lot in fact.”


    Ishmael, I can’t say I’ve read any “worshipping” of Craig, I have however seen a few comments expressing admiration. I suppose anyone who goes up against the system, deserves a wee bit of that, don’t you think.

  • Ishmael

    “goes up against the system”

    Seems a very easy phrase to say. But it’s meaning is complex and contested.

    I know people who literally sacrifice most there whole life for others, don’t take holiday’s or any of that nonsense…People who will never be ‘known’ on the modern sense.

    Guess many who work in the NHS have similar lives.

  • John Goss

    Ishmael, if it’s any consolation I just had one deleted too, and it was on topic, but perhaps a little abstruse. Also I couldn’t get it to centre so not disappointed.

  • RobG

    Hold on to your hats, folks…


    They stopped quantitative easing at the end of 2014; ie, they stopped producing imaginary money to keep the corpse of an economic system alive, an economic system that had been completely trashed by greed, stupidity and corruption.

    I won’t go into a rant about this, but will just say that I read a good analogy today (I can’t now remember where): a snow plough clears the road by pushing the snow off to the side of the road. QE is like a plough that does not push the snow off to the side of the road, instead it just keeps pushing it ahead of its path, until eventually the mountain of snow in front of the plough is so huge that the plough can proceed no further.

    But don’t worry, we’ve got a jolly war to distract us all.

  • Tony M

    Tragic that dithering Labour fodder can’t recognise what’s staring them in the face.

    With apologies to Nasir Ali (7:23pm) above and a cast of deluded millions before: “So, essentially, our only hope is Jim Callaghan/Michael Foot/Neil Kinnock/John Smith/Tony Blair/Gordon Brown/Ed Milliband/Jeremy Corbyn; and I suspect eventually you will move away from SNP to Labour if Jim Callaghan/Michael Foot/Neil Kinnock/John Smith/Tony Blair/Gordon Brown/Ed Milliband/Jeremy Corbyn wins the fight against the Establishment and the MSM.”

    Jeremy Corbyn cannot shake his London metropolitan and unionist mindset, Independence remains outside his comprehension, he’s wedded to a broken, despised rejected UK model, limiting his thinking down unacceptable dead ends on every issue. He has already disqualified himself from taking Scotland’s resolve seriously, and by that of being taken seriously here.

    If he is to be the first Prime Minister of a post-union Independent England, and can adjust to that necessary change with dignity and good grace, I think he’ll make a fine and good reforming one.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Or the dead in Iraq..”


    Ishmael, I hardly think you can blame the dead in Iraq on the mods deletion of your comment.

    As for the dead in Iraq as you put it, the suspects are well known, vent your anger in their direction.

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