UK Torture Secrets Will Remain Secret 134

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has agreed that I shall be able to review Top Secret and other classified documents which contain the evidence of UK complicity in torture and my attempts to stop it, before giving evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. But under conditions which make plain the determination that the dirtiest of secrets will remain firmly shut away. Given that parliament actually defers to the FCO over what can and cannot be done, the entire pointlessness of the Intelligence and Security Committee Inquiry is starkly revealed.

Gareth Peirce as my counsel is not to be allowed in to any of my evidence where anything secret is being discussed – which is 100% of it. I think that really says everything about the “Inquiry” that you need to know.

Here is the communication from the FCO:

FCO policy is that access to documents by former officials when giving evidence to a Committee is subject to the discretion of the Director/ Minister. The documents in question include highly classified material, and Mr Murray does not currently hold any security clearance. However, as he is a former FCO employee who has already seen the specified documents, and as these documents have been shared with the ISC for its Inquiry, we are content to grant him access to these documents for the purposes of giving evidence to the ISC Detainee Inquiry. In line with FCO policy on information security, we must impose the following terms of access:

(a) Mr Murray will be allowed to view hard copies of the documents in the FCO for the purposes of preparing evidence. We will arrange a mutually convenient date and time for him to view the documents.
(b) While viewing the documents, Mr Murray will not have access to any electronic devices- in line with FCO policy for current staff- and will be accompanied by a member of the FCO Estates and Security Directorate.
(c) Once he is finished, Mr Murray will be asked to place any notes he has taken in a sealed envelope and to sign the seal. FCO officials will pass this envelope to the ISC, who will make it available to Mr Murray at his oral evidence session. The envelope will be kept in secure facilities in line with the FCO’s policy on handling classified material. The envelope will not be opened by anyone other than Mr Murray.
(d) When Mr Murray has completed his oral evidence, these notes will be destroyed.
(e) Mr Murray’s lawyer will not be permitted to see any classified documents or be present when classified evidence is being discussed, as she holds no security clearance.

This is consistent with the approach we have taken in similar cases where former officials have had to give evidence based on classified material. These terms are in line with standard FCO policy and ensure that we are able to continue cooperating fully with the ISC Detainee Inquiry.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

134 thoughts on “UK Torture Secrets Will Remain Secret

1 2
  • Theresa's cilice

    So they only want yer name also on the tombstone burying the whole saga. Whats the hourly rate for your time?

    • MJ

      “I shall be able to review Top Secret and other classified documents”

      Sounds like he’s going.

    • craig Post author

      I am still going. If I can at least make some very well-padded arses shift uncomfortably in their chairs, I shall enjoy that. And historians will eventually get access to my evidence, which is important.
      Plus I do have a very good memory.

      • Paul Barbara

        Bravo! Those silly-born a**holes don’t know what they have unintentionally unleashed.

        • Blair paterson

          Let’s be honest here we all know the establishment is rotten to the core but short of a revolution what can we do about it ? The media most of the, are are telling us things that they know are lies and they are telling them with a smile on their faces as they say the most enslaved are those who think they are free that’s us?

  • Ruth

    Don’t go. You’re being used to give the inquiry some semblance of balance. By going you’re endorsing secrecy and all that flows from it.

    • Habbabkuk

      Ruth is advocating something called “la politique du pire”.

      And afterwards – if you don’t go – she will cite the very absence she is advocating as evidence that the enquiry was unbalanced.

      Ignore her.

      • Ruth

        ‘And afterwards – if you don’t go – she will cite the very absence she is advocating as evidence that the enquiry was unbalanced’

        On what facts do you base this statement?.

        • Alcyone

          “Don’t go. You’re being used to give the inquiry some semblance of balance.”

          On what facts do you base this statement?
          And, what’s more, do you have any basis to question Craig’s judgment? Do you have any idea how this decision *by Craig* is such a personal one? I assert you show disrespect to the heavy personal price that Craig has paid from his having blown the whistle as he did. Please tell us, just who you are to come along and repeatedly give this utterly silly advice as if this were some game being played by children.

          • Habbabkuk



            In reply to “Ruth” I would say : on the basis of your commenting history. Commenters like you are all too transparent.

    • Paul Barbara

      Not at all. To not attend, would suit their purposes. ‘I’m taking my ball home!’.

    • Oliver Williams

      Maybe there should be a seal on both ends of the envelope 🙂
      If I could be there when the envelope is sealed, I think I’d put candle wax just about everywhere . . .
      Just because . . .

  • Habbabkuk

    What is so unreasonable about the FCO’s five conditions?

    Conditions a) to d) are both reasonable and logical. They are to guard against the possibility that CM moght make copies available to people to whom the access facility has not been granted.

    Condition e) is likewise reasonable and logical. It is CM who is being granted the equivalent of “Top Secret” clearance so that he can testify before the Committee. As his legal representative is not the person who will be doing the testifying, why should she be given access?

    To be noted that CM is apparently being treated in the same way as anyone else similarly testifying (last para of FCP note).

    In the light of the above points, the statement “..conditions which make plain the determination that the dirtiest of secrets will remain firmly shut away….” is nonsense.

    Why this second thread? Is it because the fear expressed in the first one (ie, CM would not be given access) turned out to be completely wrong but CM is determined to “prove” what he sees as the falsity of the entire Committee process come what may on the basis of the flimsiest of “evidence”?

    • Alcyone

      I have a lot of sympathy for what you are saying, Habby. I think Craig needs to explain in crystal clear terms why he believes that the eventual report by the Committee will be kept “secret”. Just alluding to a closed-door inquiry is, I am afraid not good enough.

      If this is how he portrays it, it is little wonder that the deeply cynical here, of which there are MANY, present examples like Ruth and Nevermind (Ba’al still to appear), appear like a Band of Neurotics.

      Is that what you want Craig?

      NB I had predicted that you would Craig get ‘limited access’, and I am impressed with the way the FCO has fine-tuned the process; at least they worked to a viable solution. My nuance of the word ‘limited’ had a purpose.

    • Why be ordinary?

      Indeed. Craig is being heard as a witness not as a suspect. Witnesses don’t normally need legal representation

  • nevermind

    And you are still going to attend? Clearly you are not allowed a counsel which is granted to others.

    DONT GO and publish the whole shambles for what it is, a waste of taxpayers money and a collusion by the establishment to protect bad lying politicians who have given/signed/had knowledge of orders to torture, allegedly.

    • MJ

      I think it’s better that he goes, so he can be a witness to the process. He might tell us what it was like. That would be nice.

      • Habbabkuk

        Nevermind and MJ

        @ Nevermind

        Your comment is otiose;

        1/. The FCO communication (last para) makes it clear that Craig is being treated in the same way – no better and no worse – as anyone else in similar circumstances. That presumably applies also to what his counsel is allowed to see.

        2/. It is not a question of Craig “publishing the whole shambles” whatever that is supposed to mean. He will only hear himself and the questions he is asked. As far as the former is concerned, Craig has, I imagine, already “published” both in his book and on this blog. It will be entirely up to him to decide – independently of your kind advice – whether he wants to re-“publish” his already public evidence and the questions he is asked.

        @ MJ

        Over and above what I said to Nevermind, Craig could certainly give us the flavour of his appearance and his general impressions: eg, the tone of the questioning, did the Committee seem hostile or not, etc.

    • Alan

      “Clearly you are not allowed a counsel which is granted to others.”

      Because he is just a witness, not an accused or a defendant!

  • RobG

    The article I link to is written by Peter Gill, an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool who’s been studying this stuff for years.

    I can’t comprehend how you fail to notice that on this board I often have an awful lot to say about the spooks. Would you like me to go into one?

    • RobG

      That was in reply to Alcyone’s comment, which could be perceived as being somewhat ad hominem. The comment has now been removed.

        • Alcyone

          Yes, nothing except for freedom of speech and expression. What a bunch of Losers Craig has ‘following’ him. Of course there are a few sane ones, but 23 comments deep, other than Habby there is only MJ and perhaps nuts, if I could only understand his point. It’s quite telling what a Cuckoo’s Nest this place is becoming if it isn’t already so. There is definitely a streak of neuroticism in the moderation.

          • Habbabkuk

            Old Mark also made made many well though-out, factually-based and generally excellent on the last few threads.

            I hope we shall be reading him more often in the future.

          • glenn

            Old Mark also made made many well though-out, factually-based and generally excellent on the last few threads.

            Indeed, and I don’t recall him complaining about having posts deleted. I wonder if these facts are related?

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Alcyone October 15, 2016 at 16:33
            Yep, split while the going is, not so much good, but better than it will be if you persist. !Auf Wiedersehen!
            !A Luta Continua!

          • Alcyone

            Barbara, I don’t speak any German or Spanish, but it’s your English that I’m struggling with!

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Alcyone October 15, 2016 at 21:22
            ‘Barbara, I don’t speak any German or Spanish, but it’s your English that I’m struggling with!’

            It’s Portuguese, but very close to the Spanish.

          • Alan

            “It’s quite telling what a Cuckoo’s Nest this place is becoming if it isn’t already so”

            It’s just a reflection of society at large, with “killer clowns” popping up everywhere, and Bobo the Clown heading the Foreign Office.

            It’s clowns all the way down.

    • Habbabkuk


      You may say a lot about the “spooks” as you call them, but my impression is that you know rather little about the security services or their works.

      In any event, your mostly uninformed comments appear to be based on the inherently contradictory notion that the secret services should not be secret. Given that the secret services are (by definition) and must be (as a matter of operational rationale) secret, your position implies that there should not be any secret service(s) at all.

      Could you explain to readers exactly what the benefits to the nation would be if there were no secret service(s)?

      Concretely now, Rob – no lazy sloganising, no flights of fancy, no flourishes!

      • RobG

        Habba, I’m going to be measured here.

        Before I address your question I should point out that it was only in the 1980s that the security services came under any kind of Parliamentary control at all (and that was only MI5); this, in what we are told is a ‘modern democracy’.

        The leaks by Snowden and others have shown that the UK security services are totally in bed with foreign powers. That, by any definition, is high treason. The security services are carrying out acts that are in contravention of all UK law (example: ).

        SIS/Mi6 have been directly involved in training and arming Islamist militants (ISIS et al) in Iraq, Libya and Syria ( ).

        I won’t go on, so instead your question: “Could you explain to readers exactly what the benefits to the nation would be if there were no secret service(s)?”

        Do I really need to answer that?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Habbabkuk ‘October 15, 2016 at 19:54
        Ah, but it is not principally about an issue of ‘Secrecy’ but of ‘Accountability’; where ‘Secrecy’/’National Security’ is clearly being used to cover up blatant illegality, up to and including ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ ( ).
        JFK was going to break up the CIA, ‘scatter it’s agents to the four winds’, and replace it with an ACCOUNTABLE ‘Security Service’. Likewise, he was going to ‘retire’ the widely hated and despised J. Edgar Hoover.
        They were of course ‘Cui bono?’ benefiters of (and heavily involved in) his assassination (as were many others, but that’s a long story…..).

  • bevin

    No rationale is given for these curiously convoluted procedures. The conformist mind-see Habba above- will assume that they are adopted in order to protect the public. The rest of us understand that, in reality, they are designed to obscure the actions of authority from the view of the public for which it claims to act.
    Time and time again government secrecy has been shown to be invoked merely to protect the government and its agents from being brought to account for criminal activity.
    Torture is a crime. Those involved in its practise and in facilitating its practitioners are accessories to the crime.
    There can be no public interest in concealing criminal actions-on the contrary the public’s interest is to insist that criminals be brought to justice.
    To encourage or even to stay silent in the face of these outrageous acts is to subvert the public interest. To speak out for the law is the duty of all good citizens.
    Craig’s career has been exemplary in his refusal to put his own interests above those of his country and humanity.
    In the rules imposed on him by the Establishment can be seen the underlying reason why the United Kingdom needs to be broken up into parts in which the introduction of democratic government is feasible.

    • Old Mark

      No rationale is given for these curiously convoluted procedures.

      Bevin- I agree with your comment on this point; however it seems that the adoption of such ‘convoluted prodcedures’ isn’t just a curiously British trait- the open, transparent, freedom loving EU also adopts such procedures, and applies them not only to former ambassadors, but serving members of the European Parliament, who one would think are entitled under ‘parliamentary privilege’ to more consideration-

    • Habbabkuk

      “..these curiously convoluted procedures. The conformist mind-see Habba above- will assume that they are adopted in order to protect the public.”

      Do not presume to say what I assume, Bevs.

      In the case under discussion, the procedures are there in the first place to protect highly classified information.

      What is the point of classifying information and then not protecting it?

      Of course you yourself might claim that there is no need to classify anything.

      Is that your position?

      • Paul Barbara

        But surely, if exposure has the effect of embarrassing the PTB, they will use it to cover up their (‘atrocities’) ‘mistakes’?
        There is ample+ evidence that that is precisely what is involved; want a few samples?

      • Alan

        “Of course you yourself might claim that there is no need to classify anything.”

        Well there were politicians who once spoke of open government, but as you yourself pointed out at the start of this particular thread, you just can’t trust a politician.

  • Nuts/vice

    As a human rights defender upholding Article 7, you’ve now been forced to defend Article 19. The government’s contortions to maintain impunity need to be tested against the standards of General Comment 34:

    It would be a mistake to accept the government’s dictates without strategic legal and policy guidance from the Scottish Human Rights Commission on state secrets concerning serious crimes of concern to the international community. The government’s restrictions on information freedom directly undermine the provisions, aims, and objectives of the ICCPR and other commitments including the Convention Against Torture.

    Britain is trying to escape the ECHR but it can’t wriggle out of its commitment to the ICCPR or the peremptory norm against torture. The CCR could make a mighty stink over this.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    A. It is illegal in the UK to torture persons.
    B. But – politicians and politically related agents can and did contract out to overseas entities persons to be tortured.
    C. Then – a parliamentary committee realises that something must be wrong with doing business as at A and B above; but when that committee is having an inquiry into the goings-on the former official giving evidence can’t have his lawyer present nor is his lawyer permitted to read the papers to which the inquiry relates.
    Ah – got it – makes a lot of ‘intelligence community’ sense!
    The overarching legal excuse for this kind of approach ultimately and inevitably is one of ‘national security’.
    Even using tests of either ‘necessity’ and/or ‘proportionality’ the whole process is self-evidently farcical.
    In a court of law, when there is an allegation of a child being sexually assaulted and a person is prosecuted for same, the child’s name is not revealed and there are closed hearings to protect the child: fair – and the reasons for this approach are understood – to protect the child from the futher harm of being publicly identified. However, the defence lawyer is able to access the material related to the allegations raised. The process Murray is facing in the inquiry is the opposite of the foregoing example, because it is the public official(s) being protected for their engagement in criminal conduct.
    If indeed, some kind of ‘guarded secrecy’ – if I may use that phrase – becomes necessary, then why not simply use the process of redaction and let the documents be accessed by Murray and his lawyer?
    All said, it really does appear that certain agencies and powerful interests are above and beyond the law with nothing truly amounting to adequate oversight and/or accountability being operated in the governmental system.

    • Old Mark

      If indeed, some kind of ‘guarded secrecy’ – if I may use that phrase – becomes necessary, then why not simply use the process of redaction and let the documents be accessed by Murray and his lawyer?

      A very pertinent point Mr Barnett.

      I get the impression that the Committee is restricting Craig’s access to some of the documentary evidence he would like to cite so that they can more effectively ‘ambush’ him under cross examination, and make him look foolish. In such a scenario Craig can thereafter be dismissed as an ‘unreliable’ or ‘not credible’ witness.

      Another reason I’ve formed such as impression is that parliamentary committees can simply and high handedly just refuse to accept testimony from parties they don’t like the look of- indeed the Home Affairs Select Committee, in its just published report on antisemitism, flatly refused to hear any evidence from Baroness Chakrabharti, now the shadow Attorney General and previously the chair of the Labour party’s own investigation into the same subject. Her report did attract strong criticism in certain quarters, but I fail to see how that justifies the decision of the Home Affairs Select Committee to refuse her request to give evidence to it, and face subsequent cross examination-

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Posters should be aware that after the ISC reported on rendition in July 2007, GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd – a witness responsible for investigating it who was most disappointed with its findings, and was in the process of investigating it further – was found mysteriously dead on Mount Snowden in March 2008.

    Interesting that none of the background info I have seen on it even mentions it.

    It was just a question apparently of all those women he was shagging!

    • Paul Barbara

      I suggest you, and indeed everyone, should read ‘The Hit List’ and ‘Dead Wrong’ by Richard Belzer and David Wayne – it will really clear your head(s). Surprising what is covered up by ‘National Security’ (another one: but be prepared to be sick: ‘Access Denied: For Reasons of National Security’ by Cathy O’Brien and Mark Phillips)
      Oddly, I don’t expect any adverse comments to that from ‘the usual suspects’; wonder why?.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Right, the USA just drags out trials like that of al-Libi and Ahmed Abu Khattala, who apparently led the murder of Yale Senior Suzanne Jovin 18 years ago because of what she was claiming about a renewed airborne attack on the WTC in her senior thesis, in the hope they will die before any takes place because of their complicity in the 9/11 and the Benghazi attacks.

      One down, and one to go before September 2017 trial of Khattala.

    • Alan

      “Here in the U.S., we have such cleared lawyers.”

      I know a man in the US who is a complete imbecile yet somehow he gets to be a lawyer.

      An Engineer dies and goes to hell. He’s hot and miserable, so he decides to take action. The A/C has been busted for a long time, so he fixes it. Things cool down quickly.

      The moving walkway motor jammed, so he unjams it. People can get from place to place more easily.

      The TV was grainy and unclear, so he fixes the connection to the Satellite dish and now they get hundreds of high def channels.

      One day, God decides to look down on Hell to see how his grand design is working out and notices that everyone is happy and enjoying umbrella drinks. He asks the Devil what’s going on?

      The Devil replies, “Things are great down here since you sent us that engineer.”

      “What?? An engineer? I didn’t send you one of those, that must have been a mistake. Send him back up right this minute.”

      The Devil responds, “No way! We are going to keep our engineer. We like this guy.”

      God demands, “If you don’t send him to me immediately, I’ll sue!”

      The Devil laughs. “Where are YOU going to get a lawyer?”

  • Bobm

    In any other public context it would be possible, in principle, to challenge the “standard {FCO} policy”, seen here, on various grounds.
    I trust that you and GP will be looking at this, and at the other procedural points that you can put to Dominic Grieve.

    He was sacked by Cameron, as I apprehend, for being too independent-minded. His record, except in relation to the Kelly affair, seems to support that view. It is worth considering that he Might, Possibly, be different from his predecessors.

  • John Goss

    I would definitely go as a refresher concerning documents you wrote at the time. You could always have second thoughts later about attending the select committee since as nothing will end up in the public domain it is a fruitless waste of money. As others have said you will be giving credibility to secret hearings about issues we all should know about.

    • John Goss

      I would also advise caution on going to the committee and learning something even worse than what you already know about the torture that took place and not be able to speak about it afterwards. Because you probably would speak about it, and potentially end up in prison.

      There are two kinds of law. Julian Assange has been ostracised from society for a spurious alleged ‘rape’ where two possibly paid adult female agents set him up in a honey-trap. The words “Rape” and “Assange” were spread across the Zionist/neocon media from one corner of the globe to another.

      A former president of America, Bill Clinton, has been accused by Anonymous and Donald Trump of raping under-age girls (released 5 days ago and claims to have footage of one rape) and the mainstream media has ignored the allegations. Dual standards.

      Be careful then. Good people go to prison for telling the truth, Chelsea Manning, Mordechai Vanunu and others. There are new laws that can take away a person’s liberty without trial and habeas corpus is dead in its grave.

      • giyane

        Hi John
        Theresa May is just a wraith on an autocue hologram. Our politicians have no more life in them than the mummified cadavers of Sicily. The head of the chuch of England is a Satanist. USUKIS fight nihilist wars.

        Hey, I’m alive. Craig’s alive. Don’t let the zombies grind you down. Our imaginations will never fathom the evil encompassed by Western power. We get a glimpse from time to time when USUKIS rains phosphorus on Gaza.

        They want you to think that the Muslims all support USUKIS hegemony. Last weekj the BBC put out a tear-jerking description of a man who looks after orphans in Aleppo. Look what the savage Syrian government is doing with its evil barrel bombs!

        You are listening to the BBC, the world’s biggest propergander lie spinner. Can you hear the White City chorus of Allahu Akbars dubbed onto the tape in the background?

  • RobG

    Habba, I would imagine that this will please you…

    But look at the reader’s comments: people are no longer buying into the bullshit (much of which is pumped out by the UK security services), even on the Daily Mail.

    Likewise with this piece of cack propaganda from today’s Guardian…

    ‘How to sell World War Three to the public’ is no doubt a policy document somewhere in the blood soaked and excrement smeared cellars of the security services.

  • lwtc247

    Best wishes Craig.
    Please do consider by wise council ALL avenues that this opportunity is giving you, both before and after.

  • Sharp Ears

    Here’s the line up for Marr this morning. BBC1 9am

    The secretary of state for international development Priti Patel MP
    Liberal Democrat spokesman for exiting the EU Nick Clegg MP
    The first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MSP.

    Newspapers reviewed by
    Lucy Thomas, the former deputy director of Britain Stronger in Europe
    Toby Young of the Spectator

    • Alcyone

      I haven’t heard a single politician argue that the Europeans, especially individual companies already exporting to the UK, want tariff-free access to the UK.

      Are individual EU countries somehow going to gang-up against Britain? To what end? To punish the British people? How childish that would be. Am I missing something?

    • Habbabkuk

      Thank you very much for that information, Sharp Ears.

      I would in turn like to inform readers that the 10pm news this evening will be read by Cathy Klugston and that later on there will be the usual programme called The Week in Westminster.

  • ron

    Democracy and transparency at its British best – what is there to like about Britain????
    The plebs/commoners just keep on paying and the elites do exactly what they want – foul authoritarianism (at least)

    • Alan

      “what is there to like about Britain?”

      That’s so easy to answer. We get lots of rain. You try living somewhere it doesn’t and you’ll see what I mean.

    • MJ

      “what is there to like about Britain?”

      According to surveys of foreign visitors to this country the commonest comment is that it is “an odd little country”. Yes, Britain loves and reveres its eccentrics and we all aspire to be one. That’s a very likeable things about Britain in my opinion.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The authorities will do whatever they wish in any case. If you do not go, they will say that they offered you the opportunity to contribute and you did not cooperate.

    So better to go along and tell it like it is – for the historical record and to have your official say, as much as anything else. You can make it clear for the record that you do not agree with their decision to restrict your counsel’s access/participation.

    I agree with your decision, Craig.

  • giyane

    Today I feel proud once again to be a British citizen. I have always asked myself the question ‘ How could so many UK citizens have turned a blind eye to British crimes such as the Slave Trade, and ongoing Imperial criminality in every corner of the globe?

    Now, 2016, we have a chance to witness how. The truth is enforcedly suppressed in the most totalitarian way by the British State. Meanwhile the propaganda machine, the BBC, uses no available broadcasting opportunity to brainwash the citizens. This very morning on Eadio 4, on Sunday the religious affairs programme, which should be called Plumday, for it is run by one of the BBC’s chief Plums Edward Stourton,was having a chat about the head of the Russian Orthodox Church visiting the UK and meeting Queenie and Brainwash, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    Up pipes a shitty little female complaining about the visit because of ” Russian’s worst war crimes in the history of the universe” hyperbole. USUKIS have used committed and experienced terrorists in Syria to overthrow a disobedient client state, Syria. Does anybody in the world believe that the terrorists will achieve any better human rights capabilities than the horrible incumbent Assad. USUKIS will have completely destroyed another part of the global competition jigsaw, a part which has the resources to enable a Russia or a China to bring USUKIS to its economic knees.

    Truthseekers all, not including Habbabkuk who never pulls his punches against the Imperial oppressor, too busy sucking on the teats of Imperial power, we have nothing to be ashamed of about our dark and murderous history. The psychopaths who run our country have basically seen to it that all the evidence is routinely destroyed for their crimes , and that the propaganda machine is running smoothly to blame everyone else for our nation’s crimes.

  • Dave

    Good point by John Goss, they want you to attend to shut you up by discussing information under privilege and then saying its a criminal offence to talk about it outside.

    They did that with Charles Kennedy over the Iraq War. As a Privy Councillor he was invited to a “secret briefing” to look at the “WMD intelligence” and later said he was amazed at the “absence of intelligence” but didn’t say so at the time as the “rules” said he couldn’t!

    • John Goss

      With Dominic Grieve regarding an inquest into the state-killing of Dr David Kelly I suspect the reverse was true. They only showed him documents which would allow him to say words to the effect: “From the evidence I have seen . . .” and there was no inquest.

      Since Dr. Kelly’s death there has been a revision of the Coroners’ Act which would make what Tony Blair did in setting up the Hutton Inquiry legal today. These laws, including the laws providing for indefinite imprisonment without trial are in absolute need of reform. This is not the Britain I grew up in.

  • giyane

    A CEO gravy trainer asked me once why the British hate their government. They are the best government in the world.

    For those who are able to blind their seeing eyes, switch off their feeling hearts and place their logic brains on hold, yes the UK is a fine place to gravy train.

    Oh, says the gravy trainer, you’ve got no other flies to swat, so you start on the people who are making a success of their lives.

    The people of Belfast, of Africa, of Pakistan, struggle to articulate their sense of loss at being the victims of British Imperial power and British Imperial power’ local agents ( aka today’s Daesh and Al Qaida).

    But it’s not just you Craig that have a good memory.

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s good that you’re getting access, to the documents, as for the committee set up to look into the consequences of dirty little secrets (and I’m sure they are many), it sounds as though, only slightly soiled laundry will be aired in public.

    Still who in their right mind, would want to air and deal with, Britannia’s heavily soiled laundry in public even Dyno-Rod, couldn’t clean that mess up.

  • Republicofscotland

    O/T. But it could be very significant.

    The xenophobic Tory government has for the first time ( on the back of Operation Shader) ordered that Tornado jets flying over Syria, be equipped with air-to-air missilies. In my opinion that is a aggressive gesture, which could lead to a full on escalation with Russia, if a trigger happy pilot feels even partially threatened.

    From reports, I’ve read there seems to be a lack of will to keep communication channels open, and that we’ve moved, further into posteuring, it’s all too reminiscent of the Bay of Pigs incident, and with Russia deploying missilies all across the Eastern Europe front, one could say that Russia, feeling threatened has moved into a war footing.

    Though Russia apoears to be moving onto a war footing, it’s still hoping that reasoning and common ground can be found, as Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox church, head to London to speak with the Queen.

    Meanwhile whilst Nato carries out military exercises off the North West coast of Scotland, Russia’s flagship aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetzov, will sail through the English channel, with escorts, on its way to Syria, to support its friendly combatants, and add a prescence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    A small consolation, could be that making EU nations, are baulking at further sanctions proposed on Russia, as they’re now beginning to damage their economies, they include, Greece, Spain Austria, and the Czech Republic.

    We could be just one shot down jet over Syria, away from full out war, a war that could escalate, both sides must get back round the table, and open a meaningful dialogue, for the sake of us all.

    • nevermind

      These are Iskander nuclear Rockets with a reach of 400 km, RoS, but the general point you are making is correct, we are sleepwalking into war with our dummies in our mouth,
      Are we really willing to go into a world war as to facilitate Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s gas pipeline’s?

      Or is this going further, that we want to stop Russia’s economy ticking over, break up their successful arms sales and their gas exports into Europe? so we can apply the Ukraine model of interference.
      Kerry is becoming a lame duck foreign secretary, it is visible in his persona, he looks uncomfortable and shifty.
      We have to talk to Russia, their interests in Syria can not and are not going to be jeopardised by Putin.
      And they, like any other navy, have the right to use the English channel, without being harassed by us one hopes.

    • Alan

      “The xenophobic Tory government has for the first time ( on the back of Operation Shader) ordered that Tornado jets flying over Syria, be equipped with air-to-air missilies. In my opinion that is a aggressive gesture, which could lead to a full on escalation with Russia, if a trigger happy pilot feels even partially threatened.”

      But those Russian jets look pretty good, and we should remember that the Russians won the space-race hands down. Hey, let’s see if those Tornadoes are really fit for purpose, seeing as we pay for them, and I would just love to see egg all over the government’s face.

  • Sharp Ears

    This is the first time I have looked at this Wikipedia page. I put the list of the I&S Committee members on Craig’s earlier post.


    The ISC is a committee of Parliament, with nine members appointed by Parliament after nomination by the Prime Minister. It is slightly anomalous, being a statutory committee rather than a normal parliamentary select committee. The ISC was created by Part 1 of the Justice and Security Act 2013, which reversed the previous, more anomalous, position, where the members of the committee were appointed by, and reported to, the Prime Minister, after nomination by Parliament.

    The committee has greater powers than a select committee of Parliament, being able to demand papers from former governments and official advice to ministers, both of which are forbidden to select committees.

    The committee has an independent secretariat which was previously provided by the Cabinet Office. In its 2009–10 annual report, the ISC said there was a conflict of interest in being hosted by a department which came under its scrutiny and it has since moved to government offices at 35 Great Smith Street, with an independent web page.[8] It also, from 2009, had a panel of three investigators: a general investigator to undertake specific investigations covering the administration and policy of the agencies, a financial investigator covering expenditure issues, and a legal advisor to provide the committee with independent legal advice. It is not known whether the current committee has continued with these three investigators. From 1999 to 2004, the committee’s only investigator was John Morrison, who is a co-author of the only in-depth study of the ISC to date.[9]

    Before 2013, the ISC had been established under the terms of the Intelligence Services Act 1994.[10] There was an unsuccessful attempt to bring the committee under the administration of Parliament in July 2008.[11]

    Since the committee is nominated by the Prime Minister, the degree to which it is independent has been questioned by journalists, privacy groups such as Liberty, and MPs. The ISC itself says it is independent because it is composed of cross-party MPs and Peers and gained stronger powers under the Justice and Security Act 2013.[12]


    Parliament appoints the nine members from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, after considering nominations from the Prime Minister. Serving ministers are not allowed to be members, but members may previously have held ministerial positions. Members of the committee cease to be members when Parliament is dissolved, and new members are appointed after the new Parliament convenes.

    All members are appointed to the Privy Council due to the highly classified nature of the committee.[13]

    Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind, KCMG, PC, QC, MP was Chairman until 24 February 2015, when he resigned following a sting by journalists involving a bogus Chinese company and his suspension from the Conservative Party. Former Attorney-General the Rt Hon. Dominic Grieve, QC, MP was appointed as his replacement on 15 September 2015.

    The membership of the committee is as follows:
    Rt Hon. Sir Alan Duncan, KCMG MP
    Rt Hon. Dominic Grieve, QC MP – Chair
    Rt Hon. George Howarth, MP
    Rt Hon. Lord Janvrin, GCB GCVO QSO PC
    Most Hon. The Marquess of Lothian, PC DL QC
    Rt Hon. Fiona Mactaggart, MP
    Rt Hon. Angus Robertson, MP
    Rt Hon. Keith Simpson, MP
    Rt Hon. Gisela Stuart, MP

    Source: ISC: Committee Members

    Previous chairs of the committee are Tom King (1994–2001), Ann Taylor (2001–05), Paul Murphy (2005–08), Margaret Beckett (January – October 2008), Dr. Kim Howells (2008–10) and Malcolm Rifkind (2010-2015).’

    The Rifkind debacle is the funniest thing on the page. 😉

    Gisela Stuart is a member of LFoI and visited Israel in March.
    She is also a member of the Labour political council of the Henry Jackson Society. There are 50 odd parliamentarians of all parties listed. Do they ever declare their memberships? If not, why not?

    Grieve is said to be Israel friendly. but he did not condone the Israeli attack on Gaza known as Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Cameron had sacked him earlier.

1 2

Comments are closed.