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.

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134 thoughts on “UK Torture Secrets Will Remain Secret

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yeah, we all know what they are. That is understood. But I think every chance a whistleblower gets to blow their whistle very loudly is an opportunity to show everyone exactly what ‘they’ are. Craig’s blog is a prominent public space. If they attempt to shut him up after the event, the very fact that they have attempted to do so is likely to be broadcast by Craig. He already has faced down the hard state. Fear has not been, and is not is not, an option. The more public, the safer. It is deeply admirable.

    Look, he’s already revealed the identity of an alleged SIS officer on this blog. ‘They’ were unable to do anything about it. So, what are they going to do now? In this sense, it is better to demonstrate the invisible bars of the prison than for them not to be seen at all. Furthermore,this is the very reason why Craig first blew the whistle – complicity in torture by the UK State. The same State is not going to give him an ideal platform. Of course it’ll be a damage-limitation exercise/cover-up/whitewash. But there are different grades of whitewash. Sometimes, perhaps partly through the actions and contuinung public presence of people like Craig, the blood leaks through and shows us a picture of the truth. There is no reason to self-censor by not attending, in my view. Go for it!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I find it almost incomprehensible – that Western Governments Do Torture.

    And I Thank Craig Murray from the Bottom of My Heart – for having the Courage telling everyone they do.

    Can we stop it now please?

    We have become an Embarrassment to The Rest of the World – and there are a lot more of them than us.


  • Johnstone

    Obama admitted…’we tortured some folks’. ‘Folks’ included 15 year old boys. Omar Khadr a Canadian citizen was severely injured even before undergoing torture at a black site and because he was accused of murdering an American soldier a British detainee witnessed him being treated worse than adults.

    This film shows how his own country men put him through 4 days of psychological torture.

  • Habbabkuk

    It is a depressing thought that sly anti-semitism (so and so is a FOI….) appears to be making a comeback on this blog.

    I do hope we shall not see a resurgence of the sort of observations we used to see quite regularly on here, along the lines of so and so has Jewish friends, so and so is married to a Jew, so and so had a Jewish grandparent, etc, etc.

    Comments of that nature rarely add anything to the debate and do nothing but reputational damage to Craig’s blog.

    Those tempted to restart that kind of posting should desist.

  • bevin

    “What the Fuck does Israel have to do with this?” Asks Alcyone.
    The answer is very clear: the neo-conservative movement on foreign policy is, and always has been, fundamentally oriented towards Zionism.
    Sharp Ears says nothing about the religious beliefs of the Committee’s members but properly points out the troubling links between members of the committee and both the ‘Henry Jackson Society’ (it is incredible that this corrupt and worthless politician should have been given a respect in death that never existed during his infamous career as senator from Boeing) and the Friends of Israel.
    To suggest that criticism of either of these racist lobbies amounts to ‘anti-semitism’ is nonsense of the sort which, happily, is rarely encountered on this blog. Anti-semitism still exists but it should never be confused with opposition to the racist, fascist governed, state of Israel. To conflate the two is a certain way of ensuring that simple souls will allow their horror of Israeli atrocities to become a prejudice against members of an ancient religious group. It is a modern fascist meme to insist that Zionism, itself a form of anti-semitism, is inextricable from Judaism. It is not: it is profoundly contradictory of Judaism’s core morality and, as the membership of groups such Friends of Israel makes clear, merely colonialist, appealing to fans of imperialism and racism.

    • John Goss

      Couldn’t agree more Bevin.

      “Among Clinton’s biggest backers are the Israel lobby and the arms companies that fuel the violence in the Middle East. She and her husband have received a fortune from Wall Street. And yet, she is about to be ordained the women’s candidate, to see off the evil Trump, the official demon. Her supporters include distinguished feminists: the likes of Gloria Steinem in the US and Anne Summers in Australia.”

      John Pilger on why the ‘odious’ Trump is preferable to the Clinton murderers.

      • bevin

        This is what I posted on an American site earlier today. I imagine that you will agree:

        “And they (I was replying to a poster who commented in Clinton’s domestic policies) all need to be examined in the context of her extraordinary-and deeply racist-campaign against Russia which is now at such a level of intensity that we must seriously consider the possibility of a nuclear war breaking out.

        “Nothing that Hillary’s campaign claims or promises compares with the commitment she is making to the key US allies in the Middle East: Israel, with its commitment to reducing surrounding states to anarchy ruled over by evil minded militias, and the wahhabi states, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, intent on preventing the development of secular democracy in the region.

        “Hillary is promising both Israel and the wahhabis four more years employing the power of the United States to promote their appalling, anti-social, plans to inaugurate a dark age of totalitarian tyranny over the cradle of western civilisation. A return to the worst aspects of medieaval religious rule with the aid of modern technology to ensure absolute obedience.

        “It is difficult for a foreigner to understand how any American can conceive of voting for a candidate as dangerous to the world as Clinton has shown herself to be. The hundreds of thousands of dead in Syria and Libya, to make no mention of the victims of the chaos she midwifed in Honduras and Haiti, should deter, at very least, the uncritical enthusiasm which her supporters (many of them claiming to be forced by Trump’s candidacy to support her) are demonstrating.

        “At the very least now is the time for ‘progressives’ supporting Clinton to put her on notice that they will not countenance neo-conservative foreign policies and will oppose further attempts to revive the Cold War, which she appears to have liked so much.”

        • John Goss

          Yes, the ‘Blame Russia’ meme is never given a rest. The world is waking up. At least I hope it is.

          A blind Bulgarian seer Baba Vanga (died 1996) predicted that the 44th president of America would be black and he would be the last president. I dismiss prophets of doom but she might get this one right. Apparently with her other predictions (9/11 was one) she has had an 85% success-rate. I can foresee somebody from the Clinton camp assassinating Trump. I can foresee Hillary dying of stress, or an overuse of whatever drugs are propping her up for the debates. 🙂

          Trump thinks they should both take a drugs tests like athletes before the debate. He reckons she was so fired up at the start of the last debate but by the end she slumped into the car. If it was a comedy show it would be funny.

          This is an election of the president of an empire so obsessed with its own superiority it is starting to believe its own hype. I despair.

  • Alcyone

    There we go again, like Pavlovian dogs. Nothing better to say? Let’s have a round of Israel-bashing. With not one new thing to say., you are part of the problem and hence you will never be part of the solution.

  • Theresa's cilice

    The POTUS debates had Trump fighting the presstitutes at 2:1, then 3:1 and now we have CM headed into a den of inequity at possibly 5:1. Mebbe he should take habba along as counsel, the devils can cancel themselves out then?!

  • Sharp Ears

    I have just watched a repeat of the Home Affairs Committee hearing evidence from Pickles in their AS inquiry.

    When he finished, Loughton the acting chairman since Vaz resigned, ordered the public gallery to be cleared as the committee was having a hearing in private. Wonder why and who they were seeing next.

    All publications for the antisemitism inquiry

  • Sharp Ears

    Never forgetting Ft Lt Malcolm Kendall Smith who refused orders to return to Iraq in 2006. It was said that as a RAF doctor, he would be engaged in the medical supervision of torture and he wanted none of it. The media reported it as a challenge to an illegal war.

    He was charged and some good people here put up funds for his defence. Nevertheless he was convicted by a military judge at a court martial, jailed for 8 months and ordered to pay £20,000 costs.

    After being freed I believe he returned to NZ. A good and decent young man.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Feel most sorry for the brave Ft Lt Kendall-Smith, but he was not the only one made an example of, and treated worse.

      Must not forget the murder of GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd who was appalled by the rendition program, and the treatment of its victims.

  • Herbie

    Looks like Kiev or her allies finally got to Motorola:

    “The commander of the Sparta battalion of the Donetsk People’s Republic and famous defender of Donbass known by his callsign “Motorola,” Arsen Pavlov, was killed today, October 16th, by a bomb in his apartment building’s elevator.”

    Quite the revered commander, by all accounts.

    Helped put down an attempted coup in Lugansk last week.

    With all the focus on Syria, things are looking a bit shakier in Eastern Ukraine.

    But, the Americans have promised to kill Russians wherever and whenever.:

    Like they’re trying to provoke an all out war.

    It’s Leo Strauss and TV Westerns. You gotta pretend the other guy drew first.

    Shows your the good guy.

    That and the white hat.

      • Herbie

        Yeah. Saw that.

        There’ll be more and more provocations, unknown to the general public.

        All they’ll hear about are the responses.

        This is the media pattern.

        It’s believed there is a radical division between US State and Defense, so the argument goes that Defense torpedoed Kerry’s State ceasefire in Syria with the US attack on Syrian soldiers in Deir ez-Zor.

        But then Kerry and Power came aboard with the Defense guys and blamed Russia for everything, even though it was Defense who scuppered the deal he at State had agreed.

        It looks like two major depts of the US Govt are openly at war and one is undermining the other.

        Tarpley says that it’s not a fight between the military leaders at Defense, but rather that it’s a fight between the current civilian leaders at Defense, with whom the generals don’t agree, and State.

        Interesting argument from Tarpley, because it allows for a confusion of motives.

        Generally when you see this phenomenon in state behaviour, it’s recognised as the old good cop/bad cop routine.

        Their State dept diplomacy is only a cover for subsequent Defense dept undermining of every agreement.

        But. It’s just a game.

        They work together

        The Russians have certainly noticed this most remarkable perfidy.

        The Brits taught the Americans how to play the geopolitical game.

        Wouldn’t it be amusing had they only taight them enough to destroy themselves.

        • John Goss

          Ukraine is a dead subject in the UK media, and has been since Poroshenko (war-criminal) started the civil-war on his own people in the east. Even though the fighting goes on on a daily basis, even the trolls whose voices were once so resonant in support for the fascist coup have stopped commenting. But their comments are recorded historically on this blog.

          • Herbie

            Very well observed, John.

            Lost cause.

            The propaganda merchants have now moved on to Syria.

            Already looking like another lost cause.

            I’d imagine most people following msm don’t fully understand that Ukraine, Syria, the financial mess, privatisations, austerity, too big to fail banks, the Labour party squabbles, gender and race cobblers, microagressions, Brexit, Scottish and other breakaway movements, Trump, the terrorist threat, the refugees, the dire state of mainstream journalism etc etc and on and on, are all simply different manifestations of the same fundamental divisions over:

            Capital versus labour

            Financialised economies versus commodity/producer economies

            Debt economies versus credit economies.

            Rich versus poorer and poorer.

            USA versus Russia

            The grotesque Western financial system was planning on its development of the Eastern Russian and Caucasian territories, as a way of soft-landing the coming crash in their financial jiggery pokery.


            Looks like someone stood up to the scam.

            And so.

            Here we are.

  • Mick McNulty

    Governments should realize we know torture isn’t always used to force a confession out but force one in. Blair, you bloody savage.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Would it be possible to interrupt the session, in the event of a question requiring that you be legally informed of its ramifications, in order to consult with Mrs Pierce outside the hearing? This would not require her access to secret material, simply your account of the problem. If not, aren’t you being denied your legal rights? Would it be unreasonable to ask for an outline (declassified) of the direction of questioning beforehand?

    Mind you, I can understand the ISC’s wariness. It would be beyond crazy to allow someone with an embarrassing tendency to tell the truth any leeway at all.

  • Dude Swheatie of the Kilburn Unemployed

    By coincidence, I mention torture in my alternative to a Ministry of Justice [sic] consultation on the future of courts and tribunal service:

    “If torture is contrary to international law, what about the psychologic tortures inflicted by the DWP in the name of ‘welfare reform’ and the tortures imposed by local councils in the way they force people to pay unpayable Council Tax?”

    The MoJ consultation deadline is 27 October 2016.

    Dude Swheatie of the Kilburn Unemployed

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