Blair and Brown Governments Gory with Torture 156


Even I was taken aback by the sheer scale of British active involvement in extraordinary rendition revealed by yesterday’s report of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. Dominic Grieve and the committee deserve congratulations for their honesty, integrity and above all persistence. It is plain from the report that 10 Downing Street did everything possible to handicap the work of the committee. Most crucially they were allowed only to interview extremely senior civil servants and not allowed to interview those actively engaged in the torture and rendition programme.

Theresa May specifically and deliberately ruled out the Committee from questioning any official who might be placed at risk of criminal proceedings – see para 11 of the report. The determination of the government to protect those who were complicit in torture tells us much more about their future intentions than any fake apology.

In fact it is impossible to read paras 9 to 14 without being astonished at the sheer audacity of Theresa May’s attempts to obstruct the inquiry. They were allowed to interview only 4 out of 23 requested witnesses, and those were not allowed “to talk about the specifics of the operations in which they were involved nor fill in any gaps in the timeline”. If the UK had a genuinely free media, this executive obstruction of the Inquiry would be the lead story. Instead it is not mentioned in any corporate or state media, despite the committee report containing a firm protest:

It is worth reflecting that the Tory government has acted time and time again to protect New Labour’s Tony Blair, David Miliband, Jack Straw and Gordon Brown from any punishment for their complicity in torture, and indeed to limit the information on it available to the public. The truth is that the Tories and New Labour (which includes the vast majority of current Labour MPs) are all a part of the same elite interest group, and when under pressure they stick together as a class against the people.

Despite being hamstrung by government, the Committee managed through exhaustive research of classified documents to pull together evidence of British involvement in extraordinary rendition and mistreatment of detainees on a massive scale. The Committee found 596 individual documented incidents of the security services obtaining “intelligence” from detainee interrogations involving torture or severe mistreatment, ranging from 2 incidents of direct involvement, “13 to 15” of actually being in the room, through those where the US or other authorities admitted to the torture, to those where the detainee told the officer they had been tortured. They found three instances where the UK had paid for rendition flights.

My own evidence to the Committee focused on the over-arching policy framework, and specifically the fact that Jack Straw and Richard Dearlove had agreed a deliberate and considered policy of obtaining intelligence through torture. The report includes disappointingly little of my evidence, as the Committee has taken a very narrow view of its remit to oversee the intelligence agencies. This is the only part of my evidence included:

130. This was not unique to the Agencies. Their sponsoring Departments appear to have adopted the same approach. We heard evidence from a former FCO official, Craig Murray, who suggested that “there was a deliberate policy of not committing the discussion on receipt of intelligence through torture to paper in the Foreign Office”.
In July 2004, when he was Ambassador to Tashkent, he raised concerns about the use of Uzbek intelligence derived from torture in a formal exchange of telegrams with the FCO. Mr Murray drew our attention to FCO documents from the same time, which we have seen, one of which referred to “meetings to look at conditions of receipt of intelligence as a general issue”. He told us that the meetings “specifically discuss[ed] the receipt of intelligence under torture from Uzbekistan” and “were absolutely key to the formation of policy on extraordinary rendition and intelligence”.
Mr Murray told us that, when he had given evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee about this, they sought the documents from the FCO which replied that the “meetings were informal meetings and were not minuted ”. He went on to say:
“the idea that you have regular meetings convened at director level, convened by the Director of Security and Intelligence, where you are discussing the receipt of intelligence from torture, and you do not minute those meetings is an impossibility, unless an actual decision or instruction not to minute the meetings has been given.… Were it not for me and my bloody-mindedness, … you would never know those meetings had happened. Nobody would ever know those meetings had happened.”

131. We note that we have not seen the minutes of these meetings either: this causes us great concern. Policy discussions on such an important issue should have been minuted. We support
Mr Murray’s own conclusion that were it not for his actions these matters may never have come to light.

Jack Straw to this day denies knowledge and involvement and famously told Parliament that the whole story about rendition and torture was a “conspiracy theory”.

Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States, and also let me say, we believe that Secretary Rice is lying, there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition full stop, because we have not been, and so what on earth a judicial inquiry would start to do I have no idea. I do not think it would be justified.”

In fact I strongly recommend you to read the whole Hansard transcript, from Q21 to Q51, in which Jack Straw carries out the most sustained bravura performance of lying to parliament in modern history. The ISC report makes plain he was repeatedly involved in direct authorisations of rendition operations, while denying to parliament the very existence of such operations.

For over a decade now the British government, be it Red Tory or Blue Tory, has been refusing calls for a proper public inquiry into its collusion with torture. The ISC report was meant to stand in place of such an Inquiry, but all it has done is reveal that there is a huge amount of complicity in torture, much more than we had realised, which the ISC itself states it was precluded from properly investigating because of government restrictions on its operations. It also concluded in a separate report on current issues, that it is unable to state categorically that these practices have stopped.

The Blair and Brown governments were deeply immersed in torture, a practice that increased hatred of the UK in the Muslim world and thus increased the threat of terrorism. Their ministers repeatedly lied about it, including to parliament. The British state has since repeatedly acted to ensure impunity for those involved, from Blair and Straw down to individual security service officers, who are not to be held responsible for their criminal complicity. This impunity of agents of the state is a complete guarantee that these evil practices will continue.


156 thoughts on “Blair and Brown Governments Gory with Torture

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  • CanSpeccy

    No one can disagree with Craig’s view that torture is a vile business. Yet when bullets are flying and there is a chance the prisoner in your hands could tell you where to hit the enemy’s ammo dump, or fuel supply lines, whatever, you’re gonna slap that prisoner around for information, even if he ends up dead. I think that the historical record would prove that to be a universal truth: War is a cruel business and banning torture won’t prevent it or take the cruelty out of it.

    It is doubtful, however, that anyone can make a compelling justification for torture as a routine bureaucratic function. Hence the lies, prevarication, and obfuscation over Britain’s role in organized torture. The lies, prevarication and obfuscation about torture are, however, an altogether different matter from the torture itself. If, as Craig convincingly shows, Straw, Blair, and others lied to Parliament about torture, then they are scoundrels who should have been immediately and permanently barred from Parliament and any role in government.

    • Ian

      Except that the scenario you outlined is of the kind that torture defenders always come up with, imaginary scenarios which have no equivalent in real life, and thus are worthless. The result of most torture is false information, as most people will ‘confess’ or provide any information, however false, in order to escape excruciating pain. Of course, and far more heinous than cartoon ticking bomb fantasies, if the use of torture to incriminate people from their own forced ‘confessions’. a regular practice in the rendition nightmare and of course in Israeli jails.

      • CanSpeccy

        Except that the scenario you outlined is of the kind that torture defenders always come up with, imaginary scenarios which have no equivalent in real life, and thus are worthless.

        Speaking from your wide experience of combat. Not.

        Torturing prisoners, often to death, is routine when troops are locked deadly combat. Try reading a little history.; It will disabuse you of your childish understanding of the nature of mankind.

        • John2o2o

          “Torturing prisoners … to death … is routine” ..? What a disgusting and contemptible comment.

          Are you then working to end war?

          I hope one day you will be disabused of your cynical and depraved understanding of the nature of mankind.

          There is good and bad in everyone. Many of those engaged in “mortal combat” are young and naive “soldiers” being manipulated by power establishments.

          • CanSpeccy

            ““Torturing prisoners … to death … is routine” ..? What a disgusting and contemptible comment.”

            I was stating a fact relating to the reality of warfare. Since when is stating a fact disgusting?

            Here are some actual examples of torture as reported in historical accounts, the newspaper, etc.

            During the American civil war, Union forces uses red hot branding irons to extract information from Confederate prisoners. In doing so, they probably saved the lives of Union forces.

            According to Bryan Moynahan, during the siege of Leningrad, during WW2, Russian defenders taken captive by the Germans were routinely beaten to death during interrogation.

            Even Canadian “peace keepers” have engaged in torture, leading to death of the victim.

            And as you will know if you follow the news, British forces in Iraq during the 2nd Gulf war were guilty of similar atrocities.

            So, as I said at the outset: “when bullets are flying and there is a chance the prisoner in your hands could tell you where to hit the enemy’s ammo dump, or fuel supply lines, whatever, you’re gonna slap that prisoner around for information, even if he ends up dead.” I’m not saying that is right. I am saying that when its him or me, and even when a soldier only thinks it might be a case of him or me, most will opt for what they think is their best chance of survival.

            Following the finding that Canadian peacekeepers had tortured a Somalian to death, the Government of Canada disbanded the Airborne Division. That’s one solution, just so long as we can get along without airborne troops.

          • Antonyl

            I’m not saying that is right. I am saying that when its him or me, and even when a soldier only thinks it might be a case of him or me, most will opt for what they think is their best chance of survival.
            Information coming from torture is unreliable; it might even lead you into trap on the battle ground. Today fanatical people happily die as they believe they will be rewarded with 72 eternal virgins. The only sure thing for a torturer is that s/he lowered her/himself to the lowest possible level apart from possibly be active on an ignorant/ innocent person. Or was it about revenge/ doling out pain?

            This is all on the battle field; Gitmo & co are not and people involved have more time to reflect over “order is order” and remember the Nuremberg trials.

        • Andyoldlabour

          If you really believe that torturing prisoners to death works, then how can you not see that torturing innocent people to death, actually increases the number of what we call “terrorists”?
          By torturing innocent people (something that you obviously agree with for the purpose of furthering the “greater good”), can you not see that it prolongs the hatred against us, and actually increases the number of people who hate Western nations, for their non stop violence aganist their countries?

          • CanSpeccy

            If you really believe that torturing prisoners to death works, then how can you not see that torturing innocent people to death, actually increases the number of what we call “terrorists”?
            Who said I can’t see it. I was talking simply about the reality of war. If you don’t want prisoners of war tortured, don’t have go to war. Incidentally, I could tell you some hair-raising, indeed hideous accounts from my oldest now late relatives about atrocities committed by British forces during WW1 — every bit as horrible as the atrocities of the Nazis.

        • Clark

          CanSpeccy, I think you deserve some support for your comment. I can see that you are not supporting torture, and that you’re utterly condemning it as a political tool.

          • CanSpeccy

            Clark, thanks.

            I was trying to draw attention to a cruel reality. When it seems to be a case of my life or his, it’s pretty obvious what some people will decide. And your average volunteer soldier, is probably not the most tender-hearted creature on the face of the planet.

            What this means, is that when governments headed by people like Theresa May or George W. Bush deploys armed force for some high-sounding purpose, one should realize that the outcome is likely to be a series of atrocities that would turn many a normal citizen’s hair gray, and any amount of rule making or hand-wringing will not prevent such atrocities from happening.

            None of which detracts in anyway from the issue of torture as a routine process administered far from the scene of battle by people far from harm’s way. That truly is disgusting, outrageous and totally unnecessary.

      • Andyoldlabour

        Exactly right Ian I cannot add anything to that, except that desperate people will say any number of things to ensure their safety.

    • John2o2o

      I think it was Craig Murray himself when interviewed recently on RT who said that information obtained under torture is of no value as the person being tortured will say what the torturer wants to hear in order to get the torture to stop.

      Torture is illegal under international law and if we respect international law we cannot engage in it.

      • lysias

        Torture is not a good way to get truthful testimony. It is, however, a good way to get the testimony that the torturers want. As Stalin’s secret police well knew.

      • jazza

        yes john2o2o but that is if you believe that international law is still exists and is credible – TreasonMay and her cohorts continually talk about ‘international norms or rules’ – never international law – these people make it up as they go along and the supine population don’t object

    • charming

      “War is a cruel business and banning torture won’t prevent it or take the cruelty out of it. And the war on evil in the church, auto-da-fé and like, did get prevented because it satisfied only the sick sadism of it’s inquisitors and revealed nothing.

    • itchyvet

      If what you say is valid, Speccy, why the hue and cry when Americas are tortured ??????????????
      After all, monkey see, as monkey do, right ???? Americans, and others should not cry foul, if the treatment they mete out to others,is then carried out on themselves. There’s a word for that.

    • Yeah, Right

      “Yet when bullets are flying and there is a chance the prisoner in your hands could tell you where to hit the enemy’s ammo dump, or fuel supply lines, whatever, you’re gonna slap that prisoner around for information, even if he ends up dead.”

      Sure, we all know that every prisoner that you capture will have a tag sewn onto their uniform that says “Ask me about Ammo Dumps, Because I’m An Expert” or “Designing Fuel Supplies Lines Are Wot’ I Do 24/7”.

      Because your scenario suggests either
      (a) every prisoner is tortured without knowing what it is you want to glean from them or
      (b) you have an infallible means of identifying what every prisoner knows before you start throwing questions at them.

      (a) seems like an unproductive waste of time (you know, all them bullets whizzing past your ears do rather grab the attention)
      (b) seems, well, unlikely. Name, rank and serial number are not good indicators of a productive line of “enhanced interrogations”.

      Your entire argument hinges upon the urgency of the situation, which is exactly the time when you don’t really want to be bothered with manhandling prisoners.

      You send them to the back lines, where they can be interrogated, but that delay mitigates against extracting the “timely information” that you seem to think justifies torture as a routine procedure.

    • A.N. Oldbugger

      The problem with ignorant – yes ignorant since if you were indeed a combatant you must have been a pain in the arse to work alongside. since you understand so little of the ‘why’ in what you did – comments, is that they are repeated by equally foolish people and so take on a life of their own, independent of reality.
      As a person who has been around the deliberate mistreatment of the enemy, I know that when torture does occur it is never, unless the torturer is extremely stupid, committed to obtain information.
      At the sharp end of conflicts, blokes peel the skin off another bloke and burn the resulting mess because they are angry about some recent incident and want to ‘get payback’. Weak and confused leaders let this happen and everyone claims it was about getting intelligence but it wasn’t, it was about idiots trying on something extreme and (hopefully) cathartic, so the guys left alive can maybe feel a little better about still drawing breath when others are not.
      Unless the participants are A grade sociopaths this stupidity does nothing to quell the psychic pain everyone is feeling, but it does provide some short-lived distraction from thinking about your dead or badly wounded mate. Of course the corollary is that when the pain and guilt returns, it is twice as strong as before since there are now two human beings to mourn – your mate and yourself who tossed away your humanity. Some may occasionally even feel guilt for the victim but that is what rationalisation is for isn’t it?
      Insitutionalised torture such as that Straw and his colleagues got so heavily into is about something else. They want to send a message to the poor buggers who they have been siccing rape and murder squads upon for the last few hundred years.
      Obviously they cannot countenance ceasing their oppression and theft, so they stupidly decide to ‘send a message’. The torture is denied ‘in the ‘West’ while it is promoted in those states that the US or UK want to steal from
      The forlorn motive behind that is rooted in their bourgeois consciousness. Staw and his ilk simply cannot imagine that anyone who was given the choice between being waterboarded, hung and racked or pulling their heads in wouldn’t select the latter.
      Yet as we have seen, even for the al Qaeda drongos, dying a slow painful death is considered the only viable option. Not because they lust for 57 virgins or any other western lies, but because they hope to make a world for their children which is better than the one they are about to leave.

      I suspect the penny has dropped by now, but as Murray says, it is foolish to imagine these horrors have ceased for ever.
      Anytime a politician or senior bureaucrat runs out of good ideas, they don’t stop and pull their heads in. No, they simply reach for a bad idea because for them doing nothing is the biggest sin.

    • Woke Too Late

      Torture is not an accident. It is not a momentary response caused by anger. It is not a crime committed by inconsolable squaddies.

      Torture is an organised, funded, staffed and trained for activity.

      1. Similar practices perpetrated by British Forces occurred in Burma, Kenya and Northern Ireland.

      2. Such practices are, for as long as possible, denied and then (if need be) eventually admitted/paid off and such admissions presented in a ‘not a real admission’ way (e.g. the poor perpetrator having to pay a large sum money to the venal victim, perhaps, forced to do so by inequitable human rights legislation).

      3. Officials deliberately avoid documenting policy decisions about torture.

      Just 3 points that indicate that torture is a routine bureaucratic function of the British State. It is not that Blair, Straw, Brown and Milliband, as individuals, lied and are scoundrels (which, of course, they are); it is that they are functionaries of the British State doing what the British State requires and they did so willingly.

      It is of interest that Milliband has gone on to head the International Rescue Committee which has strong, well known links to the CIA, yet, Milliband still remains a likely future Leader of the Labour Party/Prime Minster (which, again, indicates that torture is a routine function of the British State, worthy of reward and a ‘legitimate’ path to the top job).

    • N_

      Test. Checking I’ve installed the right microchip in my head updated Firefox sufficiently to get the reply button to work, given that the mods look set in their irresponsible laziness. (*Blows kiss*.)

      • Clark

        Glad to hear you’ve updated your browser, N_; doing so really is the best choice. Next recommendation; install either the NoScript or UBlock Origin add-on (or even both) and learn to use it – NoScript is easier. This will really improve your privacy; who needs every website visited or referenced running their rather dubious scripts in your browser?

        This site’s admin know their stuff. They keep WordPress up to date for good reasons.

        • N_

          @Clark – I am thinking of the woman at an airport who commented to a guy who was sounding off about a thieving and rapacious airline (Flybe) who had just robbed him that “some people always want something for nothing”. She didn’t even work for those robbers. Every day she probably hears people complain about getting deceived and stolen from by that airline – which does things such as deliberately getting people’s names wrong and then demanding money to put them right before allowing them on the plane – and every time she thinks “what terrible people; the airline must have good reasons”. My succumbing to what these lazy mods have done has decreased my privacy. Saying “they do things for good reasons” is what schoolteachers say. So far in my life I’ve only heard the statement “that happens for a reason” uttered by people who don’t have a clue what the reason is and who are encouraging other people to be as unquestioning as they are. Which is why I call it schoolteacher talk. The mods allow server software to update not because they are nasty or ill-meaning but because they’re lazy, it makes their work easier, and probably because they haven’t ever thought about the social meaning of compulsive software updating which ALWAYS COMES AT A PRICE.

          Some who consider themselves techies say they’ve installed really powerful security add-ons on Chrome! How cool they think they are. But seriously who would knowingly allow software supplied by Google to be installed on their system? Probably the same kind of person who lets some company store all of his email for him, just so he can have it there on his smartphone when he takes that filthy microwave tracking bit of muck with him into the bathroon when he goes to do a shit. Things come at a price of ever increasing surveillance and control and mindlessness and we always get told that it helps us and makes stuff more convenient for us, that it makes us ever more free.

          Do you know how Google fonts work? Every time an IP requests a webpage that uses them, Google gets informed. That is a very simple and true fact. Probably less than 1% of computer techies have ever thought about it. Probably more than half would go into a kneejerk reaction and deny it right away, or explain it in terms of “yeah, but the opposite”. It’s easy enough to make a website that doesn’t use Google fonts, but how many people do?

          Software types are rarely among the brightest buttons in the bucket and usually one has to push them really hard to get any information out of them that assists with an understanding of the significance of what’s happening, its real social meaning, because it’s not something they’ve ever thought properly about before, other than in terms of what’s rammed into their heads through the opinion chain in that sector, just as Edward Bernays described. Doubtless half of them probably think they’re right cynics too.

          Even if it WERE absolutely necessary for security reasons (which I am sure it isn’t, because many sites that get a lot of attackers don’t require updates to such recent browser versions), there would STILL be a point that could be made here, rather than accepting it and saying it must be good and it must be to HELP me, which is what one hears everywhere.

          I had a taxi driver tell me that having a just-in-time booking system organised by computer software was necessary and that you couldn’t have a taxi system without it nowadays. I asked him why not and he couldn’t say. So how did he reach the conclusion that you couldn’t dispense with it? Certainly not by logic, that’s for sure.

          Then I get workers in supermarkets tell me that self-service checkouts lead to the employment of more staff.

          People are f*cking stupid nowadays. That kind of opinion would have been associated with the village idiot 20 or 30 years ago. Not that there was anything wrong with being the village idiot. Mostly the other people in the village would look after the person. Now almost everyone’s like that and those who aren’t like it are the outcasts.

          A PRICE IS PAID for these changes. One day it will be best NOT to pay it and to shut this site down. I’m personally not at that point yet, but the day will come. Things don’t get better. They get worse. Sooner or later a line has to be drawn.

          • Clark

            N_, yes I have long since realised that retrieval of Google fonts informs Google of the IP address of, and the Google cookies stored by browsers accessing webpages that use the fonts – which is why I have Google fonts blocked by my browser.

            People use Chrome because they like it, and don’t know / don’t care about the Google surveillance code it includes. However, that surveillance code is public knowledge because Chrome is open source – and you can get a cleaned version, called Chromium, because Chrome is released under licenses which permits making and distribution of derivative works.

            This site’s admins are far from lazy; at times it is a 24/7 task to keep this site up and running in the face of DDoS and other attacks, several of which have been crafted specifically for this blog. And the admins are not the mods, BTW.

            The admins keep WordPress, its add-ons and Themes up to date because these too can contain vulnerabilities. Dangers from such vulnerabilities include expropriation of data about readers and commenters from the site’s server, infiltration of malicious scripts into the comments, and vulnerability to the site being taken off-line.

          • Clark

            Another threat that can degrade this site’s usability is spam, possibly including directed spam attacks.

            You may not like the privacy implications of the Akismet spam filter- I don’t – but back when this site used a less effective filter that was better for commenter privacy, I used to remove the residual spam manually. It is a very demanding task.

            In the end, compromise is necessary. If the measures provided by this site are insufficient for you, this site does not prevent readers and commenters from taking their own, such as using TOR or a VPN.

          • Clark

            And N_, in case you don’t realise it, this site is not hosted by WordPress.com. It merely runs the WordPress open-source software, on servers controlled by the site team.

          • Clark

            N_, on the matter of compromise:

            1) – I comment under my own name. I have registered a Gravatar to make impersonation more difficult, and I link to my contact page, which would enable anyone sufficiently determined to look me up in the Chelmsford Register of Electors.

            The unavoidable compromise is between my privacy, and standing up and being counted. I consider the matters Craig posts about to be sufficiently important that I’ll give up some of my privacy in order to support my opinions by making my identity verifiable.

            2) – I am personally not keen that this blog has Twitter and Facebook Follow buttons. I could block them in my browser, though I haven’t bothered so far. But those buttons have enabled Craig to increase his readership by a considerable factor, and that, for me, far outweighs the reduction in privacy that they produce.

      • Nick

        Are you a technician N_? I’s love to know the specifics of your concerns, and, while I’m here, what the mods use/recommend. Is the application layer the only thing you’re concerned about?

        • N_

          No, I’m not a technican, although I am one of the few non-techies to have written a program that can generate and update a magazine-style website that can be stored on a flash drive and then uploaded using FTP. I bet you this blog can’t. Nowadays in the blogging world terms like “database” are used as an excuse for keeping bloggers well away from really seeing the files on their blog in such a way that they can fiddle with them one by one. It’s all done using remote applications that a very close eye is kept on.

          The web has never been a good place for spreading dangerous ideas or military secrets etc. Usenet is far better if you want to get something out to 10000 servers within a few seconds. But if someone must use the web, surely they’d want to be able to keep a copy of stuff, be able to throw it up somewhere else when their host removes their site?

          “Static” blogs – i.e. ones that are generated on the blogger’s own equipment – rock! They are much faster too. I’ve made one, but unfortunately I have nothing close to the knowledge that is required to be able to run one that allows proper commenting in a way that is properly secure against spammers way. So even while I’m having this rant, I understand and appreciate why even someone who understands why static blogs rock might well choose to use WordPress instead if commenting is important to them, as it is on this blog for example. Readers can easily be told “If you’ve got something to say, please email it in”, and they can even be given a webform if they’re not confident or energetic enough to send an email, but most will probably just do nothing and eff off somewhere that’s got “like” and “follow” buttons. They’re probably the kind of people who find it intellectually stimulating to click on squares on a “captcha” that contain cars or bridges or road signs. (Soon that kind of experience is going to change too, I reckon, get more game-of-thronesified.)

        • Clark

          NIck, I no longer moderate here but I did for a few years. I use GNU/Linux from the Debian side of things, primarily because Debian-derived systems are what I am familiar with – I’m going to try a Red Hat type distribution next time I install for my own use. Recently I’ve used Trisquel, Ubuntu Studio, Debian stable release, and Knoppix.

          Personally I’ll only use predominantly publicly licensed software. I won’t use proprietary systems such as Windows or OS-X, and if I ever get a tablet device I’ll be looking to use Replicant, or at least LineageOS.

          • Nick

            Clark and N_, thank you both for your replies.

            I’m writing this on a (shoddy little) Windows 10 laptop, but detest the OS and only keep it around for convenience. I have W7 on my main machine – better by far, but not sure how much more (or less) secure – mainly used for the odd game or two. I definitely prefer FOSS stuff where I can get it.

            I’m interested in going down the Linux route, which seems to be more than adequate for my needs (aside from gaming!). I have a spare drive in my desktop so could easily dual boot (I know about live disks, also) and am interested in slapping on a distro of some kind, so thanks for the suggestions there Clark.

            I find Linux a little daunting, but have a growing familiarity thanks to owning a Raspberry Pi (Debian-based I think?) – it’s rather sluggish for general computing, but I can’t see why a Pi 4 or 5 (or similar “tinkerboard”) won’t be more than suitable for my needs.

            I do have access to a VPN, which adds something again perhaps, but I’m no expert how secure that is. Usenet? *strokes chin* – I’ve never really looked into it, though often tempted.

            I guess this is a huge subject and not relevant here, but I’d love to hear from security conscious technicians. I have a friend (who was definitely a technician from the mainframe days) who refuses to upgrade from XP out of concern – but he’s always been vague about what exactly. Sounds a bit daft to me, but I’m no expert!

            Anyway, thanks again. Hope I’ve made sense: just up and on my first coffee. Brain sluggish 😉

          • Clark

            Nick, you have made sense, and yes, this is off topic here, but if you start a forum (see links in the sidebar) we could continue the discussion there, though I’ll probably be going off-line again from some time early next week. N_ and anyone else are invited too, of course.

  • N_

    The following have joined UKIP:

    * Milo Yiannopoulos
    * Count Dankula (Markus Meechan – the guy who taught his gf’s dog to do a fascist salute)
    * Paul Joseph Watson (who works with Alex Jones)
    * Sargon of Akkad (Carl Benjamin – Pepe-merchant shitposter)

    Got to wonder whether Tommy Robinson may join when he leaves prison – or he could join before he gets out.

      • N_

        Sure but what’s happening? It’s peculiar, what’s happened to “old” UKIP. Votewise in the general election the energy went back to Labour, but I find it hard to believe it’s going to stay there long. Labour is not going to get itself a popular immigration policy.

        It’s hard to imagine Milo or Count Dankula could be much in the way of votewinners either, but what with Milo and Paul Joseph Watson throwing their lot in, something Trumpy seems to be afoot. Sargon of Akkas hasn’t previously crossed my radar. The fellow seems to be accomplished at shitposting and probably signed up with one of the main cyberarmies.

        Several (15?) years ago I had a lengthy interaction with someone whom I believed to be Paul Joseph Watson who was in fact somebody else. He had never claimed to be PJW and he was not trying to mislead me. It was wholly my false assumption.

  • LenkaPenka

    If by some chance Corbyn becomes PM I look forward to some big actions… big, bold actions.

    Jack better hope he doesn’t.

    • Hannah Moynehan

      I really really hope that if/when Corbyn is in power we will see some houseclearing of past misdeeds – no matter which party the perpetrator belongs to – from huge things like these possible warcrimes, all the way down to misleading parliament and lying to the public.

      If (as I really hope) we ever get a Corbyn government then changing the whole system to hold politicians at all levels accountable for the things they say, with penalties if they knowingly tell lies, would be an outstanding achievement.

  • Sharp Ears

    So proud of Craig.

    Prosecute Blair govt officials at ICC after torture report – ex-diplomat Craig Murray (VIDEO)
    Published time: 29 Jun, 2018 13:33

    Prisoners at the infamous Guantanamo Bay military prison
    Photo/Reuters

    Craig Murray, the only British civil servant to express written concerns over UK complicity in torture and rendition, has told RT that former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw should face the International Criminal Court.

    Murray was the British ambassador to Uzbekistan when he noted that MI6 operatives were receiving intelligence from the “torture chambers of the Uzbek regime,” later expressing written concerns back to the Foreign Office and “to Jack Straw personally,” only to be told that “in the War on Terror, the decision was that we would accept intelligence from torture.”

    “I subsequently became aware that in fact the Americans were also shipping people into Uzbekistan specifically in order for them to be tortured under the extraordinary rendition system,” said Murray.

    The only senior British civil servant to raise objections to the post-9/11 security policy, Murray soon found himself “railroaded” out of the Foreign Office. Murray has since become a proficient and widely-read blogger, frequently criticising the British political and media establishment.

    As part of their inquiry into the UK’s role in the rendition and torture program, Murray gave evidence to the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) and features in their reports on the matter which were published Thursday.

    First commissioned in 2010, one report dealt with the mistreatment and rendition of detainees between 2001 and 2010, while the other considers current issues. They offer a damning insight into how UK intelligence services were linked to torture and rendition of terrorist suspects after 9/11, which were much more widespread than previously reported.

    Murray was one of only four out of 23 requested witnesses to be allowed by the government to give evidence to the ISC inquiry, a point which the ex-ambassador highlighted to his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers.

    Read more
    Camp Delta prison located at US Naval Base Guantanamo Bay © Photo
    UK complicit in ‘inexcusable’ kidnap and torture of terrorist suspects post-9/11 – official reports

    According to Murray, while the ISC published his evidence that the Foreign Office policy of accepting intelligence gained via torture was “deliberately kept secret” and “deliberately not written down,” they did not publish evidence “specifically implicating Jack Straw.”

    “In fact Jack Straw’s culpability for all of this is skated over by the report although of course it is plainly impossible that all of this could be happening and he didn’t know.”

    Backing renewed calls for a “full public inquiry in the whole rotten system,” Murray also said he’d like to see Straw “face a criminal court.”

    Accusations of a government cover-up were followed up by Murray in a blog post on Friday, where he accused Downing Street of doing “everything possible to handicap the work of the committee.”

    Accusing Theresa May of “specifically and deliberately” preventing the ISC from “questioning any official who might be placed at risk of criminal proceedings,” “tells us much more about their [the government’s] future intentions than any fake apology.”

    Straw, who headed the Foreign Office from 2001-2006, is facing questions as to the extent of his knowledge of the program and why he did not ask for a briefing on the policy when accusations that widespread rendition and torture were already circulating widely in the media at the time.

    Upon the publication of the reports, Straw has said that “that where I was involved in decisions I consistently sought to ensure that the United Kingdom did act in accordance with its long-stated policies and international norms.”

    READ MORE: Ex-justice minister calls for fresh torture inquiry into UK’s ‘disgraceful involvement’ in rendition

    In May, the British government reached an out-of-court settlement worth £2.2 million with the Libyan national Abdul Hakim Belhaj, who along with his then-pregnant wife Fatima Boudchar, were kidnapped from Thailand by British operatives and sent back to Libya to be tortured by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

    At the time of his kidnapping, Belhaj was emir of the defunct Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an anti-Gaddafi guerrilla group.

    For Murray, the award of “large sums of taxpayers’ money” by the government to the Belhaj family was in order to “avoid the possibility of Jack Straw having to appear in the dock.”

    Praising the ISC for their “honesty, integrity and above all persistence” during the investigation, he said the Blair and Brown governments were “immersed in torture, a practice that increased hatred of the UK in the Muslim world and thus increased the threat of terrorism.”

    Video on link:
    https//www.rt.com/uk/431270-torture-rendition-jack-straw/

  • Christopher

    “It is worth reflecting that the Tory government has acted time and time again to protect New Labour’s Tony Blair, David Miliband, Jack Straw and Gordon Brown from any punishment for their complicity in torture …”

    This is because there is no difference between the tory government (sorry – still can’t type a capital ‘T’ for that) and new labour’s appalling apparatchiks. One will invariably protect the other from sustained investigation into any wrong-doing, it is what they do.

    There is a chance here for Jeremy Corbyn to step up to the plate … dare one hope?

    • Barrie Jones

      I’m probably misquoting Lenin here but I believe he once said: ‘The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.’
      Isn’t that exactly what the powers that control the Tory party did?
      The intention was to create a one party state within the veneer of a democracy and the Labour party is still awash with their acolytes.
      I can’t imagine the corruption enabled by 40 years of Thatcherism could be eradicated in two generations.

  • Dave

    The promotion of torture to secure ‘evidence’ is illustrative of the ancestral madness/evil of those responsible for the so-called ‘war on terror’, similar to the wickedness required to keep saying Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, to manipulate others to attack them, when there is no evidence they are, or would want to acquire nuclear weapons, which would undermine their security by alarming friend and foe alike. That is the whole torture thing is a charade as those doing the torturing are the terrorists and have all the evidence they need, from themselves, but want to go through the pretence they don’t, for ‘peace of mind’!

    • Dave

      but want to go through the pretence they don’t, by extracting ‘confessions’ from their victims, for peace of mind, as practiced by their forbears in Soviet Union.

  • Ruth

    ‘Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States,’ So it appears through denial Straw was outlining the existence of the secret state, which doesn’t just take part in torture and rendition but also massive fraud against taxpayers in the form of excise and VAT carousel fraud as well as control of other forms of organised crime

  • Brendan

    Looking at the public statements of Jack Straw and Boris Johnson, I can only conclude that spreading lies must be part of the job description of a British Foreign Secretary.

    First of all, you must deny any wrongdoing by the UK and the USA.

    And if wrongdoing cannot be denied, shift the blame onto the USA’s enemies.

    That’s what Straw did when an American bomb killed about fifty civilians in a Baghdad market in March 2003. Straw supported the American claim that the market was bombed by an anti-aircraft missile fired by Saddam’s forces: “It is increasingly probable that this was the result of Iraqi – not coalition – action.”. He said this in spite of reports from Baghdad by British journalists that contradicted this version.

    The BBC’s Andrew Gilligan said that no anti-aircraft fire was heard in the city around that time. Robert Fisk saw a fragment of the missile, whose serial number was later traced back to the weapon manufacturer Raytheon.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2929411.stm

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-in-baghdad-blood-and-bandages-for-the-innocent-113029.html

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-proof-marketplace-deaths-were-caused-by-a-us-missile-113326.html

    It looks as if another British journalist, Claud Cockburn was right when he said: Never believe anything until it has been officially denied [by a government minister].

  • SA

    Here I have updated Jack straw’s comment to take account of new findings:
    ‘Now that it is proven we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States, and also let me say, we believe that Secretary Rice is lying, there Is a lot of truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition full stop, because we have been, and so what on earth a judicial inquiry would start to do I have no idea. I do not think it would be justified. Rather we should send those concerned to face justice in the international criminal court.’

  • Deb O'Nair

    “Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States”

    Q.E.D.

  • Sharp Ears

    Straw feeds cat the trough. A reminder.

    ‘Having served as a Cabinet minister through the entire 13 years of Labour rule, Jack Straw spent his first few months in opposition shadowing Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, while Labour was choosing a new leader. He gave that up in autumn 2010, and became a backbench MP for the first time in more than 30 years.

    However, he was more active that some former Cabinet ministers. He made headlines in 2014 when he led a delegation to Tehran, to help unfreeze relations with Iran. It was the first visit by British parliamentarians in over five years, and a sign that Britain was wanting to resume diplomatic ties.

    Four weeks ago, when irate backbench MPs forced a debate on Lord Chilcot’s announcement that his report on the Iraq war was to be delayed, Jack Straw was on his feet repeatedly, defending his role in that war.

    The Commons Register of Members’ Interests also records that he had an outside job as a consultant to commodity trader ED&F MAN Holdings, for which he was paid £60,000 a year, and that he was in demand as a public speaker. He was paid £10,000, plus travel and accommodation, for a speech on democracy in Nigeria in March last year.’

    PROFILE:JACK STRAW
    23.2.15
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/profile-jack-straw-10065932.html

  • giyane

    Dominic Grieve might have been of the opinion that the Labour Party would be damaged by this report more than the Conservative Party. He might be protesting about be unable to access witnesses in order to camouflage his wish to inflict damage only on the opposition rather than on senior civil servants.
    If I was a cynic, and I am a cynic, I would say that it’s impossible for a Tory ever to be truthful. Even in the matter of Brexit Dominic grieve may be leading the protests against the government because he senses his own advantage in the Tory rat-fight as a kind of morally superior Tory to womaniser Johnson, Zionist Fox and fop thingy-whatsit.

    if I was a cynic, and I am a cynic, I would say that Dominic Grieve is a gatekeeper for the racist Prime Minister because he knows the conspirators of torture rendition brainwashing are 1000000 % immune form punishment. Theresa May will get her knickers washed and aired and smelling of ozone by this public admission of historical British war-crimes. This all happened long before Mrs May was even born. She was swung in like Deus ex machina after over five years of pure blue water of Cameron. Dominic Grieve knows only too well that nobody would ever credit Mrs May with blocking political witnesses giving evidence. She might use suncream to block her pallid skin from darkening to an embarrassing shade of caramel. But she can’t even block the cabinet over which she is Prime Minister.

    If I was a cynical man , and I am, I would rate this report as political safe cricket. Under May, the Tories systematically pre-empt each and every winning policy of the opposition. Government is run by statisticians just like Cambridge Analytica, which is why Cambridge Analytica looks so anodine: They are privatised government hacks that advise governments what to put in their policies in order to get elected by voters.
    In the war against plastic, such number-crunching scum rank below the vermin of the tabloids Express and Mail, worse than the dregs, interested only in manipulating democratic outcomes through algorithm, against the will of the people.

    And all of that is before tackling what they did to those Muslims after they were tortured using Nazi techniques of psychotic manipulation. If I was a cynical man, and I am, I would say that once again the British are kicking retribution for their war-crimes down the road, like Ireland, like China, like India, you name it. British lying is many decades past its eat-by date. I saw Jeremy Corbyn on Good Evening Britain on someone else’s TV. I agree with Craig. Nice man. Let’s put him in charge of truth and reconciliation before the foreigners the Tories fear hack us to pieces at our own front doors in frustration at the same old same old lies they’ve heard so many times before.

  • Sharp Ears

    FFS. He has been given the freedom of. the Borough of Blackburn!

    Watch – exclusive Jack Straw video
    January 29, 2016

    Former Blackburn MP Jack Straw was awarded Freedom of the Borough at a ceremony at Blackburn Town Hall.

    Watch here for an exclusive interview with Jack and the awarding of the prestigious honour, given for his outstanding services to the borough and its people.

    https://theshuttle.org.uk/watch-exclusive-jack-straw-video/

    He is infamous for ‘treating’ prospective voters in his Blackburn constituency. That is an offence under the Representation of the People Act. Craig wrote it up.

    TREATING JACK STRAW DIFFERENTLY
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/04/treating-jack-straw-differently/

  • laguerre

    I could be mistaken, but I do wonder whether there wasn’t a particular ‘bulge’ in British acceptance of mistreatment in the post 9/11-Iraq War period. That’s not to say that such things didn’t happen at other times, but most of the events complained about do refer to that period, including Craig’s time in Uzbekistan. There was a sort of particular subservience to American ways.

    I was particularly interested in what happened in Iraq, a country I’ve worked in and still do. I was in Basra a month ago (no mention today of the British occupation). The Americans treated the Iraqis like animals, to be shot down at any moment. There are a lot of videos to prove it (most on my hard drive, if they’ve been deleted from YouTube). The British in Basra followed along with the American model, difficult to believe that Blair and Straw were unaware. Not surprising that the British occupation failed, failed to gain any local support.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ laguerre June 29, 2018 at 23:35
      Essence is, this world is run by evil sh*tbags who have sold there souls to ‘Old Nick’.
      The sooner folks get this on board, the sooner we become a better society, but we can’t stop the Luciferian juggernaut.
      And if anyone is in any doubt about Britain’s downright evil atrocities worldwide, check REAL history.
      The US don’t teach us Sweet FA. We didn’t quite write the book, but were the major followers of the Luciferian ideas.
      The guy that set up (the now totally compromised) Amnesty International wrote a book of British tortures and other atrocities.
      He (Peter Benenson) was a good man, and I am honoured to have known him, and to have borrowed a copy of his (rare) book.

    • giyane

      Laguerre

      It was British intelligence services, not US, that under David Cameron and William Hague decided to use the Al Qaida hypocrites directly to instigate terror and torture in the Muslim civilian populations instead of the puppet dictators they used directly under Blair and Brown. Considering that Al Qaida and Islamic State were / are directly controlled by an alliance of the Muslim Brotherhood and USUKIS the bulge of USUKIS sponsorship of terror and torture has got exponentially bigger through the use of the new proxies.

      Your finger-in-the-mouth comment that the bulge in terror and torture is going down may have an atom’s weight of truth because the EU has bribed Erdogan to contain the refugees from Syria using Cyprus and other nefarious deals. Refugee kettling is itself rampant with abuse. Woe to the leaders of NATO , USUKIS , the Muslim Brotherhood, and their brain-washed terrorists. A place is prepared for each of them in the Hell-fire, according to the Qur’an. Hypocrites being those who collaborate with the enemies of Islam against Muslims, for the prospect of being given political power.

      • laguerre

        I wasn’t talking about British policy, but mistreatment of individuals, or acceptance of that by others. Exploitation of Jihadis started with the Yanks under Reagan against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 80s. It wasn’t a new British invention. What has changed since Iraq is the use of local agents on the ground instead of Western troops, and yes it is one of the reasons personal mistreatment may have declined.

  • N_

    David Cornwell who writes as John Le Carré is good on this kind of stuff, on the relationship between organised business-cum-crime and the secret state, and between the US business-state and its British end, and he knows exactly what he’s doing when he quotes Mussolini about not being able to slide a “cigarette paper” between private business and the state nowadays, which was Il Duce’s definition of fascism. DC has a friend who was imprisoned for a long time in Guantanamo.

  • FranzB

    CM – “This impunity of agents of the state is a complete guarantee that these evil practices will continue.”

    I suspect there’s a lot of hypocrisy around this issue of torture – the idea that somehow it’s secret, and that if only we knew about it, it could be stopped. In the case of the torture in N. Ireland, part of the programme was to cow the (republican) civil rights movement by the use of torture. So therefore it was important that the republican movement knew that they could be tortured at will.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/the-torture-centre-northern-ireland-s-hooded-men-1.2296152

    From a Guardian article:-

    “The five techniques used against the men were hooding, stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and water. These were combined with physical assaults and death threats.

    Some of the detained men were taken up in army helicopters, told they were high up and dropped a few feet to the ground.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/20/british-army-not-torture-northern-ireland-court-rules-hooded-men

    I presume these techniques were developed at the School of the Americas and shared with other European security services.

    In a further case of British justice being turned into a farce, the Birmingham pub bombings pre inquest legal wrangles drag on and on. Presumably in the hope that the campaigners will die off or run out of money.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-42890034

  • SA

    OT but nevertheless interesting. The SAA is advancing rapidly in the fight against the ‘moderate’ and ‘not so moderate’ rebels in Dara’a. This is due to a combination of overwhelming military buildup but also in some cases of local reconciliation deals being carried out. It seems that this part of Syria will also soon be liberated from terrorists.
    Not much on the MSM but good sources to look at are Southfront, Al Masdar news and comment by Elijah Magnier.

  • Sharp Ears

    I think of the Quartet envoy. Anthony Charles Linton Blair.

    2 killed, 300+ wounded and Israeli drone shot down in latest Gaza clashes (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
    Published: 30 Jun 2018 | 00:15 GMT

    Palestinian protesters have shot down an Israeli surveillance drone, amid heavy clashes during the latest weekly Great March of Return protest, in which the IDF killed two people and injured over 300 more at the border fence.

    Thousands of Palestinians once again descended on the Israeli-Gazan border on Friday for the latest showdown with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Israeli forces responded with live fire as rioters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails and also sent incendiary balloons across the fence which sparked at least 15 fires in Israel, the Times of Israel reports.’

    /..
    https://www.rt.com/news/431317-gaza-clashes-drone-shot/

  • quasi_verbatim

    How farsighted it was to send the Cameron-Hague International Jihadi Brigade to Syria and Libya where they acquired the latest techniques in urban demolition, torture and beheading.

    Returned to our shores for R & R and free stuff, they are now available to be unleashed on Brussels and those other recalcitrant Chancelleries of Europe who need the frighteners put on them.

    It is now evident that the preferred and covert goal of May’s Brexit negotiating strategy is not the termination of our membership but the dissolution of the EU.

  • Brianfujisan

    Great Work From Craig Here

    ” It is worth reflecting that the Tory government has acted time and time again to protect New Labour’s Tony Blair, David Miliband, Jack Straw and Gordon Brown from any punishment for their complicity in torture, and indeed to limit the information on it available to the public. The truth is that the Tories and New Labour (which includes the vast majority of current Labour MPs) are all a part of the same elite interest group, and when under pressure they stick together as a class against the people.”

    Very true and Profound Paragraph.. And Just like the Red and Blue Torie toured Scotland Hand in hand during the 2014 indy Ref..As craig once commented. about the the Reds and Blues Laughing, Hugging as result came in.

    Here is an RT interview with Craig on this Establishment cover up of Straw’s –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=mWzeKNq8-V4

    • Barrie Jones

      And Blair ensured there was no reversal of anti trade union legislation enacted by the Tories and no investigation into Orgreave and the Al Yamamah arms deal.
      Was it a sign of her advancing dementia when Thatcher let slip that she thought Blair/New Labour was her finest achievement?

  • Simon

    “Torture in the context of efficacy is one of the foulest machinations of the human mind”

    Of course torture can “work” and provide true information. Just as, of course torture can not
    work and provide false information. But it will invariably provide the torturers with what they want; satisfaction with the information obtained, and no doubt satisfaction with the act.

    Whether torture “works” or not is beside the point. Torture is not to be used because it is wrong. Period. No other reason. Once the reason not to torture is shifted from a moral and ethical reason to a practical and utilitarian reason, than torture as a routine part of State practice, as policy, becomes inevitable. Because once the morality of the argument is removed all it takes is one real-world example of tortured information being “useful”, and torture must—must in all reason—become policy. As actually happened in Nazi Germany, has now happened in the US, and is being smoothly moved forward here in the UK

    One can tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys, who is evil and who is not evil, solely by which side practices torture — as policy!

    This is not advanced level ethics or philosophy, and one can’t help thinking that society is being deliberately steered towards this tyrannical path, that a very dark elite have very dark plans for us.

  • Mostaque

    I myself have been tortured in the UK since 1996, which ultimately forced me to leave the country in 2002. My crime was that I had written a private final year law degree dissertation titled, ‘The relationship between the State, the security services and the law” March 1996…15,000 words. The first line of the dissertation was…’trying to control the security services (in the context of parliamentary oversight) was like grabbing a slippery eel in a bowl full of slime.’………not the work of a genius which garnered 58 marks, but talked about the lawlessness and extra-judicial killings in Northern Ireland, and that the very essence of their work was COMMITTING CRIME. The dissertation was written in the wake of the laws enacted in Parliament following the Peter Wright scandal from Australia……this is what they were trained to do.

    The means from Torture since 1996 included gas, micro-wave machines, poison, sleep deprivation, psychological warefare and much more continuing into foreign countries..presumably with the tacit cooperation of the FCO. MI6, MI5, and in some cases the police.

    Torture is a significant aspect of intelligence work against lawful civilians who have the wrong opinions —–this process is acceptable and common not just against terrorist suspects but also ordinary British civilians. I am going to say that the biggest block of people tortured in the UK by the spooks are British citizens, and not foreign terrorists suspects in the wake of the 9/11 false flag by the CIA/mossad. The torture of the foreigner terrorist is callous and high profile, whereas the torture of the British citizen is far more concealed and hidden.

    For the spooks there is plausible deniability because such torture unlike the parliamentary report above, is subcontracted out to private security firms and the local police…or local political groups.

  • Mathias Alexander

    Jack Straw was always the security services guy. I wonder what they have on him.

  • Ray

    There is a lot of discussion here as to whether the intelligence gathered justifies torture. This ignores the main reason for torture: find out which of the prisoners will make suitable future false flag patsies.

  • DiggerUK

    In the UK we have ample proof of the value of confessions that are not true, the false conviction of the Birmingham 6, Guildford 4, Judith Ward for the M62 bombing, and the Maguire 7.
    Confessions from torture cannot be used for any good purpose…_

  • Macky

    CanSpeccy is of course correct that torture is & always will be an inherent part of war, but is wrong to try and present “ticking bomb” type scenarios as some sort of explanation; war is often called the ultimate crime because is it an acknowledged truth that virtually all other crimes will inevitably occur under it’s cover;. A little while ago I posted a link to a report here titled “British soldiers ‘horrifically tortured children’ during Cyprus Emergency”, and torture does also occur long after the cessation of hostilities, as almost all the German defendants at the 1946-1949 Nuremberg War Crimes trials found out, who experienced being tortured by having their testicles crushed, “A procedure that had their victims thrashing about and screaming like wild animals for hours”; sounds very Nazi-like barbarity to me, yet we are the “Good Guys” ?

  • David Hartley

    I’ve just heard about a woman called Carol Woods from one of the fringe websites and thought I would enquire if anyone knows of this case. All I have to go on at the moment is a few youtube videos and am struggling to really fill in the background.

    The bare bones would seem to be that whilst working for Lancashire Social Services she refused to alter documents in child protection cases where the child is separated from the alleged problem. The videos are from 2016 and I am struggling beyond that.

    It’s claimed she has been falsely imprisoned and may be being held under the mental health act.

    If any out there know of this case could you please let me know and apologies if there is any ‘wild goose chase’ element to this.

  • Sharp Ears

    The six week holiday for the troughers commences on 24th July. They return on 4th September.

    Then they have three weeks and 4 days off for their conferences in September/October, a week off in November and then it’s Christmas.

    Hardly enough time for them to put in the expenses claims.

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