Friday, December 30, 2005

NEW : Documents leak prove UK knowingly received information obtained under torture

It's not the al-Jazeera Memo, but these are some more documents that the UK Government are trying to suppress with the threat of prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. They detail our use of intelligence extracted by torture, and legal advice the Foreign Office received on the subject.

Craig Murray was the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Uzbekistan, until removed from his post on October 14, 2004. While in this office he publicly criticised the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, against the wishes of the British government, an action that he alleges was the reason for his removal. He also privately criticised the UK government for committing torture by proxy, that is, sending terrorist suspects to Uzbekistan for their security services to extract intelligence of dubious value; in the phrase he is best known for, he accused his government of "selling our souls for dross".

He is now a prominent critic of Western policy in the region and the following information was compiled from his web site and other sources...

Constituent: "This question is for Mr Straw; Have you ever read any documents where the intelligence has been procured through torturous means?"

Jack Straw: "Not to the best of my knowledge... let me make this clear... the British government does not support torture in any circumstances. Full stop. We do not support the obtaining of intelligence by torture, or its use." - Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, election hustings, Blackburn, April 2005

I was summoned to the UK for a meeting on 8 March 2003. Michael Wood gave his legal opinion that it was not illegal to obtain and to use intelligence acquired by torture... On behalf of the intelligence services, Matthew Kydd said that they found some of the material very useful indeed with a direct bearing on the war on terror. Linda Duffield said that she had been asked to assure me that my qualms of conscience were respected and understood. - Ambassador Craig Murray, memo to the Foreign Office, July 2004

With Tony Blair and Jack Straw cornered on extraordinary rendition, the UK government is particularly anxious to suppress all evidence of our complicity in obtaining intelligence extracted by foreign torturers.

The British Foreign Office is now seeking to block publication of Craig Murray's forthcoming book, which documents his time as Ambassador to Uzbekistan. The Foreign Office has demanded that Craig Murray remove all references to two especially damning British government documents, indicating that our government was knowingly receiving information extracted by the Uzbeks through torture, and return every copy that he has in his possession.

Craig Murray is refusing to do this. Instead, the documents are today being published simultaneously on blogs all around the world.

The first document contains the text of several telegrams that Craig Murray sent back to London from 2002 to 2004, warning that the information being passed on by the Uzbek security services was torture-tainted, and challenging MI6 claims that the information was nonetheless "useful".

The second document is the text of a legal opinion from the Foreign Office's Michael Wood, arguing that the use by intelligence services of information extracted through torture does not constitute a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.

In March 2003 I was summoned back to London from Tashkent specifically for a meeting at which I was told to stop protesting. I was told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtain and to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers.After this meeting Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's legal adviser, wrote to confirm this position. This minute from Michael Wood is perhaps the most important document that has become public about extraordinary rendition. It is irrefutable evidence of the government's use of torture material, and that I was attempting to stop it. It is no wonder that the government is trying to suppress this.

If you wish to read the documents then you will find them Here


Please note
(1) NONE of the documents are held on this site , the link takes you to another web site that i am not responsible for.
(2)I have no idea if these are genuine documents or not i am just repeating the claims being made by Mr Murray .
(3)Mr Murray himself has released these documents into the public domain they have not been stolen or acquired in any suspect way
(4) The above link in no way should be seen as me encouraging you to look at the documents , the link is merely there , clicking on it is your own choice


Blogger _H_ said...

Nexvs6 I have deleted your comment , please dont advertise your blog here , even if you do it in spanish :-)

December 30, 2005 8:07 pm  
Anonymous cb said...

I often wonder just how good/effective/accurate information gathered via torture methods is.

I mean, Senator McCain was a POW and when his captors demanded names of his squadron, he gave them the offensive line of the Greenbay Packers, just to make the pain go away.

However, I suppose some of it is effective and useful, otherwise, why bother? I was just wondering.

December 31, 2005 2:09 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

It doesnt work CB , it works in TV shows like '24' and it looks good

There is not a single case i can think of in recent history where torture has given us ANY information

no lives have been saved of that i am sure

try it yourself (lol) torture someone ... what you end up with is someone who will tell what they think you want to hear to make the torture stop

Infact there is the flip side of the argument , that is you get false information .. you get told that the New York subway or the Brooklyn bridge is going to be attacked but never do you get real information that you can act on

so you may wonder why so many countries do it , the Russians did it , the Chinese do it , most of the Arab states do it

well in my view there are lots of psychological benefits to torture , it certainly puts the wind up your enemy ...

back in the old days of communism many people would rather kill themselves then be captured by the KGB and many did

It a psychological form of terrorism , along with forcing you to wear orange robes etc

but in regard to any intelligence being gained from such barbaric acts

i doubt you will find any ....

Here is an Interesting read

btw there is ONE example i can think of where torture is claimed to have worked , but you have to go back to Guy Fawkes and the attempt to destroy the british parliament

but lets not forget that version of history was not told to us by mr fawkes himself :-)

December 31, 2005 2:33 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

PS you will have to right click and open the link in a new window , i forgot to set it to open in a window :-)

December 31, 2005 2:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no, we're torturing guys who want to kill you, your friends, your family, and your way of life. Boo-freakin-hoo.

December 31, 2005 5:19 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Shit are we torturing the Neocons then ?

I thought we were just torturing mainly innocent muslims and failing to charge them with any crime or allowing them access to the geneva convention (many of them CHILDREN some as young as 13 years old)

It can't be them though , for every single time we get one of them released back to their own country (like the UK) the police have NO interest in them whatsever

why ? well they hadnt commited any crime of any kind so they are walking the streets as good decent and legal citizens

they had been tortured though and they had been locked up for three years without charge or access to a lawyer

so there for you must mean we are on to the real criminals (Bush , Cheney , Rove Rumsfeld etc) then i am all for it

thanks for your visit anonymous

December 31, 2005 5:32 am  
Anonymous CB said...

I guess it's sort of a self fulfilling prophecy: you torture someone, they spill their guts about how the Golden Gate Bridge will be attacked in some way shape or form. So you put out a warning to the general public, telling them to be wary, and raising the terror warning level to magenta or whatever, and then nothing happens for two weeks, you lower the rating. OBVIOUSLY this worked, because nothing happened. You therefore successfully prevented a terror attack. Good guys one, bad guys nill. Sounds about as legit as figure skating results.

December 31, 2005 6:22 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

Great stuff CB , you have just defined american right wing thinking on torture

as they say "obviously it works" look how many attacks we have prevented ....

still it does continue to give you the benefit of a population that constantly feel under threat , at war and ready and willing to accept draconian policies from the government

dont forget "if your not with them , your with the terrorists"

December 31, 2005 5:42 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

Up your shaft, anonymous coward. Tell that one to my countryman Maher Arar.

January 03, 2006 1:50 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

what about the US forces commander that was court marshalled for holding the gun to the insurgent's head, but then the insurgent gave him the information on an ambush that was to take place on his troops in the very near future? I tried to find a link out there in web land, but no luck.

I can't remember all the specifics about it though.

H, you and I are on agreement to an extent about torture, with the exception that a weak, non-dedicated person will give up information that may comprimise the life of someone else when they fear for their own life. As far as it being completely ineffective.... I think we are all forgetting that torture has been around as a tried and true method of extracting information from people for about 5000 years. It isn't like this is suddenly novel to GWB and the WOT.

January 03, 2006 9:55 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

Ok, what about it?

As for torture's efficacy, it is rejected by intelligence professionals for obvious reasons. The torturee will say what the the torturer wants to hear to end the torture. The length of time something has been around is no evidence of efficacy. Were the people who confessed under torture to being witches therefore witches because torture is effective because it's been around for a long time? I'm afraid not.

January 04, 2006 9:46 am  
Blogger Gothamimage said...

When conservatives decry Hollywood, they are half right - For the most part, Hollywood reflects attitudes, but for some it teaches. So some who learn of the efficacy of torture on TV shows, may think that is real knowldege. On the other hand, Bush's team may have a different definition of what constitutes a good confession than other mortals.

For example, the material that Powell used, was obtained, in part, under extreme duress and was not accurate. But some cynical souls may have wanted information that was useful, not accurate. Useful for them, if not America.

January 09, 2006 2:54 am  

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