Saturday, December 31, 2005

UK government torture deception update

A good round-up from Tim Ireland, and more on that Enron memo from Murray himself and Lenin which are worth a look.

The Associated Press has now picked up on the story, and via its newswires this is cropping up in USA Today, ABC, The Guardian, The LA Times and CBS. Oh, and surprisingly The Mirror seems to have got the most accurate headline: "EX-AMBASSADOR: STRAW KNEW WE USED INFO FROM TORTURERS".

The Mirror also notes:

"In October 2004 Mr Straw denied Mr Murray's allegations.

"He told MPs Britain would 'never use torture in order to obtain information' and added: 'Nor would we instigate others to commit torture for that purpose.' But in a 2003 memo, Foreign Office legal advisor Sir Michael Wood tells the ambassador it is only unlawful if such information is used in court cases."
So, please note that the anonymous Foreign Office spokesman mentioned in the Press Association report is explicitly contradicting Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's earlier pronouncements on the UK's use of torture when he/she puts forth the new government line:
"while Britain condemns the use of torture, it would be 'irresponsible' for the intelligence services to reject out of hand information which might protect British citizens from a terror attack."
There may be an argument for using information obtained by torture in such circumstances, though it is not a particularly convincing one, but that is not the point. The point is the government has been caught in a lie about its use of immorally and illegally-obtained information - and they're digging themselves deeper into a hole with it with every passing day. Keep at 'em...

3 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

Could that line from the FCO spokesman be the sign of a change of approach from the Government? That *we're* the ones risking people's lives by advocating turning our noses up at information from torture chambers?

Is this going to end up finessed as "Well, what do you expect us to do? Let people get blown up? That's what Craig Murray and his bloggers are saying."?

12/31/2005 12:49:00 pm  
Blogger Tim said...

I say we give Blair the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps there actually *was* a 'ticking time bomb' scenario where torture had to be used in order to prevent a terrorist attack. And perhaps this is why he doesn't want and independent inquiry into the July bombings.

;o)

12/31/2005 01:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Michael Miller said...

Thanks for posting this. Seems like a big deal to me. As for giving Blair the benefit of the doubt; he's a proven liar and he knowingly helped launch a war on false pretenses. Why give him any benefit of the doubt?

1/02/2006 02:34:00 am  

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