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Tony and the "torture files" - Blair wriggles mightily
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Quote:

Britain has tried to block release of US 'torture files' that could prove Blair Government was complicit in ill-treatment of terror suspects, it is claimed

  • Details have emerged in legal case between Britain and Libyan politician
  • Abdel Hakim Belhadj suing Britain over his kidnap and forced return to Libya
  • Claims to have evidence Britain lobbied against release of sensitive material
  • True extent of British complicity in torture has never been fully disclosed
By ROBERT VERKAIK
PUBLISHED: 01:34, 18 May 2014 | UPDATED: 02:47, 18 May 2014
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Tony Blair's Government allegedly lobbied against the release of material regarding prisoners' torture

Britain has tried to block the release of US torture files' that could prove how the Blair Government was complicit in the capture and ill-treatment of dozens of terror suspects, it was claimed last night.
US Senators are within weeks of publishing a top-secret report on America's torture and rendition programme carried out in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
The 6,300 files will expose the horror of the CIA's waterboarding and other tortures and could also reveal the extent of British co-operation in the programme.
Claims that Britain has put pressure on the US to halt the release of the documents have emerged in legal correspondence in the case of Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a senior Libyan politician and former opponent of Colonel Gaddafi who is suing Britain over his kidnap and forced return to Libya in 2004.
Mr Belhadj is relying on intelligence provided by the UK former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who says Foreign Office (FO) sources have secretly briefed him about Britain's diplomatic lobbying against the release of the highly sensitive material.
In a letter to the FO, Mr Belhadj's lawyers say: The report and its executive summary is likely to feature information about [Mr Belhadj and his wife] who in 2004 were held in a CIA black site in Bangkok and rendered in a joint MI6-CIA-Libyan operation to Gaddafi's Libya.'

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They add: It therefore appears HM Government is seeking to dissuade the US Government from disclosing details about our clients' rendition...'
The true extent of British complicity in torture and kidnap of dozens of detainees has never been fully disclosed.

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Plight: Abdel Hakim Belhadj is suing Britain over his kidnap and forced return to Libya in 2004



Mr Murray says: Britain has lobbied the US against the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and rendition.

'The lobbying has been carried out "at all levels" White House, State Department and CIA.'
The FO declined to comment.
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The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#2
Related content from Craig Murray

Quote:

Corruption and Fear in the UK

by craig on April 28, 2014 10:44 am in Uncategorized
When I stood against Jack Straw in 2005, I wanted to confront him with open debate about my eye witness to torture and extraordinary rendition, after he lied to parliament continually and repeatedly about it. I was however, despite being a candidate, not allowed to participate in any of the candidate's debates, including that broadcast by BBC Radio 4, and the debate hosted by the joint churches in Blackburn cathedral.
I went to see the Dean of the Cathedral about my exclusion. He said something quite extraordinary "Look, Craig, you are leaving after the election. We have to live in this town." He was scared of retribution. That sounds wildly improbable, but it was supported by much other experience. I agreed to short term lets of two shops for my campaign headquarters (there is no shortage of shops to let in Blackburn). Both cancelled when they discovered I wished to campaign against Jack Straw one specifically told me that they would like to help, but feared trouble from the council. When I eventually succeeded, the landlords made the point that they lived and had their businesses outside Blackburn and this was their only asset there, so they couldn't come to much harm.
Under electoral law a candidate is entitled to the use of schools and community centres free of charge for electoral meetings, but despite dozens of efforts I was never once allowed this. It is a serious and specific electoral offence for a candidate to provide free food and drink at public meetings - "treating" but the Straw campaign did this on a very large scale, and both the police and returning officer took no action when I complained with sworn affidavits of evidence from eye-witnesses. Postal ballot fraud was extraordinarily blatant, with the same authorities determinedly looking the other way. I could not even get them to look at why thirteen postal ballots were cast from one single unoccupied flat.
The point of which is I know how Cyril Smith did it. It was a different category of crime he was committing, but I have seen how in these Lancashire towns like Blackburn and Rochdale the authorities collude together so comfortably to cover up the crimes of the local big man, be it Cyril Smith or Jack Straw. It may seem quite incredible that everybody knew in Rochdale and nothing was done, but having tried to challenge Straw in Blackburn, I know precisely how it worked. The entire political culture of industrial Lancashire is deeply rotten, and ought to be a source of deep shame.
Cyril Smith was merely a symptom, not the cause.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#3
And an old one (2005) published on VoltaireNet by Craig Murray on what actually happened:

Quote:

International of Torture: The Documents the Crown Would Like to Censor

The United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has forbidden Craig Murray to publish documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and Freedom of Data Act, which clearly show the responsibility of the Crown in the International of torture. Having not dared resorting to military censorship, the Blair government has claimed copyright on the official documents in order to block their publication. This manoeuver is of course a breach of the international commitments of the United Kingdom of Great-Brittain and Northern Ireland. Indeed, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court of Justice state that freedom of speech prevails on any other consideration and cannot be restrained by State imperatives. By bringing its support to Ambassador Murray, the Voltaire Network has decided to bypass censorship of Her Majesty and publish the documents. It calls for all other information websites to do the same.


VOLTAIRE NETWORK | LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM) | 11 JULY 2006 [Image: ligne-rouge.gif]FRANÇAIS عربي ESPAÑOL
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Murder In Samarkand - Documents:

In publishing "Murder in Samarkand" I had wanted to publish the supporting documentation in the book to coroborate my story, especially as the FCO is claiming that the story is essentially untrue. In that sense, perhaps the most interesting link in the documents below is the very first document, which is a table of detailed amendments the FCO insisted be made to the text. This is fascinating if you consider just how much it confirms was true, particularly in the conversations it refers to between officials.[Image: murray-video-120-2-83bf8.jpg]Video: Craig Murray's speech at Axis for PeaceMany of the other documents I managed to have released under the Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act. I was astonished when the FCO announced that they would still take legal action against me if I published them. They argue that - and this astonished me - even if a document is released under the DPA or FoIA, it is still copyright of the Crown and so cannot be published. I was even more amazed when the lawyers of the publisher said that this was probably true, and certainly could not be fought without potentially a million pound legal case.It appears that, among so many attacks on civil liberties in recent years, the Blair government has managed to administratively negate its own Freedom of Information Act. Robin Cook must be spinning in his grave.Net posting is not breaching copyright because there is no charge to access the documents. This site may, of course, be subject to technical attack, so I would be grateful if those who can mirror these documents on their own sites, do so.These are contemporary documents from my time as Ambassador in Uzbekistan. They do I believe include the real smoking gun on Britain's, and the CIA's, use of intelligence obtained by torture abroad. They also show the FCO getting increasingly angry with me over my being "over-focussed on human rights", rather than building good relationships with Karimov, our ally in the War on Terror.[Image: meyssan_murray-180-2-976ab.jpg]Thierry Meyssan welcomes Craig MurrayAxis for Peace conference, November 17th, 2005 in Brussels.They do not give a smoking gun that proves that the allegations brought against me, of which I was eventually cleared, were trumped-up and motivated by a desire to get rid of me for policy reasons. Being internal FCO documents, they are written to maintain the facade of a proper disciplinary investigation. You need to be prepared to read between the lines - and read the book!Craig

[Image: rien.gif] [Image: rien.gif] ][Image: rien.gif] ][Image: rien.gif] &notes=The%20United%20Kingdom%20Foreign%20and%20Commonwealth%20Office%20(FCO)%20has%20forbidden%20Craig%20Murray%20to%20publish%20documents%20he%20obtained%20under%20the%20Freedom%20of%20Information%20Act%20and%20Freedom%20of%20Data%20Act,%20which%20clearly%20show%20the%20responsibility%20of%20the%20Crown%20in%20the%20International%20of%20torture.%20Having%20not%20dared%20resorting%20to%20military%20censorship,%20the%20Blair%20government%20has%20claimed%20copyright%20on%20the%20official%20documents%20in%20order%20to%20block%20their%20publication.%20This%20manoeuver%20is%20of%20course%20a%20breach%20of%20the%20international%20commitments%20of%20the%20United%20Kingdom%20of%20Great-Brittain%20and%20Northern%20Ireland.%20Indeed,%20Article%2010%20of%20the%20European%20Convention%20on%20Human%20Rights%20and%20jurisprudence%20of%20the%20Strasbourg%20Court%20of%20Justice%20state%20that%20freedom%20of%20speech%20prevails%20on%20any%20other%20consideration%20and%20cannot%20be%20restrained%20by%20State%20imperatives.%20By%20bringing%20its%20support%20to%20Ambassador%20Murray,%20the%20Voltaire%20Network%20has%20decided%20to%20bypass%20censorship%20of%20Her%20Majesty%20and%20publish%20the%20documents.%20It%20calls%20for%20all%20other%20information%20websites%20to%20do%20the%20same.][Image: rien.gif] [Image: rien.gif] ][Image: rien.gif] [Image: rien.gif]


Attached documents

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[TD]01. Murder In Samarkand - FCO Comment
This document details feedback from the FCO requesting changes to the book in its draft form.

(PDF - 4.4 Mb)

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[TD]02. Murder In Samarkand - IMF Telegram
This is the original draft of the telegram which I sent on the IMF and economic policy. The computer in my office could not link to our communications equipment, so after I drafted it on my word processor, Jackie or Karen had to type it again into comms. While they were doing this, inspiration struck and I went down and added to the end of the telegram by hand.

(PDF - 890.4 kb)

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[TD]03. Murder In Samarkand - Declaration
I had been in Uzbekistan exactly four weeks when I became convinced that Western policy in Central Asia was completely ill-conceived. This telegram was my first major declaration of my view to London, where it came as a nasty shock.

(PDF - 53.4 kb)

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[TD]04. Murder In Samarkand - Speech
The Head of Eastern Department, Simon Butt, and the Head of the Diplomatic Service, Sir Michael Jay KCMG, were horrified by my questioning of US foreign policy and by my proposal to make a strong speech on human rights in Uzbekistan. This was not Sir Michael Jay's view of diplomacy at all. In fact it is worth noting that, if you replace the word "Diplomacy" with "Duplicity" in Michael Jay's email, it still makes perfect sense.

(PDF - 530 kb)

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[TD]05. Murder In Samarkand - Hill Negotiation
My proposal to make a strong speech on Uzbek Human Rights at Freedom House was strongly opposed by Sir Michael Jay and Simon Butt. Charles Hill of Eastern Department had the job of negotiating the text with me and, after this pretty sharp correspondence, I largely got the speech I wanted.

(PDF - 1 Mb)

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[TD]06. Murder In Samarkand - Michael Wood memo of 13 March
After my protests at our obtaining intelligence under torture, I was astonished to be called back to London for a meeting on 8 March 2003 at which I was told that torture intelligence was legal, and that Jack Straw and Sir Richard Dearlove, Head of MI6, had decided that in the "War on Terror" we should, as a matter of policy, obtain intelligence got by torture by foreign intelligence services.
At the meeting it was agreed that Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign Office's chief legal adviser, would put in writing his view that we were committing no offence by obtaining torture intelligence. This minute is that legal assurance.

(PDF - 78.6 kb)

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[TD]07. Murder In Samarkand - Telegram of 18 March 2003 headed US Foreign Policy
I was horrified when the massive assault on Iraq started. I knew both that Iraq did not really possess WMDs, and that our weapons were much less precise than the news propaganda claimed; tens of thousands of civilians were dying.
Given that we were supporting the dictator Karimov, I thought it was pretty rich to be claiming to attack Hussein because he was a dictator. I was then outraged to see on BBC World TV a speech by George Bush saying we were going to war in Iraq to dimantle Hussein's torture apparatus. I had just been informed that torture material was legitimate in the War on Terror.
I therefore sent the following telegram. This was the only protest from any British Ambassador at our entering on an illegal war, abandoning the UN Security Council, and following blindly George Bush's violent and acquisitive foreign policy.

(PDF - 29.1 kb)

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[TD]08. Murder In Samarkand - letter from Simon Butt dated 16 April 2003
Following my telegram on the start of the Iraq war, Simon Butt, Head of Eastern Department, was sent out from London to tell me I was now considered "Unpatriotic". On return he met with Sir Michael Jay (PUS), to discuss how to deal with me. His letter records this conversation.
Apart from the underlying political context, there are two astonishing things about this letter. The first is the libel by a government department of the anti-war Labout MP Andrew Mackinlay, who to the best of my knowledge had never been in a strip club, in Poland or anywhere else.
The second is that he notes that after dinner I went out with a young lady to a jazz club (which I did - it was my secretary Kristina, and we just went for a quick drink). But while he blows that up with much innuendo, he fails to note something much more significant.
While we were having dinner, the grandson of our host, Professor Mirsaidov, a distinguished dissident, had been abducted from outside the house by Uzbek security services. He had been tortured to death and his body dumped back on the family doorstep at 4am. It had been intended as a warning to dissidents and the British Embassy not to meet each other.
Simon Butt was fully aware of these facts when he wrote this letter, but plainly the murder of our host's grandson - which was inconvenient for our important relationship in the War on Terror with Karimov - was much less worth mentioning than my going for a drink to a jazz bar.

(PDF - 495.6 kb)

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[TD]09. Murder In Samarkand - Exchange of emails with Linda Duffield
With the Iraq war in full swing, I found myself marked down as not sound on the War and Terror and simply "sent to Coventry" by my London management, as I complained in this exchange of emails with Linda Duffield. This proved to be the calm before the storm.

(PDF - 2.2 Mb)

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[TD]10. Murder In Samarkand - Colin Reynolds' report of 26 June 2003
We lost our political officer when he cracked up under the pressure and started attacking people in the street. His partner, my deputy, also left. That was all of my British political and economic resource gone.
Personnel Department sent out an officer, Colin Reynolds, ostensibly on a pastoral visit following these events. In fact he had been primed by the Foregin Office to look for excuses to remove me, and briefed on rumours originated by the US Embassy that I was an alcoholic and jkept a "Love-nest" in Tashkent - both completely untrue.
In fact Reynolds' report was very fair. His comments that some procedures were not followed correctly were accurate - he does not note my response, that the tiny staff of our Embassy in Tashkent was not equipped to carry out the full FCO bureaucratic requirements.

(PDF - 1 Mb)

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[TD]11. Murder In Samarkand - Minute of my meeting with Howard Drake
I was delighted to get away on holiday to Canada with my family after an exhausting and difficult year. The personnel officer, Colin Reynolds having failed to bring back the answer they wanted, while I was on leave the FCO sent a political officer, Dominic Schroeder, to Tashkent. The excuse was a "Crisis" they had themselves produced by suspending my five most senior members of office staff.
Schroeder came back and dutifully reported he had found allegations of mismanagement, alcoholism, financial corruption and offering sex in exchange from visas.
I was summoned back immediately from holiday and arrived back to meet Howard Drake of Personnel Department. I went straight from the airport to his office after a 16 hour overnight flight from Vancouver via Chicago, having not slept for 60 hours. As I walked in the door I had no idea I was about to face a huge raft of false allegations and be asked to resign.
In the circumstances I am amazed by how well I managed to defend myself at this meeting! You should bear in mind that this is Howard Drake's record of this meeting; it therefore puts the best possible gloss on what the FCO was doing.

(PDF - 1.3 Mb)

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[TD]12. Murder In Samarkand - Letter from British Businessmen in Tashkent
The British community in Tashkent were astonished to find their Ambassador was under attack.

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[TD]13. Murder In Samarkand - Email to Kate Smith
It became plain to me that I had no hope of a fair investigation of the allegations against me. In particular I would not be allowed to call defence witnesses; indeed I was not allowed to tell anyone of the existence of the allegations. I was also banned from entering my own Embassy, and confined to my house in Tashkent.
It became too much for me, and I sent this email back from Tashkent to my union representative, Kate Smith, just before leaving to go into psychiatric care for depression. I am surprised by how articulate and clear-minded my email was.

(PDF - 495.1 kb)

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[TD]14. Murder In Samarkand - Minute of 26 September 2003
I received many documents through an application under the Data Protection Act. These have been edited by the Foreign Office, with areas blacked out in the "interests of national security".
This is an interesting example. This minute of 26 September 2003 is addressed to Sir Michael Jay (PS/PUS) and Jack Straw (PS). By convention minutes are addressed to the Private Secretary (PS) not the Secretary of State direct.
Among the things deleted for reasons of national security is who the minute was copied to. The copy addressees would be at the top right hand corner under the date. A friend of mine in Jack Straw's office (remember I worked in the FCO for 21 years) tells me that the copy addressees on this and scores of other documents about me going through Jack Straw's offce, included 10 Downing Street, MI6 and the MOD. That is why they have been deleted. As detailed in the book, the instruction to get rid of me had come to the FCO from No 10 on the instigation of the Americans.
It is fascinating to consider what else the FCO felt it necessary to blank out in this minute.

(PDF - 326.3 kb)

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[TD]15. Murder In Samarkand - Telegram
I continued to refuse to resign and in the end was found not guilty of all the allegations against me, but given a formal warning for not having kept the allegations secret. Following a parliamentary and media campaign in my favour, I returned as Ambassador to Tashkent.
In July 2004, following the Abu Ghraib revelations, I yet again went back to argue with London that we should not be receiving intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers. We were, I said, "Selling our souls for dross". This telegram was leaked to the Financial Times, leading the FCO to tell the Uzbek government (before they told me) that I had been withdrawn as British Ambassador to Tashkent.



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The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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