This entry was posted on
Saturday, December 31st, 2005 at
8:56 am and is filed
under It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!.
Telegraph – Ex-ambassador claims Britain received terror information gained by torture: Mr Craig said the information undermined assertions by Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, that Britain did not “knowingly” use information provided through torture. He is claiming a public interest defence under the Government’s “whistleblowers’ charter” as protection from prosecution.
(Mr Craig…? Oh well. Moving on…)
Slate – The Crystal Ball Drops: On the last blogging day of 2005, bloggers are swapping predictions for 2006. They’re also debating claims that the British used intelligence extracted by means of torture in Uzbekistan and pondering the changing gender balance on college campuses.
(Off-topic note for the record; almost every local ‘end of year’ wrap-up I’ve read so far includes a reference to Rebekah Wade. Moving on…)
United Press – Brit envoy says UK lied on torture: Murray’s decision to publish the documents also implicates the United States, Britain’s closest ally. In another confidential report to London, dated 18 March 2003, Murray wrote: “As seen from Tashkent, U.S. policy is not much focussed on democracy or freedom. It is about oil, gas and hegemony. In Uzbekistan, the United States pursues those ends through supporting a ruthless dictatorship. We must not close our eyes to uncomfortable truth.”
New York Times – Diplomat Says Britain Used Data Gotten by Torture: A spokesman for the Foreign Office, who spoke in return for anonymity under department rules, declined to comment directly on Mr. Murray’s claims. “There is nothing new here,” he said. He also declined to comment on British news reports that the Foreign Office had blocked publication of a nonfiction book by Mr. Murray, “Murder in Samarkand,” until he edited out sensitive material.
All we have so far from the Foreign Office is a further assurance that they don’t torture people and they don’t (actively) encourage others to torture. They’re also running with an ‘old news’ line that strangely echoes the view of initial critics, and kind of undermines any planned prosecution of ‘Mr Craig’ for publishing secrets…
UPDATE – More via Nosemonkey, who notes the appearance and spread of the Associated Press story, points out that the Mirror has the most accurate headline to date and brings up an interesting point about the latest denials from the Foreign Office.