16 May 2009

Tories and Torture

Craig Murray has released an "... uncorrected transcript of [his] evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights."


One of the many things that stands out is the comparison of attitudes towards torture between Blair and Thatcher ...

"Q78 Mr Sharma: In your experience had the US and UK authorities previously taken a strong line against the use of information received under torture or had you not encountered these issues before?
Mr Murray: I had encountered the issue before when I was working in a unit known as the embargo surveillance centre which was tasked with preventing Iraqi attempts at weapons procurement in the run-up to the first Gulf War in the early 1990s. Essentially, we were an intelligence analysis unit and we commissioned action. The question of intelligence that appeared to have been obtained from torture did arise on that occasion. I had direct contact with the question then. As a unit we reported directly to 10 Downing Street, not to a government department.
Q79 Chairman: Did you get the impression that there was UK complicity on those occasions?
Mr Murray: On that occasion we received a clear direction from the then prime minister, Mrs Thatcher, now Baroness Thatcher, that we were not to use any intelligence that might have come from torture.

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