“On 2 August the Guardian published a piece by Jamie Doward and Ian Cobain which, on the face of it, exposed the British Foreign Office for lobbying against the publication of the US Senate report on extraordinary rendition, lest details of British complicity become public.
On the face of it, a worthy piece of journalism exposing deeply shady government behaviour.
Except that I had published precisely the same story a full 15 weeks earlier, on April 14 2014, having been urgently contacted by a whistleblower.
What is more, immediately I heard from the whistleblower I made several urgent phone calls to Ian Cobain. He neither took nor returned my calls. I therefore left detailed messages, referring to the story which I had now published on my website.
In fact, the Guardian only published this story after William Hague had written to Reprieve to confirm that this lobbying had happened. In other words the Guardian published only after disclosure had been authorised by Government.
Furthermore, in publishing the government authorised story, the Guardian omitted the absolutely key point – that the purpose of the UK lobbying was to affect court cases under way and in prospect in the UK. Both in civil cases of compensation for victims, and in potential criminal cases for complicity in torture against Blair, Straw et al, British judges have (disgracefully) accepted the argument that evidence of the torture cannot be used because the American do not want it revealed, and may curtail future intelligence sharing. Obviously, if the Americans publish the material themselves, this defence falls.
As this defence is the major factor keeping Blair, Straw and numerous still senior civil servants out of the dock, this sparked the crucial British lobbying to suppress the Feinstein report – which has indeed succeeded in causing a huge amount of redaction by the White House.
My mole was absolutely adamant this was what was happening, and it is what I published. Yet Cobain in publishing the government authorised version does not refer to the impact on trials at all – despite the fact that this was 100% the subject of the letter from Reprieve to which Hague was replying, and that the letter from Reprieve mentioned me and my blog by name.
Instead of giving the true story, the government authorised version published by Cobain misdirects the entire subject towards Diego Garcia. The truth is that Diego Garcia is pretty incidental in the whole rendition story. On UK soil there was actually a great deal more done at Wick airport (yes, I do mean Wick, not Prestwick). That is something the government is still keeping tight closed, so don’t expect a mention from Cobain.”
Here is Craig Murray's earlier blog comment from April 15th:
“From a British diplomatic source I learn that Britain has lobbied the United States against the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and extraordinary rendition. The lobbying has been carried out “at all levels” – White House, State Department and CIA. The British have argued that at the very least the report must be emasculated before publication.
The British argument is that in a number of court cases including the Belhadj case, the British government has successfully blocked legal action by victims on the grounds that this would weaken the US/UK intelligence relationship and thus vitally damage national security, by revealing facts the American intelligence service wish hidden. [We will leave aside for the moment the utter shame of our servile groveling judges accepting such an argument]. The British Government are now pointing out to the Americans that this argument could be fatally weakened if major detail of the full horror and scope of torture and extraordinary rendition is revealed by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The argument runs that this could in turn lead to further revelations in the courts and block the major defence against prosecutions of Blair, Straw and Dearlove, among others, potentially unleashing a transatlantic wave of judicial activism.
The unabashed collusion of two torturing security states in concealing the truth of their despicable acts – including complicity in the torture of women and minors – and blocking criminal prosecution of the guilty is a sign of how low public ethics have sunk. Fortunately there are still a few people in the British Foreign Office disgusted enough to leak it.”
There are no depths to which our despicable government (of all colours) will not sink.