Blackburn MP Jack Straw welcomes report on 'torture'

Blackburn Citizen: Jack Straw Jack Straw

BLACKBURN MP Jack Straw spoke out in parliament yesterday to deny that he knowingly facilitated the torture of British citizens by US authorities at Guantanamo Bay during his time as foreign secretary.

The Labour MP said he welcomed a report published yesterday by retired judge Sir Peter Gibson, who reviewed 20,000 top secret documents after allegations of wrongdoing by MI5 and MI6 officers in the wake of 9/11.

Government minister without portfolio Ken Clarke announced that a further investigation by a committee of MPs and peers will now be held into areas of concern highlighted by the report.

Mr Straw welcomed the opportunity to put his case before the investigation, as he had previously been unable to answer accusations that he had been aware of mistreatment of prisoners, which had been previously levelled against him.

The former minister said that in January 2002 he agreed that the UK ‘should not stand in the way’ of UK nationals who were detained in Afghanistan by the US being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, but that he had done so after careful consideration, and had no knowledge that the detainees would be mistreated while in custody.

He said: “I did so, after careful legal advice, and because at the time this was the only practical alternative to their remaining in custody in Afghanistan."

Comments (7)

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2:56pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Copperhead says...

Any chance of an enquiry about how the taliban have tortured their prisoners ?
No ?
Thought not.
So here's a poser for you - muslim jihadists have planted a bomb in a British shopping centre and it is set to explode at 3pm on the last shopping day before Christmas.
You have captured one of the jihadists and found bomb making equipment in his possession.
He freely admits to making and planting the bomb but no amount of questioning will get him to reveal where it is.
He's tied up in a chair in front of you.
You have a blowlamp, some pliers, a flaying knife and a vice which is, handily, testicle sized.
So - what do you do ?
Which is to be - the lives of possibly dozens of British citizens ( of all colours quite probably ) ?
Or the " human rights " of one bomber ?
The choice is yours boys and girls.
Any chance of an enquiry about how the taliban have tortured their prisoners ? No ? Thought not. So here's a poser for you - muslim jihadists have planted a bomb in a British shopping centre and it is set to explode at 3pm on the last shopping day before Christmas. You have captured one of the jihadists and found bomb making equipment in his possession. He freely admits to making and planting the bomb but no amount of questioning will get him to reveal where it is. He's tied up in a chair in front of you. You have a blowlamp, some pliers, a flaying knife and a vice which is, handily, testicle sized. So - what do you do ? Which is to be - the lives of possibly dozens of British citizens ( of all colours quite probably ) ? Or the " human rights " of one bomber ? The choice is yours boys and girls. Copperhead

4:32pm Fri 20 Dec 13

drunken donut says...

The former president of America, Harry S Truman had a sign on his desk that said "the buck stops here". This apologist for Asians should man up, he was the foreign minister, ergo he was responsible. That doesn't mean that I don't think that terrorist shouldn't be tortured, on the contrary; if they have information that could save innocent lives, do whatever is necessary.
The former president of America, Harry S Truman had a sign on his desk that said "the buck stops here". This apologist for Asians should man up, he was the foreign minister, ergo he was responsible. That doesn't mean that I don't think that terrorist shouldn't be tortured, on the contrary; if they have information that could save innocent lives, do whatever is necessary. drunken donut

4:53pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Benpupdog says...

I agree with drunken donut, do whatever is necessary and then some. These groups don't care who they are killing, what religion, what race, men, women, children, babies, or pregnant women, they are plain evil. There is no revenge killings because inocent people have done nothing to harm them. It is killing for killings sake. Like those 2 b4st4rds in London if they want to fight a holy war then go to Afganistan and face our troops head on. You can then be guaranteed marterdom. Only cowards attack from the back like them.
I agree with drunken donut, do whatever is necessary and then some. These groups don't care who they are killing, what religion, what race, men, women, children, babies, or pregnant women, they are plain evil. There is no revenge killings because inocent people have done nothing to harm them. It is killing for killings sake. Like those 2 b4st4rds in London if they want to fight a holy war then go to Afganistan and face our troops head on. You can then be guaranteed marterdom. Only cowards attack from the back like them. Benpupdog

7:04pm Fri 20 Dec 13

woolywords says...

The comments written above, fly in the face of a legally tested argument, that any evidence that could be perceive to have been obtained under duress, is not admissable in the UK courts....
See the Law Lords ruling upon a test case, in December 2005, regarding detainees at Belmarsh. And even Lord Hoffmann, said the use of torture corrupted and degraded the state that used it and the legal system that accepted it. In a reference to Guantanamo Bay, he said that many Americans have felt their country "dishonoured" by its use of torture outside its own jurisdiction and the practice of moving suspects to countries where torture is practised.
There is some irony that Mr Straw, a former Home Secretrary, Foreign Minister and barrister, chooses his words of denial in such couched terms. This is known as plausible deniability, as he is only denying certain parts of a known truth. In that, extra-ordinary rendition took place, on his watch, and that certain evidence gained was used to imprison people, without trial, in the UK.
Someone should be asking the right questions of Mr Straw, if he intends to give evidence. Such as, excepting your assertions about Guantanamo Bay detainees, were you made aware of others, held elsewhere, who gave information, through the various security services, that was used to detain either UK or foreign nationals within the UK? We might find that he either declines to answer, for security reasons, or obfuscates so much, to make any answer, meaningless.
He should be asked, who in your ministerial domain, was responsible for sifting the facts that were placed before you?
Some of us have spent ages, reading through the Wikileaks material and know the truth. Now we see the denials of former Gov't ministers being given as some sort of truth. I, for one, am not fooled for a second.
I'd love to quote the relevant emails but, due to English Law being what it is, am placing my own liberty in jeapordy by doing so.
The comments written above, fly in the face of a legally tested argument, that any evidence that could be perceive to have been obtained under duress, is not admissable in the UK courts.... See the Law Lords ruling upon a test case, in December 2005, regarding detainees at Belmarsh. And even Lord Hoffmann, said the use of torture corrupted and degraded the state that used it and the legal system that accepted it. In a reference to Guantanamo Bay, he said that many Americans have felt their country "dishonoured" by its use of torture outside its own jurisdiction and the practice of moving suspects to countries where torture is practised. There is some irony that Mr Straw, a former Home Secretrary, Foreign Minister and barrister, chooses his words of denial in such couched terms. This is known as plausible deniability, as he is only denying certain parts of a known truth. In that, extra-ordinary rendition took place, on his watch, and that certain evidence gained was used to imprison people, without trial, in the UK. Someone should be asking the right questions of Mr Straw, if he intends to give evidence. Such as, excepting your assertions about Guantanamo Bay detainees, were you made aware of others, held elsewhere, who gave information, through the various security services, that was used to detain either UK or foreign nationals within the UK? We might find that he either declines to answer, for security reasons, or obfuscates so much, to make any answer, meaningless. He should be asked, who in your ministerial domain, was responsible for sifting the facts that were placed before you? Some of us have spent ages, reading through the Wikileaks material and know the truth. Now we see the denials of former Gov't ministers being given as some sort of truth. I, for one, am not fooled for a second. I'd love to quote the relevant emails but, due to English Law being what it is, am placing my own liberty in jeapordy by doing so. woolywords

10:30pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Far East Calling says...

l suppose the bold Jack and the rest of the gang can rest easy, there will be the usual WHITE WASH at the tax payers great expense,and they will all come out smelling of roses.
l suppose the bold Jack and the rest of the gang can rest easy, there will be the usual WHITE WASH at the tax payers great expense,and they will all come out smelling of roses. Far East Calling

11:51pm Fri 20 Dec 13

blackburnwithdarwen says...

Yet another retirement presentation from Jack Straw. But who is he trying to impress? Try to imagine that shortly Jack Straw will have given his ‘Faulty Towers’ safe seat to one of his comrades. I can not help but feel sorry for whoever that person may be. That person will not only have to transform Blackburn but will have to sort out the turmoil that will be left behind. A change really does need to take place within safe seat Blackburn with Darwen.

Please someone, tell me of any improvements that have been made to Blackburn over the past thirty odd years?
Yet another retirement presentation from Jack Straw. But who is he trying to impress? Try to imagine that shortly Jack Straw will have given his ‘Faulty Towers’ safe seat to one of his comrades. I can not help but feel sorry for whoever that person may be. That person will not only have to transform Blackburn but will have to sort out the turmoil that will be left behind. A change really does need to take place within safe seat Blackburn with Darwen. Please someone, tell me of any improvements that have been made to Blackburn over the past thirty odd years? blackburnwithdarwen

9:16am Wed 25 Dec 13

the white witch says...

Did`nt Jack Straw cause enough trouble when he was an mp, if he is retired he should now be seen but NOT heard.
Did`nt Jack Straw cause enough trouble when he was an mp, if he is retired he should now be seen but NOT heard. the white witch

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