Location: Germantown, Maryland, United States

Artist, have done many pastels and oil paintings of gymnasts and dancers in the past. Currently focusing on special effects of photos taken from downloaded gymnastics videos and importing frames, sometimes to show the sequences of dance and acrobatic movements.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

UK Torture Memos - Second Document

Second Document - summary of legal opinion from Michael Wood arguing that it is legal to use
information extracted under torture:

From: Michael Wood, Legal Advisor
Date: 13 March 2003
CC: PS/PUS; Matthew Kidd, WLD
Linda Duffield


1. Your record of our meeting with HMA Tashkent recorded that Craig had said that his
understanding was that it was also an offence under the UN Convention on Torture to receive or
possess information under torture. I said that I did not believe that this was the case,but undertook
to re-read the Convention.

2. I have done so. There is nothing in the Convention to this effect. The nearest thing is article 15
which provides:

"Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which isestablished to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made."

3. This does not create any offence. I would expect that under UK law any statement established
to have been made as a result of torture would not be admissible as evidence.
M C WoodLegal Adviser

=Comment #1: 12/29/05
They have no shame nor fear of retribution because with Bush in power, they're just following
orders! Hmmm, didn't we hear that someplace the Nuremberg Trial? Fascism has a new
face,complete with big ears (besides George's, the NSA's).

=I also want to wish a Merry Christmas to Congressman Conyers and his family and to all of the
faithful posters on this blog.

Sadly, it's hard to have much Christmas joy when people who are struggling for peace and justice
in a world gone certifiably insane can no longer look to America for peace, justice, or even hope.
Many people lost that struggle this past year, and died alone and afraid in Iraq and Darfur and New
Orleans and countless other forlorn lands. We will never know their names or be able to honor
them as they deserve, but they have found love, peace, and justice in a better and brighter world
than this one.

====Pentagon propaganda program orders soldiers to promote Iraq war

From Capitol Hill Blue
CHB Investigates. . .Pentagon propaganda program orders soldiers to promoteIraq war while home on leaveBy DOUG THOMPSONPublisher, Capitol Hill BlueDec 29, 2005, 05:44
Good soldiers follow orders and hundreds of Americanmilitary men and women returned to the United Stateson holiday leave this month with orders to sell theIraq war to a skeptical public.
The program, coordinated through a Pentagon operationdubbed “Operation Homefront,” ordered militarypersonnel to give interviews to their hometownnewspapers, television stations and other mediaoutlets and praise the American war effort in Iraq.

Initial reports back to the Pentagon deem theoperation a success with dozens of front page storiesin daily and weekly newspapers around the countryalong with upbeat reports on local televisionstations.

“We've learned as a military how to do this better,”Captain David Diaz, a military reservist, told hishometown paper, The Roanoke (VA) Times. “My worry isthat we have the right military strategy and politicalstrategies now but the patience of the American publicis wearing thin.”
When pressed by the paper on whether or not hiscommanding officers told him to talk to the press,Diaz admitted he was “encouraged” to do so. Soreporter Duncan Adams asked:
“Did Diaz return to the U.S. on emergency leave withan agenda -- to offer a positive spin that could helpcounter growing concerns among Americans about theU.S. exit strategy? How do we know that's not hisstrategy, especially after he discloses that superiorofficers encouraged him to talk about his experiencesin Iraq?”

Replied Diaz:

“You don't. I can tell you that the direction we'vegotten from on high is that there is a concern aboutpublic opinion out there and they want to set therecord straight.”

Diaz, an intelligence officer, knows how to avoid adirect answer. Other military personnel, however, tellCapitol Hill Blue privately that the pressure to “sellthe war” back home is enormous.
“I’ve been promised an early release if I do a good job promoting the war,” says one reservist who asked not to be identified.

In interviews with a number of reservists home for theholidays, a pattern emerges on the Pentagon’spropaganda effort. Soldiers are encouraged to contacttheir local news media outlets to offer interviewsabout the war. A detailed set of talking pointsencourages them to:

--Admit initial doubts about the war but claimconversion to a belief in the American mission;
--Praise military leadership in Iraq and throw in afew words of support for the Bush administration;
--Claim the mission to turn security of the countryover to the Iraqis is working;
--Reiterate that America must not abandon its missionand must stay until the “job is finished.”
--Talk about how “things are better” now in Iraq.

“My worry is that we have the right military strategyand political strategies now but the patience of theAmerican public is wearing thin,” Diaz told TheRoanoke Times.

“It’s way better now (in Iraq). People are friendlier.They seem more relaxed, and they say, ’Thank you,mister,’” Sgt. Christopher Desierto told his hometownpaper, The Maui News.

But soldiers who are home and don’t have to return toIraq tell a different story.

“I've just been focused on trying to get the rest ofthese guys home,” says Sgt. Major Floyd Dubose ofJackson, MS, who returned home after 11 months in Iraqwith the Mississippi Army National Guard's 155thCombat Brigade.

And the Army is cracking down on soldiers who go on the record opposing the war.
Specialist Leonard Clark, a National Guardsman, wasdemoted to private and fined $1,640 for postinganti-war statements on an Internet blog. Clark wroteentries describing the company's commander as a "gloryseeker" and the battalion sergeant major an "inhuman monster". His last entry before the blog was shut downtold how his fellow soldiers were becomingincreasingly opposed to the US operation in Iraq.

“The message is clear,” says one reservist who is homefor the holidays but has to return and asked not to beidentified. “If you want to get out of this man’s Armywith an honorable (discharge) and full benefits youbetter not tell the truth about what is happeningin-country.”

But Sgt. Johnathan Wilson, a reservist, got hishonorable discharge after he returned home earlierthis month and he’s not afraid to talk on the record.

“Iraq is a classic FUBAR,” he says. “The country isout of control and we can’t stop it. Anybody who triesto sell a good news story about the war is blowing itout his ass. We don’t win and eventually we will leavethe country in a worse shape than it was when we invaded.”

© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

New Year's Resolution: Impeach Bush & Cheney!! Here's how........... From: News <>To:

Sent: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 14:59:58 -0400Subject: New Year's Resolution: Impeach Bush and Cheney
Let's Make our 2006 New Year's Resolution: To Impeach Bush and Cheney! "

"Clinton ruined a dress, BUSH RUINED A NATION!"

On December 15th, the New York Times revealed George Bush secretly ordered the National
Security Agency to spy on American citizens without warrants.

Bush's actions deliberately violated the strict FISA law and subverted the Constitution - both of
which are IMPEACHABLE offenses.Yet on December 17, Bush used his weekly radio address to brag that he broke the law repeatedly

- "more than 30 times."Shortly afterwards, Richard Nixon's White House Counsel John Dean (of Watergate fame) was on a radio show with Senator Barbara Boxer. Dean pointed out that George Bush was the first president in history to confess to an impeachable crime.So why is a confessed criminal still in the White House - and not in jail???

Because George Bush believes he is above the law. He believes he is a dictator - even a king or an

Bush claims his dictatorial powers derive from 9-11. But where was Bush after August 6, 2001
when he read the CIA memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States"?
He was on vacation - the longest presidential vacation in history.And where was Bush on 9-11 itself after four commercial airliners were hijacked? He sat in a Florida classroom reading "My Pet Goat" - even after learning that two of the planes turned the Twin Towers into towering infernos. Then he flew west to get as far from Washington as possible.When American really needed a President to stop a heinous terrorist attack, George Bush went AWOL - just as he did to the National Guard in 1972.

George Bush should have resigned on 9-11 for his gross failures of leadership before and during
the terrorist attack. Instead, he used 9-11 to claim a mandate for dictatorship - first to shred the
Constitution, and then to launch an illegal and disastrous war in Iraq.It is time to revoke Bush's self-proclaimed mandate for dictatorship. It is time for a change.

My New Year's Resolution for 2006 is simple: to do everything in my power to impeach George
Bush and Dick Cheney.I have shared my Resolution with my Representative and Senators. Will you join me?

I believe impeachment is possible - perhaps even inevitable - if we all resolve to do our part.Even before the NSA wiretapping scandal broke, a Zogby poll found 53% of Americans thought Bush should be impeached if he lied about Iraq - and 57% believe Bush lied. After the wiretapping scandal, even libertarians and conservatives started suggesting impeachment. The list includes former Reagan official Bruce Fein, Norm Ornstein of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, law professors Jonathan Turley and Geoffrey Stone, and even the editor of Barron's, Thomas
Donlan. When Americans across the ideological spectrum support impeachment, all we need is a
few Members of Congress to lead the way.

Recently, prominent Democrats like Senator Barbara Boxer, Rep. John Lewis, and Rep. John
Conyers began talking seriously about impeachment. Conyers compiled Bush's impeachable
offenses in a must-read book, "The Constitution in Crisis." He introduced two bills (H.Res.636 and
H.Res.637) to censure Bush and Cheney for withholding evidence from Congress. And Conyers
wrote a third bill - H.Res.635 - to create a select committee to investigate the Administration's
intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence,
encouraging and countenancing torture, and retaliating against critics, and to make
recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment.

Impeachment is becoming a campaign issue as well. With your support, has
raised $46,261.70 to support pro-impeachment candidates. Our first endorsed candidate, Tony
Trupiano of Michigan, is proudly campaigning on his support for impeachment, despite repeated
attacks by the Washington Establishment. We hope to endorse many more pro-impeachment candidates - both incumbents and challengers, in the weeks to come. You can help
by sending Democratic Congressional candidates here:

We are also forming a powerful Citizens Impeachment Commission of prominent Americans who
are willing to lead the fight in the year ahead. Our commission already includes activists Medea
Benjamin, Gene Bruskin, Tim Carpenter, David Cline, Steve Cobble, Karen Dolan, Jodie Evans,
Mike Ferner, Bob Fertik, Kim Gandy, Doris "Granny D" Haddock, Tom Hayden, Doug Kreeger,
Bill Mitchell, Bill Moyer, Michael Rectenwald, Cindy Sheehan, David Swanson, Jonathan Tasini,
and Kevin Zeese; former government officials Elizabeth de la Vega, Larry Johnson, and Ann
Wright, Historians and Legal Scholars John Bonifaz, Marcus Raskin, Lawrence R. Velvel, and
Howard Zinn, and Talk Show Hosts/Editors/Bloggers/Pundits/Authors David Allen, Dave Allsopp,
The Bulldog Manifesto, Tom Engelhardt, Thom Hartmann, Laura Flanders, Justin A. Frank, MD,
Doug Ireland, Rob Kall, Susie Madrak, Mark Crispin Miller, Brad Newsham, Liza Sabater, and
Jeff Tiedrich. And we're just getting started! Please encourage prominent citizens you know to sign
up here:

Until recently, the idea of impeaching George Bush and Dick Cheney was a distant dream. But
now Democrats are taking the first steps towards making impeachment a reality. And if we devote
our efforts to this cause in 2006, I believe we will ultimately succeed.So please join me in resolving to make 2006 the Year of Impeachment - and sharing this New Year's Resolution with our Representatives:
Let's have a VERY Happy New Year!Bob FertikBob Fertik, PresidentDemocrats.combob@democrats.com718-424-7772


"It's not the big decisions that are hard. You can decide to invadeRussia over dinner, pick Waterloo for battle on a whim, it's easy todecide to risk a million lives. What's hard is to see how yourdecision affects one life, and if you can't do that, you'll lose yourhumanity." Ike, before Normandy, according to my recollection.

Applying that to this situation, the importance of judicial reviewextends beyond the protection of the individuals' rights in the faceof State power. The decisions being made by the Administration are(at this point, still) being made in representation of us. Thedecisions are being explained in vague and general terms, and thefacts behind the explanations are as vague and general, as are the consequences.

We are supposed to accept this on 'trust'. 'Trust' is much easier tocultivate, much easier to counterfeit, when the facts need not beexamined, and the consequences need not be faced (until later). Theimportance of judicial review extends as far as allowing us to seehow our decisions affect one life, each life, any life, your life,and mine. It is when we see this that we discover if 'we' are wrong.And correct ourselves.

That's why there are Courts, that's why the Administration doesn'twant to go there. Goerge wants to deprive us of the ability to seewhat we are doing, the ability to decide that it's wrong, the abilityto stop f**king up. Goerge wants to deprive us of the ability to seehow 'our' decisions affect our humanity and to defend that humanity,from him.

Hey, how about this one:
DailyKos, joining the efforts of UK Bloggers, has published a copy ofthe UK Torture Memo that Downing Street is trying to keep suppressed.
Here's the link: UK Torture Memos
Anyone not at risk for prosecution - print a copy to PDF, and spreadit widely. Perhaps the folks we help in the UK will help us get the
rest of the records we're seeking published in a similar way.

Problem......Links busted (already). Got another source?

Yes, thank you . The link worked when I went there. At any rate,those memos will be all over the Internets by tonight. Torture Memos

The first document contains the text of several telegrams that CraigMurray sent back to London from 2002 to 2004, warning that theinformation being passed on by the Uzbek security services was torture-tainted, and challenging MI6 claims that the information was nonetheless "useful".
The second document is the text of a legal opinion from the ForeignOffice's Michael Wood, arguing that the use by intelligenceservices of information extracted through torture does not constitutea violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.

Craig Murray says:

In March 2003 I was summoned back to London from Tashkentspecifically for a meeting at which I was told to stop protesting. Iwas told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtainand to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers.

After this meeting Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and CommonwealthOffice's legal adviser, wrote to confirm this position. This minutefrom Michael Wood is perhaps the most important document that hasbecome public about extraordinary rendition. It is irrefutableevidence of the government's use of torture material, and that I wasattempting to stop it. It is no wonder that the government is tryingto suppress this.

First document: Confidential letters from Uzbekistan
Letter #1 Confidential FM Tashkent TO FCO, Cabinet Office, DFID,MODUK, OSCE Posts, Security Council Posts
16 September 02

SUBJECT: US/Uzbekistan: Promoting TerrorismSUMMARY
US plays down human rights situation in Uzbekistan. A dangerouspolicy: increasing repression combined with poverty will promoteIslamic terrorism. Support to Karimov regime a bankrupt and cynicalpolicy.

The Economist of 7 September states: "Uzbekistan, in particular, hasjailed many thousands of moderate Islamists, an excellent way ofconverting their families and friends to extremism." The Economistalso spoke of "the growing despotism of Mr Karimov" and judgedthat "the past year has seen a further deterioration of an alreadygrim human rights record". I agree.

Between 7,000 and 10,000 political and religious prisoners arecurrently detained, many after trials before kangaroo courts with norepresentation. Terrible torture is commonplace: the EU is currentlyconsidering a demarche over the terrible case of two Muslims tortured to death in jail apparently with boiling water.

Two leading dissidents, Elena Urlaeva and Larissa Vdovna, were twoweeks ago committed to a lunatic asylum, where they are beingdrugged, for demonstrating on human rights. Opposition politicalparties remain banned. There is no doubt that September 11 gave thepretext to crack down still harder on dissent under the guise ofcounter-terrorism. Yet on 8 September the US State Department certified that Uzbekistan was improving in both human rights anddemocracy, thus fulfilling a constitutional requirement and allowingthe continuing disbursement of $140 million of US aid to Uzbekistanthis year.

Human Rights Watch immediately published a commendably sober andbalanced rebuttal of the State Department claim. Again we are back inthe area of the US accepting sham reform [a reference to my previoustelegram on the economy]. In August media censorship was abolished,and theoretically there are independent media outlets, but inpractice there is absolutely no criticism of President Karimov or thecentral government in any Uzbek media. State Department call thisself-censorship: I am not sure that is a fair way to describe anunwillingness to experience the brutal methods of the security services.

Similarly, following US pressure when Karimov visited Washington, ahuman rights NGO has been permitted to register. This is an advance,but they have little impact given that no media are prepared to coverany of their activities or carry any of their statements.The final improvement State quote is that in one case of murder of aprisoner the police involved have been prosecuted. That is animprovement, but again related to the Karimov visit and does notappear to presage a general change of policy. On the latest cases oftorture deaths the Uzbeks have given the OSCE an incredible explanation, given the nature of the injuries, that the victims diedin a fight between prisoners.

But allowing a single NGO, a token prosecution of police officers anda fake press freedom cannot possibly outweigh the huge scale ofdetentions, the torture and the secret executions. President Karimovhas admitted to 100 executions a year but human rights groupsbelieve there are more. Added to this, all opposition parties remainbanned (the President got a 98% vote) and the Internet is strictlycontrolled. All Internet providers must go through a singlegovernment server and access is barred to many sites including alldissident and opposition sites and much international media(including, ironically, This is in essence stilla totalitarian state:

there is far less freedom than still prevails, for example, inMugabe's Zimbabwe. A Movement for Democratic Change or any judicialindependence would be impossible here.

Karimov is a dictator who is committed to neither political noreconomic reform. The purpose of his regime is not the development ofhis country but the diversion of economic rent to his oligarchicsupporters through government controls. As a senior Uzbek academictold me privately, there is more repression here now than inBrezhnev's time. The US are trying to prop up Karimov economicallyand to justify this support they need to claim that a process ofeconomic and political reform is underway. That they do so claim iseither cynicism or self-delusion.

This policy is doomed to failure. Karimov is driving this resource-rich country towards economic ruin like an Abacha. And the policy ofincreasing repression aimed indiscriminately at pious Muslims,combined with a deepening poverty, is the most certain way to ensurecontinuing support for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. They havecertainly been decimated and disorganised in Afghanistan, andKarimov's repression may keep the lid on for years – but pressure isbuilding and could ultimately explode.

I quite understand the interest of the US in strategic airbases andwhy they back Karimov, but I believe US policy is misconceived. In the short term it may help fight terrorism but in the medium term itwill promote it, as the Economist points out. And it can never beright to lower our standards on human rights. There is a complexsituation in Central Asia and it is wrong to look at it only througha prism picked up on September 12. Worst of all is what appears to bethe philosophy underlying the current US view of Uzbekistan: thatSeptember 11 divided the World into two camps in the "War againstTerrorism" and that Karimov is on "our" side.

If Karimov is on "our" side, then this war cannot be simply betweenthe forces of good and evil. It must be about more complex things,like securing the long-term US military presence in Uzbekistan. Isilently wept at the 11 September commemoration here. The rightwords on New York have all been said. But last week was also anotheranniversary – the US-led overthrow of Salvador Allende inChile. The subsequent dictatorship killed, dare I say it, rather morepeople than died on September 11. Should we not remember thenalso, and learn from that too? I fear that we are heading down thesame path of US-sponsored dictatorship here. It is ironic that the beneficiary is perhaps the most unreformed of the World's oldcommunist leaders.

We need to think much more deeply about Central Asia. It is easy to place Uzbekistan in the "too difficult" tray and let the US run withit, but I think they are running in the wrong direction. We shouldtell them of the dangers we see. Our policy is theoretically one ofengagement, but in practice this has not meant much. Engagement makessense, but it must mean grappling with the problems, not mutecollaboration. We need to start actively to state a distinctiveposition on democracy and human rights, and press for a realisticview to be taken in the IMF. We should continue to resist pressuresto start a bilateral DFID programme, unless channellednon-governmentally, and not restore ECGD cover despite the constantlobbying. We should not invite Karimov to the UK. We shouldstep up our public diplomacy effort, stressing democratic values,including more resources from the British Council. We should increasesupport to human rights activists, and strive for contact with non-official Islamic groups.

Above all we need to care about the 22 million Uzbek people,suffering from poverty and lack of freedom. They are not just pawns in the new Great Game.
Letter #2ConfidentialFm TashkentTo FCO18 March 2003

1. As seen from Tashkent, US policy is not much focussed on democracyor freedom. It is about oil, gas and hegemony. In Uzbekistanthe US pursues those ends through supporting a ruthless dictatorship.We must not close our eyes to uncomfortable truth.

2. Last year the US gave half a billion dollars in aid to Uzbekistan,about a quarter of it military aid. Bush and Powell repeatedly hailKarimov as a friend and ally. Yet this regime has at least seventhousand prisoners of conscience; it is a one party state withoutfreedom of speech, without freedom of media, without freedom ofmovement, without freedom of assembly, without freedom of religion.It practices, systematically, the most hideous tortures on thousands.Most of the population live in conditions precisely analogous withmedieval serfdom.

3. Uzbekistan's geo-strategic position is crucial. It has half thepopulation of the whole of Central Asia. It alone borders all theother states in a region which is important to future Western oil andgas supplies. It is the regional military power. That is why the USis here, and here to stay. Contractors at the US military bases areextending the design life of the buildings from ten to twenty five years.

4. Democracy and human rights are, despite their protestations to thecontrary, in practice a long way down the US agenda here. Aid thisyear will be slightly less, but there is no intention to introduceany meaningful conditionality. Nobody can believe this level of aid –more than US aid to all of West Africa – is related to comparativedevelopmental need as opposed to political support for Karimov. Whilethe US makes token and low-level references to human rights toappease domestic opinion, they view Karimov's vicious regime as abastion against fundamentalism. He – and they – are in fact creatingfundamentalism. When the US gives this much support to aregime that tortures people to death for having a beard or prayingfive times a day, is it any surprise that Muslims come to hate theWest?

5. I was stunned to hear that the US had pressured the EU to withdrawa motion on Human Rights in Uzbekistan which the EU was tabling atthe UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva. I was most unhappy tofind that we are helping the US in what I can only call this cover-up. I am saddened when the US constantly quote fake improvements inhuman rights in Uzbekistan, such as the abolition of censorship andInternet freedom, which quite simply have not happened (I see theseare quoted in the draft EBRD strategy for Uzbekistan, again Iunderstand at American urging).
6. From Tashkent it is difficult to agree that we and the US areactivated by shared values. Here we have a brutal US sponsoreddictatorship reminiscent of Central and South American policy underprevious US Republican administrations.

I watched George Bush talktoday of Iraq and "dismantling the apparatus of terror… removing the torture chambers and the rape rooms". Yet when it comes to theKarimov regime, systematic torture and rape appear to be treated aspeccadilloes, not to affect the relationship and to be downplayed ininternational fora. Double standards? Yes.

7. I hope that once the present crisis is over we will make plain tothe US, at senior level, our serious concern over their policy inUzbekistan.MURRAY
----------------------------------------------------------------------Letter #3
TELNO 63OF 220939 JULY 04

1. We receive intelligence obtained under torture from the Uzbekintelligence services, via the US. We should stop. It is badinformation anyway. Tortured dupes are forced to sign up toconfessions showing what the Uzbek government wants the US and UK tobelieve, that they and we are fighting the same war against terror.
2. I gather a recent London interdepartmental meeting considered thequestion and decided to continue to receive the material. This ismorally, legally and practically wrong. It exposes as hypocriticalour post Abu Ghraib pronouncements and fatally undermines our moralstanding. It obviates my efforts to get the Uzbek government to stoptorture they are fully aware our intelligence community laps up theresults.
3. We should cease all co-operation with the Uzbek Security Servicesthey are beyond the pale. We indeed need to establish an SISpresence here, but not as in a friendly state.

4. In the period December 2002 to March 2003 I raised several timesthe issue of intelligence material from the Uzbek security serviceswhich was obtained under torture and passed to us via the CIA. Iqueried the legality, efficacy and morality of the practice.

5. I was summoned to the UK for a meeting on 8 March 2003. MichaelWood gave his legal opinion that it was not illegal to obtain andto use intelligence acquired by torture. He said the only legallimitation on its use was that it could not be used in legalproceedings, under Article 15 of the UN Convention on Torture.

6. On behalf of the intelligence services, Matthew Kydd said thatthey found some of the material very useful indeed with a directbearing on the war on terror. Linda Duffield said that she had beenasked to assure me that my qualms of conscience were respected andunderstood.

7. Sir Michael Jay's circular of 26 May stated that there was areporting obligation on us to report torture by allies (and I havebeen instructed to refer to Uzbekistan as such in the context of thewar on terror). You, Sir, have made a number of striking, and Ibelieve heartfelt, condemnations of torture in the last few weeks. Ihad in the light of this decided to return to this question and tohighlight an apparent contradiction in our policy. I had intimated asmuch to the Head of Eastern Department.

8. I was therefore somewhat surprised to hear that without informingme of the meeting, or since informing me of the result of themeeting, a meeting was convened in the FCO at the level of Heads ofDepartment and above, precisely to consider the question of thereceipt of Uzbek intelligence material obtained under torture. As theoffice knew, I was in London at the time and perfectly able to attend the meeting. I still have only gleaned that it happened.

9. I understand that the meeting decided to continue to obtain theUzbek torture material. I understand that the principal argumentdeployed was that the intelligence material disguises the precisesource, ie it does not ordinarily reveal the name of the individualwho is tortured. Indeed this is true – the material is marked with aeuphemism such as "From detainee debriefing." The argument runs thatif the individual is not named, we cannot prove that he was tortured.

10. I will not attempt to hide my utter contempt for such casuistry,nor my shame that I work in and organisation where colleagues wouldresort to it to justify torture. I have dealt with hundreds ofindividual cases of political or religious prisoners in Uzbekistan,and I have met with very few where torture, as defined in the UNconvention, was not employed. When my then DHM raised the questionwith the CIA head of station 15 months ago, he readily acknowledgedtorture was deployed in obtaining intelligence. I do not thinkthere is any doubt as to the fact

11. The torture record of the Uzbek security services could hardly bemore widely known. Plainly there are, at the very least, reasonablegrounds for believing the material is obtained under torture. Thereis helpful guidance at Article 3 of the UN Convention; "The competentauthorities shall take into account all relevant considerationsincluding, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned ofa consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of humanrights." While this article forbids extradition or deportation toUzbekistan, it is the right test for the present question also.

12. On the usefulness of the material obtained, this is irrelevant.Article 2 of the Convention, to which we are a party, could not be plainer:

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or athreat of war, internal political instability or any other publicemergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

13. Nonetheless, I repeat that this material is useless – we areselling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful. It isdesigned to give the message the Uzbeks want the West to hear. It exaggerates the role, size, organisation and activity of the IMU andits links with Al Qaida. The aim is to convince the West that theUzbeks are a vital cog against a common foe, that they should keepthe assistance, especially military assistance, coming, and that theyshould mute the international criticism on human rights and economic reform.

14. I was taken aback when Matthew Kydd said this stuff was valuable.Sixteen months ago it was difficult to argue with SIS in the area ofintelligence assessment. But post Butler we know, not only that theycan get it wrong on even the most vital and high profile issues, butthat they have a particular yen for highly coloured material whichexaggerates the threat. That is precisely what the Uzbeks give them.Furthermore MI6 have no operative within a thousand miles of me andcertainly no expertise that can come close to my own in making this assessment.

15. At the Khuderbegainov trial I met an old man from Andizhan. Two of his children had been tortured in front of him until he signed a confession on the family's links with Bin Laden. Tears were streamingdown his face. I have no doubt they had as much connection with BinLaden as I do. This is the standard of the Uzbek intelligence services.

16. I have been considering Michael Wood's legal view, which hekindly gave in writing. I cannot understand why Michael concentratedonly on Article 15 of the Convention. This certainly bans the use ofmaterial obtained under torture as evidence in proceedings, but itdoes not state that this is the sole exclusion of the use of such material.

17. The relevant article seems to me Article 4, which talks ofcomplicity in torture. Knowingly to receive its results appears to beat least arguable as complicity. It does not appear that being in adifferent country to the actual torture would preclude complicity. I talked this over in a hypothetical sense with my old friend ProfFrancois Hampson, I believe an acknowledged World authority on theConvention, who said that the complicity argument and the spirit ofthe Convention would be likely to be winning points. I should begrateful to hear Michael's views on this.

18. It seems to me that there are degrees of complicity and guilt,but being at one or two removes does not make us blameless. There areother factors. Plainly it was a breach of Article 3 of the Conventionfor the coalition to deport detainees back here from Baghram, but ithas been done. That seems plainly complicit.

19. This is a difficult and dangerous part of the World. Dire andincreasing poverty and harsh repression are undoubtedly turning youngpeople here towards radical Islam. The Uzbek government are thuscreating this threat, and perceived US support for Karimovstrengthens anti-Western feeling. SIS ought to establish a presencehere, but not as partners of the Uzbek Security Services, whose sheerbrutality puts them beyond the pale.


Second Document - summary of legal opinion from Michael Wood arguingthat it is legal to use information extracted under torture:
From: Michael Wood, Legal Advisor
Date: 13 March 2003
CC: PS/PUS; Matthew Kidd, WLD
Linda Duffield


1. Your record of our meeting with HMA Tashkent recorded that Craig had said that his understanding was that it was also an offenceunder the UN Convention on Torture to receive or possess information under torture. I said that I did not believe that this was the case,but undertook to re-read the Convention.

2. I have done so. There is nothing in the Convention to this effect.The nearest thing is article 15 which provides:

"Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which isestablished to have been made as a result of torture shall not beinvoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a personaccused of torture as evidence that the statement was made."

3. This does not create any offence. I would expect that under UK lawany statement established to have been made as a result of torture would not be admissible as evidence.
M C WoodLegal Adviser

=Comment #1: 12/29/05
They have no shame nor fear of retribution because with Bush in power, they're just following orders! Hmmm, didn't we hear that someplace the Nuremberg Trial? Fascism has a new face, complete with big ears (besides George's, the NSA's).


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