Is The Lid Coming Off?

It would appear that the story that the UK government uses intelligence that has been acquired via torture in Uzbekistan has just been turned up a notch or two higher. Documents in the possession of the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan have been re-published on multiple sites in the blogosphere in an attempt to beat what is allegedly the UK government’s attempts to suppress the information.
 
Justin McKeating over at The Chicken Yoghurt has a good summary of this story, including the alleged documents, and I recommend reading it.
 
One thing that caught my eye was a supposed quote from Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary. He apparently said:
"One of the things that is done with intelligence that comes from liaison partners, obviously an assessment is made about its provenance.
 
Because it does not follow that if it is extracted under torture, it is automatically untrue. But there is a much higher probability of it being embellished."
Embellished!? I am appalled that he could choose this word. It means "to add incidents or imaginary accompaniments so as to heighten a narrative". In other words Straw is assuming that the information obtained under torture is basically true. He apparently refuses ever to consider the possibility that the information could be false in every respect. I find that sickening, and morally repugnant.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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