In the Heat of the Moment

Speaking at Bristol University, MI5 chief Jonathan Evans has raised more questions than he has answered when he says his agency has never condoned torture but had no choice but to use Al-Qaeda-related intelligence generated by partner agencies overseas who did employ torture. Clearly, he is right when he argues that MI5 would have been negligent, if it had not acted on such intelligence, but exactly what did MI5 know about (and when did it know of) the abuses and torture employed by U.S. agencies, for example?

Were British officers ever present when torture was employed? There have been claims they were. And how did MI5 change operational principles when it was clear that the U.S. was employing torture? Evans does not clarify that in his speech. Further, were the British intelligence agencies collusive in renditions?

Full transcript here.