No one was really surprised to find out that MI5 was aware of the torture of Binyam Mohamed, but being unsurprised does not mean being unconcerned.

Governments, along with their security and intelligence agencies, have always kept secrets from the public. Usually with good reason, one would hope, but this issue is difficult to gauge. Most people are saddened by the news that MI5 knew about about it and did little, if anything, to discourage it. But are we better off for knowing about it?

Faith in MI5 has been shaken, and its chief, Jonathan Evans, notes that this embarrassment may well be used as propaganda by those who don't have the prosperity of Britain and the US in mind. Whether that is the fault of the court for making the information public, or of MI5 for their conduct in the first place, will always be open for debate.

Perhaps a more pressing question is whether or not the safety of the British public has been compromised. It has been hinted that the USA may think twice before sharing intelligence with Britain in future. Is it worth the trade off?

It is human nature for people to want to be aware of such things. No one likes the idea of hushed conversations behind closed doors, especially when their taxes are paying for the coffee. But while the public will generally be pleased with the judgement that this information be made available, the price of this information is a rattled confidence in the powers that control the country, and a potential decrease in intelligence, and therefore in national security.

Looked at in this way, many people would prefer to be kept in the dark about such matters if it means they're more likely to be able to ride a bus in relative safety. Secrecy is integral to security on this scale, and no one can judge whether we should have a lot of secrecy or just a little bit of secrecy.

Well, a judge can judge it. But does a person's position within the legal system mean their judgements are right and accurate? David Miliband says no. The CIA says no. What do you say?