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View Diary: Of Boiling Men Alive In Our Name (168 comments)

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  •  Craig Murray (4.00)
    The BBC website reported when Mr Murray was removed as Ambassador to Uzbekistan.

    Some official comments from the article.

    'A Foreign Office spokesman said: "It's now felt it's no longer possible Mr Murray can do his job effectively so he's been withdrawn."

    He denied the action was in response to the Financial Times story, which claimed Mr Murray alleged in a report to the Foreign Office that MI6 used intelligence gained by torture, passed on by the CIA.

    This was strongly denied by the Foreign Office, who said intelligence agencies never used torture to obtain information or incited others to do so'.

    There is a Wikipedia article giving further details. It looks like the Foreign Office establishment worked hard to undermine Craig Murray, before he was eventually removed.

    'Murray was removed from his post shortly after a leaked report in the Financial Times quoted him as claiming that MI6 used intelligence gained by the Uzbek authorities by torture. The Foreign Office denied there was any direct connection and stated that Mr Murray had been removed for "operational" reasons. It claimed that he had lost the confidence of senior officials and colleagues. Murray countered that he was a "victim of conscience".

    He is preparing to stand for parliament in Blackburn, as an independent candidate, against Home Secretary Jack Straw in the May 2005 general election'.

    Jack Straw has been the Foreign Secretary since 2001, which is why Mr Murray has chosen to stand against him. I doubt that Jack Straw is in any electoral danger but the campaign is providing an opportunity for telling more people of the apalling things that have been going on in Uzbekistan and the refusal of British officialdom to accept that it is anything to do with us.

    There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

    by Gary J on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 02:55:00 AM PDT

    •  Can people in the US can help his campaign? [n/t] (none)

      Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.
      ePluribus Media - Donate!

      by mataliandy on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 07:23:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly probably not much (none)
        I looked in to this when an American wanted to help Reg Keys, the Independent challenger to Tony Blair. British law prohibits financial donations to political campaigns from foreign sources. I suspect other help would be as counterproductive as the Guardian readers writing letters to Ohio voters last year.

        There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

        by Gary J on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 09:55:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Text of speech by Craig Murray about Uzbekistan (4.00)
      Given on Nov. 8, 2004 at Chatham House:

      It is a sad story of a once somewhat affluent country being taken over by the elites, with support from the US.

      Some excerpts:

      "The US State Department briefing says that torture is used as "A routine investigative
      technique" by the Uzbek security services. Theo van Boven, UN Special Rapporteur on
      Torture, found it to be "Widespread and systemic".

      Nobody in the British government has
      attempted to argue to me that the information we receive from the Uzbek sources was not
      obtained under torture. Rather they argue that we did not encourage or instigate the torture,
      so are not complicit."

      "I associate support for human rights, and opposition to torture, with fundamental British
      values. Surely we have to stand up to the US and say that under George Bush the CIA is
      involved in things we cannot go along with.

      Just as we cannot go along with US policy in Central Asia. This is a throwback to the US
      policy of support for dictators in Central America in the 1970s. The situation is redolent
      with ironies. In supporting Karimov, George Bush is helping prop up the remnants of
      Soviet totalitarianism."

      "Every crunch of bone at the smash of a limb, every female scream of terror, every second of
      dreadful, of unimaginable anguish in the torture chambers of the US-backed Karimov
      regime, just as every block in Sharon's wall, just as every bomb that falls tonight on a home
      in Fallujah, will fuel the fires of hatred across the Islamic world. And while no act of
      random terrorist violence is ever justified, is in truth evil, we must nonetheless say that
      myopic US foreign policy under President Bush reinforces hatred across the Muslim World.

      That was certainly my daily perception in Tashkent, and my aim there was to distance the
      UK and articulate a distinctive British policy based on support for human rights and the rule
      of international law.

      It was worth a try."

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

      by bewert on Wed Apr 20, 2005 at 08:40:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "it was worth a try" (none)
        Is it too early to drink yet?
      •  Craig Murray's Speech (none)
        From the speech:

        "Bill Rammell at the FCO instituted a freedom of expression panel. The FCO and NGO's
        together meet quarterly to choose ten imprisoned writers worldwide whose cause the FCO
        will take up. The first two meetings alone chose three Uzbeks. Not a word of dissent
        appears in the Uzbek media - indeed not one word of <B<my</b> speeches ever did. Strangely the
        US Ambassador's comments were often carried at some length."


        •  More from the speech.... (none)
          "Nowhere will you find a
          public mention of human rights by that stream of high level US visitors to Uzbekistan, and I
          don't believe they were that firm in private either.

          We have I think to look behind the language. How can it advance the war on terror to back
          a totalitarian dictator who terrorises and impoverishes his own people? If Karimov is part
          of the "Coalition of the willing", is on "our" side in the war on terror, then that war cannot
          be the straightforward clash between good and evil which the politicians are selling.

          It is, in fact, about something else. It is about the advancement of American military power
          in areas central to the control of oil and gas, US oil and gas interests are served by backing
          an unpleasant dictator in Tashkent, willing to give them a dominant position in Central
          Asia, just as they are served by toppling one in Baghdad. This is nothing to do with the
          advancement of democracy. If it were, why has the US government put so much effort into
          shielding the Uzbek government from criticism in international for a such as the UN
          Commission for Human Rights in Geneva?"

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