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Britain's outspoken former Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray who helped expose vicious human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of Islam Karimov is now engaged in a battle with The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office who are determined to stop him from publishing his book, Murder in Samarkand.

The British Government has come out with fully armed and are threatening four grounds of legal action if he goes to press:

a) Libel
b) Crown Copyright
c) Breach of Confidence
d) Official Secrets Act



But he doesn't care, he’s going to press anyway
.

So he needs our support.

Murray resigned in protest from his position due to the US/British policy of rendering prisoners caught elsewhere in the world to be tortured in Karimov's infamous prisons.

On the night prior to Christmas Eve in 2005, the UK Government threated Murray that he would face litigation if he went to press with his book - to which, in reaction, he promptly released several documents on the Internet that government officials told him would violate the British Secrecy Act if made public. Within hours, the documents ripped around the world, proving that in the new era of blogging and political networks that have reached out across the Atlantic and around the world - whistleblowers have some reprise in stating their case.

The documents unveiled last year included telegrams that Craig sent to the Foreign Office detailing disgust at the UK government’s use of intelligence passed on by the Uzbeki secret service. Also a copy of legal advice the Foreign Office sought, to see whether they were operating within the Law in accepting torture intelligence, and according to Michael Wood the FCO legal adviser; “it’s fine, as long as it is not used as evidence."

From Chris Floyd...

And evil is the word for it. Murray, while still serving as UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, dug up proof that the tortures condoned by Bush and Blair included boiling prisoners to death, in addition to the traditional methods of pulling out fingernails, beating, starving, and raping. Nor were these refinements limited to the prisoners themselves -- their family members were also tortured to produce "confessions." One chilling case unearthed by Murray, who witnessed the Stalinist show trials mounted by Karimov's judicial goons, featured a peasant farmer who was forced to confess to extensive family links to Osama Bin Laden -- after seeing his children tortured before his eyes. At the show trial, the old man renounced his confession and exposed the torture of children -- and was promptly hustled away.

All of this -- and much more -- Murray reported at the time to his superiors in London, and to his diplomatic colleagues from Europe and the United States. At every turn, he found either resigned complicity -- "What can we do? The US supports Karimov?" -- to outright embrace of torture from -- who else? -- Bush's own man in Tashkent, who told Murray that the "reduction of civil liberties" under Karimov was "no bad thing," since it was being done in the name of combatting Islamic extremism. Here we see the Bushist ethos in essence: Everything is permitted -- torture, murder, rape, kidnapping, aggression -- in the name of "fighting terrorism." Bush has of course brought this police state philosophy to America, as even the mainstream media is beginning to report.

Murray's release of these documents -- an end run around the Blair government's threat to censor his whistle-blowing book on his tenure in Uzbekistan -- is yet another of a whole battery of smoking guns proving the pervasive criminality of the oh-so-Christian Coalition of Bush and Blair.

Blairwatch is covering the latest story in-depth.

“Book Burning: Craig Murray to defy Foreign Office Threats, and publish ‘Murder in Samarkand’”

Originally posted to caribmon on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 12:41 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Letter from the Foreign Office (none)

    February 12, 2006
    Declaration and Publication: The Stagg Letter and The Final Rejoinder

    Threatening Letter from the Foreign Office to Murray

    Click thumb for full image

    Click thumb for full image

    Murray

    9 February 2006

    Mr Richard Stagg
    Director General Corporate Affairs
    Foreign & Commonwealth Office
    London

    Dear Dickie,

    Thank you for your letter of 8 February about my forthcoming book, Murder in Samarkand. Let me respond to the points which you have made.

    Firstly, allow me to note that, over a period of many months, you have consulted exhaustively with all the FCO staff, past and present, named in the book.

    Let me then relate that to the question of libel. In your letter you state that you are “Also advised that there are a number of passages in your book which could well ground actions for defamation.”

    Let me be quite plain. I have no desire to libel or defame anybody. So I urge you now to disclose to me those passages in the book which you have been advised may be defamatory, so that I may consider if I believe there is that danger, and remove or amend any accidental defamation.

    I make this offer in all good faith, that we may avoid the publication of defamation. If you choose not to take up this fair offer, and subsequently the FCO or its employees attempt to block publication through court actions for defamation, it will be evident that this is not an attempt to avoid defamation, but a ruse to block publication of the book as a whole through vexatious and unnecessary litigation.

    I repeat I have the strongest desire not to defame anybody. I know the terrible mental anguish that unjust defamation can cause. You will recall that I was myself outrageously defamed and accused, quite groundlessly, of appalling things like being an alcoholic and offering visas in exchange for sex. Of course, in my case it was the FCO which was defaming me. The complete story of why and how this happened is in fact the substance of my book. Which is why you are so keen to identify and reserve possible legal avenues for the government to block publication.

    It is not falsehood which scares you, but truth.

    It is plain from your letter that you object to the whole concept of my publishing this account. Nowhere in the months of negotiation between us to date did you propose any such fundamental objections as now surface in your letter. Rather you asked for a series of specific amendments, the vast majority of which I made. I am sadly reinforced in my view that this lengthy process was an effort on your part to stall publication, rather than a discussion in good faith.

    On the specific points you raise, you claim that the publication on my website of material in September caused operational damage to Research Analysts. There has been numerous and frequent correspondence and personal contact between us since September. I am puzzled as to why you mention this now and have not done so before. The material in question featured on my website for 24 hours and has not done so since.

    You requested me to remove material from the book which you believed was misleading on the role of Research Analysts and could cause operational difficulty. I immediately removed that passage from the text in its entirety. The only point still at dispute, is that I have in the text that a member of Research Analysts told me that people in that Department were in tears over pressure put on them to go along with claims of Iraqi WMD. You tell me that the officer, still in your employ, now denies telling me this. I have noted in the book that I say he told me this, and he apparently says he did not tell me this. People can draw their own conclusions. I cannot see why this is such a huge problem for you, or would lead you to want to ban a book.

    Similarly, I formed a strong impression that the British Embassy in Tashkent was pretty inactive before my arrival. You say that is not your impression. Well, fine. That seems to me well within the range of views that should be able freely to be published in a democracy without political suppression.

    I note your point on Crown Copyright. Again, I am genuinely concerned to act in a legal fashin and I should be most grateful if you would explain to me how my book differs from Christopher Meyer’s in this regard.

    You told me that you had personally played a major role within the FCO in supervising the preparation of the “Dirty Dossier” on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. I am afraid that one consequence is, that when you try to lecture me on truth, I am sorely tempted to laugh at you. I have lost my livelihood through all this. You have lost something infinitely more precious.

    Finally, you threaten me with the Official Secrets Act. I am confident I am not breaking it. And if you really want to ask a jury of twelve honest citizens to send me to prison for campaigning against torture, good luck to you.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Craig J Murray

    •  What a brave guy (none)
      Those pictures... Horrible.

      Finally, you threaten me with the Official Secrets Act. I am confident I am not breaking it. And if you really want to ask a jury of twelve honest citizens to send me to prison for campaigning against torture, good luck to you.

      Damn, what a brave man.

      •  No small planes please... (none)
        Well, I would not get in a small Wellstonian plane if I were him. Or take a stroll in the country a la David Kelly.
        The only point still at dispute, is that I have in the text that a member of Research Analysts told me that people in that Department were in tears over pressure put on them to go along with claims of Iraqi WMD.
        The Downing Street memos confirmed an intention to "fix" the evidence. The forty five minute saga was pathetic. And Murry points out how hard they were all pushed.
        •  Thanks for keeping us up to date. (none)
          Here is a link to the April diary by LeftHandedMan Of Boiling Men Alive In Our Name with more photos and link in the comments.

          When I read Murray's description of cotton slavery I couldn't help but think of the plantation mentality of the ruling elite, and the Katrina non-response, and our economy, and the detention camps.....

          I really foresee, in the face of the coming collapse of oil-based civilization, our rulers planning on working us to death on plantations, growing food with hand tools.

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