Murray was the British ambassador to Uzbekistan who was forced out of his job for exposing the US/British practice of sending politicial prisoners to Uzbekistan to be tortured.
From the intro to the interview
First of all, if you’ve read the accounts, you know that the Uzbek government stands accused of boiling dissidents to death, raping them with broken bottles, smashing their teeth in, pulling out their fingernails – one of the West’s principal allies in the ‘war on terror’, which is often cast as one for liberal values, has been a dictatorship that, according to Murray, is every bit as bad as Saddam’s was. This regime also happened to be one of the main suppliers of ‘intelligence’ to the West.
This was ‘intelligence’ which the CIA used and pretended was genuine. Worse, they sent prisoners to Uzbekistan to be tortured for information.
“It started with me in first three weeks of arriving going to witness a dissident trial, and it was absolutely terrifying. It was like a Nazi show trial, they had dissidents signing confessions saying not only that they had been to Afghanistan, but that they actually met bin Laden ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ it was that obvious. And the prisoners were looking dishevelled and beaten, and they were surrounded by armed guards and the judge was screaming at them. It was an extraordinary, terrifying experience. Within a few days of that, I received photographs of one prisoner who had been boiled to death at the notorious Jaslyk prison complex.
Over time I started to get a picture of torture at an industrial level, with the common factor that if they were dissidents they were made to sign confessions indicating that they were connected with Al-Qaeda and if they weren’t dissidents, they had to name ten other people as being connected with Al Qaeda ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and it was ludicrous, these were people they had never even met!
“Then I began to get CIA intelligence reports repeating these exact claims as trustworthy intelligence, and it didn’t take much to notice that connection.”
The interview concludes
He wonders, as any reader might, how we have come to a situation where “integrity in public life is now so rare that some consider me a hero just for exhibiting the most basic human decency?” In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. In a time of increasing reaction, even the most moderate liberalism can seem revolutionary.
Criag Murray has written a book about this, Murder in Samarkand. The British government has blocked him from publishing certain documents related to the book on his website. However these documents have widely been distributed via the blogosphere. Blogs with continuing info on Craig Murray and his battles with the government include LFCM, BlairWatch, Nether World, and Lenin’s Tomb (where the above interview appeared)
Bloggers have played an indispensable role in getting the news about Murray and Uzbekistan out to the world, as well as in circumventing the attempted censorship of the British government.