Sunday, December 14, 2008

Time to stand up and be counted - help Craig Murray

Some of you may know I'm a big fan of Craig Murray, the ex British ambassador to Uzbekistan. I wrote about him recently here.

For those who don't know who Craig Murray is, here is a brief précis:

Murray worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) from 1984 - 2002. He had a lot of overseas appointments in that time, however the most important was his assignment to Uzbekistan in 2002. It was during this time he not only got over his head in local politics (taking principled stands on local issues that was quite uncharacteristic for an international ambassador, especially one cut from the phlegmatic British cloth), he also began communicating to Her Majesty's government that British ties with Uzbekistan were the height of hypocrisy, especially once the 'War on Terror' had begun in earnest.

The Uzbeki regime is - and was - fundamentally corrupt. In one case that Murray was responsible for exposing, a political dissident was boiled alive by the government of the day. Notions of fighting for civil liberties, "democracy" and against terrorism were absolutely laughable when one considers that Uzbekistan was - and remains to this day - a supposed key ally. Murry revealed the extent of this double standard, as well as cases of FCO negligence, incompetence and corruption.

Murray was harrassed and threatened by the FCO, eventually being forced out of his job in 2004. He has been a thorn in the side of Her Majesty's government ever since.

And now he's asking for your help.

Politically I don't see completely eye to eye with Murray. However, I simply cannot fault his principled opposition to Her Majesty's government and her cronies in corruption and lies. He's also a man after my own heart in that he believes in a 'warts and all' philosophy: Murray is more than open about his failings and weaknesses, some of which I share myself (a definite weakness for women for one....). It's precisely the kind of thing that makes me trust the man, and relate to him, all the more.

Murray never gave up his ongoing exposure of intransigence, hypocrisy and outright corruption of Her Majesty's government, and the regimes with whom she does business. He has recently been working on a new book, "The Catholic Orangemen of Togo". In this forthcoming piece, he continues his exposures, relating various experiences he had while working for the FCO. Amongst other things, he reveals new information on our old friend, mercenary Tim Spicer and the activities of his mercenaries. Spicer and co, like another beacon of virtue shielded by Her Majesty's government - Alisher Usmanov - is a fan of applying the rich man's libel. In other words, he has more money than you, so he has the privilege of free speech, however you do not.

English libel law (and "libel tourism") is regarded by many in the U.S. as a fundamental threat to freedom. And Murray is being threatened, again, by rich man's lawyers, schillings over publishing a book recounting his own experiences.

Murray is asking everyone who wants to help to do something simple. And it takes very little effort. Just a little courage:

He is going to release his new book as a PDF file. He is asking everyone who wants to stand up and be counted to host a copy of this book on their website. If you don't have a website, or don't know how to upload files, then you can still help - just link to one (preferably more than one) of the websites who will be hosting the file.

I will be hosting it myself, though I won't have the file until Craig sends it to me. I already have a directory on my website - which is publicly viewable - dedicated to Craig Murray files and it already hosts a number of the "libellous" accusations. You can find it here. It would be much more useful if linkers linked directly to the file when it is available, rather than the above directory, so I'm going to give you the name of the URL now (it won't work yet, but check back in a few days, hopefully it will be live by then with the actual file):

Other people will be hosting the file and I'll post updates as soon as I have the URLs. It is important to link to more than copy of the file if you can, as we're liable to get taken out by schillings et al. one by one, though if there are enough of us they will fail.

If you are interested in hosting the file, contact Craig on this email address:

Let's get the bastards.

Speaking of bastards, it's easy to let them grind you down, so here's a touch of humour, where David Rees explains the situation in cartoons much better than I could in words:

You can find more here, here, here and a good one on another Caspian Sea "friend", Azerbaijan, here.


marksany said...

I thought it was called Berzerkistan, or is that just in Doonsbury?

Peter said...

I agree - I don't agree with Craig Murray's politics, but I have a lot of respect for what he's done.