Search Results for : schillings


Oops, Schillings Did It Again!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted in genuine admiration of Ryan Giggs. Now Schillings have set out to destory his reputation, and rook him of several hundred thousand pounds at the same time. Guido has a good graph:

Plainly Ryan Giggs internet skills are not great, or he could easilly have discovered that would happen.

Schillings did the same thing for Alisher Usmanov, Britain’s second richest man. Schillings had written to all UK mainstream media what is known as a “chilling” letter. It stated that the Uzbek billionaire Usmanov had been in jail in the Soviet Union as a political prisoner, and had been pardoned after President Gorbachev came to power, and that anyone who published anything different would be sued. Our useless mainstream media has still, to this day, not published anything different.

In the interest of veracity I posted what I knew from my time as British Ambassador in Uzbekistan. Usmanov was never a political prisoner. He was a gangster jailed for extortion. He had not been pardoned by Gorbachev. He was pardoned by the state of Uzbekistan, under his gangster friend President Karimov.

Schillings threatened repeatedly to sue me, but they never did, because they know it is true. They threatened to sue my then webhosts, who were so scared they pulled not only my site but many others on the same server. They particularly threatened many Arsenal fan blogs, as Usmanov was trying to take over the club at the time.

The result was that millions of people worldwide, who otherwise would never have heard of Usmanov, learnt he had a conviction for blackmail as the story went viral. I have been told for cetain that the internet furore directly impacted on the willingness of major Arsenal shareholders to sell to Usmanov. Schillings caused the failure of Usmanov’s bid to take over Arsenal. If they had allowed the truth about him to live quietly in a small corner of the internet, that would not have happened.

Even though Schillings never did sue, our power-serving mainstream media has still never mentioned the truth about Usmanov’s criminal past, even when he was last month announced as Brtian’s second richest man. That is why the freedom of new media is so important, and why Ryan Giggs is wrong.

But if you have enough money, you can with effort even influence new media. The Usmanov/Craig Murray affair used to feature prminently on the Wikipedia “Streisand Effect” page linked to above. It has been edited out – when and by whom? It has also disappeared from Usmanov’s own Wikipedia page. And recently on Arsenal blogs, there have been a rash of commenters calling for Usmanov to take over, often repeating the same long comment across several Arsenal blogs. That kind of money buys a lot of trolls.

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Iraq Mercenary Boss Hires Schillings To Block My New Book

Download file

Schillings are a firm of libel lawyers dedicated to prevent the truth from being known about some deeply unlovely people. They managed temporarily to close down this blog (and several others) to keep information quiet about the criminal record of Alisher Usmanov. Now they are attempting to block the publication of my new book in the interests of mercenary commander Tim Spicer, one of those who has made a fortune from the Iraq War. It is sad but perhaps predictable that private profits from the illegal Iraq war, in which hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died, are providing the funding to try to silence my book.

Libel law in the UK is a remarkable thing – Schillings can go for an injunction when I haven’t published anything about Spicer yet and they haven’t seen what I intend to publish. People might conclude that Spicer has something to hide. You will see that they also are attempting to censor not only the book, but what I say at the Edinburgh Book Festival on 12 August. I can assure you that they will find it impossible to affect what I say about Spicer at that event.

Nor will they prevent me from publishing the truth about Spicer, one way or another.

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Yet More Schillings Bollocks

On my article about Alisher Usmanov which so incensed his lawyers Schillings, let me ask this question. Has anybody seen an argument posted or published from any credible source to argue that what I say about Usmanov is untrue?

I ask the question because one of the edits to this log my webhost made at Schillings’ behest was to say that my claim was “regarded as false by many people”. I have altered that edit, because there is no justification for such a claim. I have yet to see evidence of anybody, not one solitary person, arguing that I am wrong about Usmanov, other than his lawyers. Who are these “Many people”, and why are they peculiarly silent?

I am very sympathetic to my webhost having to change things for Schillings, but not to the extent of altering things to become defamatory of me!!!

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Hating the Internet

The meeting in Paris to hand out the Libyan oil and reconstruction contacts to Western companies, the NATO assault on Sirte and surrounding towns, the continuation of control orders in the UK, even the unchallenged Israeli spokesman on TV saying that the Mavi Mamara was laden with arms and that all those killed were terrorists: all of these things make me feel that liberalism is so otiose that there is no chance of resonance, and there is no point in my screaming into the void. It is hard to summon up the willpower to keep blogging.

Not too pleased with the internet today either. Searching for the Wikileaks cables which the Guardian say are now available and freely searchable. Why are they not up on a website somewhere? Tried the Pirate Bay site to which someone posted a link. Could not get the cables to download, but did manage to infect my computer with all kinds of shit casino programmes, my homepage has become some rubbish called facemoods, etc. Is this what the brave new world of internet sharing became? Buggering up people’s computers for money?

You will recall that when commercial publication of The Catholic Orangemen of Togo was stopped by the mercenary Tim Spicer and legal parasites Schillings, I responded by making it available free online. I now can’t find it anywhere where it is not hidden behind registration or payment or the sort of crap downloads I just got given by The Pirate Bay.

I actually have no desire to download the Wikileaks cables anyway. I just want to search and read them. Why is that so difficult? Bloody interweb thing is useless.

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The Catholic Orangemen of Togo


I have been obliged to self-publish my new book, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo (and Other Conflicts I Have Known), because legal threats from mercenary commander Tim Spicer scared off my publisher: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/Schillings.pdf.

I have accordingly decided to make it available free online from 12 January 2009 as a PDF hosted on over a hundred different websites, in almost thirty different jurisdictions. I have, however, had physical books printed for those who wish (and purchased carbon offset). I hope to get copies into bookstores shortly, though this is difficult. It is available from Amazon.co.uk for just £12.49.

Update: the book was previously offered here for sale, but all copies have now gone.

Update 2: The book is now available for download in PDF form further down this page.

The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known

The book is an autobiographical prequel to Murder in Samarkand and covers the period 1998 to 2002. It exposes the links between blood diamonds, crime and British mercenary involvement in Africa. it argues that the disregard Tony Blair showed for both British and international law in dealing with Sierra Leone prefigured the disaster of Iraq. It also covers my role in the dawn of democracy in Ghana.

More importantly, it is intended in an entertaining way to present questions of African development, drawing on thirty year’s practical experience. I am deeply critical of current fashionable doctrines in the field of overseas aid. I hope it will inform and entertain as Murder in Samarkand did, but on a different set of issues. Here is the blurb from the book:

Craig Murray’s adventures in Africa from 1997 to 2001 are a rolliciking good read. He exposes for the first time the full truth about the “Arms to Africa” affair which was the first major scandal of the Blair Years. He lays bare the sordid facts about British mercenary involvement in Africa and its motives. This is at heart an extraordinary account of Craig Murray’s work in negotiating peace with the murderous rebels of Sierra Leone, and in acting as the midwife of Ghanaian democracy. Clearly his efforts were not only difficult but at times very dangerous indeed. Yet the story is told with great humour. Not only do we meet Charles Taylor, Olusegun Obasanjo, Jerry Rawlings and Foday Sankoh, but there are unexpected encounters with others including Roger Moore, Jamie Theakston and Bobby Charlton! Above all this book is about Africa. Craig Murray eschews the banal remedies of the left and right to share with us the deep knowledge and understanding that comes over 30 years working in or with Africa. Gems of wisdom and observation scatter the book, as does a deep sense of moral outrage at the consequences of centuries of European involvement: even though he explains that much of it was well-intentioned but disastrous.

Download: The Catholic Orangemen of Togo

Front Cover
Contents
The Catholic Orangemen of Togo

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The 4.45pm Link

Iain Dale deserves applause and support for taking on the appalling rich man’s thugs, Schillings, and publishing John Sweeney’s Rooney’s Gold.

http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2010/06/rooneys-gold-publishing-tale.html

You will recall it was Schillings who had this blog – and several others – taken down temporarily (permanently if they had their way) at the behest of convicted gangster and racketeer Alisher Usmanov.

Just as Schillings had Rooney’s Gold cancelled by Random House on behalf of Wayne Rooney, so they had The Catholic Orangemen of Togo cancelled by Mainstream (50% owned by Random House) on behalf of mercenary killer Tim Spicer. Yet not a word of libel appears in either book.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/01/buy_the_catholi.html

Rooney’s Gold is written by my mate John Sweeney. It should be a good read – the extraordinary things he was telling me about the relationship between football agents and organised crime were a real revelation.

I am going to contact other bloggers to see if we can’t organise a day of campaigning by all major British bloggers against the UK’s notoriously oppressive libel laws, which put nil value on freedom of speech – literally – and are designed for the express purpose of protecting the rich from the revelation of truth.

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The Other Book

This reader’s review of The Catholic Orangemen of Togo appeared on Amazon yesterday. I like it very much because it seems to understand what I was trying to do. I really enjoy reading the readers’ reviews on both Amazon and on Facebook virtual bookshelf. When you write a book you crave feedback from those who experience reading it.

I remain very sad that my publisher buckled at the libel threats from Schillings on behalf of mercenary killer Tim Spicer, and I had to publish The Catholic Orangemen myself. The result was a much smaller readership. Murder in Samarkand deals with the extremes of human experience; The Catholic Orangemen is less spectacular, but I think it is better written and it contains the little wisdom I distilled from over a decade of working intensively on Africa and its problems,

As in his earlier book, Murray is enormously entertaining. But this is also by far the most informative book I have read about the nature of the problems modern African states tend to have. For instance he describes how many modern African countries have developed very restrictive trade agreements which allow them to accept subsidised US or EU produce, thereby bankrupting their own businesses, but won’t trade with each other because so many businesses are corrupt monopolies owned by relatives of government officials and they don’t want their neighbours to get the jump on them.

Murray also details a colossal level of corruption and bloodletting among all the West African countries, even the relatively stable Ghana. In the earlier part of the book Murray details his role in London having responsibilities for West Africa as a whole. Later he became Deputy High Commissioner of Ghana.

His most remarkable achievement here was in going to enormous lengths to facilitate a free election at the point when Jerry Rawlings had to give up power, having served two terms, and by virtue of incredible levels of organisation and very hard work managed to get a result.

This book is also frequently hilarious, never more so than in recounting his stage management of a Royal visit to Ghana, Duke of Edinburgh and all. At one stage the royal support team set up camp, so to speak, at an Accra hotel, at another the High Commissioner is gloriously upstaged. Some sections remind me of Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Black Mischief’. Murray speaks the truth and sometimes its shocking, often it confirms in glorious detail what one had often suspected, and sometimes it’s hilarious.

This book is set in the 90s, before Murray went to Uzbekistan, but was written quite recently, and Murray wasn’t as cynical about the morality of his own government during his stay in Africa as he later became. But what he has to tell us about the Arms for Africa affair reveals that what has shocked so many of us about Blair’s involvement in the Iraq war was not a one-off, driven by some compulsion to kowtow to the Americans. Long before 9/11 he was ignoring the painstaking work of whole departments of the Foreign Office to get his mates off the hook with their massively profitable corrupt arms dealing.

To anyone who loves Africa, and to anyone who wants chapter on verse on exactly how degraded the conduct of our government has become, this is essential reading.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0956129900/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R35CPZL41NHT7D

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Tiger Woods – Or Any Naked Parts of the Claimant’s Body

I am not going to publish a photo of Tiger Woods’ elbow or knee, purely because I haven’t got one. But if anyone can send me one, I shall gladly show you his knee and therefore render myself liable to imprisonment by the infamously ludicrous old fool Mr Justice Eady, who has the same attachment to freedom of speech as Stalin.

The famously fascist Eady

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/10/19/the-hanging-judge/

has just made it illegal to publish in England a photo of “any naked part of the Claimant’s body”, the claimant being Tiger Woods.

Justice Eady has also made it illegal to publish or communicate or copy or disclose the Order he made, according to paragraph 5 of the order you can find here.

http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/1210_schillings_doc_wm.pdf

Damn, I just disclosed it. That’s me off to jail, folks. It really might be – Justice Eady is indeed that stupid. Why is it a crime to show contempt for a court, when they are headed by persons as contempible as Justice Eady?

Speaking of arseholes, Tiger Woods has used Schillings to obtain this quite spectacular order, in which everybody in the world is covered by the word “defendant” (that really is true – Eady claims universal jurisdiction and even awarded damages against an Icelandic professor ofr publishing something on a university website in Iceland about another Icelander). Schillings are the law firn who terrified my publisher out of publishing “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo” on behalf of hired killer and liar Tim Spicer, and who got this website shut down for a few days on behalf of convicted racketeer and blackmailer Alisher Usmanov.

I was remarkably sympathetic to Tiger Woods. Any man who lives with blonde twin sisters is doing something right. But look at the company in which he has chosen to put himself by turning to Schillings. No honest person could stand the stink of Schillings.

Interestingly, although Eady’s order specifically states it must not be disclosed, the Guardian is stating it is not a super-injunction.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/dec/11/tiger-woods-law-injunction-media

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The Sad Death of craigmurray.co.uk

craigmurray.co.uk is no more. When Alisher Usmanov set Schillings on to me for daring to publish the truth about his past as a convicted racketeer and blackmailer, he caused my webhosts to pull the plug. Happily, after a very few days the blog returned hosted outside the UK, with a new domain name – craigmurray.org.uk instead of the craigmurray.co.uk used the previous three years.

Richard, Wibbler, Tim, Jeroen and Andrew between them did something brilliant so all the previous co.uk entres were copied to org.uk, and if you entered an old craigmurray.co.uk url, you got instantly redirected.

But sadly this no longer works. craigmurray.co.uk has now disappeared completely. It was hosted by Lycos, which went out of business, and we could not rescue it because nobody remembered any of the usernames, passwords or credit card details used when it was set up five years ago for the Blackburn election.

The content still exists safely on org.uk, but literally thousands of links around the net to craigmurray.co.uk addresses no longer work. This includes those to the Murder in Samarkand leaked FCO documents, and the urls printed in the books. The loss of many thousand old links has also of course led to a slump in various rankings on the blog – including a spectacular fall on Wikio which actually measures craigmurray.co.uk and not craigmurray.org.uk.

Anyone who has a site with a search and replace facility, if you could replace craigmurray.co.uk with craigmurray.org.uk that would be very helpful (if you have the ability to do it when it forms a part of an url).

Anyway, that’s the boring housekeeping announcement. My internet connection went down in Accra before I left, so some postings promised earlier were delayed but I hope to do them later today.

On arrival back in London I found that I had no court papers delivered from the Qulliam Foundation. So they join pathetic worms Jack Straw, Tim Spicer and Alisher Usmanov in the list of those who set lawyers on me to try to bully away the truth, but lacked the guts to go to court (though of course Usmanov has no lack of gut).

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The Convicted Criminal Alisher Usmanov

For the first time yesterday the mainstream media had the guts to take on billionaire Alisher Usmanov, whose hyperactive libel lawyers succeeded for a few days in closing this blog down.

Channel 4 yesterday showed a Dispatches programme on the Russian oligarchs, which for the first time in Bruitish mainstream media put the case that Arsenal shareholder Usmanov is a convicted blackmailer and racketeer. You can see the programme here:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od

Sadly I cannot see it in Ghana (I get a not available in your area message) so I do not yet know how much of my own interview in the programme got past the Channel 4 layers. It is however typical of Usmanov that I can find not a single comment on the programme in the mainstream media or even in any of the Arsenal blogs. All of the major Arsenal blogs have in the past received threatening letters from Schillings, Usmanov’s solicitors.

I shall be posting at the end of this week on a US racketeer, Gene E Phillips, and his corrupt – and so far succesful – attempt to rip off billions of dollars from the poor people of Ghana. I gave an interview on this to the FT last week and I am hopeful they will be running a less detailed expose on Thursday, on which I will follow up.

Meantime, it is worth noting that libel bullies the Quilliam Foundation and their pathetic lawyers Clarke Willmott seem to have skulked away. Not one of the individuals – including Jack Straw, Tim Spicer, Allisher Usmanov and Ed Hussain – who has set the lawyers onto this blog has ever dared to go to court.

That is because this blog does not libel, it tells the truth, and not one of them dares to face the truth in court, even with England’s notoriously oppressive libel laws on their side.

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Simon Mann Should Still Be In Jail

I am not rejoicing at the return of Old Etonian Simon Mann from jail in Equatorial Guinea. His failed coup attempt was just one of a series of ventures in which a group of upper class public school English former officers worked with former apartheid era forces to try to seize control of mineral resources across Africa.

You can find the story of my own involvement with them, the full background and the untold evidence of Blairite complicity in my book The Catholic Orangemen of Togo.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/01/buy_the_catholi.html

Long term readers of this blog will know that Mann’s erstwhile mercenary partner, Lt Col Tim Spicer, frightened my publisher out of the book by commissioning Schillings to send threatening letters under the UK’s notorious libel laws. But the book is entirely true, eyewitness stuff, as witnessed by the fact that, since self-publication, over a thousand copies have been sold while tens of thousands have read it free online – but there has been no sign of the threatened libel action from Spicer.

New Labour, of course, went on to consummate their relationship with Spicer by making him a multi multi millionaore providing mercenaries to their invasion of Iraq.

Had Mann’s coup succeeded in gaining the oilfields of Equatorial Guinea, it would almost certainly have resulted in the deaths of large numbers of Africans, just as Mann and Spicer organised in their in Executive Outcomes days. That is why I think he should still be in jail.

Strangely, I share that desire with Jack Straw and the with the Foreign and Commonwealth Ofiice, for very different reasons. They are pressing Mann to keep his mouth shut.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/foreign-office-warns-mann-to-keep-quiet-1816864.html

Straw has admitted the FCO had prior knowledge of the coup attempt. Just how far their involvement went is something they appear keen for Mann not to tell us.

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Convicted BlackMailer Usmanov Gets Stake in Facebook

People who flirt on Facebook – and why else join – may be less than enamoured by the fact that a $200 million stake has been bought by a company of which the biggest shareholder is a major criminal convicted of … blackmail.

Gangster and racketeer Alisher Usmanov was jailed in the Soviet Union when he finally overreached himself and attempted to blackmail a Jewish KGB officer.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-indirectly-obtains-a-colorful-backer

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Alisher Usmanov was pardoned by his croney President Karimov of Uzbekistan, perhaps the World’s most vicious dictator. Karimov runs a gangster state and political opponents have been boiled alive.

I was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan and I will swear to these facts on oath before any court.

Usmanov became a billionaire oligarch in the gangster takeover of Russia’s “privatised” mineral assets. He is close to Putin, and has been used by him to buy up and neutralise much of the little remaining independent media in Russia. Usmanov does this in his own name or as Chairman of GazpromInvestHolding. Independent journalists have died in mysterious accidents following Usmanov takeovers.

For a blackmailer who is a key tool in Putin’s increasingly authoritarian regime, to have a share in Facebook is totally unacceptable. Perhaps someone might start a Facebook group against it?

Usmanov uses lawyers to close down blogs who carry these facts. His lawyers, Schillings, will assert a number of lies in response:

Schillings Lie 1 Usmanov was a political prisoner

UNTRUE He was a gangster convicted of blackmail. There was no political element. (It has been hinted to me that anti-Semitism might have formed part of the motive, but without supporting evidence for that theory I think it was just greed).

Schillings Lie 2 Usmanov received a full pardon from President Gorbachev

UNTRUE He was pardoned by President Karimov of Uzbekistan after the fall of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev greatly dislikes Usmanov

Schillings Lie 3 He was convicted because he took the rap for a friend

UNTRUE Usmanov only started using this line when I revealed he was not a political prisoner but a racketeer. Nobody else ever mentioned such a theory to me.

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Why Was Alisher Usmanov Jailed?

I keep being asked this, so I thought I would set the record straight. Arsenal’s main shareholder Alisher Usmanov was jailed in Soviet times for blackmail. He and a colleague in the KGB attempted to blackmail another KGB officer. The KGB officer they tried to blackmail was Jewish and they seem to have felt that would make it easier to isolate him and his “roof”, or network of protective interests, would be weak. They miscalculated badly. Many believe that Usmanov was involved generally in extortion and overreached himself in this one case.

Contrary to assertions made by Usmanov’s lawyers Schillings, liars for the wealthy, Usmanov was not any kind of political prisoner. He was convicted as a straightforward criminal. He was later pardoned by Uzbek dictator President Karimov of Uzbekistan – not by Gorbachev, another Schillings lie.

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Help Wanted

Self-Publishing is very hard work. I reflected on this as I packed and labelled eighty individually ordered copies yesterday, lugged them to Shepherds Bush Post Office (approx 50kg!) and stood in line for 55 minutes to reach the counter at what I contend is the worst managed post office branch in the world. Today I was doing the same thing but ran out of books, which is something of a relief, albeit temporary.

I next have to start phoning up books section editors and persuading publications to review the book, then send out the review copies. That is for all the national and major regional press, political publications, international relations publications and Africa publications. Just finding the phone numbers will be a major task. I expect to spend most of next week on it.

(On Tuesday I am giving evidence to an Uzbek immigration asylum appeal, and on Thursday evening am speaking at the Oxford Union against Oliver Kamm and others, on the motion that “This House Believes that George Bush Has Made The World a Safer Place”. On Saturday I have a meeting in Copenhagen I’ll tell you more about later.)

But the biggest single task I have is getting the book into bookshops. As of today, to my knowledge not a single bookshop is selling it. The book is registered on the computer indexes that bookshops use for ordering, and I rather presumed that given all the publicity and the Mail on Sunday extracts, orders from bookshops would start to come in. But so far, nothing.

Again, this looks like it is going to have to be a question of somehow getting together a phone list and bashing the telephone. This is where help would be particularly welcome. If any readers know their local bookstores, I should be most grateful if you spoke to them and could suggest they stock The Catholic Orangemen. It should be available through their normal ordering method.

Any feedback you can give on the response, positive or negative, would be most welcome.

It could be that the association of the dread word “Schillings” with the book has scared off booksellers (who can also be sued). If the question is raised by the bookseller, it is worth refuting any question of a libel threat to the book. Catholic Orangemen is all over the web, the key bits were published by the Mail on Sunday, and it is happily being distributed by me and by Amazon. Nobody has heard anything from lawyers since a warning letter to Mainstream 18 months ago. Nobody has received any threat relating to libel since publication.

Similar conversations with libraries would also be helpful.

I have incidentally started the extraordinarily long-winded procedure used by Waterstones to qualify as a publisher for the book to be accepted in their branches.

I feel rather guilty; bloggers aren’t really supposed to keep urging their readers to do things for them!

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Catholic Orangemen Update

In September 2007 Schillings got my website closed down by my hosting company. They threatened them with legal action on behalf of convicted blackmailer and racketeer Alisher Usmanov, who is still attempting to complete his takeover of Arsenal FC.

Then in 2008 Schillings succeeded in getting my book publication cancelled on behalf of notorious mercenary Tim Spicer, by threatening my publisher.

Not only have Schillings never taken me to court, they have never even communicated with me. They don’t want a fight with someone with a spine.

Well, having released The Catholic Orangemen free online 48 hours ago, in the last twelve hours, the number of hits on a google search for the exact phrase “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo” has gone up from 1,810 to 2,390. There are now several hundred places you can download it

Schillings did try to excise the truth about Usmanov from the web internationally. Mostly they received a pretty robust response from bloggers. Here is a good example:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2007/09/they-get-spam.html

For now, the reptiles are quiet. Maybe they are too busy with their new contract to protect Derek Draper’s rubbish New Labour blog. They do represent the most appalling people. But then I don’t suppose nice people need them. In fact, I don’t suppose nice people would want to be in a room with anyone from Schillings.

It seems I was wrong in crediting Ten Percent with the first review of Catholic Orangemen. Babak Fakhamzadeh got there first. It is a full review and benefits from his knowing some of the people and places in the book.

http://babakfakhamzadeh.com/site/index.php?c=2&i=3913

Here is an excerpt:

I couldn’t find the book as important as Murder in Samarkand, but it’s an entertaining read, focussing on Murray’s time, mostly working as the British High Commissioner to Ghana, roughly from 1998 to 2001, which was publicly characterized by the Arms to Africa affair.

Part of the critique on Murray’s earlier book was the intertwining of spilling political beans with spilling private beans, mostly involving Murray’s sexual escapades. Possibly to poke fun at his critics, it’s his relationship issues he starts the first few paragraphs of this book with.

The book works for Murray’s candid approach both to himself and his experiences. Clearly, what he went through both in Ghana and, more importantly, Uzbekistan, and the emotional breakdown which followed, resulted in him getting to know himself to the fullest. And The Catholic Orangemen…, as a biography or memoir works because Murray is not full of himself. He’s aware of this, touching upon it in the preface, where he points out that contrary to typical biographies, Murder in Samarkand showed the author, warts and all, as opposed to presenting a near perfect image of himself, which autobiographies and memoirs often end up doing.

As far as revelations go, this book’s not nearly as impressive as its predecessor. It’s the small details which make it juicy. Descriptions of warlords, national leaders, politics behind politics and whatnot.

But also, Murray has clearly become a better writer since his previous book, using his tongue-in-cheek style with gusto.

I very much doubt that the mainstream media will come up with anything more perceptive – and if you read his full review he is right on all points about Adrienne, too.

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UK Libel Laws Busted

We have comprehensively blown wide apart the UK’s infamously repressive libel laws. Up until now, these have routinely been used not to prevent untruth, but to hide truth on behalf of the ultra-rich. In so doing they have spawned a whole universe of massively wealthy lawyers devoid of any moral values, dedicated only to the service and pursuit of money.

The leeches at Schillings appeared to have scored a routine victory on behalf of their client, notorious mercenary commander Tim Spicer, who has made a fortune from the war in Iraq. They threatened my publisher, Mainstream, with highly expensive legal action and Mainstream dropped my book.

Only ten years ago that would have been it – it would have been extraordinarily difficult to find a way to get the truth out to a wide public. Schillings, Spicer and the British legal system are still living in the 20th Century when English libel laws could effectiively give untold opportunity for repression.

But we are living now, so we put it free online, and published some copies privately. After just two days, a Google search on the precise phrase “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo” brings up 1,810 hits. A great many of these lead to a free download of the book. 23,000 copies of Murder in Samarkand have been sold so far, and most of those have been read by more than one person. But readership of The Catholic Orangemen looks likely to overtake in two weeks the readership that Murder in Samarkand achieved in two years.

So well done Schillings! The greatest publicist I could have!

Now what of Tim Spicer? Having put the very expensive Schillings on to me, he has either discovered a new commitment to free speech, or he was bluffing. No injunctions have appeared at my home in Sinclair Gardens. So now Spicer has either to sue, or stand revealed to the World as a man who tried to bully the truth out of print.

He will not sue, no matter how much I goad him. Not even if I show him some of my own legal advice:

There is no doubt that Craig is telling the truth. I do not say this because

on any question of fact I would believe Craig over Spicer, though that is the

case. The simple fact is that Craig can corroborate his story whilst Spicer

can’t. Spicer has no witnesses who were present at his meeting with Craig and

who can confirm what he says. Craig has a witness in the person of another

Foreign Office official who not only participated in the meeting but who

actually took notes during the meeting and who Craig says was the one who

actually produced the text of the UN Resolution so that it could be read out to

Spicer. Following the meeting Craig informed his Foreign Office superiors

about his concerns about Spicer. A whole series of meetings and discussions

about the Sierra Leone situation then followed lasting many months over the

course of which Craig abundantly and exhaustively documented his views about

Sierra Leone and the conflict there. These are the diametric opposite of those

that Spicer says Craig expressed during the meeting between Spicer and Craig.

The Foreign Office obviously believes Craig over Spicer because, instead of

disciplining Craig, which it surely would have done if Craig had contrary to

official policy first given Spicer the green light to sell arms illegally to

Sierra Leone in breach of a UN embargo and then lied about it, it instead

appointed Craig to a senior diplomatic post in Accra where he was given the

important job of brokering a peace agreement to end the Sierra Leone conflict.

Since the comments Craig makes about Spicer are true I would have thought it

most unlikely that Spicer would risk bringing a libel action against Craig.

This is not just because in a situation where Craig can corroborate what he

says whilst Spicer can’t the odds overwhelmingly point to Craig winning. It is

because of the serious consequences for Spicer if he were to bring such a case

and lost. These would go far beyond damage to reputation and financial loss.

If a Court were to find that Craig had not libelled Spicer because Craig was

telling the truth, Spicer could find himself once again facing criminal charges

for illegal arms trading. His defence (that the the Foreign Office in the

person of Craig had given him the green light) would be shot to pieces since it

would already have been discredited in advance by the libel Court. The CPS

would be looking at an open goal and this time it might be difficult to do what

was done back in 1998 and simply close the prosecution down. Simply by

bringing the libel action Spicer would have given the whole matter further

publicity whilst by discrediting his own defence Spicer would deprive the CPS

of its main grounds for not bringing a prosecution. There would even be a risk

(not great but by no means negligible) that the trial judge might even

recommend to the DPP that a prosecution be brought against Spicer in which case

calls for such a prosecution would probably be irresistable.

As for Craig’s other comments about Spicer, it is a matter of public knowledge

that Spicer is a mercenary even if that is not the word he uses to describe

himself. Craig is very careful not to make his allegations about Spicer’s

activities as a mercenary too specific, so I personally can see no grounds for

a libel action there. It is again a matter of public record that Spicer (along

with lots of other mercenaries) has been involved in and made a great deal of

money from the war in Iraq. Craig makes a frankly gratuitous comment about

Spicer’s facial appearance, but this is scarcely grounds for a libel action

.

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FREEDOM OF SPEECH – FOR FREE

Lawyers Schillings, acting on behalf of mercenary commander Tim Spicer, persuaded my publisher to pull out of publishing my new book, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflcits I Have Known. Tim Spicer has made millions from the war in Iraq, and the UK has become notorious for the ability of the rich to close down criticism because of the massive costs – often hundreds of thousands of pounds – of defending a legal action.

There is access to the courts in big libel cases only for the ultra-rich. So much so that just a simple letter like this

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/Schillings.pdf

can kill a book. This process is known in the trade as “Chilling”. Schillings are the acknowledged leaders in chilling.

But the law was formulated in an age when a limited number of printing presses were the only means of mass communication. Not only does this not apply in the digital age, but by using the “Streisland effect” we can make sure that any attempt at “Chilling” results in ten times more people actually reading the book. Eventually this will discourage clients from using firms like Schillings, and hopefully put the leeches of repression out of business.

So as a lesson to Schillings and their potential clients, here is The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known. I am making it available across the internet, absolutely free to read. You can find it here:

http://cryptome.org/cot-murray.zip

(At midnight my platform is refusing to upload, saying the file is too large – how embarassing! I hope we will get our own hosted copy up in the morning, when I can get help).

Let me be clear: there is no libel in this book – it is all true and based on my own eye-witness account. It contains not libel, but rather truth some people wish to hide.

It is going online in the next 24 hours in over thirty jurisdictions – Schillings will have their work cut out trying to get all those taken down, and it would make a dent even in Spicer’s bank balance to try.

So please read it, pass it around, copy it and post it to your site. You will be striking a blow for freedom, and you will ultimately contribute to making libel lawyers poorer.

If you want a hard copy, I have self-published and had some privately printed. You can buy it here.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/01/buy_the_catholi.html

I should be most happy if people wished to buy the book – you can widen the effect by giving it as a present! My last book, Murder in Samarkand was a non-fiction bestseller, so Schillings have cost me a lot of money. It will be more than worth it if we can get the truth out more widely, and strike a blow against the libel laws.

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Buy: The Catholic Orangmen of Togo (DIRECT)

I have been obliged to self-publish my new book, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known, because legal threats from mercenary commander Tim Spicer scared off my publisher:

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/Schillings.pdf I

I have accordingly decided to make it available free online from 12 January as a PDF hosted on over a hundred different websites, in almost thirty different juridictions. I have, however, had physical books printed for those who wish (and purchased carbon offset). I hope to get copies into bookstores shortly, though this is difficult. It is available from Amazon.co.uk for just £11.87

You can however purchase it here, direct from me, for the cover price of £17.99. This includes postage and packing to anywhere in the World, plus a signature and message if you wish.

I should fess up that I stand to make 80p profit on every copy sold though Amazon, but about £3.60 on every copy sold direct here. So, in addition, for every copy sold direct I will make a donation of £1 to either People and Planet, Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch. You can choose the nature of your donation below when you make your purchase via PayPal, and your donation choice will be confirmed by email.

If you want a signed copy, please note this in the “Special Instructions to Merchant” box when you enter the delivery address, together with any dedication you want with the signature.

BUY NOW :

The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known

Donation options

The book is an autobiographical prequel to Murder in Samarkand and covers the period 1998 to 2002. It exposes the links between blood diamonds, crime and British mercenary involvement in Africa. it argues that the disregard Tony Blair showed for both British and international law in dealing with Sierra Leone prefigured the disaster of Iraq. It also covers my role in the dawn of democracy in Ghana.

More importantly, it is intended in an entertaining way to present questions of African development, drawing on thirty year’s practical experience. I am deeply critical of current fashionable doctrines in the field of overseas aid. I hope it will inform and entertain as Murder in Samarkand did, but on a different set of issues. Here is the blurb from the book:

Craig Murray’s adventures in Africa from 1997 to 2001 are a rolliciking good read. He exposes for the first time the full truth about the “Arms to Africa” affair which was the first major scandal of the Blair Years. He lays bare the sordid facts about British mercenary involvement in Africa and its motives. This is at heart an extraordinary account of Craig Murray’s work in negotiating peace with the murderous rebels of Sierra Leone, and in acting as the midwife of Ghanaian democracy. Clearly his efforts were not only difficult but at times very dangerous indeed. Yet the story is told with great humour. Not only do we meet Charles Taylor, Olusegun Obasanjo, Jerry Rawlings and Foday Sankoh, but there are unexpected encounters with others including Roger Moore, Jamie Theakston and Bobby Charlton! Above all this book is about Africa. Craig Murray eschews the banal remedies of the left and right to share with us the deep knowledge and understanding that comes over 30 years working in or with Africa. Gems of wisdom and observation scatter the book, as does a deep sense of moral outrage at the consequences of centuries of European involvement: even though he explains that much of it was well-intentioned but disastrous.

If you wish to pay by cheque or postal order, please write with your details to Craig Murray, 31 Sinclair Gardens, West Kensington, London, W14 0AU. Cheques for £17.99 should be made payable to Craig Murray.

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Publicising the New Book

As legal sharks Schillings caused my publisher to back down, causing me to have to self-publish The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known, we have needed to think imaginatively about promoting the book. One plan will involve promoting some individual short quotes. I have been through the book and extracted some personal favourites, which I need to whittle down to about ten.

Any of these strike anyone as particularly attractive or a turn off?

Autobiography is a form in which individuals observe sharply the failings of others, but are themselves near-perfect.

It is not always the man society finds most respectable who is likely to try to do what is right.

Thousands of senior British diplomats, civil servants and members of the military knew of our policy of acceptance of torture.

You don’t have to be a saint to call torture when you see it.

Diplomats rather pride themselves on not caring.

Blair believed that he alone was the judge of right, and did not care how many had to die to prove it.

Blair’s policy of “Projection of hard power” was simply the return of formal Imperialism.

In conflict with Cook over ethical foreign policy, Blair would always overrule his Foreign Secretary, especially if the interest of the UK arms industry could be invoked.

The great fallacy of the Blair years was that foreign conflicts could be seen in black and white, as goodies versus baddies.

George Washington was fighting for the right to keep black people in chains.

Executive Outcomes ?” as enthusiastic a band of white killers as has been unleashed on Africa since King Leopold ran the Congo.

UN official, I regret to tell you, too often means corrupt and untrustworthy.

Having met Spicer, I was worried about his intentions and didn’t trust him.

A fundamental part of this new Blair doctrine was to be the ultimate privatisation ?” the privatisation of killing.

The Sandline Affair was a deeply squalid plot to corner the market in Sierra Leone’s blood diamonds.

It was the old story ?” trained white men go in, shoot up a load of Africans and gain control of key economic resources.

Sandhurst has been responsible for educating those who generated untold repression and economic ruination in Africa.

President Abacha died in bed with three hookers, from an overdose of Viagra. I quipped that it would take days to nail down the coffin lid.

The Customs and Excise team told me that the recommendation was that both Spicer and Penfold be prosecuted for breach of the embargo.

The dossier was returned to Customs and Excise from the Crown Prosecution Service the very same day it was sent. It was marked, in effect, for no further action.

The decision not to prosecute in the Sandline case was the first major instance of the corruption of the legal process that was to be the hallmark of the Blair years.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq, including thousands of British and American soldiers, but some people have made huge amounts of money from the war.

Tim Spicer has made a fortune out of the Iraq War.

Tim Spicer has long been an advocate of shooting civilians in case they have bombs.

Butchering your live victims’ limbs with a machete is only more horrific in its immediacy than planting a car bomb or bombing an Iraqi town from the air in your invulnerable jet.

I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody.

Isaac was the product of the sores of Africa: he was a hardened killer, but he was also the little boy forced to kill his own mother.

Having led the way in African nationalism, Nkrumah was pioneering the forms of economic mismanagement that were to destroy the economies of the continent and bring starvation and immeasurable suffering to millions.

Those who did benefit, massively, were the dictators, their cronies, and the bonus-quaffing Porsche-driving bastards of the City of London.

Africans have destroyed their own regional trade, for the protection of corrupt private interests.

These first years of Rawlings in power unleashed political terror on Ghana which outstripped anything done by British colonial rule or by Nkrumah.

“That’s about the right number,” opined the Prince, “We have about six hundred and fifty MPs, and most of them are a complete bloody waste of time.”

There are some things that are too weird even for me, and the lower reaches of the Royal household are one of them.

Personally, I never understand why people accept honours, when there is so much more cachet in turning them down.

The United States, in what seemed to me an absurd example of political correctness, sent a delegation of blind election observers.

I was myself to encounter more electoral fraud in Blackburn than I ever did in Ghana.

In West Africa, among people who wear silk suits and are driven in Mercedes, the standards of truthfulness sadly leave in general a great deal to be desired.

Valerie Amos is the very antithesis of a democratic politician. One of the Blair inner circle, she rose to Cabinet level without ever having faced the electorate.

At launch over one third of Travant’s first equity fund came form DFID. A few months afterwards Baroness Amos, ex DFID minister, joined the board of this profit-making private equity firm.

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