The Samuel Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence is awarded by a panel of former CIA operatives and analysts. Before the award was given Ray McGovern’s read the following citation:
As U.K. Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004 Mr. Murray learned that the intelligence authorities of the U.S. and U.K. were receiving and using information extracted by the most sadistic forms of torture. An aside, yesterday evening Jeremy Skahill referred to Thomas Murtant [phonetic], no stranger to this upper West side of New York, and Murtant said that we must identify with those being burned. This was during Vietnam. Mr. Murray decided that as a matter of conscience he had to speak for those being boiled boiled alive in Uzbekistan. This is no exaggeration, there are photos, there are coronary reports, there are documentary pieces of evidence showing this.
Continuing with the citation. Mr. Murray protested strongly to London, to no avail. Mr. Murray stands out as one who did not forfeit his moral compass to his government or to his career, he recognized that civilized society have long since recognized torture
as an intolerable affront to the inherent human right to physical integrity and personal dignity. His strong moral stance got him forced out of the British foreign office, but he has no regrets for there are more important things than career.
We look forward to early publication of his book “Murder in Sumarkund” now banned in Britain. Mr. Murray’s light has pierced a thick cloud of denial and deception. Now hear this, now hear this U.S. government workers and U.K. as well. You who can see a moral imperative in putting truth and justice above government regulations used to hide truth and to promote injustice. Mr. Murray has set a courageous example for those officials of the coalition of the
willing who have first hand knowledge of the inhuman practices involved in the so-called war on terror, but who have not yet been able to find their voice.
Now unlike the Nobel Prize we regret that no monetary award is connected with the Sam Adams award. I’m tempted to say that the rewards for such courage are out of this world literally, but I’ll let that go by. Mr. Murray has been ostracized in the U.K. and he has
no job, but we have something for him that is tangible and the symbolism will not be lost on you. I’m going to ask Ann Wright one of our Sam Adams Associates for integrity and intelligence to present to Craig Murray what we call the Sam Adams Associates corner brightener candlestick for he has certainly shined light in the darkest dungeons of torture in this world.
Craig Murray replies:
“Thank you Ann, and thank you to the associates of Samuel Adams. I’m deeply grateful and deeply touched. I am especially grateful for the candlestick because since I lost my job I can’t afford to pay the electricity bill. I will only say a very few brief words because I am testifying in an hour or so’s time so you will see quite enough of me. But I’m absolutely delighted to receive the award which celebrates a great man, Sam Adams, and which has been received by so many people who in many cases were much braver and more honorable than I.
I would like to say something about the advance of evil and how easily it advances. I genuinely at no stage felt I was doing anything either heroic or exceptional. When I came across cases of people being boiled alive, cases of daughters being raped in front of their fathers, cases of torture of children, and the fact that we were receiving intelligence from those torture sessions, it seemed to me axiomatic that anyone brought up in the United States or the United Kingdom would believe their overriding and only duty was to stop it. And, perhaps naively, when I started trying to stop it internally, I actually believed that this must be the work of renegade people at lower levels and that once senior politicians in the UK and US knew what was happening, they would stop it. I was quickly disillusioned. I
discovered this part of a wider international policy of the use of torture in the pursuit of the war on terror. It was a terrible moment for me. I discovered that the system and the country I’d served my whole life didn’t stand for what I believed it did. And I went to meetings with colleagues of mine. People I had known for over 20 years. Ordinary nice people who were setting down on paper strategies by which what we were doing could be said not to circumvent the UN convention against torture. And I was looking at them thinking, “I know you. I know you. We’ve drunk together. We’ve played golf together. You are setting up justification for torture. How did this
This may sound exaggerated. But it isn’t. At that moment I understood how some civil servant ended up writing out the orders for cattle trucks to go to Aushwitz, and felt they were only “doing their job.” And ladies and gentlemen, that is what we face now: the flight toward fascism.
I am delighted to receive the award. Delighted to make the acquaintance of such good people. I find it’s a shame that we have now reached a stage where people like Ray, and Ann, and Scott Ritter, the real patriots who stand for the values that were supposed to underpin the states we live in, the real patriots, are those who are condemned as traitors, and people who dress themselves in flag of patriotism are the real traitors to Western values. Thank you very much indeed.”