Someone Thinks I am A Hero

Which is rather nice. I do hope they go on to discover Murder in Samarkand, which may disillusion them a bit.

Time for change’s Journal

Tribute to a Hero: Craig Murray

Posted by Time for change in General Discussion

Mon May 21st 2007, 11:00 PM

Our world is in desperate need of heroism today ‘ and no kind of heroic action is in greater demand today, in my opinion, than speaking out against the numerous abuses and crimes of the presidential administration of George W. Bush, which poses the greatest threat to world peace and world civilization of our current era.

Of the numerous crimes against the American people, the American Constitution, and international law committed by the Bush administration, the one that scares me the most, with the possible exception of his illegal preemptive invasion of Iraq, is its treatment of its prisoners. I’ve discussed my opinions on this issue numerous times, but that is not the purpose of this post. Suffice it to say here that I consider the Bush administration’s treatment of its prisoners to represent one of the darkest chapters, if not the darkest chapter in the history of our nation. Indeed, I consider it to be a manifestation of evil. And that is why I feel the need to pay tribute to a man whose heroic efforts perhaps did as much or more to expose these abominable medieval horrors than any other.

Craig Murray was the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from the summer of 2002 until October 15, 2004, when he was suspended from his post for his heroism ‘ that is, for speaking out and fighting against the horrors that he witnessed in his capacity as ambassador, as well as for exposing the role of the United States in perpetrating those horrors.

Stephen Grey, of Amnesty International, who himself was instrumental in exposing the CIA’s rendition program, describes how Craig Murray did something very similar, in his book, ‘Ghost Plane ‘ The True Story of the CIA Torture Program’. I’ll begin my description of Murray’s heroism by providing some background on the country that he was assigned to.

21st Century Uzbekistan

Islam Karimov had been the dictator of Uzbekistan since prior to the break-up of the Soviet Union. Grey describes the repressiveness of his rule:

Karimov’ still boiled some of his prisoners alive’ He was also proudly repressive. Back in 1999, he said: ‘I am prepared to rip off the heads of 200 people, to sacrifice their lives, in order to save peace and to have calm in the republic.’ He boasted of executing about a hundred people a year. More than six thousand political opponents were locked in his jails. Threatened by the revival of Islam, he ordered a huge crackdown on religion’ Tortures were said to include ripping out fingernails, pulling teeth, electric shocks, suffocation, and rape.

U.S. Collaboration

Because of the severe religious repression many Muslims fled Uzbekistan and ended up in Afghanistan, where they resided by 9-11-01. That set the stage for collaboration between Uzbekistan and the United States in pursuit of its ‘War on Terror’: The U.S. paid tens of millions of dollars to Uzbekistan in aid. American forces in Afghanistan would capture the displaced Muslims, who may or may not have been fighting for the Taliban, or they would simply take Muslims into custody after being handed them by bounty hunters; the U.S. would then ‘render’ their prisoners back to Uzbekistan or send them to Guantanamo Bay; Uzbekistan would either force their prisoners to confess to various al Qaeda plots or torture them; and they would turn over the ‘intelligence’ thus received to the CIA.

What did Uzbekistan and the U.S. have to gain from this relationship? Who can say exactly what motives lurk in the minds of torturers like Karimov, Bush and Cheney. I can only speculate: Karimov received lots of money and the legitimacy of U.S. support and was aided in his goal of having more prisoners to torture ‘ I suppose as an example to his population to help maintain his stranglehold over them. And we got more ‘intelligence’ for our ‘War on Terror’, as well as use of Uzbekistan for military strategic purposes.

Craig Murray blows the whistle

In his role as ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray saw continual evidence of the horrors that were perpetrated there. At first it was in the form of accusations of those who had been tortured ‘ and one had to consider the possibility that the accusers were not being truthful. But then Murray began to see more tangible evidence, such as photos. On September 16, 2002, Murray sent a telegram to his superiors:

“U.S. plays down human rights situation in Uzbekistan. A dangerous policy: Increasing repression combined with poverty will promote Islamic terrorism. Support to Karimov regime a bankrupt and cynical policy.”

Read whole article: