Discovering That I Do Not Exist 60

My blog existence has been almost nil for a couple of weeks due to a truly terrible internet connection here in Ghana (where I still haven’t got everything on the project finished to the state where I can fly to Norwich North).

I recall a speech Peter Hain gave about ten years ago to the effect that the adoption of new technologies could lead Africa to catch up with the rest of the world economy, bypassing the smokestack age. In fact of course the advent of new technology leaves Africa further and further behind. “Broadband” here is 512 kb/ps and costs US $300 a month. In fact it is giving me 7 kb/ps.

But not only my virtual existence is tenuous. I have been surprised to discover that it seems that I was mistaken about my physical existence too. Today The Guardian leads with the story that Tony Blair knew of a secret UK policy of receiving intelligence from torture. The Guardian goes big, with five follow up articles.

The strange thing is, I could have sworn that I had been a British Ambassador and had been smeared in a campaign orchestrated by No 10, and then sacked, for opposing this torture policy. I thought I had blown the whistle on this policy five years ago and published a number of government documents which proved the existence of this policy. I even thought I had written a book about it which became a bestseller.

I appear to have been suffering from this delusion over a lengthy period, because I also thought that I gave detailed evidence on all of this just six weeks ago to a parliamentary committee.

But all that cannot be true. For one thing, David Miliband gave evidence on UK complicity in torture two days ago to another parliamentary committee, and not one MP mentioned the eye witness testimony I had just given, which contradicted much of what David Miliband had said. For another, the Guardian’s survey of key points of evidence for the existence of a secret pro-torture policy, does not mention anywhere that it was denounced by a British Ambassador who was sacked for it and published documentary proof.

I cannot quite explain to you how unpleasant it feels to be written out of history before you are dead. Stalin of course airbrushed people out of the official photos all the time. At least he had the decency to kill them first.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

60 thoughts on “Discovering That I Do Not Exist

1 2
  • Suhayl Saadi

    None of us exist, Craig, least of all those who speak truth to power. Everything is illusion. The only reality in this world, it seems, is power. Fight on!

  • Jives

    Well WE know you exist Craig-as do your nearest and deearest.That’s who matter.

    Also,if you’re being airbrushed out then take it as a compliment that They know you exist and you’re succesfully getting under their skin.

    The mainstream printed media is dying a death anyway.They’re gonna be obsolete and the blogosphere is ascendant.Your existence herein is all that matters,and you’re very well known,globally,in this monde.

    What you do,and have done for years, is a vitally important contribution to humanity and human rights worldwide.

    I salute you.

    Chin up Craig.

  • Leo Davidson

    It’s good that the issue is being aired at all, and you should know that’s to your credit even if your name isn’t mentioned.

    It’s also frustrating when there are inaccuracies or glaring omissions, whether on purpose or due to poor research or editing. It raises the obvious question of whether the reporting has been subdued and is just damage control or whether it just isn’t very well written.

    Whatever the reason for the omission, it’s a shitty feeling to not get any recognition for your great sacrifices (including your career). Especially now when it’d be a good example of what you’re trying to stand for in the election.

    Even though we’re in an online age, I doubt there’s much chance of those articles being updated.

    To a very small degree, on a far, far, far less important subject that I’ve put nowhere near as much of my life into, I know a little tiny bit how you feel.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. More and more people are aware of what you’ve done and what you’re doing and I think in the end all the crappy journalism in the world is just going to drive people away from the crappy news sources.

    It was as much the things the supposedly liberal BBC and Guardian *didn’t* say as the things they did say which drove me away from them. (Not that I’ve switched to the Daily Mail or anything. Screw them as well.)

  • Strategist

    “the Guardian’s survey of key points of evidence for the existence of a secret pro-torture policy, does not mention anywhere that it was denounced by a British Ambassador who was sacked for it and published documentary proof”

    I am very struck by this, thanks for posting it at 7Kb/s from Accra.

    Readers of Private Eye regularly observe this phenomenon – perhaps one in ten of the abuses of power or corruption scandals they reveal makes it into the mainstream media – often months or years later – whereupon it becomes an official scandal, with people having to account for their conduct. But Private Eye is never credited, it is like it doesn’t exist.

    Yet everyone in the establishment knows and reads Private Eye, but the material it exposes (however well evidenced) is allowed to be ignored.

    I am fascinated to understand the mentality of establishment figures who think they are guardians of free speech and probity, but actually designate and freeze out official unpersons, and suppress the facts with the best of them. Personalities like Alan Rusbridger and the Peter Florence (?) (the Director of the Hay Festival) spring to mind.

    On what basis do they decide who is acceptable and who isn’t? For example, Philippe Sands (who basically says the same things as you) is allowed to exist, but you aren’t. How come?

    (Reminded of the performance by Peter Florence on his own website where he made an elaborate performance of pretending he had no idea who you were, which was a blatant barefaced lie.)

    In one way it is perfectly rational and understandable for Blair or Straw to do all they can to ensure you become an unperson – for them it’s about survival.

    But how do the likes of the Editor of The Guardian or the Director of the Hay Festival rationalise and fit this to their view of themselves and their role?

    Craig you have been pretty close to the heart of the British establishment and I would be delighted to read any more of the insights into its thought processes and self-justification you must have had over the years.

  • Jon

    I agree with Leo here – your work will have pushed the Guardian to run its story – perhaps it got to the point where it realised it could not longer put its fingers in its ears on this issue. In any case, since you are in contact with Ian Cobain, I wonder if you could ask him why your evidence has not received even a small mention?

    On an older topic, is there any fresh news on Dismore and his potential conflict of interest?

  • Anonymous

    Don’t take it to heart mate. It means you’ve got them worried with your straight talking.

    You are only just getting started.

  • David McKelvie

    It’s because of the egregious shilling for The Official Line that papers (The Guardian included, or perhaps particularly) are not trusted anymore.

    I’m sure the shade of John Delane is appalled at the depth to which his “public writers” have sunk.

    So much for “for us, with whom publicity and truth are the air and light of existence, there can be no greater disgrace than to recoil from the frank and accurate disclosure of the facts as they are. We are bound to tell the truth as we find it, without fear of consequences – to lend no convenient shelter to acts of injustice and oppression, but to consign them at once to the judgement of the world…”

    No wonder, in the USA, some 40 percent of people now shun the papers and get their news information from the Internet.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    I think Strategist has hit a very big nail on its head! My thoughts exactly.

    Here is a parallel observation, on a slightly different, but related, track.

    Clearly, while my observations assign the word, ‘white’ or ‘honorary white’ to the power sructure and those who benefit from it, I am using the term politically but using it very deliberately partly because of its emotive weight. As Craig’s experience demonstrates, white artists, journalists and commentators also are excluded.

    Last night, on one of the UK TV channels, a new three-part drama was broadcast called, ‘Occupation’ which deals with the lives of several fictitious British soldiers in Iraq and their families during the years following 2003. Iraqis feature as background fauna except where they rise to being love-interest (as in ‘white man attempts to rescue educated brown woman from nasty fanatical brown men, only to find that it is a fruitless mission’). Technically, it is very well-written and the acting was superb. It is posing as a critique of government policies in relation to the invasion, destruction and occupation of Iraq.

    However, while appreciating the drama and the sentiment, several matters occur to me:

    1) Powerful elites of white – or ‘honorary white’ artists, commentators and journalists seem to monopolise all sides of the argument in the public space of the West. [Btw, I use the term, ‘white’ here politically rather than cod-anthropologically, as (though the West remains conveniently ignorant of this) there are many people in Iran, Afghanistan and even Pakistan, for example, who could be described as, white.] They get paid large commissions, get given prizes and their careers are made, for writing, directing, etc. big anti-war productions which become, when exported, exemplars of British culture (let’s wave the flag!) and the whole exercise begins to assume the aspects of an farcical opera of apologetics. They just drop a trendy (on the stage, on the page, as in couture, after the war there comes the fashion!) narrative line into the pot and hey presto, they’re a (rich) saint! Meanwhile, the voices of the subaltern are brushed to one side, not reported, ignored, because truth can come only from a safe mouth.

    2) There is an element of confession, catharsis and redemption in all of this, I mean as a society. I do not think this is always appropriate. There is no redemption or salvation for killing two million people.

    3) I would like to see Iraqi writers, directors, casts, etc. – those living in Iraq – given commissions and full editorial control to make dramas about this issue aimed at everyone, not just at audiences in the West. But then, of course, everything is tainted, as the money would come from the same West which undertook the destruction in the first place, so it would have to be ‘Middle Eastern’ money. This is why Iran’s film industry is so powerful – artistically – it is independent of Western formal cliche.

    Usually, people like ‘us’ are hauled on to write about such things as, ‘Lolita in Peshawar’, or the ‘Kite Runner/ Bookseller/ Bicycle-Rider of Kandahar’.

    4) I have real problems with anything about any of this type of thing being converted – sublimated – into ‘entertainment’.

  • Craig


    The amazing thing is that both the main authors of the guardian articles, Philippe Sands and Iain Cobain, were there at my evidence to parliament and taking notes. So it is not as if they didn’t know or had overlooked it….

  • subrosa

    Craig, journalists are in the pay of their editors, who are in the pay of their owners, who do favours for the people who can afford to buy them.

    As many have said you’re being ignored deliberately which is far more interesting than just being ignored.

    Reason? Fear.

  • Mike D

    Letter to the Guardian:

    To: [email protected]

    Subject: RE: Tony Blair knew of secret policy on terror

    I am astonished that you make no reference to the efforts of Craig Murray ex-UK Ambassador, smeared and sacked by No 10 when he sought to draw this to public attention 5 years ago and more recently when he gave evidence to a parliamentary Committee … which D. Milliband declined to attend.

    Cheating on expenses is only a minor crime compared to the dishonesty involved in this government’s proven complicity in torture.

    Anyone wanting to see the detailed evidence / history etc. should visit Craig Murray’s blog

    Mike Dobson


  • Abe Rene

    My guess is that ministers are afraid that what happened to Pinochet could happen to them. Imagine if Tony Blair were extradited by some European ‘superjudge’ using his own laws on extradition!

  • Wasp_Box


    I, too, was astonished to see no mention of you in these articles. It is inconceivable that your name would not surface to any journalist researching this issue and it is also inconceivable that your story would not be, at least, mentioned. The only reasonable explanation is active suppression of your role in all of this.

    It will come back to bite them one day.

  • Vronsky

    If it’s any comfort, this sort of thing isn’t confined to politics. Many years ago I worked for a high tech manufacturing company. They were encountering fierce competition from Japan on price and quality. In particular, Japanese manufacturers claimed that their product had zero parts per million (ppm) defective – meaning that in any sample of one million parts, all would be functioning properly. Our equivalent figure was about 3000 ppm defective – pretty bad. An initiative was declared to achieve Japanese levels of quality, and within two years it was achieved.

    However a member of my team noted in a report that the level of defectivity he saw being shipped from our warehouses was still at the old level of about 3k ppm. All hell broke loose. I was asked to check his numbers. He was right – the books were being fiddled. I wrote to the head of quality, and I was denounced in turn. “If that were true” (I was told) “our customers would be letting us know all about it”.

    Fast forward two years, to a new general manager. He reveals that customers are going crazy about our quality, which they say is no better than it ever was. Steps then began to be taken to do something real about it, but no mention was ever made of our earlier report exposing the situation, in spite of its notoriety at the time.

  • Strategist

    Mike D. The genius idea is always simple!

    Write to the Guardian and politely ask.

    The idea never crossed my mind.

    I wonder if they’ll print it.

    We shall see.

  • anticant

    Don’t fret, Craig. I very much doubt whether Miliband would have given his highly selective evidence at all if it had not been for your compelling appearance the other week.

    They are scarcely likely to mention you if they can help it. After all, you are the elephant in the room!

  • Jives

    An earlier poster made the excellent point that had it not been for all the work you do then perhaps this issue wouldn’t have made it into the mainstream press at all…

    Your airbrushing adds simply adds further weight to your claims.We understand this clearly whereas censors always miss this delicious irony,fools that they usually are.

    The Truth is coming out,more and more,day by day.

    What you do/have done is absolutely vital.

    Thank you again.

  • ingo

    I agree with Strategist and his experiences, it is convenient for todyas pwoer brokers to nill those who are in direct opposition to their vested interests, politicians are their marketting managers and as such not very good at it, hence the redirecting of historic facts.

    There has been a blacklisting by many companies, a secret list of Union workers and shop stweards for years, so why should the Guardian stoop so low if their balls are not being squeezed by their editors and/or advertisers.

    I now know why I do not aspire to read about their eclectic form of self interest anymore, they are not very good at hiding their editorial dependency anymore.

    Don’t think anything of it, Craig, you have arrived.

  • Jon

    @Suhayl – interesting comments, especially your second point. I draw a personal analogue from the views of one or two acquaintances who were in favour of the war. (I should say I suspect they are just pro-military, and so they supported the war by default, rather than supporting it from first principles). They have at various times expressed the view that individual troops “did a good job” and were “heroic” under “pressure”, etc. This of course mirrors the lamentable, adulatory performance of the mainstream media.

    But it naturally poses a dilemma. To what extent should ordinary people be engaged in troop back-slapping and mutual self-congratulation when the occupation has presided over such a lethal catastrophe? Can our troops come back “proud”, or should they accept a share of British and American shame? I sometimes wonder of these cheerleaders whether the Iraqi death toll – admittedly poorly reported – matters to them at all. Even if I were to accept the IBC figures of 100K deaths – which I don’t – surely such a figure should cause even the most ardent hawk to lose sleep?

    On your suggestion of an independent movie about imperialism/Iraq made with Middle Eastern money – two problems. First, it would not be independent. I think big money (i.e. power elites) in Middle Eastern countries have a sort of quid-pro-quo arrangement with their Western counterparts. They are quite content with their own corruption, and so may prefer not to rain too heavily on ours. Secondly, even if it were to be made with a tone to our satisfaction, would it not be dismissed in Western spheres as propaganda, and thus would be ignored or villified?

  • Abe Rene

    @ Suhayl

    A question for you, if you don’t mind: in the years before 1994, what did you do that contributed to bringing down the apartheid regime?

  • Anonymous

    @Jon 5:28pm Our troops should come back and feel contempt for us, the general population, that allowed them to be sent on an illegal war and then shortly after reelected the principle liars. They should tell us that the next time we really need them to lay down their lives for us they might just reserve the right to refuse.

  • anon

    Ego freak Blair had only one purpose in life: making his name in history by doing bad things and then whitewashing over them.

    The opposite approach of trying to help other people and being rebuked and forgotten for it, is described in the short chapter of the Qur’an, roughly translated:

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful.

    1. By the passage of time ( or the declining day )

    2. Man is in a state of loss

    3. Except those who believe and do good works,

    and encourage one another towards truthfulness,

    and exhort one another to endure patiently.

  • sam

    This active suppression strategy and all its nauseatingly grubby implementation tactics have been elaborated to a diabolic art form by NuLab. Indeed, for those of us who have serious experience of bona fide whistleblowing it can be felt as a form of torture. But, hey, that’s their stock-in-trade isn’t it? Sad…ultimately they’re sad loser sub-human specimens.

    Craig, you have my total admiration for carrying on carrying on! You exist! There are still a number of us good guys around still in existence too. Basic physics: eventually the pendulum has to swing back.

  • Ruth

    I wasn’t at all surprised Craig’s evidence wasn’t used.

    In court cases where there are serious allegations of state crime the courts or the CCRC omit any evidence that bears any suggestion of government complicity in illegal activities.

    I’m sure the government very reluctantly let Craig give evidence but with all the emails etc sent to the Committee their back was against the wall. A priority of the government is to be seen to be democratic, fair-minded etc.

    In these circumstances maybe it would be a very good idea to deluge the government with requests asking why Craig’s evidence was not taken into account.

  • Polo


    You can wear MSM airbrushing as a badge of honour in the full knowledge that you are respected in this space. You will man the cyber pearly gates when these people come knocking on the door after the collapse of the MSM and the current political hierarchy. You can then tell them all to piss of down below. Just make sure it’s on CCTV for the rest of us.

    Rath De ar an obair. Keep it up.

1 2

Comments are closed.