Washington and Brussels Meetings 36

Am at Schiphol again at 5.30am, after an overnight flight from Accra, waiting eight hours for a connecting flight to Washington, and thinking “Why oh why do I put myself through this?” Slightly mitigated by the joy of being able to post again on a working internet connection.


Ward Circle Building, Room 2, American University

Wednesday, October 21 at 8:10 pm

Keynote Speaker: Col. Larry Wilkerson (USA, ret.) Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell during the critical period from August 2002 until January 2005; Served as Army officer for 31 years;

Recipient of 2009 Award from Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence

Daniel Ellsberg, Former Defense and State Department official who released the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971, for which he was put on trial facing a possible sentence of 115 years; Author, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers; Subject of newly released documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” which he was called at the time by Henry Kissinger

Coleen Rowley, Former Special agent and legal counselor, Minneapolis FBI, who called the FBI director’s attention to serious flaws that might have prevented 9/11; Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2002; Sam Adams Award Recipient, 2002

Craig Murray, Former U.K. Ambassador to Uzbekistan, who exposed the use of torture, declaring, “I would rather die than have someone tortured in attempt to give me more security.” Sam Adams Award recipient, 2005

Ray McGovern, Veteran CIA analyst, whose duties included preparing and briefing the President’s Daily Brief under Nixon, Ford, and Reagan; Co-founder Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS); Colleague of Sam Adams

Peter Kuznick, Professor of History; Director, American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute; Co-writer (with Oliver Stone) “Secret History of the United States” (forthcoming on Showtime)

The late Sam Adams, in calculating the number of Vietnamese Communists under arms, came up with more than twice the number Gen. William Westmoreland, Commander of U.S. forces, would allow the Army to acknowledge. The country-wide offensive at Tet in January-February 1968 proved Sam right.

Sponsored by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, American University History Department, American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute

To Tell the Truth

Coleen Rowley and Ambassador Craig Murray

Ray McGovern, moderator

Date/Time: THURSDAY, October 22, 7-9 PM

Place: Festival Center/Servant Leadership School

1640 Columbia Road, NW

Washington, DC 20009

202 328 0072Cost: free (but free-will offerings welcome)

We are all taught to tell the truth. But when some folks enter government service, they seem to claim an exemption. Truth telling becomes quaint, obsolete. Misfeasance and malfeasance get covered up, and we never seem to learn from our mistakes.

Worse still, governments start wars on flimsy pretexts; and this leads to what the Nuremberg Tribunal labeled “accumulated” evils?”like torture. Although a chosen few in our Congress are briefed on such evils, we the people never get to know, UNLESS…

… people of conscience have the integrity and courage to speak out. Our presenters will draw on their personal experience in this kind of speaking out; what it’s like; and what happened to them as a result:

Coleen Rowley, as legal counsel/special agent in the FBI’s Minneapolis Bureau, became aware of the repeated?”but unheeded?”warnings her colleagues sent to FBI headquarters before 9/11. In a memorandum to the FBI Director and Congress she exposed many of the shortcomings and became persona non grata when a lawmaker gave the memo to the press. Time Magazine honored her by naming her Person of the Year in 2002.

Craig Murray was Great Britain’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan when he discovered that his hosts were boiling people alive to extract “intelligence” on “terrorists.” He discovered to his dismay that his Foreign Office superiors thought that this was okay, so long as Craig didn’t do it. He left the Foreign Service and is now Rector of the University of Dundee?”one of Britain’s leading universities, described by Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney as “having its head in the clouds and its feet firmly on the ground.”

Rowley and Murray are past recipients of the annual Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. This forum is follow-on to the Oct. 21event at American U. (see: http://tinyurl.com/ygm55pe)

Sponsored by Speaking Truth to Power/Tell the Word

Press release

Union of Uzbek non-governmental organisations

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36 thoughts on “Washington and Brussels Meetings

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  • Frazer

    You are in the Business Class Lounge..just ask someone to bring you a pillow !

    And by the way, can you pick me up a bottle of decent Scotch, I will imbibe in December when I drop by and shamelessly demand to be fed and watered at your place !

  • anticant

    “We are all taught to tell the truth.” More accurately, when we are little we are punished for telling obvious lies. Adults – especially powerful ones – aren’t, because they know they can get away with it.

    Good luck on your travels, Craig. I suppose you do manage to pop in to say Hello to Nadira and Cameron from time to time?

  • Jon

    I shall be in London on Saturday too. I support StW Coalition, but I do hope they come to their senses and renew links with you, especially given what is at stake.

    PS activists often wonder sometimes “why they do this” – I wonder it about myself sometimes. But it is often worth it, Craig, even though progress is almost always slow.

  • dodoze

    More sexist jokes about Jacqui Smith, please. The self-elevating tribalism which underpins the principles of exclusion by the organisers of such as a Stop the War rally has curious parallels with the tribal instincts and alliances which are used to fuel and justify warfare, exile, torture.

    Have a nice day, y’all.

  • mary

    I have nothing at all to do with the first comment here.

    I was just looking at the Kamm blog on the Times and noticed that Eddie, late of this site when Craig was standing for Parliament, has cropped up on the comments there spouting his usual insults.

    Ref Ms Jackboots Smith, did anyone see her make her I AM VERY SORRY speech, the prerequisite for being let off repayment of her fraudulent second homes allowance? She wasn’t in the least bit sorry.

  • tony_opmoc


    Many of the people you are meeting with claim to be highly knowledgeable about the events leading up to 9/11. It would be interesting to find their views on what they think where The MOTIVATIONS of those Responsible, as well as The MOTIVATIONS of those who took advantage of the event, and whether or not they consider the War on Terror to be legitimate, or a false construct in order to achieve their objectives – and what those REALLY are.


  • John

    Remember who your true allies are Craig. Please stop your left baiting. Sexism has no place in any left wing organisation. There are some fundamentals of our unity – these include opposition to homophobia, sexism and racism, and support for the oppressed.

    Hope to see you speaking on Saturday, I will be cheering you!

  • Jon

    John, I agree with you, but feel that the stridency of the “point of order” raised at the meeting in question was overdone (I wasn’t there, but have read some accounts of it, and it is in keeping with the fractious nature of the Left generally!).

    I may have mentioned this before here, but it reminds me of speaking to members of the public at an anti-war stall several years ago. We had one irate woman who wanted to sign our petition, but refused to do so because we weren’t using hemp paper. To be honest we hadn’t thought to do so – the Lebanon had just been invaded and we were keen to do something quickly.

    I am firmly on the left too – perhaps more so than some Liberals here – but “fiddling whilst Rome burns” comes to mind!

  • Abe Rene

    Good to hear that you are getting invitations to speak in the United States. Hopefully there will be many more.

  • dreoilin

    Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) has announced its Press Freedom Index for 2009. (Ireland is in joint first place along with Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. But Ireland is very small and most contentious issues are domestic.)

    “The United Kingdom did not fare as well, rising three places to joint 20th position while the ‘Obama effect’ saw the United States climb 20 places from 40th to joint 20th.”

    (I’m not sure what great difference Obama has made to media freedom/behaviour in the USA? Other than the fact that he’s challenged Fox News and given one of their “stars” – Glenn Beck – a reason to whine about being persecuted like Jews in the Holocaust.)

    Then this:

    “The arrest of five journalists in Israel (Israeli territory) and the imprisonment of three journalists during ‘Operation Cast Lead’, led to a ‘nose-dive’ of 47 places to 93rd position. It now sits behind Guinea-Bissau (92nd), Mongolia (91st) and Ukraine (89th) in the list.

    “Israel was also rated according to its extra-territorial actions, with a particular emphasis on its actions within the Gaza Strip.

    “RSF said the toll on press freedom due to the war in the Gaza Strip was “very heavy” where it reported that 20 journalists were injured by Israeli military forces and three were killed while covering the offensive.

    “The watchdog placed Israel (extra-territorial) at 150th position – below Sudan (148th), Democratic Republic of Congo (146th) and Iraq (145th).”

    Full report here:


  • tony_opmoc

    Last month we met an Israeli Vet in one of The Greek Islands.

    His Girlfriend was Really Nice Trying To Cope with his obvious Nervous Breakdown…

    The poor guy spoke perfect English, but it was as if he had lost ALL Social Skills…

    The Italians and The Greeks and The French and The Germans and The English and The Australians All Looked at Each Other

    And tried not to upset him, in case he had packed an uzi in his hand luggage


  • Dick the Prick

    You’ve been cold shouldered for telling a sexist joke about Jacqui Spliff?!?! – John & Jon are fine to jump on such activities normally but in a strategic sense – the ‘joke’ is that she’s not on trial surely. The ‘joke’ is that our civil liberties have been traduced, the ‘joke’ is that she lied to Legg when she had a police escort outside her sister’s house who had to provide timesheets. Gadd zooks – way to look at the bigger picture!

  • Willie Warrior

    @tony opmoc

    There are plenty of stories coming out of Israel about the social impact of their conflicts and how they’re breaking Israeli society itself.

    It’s not just the experience of being witness to and engaged in horrific attacks on Palestinain civilians, but also the all pervasive racism in Israeli society. Between that and the siege mentality Israel is becoming seriously dehumanised itself.

  • Craig


    You see, if Sarah Brown had been caught claiming for porn rather than Mr Smith, I would make the same joke:

    “If I were married to Gordon Brown, I would use a lot of porn too.”

    It is not actually a sexist joke at all. The sex of the porn watcher and the political partner is immaterial. The problem is the inanity of the wimmin and their aversion to heterosexual activity in any form – or even mention.

  • Dick the Prick

    @Craig – 3.43 – that was the joke to which StW have alienated a respected (well, it’s err.. your blog!! – no, seriously) former ambassador, published author, critical spokesman against torture, campaigner, prolific blogger, erudite mechanic of government opps because you made a crack about someone cracking off??? And these people wanna be taken seriously?

    You get to wondering if they have a clue what they’re doing at all. It’s this, this right here that turns people away. Pointless, irrelevant, non-sensical, miniscule, drivel arguments in the face of death, internment, evisceration, complicity in a whole manner of shite that we’ll never know about and you had the temerity to find someone jacking off capable of a bit of ribald (and, to be fair, quite amusing) wit.

    They really need to stop creating offences and go for the jugular if their gonna be taken seriously. Good grief.

  • anon

    Craig’s political colour being yellow, it is opposite to the purple arrogance of right-wing New Labour. The offense that he has caused to the socialist, red, Stop the War-ites, ( to whom he is much closer in colour ) is to remind them that New Labour is a middle class party that practises good old-fashioned middle-class hypocrisy, sneakily viewing porn at home, unlike good old fashioned atheistic Old Labour. It’s not nice to remind Old Labour of their complete and total loss of political power.

    New Labour has in fact fucked up the economy infinitely worse than Old labour did, because by donning Tory colours they have remained in power long enough to remain unchallenged and unscrutinised by a change of hands at the wheel.

  • anon

    Just listened to BBC World Service’s World Business programme at 3.00 a.m.

    Listened to the most horrible, mendacious, racist, Islamophobic, US commentator telling us how the US is going to destroy Iran by stepping up sanctions like it did with Iraq.

    That seems to be the BBC’s job, giving air-time to fascist war-mongerers.

    Wouldn’t we be better off without receiving intelligence from the US, if all the US government wants to do is to destroy Islam. I bet that even the most radical of your colleagues in the US, share their governments violent Islamophobia. Even the US troops who are Muslims have been brainwashed into thinking that they are fighting against their fellow Muslims to bring them to the great Amwerican world-view.

  • mary

    A good article by Matthew Norman in the Independent on the slippery Straw and yet another of his attempts (failed) to get secret inquests.

    I love the bit where it says Barbara Castle employed him for his low guile and cunning.


    PS I like toads. Object to the use of their name in comparison to the execrable Straw. I thought he was vile on QT last night – puffed up with his pretence of giving a damn about our liberties with his faux patriotism. Should have been an actor like Bliar.

  • tony_opmoc

    Didn’t watch it, but the following from Guido’s blog is exactly how I felt a few weeks ago when I watched Question Time for the first time in years. I had to switch it off before I threw up…


    “Atlas shrugged says:

    October 23, 2009 at 5:52 am


    My advice is to stop watching QT, or any other product of the MSM, as soon as you can kick the addiction.

    Personally I worry about the mental health of people who can actually watch a whole episode of QT without feeling extremely sick. Surely watching a panel of dishonest fools, being mocked by a larger group of even greater fools, should make any normal person want to throw-up.

    Why do any of you so called intelligent people still persist in taking what you see on the TV at its face value?

    Why do you still trust the BBC to be anything other then the very useful establishment controlled propaganda channel?

    Why do you still trust powerless puppets, namely elected or otherwise politicians, to either be telling the truth as they know it, or indeed to have the slightest idea what the truth actually is?

    What was it that gave you this trust? Was it the various WW’s, great economic depressions, Labour governments and genocides, they gave us in the past? Surely not.

    Or could it be that the vast majority are just a mindless bunch of lazy, and wishful thinking, potentially slaughter house bound cattle? Because you can be absolutely certain that your ruling elites don’t just thing we ALL are, they self-evidently KNOW WE ARE, beyond any doubt whatsoever.”

  • ingo

    I have been in the audience of Question time more than once, on one occaision I was late was let into the Magdalen Road studio and sprinted upstairs, I told the guard that I had been before and that I knew the way into the studio. Coming off the last few steps you turn right and pass some offices.

    One had its door slightly ajar and I could see the candidates fishing through the public question, apparently chosen at random.

    Then it became info-tainment and really went downhill, I have not got a clue as to last night, we played scrabble and I came second.

    Going by the coverage this morning still re living this marked event, it was ‘get nick Griffin’ night last night, not a single item of news was covered. Afghanistans increasing death, Karzai’s poppy regime, Irans nuclear plans, or any news about the candidacy for president of Europe, Mary Robinson being a fine choice, nothing, at all.

    So, yes question time has had its day and if we privatise the royal postal services, we should as well have a close look at the BBC and its increasing pandering to power structures.

    Come back John Peel, you had the right ideas.

    So what happened in Washington? anything earth shattering to be told?

  • anticant

    I don’t usually watch ‘Any Questions’ – thank goodness! – but last night’s performance struck me as a massive own-goal by the BBC who, obviously stung by all the preceding criticism, stupidly chose to turn it into a “Get Griffin” lynching party, thereby garnering more sympathy for him than he merited. Not only the panel and the audience, but also the chairman, piled in with a will, so that Griffin emerged looking almost virtuous notwithstanding all the tosh he talked (intermingled with a few grains of sense). Far from holding the ring, the pseudo-magisterial David Dumblebore led the attack dogs and constantly interrupted Griffin instead of allowing him to answer the questions he had been asked. In stark contrast, he allowed the egregious Jack Straw to ramble on and on like a boozy pub bore. (Incidentally, there’s a wonderful send-up of Straw by Matthew Norman in today’s ‘Independent’.)

    All in all I rate this non-event as an undeserved draw for Griffin.

  • Stuart

    I totally agree with anticant about the nature of QT last night. And what I also found a bit distasteful was the general negativity, including from the audience, towards immigration. I find it a bit desperate when we start to insinuate that immigrants are responsible for all our country’s ills. Sure, there has been substantial immigration in recent years which has put pressure on public services in places but people who have come to the UK have brought enormous benefits, in economic and social terms. What is a scandal is that so many very well qualified incomers are cleaning the streets or serving coffee in Starbucks when, with a little more effort and understanding on the part of employers and the government, they could be undertaking skilled jobs that are far more appropriate to their abilities.

    I think there also needs to be a lot more awareness of what the UK population projections, as recently published by the Office for National Statistics, actually involve – they are projections, not forecasts. They take recent short term historical trends and project them forward. The likelihood of recent trends continuing is very unlikely, given the current lack of economic opportunities. Besides, there’s a rather nasty tone behind the argument that we’ve got as many people as we want now – stuff the rest of you.

    And, finally, where I think the main parties should actually learn from the BNP is how they have actually sought to engage with and stand up for people who are currently totally overlooked by the political system. Where I disagree with the BNP is that I don’t regard it as a race issue – I think it’s more related to poverty and increasing inequality in our society. Let’s put serious efforts into creating a more progressive society where there are opportunities for all. I think then we’ll see a lot less blame attached to immigrants and a lot less support for extremists like the BNP.

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