Mentions and Non-Mentions

by craig on February 14, 2012 10:10 am in Uncategorized

I was the answer to a question on University Challenge yesterday! Thanks to all who sent me messages to let me know. If anyone remembers the actual question I should be interested to hear. Apparently none of the students had ever heard of me.

From surprising mentions to surprising non-mentions. The Guardian wrote an excellent editorial on the continuing hypocrisy of the West’s relationship with Uzbekistan. Despite specifically covering the time I was there, and being about torture and rhe West’s reliance on Uzbekistan for supply to Afghanistan, resulting in a willingness to placate the Karimov regime, there is no mention of the British sacking their Ambassador for opposing this policy. It is not, I think, vainglorious to find it a strange omission.

I have mentioned before the Guardian consistently and completely writing me out of their reports about extraordinary rendition and UK complicity in torture. I am reminded of the fact that the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee asked seven different witnesses, including Jack Straw, specifically about me by name and my actions, but refused to allow me to give evidence on my own account.

When you are a whistleblower you become a non-person, simply written out of existence by the various organs of the Establishment, including those which pretend to constitute a form of opposition. Every now and then you get a reminder of your existence, reduced to a curiosity like the subject of a quiz question. But the official narrative closes over you and the truths you revealed, smoothly, like a Jack Straw speech or a Guardian editorial.

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  1. You get a plug in the CIF. This could have the unfortunate effect of directing all the right wing trolls that infest CIF in your direction; hope not.

  2. The question was one of a three part question relating to Samarquand. The answer to one question was Tamerlane. Your question was to identify you as our ambassador, can’t remember whether it mentioned you got sacked.

    Fame at last!

  3. The question asked about you as author of your book, but did not mention human rights, or that you had been sacked.

  4. Craig, little chance Karimov changes his policies if West does not talk to him. Actually, he is quite useful in blocking Russia’s influence southwards: just imagine someone like Lukashenko or Aliyev was in his place.

    As regards dictators:

    Besides, having lived a bit in various parts of Asia I am ready to argue that Uzbekistan is not the worst place to live, especially for the poor.

  5. Well it was bloody Paxman asking the questions! His days as the tool of the USUKIsNATO axis are nearly spent. ‘Is there slaughter on your hands?’ to someone the other day opposed to intervention in Syria. Well past his sell by date.

    Amd as for the Guardian, see the extensive and continued coverage on Medialens.

  6. The above was not to defend Karimov: however, politics is a very dirty business and hardly ever is based on any values. When it is, “values” are used to justify policy rather than to shape it. Whistleblowing is beautiful – but does it prevent wars or stops big corporate interests? IMHO, systems can be blown only from inside.

  7. I hope no one minds, but I’ve just finished my first attempt at a blog (you get a mention in it, Craig!). None of my friends or family are really that interested in politics, so I thought I would run it past you all here. I would appreciate any feedback if anyone can get through it. I’m not sure if I should start my own blog yet.

    ‘Humanitarian intervention’ is war by another name.

    28 Syrians were killed on Friday in Aleppo in two bomb strikes targeting government buildings which the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ has blamed on the government. The corporate media seems intent on running with whatever version of events is handed to it by the ‘rebels’ (for elsewhere, read ‘terrorists’ or ‘insurgents’), whom it portrays as unified opposition to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. As former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, noted after the Damascus bombings a week previously, “I am very interested that the BBC reports bombings in Damascus as false flag bombings by the Assad regime, when I found that to note false flag bombings by UK/US ally Karimov in Tashkent was treated as crazed conspiracy theory”. The bombings ran counter to the simplistic narrative promoted by the Western media and the various neo-liberal and neo-conservative think tanks and lobby groups which have been pressing for military intervention in Syria since the uprising began last summer. This narrative presents a black-and-white story of good versus evil; of peace-loving Syrians uniting to overthrow a cruel dictator and of ‘Butcher’ Assad ‘pounding’ them (the favoured word of the Guardian and BBC) with tank shells and artillery for their efforts. It is full of naïve assumptions which facilitate a far more insidious agenda.

    The reality is that is very hard to put together a balanced picture of what is happening in Syria, partly because it is a much more complicated situation than the BBC would have us believe, involving disparate groups with widely varying aims, not all of which are peace-loving or democratic, and partly because very few journalists have been able to access the country. One notable exception is the BBC’s Paul Wood, who has been dispatched to Homs where he is entrenched with the rebels as part of an effort to give credence to their claims, which to date have been supported mostly by shaky mobile phone footage, sound recordings and photographic stills that seldom prove anything one way or another. We also have the claims of highly dubious-sounding ‘activists’ in Syria, most of whom speak with London or American accents, who relay stories of ever-escalating atrocities being carried out by the regime and who plead for Western intervention at every available opportunity. Then there are the wealthy and influential Syrian ex-pats, who are regularly invited onto the broadcast media to air their grievances. This group cares more about the expensive shops and restaurants of Knightsbridge than it does about the plight of ordinary Syrians, but they are given substantial amounts of airtime because they at least sound authentic, they support the establishment media narrative, and, of course, they are calling for Western intervention. Social media has been utilised, but we have no way of knowing if blogs and tweets coming out of Syria are fabrications, as turned out to be the case when the blogger “Gay Girl in Damascus” was revealed to be one Tom MacMaster, an American student living in Edinburgh. MacMaster claims it was just a hoax, but both the medium he used and the persona he chose – an oppressed lesbian fighting to express herself under a repressive and intolerant regime – point to very carefully chosen propaganda clearly aimed at appealing to the young, liberal mindset in the West, which also happens to be the most vociferous anti-war section of society.

    Since the Iraq War, the neo-conservative doctrine has been thoroughly discredited and another large-scale war of aggression would be deeply unpopular with the public. It has been replaced by the much more underhand tactic of “humanitarian intervention”, with which we are persuaded to support the overthrow of hostile regimes on the grounds not that they threaten us, but that they are harming their own people. The establishment took note of the widespread public outcry over Iraq and adjusted its methods accordingly, so that war is now peace and anyone who opposes it is an apologist for violence. The process is cynical but effective. We are bombarded with one-sided coverage of a conflict, complete with all the gruesome detail that can be mustered, which gradually builds up to a point at which “something must be done”, before a course of action as innocuous-sounding as a ‘no-fly zone’ is proposed. Any objection to this can be easily nullified as the sides have been switched and the newspeak has the warmonger as the peacenik so that the opponent will be made to look as though they support violence, rape, torture and so on. Incidentally, I do not recall the same shrill voices calling for humanitarian intervention during the actual genocides which took place in Rwanda and Darfur, where one well-armed battalion could have averted tragedy, and nor do they seem to have much to say about state repression in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, both of which are key allies with whom we trade oil and arms. If there is one thing that gives the lie to the notion of humanitarian intervention, it is the fact that it is only ever applied to states which present a geo-strategic impediment to Western interests.

    In Libya, what began as a UN resolution for a ‘no-fly zone’ ended up as a full-scale NATO-led bombing campaign, with the arming and funding of fundamentalist militia and foreign mercenaries almost certainly supported on the ground by Western special forces. Humanitarian intervention morphed into regime change and most worryingly of all, many on the anti-war left bought the lie. Russia and China will not be fooled twice and the United States, which has a long and shameful history of standing alone in vetoing resolutions against Israel, has termed their refusal to sanction a resolution against Syria an act of complicity in Syrian government violence. As Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, told reporters last week, “We are against using humanitarian reasons to change the regime”. It would be easy to deride such a statement, but Russia is under no illusions about the West’s motives or intentions and it knows they are anything but humanitarian. Assad is undoubtedly a thug, but he is correct in stating that external forces are at work and attempting to destabilise Syria for geo-political gain. If the people of Syria wish to overthrow the regime, then that is matter for them to decide and events must be allowed to run their course. It is the motive for intervention that is being questioned here.

    If the interventionists get their way, then Syria, like Libya and Iraq before it, will be left a divided and war-torn mess for decades to come. By arming and supporting the various anti-regime factions, which are controlled more by foreign-backed mercenaries and Saudi-funded Sunni extremists than they are by young Syrians trying to organize democracy on their mobile phones, the West hopes to destabilise Syria under the old practice of ‘divide et impera’, so that Syrians will be too busy fighting amongst themselves to put up any coherent resistance to US-Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. As Syria is Iran’s only major ally in the region, chaos in Syria will ultimately pave the way for an attack on Iran, which could take place as early as this summer. It should be added that Syria is home to many religious minorities who have enjoyed protection under the secular Assad regime. They will be the first victims if Assad is deposed and the Christians who have lived there for millennia will be forced to flee. Most of the objections raised by the few remaining journalists not enamoured with the idea of liberal interventionism have taken its proponents by their word and tend to criticize them for “misplaced compassion” or “wishful thinking”. It is not. It is the planned and deliberate subversion of states not amenable to our economic and strategic interests. The ‘Arab Spring’, which at first was organic and took the West somewhat by surprise, has been quickly and skilfully co-opted and the long-held desire of Arabs to free themselves of authoritarian rule has itself been turned into a weapon to be used against them. Meanwhile, we are being urged into supporting murder and destruction by way of a wholly deceitful and perverse appeal to our humanity.

  8. Craig,
    The rule of silence and acquiescence in the world of fishwives, makes those transgressors whom have committed the ultimate sins of making known the duplicitous and inhumane conduct born out of the fishwives’ mendacious, fickle, and inane minds, to be dealt with by the severe wroth of the said class of wifey.
    Humanity having lost its bearings has been hijacked by the worst elements of the human kind and is being driven relentlessly towards its demise.
    However, you can always stand proud in the knowledge that you did not relent or let the fishwives to turn you into a monstrous Tartuffe. Craig you held on to your humanity and that is what matters, furthermore, we the other human beings the very real representatives of the human kind appreciate your sacrifices in holding up to the pressures and revealing the truth.

  9. Kashmiri,

    I fear you are not spending enough of your time acutally mixing with ordinary poor Uzbeks. A system designed to maintain strong elite control of all economic activity – either through state or mafia instruments – leaves them poor and powerless, and the social services are collapsing from their Soviet standards. Uzbekistan should be a reasonably wealthy country. It is not a South East Asia where you can say people have traded off freedom for prosperity. The Uzbeks have neither.

  10. Craig: I get the Guardian pretty regularly – for its Sports coverage, political cartoons; and because it still has some good polemecists, even if I often disagree with them. Thus, I feel entitled to ask the Readers’ Editor about their making you and others into non-persons. I expect to get a reply, even if not one that is published. Watch this space.

  11. OT, but not OT for the general subject.
    Today appears to be crunch day; either Yunus Rahmatullah is produced in court in London, or William Hague and Philip Hammond go down for contempt. With great regret I have to say I have no doubt some weaselly way will be found around it.

  12. What was the purpose of Hague’s visit to Capetown or did he just fancy a bit of warmth and sunshine?

    PS BBC 24 London have just had revolting Quilliam’s co-founder and chairman, Maajid Nawaz, talking about… who else…. Abu Qatada.

  13. How the BBC deal with another of their longstanding bêtes noires, Hugo Chavez. Note their ‘not for publication’ response.

  14. Mary- your link to the story about the BBC’s response to a complaint was an eye-opener and deserves featuring in the Leveson Inquiry. I wonder if there will be an opportunity. Surely some of those still to give evidence are concerned about BBC editorial bias?

  15. Quickie re Georgia/Delhi car-bombs — Reports say bomber was a passing motorcyclist who attached the bomb to one of the cars. This is exactly how an Iranian nuclear scientist met his end last month. Same M.O., same perp?

  16. The question asked about you as author of your book, but did not mention human rights, or that you had been sacked.

    Grrrrr!!! I’ll bet someone in the Illuminati had those references quashed.

  17. This is exactly how an Iranian nuclear scientist met his end last month. Same M.O., same perp?

    Oh, don’t be silly. You’re not suggesting that Iran is blowing up its own nuclear scientists are you?

  18. Although this silly sausage blew off his own legs:

  19. Angrysoba, I’m not suggesting that at all. I think we all know who is behind both events, and why…

  20. Angrysoba, I’m not suggesting that at all. I think we all know who is behind both events, and why…

    Oh, you think Israel is behind all these attacks? Well, ostensibly they will be prime suspects for the attack on the nuclear scientist. I know why but could you give me a motive for them?
    For the two embassy attacks I think Iran would ostensibly be prime suspect as retaliation. Can you tell me why Israel would do them?

  21. Isn’t it obvious? Israel is desperate to attack Iran. This helps generate more pro-attack coverage in the media. Bibi “knew” it was Iran — and Hezbollah! — almost as soon as the attacks took place. These guys are psychopaths. They’re drooling over WW3!

  22. Standard for ZBC Iain especially on Israeli atrocities on Palestinians. I believe Leveson’s remit is on the press alone As if the state broadcaster would be held up to scrutiny anyway. {}
    Leveson social friend of Matthew Freud married to Elisabeth daughter of Rupert btw.
    Leveson inquiry costs Juky Oct 2911 £855k!!

  23. Relevant to this thread, “The Nightmare of Government” and others is the following paper: “Deportation of individuals who may face a risk of torture – Commons Library Standard Note” , published 14 Feb 2012 – see . I have not had time to read it yet, but suspect that it might constitute another Non-Mention (I hope not).

  24. ‘The BBC’s Jonathan Beale on board the Abraham Lincoln says the US has insisted it will keep the busy shipping lane open.’
    More agro from the US for the Iranians.
    The US aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln has sailed through the Strait of Hormuz, close to the coast of Iran, for the second time in recent weeks.
    They have Allan Little down in the Falklands observing the agro being handed out to Argentina and producing this drivel. {}

  25. Mike,
    Not so surprising to see Isreal getting referred to without the keyboard warriors staying afar.
    the main reason for the half hearted “attacks” in which no one has been killed, or injured badly are more to do with souring the relationships and catching fish out of the muddy waters, so to speak.
    India is defying the US pressure and buying her oil from Iran with gold and and a basket of none western currencies. Georgia and Iran have been engaging in closer ties. also there has been the little news flash of an Iranian or Lebanese “identity holder” who has been throwing grenades in Bangkok (another Iranian oil customer). The insinuations and the fishwife logic of zionists automatically implicates Iran (Mossad has been recruiting from the ranks of the MEK terrorist group in Iraq), however all the noises and drum beating is attracting very little attention, everyone can see the ever more desperate zionist in action with their worn out false flag ops.

  26. Mary,
    “Abraham Lincoln has sailed through the Strait of Hormuz, close to the coast of Iran,”
    ZioBBC at its best, trying to big up the routine and sex up the aggression with the phrase; “close to coast”, with a slight oversight of the shore to ship missiles that can punch a pretty big hole in any battleship. Noecon at their best, big up the nonexistent threats, and play down the capabilities of the foe of the moment.

  27. Giles,

    A good start – I would encourage you to keep it going.

  28. At a meeting with Argentine president Cristina Kirchner, the Left-wing Hollywood actor referred to the Falklands as “the Malvinas Islands of Argentina” and said Britain should entered into a UN-sponsored dialogue over their sovereignty.

    “The world today is not going to tolerate any ludicrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology,” he said during the meeting in Buenos Aires.
    Sean Penn not mincing his words; accuses Britain of ‘colonialism’ over Falklands

  29. Not so surprising to see Isreal getting referred to without the keyboard warriors staying afar.

    It must be “synchronicity”! :D Then again, it is harldy a coincidence when you talk about Israel 24/7. More like the ceaselessly typing monkeys syndrome.

  30. Sean Penn not mincing his words; accuses Britain of ‘colonialism’ over Falklands

    That’s just stupid really, isn’t it?

  31. Giles, well written. Very minor point, you’re missing an ‘a’ near the end of your second-to-last paragraph :)

  32. Craig said, “But the official narrative closes over you and the truths you revealed” – this paradox, this absurdity is the result of domination; the 700lb US gorilla, it’s troupe of media saturation scribes and Israel’s deceptive fifth column, catalysing revilement of the inculpable to feed this guerilla gorilla will always frame the main page of history.
    The attack on the twin towers and the bombing of the London underground were without any doubt contrived to point a finger and catalyse or legitimise war in the minds of the majority – the ‘sheeple’ the blinkered or those reliant on cosmic love to overcome. iet It is only your love for life that will succeed – we need more of that love…
    Giles – good start and please blog on! – if you need SEO of the domain then I can help with some good tips to achieve that ‘top ten’ organic web presence.
    The attempts at regime change by foreign fighters in Syria continues as does the economic blockade of Iran, an act of war by international standards and also intended to cause insurrection, disorder and uprising by around mid year. A strike on Iran is of course a last resort and will doubtless result in a nuclear confrontation and an inexorable march to world war involving a move by Russia and China from the perimeter to the axis of chaos.

  33. Looks like I spoke too soon. These Argentinian veterans of the Falklands War are getting some rough treatment by the police as the vets demand pensions.

  34. I could also answer this question and I was really proud of it. I have been visiting your website since I have discovered it, and I can understand the feeling of being a nobody because of whistleblowing. I am disappointed by the Guardian but not overly surprised. I am sure you are for many people an inspiration but also a reminder of the consequences of rocking the boat. Still, the world needs people like you and others. Your investigation on the Werrity scandal is remarkable, but I noticed that Private Eye is also asking for documents under the information act. Any chance of working together ?

  35. Annie

    We are working very closely together, don’t worry. On fact the next revelation will be in the Eye this Friday. I know what it is but my lips are sealed till then!

  36. I cannot wait….

  37. Further the British press have polarised the situation in Syria, insisting President Assad is the ogre or bogeyman, a diametric stance from a few years ago when Assad was hailed as a reformist and the West queued to engage in dialogue.
    Support for the opposition, including al-Qaeda, the arming and training of the Free Syrian Army by Britain is an abomination especially when compared to the intervention and untold brutalities in Bahrain and the blind eye turned towards the brutal regime in Yemen.

    Britain and America are not only guilty of hypocrisy, I accuse their leaders of laying out the ground for another arms race with China and a serious threat of a future military conflict that will use the ‘dial-down’ tactical nukes now being manufactured and stockpiled in increasing numbers according to a military insider.

  38. Michael Stephenson

    15 Feb, 2012 - 12:19 am

    “The insinuations and the fishwife logic of zionists automatically implicates Iran (Mossad has been recruiting from the ranks of the MEK terrorist group in Iraq),so if you want to text for free anywhere in the uk you can do so by using [url removed] its great and free !!”
    Jose’s spam is remarkable, it cherry picked a sentence from another commenter. Re-used it and then added it’s ad to the end.
    As annoying as spam is you can’t deny that’s a pretty impressive bot.

  39. Michael Stephenson,
    On the other hand it could be an implied threat.

  40. On the other hand it could be an implied threat.

    That would probably suit your fantasies better. Oh me Gadz! We’re targetted by secret Zionist special ops team. Much better than common or garden spam.

  41. angrysoba,
    Impetuousness is a liability of your kind.

  42. Impetuousness is a liability of your kind.

    Well, it could be worse. And what “kind” is mine? I hope this isn’t anti-ex-Catholic abuse.

  43. So have the Malyshevs been forgotten?

  44. Uzbek in the UK

    15 Feb, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    You said: “Besides, having lived a bit in various parts of Asia I am ready to argue that Uzbekistan is not the worst place to live, especially for the poor.”
    It is true if you compare Uzbekistan with places like Afghanistan or Bangladesh. However; after collapse of the USSR Uzbekistan was the most economically developed amongst other Central Asian counterparts. Most of the industries in Central Asia were based in Uzbekistan and Tashkent used to be the main transport hub. It is of course true that Uzbekistan like all other former soviet republics suffered from collapse of common economic space.
    But as 20 years have now passed since Uzbekistan’s independence we can clearly see that by economic development Uzbekistan is now almost equal to Tadjikistan that used to be the poorest of all 15 soviet republics. Every year 2-5 million Uzbekistanis leave Uzbekistan to find seasonal work in Kazakhstan or Russia. In fact cash that these seasonal workers send to their relatives or bring back with them are considered to be major hard currency supply to Uzbekistan as well as it greatly contributes to smoothing out of proportional unemployment. This is despite cotton, gas, colour metal and other exports that Uzbek government benefits from.
    Partially problem with Uzbek economy is karimov’s stand in 1990th that resulted to conservation of old soviet style command economy but without soviet style benefits for the population. In fact in principle Uzbek economy had not changed since the collapse of USSR. Many soviet style units have been renamed, like kolhozes have been renamed to farms and theoretically private property is protected by law. However; in practice every change that was made contradicts to karimov’s economic policy that he and his government implements. This has led to vast power and resources concentrated in hands of very tiny elite while majority of population have been left with the same soviet economic burden to contribute to the need of state but without state provided benefits.
    In conclusion I would say that Uzbekistan has economically suffered the most and this is greatly owed to karimov and his economic policy. Uzbekistan from average soviet republic day after day is turning to a republic that by economic and social development can only be compared to counties like Afghanistan or Bangladesh.

  45. Spam deleted.
    @John Goss, good question; keep raising it.

  46. @Craig, pleased you’ve opened communications with Private Eye. They seemed to appreciate my pointing them in your direction first time around, but I didn’t want to keep sending them updates every time you found a new titbit! I shall look forward to the next issue coming out in a week or so…

  47. Giles,

    I have worked with too many university teachers who seem too concerned about grammar and spelling, but since English is my second language I think the content is what counts, so I would suggest keep on writing without thinking about a potential missing ‘a’… or a ‘s’ or a…

    Secondly, if I am going to follow a blog (in particular a political blog by someone I do not know about) I would like the blog to contain references or links to good / interesting / important material. Stuff I might not have read etc. My opinion is that blogs that do that are the most valuable blogs. So maybe that is something you could incorporate more…?

    Craig, if you read this, your blog certainly provides me, and many others I am sure, with important / interesting / intriguing information and perspectives.

  48. Oh, The Guardian! Sometimes, it is an infuriating media organ. They have their favourites and they have their non-persons, and although clearly the process attains sharpest clarity in relation to the dynamics Craig describes, that is not confined merely to whistleblowers/ overt politics. They seem to want ‘ownership’ of dissent, of expression, whether that is political or artistic. So some great articles do get published, and one sometimes links to these and so on. But one senses too that they and their little coterie of North London pals will tend to appropriate narratives and position themselves as the epitome of good taste, aka ‘cool’. And this, combined with somewhat predictable stances on many matters, irritates almost as much as their modulation of the overt, political stuff.

  49. On the Malyshevs (John Goss on 15 Feb at 7.53 am), I got a reply some time ago from my MP, Tessa Jowell, who forwarded a standard letter from Damian Green” MP at the Home Office. The key sentence in the Home Office letter was:

    “Although the overall human rights situation in Uzbekistan remains a serious concern, this does not mean that any individualmwho is returned there would face persecution”.

    I’d be grateful for any update from Craig or others on what is currently known about their position; and what use I might therefore make of the opening to revert in her covering reply: “I enclose a response…which I am sure you will wish to review.”

  50. Giles Craig will support me in this, I believe : the biggest problem for a blogger – after content – is audience. I suppose one could go straight to Open Salon but I didn’t find it useful longterm.
    It happens I blog about news and blogging.
    Performancing might be useful reading but if nothing much is riding on a learning experience I suggest you jump in. Results will mature slowly enough.

    Craig On a seemingly unrelated topic ( energy wars material and ‘green’ taxation agenda of the new world order : UN mandated educational content, i.e. conditioning ) another innocent is up to his neck in legal harassment due to naive exercise of free speech – and free thought. I wonder if you have any sanguine thoughts on the predicament of Canadian Dennis Rancourt ?

    The political correctness heresy is debunking Anthropogenic Global Warming as shrill polemic.

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