Voice of Russia Interview 26

Exclusive interview with Craig Murray

21.02.2013, 19:52
Craig Murray may be Britain’s most controversial former Ambassador. He was dismissed from his post in Uzbekistan in 2004 amid lurid allegations about his personal life, and medically evacuated from there after becoming dangerously ill. He concludes he was poisoned and suspects CIA involvement.
A senior diplomat for twenty years, Craig Murray is now a political activist and a blogger.He maintains his claim that the war in Iraq was based on false allegations about the existence of weapons of mass destruction.

If you can, listen to this rather than read the transcript. The transcript is a precis and contains a few mistakes – notably legal for illegal more than once, But mostly because I have noted before my spoken English does not transcribe well, relying heavily on inflexion.

I think there is a little bit of censorship with one sentence taken out, where I said the last ten years Russia has gone backwards in democratic development, but overall in a longer historic perspective it is possible to argue Russia is making progress. The second part of that is still in and sits rather strangely. The edit comes at 5.56 in the soundtrack and is pretty obvious and clunky when you know.

The Cyrillic is pronounced something like Chitat dalieh – read further

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26 thoughts on “Voice of Russia Interview

  • Mary

    Excellent Craig. I listened as I read the transcript and can see the few blips but passable. Mr Eccott is a good interviewer and comes over in a relaxed way which must assist the process.

    Copy of the recording to Messrs Blair and Straw? And to all the others on the list too. Bastards. I don’t know how you have withstood their slime. You have retained your humanity. Theirs, that is if it ever existed, went years ago.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Quite an interesting interview you had Mr Murray.

    Britain’s (and Europe’s) relations with Russia have not actually changed since Victorian times. Britain is still Russia’s (or more accurately Russian oligarchy’s) favourite place to invest the capital obtained by selling primarily raw materials. Russia is still a market for European goods and is still viewed as a security threat by European nations. Russia still views Britain as a threat to its European affairs.

    Tone of the interview is particularly interesting. I have a feeling of that VoR slightly abused your critic of British establishment status and questioned you on the matters that were relevant to their particular ideological direction. For instance they were quick to spot signs of corruption in western system but had no questions on corruption in Russia which in views (and experience) of many is much more prevalent than in Europe. And as you admitted yourself they have cut out the only sentence where you criticised current Russian establishment.

    Not sure about you but to me it seems this interview was much worse in terms of its objectivity than any interview that you would give to British media. With the only exception that you were actually allowed to criticise British (and western in general) establishment.

  • John Goss

    Good interview Craig Murray executed with your usual panache and good common-sense. I just left the following message:

    “The cancelled Gibson Inquiry was an admission that the UK was up to its midriff in torture, even if this torture was done by proxy. The only conclusion the Gibson Inquiry could have reached was that the UK was complicit in rendition and torture at the behest of the CIA. Jack Straw should have been prosecuted for signing off the rendition agreements, and prosecuted alongside Tony Blair for misleading the British public by embarking on an illegal war on Iraq. The Tories had to back down over Gibson because they were already involved in rendering similar ‘favours’ to our masters across the Atlantic, including the extradition of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan to US Supermax torture-chambers with the grave intent of getting Julian Assange there too via Sweden following another CIA-engineered ‘Kompromat’.”

  • Uzbek in the UK

    And also it is hard to spot any Russian progress even in longer historical prospective.

    Russia along with China are the last remaining empires. Russia in particular has over 70% of its territory and around 40% of its population subjected to Moscow’s rule. In some cases this subjection is forcible in other it is based on long and persistent adjustment of history and culture of subjected people in favour of Moscow’s ideology. There are many so called ‘smaller people’ (the term was introduced by Czarist social scientists and itself displays chauvinistic attitude of Russians towards others subjected to them) who were ripped of their cultural heritage and were made to believe that their survival depends on their attachment to Russia.

    This Russia has nothing positive in even longer term historical prospective.

  • N_

    Good interview, but don’t underestimate the co-operation between British and Russian elites at various times since Tsar Peter I.

    That said, there has also been a lot of psychological projection involved in British attitudes towards Russia – ‘Russia’s obsessed with security‘, ‘Russia has imperial ambitions‘, ‘the KGB is everywhere‘, etc. Which is not to say that all of these weren’t true! At least these perceptions weren’t as schizoid as post-WW2 perceptions of France, where ‘the French always put their own interests first‘ compensates for British elite jealousy about their French counterparts’ apparently lesser degree of subjugation to the US yoke! 🙂

    Was British protection of Boris Berezovsky too hot (or should that be too radioactive?) a subject for Голос России to handle?

  • Jemand - Keep Speech Free

    “The transcript is a precis and contains a few mistakes – notably legal for illegal more than once, But mostly because I have noted before my spoken English does not transcribe well, trlying heavily on onflexion.”

    Your type-written English is also bloody awful. Craig, can’t you type your posts up in a wordprocessor or email client with spell checker?

  • Mary

    This is just one speck of what Craig was talking about.

    The Massacre of Al-Amiriyah Remembered
    Ibrahim Ebeid

    February 20, 2013

    While the People of the United States were celebrating Valentine’s Day, February 1991, the day of Love and Friendship, US bombs were falling all over Iraq. Destruction and death were the lot of Iraq and its People.

    Al-Amiriya, a bomb shelter which was one of 38 shelters built by a Scandinavian construction company was brutally attacked by US Air Force. Fifteen hundred civilians, mostly women and children, were taking refuge in it when the precision bombs fell and turned the refuge into a death chamber. Only 11 were known to have survived after suffering different degrees of wounds, burns and psychological trauma. Whole families were wiped out, as can still be seen today from their locked houses in Amiriyah.

    The temperature inside the shelter rose to thousands of degrees melting bodies along with cement and iron. The evidence is still there in the blackened ceiling where melted iron rods in the roof hang inside along the edges of the hole, which was caused by the bombs. Ripped air conditioning ducts lie on the floor to bear witness to the crimes committed by George Bush Sr. and his Administration.

    The shelters were designed for civilian use, to be located in densely populated residential areas, such as al-Amiriya in the north-west of Baghdad. The shelter consists of two floors, with the top floor used for living and sleeping and the lower floor intended for food storage, drinking water and washing water tanks, boilers, bathrooms, fuel storage, standby generators and the medical staff and their equipment.

    The details of these shelters and their locations were known to all residents, whether Iraqis or not, all through the 1980s during the Iraq-Iran war. There were neither secret establishments nor restricted access to any body; the shelter was not a military bunker as the criminals pretend.

    Few days before the slaughter of the civilians took place the Baby Milk Factory was destroyed to deprive the children of Iraq of the most essential nourishment. The intention was to starve, maim and kill the children of Iraq or deprive them from a healthy future.

    Video and photo.

    http://www.uruknet.info?p=95406 Ibrahim Ebeid

    Could we have please have less of the nit picking here – spelling, typos etc

  • nevermind

    Hypothetically speaking and directly related to this, another excellent interview, would you say it appropriate to keep names ‘a secret’, of those who have committed abuse and crimes against others.
    I mean, real crimes like defrauding the taxpayer, paedophilia, corruption at the highest level, or such.

    For example, should one find out that our elusive Adam Werritty, most likely of new face and papers, was actually out to defraud us all and sell some arms here there and everywhere fronting himself as MOD insider, would that be a secret to keep?

    If you would be asked to keep these ‘indiscretions’ we call crimes a secret because it might be/it is vitally necessary to protect the establishment or even Royalty, would you deem this to fall into your slot of acceptable secrets?

    What is an acceptable secret?, bar the launch codes and coordinates of the Force de Frappe/Trident? Why is it not acceptable to say were these weapons are pointing, mainly? they are aggressor and retaliation weapon system we keep for old times sake, expensive, vulnerable in peace times, and useless in current wars.

    We know that the first strike plans for hitting Chinese underground nuclear arms bunkers are a secret, but the intention has been publicised in an attempt to make war a normal every day occurrence, world war 2 gets rewarmed thrice/week in an PR attempt to soften us up to the normality of killing civilians, on a daily basis, here there and everywhere, torture talk and funny video’s of people ‘trying’ water boarding, all part and parcel.
    Never an issue at election time.

    So you said in the video that there are some secrets that should be kept, so, what would you regard worth keeping a secret? Could you name one example, or is it ‘not worth talking about’? the question in itself a secret? Or is it, pssssttt……?

  • Hello Craig!

    Hi Craig, saw this the other day–

    New movie will cover the source of funding for many of USG’s covert military operations- Drugs

    Actor Jeremy Renner
    will portray Gary Webb in the movie “Killing The Messenger”

    scheduled to begin filming this summer. The film will be distributed by Universal.

    This is a major production folks!


    Feb 1 2013
    Jeremy Renner Ready To ‘Kill The Messenger’ In Berlin-Bound Film Package About CIA-Smeared Journo Gary Webb




  • Mary

    Arms and the man. Cameron, in this case.

    Chapter and verse from CAAT.

    Cameron’s Indian odyssey – brickbats and cricket bats, fighter jets and on-message execs

    By Kaye Stearman, 22nd February 2013
    Topics: BAE, Cobham, India, Rolls Royce

    David Cameron has just returned from yet another overseas trade mission – this time to India.

    It’s been billed as the largest UK trade mission ever, with over 100 delegates – government ministers, MPs, “leaders of industry”, university grandees and assorted hangers-on. In the name of cementing trade ties we have seen Cameron playing cricket, laying wreaths and promising quicker visas for Indian students.

    Photo “Would you like to buy this Eurofighter Typhoon, sir?”

    All this flummery rather disguises the main aim of the trade mission to flog arms to India, which in recent years has emerged as one of the world’s largest arms buyers. So it is worth having a closer look at who accompanied Cameron and what they might be selling.


  • nevermind

    Far from wanting to bug you in a very communicative session, my question after your statement in the interview, Craig, is, what do you regard a secret worth keeping a secret?

  • Jemand - Keep Speech Free

    Mary wrote – “Could we please have less of the nit picking here – spelling, typos etc !!”

    Less than one means zero. And zero “nit picking” means more lice. I stand by my comment – if it’s worth writing, it’s worth writing properly. Nobody would ever stand for “To bee or nop too bo, tht is the qstion”. Sheesh!

  • Villager

    Very well spoken, Craig, and completely refreshing and candid. Stay well!

    Jemand, you obviously haven’t listened to the interview which is a serious dialogue about pervasively important issues. And if you have listened, its surprising you don’t have your bearings to keep your pathetic little observations off so as not to detract from the Big Picture.

    Once again, you show your utter lack of class writing stupid comments while lying on the ‘settee’ in your ‘lounge’ eating your ‘sweet’ with your ‘dentures’ on shouting at your ‘missus’ because she forgot to give you a ‘serviette’.

    And btw, as i’ve pointed out before, you are a commenter here, not a ‘commentator’. Do you see the difference?

    Boy, you are so Non-U.

  • GregLBean

    Craig, there is almost a full minute of the interview that has been left out of the transcript.

    It starts at the 11:35 mark and runs through to the 12:30 mark and fits in following this statement, “After David Cameron’s election the very first visitor to Number 10 was Rupert Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch entered not by the front door, but by the back door so that nobody would see him.”

    You go on to describe how the Uzbek diplomat meets with George Bush in Texas and hands Uzbek’s oil to Enron.

    I’m surprised no one else has highlighted this deleted text. I have saved a copy of the audio as a backup just in case the online audio gets editted and this statement is removed.

    It seems close to the most damning statement in the whole talk.

    Have you proof?

  • Fred

    “Less than one means zero. And zero “nit picking” means more lice. I stand by my comment – if it’s worth writing, it’s worth writing properly. Nobody would ever stand for “To bee or nop too bo, tht is the qstion”. Sheesh!”

    Ooooh look, a spelling flame.

    Get a life.

  • Jemand - Keep Speech Free

    What a bunch of uptight fucking wowsers you’ve become. A sense of humour is free, go take one off the shelf and nurture it. For the record, my original post was intended to be a jocular observation that Craig’s posts are replete with spelling errors made glaringly obvious by his admission that his “spoken English does not transcribe well”. It was my first, and now last, remark about his spelling. Not to be taken seriously by anyone at all, esp. Craig. And not expecting any reply either – not even a chuckle.

    But what a curious response I’ve enjoyed on this thread. A group of people who consistently post off topic, criss-crossing multiple conversations, discussing the most serious issues of the day mixed with banal observations about life and THEN daring to attack me for the unforgivable offence of having a light-hearted dig at Craig’s spelling. You could have graciously let it slip by, but no.

    As for you my old friend, Villager, you have become the archetype thug around here with your high-count sniping at other COMMENTATORS in a shameless attempt to ingratiate yourself with this blog’s own establishment. You never did let that one go, did you?  I do recall that we effected a kind of truce where I wouldn’t pick up on your own questionable commentary (as in, a series of comments), in particular those supporting the indefatigable Goran Rudling. You’ve done quite a turnaround since then, haven’t you? It’s also interesting to note that you are the most cowardly of commentators, sensing a quorum first before mustering the courage to fire off a salvo. At long last, you must now feel like you belong.

    “Once again, you show your utter lack of class writing stupid comments while lying on the ‘settee’ in your ‘lounge’ eating your ‘sweet’ with your ‘dentures’ on shouting at your ‘missus’ because she forgot to give you a ‘serviette’.”

    That might have been funny if it wasn’t so churlish. But then, you are a churl, with an obsession about “class”. Imagining me as some kind of Alf Garnett is probably intended to make you feel better about yourself than make me feel worse. I feel fine. Thanks to your ill-advised latest missive, the truce is now off as are the gloves. I’m going to be more active here now than ever before, you’ll be delighted to know. I look forward to your reply.

    Fred said – “Ooooh look, a spelling flame. Get a life.”

    How ironic.

  • me in us

    @ GregLBean – Hi, you got me wondering. Here’s the missing part transcribed:

    [11:37] Craig Murray: I was British ambassador in Uzbekistan, which the British and American governments had a military alliance, and the genesis of that alliance was a meeting which George Bush held while he was governor of Texas. He held a meeting with the Uzbek ambassador to Washington, who went to Texas to hold the meeting with George Bush, and there they discussed the giving of Uzbekistan’s gas resources to Enron, in fact, which, again, was an extremely corrupt country. And that Enron deal was the genesis of the Uzbek-American alliance. It was about a specific gas contract involving a very, very corrupt American company. So these ideas are not academic constructs. They come down to very genuine actions by very real companies.

    Tim Ecott, Voice of Russia: And it was your exposure to that sort of relationship that really led to you leaving the diplomatic service?

    (Ecott’s followup question actually refers to the missing text and so the meaning is skewed in the VoR transcript, where it now seems to be referring to Murdoch and Cameron)

    As to your question, have you proof? I have heard Craig speak of this incident before, for example in his Berlin address last year (http://youtu.be/yUZTiAoaax4?t=29m21s):

    [29:22] Craig Murray: But if you dig a little bit deeper, you discover that in 1997 the Uzbek ambassador, Sadyq Safaev, held a meeting in the Texas governor’s office with George Bush while George Bush was governor of Texas, three years before he became president. George Bush held a meeting in the governor’s office in Austin with the Uzbek ambassador and with Enron, and Enron signed a deal to tie up Uzbekistan’s oil and gas, in effect, to market it, to export in Europe. And the access route out was to be by a gas pipeline to be built over Afghanistan running incidentally through – the trans-Afghan pipeline still exists, the Asian Development Bank is – it exists as a plan. The Asian Development Bank has signed up to fund it. At that time when George Bush Jr. was meeting the Uzbek government and Enron in the Texas governor’s office to sign this up, the contract for the trans-Afghan pipeline was with another company called Unocal. Unocal were actually in talks with the Taliban to protect the pipeline. On the board of Unocal at that time was George Bush Sr., and the consultant paid by Unocal, who was conducting the negotiations with the Taliban, was a certain Mr. Karzai. Which I hope gives you some indication, when people say that foreign policy is driven by a search for hydrocarbon resources, in large part, or other resources, that isn’t theory. It’s not rationalization. It’s true in a very dull, real world way.

    [31:32] You know, if you read my book, Murder in Samarkand, you actually see there are facsimiles of the documents surrounding that meeting with the Bush and the Uzbek government and Enron. There’s a copy of a letter from Enron to George Bush confirming the meeting and what it’s about. These things really do happen in the real world. Western policy is driven by very hard financial interests, the interests of a very elite bunch of people who control a great deal and indirectly control the media narrative that surrounds the explanation the public is given as to why these wars, these attacks on human rights, happen.

    Craig has posted supporting documents for Murder in Samarkand under the Docments tab here, but I don’t see the Enron letter. But the text is here: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2005/12/more_old_news_1/

    Faxed letter from Ken Lay, Chairman and CEO Enron, to Texas Gov. George W. Bush

    April 3, 1997

    Dear George,

    You will be meeting with Ambassador Sadyq Safaev, Uzbekistan’s Ambassador to the United States, on April 8th. Ambassador Safaev has been Foreign Minister and the senior advisor to President Karimov before assuming his nation’s most significant foreign responsibility.

    Enron has established an office in Tashkent and we are negotiating a $2 billion joint venture with Neftegas of Uzbekistan and Gazprom of Russia to develop Uzbekistan’s natural gas and transport it to markets in Europe, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. This project can bring significant economic opportunities to Texas, as well as Uzbekistan. The political benefits to the United States and to Uzbekistan are important to that entire region.

    Ambassador Safaev is one of the most effective of the Washington Corps of Ambassadors, a man who has the attention of his president, and a person who works daily to bring our countries together. For all these reasons, I am delighted that the two of you are meeting.

    I know you and Ambassador Safaev will have a productive meeting which will result in a friendship between Texas and Uzbekistan.



    I’m guessing it’s that bit about Gazprom of Russia being in on the Uzbek-Enron deal that made Voice of Russia delete that part from the transcript. Other stories I read online while searching for the letter mention Enron’s Lay pushing Romania to Bush too. Anyway, I’d say yes, Craig has proof and has published it.

    Whether that proof continues to be available online is another question. Searching Craig’s site, I come across a few instances where he links to a picture of it, but all the links I tried are dead now. Scrubbed? That sucks.

  • GregLBean

    @ Me In Us, wow, great research/background, I’ll read up a bit further. I wonder if any of the WikiLeaks Diplomatic Cables or Stratfor Global Intelligence files would shed any further light on this.

    I’ve read that Putin’s wealth is a result of him getting a percentage on all of the Gas sold by Russia, likely a small slice but in the end worth big $$$$ (rubles). Some reports say he’s worth $500 billion.

    I find it intriguing that we have never seen leaks on financials. Torture, war crimes, genocide, all can be leaked but anyone who goes anywhere near leaking financial info is immediately silenced. Remember the vanishing (BofA?) financials Wikileaks threatened to leak. And what ever happened to Rudolph Elmer’s info?

    If financial info ever gets out it will change the power structure in the World instantly. And let’s be real, if Governments (US, UK, EU, BRIC) were really interested in exposing it they could do so in a heartbeat.

    But then it is the same guys who are hiding the financial corruption who own these Governments so not likely to happen any time soon… unless there are leaks.

    It’s pure speculation but one has to wonder if the real reason for the over zealous pursuit of Assange has to do with what he has but hasn’t yet released; did the (BofA?) Financials really get destroyed by Domscheit-Berg, where the Elmer CD’s really blank?

  • me in us

    Hi Greg, no clue! I never heard of Elmer, and as for BofA — oh yeah, I forgot about that! Thanks for the update.

    The thing about the pipeline… you know, if someone doesn’t connect the dots for me I come up with all kinds of crazy constructs. After I posted, I was thinking more. Like, didn’t Greg Palast, while Bush was in office, have a big story about the proposed pipeline … map drawn and rights divvied before the invasion of Afghanistan and the Iraq war … one oil company screwing another one out of its rights? I can’t find Palast’s story now, and maybe I’m misremembering, but Wikipedia has an entry on the pipeline, known as TAPI, pretty much as Craig described it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Afghanistan_Pipeline. Wikipedia says it was Unocal/Saudi cutting out Bridas of Argentina, before the 1997 meeting Craig spoke about with Poppy Bush on the board of Unocal. But the thing I don’t get is, the purpose of the pipeline is to avoid both Iran and Russia. So why would Gazprom of Russia be in cahoots with Enron? Answer may be in Murder in Samarkand, I don’t know.

  • me in us

    More than I can grasp —


    Pipeline-Istan: Everything You Need to Know About Oil, Gas, Russia, China, Iran, Afghanistan and Obama
    by Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
    May 13, 2009

    Has this bit — but Enron’s letter to Texas Gov GWB was addressed to Austin? — and Escobar makes no mention of Enron in his long article.

    A Taliban delegation, thanks to Unocal, enjoyed Houston’s hospitality in early 1997 and then Washington’s in December of that year. When it came to energy negotiations, the Taliban’s leadership was anything but medieval.

    They were tough bargainers, also cannily courting the Argentinean private oil company Bridas, which had secured the right to explore and exploit oil reserves in eastern Turkmenistan.


  • AK

    And as you admitted yourself they have cut out the only sentence where you criticised current Russian establishment.

    What was the criticism? I have written for the Russia media a few times, and the only time I was ever edited was when one sentence might have been potentially libelous against a particular private person. None of my criticisms re-Russia in general were edited.

  • AK

    That is, did you say precisely, “the last ten years Russia has gone backwards in democratic development, but overall in a longer historic perspective it is possible to argue Russia is making progress.” Sounds like a weird thing to take out given its extremely anodyne and general nature.

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