It is ten years since I ended my FCO career by going on the Today programme and blowing the whistle on CIA/MI6 complicity in torture. It was on my 46th birthday, and I was in my second year as an Ambassador and my seventh as a top Whitehall civil servant, a member of the Senior Civil Service.
Looking back now, what is most striking are the blatant lies by the FCO that they were not obtaining intelligence from torture. As the BBC reported:
In one he claimed MI6 had used information passed on to it by the CIA but originally obtained in Uzbek torture cells – something strongly denied by the Foreign Office.
I do not think there is a single person in public life or social media nowadays who would not accept that the FCO were simply lying. Jack Straw was blatantly to lie about it to parliament. But ten years ago the public and media knew much less than they know now. Nobody outside secret circles had ever heard the words extraordinary rendition. It was a year later – May 2005 – before the New York Times revealed the CIA was sending people to Uzbekistan to be tortured, precisely as I had stated.
It sounds incredible, but in October 2004 many people believed it was Craig Murray who was a liar, not Jack Straw. Again I do not think there is a single individual today who does not understand that Jack Straw was lying through his teeth. But back in 2004 life was hard for me.
After going on the Today programme I went on the run, in fear for my life. I am not paranoid, remember David Kelly. I first stayed with my old friend Andy Myles in Edinburgh, then I think Chief Executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He was phoned the next morning by the FCO. When he denied knowledge of my whereabouts, they not only said they knew I was staying with him, they said which bedroom I was sleeping in. Ten years ago today I was hiding in Aviemore in the house of my old friend Dominic.
That was the start of a decade as a dissident where I have devoted my life to exposing, and trying to counter, the evil of the neo-conservative policy pursued by our political class at the behest of the corporations who fund them. I have suffered a huge loss in money, status and most of the other normal aspirations. But what I have gained is invaluable. I have respect and love, while Blair and Straw will forever be despised.