Decade of Dissent 720

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.

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720 thoughts on “Decade of Dissent

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  • maxblunt

    Without people like you we wouldn’t be as aware as we are, absolute respect to you sir.

    Is there a way to have Straw prosecuted for lying to the house?

  • Tim Sambrook

    Thank you Craig. Courageous people such as Snowdon, Assange and yourself help to sustain a growing body of people concerned with working for the good of humanity. Keep spreading the word.

  • glenn_uk

    It appears that no matter how hard one tries, regardless of the personal resources of intelligence and information of that individual, one cannot go up against the Establishment and expect a favourable outcome. Clive Ponting is a notable exception, although he didn’t get away with anything except his liberty. It’s not really possible to expose, and bring to justice, the Establishment.

    But you certainly have my fondest regards and deep respect for trying. It’s an example to us all – it is always better to try, than to do nothing and meekly accept the status quo.

  • Sofia


    “I have suffered a huge loss in …status…”


    You will need to go very badly off the rails to lose the kind of status that matters.

    Go raibh mile maith agat.

  • King of Nothing

    All whistleblowers are heroes. I’m currently reading the book “Classified Woman” by Sibel Edmunds and I’m left in awe of the courage and determination that such people possess. God bless you all.

  • Clark

    Craig, congratulations on your ten years of dissent, and thank you for your insider’s view of UK/US foreign policy which has increased my understanding so much.

  • reliably

    A rather laughable idea of ‘status’ in a political milieu that rewards lying, duplicity and — let’s not forget — torture. And if that list serves as a path to fulfill ‘normal aspirations’, you’re most correct to reject all that.

    The stranger truth is why the rest of the civil servant class plays along.

    Congratulations, Craig, and a big thank you.

  • DoNNyDarKo

    It is an anniversary I would celebrate with pride Craig.
    I had heard the rumours that Britain was involved in rendition and torture but until you blew the whistle there was nothing of substance to question the official narrative.It was all just heresay.I wonder how often when you’ve looked at your surroundings ,family & health and thought”should’ve kept my mouth shut”.
    You have made a difference and the dam of silence has holes and fissures appearing all over the place.We can but hope that they continue.Your adversary is a parasite that has had centuries to fasten itself into our system.We need more people like yourself.
    The first time I visited the Berlin wall in April 89 ,there was a wee guy with a hammer and chisel ,renting them out for a DM so you could chip a piece of concrete out of the wall.I remember thinking,at this rate it’ll never happen.When I was back in the September I had a photo taken of me standing on a piece at Brandenburg gate that was only just over a meter high.By November it had fallen.
    Keep taking the medecine and giving it too. Slainte bha !

  • Ed

    My first reaction on reading this – has it really been 10 years?

    “Murder in Samarkand” remains one of the most important books I’ve ever read, and it’s a privilege to still hear your voice today; in my case, mainly through this blog.

  • Tony M

    We are many, they are few. Well done Craig. Vote Green in rUK or SNP in Scotland, there is a better way. If that fails, if the system, as seems lkely is rigged, we’ll throw our very bodies into the jaws of the machine in the hope of stopping it. Record levels of and still sharply increasing inequality will sooner rather than later produce a groundswell, mass civil disobedience will smash this criminal state and the scum rise to the top unmerited, given every chance to mend their ways, now must perish utterly. So few of the many yet realise that they will be next, still see some faint vested interest in maintaining the appalling status quo, but already for the sick and the disabled, the old and the poor, and other marginalised people, the latest ‘home’ victims of the neo-fascist regime that lords it over us, the true nature and murderous intent of our governeing elite is crystal clear. Some though close their minds to reality; supreme ironies such as the pro-British far right, the Orange Order, EDL and other stormtroopers of the state, acting on its behalf, standing on a first world war victims memorial, giving Nazi salutes, in George Square, Glasgow, where the Flower of Scotland, the fittest and bravest who gave their lives, who were disproportionately sacrificed and slaughtered, believing naively for a better world, but really for a despotic empire’s sordid gain, are solemnly remembered -even such an ugly spectacle, as barely if at all reported, fails to awaken people to what this tyranny of Westminster and The City we labour under represents: unadulterated evil.

    Jack Straw should have a bounty on his head: Wanted Dead (preferably) or alive. Our entire political class are war criminal mass-murderers, without exception, these people forfeited their humanity for personal wealth and power. We must develop completely alternative systems and institutions for governing for those we have just now cannot be allowed to continue, and if it will take nothing short of a devastating nuclear attack on London to decapitate this regime, then the point has been passed when, for the sake of the rest of us, that has become a price worth paying.

  • Jives

    Thank you very much for all your tireless efforts Craig.

    So incredibly important.

    Straw,Blair et al can rot in hell.

    We do not forget.

  • Mary

    You have gained respect and love Craig, in spadefuls, whereas they the hollow men/war criminals/liars are broken reeds and now fade into obscurity. Before that I am afraid that there will be eulogies in the ‘Hice’ for the departing execrable Straw.

    Here are some of the war criminals at one of their G8 gatherings in 2007. Harper is there with a grinning Bush and BLiar.

    1 – 15,item=1,layoutVariant=FotoreiheSA.html

  • Republicofscotland

    In time to come Craig you’ll be remembered for the RIGHT reasons, others will not be so fortunate. As for the present, your stock may well have hit rock bottom with Whitehall, but north of the border you’ve made many new followers.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    When you say this:-

    “Looking back now, what is most striking are the blatant lies by the FCO that they were not obtaining intelligence from torture.”

    I think of the Bancoult 1 and 11 cases ( i.e. the claims concerning the Chagos Islands – Diego Garcia) and when I observe what the British government did to those people then lied, lied, lied – nothing surprises me anymore.

    Keep up the good fight.

    You did the right thing.

  • Abe Rene

    By all means celebrate the 10th anniversary of your becoming a whistleblower e.g. by taking your family to a favourite restaurant. Maybe there’s a UK equivalent of the “Conflict Kitchen” restaurant in Pittsburgh that earned the wrath of Zionists by offering a “Palestinian menu”.

    However remember the example of Mandela, and don’t let yourself get bitter. You may wish to tell the truth through the medium of fiction by writing a novel where you can say things that you could not say in public because of official secrecy or national security.

    Good luck also with the factual history books that you plan to write. Being a brilliant scholar of history at university, you might as well put your gift to good use!

  • YouKnowMyName

    There is a slow attempt to uncover some of the decade-hidden GWoT torture truths, for example in Poland according to,Poland-to-appeal-Strasbourg-CIA-ruling

    The Court in Strasbourg (ECtHR) ruled earlier this year that Poland had violated articles of the European Convention on Human Rights by knowingly allowing CIA-operated bases on its territory, ordering it to pay compensation to two terrorist suspects.

    The charges against Poland were brought by Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian, who was arrested in Pakistan and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi, who was ‘renditioned’ in Dubai. Both men say they were held and tortured in a secret detention centre known by the code-name ‘Quartz’.

    Polish politicians have denied any knowledge of the secret prison.

    Poland is appealing, even tho’ much has been published in the WashPo, naming names etc

    from UK politico’s POV you can see why ECtHR should be dropped ASAP

  • Mary

    The curly headed Powell (Pole) might get his collar felt.

    Jonathan Powell’s comment over terror suspect examined by police
    Police Service of Northern Ireland ‘scopes’ claim ex-Number 10 chief of staff potentially perverted course of justice by advising republican terror suspect not to return to UK

    Powell of course followed on to Agent Cameron. YCNMIU.

    David Cameron appoints Jonathan Powell as official envoy to Libya
    Appointment of former Tony Blair aide, who will try to promote dialogue between rival factions, follows similar US move

    Where is Blair Ba’al?

    Where is Werritty anyone?

  • Robert Crawford


    I once said on Twitter,” without the whistle blowers we would all be in the dark”.

    I once said to the Law Society of Scotland, ” this regime I live under calls other regimes “despot” frankly I do not see the difference”.

    Maybe this, and a history of complaining is why I am followed everywhere I go, night and day. I do not have as much as a parking ticket to my name, and yet, “they” are there all the time. WHY?.

    When I fell out with Twitter it was because they did not like my comment, ” there is mutual self protection at the top”. Twitter would not let me post that. They are all in it together. protectionism.

    When I stumbled onto your speech made in St. Andrews on 26th. or 27th. August, there was 30 views on it. By the next day it had 55,000 views, 90,000 plus.
    When I first saw/listen to what you had to say I immediately sent two Emails, saying that I feared for your safety. “They” will still be watching and listening, it is what they do, pre-programmed.

    “They” will be reading this!.

    Mrs Mercal will be grateful for one whistle blower in particular.

    Maybe we will all have to go and live in Germany, everything is much cheaper there and better quality.
    In the meantime how do we make our government behave in a civilized and ethical

    Give them a test run on George’s “water board”?.

    All of the 90 odd thousand people who have watched that St. Andrews video need to be brave and support you, and all the other people who “debunk” the government’s lies. The Civil Servants who carry out these spying deeds need to consider their positions. Is it Ethical or is the money the prime mover for them?

    Think how History would have been changed if the Civil Servants in Germany had told Hitler to get “fucked”.

    Where do we ALL go from here?.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    Craig; May you live many years like Gouph Whitlam. RIP.

    “Whitlam knew the risk he was taking. The day after his election, he ordered that his staff should not be “vetted or harassed” by the Australian security organisation, ASIO – then, as now, tied to Anglo-American intelligence. When his ministers publicly condemned the US bombing of Vietnam as “corrupt and barbaric”, a CIA station officer in Saigon said: “We were told the Australians might as well be regarded as North Vietnamese collaborators.”

    Whitlam demanded to know if and why the CIA was running a spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, a giant vacuum cleaner which, as Edward Snowden revealed recently, allows the US to spy on everyone. “Try to screw us or bounce us,” the prime minister warned the US ambassador, “[and Pine Gap] will become a matter of contention”.

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    Whitlam’s Press Conference Following The Dismissal
    November 11, 1975

    Following his dismissal and the double dissolution of the Parliament, Gough Whitlam held a press conference at Parliament House, Canberra.


    Clearly the great issue, almost the sole issue of this campaign will be whether the Government which the people elected with a majority in the House of Representatives will be allowed to govern from now on. The whole of this system is under challenge as we see. Now up till the very last division in the House of Representatives where, we have always believed, governments should be made and unmade. We won that division by a majority of ten votes; sixty-four for us, fifty-four for the others. And during this campaign the overwhelming issue will be, are we to have three year Governments in Australia; is the Party which gets a majority in the House of Representatives to be allowed to govern? That is, it’s the future of Parliamentary democracy as we have known it.


    Perhaps some remember Christopher Boyce. He was working at TRW and received a Telex sent mistakenly by CIA wherein they disclosed how they were working to affect the Austrailian elections. He went barmy and contacted the Soviet embassy in Mexico. Spent many years in prison. The movie Falcon and the Snowman recounts the episodic tale.

  • Robert Crawford


    Further more.

    An old family friend who fought in the first world war said he was held back in everything he tried to do or join until he was 65. All because he criticized what he considered was a waste of human life by wrong decisions made by the High Command. He was an accountant with his own business.

    So you see their “Modus Operandi” is still the same to-day.

  • Mary

    Repeating …

    ‘Men of England, heirs of Glory,
    Heroes of unwritten story,
    Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
    Hopes of her, and one another;

    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number,
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you –
    Ye are many – they are few.’

    The Masque of Anarchy
    Percy Bysshe Shelley 4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822

  • lwtc247

    Yes Craig. You have our love by virtue of the fact you seek truth and harmony for the benefit of your fellow human beings. I deeply respect you – even after the odd occasion when I think maybe you’ve rather enjoyed one too many single malts! Keep it up mate. It’s a worthy life albeit a hard one. Amazing how they knew where you were and in which bedroom. I cam imagine the scramble to find you, but utter shame on the CS’s that participated in your hounding then and after.

  • Jives

    Robert Crawford,

    You anaw eh?

    Zerzetzen UK seems to be everywhere now.

    What nature is the harrassment taking? You getting threats?deliberate phone clicks?


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