Dear President Ahtisaari,
I had the pleasure of meeting you on a number of occasions over the years, including when I was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, and I recall your genuine concern for democracy and human rights in a region where they are sadly neglected.
Like a great many people in Scotland I was shocked that CMI is employing Jim Murphy. Of course, in a democracy there are always losers as well as winners in elections, and both are genuine and valid participants in public life. It is not the fact that CMI employs a politician who has been so recently, comprehensively and humiliatingly rejected by his national electorate that will do any damage to CMI. In a sense I think it does you credit.
What shocks many people here is that Mr Murphy is by any standards a dedicated warmonger. He was a major and important proponent of the invasion of Iraq, and is the strongest of supporters of the massive increase of Britain’s nuclear arsenal, in breach of the Non Proliferation Treaty.
Mr Murphy is a member of the Henry Jackson Society, which as you know is a body which exists to promote United States neo-conservative foreign policy in its most aggressive sense, and openly and actively supports and condones extraordinary rendition and the use of torture by the CIA. It has supported every single military action by the USA since its formation, and defends United States exceptionalism in international law, including US non-membership of the International Criminal Court.
Mr Murphy’s belief set is therefore fundamentally at odds with the stated aims of CMI. Indeed, his employment by you can only lead to the suspicion that CMI’s stated objectives are not its real objectives, and that like Mr Murphy and the Henry Jackson Society your overriding goal in the regions where you operate is to promote the interests of the United States.
As you are funded by charitable donations and by governments, I think some explanation of your employment of Mr Murphy is in order, particularly when you have employed him as a conflict resolution expert in the Caucasus and Central Asia when he has no relevant experience of conflict resolution at all, virtually none of the Caucasus, and absolutely none of Central Asia.
I was the Head of the UK Delegation that negotiated the Sierra Leone Peace Treaty, and certainly under no circumstances would I let Jim Murphy anywhere near that kind of negotiation.
With All Best Wishes,
Amb (rtd.) Craig Murray