A Short Speech by Craig Murray.
(World Can’t Wait forum(?), USA, 2nd Oct?)
Something worthy of being transcribed – like most of what the superb Craig Murray does and says. An compassionate human amongst devils. – lwtc247
I was British Ambassador in Uzbekistan, central Asia, Immediately North of Afghanistan. I had been in the country for two weeks when I went to attend a dissident trial. Some gentlemen were charged with terrorism, membership of a group connected to Al-Qaeda, and a variety of terrorists acts.
I can only compare the atmosphere of that trial to one of Hitler’s show trials. The judge was screaming and haranguing the defendants, and making gratuitous anti-Islamic remarks like “how could you find time to commit so many crimes when you have to stop to prey 5 time a day”
They were surrounded in that courtroom, they were emaciated, beaten, they were sat on a low bench 3 off the floor in a sort of humiliated position and something happened that set me on the path that lead me here.
an old man had given evidence that two of the accused who were his nephews, were members of Al-Qaeda and had travelled to Afghanistan and met with Osama bin Laden in person. This old man was giving his evidence and he was a very bowed and defeated figure. He was obviously terrified, he was old and quite frail and giving his evidence in court, and suddenly, he seemed to find an inner strength. Suddenly courage came to him, and he stood taller and he said in a much louder voice “This is not true. This is not true. They tortured my children in front of me until I signed this statement. We are good Muslims but we are poor farmers from Anderjan. What do we know about Osama bin Laden?” and as I sat in that courtroom, as it happened I was within a yard of him as he spoke – I could have touched him. And you could tell at that moment he was speaking the truth. and he must have known that he was very likely signing his own death warrant when he said that in that court, because the Uzbek regime is an appalling totalitarian regime.
Very shortly after that, I obtained on my desk, an envelope with photos of a dead man, who had been, he we was one of some 10,000 political prisoners in Uzbekistan. His body had been returned to his mother for burial. She had taken photos of it which came to me. I sent them off the UK for pathological report. The report came back and it said that his fingernails had been pulled out, he had been beaten about the face and neck, and he had died of immersion in boiling liquid and it was immersion not splashing because there was a clear tide-line around the upper torso and upper limbs and 100% scalding underneath.
This regime that boils people alive, I was under instructions, I was British Ambassador, I was never to speak in public without starting by saying “how grateful we were to that regime for its cooperation in the war on terror and the fight against Islamic fundamentalism and how grateful we were that it was a member of the coalition of the willing, and had sent a small contingent to Iraq.
President Karimov has had tea in the white house with President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld visited three times while I was there, and in that year that guy was boiled to death, 2002, the United States gave over 500 million dollars in US taxpayers money to the Uzbek regime, 120 millions dollars of that the Uzbek armed forces and over 82 million dollars to be precise to the Uzbek security services. When they boiled that guy to death, the American paid to heat the water.
At the same time, at the same time as British Ambassador, I was seeing CIA intelligence coming out of the country. Once Uzbeks realized that I was taking an interest and trying to do something about this human rights abuses, they came to me with their stories, and we built up a dossier of hundreds of cases of people who had been tortured. We met some of the people themselves, we met their families, we had letters smuggled out of the prisons, we had photographic evidence and we also found what they were having to do when they were tortured. They were having to confess to membership of Al Qaeda or groups linked to Al-Qaeda. they were very often having to confess to having gone to Afghanistan and having met Osama bin Laden, and they were having to sign up to long lists of other people who they had to say were members of al0-qaeda, very often not always in Uzbekistan – these could be people in the United States, in the UK, where ever. Very often the person being tortured had never head of these people. But if they are plunging your arm in boiling liquid, if there raping your daughter in front of your eyes until you sign, and all those things happened… you sign!
And at the same time as British ambassador, under the US UK intelligence sharing agreement, I was seeing the CIA intelligence coming out of Uzbekistan, and the CIA intelligence, came from the Uzbek security services. It came out of those torture chambers and it said exactly the same stuff. There were long lists of members of Al-Qaeda and it was vastly exaggerating the threat from Islamic extremism in Uzbekistan. In fact, there was hardly any Islamic extremism in Uzbekistan until the US government started supporting the dictatorship and that’s the kind of stupidity which causes the terror they claim to be fighting.
Much of the CIA material was demonstrably wring. I recall for example CIA material about a man who was said to be a member of Al-Qaeda and I knew him and he was a Jehovah’s witness. The CIA intelligence material was so firm, they have Jehovah’s Witnesses as Al-Qaeda members. I don’t think al-Qaeda even tried to recruit Jehovah’s Witnesses, almost certainly Jehovah’s Witnesses would try to recruit Al-Qaeda if they could find them.
But the purpose of this false intelligence was to build up a threat of Islamic extremism and exaggerate it. and when you hear again and again and again, that intelligence is why people, Muslims in the UK and US, are continually being arrested in their thousands under anti-terrorism legislation, and that the arrests are based on intelligence, remember that that can be product of a torture cell, anywhere around the world under the extraordinary rendition programme. And that’s what this legalisation of torture means. It doesn’t just mean an appalling term, Bush isn’t a neoconservative, this is neo-medieval-ism, neo-medieval-ism! They brought back torture and they brought back the crusades and they are trying to demonise Muslims and cause Islamaphobia by ratcheting up the fear scale again and again and again with terror plots which I can tell you from first hand experience are often completely fabricated and we are not going to fall for it any more.
And it’s used to erode our civil rights and characterise Muslims as non-humans, so when they arrest and torture Muslims we will accept it. So when they tell us that habeas corpus is gone we will accept it, so that when they invade Muslim to get their oil and gas we will accept it.
Well we have seen through it! We are not accepting it any more!
It is the anti-war movement in the United kingdom that has caused Tony Blair to have to leave three years before he wanted to.
The architects of this crusade are being driven out. Aznar has gone, Berlusconi has gone, Blair has gone and now Bush will go.