AMB Craig Murray

Craig Murray Former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan


The Iraq Invasion Fatally Damaged the UNSC

Download audio file  20 January, 2014 06:22

The speech on intelligence reform and NSA spying by US president Barack Obama was one in which nothing was said but which was designed to create a strong psychological impact with its visuals. Former United Kingdom Ambassador and rendition death whistleblower Craig Murray stated: “it was like Hitler at a Nuremberg Rally. I have never seen so many national flags of one country behind a single speaker. It was a kind of an exercise in extreme nationalism, rather than an intellectual speech.” Mr. Murray stated that Obama merely continued the US insistence that they have the right to spy on everybody.

With regard to the US expansion of the Magnitsky List Mr. Murray said the creation of the list reveals the mindset in the United States that still regards Russia as an enemy. The US continues to demonize Russia but does nothing against countries like Bahrain which shoots people dead for demonstrating, tortures women and children, gasses people and imprisons doctors and nurses. The Magnitsky List is a peculiar piece of exceptionalism which reveals a scary Cold War mentality from a country that does nothing to address far worse human rights abuses taking place around the world.

Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Mr. Craig Murray he is the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan an author and a former whistleblower. This is part one of an interview in progress.

Robles: Hello Sir good evening! I understand right now you’re in Ghana. Would you like to tell us what you are doing there for our listeners? It might be interesting.

Murray: Yes! I do some development consultancy work out here and provide some advice to the Government of Ghana.

Robles: I see. What is the situation like in Ghana? Is it pretty stable now or… ?

Murray: Yes, Ghana is really leading the way in Africa in many ways in terms of economic development. It is a democracy. The political party in charge changes occasionally at elections and it has a very good human rights record. It has a better human rights record than the UK.

Robles: Wow! Which means it is much better than the US’ even. I’d like to get your reaction to a speech by US President Barack Obama regarding surveillance and the intelligence services – the NSA. His speech is being blasted left and right. You saw the speech. I was wondering if you could give us your reaction to it, as a former whistleblower and someone involved pretty closely with all these matters?

Murray: Yes! It was quite remarkable, really, that any speech should be given so much publicity and so much dominance, and so little should be said really.

He didn’t announce anything that makes any substantial change at all to the way the NSA operates or to the scope of their activities, or to how they are regulated and overseen, which of course is not very much at all. So, really, it was an almost empty speech.

I thought the most interesting thing about the entire speech was, if you saw it, the rather scary visuals. It was like Hitler at a Nuremberg Rally.

I have never seen so many national flags of one country behind a single speaker. It was a kind of an exercise in extreme nationalism, rather than an intellectual speech.

Robles: What was the purpose of the speech then? To strike fear into the public or..? What was going on with that?

Murray: I think it was an assertion of American power and authority, a reminder of the scope of their intelligence services and their amassed ability in electronic surveillance and a continued insistence that they have the right to do this, and have the right to spy on everybody abroad and on their own citizens.

And it was like the mollifying, the velvet glove on the iron fist, it was really a very small part of the speech and not very convincing.

Most of it was a strong assertion of American national security and their rights to spy on other people since the 9-11 events.

Robles: I see. There is a sign in front of the NSA’s new data collection center in Utah. It says: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

I take great issue with sign myself. It implies they have the right, as you just mentioned a minute ago, to spy on anyone for any reason they want, anywhere in the world.

Murray: I find that phrase extremely chilling: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”, it is a phrase which politicians use frequently to justify spying on everybody. And the implication is that they have a right to see absolutely everything you do and if you are not doing wrong, then you shouldn’t object.

Of course, that’s absolute nonsense. I mean, to take it to the extreme – I have nothing to hide when I go to the toilet, but I don’t want people watching me.

Robles: Sure!

Murray: It is not that I’m doing anything wrong, it’s that there are legitimate areas of privacy in life. Politicians are not allowed to see everything.

I mean, if I’m exchanging the emails of intimate nature with my wife or my family, I don’t want politicians reading that or spies reading that. It is not as if only if I have criminal activity, am I entitled to object to people seeing what I write. It is absolute nonsense. And it is quite extraordinary the way that this simple phrase is taken as a defense of their ability to spy on absolutely everything you do.

Robles: Right! Thank for bringing that up, because the argument is so disingenuous, in my opinion, but they use it all the time. Why can’t we spy on you? You must be doing something wrong! And you gave some very good examples. Where is the respect for… (I think it is a human right isn’t it?) privacy?

Murray: It is quite extraordinary. And it is like the idea of the presumption that you are doing wrong unless you can prove otherwise, which is creeping in, as opposed to the idea that until you actually commit a crime, you are free to do anything you want.

I recently went to withdraw some money from my bank account in the UK which I wanted to take out in cash. And the banker asked me why I wanted it. I said: “I want it because it is my money.”

Which wasn’t taken as suitable answer. And had to fill in a form, because if you withdraw more than a certain amount, I guess it is about $6,000 or $7,000 USD, you have to fill in a form to prove you are not money laundering and to say what you want it for.

But why should you have to prove you’re not money laundering? There is no evidence whatsoever you are a money launderer and you have no relation with narcotics or criminal gangs, or anything. But why should you have to prove that you are not doing wrong?

The state should intervene only in cases when wrongdoing is going on. You don’t assume all citizens are doing wrong unless they can prove otherwise, but that seems to have become the default that we are seeing….

Robles: Yes! And that seems where it’s gone since 9-11. Many people I’ve talked to and interviewed speak about the introduction of American fascism and world fascism, and everything else. You, as an Ambassador, someone very close to the workings of governments and geopolitical machinations, and everything, what can you tell us about that; about the coming of the global security surveillance fascist state?

Murray: Well, I think the greatest problem in international relations at the moment is American exceptionalism.

The most promising development since the end of the WW II had been the creation of the system of international law, where I think it was possible up till maybe even 80s or the early 1990s to argue the world had advanced.

The International Court of Justice, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the whole fabric of international law, later to be reinforced by the International Criminal Court, for example – it was expanding and there was reason to believe that in the future the relations between the states might be regulated more by law, than by war.

But then, unfortunately, the American ultra-nationalism, exceptionalism nearly vetoed that. We’ve had the invasion of Iraq, which fatally damaged the UN Security Council, because what’s happened was that America, the UK and the others showed that they could openly attack a weak country and invade it without sanction.

It was obviously illegal, but there was nothing anybody could do to stop it. And we’ve not only had the example of America refusing to be subject to the International Criminal Court, but countries which are subject to the ICC, like the UK, we’ve seen a complete refusal by the ICC to act against the UK.

Clearly there were war crimes committed in Iraq, with the introduction of false intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in order to start the illegal war of aggression, which was itself a war crime – this is all very much under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. But the ICC has simply refused to look at it and refused to do anything about it. And instead, it does nothing but concentrates on prosecuting Africans.

So, the lack of general commitment to international law is the most worrying problem on the global level of the last couple of decades.

Robles: I see. I wanted to ask you in detail about this expansion of the Magnitsky list. They are proposing Ukraine, which, up until it said “no” to the EU, was the shining example of democracy in eastern Europe. Now it is the evil human rights violator of the world.

Murray: Yes, the Magnitsky list, I think the extraordinary thing is the specificity of it.

There are, unfortunately, a huge number of human rights violations carried out around the world, many of them in countries closely associated with or allied to the United States and many of them by the United States itself.

The Magnitsky affair and the death of Mr. Magnitsky does seem on first glance (I don’t claim to be an expert on it) but it does seem to indicate some complicity by local Russian authorities. But it is not by a long way the worst human rights problem in the world. It is quite extraordinary there are countries with far-far worse human rights records than Russia, like Bahrain would be a good example.

Robles: I would say theUnited States is probably the prime example. I mean, what other countries have their own illegal, extrajudicial torture prison where they are openly holding people without trial or charge for over a decade? I don’t know. I think the US would take the prize now. I’m sorry go ahead.

Murray: I think that the systematic use and abuse of people abroad and the illegal invasions and wars, I have no doubt that the United States has perpetrated, if you like, more evil in the world than Russia in the last decade. But frankly, governmental elites and people of every country in the world tend to abuse power, and have done it throughout history. And it would be wrong to exempt Russia completely from that charge…

Robles: Yes, but you don’t have a problem with the hypocrisy. I mean, we just spent almost an hour talking about aggressive wars, about war crimes, about torture and everything else.

Now, Mr. Magnitsky, I’ve seen the documentation and it was an accident, in my opinion. I mean, of course, you are going to question my impartiality, since I work for the Russian Government state media.

But honestly, he asked for medical assistance… (and if you knew Russia, I think it is more of a damnation on medical response times). He requested medical assistance, the doctor took very long to get to him and by the time the doctor got there he’d passed away. But the police had made requests, they had called our emergency service’s number… it is not something most people in the West even know about or talk about, but he passed away because of response time, he didn’t pass away because they whacked him in prison. He had a bad heart, he was under a lot of stress, of course.

But comparing that, which I find ludicrous and insane, with… for example, I proposed and some governmental officials here in Russia proposed (I wrote many articles on this topic): something like a “War on Terror List” where Condoleezza Rice and Wolfowitz, and Bush, and Blair, and Cheney couldn’t travel. But comparing the two I think is insane.

You’re saying sure, Russia has a bad human rights record, but other countries have much worse records. Why aren’t they making Magnitsky lists for other countries like Japan or China, or the Czech Republic. I think this is a political tool that is used just against enemy countries or independent countries. I’m sorry go ahead!

Murray: I think the mindset in the United States that still regards Russia as an enemy is revealed by the existence of Magnitsky List. It is undoubtedly very strange that you have the Magnitsky list used against Russia, but there is nothing against Bahrain.

Bahrain is a country which has shot dead people for demonstrating, which has tortured women and children, which has gassed people, which has imprisoned doctors and nurses…

Robles: They kill the opposition there, right? I mean, in Bahrain. They just kill them, they blind them, they cut off limbs. I’ve heard some of the stuff they do, it is horrible.

Murray: And there is no equivalent list for Bahrain. There’s never ever been a mention of human rights abuses in Bahrain, because Bahrain is viewed as an ally. And the difficulty with the Magnitsky List doesn’t really come to the principle of it or the existence of such a list, it comes to the Cold War mentality which is revealed. And that is very scary.

Again, it is a peculiar piece of exceptionalism, that there are worse human rights abuses taking place around the world and they don’t result in any similar action.

I am in effect banned from being on the BBC - Part Two

Download audio file 28 January, 16:26

After 9/11 we were bombarded day and night with propaganda about terrorist plots to blow up the world and carry out massive terrorist attacks, yet most of these attacks were simply false creations or "figments of the intelligence agencies’ imaginations", or "agent provocateur" operations which had been created by the intelligence agencies themselves. According to Craig Murray, the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, terrorism has become a major industry. The military industrial complex and the arms industry are making huge amounts of money off of the West’s wars which are for the most part motivated by the needs of the oil and gas industries to make lots of money as well. During his time as UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Mr. Murray witnessed many horrendous things including over 127 one way rendition flights and false flag attacks blamed on al-Qaeda by the Uzbek Security Services and the CIA. With great candor and honesty the former ambassador retells some of his story to the Voice of Russia’s John Robles and inadvertently delivers several bombshells. With regard to NSA spying he says GCHQ and the NSA are one organization.

Hello this is John Robles, you are listening to part 2 of an interview with Craig Murray, the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, an author and a former whistleblower.

Robles: Are you aware of the "Hague Invasion Act" that the US passed that says if anybody tries to bring a US ally or a member of the US armed forces or a member of the US government in front of the ICC, that they will invade it and forcibly repatriate their national, or their ally? Were you aware of that? In the US it's called the "Hague Invasion Act".

Murray: No, I must confess, I wasn't aware of it, but on the other hand it doesn't surprise me.

Robles: Talking about rule of law now, in regards to security services and governments, let's focus on something I know you are quite an expert on. GCHQ, the NSA, MI-6, the CIA, is all this illegality being promoted and pushed from within the "secret" establishment or is it a secret political establishment and the security services have been compromised? Who do you think is behind all of this?

Murray: I think that the security services are themselves politically powerful, in many cases more powerful than elected politicians, who by and large stand in awe.

I recall in my own time as a British diplomat that Ministers would pay much more attention to anything which came from MI-6, than anything which came from their own diplomats because it said "Top Secret" on it and it looked exciting and black.

It was in fact less likely to be right because certainly if we moved aside atomic surveillance, certainly the standard intelligence, what is called "intelligence" by people like MI-6 and the CIA, depends largely on buying information from informers. And this is not the most effective way to get information, but the glamour of secrecy is important to politicians.

And we were bombarded day and night with propaganda about how literally patterns of plots to blow up the world, to carry out massive terrorist bombings all over the place, had been foiled by the intelligence agencies.

A vast majority of these plots were a figment of the intelligence agencies imaginations in the first place, some of them were "agent provocateur", for which people often, rather simple people were led into activities, which they had never even dreamt of but which had been created by the intelligence agencies themselves.

So, the whole thing has become a major industry. The military industrial complex is a kind of familiar concept, the fact that the arms industry makes huge amounts of money out of war, and that recent wars have been very much motivated by the need for the oil and gas industries to make lots of money, those people paid politicians.

The intelligence communities themselves have become a major economic interest in the state. There are now many thousands of very high paying people with huge budgets who are interested in pushing the security state forward because that's where their money lies and their influence in the state has become disproportionate.

Robles: If I could ask you to explain a little bit. A second ago, if I understood you correctly, you were saying that not only are they capable of, but the security services often are engaged in false flag and other sorts of attacks and create terrorist attacks in order to what…? Are you saying they actually do that? As a former Ambassador I think that would be quite a statement!

Murray: Yes, I mean there were undoubtedly false flag attacks in Uzbekistan while I was there in 2003, which were blamed on al-Qaeda by the Uzbek Security Services and by the CIA, which I was able to investigate at the time, and were nothing of the kind.

I think you would have to be extremely naïve to believe that false flag attacks don't exist.

There is a great book, and I don't use the word lightly, by Graham Greene called "The Quiet American", which is based on a genuine false flag bombing by the CIA that happened in the beginning stages of Vietnam. And so false flags attacks do happen.

I was actually referring more directly to agent provocateur operations where the aim is not to let the attack actually happen. There have been a number of very well documented ones of these, in the states. The La Guardia Airport effort was one very good example. And the object isn't actually to get people killed, the object is to create terrorism for propaganda purposes and then to nip it off before it actually happens.

Robles: I recently talked to an author who has classified all kinds of terrorist attacks and different types of false flag attacks.

If we could get back to GCHQ and the NSA, the CIA in the UK, if you are aware of how, for example, GCHQ spies on American citizens for the US, that would be interesting, and vice versa, how the NSA spies on UK citizens for GCHQ and why they do that? What can you tell us about the relationship between GCHQ and as a British citizen, do you find that your sovereignty has been thrown out the window for American superiority in the world?

Murray: I think it is almost wrong to think of GCHQ and the NSA as separate organizations. When they are, in effect part of the same organization, and they divide the world between them.

For example a GCHQ listening post on Mount Troodos in Cyprus covers the electronic information gathering from the Middle East.

Robles: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.

Murray: Okay, I will say that again, the GCHQ intelligence gathering base on Mount Troodos in Cyprus covers much of the Middle East from the point of view of electronic surveillance and because that GCHQ facility exists, the NSA doesn't put nearly as much resources into that area because they get all the reports from GCHQ station.

And in return they get American input in terms of equipment and technology into GCHQ stations like that.

So, these two organizations work so closely together that I think it is much more accurate to think of GCHQ as a subsidiary organization of the NSA, not appropriate to think of them as two different organizations. They do share all their intelligence reports with each other.

Of course there is a disadvantage to intelligence agencies, that the NSA is forbidden from officially spying on American citizens and GCHQ officially said they don't spy on British citizens.

So, because they theoretically set those organizations, of course GCHQ can spy on American citizens and give all the information to Americans and the Americans can spy on British citizens and give all the information to GCHQ.

And in fact it turns out, to a certain extent, that the NSA has been spying on American citizens directly anyway, but anything they can't do, they can just get GCHQ to do it for them. They can do it in relation to hacks on. So, any protection, which Obama claims is in fact there is are in fact totally redundant.

Robles: What is your opinion on Obama, I mean as a president in general, or in specifics, if you would?

Murray: I think, the truth is of course, certainly in the field of foreign policy and the field of civil liberties, nothing whatsoever changed when Obama won the presidency. There is a continuity there of policy, of Americans, policy in terms of continuing aggressive postures in the world and continued assertion, especially continued assaults on freedoms and personal liberties, and Obama is just a better spokesman for that policy than Bush was, and is a figure that has managed to nullify much of the left in the US, largely because of his ethnicity. Which has been extremely….

Obama has been a tremendous disappointment to everybody who thought things might change. For me the most obvious disappointment was his failure to follow through on his promises to investigate and prosecute those who had been responsible for the policy of torture and extraordinary rendition.

Almost immediately upon taking office he declared that he is not "looking backward". It is a great line to throw everywhere! "I robbed a bank yesterday, I shot two people and stole a million pounds from the bank but hey! Let's look forward, let's not look back".

Tony Blair always uses this line as well, he was always saying… when there were protests about illegal action in Iraq, he would say: "Let's move on from that, let's move on from that!" was Blair's mantra.

If you do things which are criminal and wrong, it is great to say "Well let's not look back".

It is another one of those slogans like: "If you've got nothing to hide, you have got nothing to fear".

Robles: I am sure if Hitler were alive, he would say the same thing, wouldn't he?

Murray: He certainly would: "Let's not look back".

Robles: Do you think he was placed in power by the same neo-conservative architects that brought about 9/11 and everything else? And could you give your opinion on 9/11 if you would speak about that?

Murray: I think in effect the media would stop anybody who doesn't have the same conservative views to get to power because you wouldn't be able to express those views.

I don't actually have any particular views. I have an attraction to liberty which is quite personal. I am in effect banned from being on the BBC.

Robles: You are a former Ambassador of the UK. You have a stand on liberty and you were banned from the BBC?

Murray: Yes.

Robles: That's unbelievable!

Murray: They usually do it quite subtly. I am very frequently called by BBC producers of individual programs. They called me up saying "Oh we would like you on the news at 10 o'clock or whatever ", and then about 10 minutes later I get a phone call saying "Oh no, we have had to cancel you".

And this has happened to me 60 or 70 times in a row, not once or twice, this has happened again and again and again.

The program producer calls you up and books you, and then 10 minutes later they have to phone back and unbook you because at some point in the system a banning order has come into effect.

That was the end of part 2 of an interview with Mr. Craig Murray, he's the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, an author and a former whistleblower. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at Thank you very much for listening.

CIA Front Premier Executives Rendition Operation Exposed - Part Three

Download audio file 1 February, 2014 22:31

At the beginning of the US war on terror, and even to this day, the US literally kidnapped "suspects" and took them to countries where the could torture and even kill suspects. This practice of kidnapping and usually flying suspects around the world and then torturing or killing them in countries with poor human rights records or brutal regimes happened so much that the practice soon became known to all and the name for it "extraordinary rendition" became a household word. 

The Voice of Russia's John Robles spoke to Craig Murray the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and he stated that during his time as ambassador over 126 people were renditioned to Uzbekistan and never heard from again. He personally learned the name of the airline the CIA was using from CIA pilots. That airline was called Premier Executives.

Murray: The most prestigious BBC current affairs program really is Question Time, where a studio audience get to ask political questions of guests. I was invited to take part in that and the episode I was invited to take part, it was being recorded in Leeds. Now I was actually on the train to Leeds, on my way to take part in the program, when they phoned up and cancelled it.

This wasn’t the first time, and yet some of my views in this interview, they are not startling or unusual, and when it comes to opposing the wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan and one can say the civil liberties - those are views which are held by the majority of citizens of the United Kingdom, but they are not views you will hear on television very often.

During the war in Iraq although there were at all times, around two weeks immediately after the invasion and of course it just surged, a deep surge of patriotism. And opinion polls at all times, the majority of people were against the war in Iraq, and yet the BBC, the people interviewed by the BBC, or talking about the war on the BBC reject war by a majority of 13 to 1. And which … and that remains fairly constant throughout the war. The only thing, it’s quite extraordinary, we consider in the UK that we have liberty and freedom of speech, but we don’t; it’s very cynical, and these things are done quite subtly.

And the truth is that anyone who has genuinely radical views would never be given that kind of media exposure. I just give the BBC as a single example. But the entire media game in effect works much the same way. After Glenn Greenwald, you know that problem with the Guardian about the Snowden revelations where the Guardian, which is supposed to be a left-wing newspaper in the UK, would only published certain revelations with both Snowden and WikiLeaks.

The Guardian heavily censored what was published, didn’t publish the vast majority of it, and the Guardian actually handed over lots and lots of classified material back to the UK security services. We have the gate-keeper system out there, which will prevent any genuinely radical politician being able to get over his views to the public in order to succeed.

Robles: If I can comment on that, I had an interview with Jeselyn Raddack, she was a US Department of Justice legal ethics advisor. And I talked to her about the revelations - now she is an advisor for Snowden - and she told me matter-of-factly and I was quite taken aback actually, she said that: ‘You know, all the journalists’, she said ‘there is no danger of injury or damage to National Security because all of the journalists run this stuff by the government first’. And I thought, she said it like it was a normal procedure - I guess it is in the US. My jaw just dropped, I was like ‘what the… what’s going on here? And yeah, so there you go. She said the Guardian does the same thing, she said anyone … it’s all vetted first. So I mean, so basically these revelations they are revelations they want people to know about, because if there is anything damaging they tell the journalists – ‘well that’s a danger to national security’, and the journalists cut it out. Which, I found that shocking.

Murray: I am absolutely sure that it is true, but it is also interesting that journalists, and certainly in the UK. All the best media repeated the mantra again and again with regard to Bradley Manning’s revelations, and making of these revelations have put life at risk to people, this was Hillary Clinton’s great claim.

Robles: The woman responsible for so much death and destruction that her hands were almost bloodier than Bush’s, and she is going to talk about protecting lives, OK. I wonder if our Ambassador Stevens would have liked to have heard that from her. But anyway, I’m sorry, go ahead Sir.

Murray: No, well you’re quite right, because of course what Manning things revealing: illegal war, war crimes, killing of people, and despite the fact that all mainstream journalists again and again parrot it, and when people were interviewed on the subject of these revelations, journalists ask … I saw Glen Greenwald being very aggressively asked on BBC Hard Talk: was he not putting lives at risk, was he not putting lives at risk.

But the mainstream media have not been able to name one single person, not one single person who was killed as a result of Manning’s and Snowden’s revelations. And yet, there are undoubtedly millions of people being killed as the result of the illegal wars and war crimes that whistle-blowing has been revealing.

Robles: Right, what about the attack on patriotism for whistleblowers? I am sure you are no doubt a patriot. You were an Ambassador for your country; of course you were promoting your country’s interests abroad etc. Was your patriotism ever questioned when you blew the whistle on some of the things you saw, and what is your opinion on that, on questioning patriotism?

Murray: Well, no it … it was in fact very, very directly. I recall when I was essentially trying to stop our collusion with extraordinary rendition and torture in Uzbekistan. The Council of Europe set up an inquiry into extraordinary rendition. I think it revealed 127 extraordinary rendition flights that went into Tashkent. Of the people flown into Uzbekistan on extraordinary rendition not one came out alive again. I think that is worth stating, and obviously there’s no records of what happened to them, but I’m pretty sure they were all killed.

Robles: One more time,126 people, and none of them got out of there alive?

Murray: It’s a minimum of 126 people because of course some of those flights may have contained more than one person. So several hundred people probably, and not one of them came out alive again. And when I was attempting to query this and fight against it internally, I should say this is the ploy that I took. My line boss was flown out to Uzbekistan to see me and told me that I was regarded unpatriotic and apparently no opposings torture and murder was unpatriotic.

I think it is quite extraordinary because the values which the western world is supposed to support plainly are not upheld by their entire leadership and political governments. And the people who are upholding the supposed values of the west, who actually seem to believe in them or try to enforce them, and its people like Snowden and Bradley Manning, and I would humbly put myself in the company of them trying to do something similar but in a less spectacular and successful way.

But no, it’s the people who are upholding what are supposed to be western values, are the people who are condemned as unpatriotic. But they in fact are the patriots because they are the only people who are in fact implementing the ideology of the state, whereas the governments, as I state, are doing something absolutely different.

Robles: What is patriotic about extraordinary rendition? What is patriotic about torture? What is patriotic about launching aggressive Hitler-style preventive wars against small countries? What is patriotic about surveillance on everything and anything everybody does? What is patriotic about committing war crimes and murder? What is patriotic about all that? Can you answer one question?

Murray: No, I think you actually … I think that’s a rhetorical question which you put beautifully. So you ask, you are absolutely right that the twisting of the idea of patriotism is extraordinary and the ability of Blair media to sell that to the people is scary.

Robles: Now it is really unbelievable. I don’t know if you remember, Dick Cheney, he signed off “Oh we can puncture an eyeball, yes, that is good, we can slice a testicle, yeah that is good, we can do that, we can crush the testicle of a child in front of his father, yeah that’s good. Hey we can put him in boxes with like spiders crawling on their eyelids. Hey that is cool, yeah. Oh, you are going to tell someone I do this stuff? You are a traitor. I am a patriot.” It is like the most unbelievable evil, criminal, psychopaths controlling everything. It is crazy.

Murray: Yeah. What we … everything which, I think it’s important to say this, I’m … I often meet people particularly on the leftist of politics in the UK who say have things always like this. They look at what the British Empire did, look at the other, but it has not always been this bad. You know there are, there are degrees of evil, that there are some states that are worse than other states.

Undoubtedly, when I was a much younger man, if anybody had said what … those things that Dick Cheney said, it would have prompted absolute outrage among pretty well-off and all classes of people. It’s really, the world has changed, fair wind. The idea that the defense of torture was an intellectually respectable position would in my lifetime have, would have seemed impossible when I look at it. It really is quite extraordinary change in public opinion, which has been manipulated and achieved by the media in the last couple of decades. It is very very scary.

Robles: I remember a time when just one of these crimes that were committed by Bush and Cheney and Blair. Just one of them, would have been enough, I thought, back like 20 years ago, have the person censured, imprisoned; it would have just been the scandal of the century. But here it’s like people have been programmed to just accept this stuff again and again and again, and nobody is shocked by it anymore. I don’t know. I’m sorry Sir, go ahead.

Murray: It’s a … No, it’s a …

Robles: I get a little emotional. I deal with this stuff all the time, and I get pretty fed up with it sometimes, because I have to document, I have to talk to people about it. Everybody is telling me, hundreds of people, thousands are saying the same thing over and over again, and these monsters are still in power and still running everything and all we can do is talk about how horrible they are. I’m sorry.

Murray: No, you are absolutely right. I’d like to make one point which is a bit lengthy and historical, but I think is actually quite important. During the Second Afghan War, would you believe, back in the1880s, William Gladstone who had been Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, campaigning - he was in opposition, and campaigning to become Prime Minister for the third time, and he made a speech against the invasion of Afghanistan, against the Second Afghan War, the second Anglian Afghan War.

And he spoke of an incidence where British troops had burned down a village, and he said that they had given the wives and children of the Afghans into the snows of winter, children, and he said the hearts of the humble Afghans should be as sacred as is yours and mine. And of the Afghans who were fighting the British troops, he said: ‘if they resist invasion, would you not do the same?’ If they resist, would you not do the same?’

And that speech was extremely widely reported in the media at the time, and he won the election, he became Prime Minister again. And it is unthinkable now, it is absolutely unthinkable that any mainstream opposition leader in anywhere in the west, it is unthinkable that they would say of Afghans fighting the British or American forces in Afghanistan, “if they resist, would you not do the same?”

Nowadays we are conditioned to any Afghans who was fighting the invaders, must be the Taliban, must be a mad Islamic extremist, must be crazy. The idea that somebody enters your country, and you fight them, and that is a natural instinct and we would all do the same, of which is self-evidently actually true, is an idea which no politician can say now, because no politician can ever say anything convincing anymore because we have become such militarist societies. Any politician in the UK who said that Afghans fighting British troops might be in the right, would be absolutely divided by all of the mainstream media undoubtedly, called unpatriotic, called a killer of British troops.

And1880 was the height of the British Empire, and then, it was possible then for a politician to win an election saying look “the people fighting us is in the right, we invaded their country”, and it is not possible now, it is not conceivable now, because we are a much less liberal and free society than we were historically. And we don’t live in a space of freedom of open critical debate anymore. And that is something which I think is extremely sad and extremely important.

That was the end of part 3 of an interview with Mr. Craig Murray, he is a former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at Thank you very much for listening and as always I wish you the best wherever you may be.


Last Update: 09/14/2023 22:59 +0300


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