Former UK Ambassador Describes What Happens to People with Integrity Who Have the Misfortune to End Up in Government Positions

December 15, 2014
By Craig Murray, 
Former British Ambassador To Uzbekistan
Daily Mail.co.uk

In the summer of 2004, I warned Tony Blair’s Foreign Office that Britain was using intelligence material which had been obtained by the CIA under torture. Two months later I was sacked as the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan on the orders of Downing Street, bringing to an end my 20-year diplomatic career.

When I then went public with the news that Uzbek territory was part of a global CIA torture programme, I was dismissed as a fantasist by Mr Blair’s henchmen. Now finally, a decade later, I have been vindicated by last week’s shocking Senate Intelligence Committee report.

Over 500 pages it details the CIA’s brutal abuse of Al Qaeda suspects, who were flown around the world to be tortured in a network of secret prisons. One of these was in Uzbekistan, where the US had an air base.

The CIA programme included both torture they conducted themselves and torture conducted for them by allies. Shamefully, the torture-by-proxy details remain classified to protect America’s gruesome ‘allies’.

The CIA were flying people to Uzbekistan to be tortured, usually via their secret prison at Szymany in Poland. The Uzbeks were doing the actual torture, sometimes with CIA members in the room.

Aside from the moral dimension, the Senate report confirmed my repeated view that intelligence gleaned from torture is useless. When I was Ambassador, one secret file I was sent contained CIA information which named a member of Al Qaeda. The man turned out to be a Jehovah’s Witness.

In 2003, I attended a meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), where I was told by officials that it was not illegal for us to use intelligence from torture as long as we did not carry out the torture ourselves. I was also told at the meeting that this intelligence was ‘useful’ – and that policy came directly from the then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

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