Saturday, December 31, 2005

Craig Murray Torture memos leaked: Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray is in the news again (or at least, all over the blogosphere. I dont know whether corporate 'news' reports these things or not.) The UK Foreign Office attempted to censor memos written by Murray and directed he return all copies. He has responded by posting them on the web and urging all and sundry to make copies.

There are a number of interesting aspects of the Murray/Uzbekistan story, not least the light it shows on the brutal reality of the phony 'war on terror'; or the fact that in the new Great Game the US has lost and Uzbekistan is now realigned with Russia. Another interesting aspect is what might be called the 'naivete' of Murray. He appears to have been shocked (admittedly, its pretty bad) by the torture regime of Uzbekistan; to have objected to repressive policies which would increase the risk of Islamic terrorism, not reduce it; and to have held a suspicion that US policy was more about oil, gas and hegemony than about freedom and democracy. From the point of view of Whitehall and Downing st, however, Murray would be viewed with considerable irritation as a lapse of discipline and professionalism. The question would be, how can we get officials who follow directions without question, and who either cynically repress doubts and uncertainties, or are truly brainwashed? A state or empire would collapse if its officers in any number took at face value the statements of ideals and principles and began to compare them to the reality.

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