Craig Murray was Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004. He was dismissed for denouncing that not only torture was being used in that country in the interrogation of terror suspects, but also that the UK Foreign Office was complicit in that torture – in spite of declaring this illegal – as information thus obtained was being accepted and utilized as valid. Leaving aside the unreliability of such data – a point Craig Murray researched and made public and to his ex colleagues in the Foreign Office – this went against any stated declaration the UK had made in relation to torture and its own position as a civilized country. However the use of information obtained under torture has been declared acceptable if carried out by a third party without UK involvement.

Rather than taking him to Court under the Official Secrets Act – which would have given him a platform to denounce the Uzbek shenanigans even further – the Government preferred to embark on a long campaign of character assassination. In Craig’s own words “I was charged with eighteen reputation wrecking allegations, ranging from sexual blackmail through financial impropriety to alcoholism, all of which I was eventually cleared of. Throughout this process and still today, the Government claimed I was lying about the policy of collaboration with torture.” –

Today it has been revealed by new documents seen by the Guardian that “… MI6 and MI5 officers were allowed to extract information from prisoners being illegally tortured overseas…”. “The interrogation policy – details of which are believed to be too sensitive to be publicly released at the government inquiry into the UK’s role in torture and rendition – instructed senior intelligence officers to weigh the importance of the information being sought against the amount of pain they expected a prisoner to suffer. It was operated by the British government for almost a decade.” –

I asked Craig Murray, when he came as an after dinner Speaker for the UK Forum for Nonviolence organized by World Without Wars in 2005, what had been the driving force behind his quest for the truth to be known. In fact that meant the end of his career as Ambassador – for which he had been preparing all his previous life – and a complete change in the direction of his life, from establishment guy by background and social circle, to dedicated Human Rights campaigner. He answered: “Basic human decency”.

These latest revelations are indeed a nice reward for his coherence and a wake up call to the general population about what’s going on “in our name”.