CIA boiling people alive in Uzbekistan to manufacture false confessions

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Ever seen a guy who was boiled alive?   No?   Well, now you can say you have:

This is a guy that the Uzbeks tortured to death by boiling him alive.   This is what the CIA is hiring the Uzbeks to do to people, in order to extract false, manufactured “confessions” out of them.

What do these confessions say?   Why they say the following:

They were being told to confess to membership of al-Qaeda …

They were told to confess that they’d been in training camps in Afghanistan …

And they were told to confess that they had met Osama bin Laden in person.

How conveeenient!    So let’s get this straight, follow along, please:   The United States’ CIA grabbed people off the streets from all around the world, shipped them to Uzbekistan, and outsourced the torture to the real pros.    The CIA decided (as did the Bush administration) that having someone else do this made it “legal”.    They typed up “confessions” of what they wanted these poor saps to “confess” to, then tortured them by boiling them alive, raping them with broken bottles, and torturing their children in front of them, until the people would sign these confessions.    Said “confessions” were then turned over to the proper government authorities who could then point to the “confessions” as “evidence” to justify the military presence, and actions, in the bogus “WAR ON TERROR”.  

Don’t believe me?   Well it doesn’t matter, because I’m not the one saying it.  The one who IS saying it is the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who was sacked in 2004 for his objections and his concerns about this heinous program.  

Here he is, just about a week or two ago, giving a lecture where he describes what went on:

If that doesn’t do it for you, here’s the transcript:

CRAIG MURRAY, FMR. UK AMBASSADOR TO UZBEKISTAN: You know, I was a British diplomat for over 20 years. We still have a certain tendency in the British Foreign Office to look down on the rest of the world. I was seated one day in my office in the Foreign Office, which is a wonderful, palatial building in London from which a third of the world used to be governed. And I sat there, and the phone rang, and it said, “Oh, Craig, Charles here. Would you like to be ambassador in Uzbekistan?” And I said, “Yes, great, Charles. Thanks,” thinking, where on Earth is Uzbekistan? And I said, “Why me?” And he said-and this is absolutely true-he said, “Well,” he said, “you speak Polish, don’t you?” And I said, “Yes, but I doubt the Uzbeks do.” And he said, “No, but they speak Russian, old boy, and it’s all the same thing.”

So on the basis of my knowledge of a Slavic language, I found myself as ambassador to Uzbekistan, where nobody spoke Polish at all. Fortunately, I did pick up some Russian.

It’s an awful place. It’s a totalitarian dictatorship. I’d served in dictatorships before. There’s a difference between-any dictatorship’s bad, obviously. There’s a difference between dictatorship and totalitarianism. Uzbekistan is totalitarian. Let me tell you about something that happened last week, just to give you an example, and it’s not nearly as bad as the absolutely true story about the people who were boiled alive. Just last week, a British man of no political interest whatsoever who had married an Uzbek lady was on holiday in St. Petersburg. And his wife now has UK nationality but was traveling on her Uzbek passport, because that way she didn’t have to apply for a Russian visa and they’d save $100. And she was arrested in Russia because her Uzbek exit visa had expired, because you still need permission to leave Uzbekistan-they still lock their population in. And the Russians shipped her back to Tashkent, where she’s now in prison for having outstayed her exit visa, and the couple have been separated. And there’s very little chance the man will ever see his wife again.

That’s the kind of country it is. And as I say, that’s a more workaday example than the boiled-alive people who were interrogated. But when you think of Uzbekistan, you have to think of a country that hasn’t moved on since it left the Soviet Union. In fact, it left the Soviet Union in order to maintain the Soviet system; it left because it didn’t want to implement the Gorbachev-style reforms. Its president, President Karimov, was one of the members of the Politburo who had moved to have Gorbachev arrested on that occasion when Yeltsin was standing on the tanks outside the [Russian] White House when he first came to great prominence in Western eyes. When you think of Uzbekistan, you have to think of the Soviet Union, but not Gorbachev’s Soviet Union; you have to think of Brezhnev Soviet Union. And that’s the kind of regime it is, but with, since independence, even more cruelty.

When I was going there, it was viewed as the United States’ most important ally in Central Asia. The Americans had been given a very large airbase at Karshi-Khanabad, known as K2, from which supplies and operations were mounted into Afghanistan. I was told that there weren’t that many British interested in Uzbekistan, and my primary interest was in supporting the Americans, supporting the American ambassador, and ensuring that Uzbekistan remained an ally in the war on terror. I was told that whenever I made any speech in public, was to refer to President Karimov of Uzbekistan as our ally on all occasions.

You know, there are over 10,000 political prisoners in Uzbekistan. Anybody who is a religious Muslim of any kind, no connection to terrorism, anyone who prays five times a day, is described, will be arrested as a terrorist. Any young man with a beard will be arrested. There are at least 700 Baptists in Uzbek jails because it is illegal to be a Baptist in Uzbekistan. Many people are there simply because they are political prisoners. If you enter an Uzbek prison, your chances of coming out alive are actually quite slim. They still have and operate the old Soviet gulags.

I found more and more evidence of abuse and torture. Torture in Uzbekistan isn’t unusual. It happens to several thousand people every year. When I’m talking of torture, I’m not talking of marginal definitions of torture. I’m talking of people being raped with broken bottles. I’m talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign the confessions. I’m talking of people being boiled alive.

And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA and was being passed on-I was eventually seeing it as it was passed on to me by MI6, because MI6 and the CIA shared all their intelligence. And there was a common thread. I was meeting, investigating the evidence of torture.

I met people who’d been tortured and escaped. I met people like the old widow, the photos of her son who’d been boiled alive. Her son was returned to her in a sealed casket, and she was ordered to bury the casket the next day, which Muslims would do anyway. They’d bury the body the very next day. But she was ordered not to open the casket, not to look at her son. It was returned to her from Jaslyk Prison. She did in the middle of the night. She was very, very brave and determined, the old lady. She got the casket open and the body out, and she took these photographs which showed that he had been boiled alive. And it was the chap who’s now actually the chief pathologist of the UK who investigated the photographs for me and produced that conclusion.

When people were being tortured, as we spoke to-we even had letters smuggled out of jails. We were learning what people had to confess to under torture, and they were being told to confess to membership of al-Qaeda, they were told to confess that they’d been in training camps in Afghanistan, and they were told to confess that they had met Osama bin Laden in person.

And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed these themes. They spoke of Uzbeks having been in al-Qaeda, been in training camps, and having met Osama bin Laden. In fact, by now we were in 2002, 2003, and apparently we didn’t know where Osama bin Laden was. And the way he managed to see thousands of Uzbeks every year, [it] should have been slightly easier to track him down, I felt.

It wasn’t hard to put two and two together and work out that the fact that every political prisoner I ever knew of in Uzbekistan who was taken was tortured. And the fact that we knew what they were being forced to confess to under torture, and the fact that the CIA material came up with exactly the same rather dodgy narrative, it wasn’t hard to put the two together and realize that the intelligence material was coming from torture.

But before I did anything, I wanted to make sure that I was on safe ground. So I asked my deputy, a lady called Karen Moran, to go to the American embassy and say to them, say to the head of the CIA station there, “My ambassador is worried because he thinks your intelligence may be coming from torture.” And she came back and she reported to me that the reply from the head of the CIA station in Tashkent was, “Yes, of course it’s coming from torture. We don’t see that as a problem in the context of the war on terror.”

Now, I did see that as a problem, particularly when I discovered that the CIA were bringing in people, flying in people to Uzbekistan, and handing them over to the Uzbek security services. I’d like to say that I was the one who discovered extraordinary rendition, but that’s not quite true, because I presumed, I falsely presumed, that these people they were bringing in and handing over to the Uzbek security service were Uzbeks who had been captured elsewhere and brought back to Uzbekistan. I did not realize that in fact they were of many other nationalities and were being handed over in order to be tortured. That they were being tortured I knew. That Uzbekistan was a destination for the extraordinary rendition system from all over the world I really didn’t quite realize at the time. We now know, following, for example, a Council of Europe investigation, that 90 percent of the airplanes that stopped at the famous secret prison in Poland had Tashkent as their next destination.

I complained back to London. I said we’re getting this intelligence from torture. It’s illegal, it’s immoral, and it’s unreliable. It’s vastly exaggerating the strength of al-Qaeda in Central Asia.  

How did I know it was unreliable? Well, let me just give you a couple of examples. We had one piece of intelligence which said that a detainee had admitted to being at a training camp at given coordinates in the hills above Samarkand in Tajikistan. And as it happened, my defense attaché, Colonel [inaudible] had recently been to that precise location, and there was nothing there. But my favorite example, because-when people were tortured, they not only had to confess to membership of al-Qaeda, but, remember, this torture was being done by the direct descendents of Stalin’s KGB. Institutionally it was still Stalin’s KGB as set up in Tashkent. And they had, exactly as under Stalin, to denounce other people. They were given names of people to denounce. Very often they didn’t know the name of anyone on this list of names they were given. Sometimes they did. Sometimes they denounced relatives and classmates. But the intelligence would contain long lists of names of al-Qaeda members who had been denounced by detainees, and very often these were farcical. And I remember one long list of al-Qaeda members which I received in a CIA intelligence report, and I recognized one of the names. It was an old professor I knew who was a very brave old dissident, who had been a dissident in Soviet times, and I knew the man, and he was a Jehovah’s Witness.

Now, there are not many Jehovah’s Witnesses in al-Qaeda. I would be willing to bet that al-Qaeda don’t even try and recruit Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now, I’m quite sure that Jehovah’s Witnesses would try and recruit al-Qaeda if they could, knocking on the cave door, saying, “Is Mr. bin Laden in? But I have a copy of The Watchtower for him.” But I essentially found it hard to believe a lot of this intelligence. I got called back to London and I expected there, you know, to have a sensible talk about the merits or demerits of intelligence and how much evidence I had that it was obtained under torture. I was absolutely stunned, genuinely stunned-it changed my whole worldview in an instant-to be told that-and I knew it was coming from torture-that it was not illegal, because our legal advisers had decided that under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, it is not illegal to obtain or use intelligence gained from torture, as long as we didn’t do the torture ourselves.

Here is Part 2 of the same lecture:

And if that doesn’t do it for you, here’s a documentary about Murray and the same subject (which is where I got the screengrab of the poor boiled bastard above):

Parts 2 and 3 are easily accessible from there.

And if you still think “this just isn’t enough”, well here’s Murray’s own blog where there’s just a wealth of information:…

And here’s a review of the book he wrote on said subject:…

Murray was ambassador to Uzbekistan between 2002 and 2004. These were two short years in which he was pushed from being an enthusiastic, well-respected and successful career diplomat to the brink of physical and mental breakdown by the routine barbarity of the Karimov regime and the no less relentless persecution of the Foreign Office. The reaction of some of his colleagues to his revelations, often one of outright hostility, has also left him with doubts about the institution of government that he once loyally served.

‘I suddenly discovered that it didn’t stand for all kinds of things I thought it stood for, and I discovered how fragile it is and how easily it can go, just as Germany lost it in the 1930s’ he says. ‘I discovered how very easily civil servants will go along with terrible, terrible things and do all sorts of utterly reprehensible stuff on this “I’m only doing my job” basis.’

The ‘terrible things’ he’s talking about were first outlined in the speech he made at the opening of Freedom House’s office in Uzbekistan in October 2002 – a speech unprecedented in its direct criticism of the regime. He outlined the case of Muzafar Avazov and Husnidin Alimov, imprisoned by Karimov’s kangaroo court system and tortured to death by boiling water for their religious beliefs.

This method of torture was to come closer to home when the grandson of Professor Mirsaidov, a Tajik academic and dissident sympathiser, was killed following a meeting the professor had with Murray and Simon Butt, head of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It was a warning to the UK embassy not to fraternise with dissidents. Photographs taken before the young man was hurriedly buried showed that his elbows and knees had been smashed, the back of his head caved in and his right hand completely boiled.

Incredibly, on his return to the UK, Butt wrote to Sir Michael Jay, the FCO permanent under-secretary and head of the diplomatic service, ignoring the horrible death of Mirsaidov’s son and instead highlighting gossip regarding Murray being seen in a jazz club with a woman (a platonic after-work drink with his secretary). This was only the start of a smear campaign in which no fewer than 18 separate allegations – all of which were shown ultimately to be unfounded – were made against him in an attempt to force him out of his job.

Faced with this, Murray was forced to consider breaking diplomatic protocol and going public. He remained confident that once the wider British community knew about what was going on pressure would be put on the Government to act.

‘I thought, well, if this gets into the media and the British people know we are getting intelligence from torture they will be revolted and shocked, and there will be a widespread public reaction. But that’s not turned out to be the case either,’ he says. ‘If you ask them the question “Should we get intelligence from torture?” – and there have been opinion polls – a worryingly high percentage think it’s okay … so my faith in the British public has been shaken as well.’

Just to sum up:   Murray watched as the CIA hired the Uzbeks to torture kidnapped political prisoners from all over the world.   The people were forced to sign false confessions justifying a “war on terror” specifically al Queda.     The so-called “information” was shared freely between the UK and the US.    The U.S. figured out was legal because it wasn’t the US who was actually doing the torture (hm, but if I hire a hitman to kill somebody, I’ll sure as hell go to jail, right?)    Murray diplomatically (he is, after all, a diplomat) raised his concerns through the proper channel and was smeared and hounded until he left his position.    He has been roundly ignored since.  

The torture done by the Uzbeks was as heinous as anything you can imagine.    Uzbekistan is a totalitarian regime whose authorities are leftovers from the old Soviet System, and their torture and gulag system is still in place from then.  They are now our “allies”.   “Partners in crime” would be a better term.

Now for some META:   Thank God for Dailykos, where a major blockbuster story like this can be “debunked” by one of the founders of the site, and thus make the story completely go away.

The story is a big one.   I wrote about it here last night, and have had weird weird bad luck with it.   First, my browser crashed right as I was done writing it and I had to start completely over 100%.   Then, when I got it on here, I found Ek Hornbeck finding a lot of problems with the source material I’d provided, i.e. it wouldn’t play, the links weren’t good enough, etc. etc.    Granted the site from which the story was source, The Real News Network, was a mess and in fact crashed my browser, and they made it exceptionally difficult to find Part 1 of the lecture itself, which is where the real damning stuff was.   Then this morning someone over at DK posts about it, doesn’t do a great job of it, mainly links to the story about it, and leaves it at that.   Whoosh!   On the rec list, over 300 comments.    So far so good, right?   I mean, I don’t care, I just want this story to get out, it’s a big one.

And then guess what?   Jerome a Paris, one of the founders of the site, writes a derogatory, mocking “debunking” of the piece.  How can he do that when the story is about a former Ambassador to Uzbekistan who is going all “whistle blower” on the story?    Well, Jerome attacks the claims from the Ambassador that the real reason we’re having the CIA premeditatively manufacture confessions with this horrific torture is to justify a military presence in the neighboring countries in preparation for a huge natural gas pipline.      Jerome has the fucking balls to call this “conspiracy” and “silly” completely ignoring the torture aspect to this huge story.

What a douchebag.

Now, original story is off the rec list, and Jerome’s “debunking” has replaced it.

I despise Dailykos with all my soul, but this really needs to be answered, because this story needs to be spread around and it needs to be spread around well.   I was banned there and I have absolutely no interest in providing them with any material, myself, for their “eyeballs” and therefore advertising revenue.   Fuck them forever as far as I’m concerned.  But others here may feel different.   And don’t just post this at Dailykos, post it everywhere you can think of.

I hope the links and sources I have laid out here are sufficient to make the case that this needs to be spread around as widely as possible.


Skip to comment form

    • Inky99 on November 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    We can’t let this stuff go.   We can’t let Obama cover this up.

  1. I don’t have time to post a diary, but I found the “debunking” piece to be very petty and distracting. It’s like they’ll go to any length to “debunk” any imagined connection to 9/11, no matter what they have to overlook. It borders on the pathological.

  2. A much cleaner and better piece than what you published last night.

    It is a big story and controversial, which is why it needs to be sourced and presented so that it is credible.

    • TMC on November 5, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    is topic about which there should be no debate. It is illegal and a crime, in time of war it is a war crime

    The investigation, indictment arrest and prosecution of those individuals responsible for the authorization, justification and carry out the orders is the responsibility of the Attorney General and the President. If they fail to uphold the law, to hide evidence, to cover for the perpetrators and continue policies which condone torture, they to are culpable and complicit.

    As to the two diaries you mention. I read both. Neither one addressed the illegality of torture. Both are about the Tajik/Afghan/Pak pipeline and whether or not it was the real

    justification for the US to attack Afghanistan and not the pursuit of Osama bin Laden. The first says that torture was used to get confessions to justify the Afghan war because of the pipeline,never saying that it was wrong to torture. . Jerome’s diary was spent debunking what he considers a myth about the pipeline and torture isn’t mention torture at all. If you saw something more that that in either diary, I must have missed it. There is now a third diary debunking Jerome’s which was still on the “wreck” list. All of the diarist dismiss torture as if it were de rigeur, I find THAT outrageous.

  3. My understanding of the “Uzbeks” is that they have always been a brutal sort.  Of course, they’ve been up against brutal forces.  Which came first, the chicken . . . . . ?

    At any rate, I have little doubt about this story.  And, yes, ain’t it just so convenient to “ship” out the torture so as to “guise” it in a form which could not possibly be attributed to the U.S., CIA, or any of our agencies, so to speak?

    As we have caused people to be “frozen” to death, I conceive that it’s also possible that we have done the opposite.  


    • Diane G on November 6, 2009 at 3:06 am


    Good job Inky.

    Yeah. we had a bad start, but credit due & second chances and yadda.


  4. … the official story of 9/11! Even though it is clear that deceptive engagement in morally unthinkable acts is business as usual for the secret services of certain countries.

    • publicv on November 6, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    don’t expect it.  It’s painful to know that people are still in charge and they shouldn’t be.  This is abhorrent.  America being a part of this is not shocking as hell, but these people still get a voice to spin things to their favor as if this could be right in any world.  What has happened to the law.  If these leaders suffer vigilante justice, I will not be mad.  

    If Osama Bin Laden is their friend, working from the same agenda, I won’t be suprised.  This is some real BS.


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