Fmr Ambassador to Uzbekistan: CIA had people raped with broken bottles

“I was absolutely stunned — it changed my whole world view in an instant — to be told that London knew [the intelligence] 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,” Murray said.

Craig Murray was the UK’s ambassador to Uzbekistan until 2004, when he was let go for bringing up his concerns about these heinous and disgusting crimes.

“I’m talking of people being raped with broken bottles,” he said at a lecture late last month that was re-broadcast by the Real News Network. “I’m talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession. 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.”

So this is your “war on terror”.   Torture people until they confess to whatever you want, then call it “intelligence” and send your forces, the guys who would take a bullet for you, the guys who think they’re doing what’s right, off on wild goose chases.


What’s really disgusting is that the United States thought this would all be nice and legal since it was outsourced.  You know, it’s like thinking that hiring the hitman to kill your wife makes it ok, since you’re not the one pulling the trigger.

How the HELL could these idiots think this was legal?

It sure as hell isn’t legal if I hire someone to do something extremely illegal.  Not if it’s little old me, here in the United States.  But I guess the wizards like Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo were paid big bucks to come up with ways that we could torture people in the most medivel ways and get away with it.  

Oh, and if you thought somehow this was actually about a “war on terrorism”?  

Wrong.  It’s about natural gas, and pipelines.

Murray asserts that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting natural gas out of the region.

Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

“The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan,” Murray noted.

Murray said part of the motive in hyping up the threat of Islamic terrorism in Uzbekistan through forced confessions was to ensure the country remained on-side in the war on terror, so that the pipeline could be built.

“There are designs of this pipeline, and if you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route. It’s what it’s about. It’s about money, it’s about oil, it’s not about democracy.”

The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is slated to be completed in 2014, with $7.6 billion in funding from the Asian Development Bank.

What this means is that the “war on terror” isn’t even real.  The terror isn’t even real.  People are being boiled alive, and watching their children being tortured in front of them, so they’ll CONFESS to being terrorists, so we have an EXCUSE to keep our military there, and take over the country.

That’s about as evil as evil gets.

And our guy Obama seems to think it’s just a-ok to keep covering this up.  To do nothing about it.  Doesn’t that make him an accomplice?   I think it does.


To avoid the terribly messy Real News Network, here are links to the lecture itself:

Part One gets right into it, telling how people were boiled alive in order that they would “confess” to being specifically in Al Queda, that they had been in training camps in Afghanistan, and that they had met Osama Bin Laden.

I can’t do it justice, not even close, by trying to describe it, or to paraphrase him

(these are quicktime Mp4’s, and some people have reported difficulty playing them.  All I can say is they play fine on my Mac)…

Part Two:…


Found the transcript to Part One:

Okay, I tried to tell you I put the transcript of Part 1 into the essay, but here ya go:

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.

Part 2:


Skip to comment form

    • Inky99 on November 5, 2009 at 06:54

    BTW I’d link to the Real News Network link that is provided in the link above, since that’s where the story seems to have originated, but when I tried to add it, it crashed my browser and I had to write this all over again!   If you’d like to go there, do so from the rawstory link and see how it works for you.    

  1. definition.  But there is some pretty good evidence that torture has continued.  So he should be considered more than an accomplice at this point.  And Biden, Clinton, Gates, Petraeus, McChrystal, Ross, we could go on and on couldn’t we.  Which is the same as the previous administration, the list is very long.  The mafioso continues.  

  2. There’s a story here, but raping people with broken bottles isn’t in your link.

    More at The Real News

    Embed code-

    <embed type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” src=”″ width=”450″ height=”319″ allowfullscreen=”true”></embed>

    Link code-

    <a href=””>More at The Real News</a>



    I got called back to London and I expected there, you know, to have a sensible talk about the merits or demerits of the 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.

    I just couldn’t believe the chap who was telling me this, the foreign office’s chief legal adviser, Sir Michael Wood, [who] was somebody I’d known for many, many years.

    He was a nice man. He is a nice man. And how somebody- you know, I thought, you’re talking about children being tortured in front of their parents, and you’re saying, “Well, I don’t think Clause 4 quite covers it, and given this particular legal meaning of the word ‘complicity’.”

    That brought home to me this idea of the banality of evil, if you like. If you think about Auschwitz, the truth about the Holocaust is that we like to pretend that actually only very few number of Germans knew about it.

    Not true at all.

    Hundreds of thousands of people were involved in it; guards, civilians, all kinds of people were involved in the organization of that massive-scale operation.

    And the truth is- and this is the sad truth- the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of people involved in it were ordinary, decent, nice people who were good neighbors and kind to their kids, who were involved in mass murder, just as the many thousands of British and American CIA members, soldiers, civil servants, diplomats who know about and were involved in things like extraordinary rendition, they aren’t devils, they don’t have horns on their heads.

    The truth is that when a government persuades its people it is under a terrible threat, people can easily be made to lose their moral values, to lose their moral compass.

    And I think by getting into torture we did that.

    But why did we do it and what was the motive? And this is where I hope that personal story will link in briefly with what Larry was saying to you earlier.

    Well, the motive was to justify the alliance with President Karimov by vastly exaggerating the Islamic threat which he was facing.

    Why did we want an alliance with President Karimov? Well, in 1998 the Uzbek ambassador, Mr. Sadyk Safaev, traveled to Texas to meet the governor of Texas, a Mr. George W. Bush. And they met in the governor’s mansion in Texas, in fact. And there’s an excellent book called Murder in Samarkand. It’s actually the best book I have ever written.

    And you’ll find a copy of the letter from Kenneth Lay to George Bush recounting the meeting in that book. And Enron acquired- as a result of that meeting held by George Bush in his capacities of governor of Texas, Enron acquired Uzbekistan’s natural gas rights.

    Turkmenistan, next door to Uzbekistan, has even more natural gas, incredible amounts of natural gas. The natural gas reserves of Turkmenistan are equal in worth to the oil reserves of Iraq, if not greater. But you can’t get it out. There’s no way out of Central Asia for this oil and gas, except through Russia, and the Russians won’t let it go to the West, or through Iran, which the Americans aren’t keen on.

    The only way to get it out would be to have a pipeline going over Afghanistan. Fortunately, George Bush Sr., who was a director, or shareholder, at least, of another company, called Unocal, which was planning a pipeline over Afghanistan- and Unocal actually held negotiations with the Taliban to protect the pipeline over Afghanistan.

    In 1999 and 2001, Taliban delegations also visited Texas.

    I’d love to find out if they called on George W. Bush. That would be tremendous. But I fear they probably didn’t.

    But the consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan. So there you have George Bush Sr., Karzai, and, incidentally, [Zalmay] Khalilzad, all linked in Unocal, with Enron tying up the gas reserves in Uzbekistan and the pipeline over Afghanistan to bring it out.

    Now, the pipeline was actually designed. There are designs of this pipeline. And if you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route.

    It’s what it’s about. It’s about money. It’s about oil. It’s not about democracy.

    All these wonderful elections. I think Karzai, they obviously took him to Florida to teach him about voting while they were at it. Karzai, I mean, one-third of his results were fraudulent, one-third of his ballots were fraudulent. Is the claim that he didn’t know, nobody told him-it’s like-. Imagine if you’re playing poker with somebody and you find they’ve got seven aces up their sleeve, and you catch them, then you say, “Oh, never mind. Let’s have another hand.” It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    Have they not heard of the word “disqualification”? The truth of the matter is that the Karzai administration, for five years the media parroted without dissent lies about the Karzai administration, lies about Karzai, making him out to be a wonderful democratic figure.

    One thing that really makes me sick is a constant linking in the media to the opium trade, the heroin trade, and the Taliban. Less than 10 percent of the heroin exported from Afghanistan is exported by Taliban-friendly people. Well over 50 percent is controlled directly by actual members of the Karzai government, including Karzai himself and his brother.

    The biggest heroin dealer of all is probably General Dostum, who has just been brought back and who many in the Pentagon think should be empowered because of his fighting reputation.

    Dostum is a terrible murderer who used to tie dissidents within his own ranks to tank tracks and run them over. Dostum is closely linked to President Karimov of Uzbekistan, and a great deal of the drug traffic goes out through Uzbekistan, up the railway line to St. Petersburg, and out into Europe through the Baltic.

    There’s a sense in which Afghanistan is the greatest developmental success the West has ever seen, because the GDP of Afghanistan has increased by about 150 percent since we invaded it. The trouble is all of that increase is in heroin.

    In 2001, the Taliban had cut the heroin harvest down to virtually nil. Last year it increased by 40 percent on top of a 60 percent increase the year before. And nowadays they don’t even export opium anymore.

    As I say, it’s a big developmental success. They’ve got into value-added. It’s all made into heroin before it’s exported now.

    And we know where it is: Dostum’s heroin factories. It’s done on an industrial scale. Petrochemical tankers carrying the chemical precursors are sharing the same road as our troops. But it’s done by the government we are protecting.

    There are so many lies about Afghanistan. It’s about money, it’s about oil, it’s about drugs, it’s about the abuse of human rights, it’s about degradation, and it’s about all of us paying, through our taxes, for wars which benefit a tiny clique. Thank you very much.

    Nothing there about raping people with broken bottles.

  3. I dont usually do this but… this story is on the rec list now at orange… And his link back to rawstory wont work either it seems. Im just starting to peruse the comments, over 200 of them.

  4. VLC player Here

    It is freeware and plays mp4 right out of the box with no codecs needed. Quicktime files are proprietary apple files and you need special codecs with most media players, VLC will play them with no problems.

  5. ……The War on Humanity is real. The war to make people afraid of each other.

    The “perpetual war” is used to dis-empower the mass of humanity, to make us feel powerless and feel we need our “masters'”to protect us.

    It is a scam, but one in which the good guys generally have little idea who the enemy is.

Comments have been disabled.