| Craig Murray |
(Whistleblower, Diplomat, Author)
Craig John Murray|
17 October 1958
|Alma mater||University of Dundee|
|Exposed||UK complicity in torture|
|Founder/Owner of||Craig Murray's blog|
A UK ambassador to Uzbekistan who stood up and did the right thing when confronted with evidence of torture. Smeared and dismissed by the powers that be, he continues his activism exposing Establishment lies and hypocrisy.
Craig Murray is a UK senior diplomat turned whistleblower, author, blogger and human rights activist. He resigned as Britain's Ambassador to Uzbekistan after revealing that the UK government knowingly used intelligence obtained by torture. The next decade he lived "as a dissident where I have devoted my life to exposing, and trying to counter, the evil of the neo-conservative policy pursued by our political class at the behest of the corporations who fund them. I have suffered a huge loss in money, status and most of the other normal aspirations. But what I have gained is invaluable. I have respect and love, while Blair and Straw will forever be despised."
- 1 Background
- 2 Diplomatic career
- 3 Parliamentary candidate
- 4 2017 Libel Lawsuit
- 5 Opinions
- 6 Author
- 7 Documents by Craig Murray
- 8 Related Documents
- 9 References
Craig Murray was born on 17 October 1958 in West Runton, near Cromer, Norfolk. He was educated at Sheringham Primary and Paston Grammar schools. He graduated from the University of Dundee in 1982 with an MA (Hons) 1st Class in Modern History. From 1982 to 1984 he was President of Dundee University Students Association and was Rector of Dundee University (2007-2010).
Craig Murray joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1984 and was assigned to Southern African Department (SAfD) to uphold the sporting boycott and the UN's mandatory arms embargo against apartheid South Africa. Craig Murray thus replaced Patrick Haseldine in September 1984 when the latter was seconded to the Office of Fair Trading following the Coventry Four affair and adverse staff appraisal reports from the South Africa desk officer David Carter and SAfD's assistant head Nigel Thorpe.
First two years
"I spent the first two years of my FCO career trying to push the FCO to pressure South Africa to release Oscar Mpetha. I don’t recall Afrikaaner amputee sympathy then. The school named after Oscar is criminally under-resourced, but then it’s only for black kids. I bet no-one from the Oscar Mpetha school ever got, or will get, bail."
My first FCO job was in the South Africa Section as the South Africa (political) officer, at a time when Apartheid was in full sway in South Africa. It was the official policy of Her Majesty’s Government to oppose international sanctions efforts, and the Thatcher government’s official line was that Mandela was a terrorist properly in jail after a fair trial. There was a huge tension between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and 10 Downing Street.The government looks to control the historical narrative as papers are released by official histories. The FCO official historian, Professor Patrick Salmon, has produced a selection in a volume entitled "The Challenge of Apartheid" and frames the political situation in the introduction:
focusing on the period after 1979 and the respective attitudes of Mrs Thatcher and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It then discusses some of the key themes of the 1985-86 period, including the formulation of policy towards South Africa at the FCO, the debate over sanctions and the Commonwealth dimension. Within this framework, there were particular difficulties for relations between the FCO and No. 10, including the establishment of formal contacts between the British Government and the ANC, and the merits of quiet personal diplomacy (through Mrs Thatcher‘s confidential correspondence with President P.W. Botha) versus the managing and gradual stepping up of international pressure favoured by the FCO.
Salmon acquits Thatcher of actually supporting apartheid. I would dispute this. I was only a Second Secretary but the South Africa (Political) desk was just me, and I knew exactly what was happening. My own view was that Thatcher was a strong believer in apartheid, but reluctantly accepted that in the face of international opposition, especially from the United States, it would have to be dismantled. Her hatred of Mandela and of the ANC was absolute. It is an undeniable statement that Thatcher hated the ANC and was highly sympathetic towards the apartheid regime.
By contrast the Tory FCO junior ministers at the time, including Malcolm Rifkind and Lynda Chalker, shared the absolute disgust at apartheid that is felt by any decent human being. The Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe was somewhere between these two positions, but very anxious indeed not to anger Thatcher. South Africa was an issue in which Thatcher took an extreme interest and was very, very committed. Not in a good way.
Craig Murray's postings as a member of HM Diplomatic Service included:
- 1986-9: Second Secretary (Commercial), British High Commission, Lagos. Responsible for promoting British exports to, and business interests in, Nigeria.
- 1989-92 Head of Maritime Section, Aviation and Maritime Department (AMD), FCO, London. Responsible for negotiation of the UK and Dependent Territory continental shelf and fisheries boundaries, for implementation of the Channel Tunnel treaty and for negotiations on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
- From August 1990 to August 1991 he was also head of AMD's Embargo Surveillance Centre, responsible for intelligence analysis on Iraqi attempts at evading sanctions, particularly in the field of weapons procurement, and with providing information to UK military forces and to other governments to effect physical enforcement of the embargo.
- 1992-4 Cyprus desk officer in Southern European Department (SED), FCO, London. Responsible for UN negotiations on the Cyprus dispute, relations with the government of Cyprus and for the mandate and requirements of the British contingent of the UN force in Cyprus.
- 1994-7 First Secretary (Political and Economic), British Embassy, Warsaw. Head of the Political and Economic sections of our Embassy in Poland. Responsible for relations with Poland, and assisting Poland’s post-communist transition process with reference to preparation for EU membership.
- 1997-8 Deputy Head, Africa Department (Equatorial), FCO, London. Responsible for British political and commercial relationships with West Africa, including development issues.
- 1998-2002 Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, West Africa Branch. Responsible for British economic, political, commercial and aid relationships with Ghana and Togo. In Autumn 1998, Craig Murray was the UK Representative at the Sierra Leone Peace talks held in Togo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, including direct negotiation with the RUF terrorist leadership.
- 2002-2004 British Ambassador, Uzbekistan. Responsible for the UK relationship with Uzbekistan, where he found Western support for the dictatorial Karimov regime unconscionable, as detailed on his website 
Questioning Use of Torture
Mr Murray was summoned back to London in August 2003 and presented with 18, mostly baseless, allegations about his behaviour and given a week to resign, he said. He suffered a breakdown and the charges were dropped, but he said he planned to take legal action against the Foreign Office as his health had been permanently affected.
In October 2004, Murray was recalled from his post in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent amid conflicting statements about whether he was to face disciplinary action. He told the BBC that the reason for his removal was his criticism of the use of intelligence allegedly obtained under torture by the Uzbekistan Government. The Foreign Office refused to be comment on these claims, but in a statement said he had been withdrawn, not on disciplinary, but on "operational grounds". It added that the charge it was suppressing open discussion was completely without foundation.
Murray's removal has prompted an open letter to the British government from Uzbek political activists who describe him as a "force for democratic change". But Mr Murray said FCO officials had been trying to force him out for a year because of his despatches back to London. In one he claimed MI6 had used information passed on to it by the CIA but originally obtained in Uzbek torture cells - something strongly denied by the Foreign Office. In the leaked telegram, printed in the Financial Times, he wrote that the use of information gained by torture was "morally, practically and legally wrong".
- "I have been a victim of conscience," Mr Murray told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "I expressed my view strongly, but only internally. It wasn't me that leaked my views to the Financial Times but plainly that has led to my removal from my post." He added: "This sends a very strong signal that since the start of the war on "terrorism", anyone who even internally questions what's happening from a liberal standpoint is going to seriously damage their employment prospects."
Amnesty International UK described Mr Murray's championing of human rights as "extremely important" and said it would be alarmed if it had led to his removal. "The government should now make it clear that it wishes to have a strong British voice for human rights in Tashkent," a spokesman added.
Tory international affairs spokesman Gary Streeter told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme it was "perfectly legitimate" for Mr Murray to criticise "the way things are working within his sphere of influence".
On 14 March 2014, Craig Murray described "The Torture Cover-Up" as follows:
- "The entire programme was on a scale and of an order of brutality much greater than anything that has been yet understood by the public. All of those foreign nationals rendered to Uzbekistan, for example, were killed during or following torture and buried in the desert."
At the 2005 UK General Election, Craig Murray took on Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn as an independent candidate, gaining 2,082 votes.
On 10 December 2014, The Scotsman newspaper reported that Craig Murray had been nominated by SNP members in the party’s branch in Airdrie and Shotts, whose seat is held by Labour’s Pamela Nash, to fight for the nationalists at the 2015 General Election. The report continued:
- "Mr Murray, who campaigned for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, also controversially described No supporters as 'either evil, or quite extraordinarily thick.' Mr Murray said: 'I’m in the vetting process at the moment, but it’s correct to say I’ve been nominated in Airdrie and Shotts.'
- "The SNP is expected to begin a formal selection process in the coming weeks, when other members will have the chance to seek selection as an SNP candidate in the seat, which Ms Nash took for Labour with a majority of 12,408 in 2010. Mr Murray is likely to face a challenge from SNP activist Tom Montgomery for the Airdrie and Shotts nomination.
- "An SNP spokeswoman said: 'There are a number of nominations for the Airdrie and Shotts seat, and once nominations close, members in the area will be balloted to decide on their choice of candidate.'
- "Labour has called on SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to prevent Mr Murray being selected as a candidate because of his remarks about No voters.
- "However, he said he had also been approached about standing in other constituencies such as Falkirk – a key nationalist target where sitting MP Eric Joyce is standing down after being forced out of Labour following a conviction for assaulting Tory politicians in the Commons.
Candidate's 350-word statement
Craig Murray explained: every candidate for selection is allowed a 350-word statement including a CV to be given to members with their ballot paper. This is the 350-word statement which I had submitted to HQ for distribution to SNP members in Falkirk, prior to my disqualification. It has never been distributed, but I would like every SNP member to read it. If you know one, send it to them:
- My aim is to achieve Independence. The Smith Commission shows we will never be given the control of our own economic resources required to achieve our aims of social justice, or to stimulate the economy, within the Union.
- I think we have to avoid the trap of managerialism – of being just another political party but a little more competent and fair. We should maintain a firm thrust towards the goal of national freedom.
- I will vote with the SNP group, but my voice within the party will be against any coalition agreement with Labour or Tories.
- I want to defeat Labour, not sustain them. I want to end the Union, not to run it.
- Within the SNP we must guard against success leading us to develop our own careerists. Professional politicians in Westminster have become a parasitic class with interchangeable beliefs, out for themselves. There are too many of them – Special Advisers, research assistants etc. The number of politicians paid for by the taxpayer has quadrupled in 30 years.
- The best MPs contribute from a wide variety of life experience.
- I want the dynamic citizen activism we saw in the Yes campaign to lead to a new kind of politics in Scotland. Bubbling up from ordinary folk. And I want that energy from the people to defeat the forces of the mainstream media and the unionists here in the coming election.
- Together, we can do it.
- If selected as our candidate I will immediately move my family home to Falkirk and begin campaigning. Once elected MP, my home will become my constituency office and open to all, and no MP will work harder for his constituents. No Scottish MP will have lower expenses. I shall regularly attend the Commons and speak in debate.
- Craig Murray
- Writer, Human Rights Activist.
- Chairman, Atholl Energy Ltd
- Rector, Dundee University 2007-10
- Honorary Research Fellow, University of Lancaster School of Law 2006-10
- British Ambassador Uzbekistan 2002-4
- HM Diplomatic Service 1984-2005
- MA 1st Class Hons Modern History
- Declined LVO, OBE and CVO as a Scottish nationalist and republican
Maybe that statement is what really got me disqualified?
Barred by the SNP
On 27 December 2014, Craig Murray announced on Facebook:
- "Terribly upset and depressed after being barred from the approved candidates register by the SNP hierarchy for 'lack of commitment to group discipline.'
- "I was asked at assessment whether, as part of a Westminster deal with another party, I would agree to vote for the bedroom tax if instructed by the Party. I replied 'No': end of SNP political career. Problem is, I really believed we were building a different kind of politics in Scotland.
- "I had very, very strong support from ordinary members to be the candidate in Falkirk or in Airdrie, and had 17 requests to stand from other constituencies, several from branch meetings. Wonder what SNP new membership will think of this?
- "My analysis is that those in the SNP who make a fat living out of it are terrified the energy of the Yes campaign may come to threaten their comfy position.
- "I think there is an important debate here on how the 80% of the SNP who are new members can affect its existing gatekeeping structures. No new members were involved in deciding if I was a fit candidate, and the 1500 new members in each of Falkirk and Airdrie were denied any chance to vote for me. Please share this post."
John Goss commented:
- "Amazing. Electoral colleges are the bane of political parties today. It is the reason there is no difference between Labour and Tories. I never trusted the SNP. Alex Salmond has, like so many other Scots of power, said there will be no proper Lockerbie Inquiry. Speaks for itself."
Kerrsed by Morag
On Craig Murray's blog Patrick Haseldine commented:
- Having been disbarred as an SNP candidate, Craig Murray was prescient to have tweeted on 12 December 2014
- “For Morag, Wherever I May Find Her”.
In no particular order, the multi-talented Morag “Rolfe” Kerr is a:
- Peeblesshire vet;
- MI5 operative;
- former Membership Secretary of the SNP (London Branch);
- Admin on Wikipedia;
- 9/11 debunker on the James Randi Educational Forum;
- Secretary Depute of the ‘Justice for Megrahi’ campaign group;
- author of “Adequately Explained By Stupidity? Lockerbie, Luggage and Lies”;
- unsuccessful SNP candidate at Tweeddale West;
- opinionated commentator on 'Wings Over Scotland'; and,
- self-appointed vetter of SNP candidates.
2017 Libel Lawsuit
In November 2017, Craig Murray reported that the High Court case in which he had been sued for libel was settled in an agreed joint statement:
- "On 29 April 2016, Jake Wallis Simons and Craig Murray appeared together on Sky News to debate anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom. Following that debate, Dr Wallis Simons issued libel proceedings against Mr Murray. Dr Wallis Simons and Mr Murray have now settled these proceedings.
- "By this statement, Mr Murray accepts that Dr Wallis Simons is not a liar, and Dr Wallis Simons accepts that Mr Murray is not an anti-Semite. They are both pleased to have resolved this dispute amicably."
- Full article: Dr Rola
- Full article: Dr Rola
“This video of Robert Stuart is a must see. Let me pin my colours to the mast and say that I am absolutely convinced that the BBC did deliberately and knowingly fake evidence of chemical attacks.”
Craig Murray (9 March 2016) - 
Torture and Kidnapping
- "Can I just say how pleasant it is to be vindicated ten years after being sacked by Jack Straw for opposing the torture and extraordinary rendition programme – which Blair and Straw claimed I was inventing." In an audio interview on 12 December 2014, Craig Murray recounted his experience to Scottish journalist and broadcaster Derek Bateman examining the legacy of Labour in a week when revelations about state-sanctioned torture by the CIA under Bush/Cheney further threaten the reputation of the Blair government.
False flag attacks
Craig Murray announced in 2010 that he would summarily remove any comments about 9/11 from his website, stating his own position that "I do not believe that the US government, or any of its agencies, were responsible for 9/11. It would just need too many people to be involved. Someone would have objected." Peter Presland wrote in 2010 that "Craig's problem is that, for some reason, he refuses to connect the dots"..
Murray's blind spot for false flag operations has not stopped his noticing that these event are exploited (but not organised) by Western governments. After the 2015 mass murder in Paris, he observed that "Cameron’s announcement of 15% budget and staff increases for the security services was made immediately after the Paris attacks, but was plainly not something thought up in a few hours. The plans for mass surveillance had already been announced, and would have to be staffed. This kind of sickening political opportunism is the true disrespect to the innocent dead."
- Full article: Lockerbie: What Really Happened#Craig Murray
- Full article: Lockerbie: What Really Happened#Craig Murray
Craig Murray has publicly supported the Al Jazeera documentary, "Lockerbie: What Really Happened?" which concluded that the Lockerbie bombing was ordered by Iran and carried out by the PFLP-GC, with help from Hezbollah, and if Libya had a role, it was secondary. Murray blogged that "The information on Lockerbie published in today’s Daily Mail from an Iranian defector, matches precisely what I was shown in a secret intelligence report in the FCO just around the time of the first Iraq war. It was decided that this would be kept under wraps because the West needed Iran and Syria’s quiescence in the attack on Iraq."
Having spoken in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in August 2012 who, to avoid extradition to Sweden, had taken up residence in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Craig Murray condemned the Foreign Secretary's "astonishing lie" about the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which had ruled in favour of Assange on 5 February 2016. Murray wrote:
- "To my astonishment, the FCO Official Spokesman has just confirmed to me that the FCO stands by Philip Hammond’s statement that the members of the UNWGAD are lay persons, and not lawyers. Even though every single one of them is an extremely distinguished lawyer."
Craig Murray is the author of two books:
Murder in Samarkand
Craig Murray was the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan until he was removed from his post in October 2004 after exposing appalling human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of President Islam Karimov. This is a candid and at times shocking memoir, in which he exposes what is being done in the name of the "War on Terror".
The Catholic Orangemen of Togo (and Other Conflicts I Have Known)
This is an autobiographical prequel to "Murder in Samarkand" that covers the period 1998 to 2002. It exposes the links between blood diamonds, crime & British mercenary involvement in Africa, and argues that the disregard Tony Blair showed for both British and international law in dealing with Sierra Leone prefigured the disaster of Iraq.
Censorship by Tim Spicer
In July 2008, law firm Schillings, representing Tim Spicer, wrote to Craig Murray's publishers, Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd., threatening legal action over his forthcoming book, at the time provisionally titled The Road to Samarkand. Chapters two "Arms to Africa" and four "The Sandline Affair" deal with the Sierra Leone "Arms to Africa" affair in depth. At the time of these events, Craig Murray was Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, West Africa Branch. In Autumn 1998 he was the UK Representative at the Sierra Leone Peace talks held in Togo, Liberia and Sierra Leone which included direct negotiation with the RUF terrorist leadership. He therefore had first-hand experience of these matters from a senior Foreign Office position.
Some negotiation between Murray and Mainstream followed, during which it was ascertained precisely which parts of the proposed book had to be removed for Mainstream to proceed with publication. Murray refused to be censored. He published the 'offending' parts on his blog  (also available at this WikiSpooks page) and decided to self-publish the book. It was first posted as a pdf on a number of web sites  before being released in printed form as "The Catholic Orangemen of Togo" .
Documents by Craig Murray
|Craig Murray and 9-11||article||30 January 2010||Peter||A reply to Craig Murray's article explaining his embargo on any further discussion of 9-11 in the comments section of his blog|
|File:Smith.pdf||May 2006||Craig Murray|
|The great con that ruined Britain||article||3 April 2016||Peter Hitchens||Peter Hitchens, the repentant Thatcherite, has second thoughts about privatisation|
- Vicious Cycles (US Wars and War Crimes From Vietnam to Iraq) - A radio show featuring Craig Murray on why he resigned as UK ambassador to Uzbekistan
- "Profile Craig Murray" The Guardian
- "Decade of Dissent"
- "Craig Murray on Oscar Mpetha"
- "Opposing Apartheid, or When I Was Clever"
- Craig Murray's Web site
- "Former British envoy is suspended"
- "The Torture Cover-Up"
- "Ex-ambassador Craig Murray to be SNP candidate"
- "Terribly upset and depressed after being barred from the approved candidates register by the SNP hierarchy"
- "Falkirk SNP members vote on 2015 General Election candidate"
- "Craig Murray: Kerrsed by Morag"
- "Morag should be expelled from SNP"
- "Morag is a plant not a genuine SNP member"
- "The End of the Affair"
- "The Senate Committee’s Report on the C.I.A.’s Use of Torture"
- "Senate Report on Torture"
- "A shocking tale of torture and indifference"
- Document:Craig Murray and 9-11
- "IRAN blew up Lockerbie jet - not Libya, says defector: Ayatollah 'used Syrian-based terror group to bomb Pan Am 103 in revenge attack'"
- "Craig Murray speaking @ the Ecuador Embassy" 19/08/2012
- "Philip Hammond’s Astonishing Lie"
- "Kafka 2016"
- "Books by Craig Murray"
- "Murder in Samarkand"
- "The Catholic Orangemen of Togo"
- File:Schillings.pdf - "Messrs Schillings legal threat to Murray's prospective publishers."
- Key parts of the text of "The Road to Samarkand" which Craig Murray refused to have censored
- Craig Murray's blog post "Censorship and Freedom of Speech"
- File:The Catholic Orangemen of Togo.pdf- The Catholic Orangemen of Togo - full text in pdf format
- File:Catholic Orangement of Togo - frontpages.pdf - The Catholic Orangemen of Togo - Front pages
- The Catholic Orangemen of Togo - ISBN 978-0-9561299-0-1