Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Former Brit Ambassador Warns Of Blair's Planned Web Clampdown ...

08 July 2006

Former Brit Ambassador Warns Of Blair's Planned Web Clampdown ...

Craig Murray's the man caught on camera and shown left. He's one of the old school:the pre-Blair, Old Brit school.

What's more, Mr Murray's a true gentleman as well as an honest and true, through & through patriot.

As soon as he saw what sort of shameful shysters had hijacked this sceptered isle's corridors of power, and the kinds of almost unimaginably awful acts they were party to - along with the equally obnoxious occupiers of our American cousins' beloved White House - he stood up and said so.

He spoke out publicly, sincerely and vociferously. But almost all alone.

Ever since, for his pains, Blair & Co [particularly enthusiastically, helped by Tony Blair's since estranged, slimy side-kick Jack Straw] have sought to multiply this man's pains. Not to put too fine a point on it, they've continously connived to crucify Craig Murray. And now they're upping the ante.

No doubt some of you are already asking yourselves, 'But who the heck is he?'

He's a former British ambassador, and here's a tiny tid-bit about him.

Memos 'prove evidence used from Uzbek secret


Key points

• Former Uzbekistan ambassador leaks confidential documents on internet
• Data shows UK used information obtained by torture in war on terror
• Murray also writing book based on experiences as ambassador

You can read the rest of the above old 'Scotsman' report right here.

But to get back to the business in hand, of today.

What follows below is the content in full of an email freshly received in This Old Brit and Richard's mailbox.


I am sorry to trouble you, but believe that we now face a threat both to the Web and to Freedom of Information in the UK which must be challenged.

The British government is arguing that government documents, even if released under the Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act, cannot be published, on the web or elsewhere, as they remain Crown Copyright.

They have required me to remove documents from my website on that basis, under threat of legal action - see the attached letter from the Treasury solicitors.

If you think about it for a moment, the government could thus cancel out almost the whole purpose of the Freedom of Information Act; information released would be just for the private use of an individual. Newspapers - or bloggers - could not publish it in any detail.

If accepted, this extraordinary use of copyright could give the government completely arbitrary power to keep literally everything - everything - produced by government a secret for a hundred years.

It is yet another assault on civil liberty by the Blair government, and in it's potential impact one of the most monstrous.

If the media do not react to this, they will lose the ability to report in any detail material released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents in question are the supporting evidence for my book, Murder in Samarkand, which has just been released. The government continues to claim my story is untrue. There is one important advance in all this. Up until now the government refused to acknowledge the documents were authentic. Now Buttrill's letter specifically acknowledges all of the documents and claims copyright over them.

Some of these documents have already been published widely on the web, particularly the "Tashkent telegrams" on CIA and MI6 use of intelligence obtained under torture. Those are now admitted as authentic, for the first time.

Some are new to the web. Perhaps the most important is the chart of the changes the British Government insisted be made to the book.

These are extremely revealing for what they admit to be true - for example, only minor changes are requested in the key meeting between senior officials on the legality of using intelligence from torture, at which it was confirmed that this is US and UK policy.

Perhaps still more revealing is the insistence on removal of the assertion that "Colin Powell knowingly lied" when he claimed that bombs in Tashkent were the work of al-Qaida. The British government insisted on removal not because it was untrue - as detailed in the book, they know full well it is true - but because it would "Damage UK-US relations".

The changes requested were made in the book, because my publisher would not publish without. That is why the truth needs to be out there on the web.

It is on the face of it very strange that the British Government is going after me over the Copyright Act and not the Official Secrets Act. The answer is simple - under the Copyright Act there is no jury. A jury would never convict for campaigning against torture, and be most unlikely to accept that documents released cannot be published.

The table of changes requested by the government is not even a classified document in the first place. But a single judge may be more malleable - John Reid has put a huge effort lately into browbeating judges over anything connected to the so-called War on Terror.

As the government know very well I have no money to pay a large, or even small fine, they can get the book and documents banned and me in jail without having to convince any jury of pesky citizens.

Finally, the government made plain to parliament that it would act against the book itself if it was published. As it only came out on Friday, no injunction yet but it could happen any time. So if you are interested in getting it, buy now and beat the injunctions!

Many Thanks,

Craig Murray

This Old Brit & Richard would add only the following:

(A) Any emphasis is ours.
(B) We forgive his book plug since we know Blair's set him up to starve.
(C) Here's his own website - it's not to be missed.
(D) Everyone, especially bloggers everywhere, please help us to spread this as far & wide as possible -- before we are all fucked -- forever.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

your all fifth colum commie trators

kiss my ass brit

11:49 pm  
Anonymous Griffon said...

I will!

Drop 'em and bend over, anonymarse.
You can trust me, really.

5:37 am  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

I see anonymous is proliferating his misspellings. At least he/she's consistent.

7:02 am  
Anonymous rod said...

Disgusting! So now Blaico have actually admitted that torture is official UK and US policy.

What have we come to? We've plumbed the depths. Yet people still vote for Blair and Bush. Then there's as much blood on their hands as there is on those they condemn. (Although some neanderthals still don't - they enjoy the idea of inflicting pain and misery)

anonymous, why don't you ask your mother to do that for you -- next time she changes you nappy/diaper?

12:36 pm  
Blogger Gert said...


Don't feed the trolls!


I can only hope, probably in vain, that Jack Straw will once pay for what he did to Murray, in what is decidedly one of the darkest episodes of Zanu Labor project...

3:34 pm  
Anonymous Rex said...

Freedom of information? Free country? Free speech?

Don't make laugh. Just help me emmigrate ~ purleeze.

This news should be spread across the front page of every so called newspaper in the country. It should lead on every news programme on TV and radio.

But I bet it won't be. They don't give a shit. They know that whatever they serve up will be swallowed, and that their stupid, ignorant, oblivious, customers will still want more of the same.

Kudos to the likes of yourself Richard, and Murray and others running with this. If only people would take it in (properly) it would blow their minds.

Orwell's 1984 had nothing on Blair's 2006 ~ nor Bush's. He'll do the same soon. They're a double act.

5:00 pm  
Blogger J.UL1R4 said...

Neocons and their pals, or in the UK Blair + New Labour are the real fifth column.

It says a great deal that a government is so embarrassed by documents it wants to retroactively censor them.

Rex: I think for Blair, 1984 is a manifesto not a warning.

Good on you Richard and Gert.

9:19 pm  
Anonymous anon2 said...

Hey, England swings. What's the problem fellahs?

Pubs, cafe-bars, clubs, bookies, bingo, lotto, whatever fix you need on any street corner, 42" plasma, flat screen state of the art TVs - available on the never never - even to benefits cheats. To mention but a few.

What more do you want? A few less foreigners killed and tortured?

What are you all? Aren't you ever satisfied. Are you greedy or something?

9:55 pm  
Blogger erdla said...

Richard off topic to this. First you are very welcome about the London bombing rememberance postings.

Secondly Declan has put up on our site a copy of the I.D. card issued to Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi in 1993 it shows that she was born on August 19th, 1991.

In other words when Mark who was going on reports from Mahmoudiya wrote that she was 14 he was right.

We got a flood of very nasty comments about that that we didn't bother to publish from people saying that he was trying to whip up anti-Americanism by claiming she was younger than she was.

The Americans originally claimed that she was twenty. That is important because it means she was a minor when she was raped and then murdered.

Even from the official photo of her on the document aged 2 you can see that she was going to be very pretty the poor girl :-(

Both Declan and Mark say that it will be very difficult to get convictions. I agree but my legal qualifications are for a very different system so I prefer to go on what they who are more used to working in a common law system say.

If they get off on what is seen as a technicality that will really inflame things.

9:59 pm  
Anonymous Griffon said...

Sorry, Gert.
I thought I was on Richards's blog. My mistake.

As for blair and the people who vote for him, what can you say!

10:27 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for everything, all. Especially to Erdla and Gert for taking up this cause and running with it.

And to thanks those here who signed. Some signatures showed up as easily recognisable, some I know by 'nonme-de-plumes' only (elsewhere) have informed me (elsewhere) and already been thanked (elsewhere).

Also re:'elsewhere' - rest assured, erdla that your info is likewise spreading both sides of the Atlantic.

11:42 pm  

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