I take Mr Crawford’s side not just because I know and like him, not just because his analyses of the situation in Eastern Europe, Russia and the European Union are invariably accurate, wittily expressed but because Craig Murray has always appeared to me to be rather dishonourable. He was, after all, a diplomat for many years and, apparently, swallowed all sorts of unpleasant things about the countries he had been posted to. The alternative to that is not having diplomatic relations with any country but the few that we really approve of (and that approval might change from day to day). That would suit me fine but would it suit the likes of Craig Murray who needed a career?
His rather sudden indignation about rendition and Uzbekistan’s involvement sounded a little desperate but was temporarily all the rage because of the underlying anti-Americanism, so popular among our media and political establishment. (Will that now change with The New Messiah in the White House or will he mess up before the huge tanker of that establishment manages to alter its course? Sir Max Hastings seems to have changed his stance. Is that the first swallow or is he making a big mistake?)
Given all that I was delighted to read Mr Crawford’s frontal attack on Mr Murray who had been sniping at him and accusing him of a dishonest supporter of the evil Bush regime and that terrible rendition.
Mr Crawford has, rather nobly, read Mr Murray’s famous self-publicizing book and has noticed some discrepancy between the two accounts of what really happened:
Read the whole exchange. Several of the postings are highly entertaining and very interesting in Mr Crawford’s no-holds-barred attacks on those who make apparently highly moral but, in reality, rather dubious statements.
Let's go back to the first posting you made on this subject (emphasis added):
I was Ambassador in Uzbekistan, and Charles Crawford was Ambassador in Poland, at the time this torture traffic was happening. In Tashkent I uncovered it meticulously, reported it and protested against it. In Poland Charles made no protest.
Which Ambassador do you want to represent you, British taxpayers? Huh? HUH?
Plucky Craig, the energetic principled uncoverer and reporter and protester of Misdeeds?
Or supine Charles, the qualm-free complicitous ignorer thereof?
Only one problem. A trifle really.
It looks to be the case that Craig learned about the CIA 'secret rendition' programme only after he finally left Tashkent in some professional dishonour yet with his payout from the taxpayer of £320,000.
How do I know that? Because this is what he himself says in his book Murder in Samarkand (Mainstream Publishing 2007 edition, p 362):
From other journalists at this time [sc when he had already left Tashkent in mid-2004 and was back in the UK, formally suspended from duty - see p 359] ... I learnt the first details of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme ...
I now believe that in protesting about intelligence obtained by torture in Uzbekistan ... I had stumbled unwittingly across the the extraordinary rendition programme, and my objections were therefore threatening the legal and political basis of major CIA strategy in the War on Terror.
In other words, despite what he explicitly claimed on his site, as HM Ambassador in Uzbekistan Craig did not uncover, report and protest against this programme, meticulously or otherwise!
Why? Perhaps because he knew nothing whatsoever about it?
So much for his forlorn attempt to rewrite history and set himself on a higher moral unrenditioning aircraft than the rest of his FCO colleagues on this subject.