Saturday, December 31, 2005

Don't pray for an easy life. Pray to be a strong person- Nadia Comaneci


Papers pick up UK torture memos as site goes dead
UK and US bloggers continue to aid in defying the Official Secrets Act by publishing former Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray's memos alleging human rights abuses were known to--and tolerated, if not sanctioned by--the US and UK governments, which were using information gleaned from torture for intelligence purposes.

Uzbekistan has long been an ally of the United States, in spite of its well-known record of abuse. Aid to the nation was cut in 2004 over human rights concerns.

The first document released by Murray consists of three telegrams that he sent to London from Uzbekistan, warning that the information gained there was derived from torture, and perhaps not as "useful" as MI6 believed. The second document is a legal analysis which argues that the use of information extracted through torture is not itself technically a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.

RAW STORY featured links to coverage of the documents by Murray and Blair Watch earlier this week. Since that time, even more bloggers have joined in re-printing the text of the documents. RAW STORY does not have original copies, and therefore cannot confirm the documents' authenticity beyond the fact that the source is a former UK ambassador.

A mainstream breakthrough comes today, as the December 30 edition of The Independent featured a story on the documents. The Register has since followed. Murray's site was offline briefly due to what was initially thought to be an overwhelmingly high volume of traffic. Some supporters have since implied that it was actually hacked. Detractors, in response, have charged that Murray hacked his own site for publicity. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote, "He's trying to sell a new book by whipping moonbat bloggers into a frenzy with claims of British-outsourced torture in Uzbekistan."

Murray was a vocal critic of what he and others have termed "torture by proxy," the practice of using foreign governments to extract information from detainees through methods that would be deemed illegal or unethical in one's own. He was disciplined in August of 2003 for, among other charges, "hiring dolly birds for above the usual rate." Murray contends that his staff was actually entirely male. He was then removed from his post entirely after quotes attributed to him, critical of MI6 on the subject of Uzbekistan torture, appeared in the press. His run for Parliament resulted in an embarrassing 5% showing.

The documents, as circulated, follow:

#Letter #1 Confidential FM Tashkent TO FCO, Cabinet Office, DFID, MODUK, OSCE Posts, Security Council Posts 16 September 02

SUBJECT: US/Uzbekistan: Promoting Terrorism
US plays down human rights situation in Uzbekistan. A dangerous policy: increasing repression combined with poverty will promote Islamic terrorism. Support to Karimov regime a bankrupt and
cynical policy.
The Economist of 7 September states: "Uzbekistan, in particular, has jailed many thousands of moderate Islamists, an excellent way of converting their families and friends to extremism." The Economist also spoke of "the growing despotism of Mr Karimov" and judged that "the past year has seen a further deterioration of an already grim human rights record". I agree.

IMPEACH - sign Rep. Conyers' letter to begin formal Impeachment Inquiry hearings in Congress!

Most Important Impeachment Petition/Letter by Rep. Conyers EVER!!

Please sign Rep. Conyers' Impeachment bill letter/petition.

Shameful that he still only has about 26,000 signatures when the Downing Street Memo Petition
garnered 500,000 signatures. Where is everyone who has been demanding impeachment when it
comes time to sign a letter/petition by a Congressperson who has stuck his neck way out to legally
begin the Impeachment Inquiry process.

Please sign and post info on other sites.
Thank you.

Congressman Conyers has used the Impeach-Word several times in his proposed Impeachment
Inquiry and has several other members of the House of Representatives as co-sponsors but needs
more and has asked for our help in signing his letter to Bush and in writing to our Congresscritters
to request they support him in investigating the Bush Regime's massive illegal activities harming the American people. Please add your signature here: - Conyer's Action Items

"Join me, below, in sending the:

Letter Advising the President of Censure
Steps to Begin Special Committee Investigation

Dear Mr. President:

We are brave, proud, patriotic citizens of the United States. We love our country and are writing to
express our profound disappointment with you and your administration for your conduct
surrounding the Iraq War, the collection and use of intelligence, and your disrespect for the laws of
this great nation..."

Friday, December 30, 2005

Soldier Baby Damirsagolij reuters

Our suffering soldiers - No armor and now no long term medical care or disability - Walter Reed and other VA hospitals being shut down. Shame bush!

Tony B-liar

Bombing Al Jazeera
Bombing Al Jazeera

There can be few of us who haven't heard about the Mirror exclusive back in November, when they exposed Bush's intention to bomb the Al Jazeera offices. Aside from raising questions about Bush's sanity...

This served to prove that Al Jazeera can be relied upon to bring us the news. Why else would Bush want to bomb them? It seems to me that from now on, any thinking person should sit up and pay very close attention to what Al Jazeera has to say.

Al Jazeera never expected to be a favorite with world leaders. As you can see here: Don't Bomb Us: They're no strangers to controversy and accusations from every corner.

News is something someone somewhere doesn't want published: All the rest is advertising!

Credit for this as soon as I can found out who originally said it!

Craig Murray - Hero, Whistleblower of Torture Atrocities

Craig Murray (born 17 October 1958) is a commentator on government foreign policy and was a British diplomat. He was the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Uzbekistan, until removed from his post on October 14, 2004.

While in this office he publicly criticised the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, against the wishes of the British government, an action that he alleges was the reason for his removal. He also privately criticised the UK government for committing torture by proxy, that is, sending terrorist suspects to Uzbekistan for their security services to extract intelligence of dubious value; in the phrase he is best known for, he accused his government of "selling our souls for dross".=UzbekistanIn October 2002, on becoming concerned that torture and extra-judicial killings were taking place in Uzbekistan, he made a controversial speech at a human rights conference in Tashkent, in which he claimed that "Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy" and saying of the boiling to death of two men, "all of us know that this is not an isolated incident." The speech was cleared by the Foreign Office, but not before a dispute over its content. Later, Kofi Annan confronted Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov with Murray's claims.

He was summoned to London and, on 8 March 2003, he was reprimanded for writing, in a letter to his employers, in response to a speech by George W. Bush, "when it comes to the Karimov regime, systematic torture and rape appear to be treated as peccadilloes, not to affect the relationship and to be downplayed in the international fora ... I hope that once the present crisis is over we will make plain to the US, at senior level, our serious concern over their policy in Uzbekistan."

=He stood for parliament in Blackburn, as an independent candidate, against his former boss Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in the May 2005 general election. He came fifth with 5% of votes.
He is reported to have undergone emergency live-saving heart surgery at the end of May 2005. He was unable to fulfil an engagement with PEN UK, the organisation for international writers' freedom, and this was the reason given. This follows previous cardiac crises while under the strain of trying to get the UK government to oppose torture in Uzbekistan.

In December 2005, frustrated at the Foreign Office's failure to clear for publication some content of his memoirs, he published a number of confidential memos on his website outlining his condemnation of intelligence procured under torture, and the UK government's ambivalence to this.

In case of "Spycatcher"-type problems, these are reproduced below from his website

The Smoking Gun Archives

=December 30, 2005

More old newsFrom the chatter on the web, it's clear that there are still a few diehard Bush/Blair supporters out there who believe this is about democracy and security.

I hate to disillusion such people, but everyone should be aware of this document:

(This was released with other Enron court documents. To anyone covering the Enron story, it meant very little. Now, however....)
Enron letter photocopies from Ken Lay taking advange of the atrocities in Uzbekistan to make money for Enron and THE TEXANS.....