[FoRK] Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Nov 5 05:20:23 PST 2009

More change we can believe in.


Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’

By Daniel Tencer

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 -- 3:31 pm

Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be raped with broken bottlesThe CIA
relied on intelligence based on torture in prisons in Uzbekistan, a place
where widespread torture practices include raping suspects with broken
bottles and boiling them alive, says a former British ambassador to the
central Asian country.

Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland and until
2004 the UK's ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the CIA not only relied on
confessions gleaned through extreme torture, it sent terror war suspects to
Uzbekistan as part of its extraordinary rendition program.

"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."

Human rights groups have long been raising the alarm about the legal system
in Uzbekistan. In 2007, Human Rights Watch declared that torture is "endemic"
to the country's justice system.

Murray said he only realized after his stint as ambassador that the CIA was
sending people to be tortured in Uzbekistan, country he describes as a
"totalitarian" state that has never moved on from its communist era, when it
was a part of the Soviet Union.  Story continues below...

Suspects in Uzbekistan's gulags "were being told to confess to membership in
Al Qaeda. They were told to confess they'd been in training camps in
Afghanistan. They were told to confess they had met Osama bin Laden in
person. And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed these themes."

"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.


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

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.

Murray was dismissed from his position as ambassador in 2004, following his
first public allegations that the British government relied on torture in
Uzbekistan for intelligence.

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