Craig Murray

I link to the documents because I believe that they have no commercial value in themselves, and they do not contain anything that is a threat to national security. Bringing this government into further disrepute in this matter does not harm national security… in fact, I think it enhances it.

Craig Murray is the former ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan. He was dismissed from his position after highlighting human rigts abuses by the governing regime, and has now written a book about his time there. Unfortunately for Craig, some of the documents he uses to back up his case are, according to the lawyers, apparently protected by Crown Copyright. So he has been forced to remove them from his site or else face a court battle which would amount to the price of a London house.

That’s unfortunate for Craig. Unfortunately for his detractors, the documents are (according to Chicken Yoghurt):

If you haven’t seen the documents, they’re available here, here, here, here, here, here, and as a bittorrent here.

I’ve always thought it funny that net denizens use the word ‘here’ to describe something that is quite obviously ‘there’, but nevermind. The documents are also here, because I know a minority of people will appreciate a .SIT archive.

I link to the documents because I have read them, and having read them I believe that:

  1. they have no commercial value in themselves (i.e. even if Criag’s book makes money, it will be because of Craig’s ideas and biography, and not because these documents are valuable in themselves); and
  2. they do not contain anything that is a threat to national security – bringing this government into further disrepute in this matter does not harm national security… in fact, I think it enhances it.

There’s also a discussion over whether obscure bloggers can do this kind of publishing with impunity, but I don’t think that is intertesting or relevant here. However, since there’s an open question over whether duplicating other people’s stuff is above board, Chris Lightfoot suggests that people request the same documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

3 thoughts on “Craig Murray”

  1. He was dismissed from his position after highlighting human rigts abuses by the governing regime, and has now written a book about his time there.

    This is untrue. He was dismissed for doing a lousy job, partly because he was too busy publically criticising Islam Karimov. It is an essential part of the job that an ambassador does not make political or other judgements about the government of the country in which he is serving. An ambassador must maintain diplomatic relations consistent with his government’s interest at all times, or else the entire diplomatic system breaks down.

    Murray was perfectly in his rights to complain about Karimov, but it was completely unacceptable that he did so from a position of ambassador. He should first have handed in his resignation, and then started his public criticism.

  2. Oh, and for anyone who had heard of Uzbekistan before 9/11 and taken an interest in the place, it is pretty clear that Murray’s outspoken behaviour was more a case of self-publicity than out of concern for the people of Uzbekistan. Nathan at Registan was all over Murray long before he became well known in the UK.

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