The past decade has seen the systematic whittling away of civil liberties, the bypassing of judicial due process, and even the condoning of torture, all in the name of fighting the war on terrorism. It is time to fight back, to say that these actions are setting a dangerous precedent, by giving the government almost unlimited power over the lives of ordinary people. These creeping encroachments on rights long taken for granted lay the groundwork for an authoritarian system of government.
We need to start exposing these actions, so that people become increasingly aware of how far down this dangerous road we have gone. As a start, we can begin by examining a lesser known story (at least in the US) of how the Tony Blair government in England and the US government have been complicit in the torture that has been going on in Uzbekistan.
Craig Murray was once the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan. His complaints about the Blair government’s complicity with the Uzbek government in torture got too much for the British government, which set about unsuccessfully trying to smear him, but they did manage to remove him from office.
He has now written a book that the British government has tried to suppress because it contains incriminating evidence about how the CIA passed on to England information received from torturing prisoners in Uzbekistan.
In a preemptive response to this attempt at suppression, Murray has released those documents to bloggers so that the news will be out and impossible to suppress. You can read the story and the documents, which also reports on the US government’s strong support for the brutal and repressive Karimov government in Uzbekistan, at the Blairwatch website. Thanks to the internet, the documents have now been mirrored on so many sites around the world that the British government will be unable to suppress them though they will undoubtedly try to punish Murray severely to deter future whistleblowers.
As the Blairwatch website says: “Craig Murray stood up for what many of us believe, and it cost him his Job, his health, and his professional reputation. The least we can do his stand by him as he defies the UK government’s attempts at censorship, and possible prosecution.”
The Memory Hole website (which performs an invaluable service on keeping track of documents and photos that become politically embarrassing and the government would like us to forget) has the documentation about the US government’s cozying up to the Karimov government, as well as that government’s acts of torture and repression.
Why are the UK and US governments so cozy with Uzbekistan and Karimov, despite its appalling reputation? Here’s a clue: Uzbekistan currently possesses about 600 million barrels of proven oil reserves, but this is soon expected to increase.” It also “has estimated natural gas reserves of 66.2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).” While not making the top 10 rankings in either oil or gas reserves, these are sizeable.
(Note: There are also calls in England for a parliamentary inquiry into another allegation of torture by British secret agents, in Greece this time. England seems to be also rapidly using ‘anti-terror’ legislation to justify giving its security forces extraordinary powers over its citizens.)
Greg Saunders has more on this that is well worth reading.
POST SCRIPT: Talk on the Collapse of Intelligent Design
Case’s Department of Biology is pleased to present:
The Collapse of “Intelligent-Design”: Will the next MONKEY TRIAL be in OHIO?
A talk by Ken Miller, Brown University
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Kenneth R. Miller PhD was the star witness in the recent Dover “Panda Trial” in Pennsylvania where Judge John E Jones found “intelligent-design” to be a religious view, not science. He is the author of a bestselling high school biology textbook that was subject to the Cobb County, GA disclaimer sticker that warned students that evolution was “a theory, not a fact.” The stickers were removed by court order in 2005. Miller is also author of the bestseller, Finding Darwin’s God.
Free and open to the public
Contact: Patricia Princehouse 216-368-8585, firstname.lastname@example.org