Thursday, January 19, 2006

The informational value of boiling people alive

Democracy Now! has a very important in-depth interview with former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray. Murray will be testifying at the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration. He was fired from his job for leaking documents that prove the British government was regularly and knowingly using "intelligence" information gained through extreme torture.

This despite the fact that it is well known that Uzbekistan was "a state where people were being disappeared and tortured on an industrial basis" and where the signature method of torture is boiling people alive.
Karimov is one of the most vicious dictators in the world, a man who is responsible for the death of thousands of people. Prisoners are boiled to death in Uzbek was one of the first cases I came across, back in August or September of 2002. Two Muslim prisoners in Jaslyk gulag, which is an old Soviet gulag in the middle of the Karakum Desert, a sort of forced-labor camp, a terrible place where people are sent to die, effectively, two Islamic prisoners were boiled to death. They died of immersion in boiling water.
Presumably this would fit under even the Bush administration's disingenuously narrow definition of torture. Since the US government is quite willing to do a lot of its "torture" in-house, this gives a pretty graphic idea of what the administration's policy of extraordinary rendition might involve.

Although Murray's original focus was on the British complicity in Uzbek torture, he provides a lot of critical information about US relations to the regime and its use of information gleaned from torture. Bush's ties to the Uzbek regime go back to before he was president. Along with the interview, DN! has put up a copy of a letter from Ken Lay of Enron to then Texas Governor Bush setting up a meeting with the Uzbek ambassador to discuss oil and gas ventures.

A very informative interview, well worth reading or listening to in full.

Murray also has a website with lots of information and documentation.


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