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Oxford to Debate: "Bush Has Made the World Safer"


From Ray McGovern:

By some quirk of fate, I've been asked to speak at Oxford Union debate on Jan. 22. The proposed motion is:

'THIS HOUSE BELIEVES GEORGE W. BUSH HAS MADE THE WORLD A SAFER PLACE'

A tough one. Any ideas? (Just kidding)

I am being "hosted in opposition."

Have just learned that Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, and recipient (in 2005) of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, will also take part—I trust also "hosted in opposition."

Ambassador Murray seemed to be the only one in the entire British Foreign Office who had a serious problem with the Uzbeks boiling alive "suspected terrorists" who had been "rendered" to them by the U.S. so that "intelligence" could be gotten from them and disseminated to American and British policymakers. At the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) annual award ceremony in New York City, Murray explained what he was up against and commented, "I would rather die than have someone tortured to enhance my own security."

Incidentally, this year's SAAII award goes to Frank Grevil, a Danish army major and intelligence officer, who released to the Danish press documents showing that the Danish government decided to join the "coalition of the willing" DESPITE the warnings of Danish intelligence regarding the tenuousness of claims of "no doubt" regarding the presence of WMD in Iraq. Grevil went to prison for his "crime," and was just released last fall. He is one of the overseas members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. (Others are from the UK and Australia.)

The struggles of Ambassador Murray, Maj. Grevil, and previous SAAII award recipients—Coleen Rowley (FBI), Katharine Gun (UK intelligence), Sibel Edmonds (FBI), and Sgt. Sam Provance (US Army intelligence, Abu Ghraib/Iraq)—to inject integrity into intelligence (as CIA analyst Sam Adams did during Vietnam) are described in "Dissent: Voices of Conscience," an excellent book by Col. Ann Wright (US Army, retired) and Susan Dixon, with foreword by Daniel Ellsberg.

My guess is that I will be arriving in London on the day of the mother of all pardons, Jan. 19. How shall I go about commiserating with British officials that, sorry, the pardon powers of the US president end on our side of the Atlantic—and, thus, they shall have to pick their own dodgy way of exculpating themselves?

Best,

Ray

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