John Pilger: ‘In these dark times, Craig Murray’s truth-telling is a beacon. He is owed our debt of gratitude, not the travesty of a prison sentence which, like the prosecution of Julian Assange, is a universal warning.”
Craig Murray was released from prison on St Andrew’s Day yesterday and was greeted by a cheering crowd. (video below). He was jailed for eight months on trumped up charges having been found guilty of contempt of court for his reporting of the Alex Salmond trial. Salmond was acquitted of all charges and the targeting of Craig was a blatant attempt by the corrupt establishment to crush freedom of speech and independent journalism.
It is Craig we have to thank for his vital reporting from inside the court during Julian Assange’s court appearances, despite every effort made to keep the public out. No mainstream news outlet told their audience how the judicial system was blatantly manipulated during Julian’s ordeal; only Craig’s accounts kept us informed of this corruption. All mainstream ‘journalists’ were, as ever, slavishly aligned with the official narrative that requires them to distort and omit the facts of Assange’s case – as they have done from the very beginning – because they serve the corporate state, not the truth. See my own 2010 email exchanges with BBC Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark on Assange here.
Ever since he whistleblew on Britain’s complicity in torture when he was UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig has been a marked man. The authorities thought they had played their trump card when they jailed him but they might have done well to heed Henry Thoreau’s words from his seminal essay, Civil Disobedience:, a text which profoundly influenced Martin Luther King and Gandhi and one I have relentlessly recommended everyone read, so packed is it with vital truths still highly relevant to us today:
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race should find them; on that separate, but more free and honorable, ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her- the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor. If any think that their influence would be lost there, and their voices no longer afflict the ear of the State, that they would not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not know by how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much more eloquently and effectively he can combat injustice who has experienced a little in his own person.
The speech you are about to watch Craig make is profound and moving. It should be required watching for every aspiring journalist, because Murray has exhibited all of the values that should underpin that supposedly noble profession. He puts every corporate hack to shame.
Background on the case, including Craig’s own account of events can be read here.
(Video – scroll to 30 seconds in for Craig’s moment of release)