One thing that really upset him was that Uzbekistan was a US-UK ally in the 'War on Terror', including the creation of the K2 airbase for the use of US forces.
When Wikileaks dumped it's full stash of US State Department cables, one is of course interested in what they have to say about Murray. It turns out, not much. I found only 4 cables that mention him.
1. STAPLETON - Paris Embassy - quotes Murray in Le Monde article about CIA renditions
2. TUTTLE - London - describes Jack Straw's election troubles due to Iraq War, Murray's run, and the split of the anti-war vote between different parties, allowing Straw's win.
3. NORLAND - Tashkent - Article about the RRG human rights group.
6. (C) The RRG activists observed that they have had difficulty
arranging a similar meeting with the British Ambassador in Tashkent
and asked the Ambassador to intervene on their behalf with the
British Embassy, which he did later that day. The activists noted
that in general, the British Embassy in Tashkent appears to have
disengaged somewhat on human rights. The Ambassador noted that the
current British Ambassador, a talented and experienced diplomat who
most recently served as the British Ambassador to Belarus, is
intensely interested in human rights but has adopted a more
cautious profile in Tashkent, following the Craig Murray debacle,
in which a previous British Ambassador\'s confrontational stance on
human rights issues all but severed UK relations with Uzbekistan.
4. NORLAND - Tashkent - Article about 'human rights and police conference' - 2008
1. (SBU) Summary: The USAID-funded Open Dialogue Project,
under the auspices of the Institute for New Democracies (IND)
and the University of Eastern Kentucky, in conjunction with
the state-supported Foundation for Regional Policy, sponsored
an international conference in Tashkent on March 5-6 focusing
on law enforcement and human rights issues. Despite some
international criticism that the event was merely a talk
shop, the conference was a chance for a wide range of
American and European law enforcement and legal experts to
engage a key group of Government of Uzbekistan officials on
important issues. As expected, the Uzbek side highlighted
major steps such as the abolition of the death penalty and
the adoption of a law transferring arrest warrants from
prosecutors to the courts. Nevertheless, officials from
power ministries, the parliament, supreme court, and academic
organizations listened intently as a U.S. Federal Judge
analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the new habeas
corpus law. Uzbek police officials also heard relevant case
studies about forensic examinations, community policing
techniques, and conflict avoidance.
. . .
18. (SBU) Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig
Murray, who has gained international media recognition for
his recent book about Uzbekistan, criticized from afar this
conference as a gathering of \"talking heads.\" (His remarks
were picked up by the website ozodlik.org.) However, as with
previous events sponsored by the few USG-supported NGOs in
Uzbekistan, the conference provided an important opportunity
for Western law enforcement experts to share ideas, advice,
and experiences with an important group of Uzbek officials
which needs exposure to outside viewpoints.
19. (SBU) Reforms may happen slowly in Uzbekistan, where
there remains a penchant to do things from the top-down, but
this conference underscored the fact they do sometimes
happen. The two key legal reforms discussed in detail at
this conference were made possible in large part by the
previous work of U.S.-supported entities. Sustained
engagement now may likewise lead to desired further reforms,
especially of the recent habeas corpus law. The sensitive
topics included on this agenda could not have been discussed
just one year ago, and the Government of Uzbekistan has
already asked Open Dialogue to organize a roundtable
addressing torture as quickly as possible. We believe the
talking heads have some important things to say and the talk
is not in vain. The conference recommendations have been
circulated to Government of Uzbekistan ministries with a
response time of one week. The Ambassador told the closing
plenary that implementation is key. Quoting an Uzbekistan
human rights lawyer, the Ambassador emphasized the importance
of progress on the ground in order to avoid the lyrical
conclusion about legal reform: \"you can see it, but you
can\'t eat it.\"
After reading Murray's books, the thought of US police 'engaging' with the Uzbek state makes me a little nauseous. It would be like the FBI meeting with Reinhard Heydrich in the 1930s to discuss how to reform the Nazi legal system. Yes. I'm sure the Nazis will get right on that.
OK, but how then, did Interpol form? I don't know. That's another story, for another time.
Another funny anecdote - the head of the US intelligence agency the OSS, Wild Bill Donovan, actually wanted to invite Soviet NKVD (KGB) police officers to the US to do 'exchange' work in the country. J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI nixed that idea.
Wikileaks cable dumps, namely http://cryptome.org/z/z.7z, Sep 2011