John Sweeney

Tyranny and Treachery

Murder in Samarkand: A British Ambassador’s Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror


Mainstream Books 400pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Put aside the clunky subtitle and the garland from moral pimple John Pilger – the anti-Establishment Antipodean’s a hero until you meet him – and what you have here is an amazing narrative, beautifully written, of one man’s war on the War on Terror. 

Craig Murray was the youngest British ambassador when he was appointed to represent Her Majesty in the Central Asian tyranny of Uzbekistan. Brilliant, unorthodox, committed to championing the causes of the United Kingdom, free trade and human rights, Murray had served his country with aplomb in Poland, Ghana and in the Citadel in Whitehall, playing real-life, real-time war games against Saddam’s arms-procurement network after the invasion of Kuwait. But the rising star sizzled up like an overdone sausage when he came up against the War on Terror. 

The fascination of Craig Murray’s tale of his fall from grace at the hands of the Foreign Office is that he gives so much ammunition to his enemies. He freely admits that he does hang out in dodgy bars, he does drink,

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