30 December 2005

The Power of Blogs - Ain't that the Truth?

Few can match the British Government when it comes to belligerent secrecy. Under the shameful Official Secrets Act, not only is practically everything a state secret, but there are no public interest exceptions that allow the whistle to be blown on corrupt, deceitful or inept politicians, for example.

One person suffering mightily at the hands of the British Government and its attempts to stifle the truth is Craig Murray. Until recently, he was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. But his growing distaste for the current Uzbeki regime, and the for the British Government's complicity in obtaining intelligence extracted by foreign torturers (specifically Uzbeki ones), has led him to become one of both governments' most articulate and implacable critics.

Of course the British Government hardly wants the information he has been privy to out in the open, and it has been steadily applying pressure to keep it secret. A few years back, it would have succeeded. But in these days of the Internet it has already lost that battle.

Murray has posted some deeply incriminating documents to his blog (read them here, and weep at the Machiavellian duplicitousness and moral degradation of the UK Government). Just as importantly, he has asked other bloggers to copy and publish them.

Heaven knows that I have no time for facile boosterism that sees every blogger - all 24 million of them - as a potential William Shakespeare. But never mind the quality, feel the width: their astonishing numbers, and their continuing growth, make them potentially powerful weapons in the fight against closed minds in general, and official secrecy in particular. As this useful page shows, the Uzbekistan genie is out of the proverbial bottle, and nothing the UK Government can do is going to put it back.

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