CIA ‘Obsessed’ With Former UK Envoy Who Will Testify in Spying-on-Assange Case

Craig Murray says he’s been asked to testify in the case of illegal spying against Julian Assange. 

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange says he was the “top target” of the 24/7 surveillance of Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in London by the Spanish security company UC Global, which, according to press reports and court documents, shared the surveillance with the CIA.

Craig Murray said he has been contacted by an attorney in the spying case on Assange and that he will be going to Madrid to testify. The founder of UC Global, David Morales, was arrested over the surveillance (including privileged Assange-lawyer conversations) and is on trial. 

Murray told former CIA analyst Ray McGovern in an email, shared with Consortium News with Murray’s permission, that the CIA was “obsessed” with him.


Murray told McGovern that he had offered to give evidence to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who spent $32 million and more than two years investigating an alleged conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, including how WikiLeaks obtained emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Mueller concluded there was no evidence of a conspiracy between Moscow and Trump, but maintained Russian agents “hacked” the emails and delivered them to WikiLeaks for publication.

Murray has said that different persons with legal access to the DNC and Podesta emails were WikiLeaks’ sources.

“I wrote to Mueller offering to give evidence, never received any reply,” Murray wrote to McGovern on Wednesday. “Never had any request for an interview by any US authorities.”

Murray then wrote, “BUT I received a message from the lawyer in the case in Madrid about the spying on Assange in the Embassy, contracted by the CIA, which said that I was the ‘top target’ for the contractors and the evidence shows they were ‘obsessed with’ me. I shall be going to Madrid to give evidence.”

Murray added: “Just why the US security services declined my offer of free evidence yet were obsessed with spying on me is an interesting question…”   

Surveillance video that includes Murray visiting Assange:

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

44 comments for “CIA ‘Obsessed’ With Former UK Envoy Who Will Testify in Spying-on-Assange Case

  1. Mark Thomason
    July 26, 2020 at 13:50

    He outed them for torture, and for “fixing the intelligence around the policy.”

    They still do all that. They just don’t get exposed as much. They instead hunt down those who exposed them before.

  2. Dale Lehman
    July 25, 2020 at 14:17

    “The charges against Assange are clear and are to be argued in an American Court of Law.”

    Contrary to the above assertion the nature of the charges do not allow the defense to argue. Nor will the jury hear of its right to nullify the law that the Federal Government is abusing. Justice in American courts for political prisoners is “political” and if it comes, usually too late for the accused to be anything more than academic.

    Mr. Simmons assertion that Julian will “face justice in the USA.” is to pretend that Guantanamo, torture, kidnapping, lying to Congress, aggressive war, and routine violation of the United States Constitution and International Law have not been normalized by the current and past administrations. The charges against Julian have changed over time to fit the game plan; not unlike the justifications presented to the British government, but exposed by a “leak” to the British public, as “fixing the facts”, to justify its participation in the illegal attack on Iraq. When informed that British government lawyers were having trouble with the facts presented by the US for the pending attack, they were told by Secretary of State Madeline Albright to, “find another lawyer.”

    The charges against Julian have morphed over time to become an attack on the human right to access and publish information exposing government crimes. And as for absconding, the Swedish legal system was corrupted by the U.S. to manufacture the charges that were manipulated to entrap Julian for capture. What is tainted is not Julian’s behavior but that of U.S.Government, the CIA and accomplices in Sweden. There was nothing above board on the part of the U.S. government in this matter as Mr. Simmons would have one believe. It is the U.S. Government that is the criminal entity. The World has the gun camera footage and the communications to prove it, not that facts matter to him in this case.

    The U.S. Government has resurrected the death penalty. Guarantees from U.S. officials that Julian will not be subject to execution are as worthless as its claim to have been an honest broker between the Palestinians and Israel. Mr. Simmons reveals his scorn for the British people and justice with his certainty of the extradition hearing’s outcome, “not a question of if …. only a question of when.”

    • Gerard Vaughan
      July 26, 2020 at 10:48

      Dale Lehman
      Well set out and stated. Well said. The US govt is the criminal entity.
      They could do themselves a favour and drop the “case” – if only they had one !

    • July 27, 2020 at 16:08

      This is all about people telling the truth people with INTEGRITY that believe in JUSTICE, if we let JULIAN ASSANGE go to America he will never see Justice if he is sent by the British courts and the British Goverment no one in this country is safe and the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT no longer has credibility, if we let our politicians give in to AMERICA there is no point to having a Government in this country ,we are talking about Murder of INNOCENT CIVILIANS in the hands of AMERICAN military forces ,What has happened to United Nations .

  3. DeQuincey
    July 24, 2020 at 07:34

    The ABC footage embedded here was shown on the ABC in Australia in February

    Given the conflict of interests of the first judge, the abysmal partisan and predjudiced behaviour of the present one, the circumstances of his arrest, the exposure of his privileged conversations to his accusors, that GB has a commitment against poltitical extradition, and the fact that he has served his time, the trial is a set-up and Assange would clearly not see a fair trial were he extradited.

    In a just country a mistrial would be called and he would be released.

    • Gerard Vaughan
      July 26, 2020 at 10:50

      Such a pity there is no “up” button on this thing.

  4. Patrick kerrigan
    July 24, 2020 at 04:32

    Good luck Craig.

  5. Anna Lippert
    July 23, 2020 at 17:18

    It is unthinkable to have to enunciate that physical protection of Craig Murray becomes imperative.

  6. Andrew Thomas
    July 23, 2020 at 15:31

    Well stated, Tim Jones. Please take every imaginable precaution, Mr. Murray.

  7. DW Bartoo
    July 23, 2020 at 15:19

    Suppose, Harry, you were to briefly tell us how it went down and what really happened,

    Share with us what Zuck revealed to you.

    It is not sufficient to simply say, “Go read this”, without at least a brief sense of what might be found, a sense of the larger perspective.

    The Repubs may well have been playing the game, from fingers in the Steele Dossier, to other aspects of fomenting another, profitable and politically “compelling” Cold War.

    However, if you are suggesting that Russian “actors” decided the pathetic non-choice of 2016, then you will need to do far more convincing, with your own words.

    Russiagate was an actual hoax, a concoction of deceit, malfeasance at the highest levels, and corporate media hype, and it was obviously so, from the beginning.

    The whole point was to excuse Hillary’s loss and to dominate the news cycle.

    Trumpian “antics” certainly played some havoc with the second, yet Russiagate still staggers on, especially in the U$, but also the U.K.

    Nonetheless, for four years the duopoly show, the mindless sandbox “politics” of rewarding the oligarchs and gutting the nation, has gone on quite swimmingly.

    Evidence is no longer required for the most outlandish of official pronouncements, and the plight of the many, even during a pandemic which is going to morph into a deep, overpowering economic depression, as “law and order” has become the new authoritarian (and bipartisan – despite the symbolic taking of the knee) battle cry to oppresss and suppress those many.

    Russiagate has played its role of divisiveness and dumbing down.

    And it was all hokum and hogwash.

    • VallejoD
      July 24, 2020 at 13:27

      Amen Amen Amen

    • Gerard Vaughan
      July 26, 2020 at 10:53

      Good one. Pity no up button !!

  8. Lilain Duffy
    July 23, 2020 at 14:51

    Someone made a very important, to my mind, point that Craig Murray may well testify in Madrid, but he may not be allowed re-entry to UK. @CraigMurray beware! You are needed in Britain. Julian’s welfare depends heavily on you.

    • July 23, 2020 at 22:07

      I would certainly agree, and it is high time that the whole network in support of Sustainable Development Goal for 2030 #16 begin to see the corruption surrounding the malicious and arbitrary persecution of Julian as an example of systemic structural violence against an upholder of #Principle7Nuremberg. There is no excuse for betraying the idea that the public is the owner of information on war atrocities that governments try to hide.

    • July 23, 2020 at 22:10

      It’s time to get civil society around the world to take a stand that Julian is the facilitator to ensure that information on war atrocities be classed as being owned by the public, when governments go to lengths to conceal such information. No one since WWII has done more than Julian to enable Principle 7 of the Nuremberg Principles to be practiced.

    • Gerard Vaughan
      July 26, 2020 at 10:58

      I had an email from The Cons today suggesting that I donate in order “unleash all the pent-up potential of the UK – or something. I replied with an explanatory note, including why I leaved UK for Bulgaria, back in 2006, that I have rather more likely “causes” to nurture with my bit of spare pension. If they do as you fear, I shall be extra glad I declined, otherwise I might have had to gnaw one of my legs off, or something.

  9. DW Bartoo
    July 23, 2020 at 14:11

    I am curious about the “debt” which you consider that Assange owed/owes ” to society”, Dave.

    A debt suggests either some crime, trespass, or some actual harm done.

    What, very specifically, do you think Assange did to harm “society”?

    Frankly, Assange has done society many services, he has provided insight into and evidence of criminal activity, of war crimes, of corruption, of nefarious governmental behavior and not once have those revelations been proved false or wrong.

    Wikileaks’s accuracy score is 100%, far above and beyond that of many revered “mainstream” media.

    To term the ongoing injustice the “Assange Affair” places the onus upon Julian, when the egregious behavior, from the beginning has been that of several governments; the U$, the U.K., Sweden, and Ecuador.

    Nils Melzer, now serving as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, has provided precisely the history and context you seek, dating back to June of 2019.

    His report has been widely available and was even covered, here, at Consortium News.

    I suggest that you read that report, as you will find it extremely useful in understanding what has happened to Julian Assange, as well as exposing the appalling behavior of the governments listed above.

    • Cass
      July 24, 2020 at 00:55

      “Wikileaks’s accuracy score is 100%, far above and beyond that of many revered “mainstream” media.”

      Mainstream media would be hard pressed to come up with the single issue of their choice that could meet that test.

    • joey_n
      July 24, 2020 at 18:04

      One reason I have trouble trusting Spitfire List at all is the way Dave Emory describes Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as fascists. (There’s also his pro-Democrat, pro-Hillary Clinton bias, but I digress.)


      WikiLeaks is a fascist, “Alt-Right” institution that aided Trump’s election. Facebook, one of whose largest stockholders is Trump supporter Peter Thiel, also helped aid the election of “The Donald.”

      I don’t understand. Julian Assange exposes American war crimes, and this is how Emory thanks him? What gives?

  10. Deborah Andrew
    July 23, 2020 at 12:23

    We must hope that Craig Murray will be well-protected. The reach of the U$ is wide, devious, without any moral boundaries. And includes others without conscience around the world.

    That the murder of Seth Rich was not more fully investigated is a strong indication that he was the individual who transferred the data from the DNC server and shared it with Wiki Leaks. The evidence provided by VIPS and Ray McGovern strongly indicate that hacking could not have occurred.

    The continued efforts to attribute various nefarious actions to Russia, the Kremlin and Putin are unsubstantiated.

    I think it important to acknowledge the role Obama played in the attempt to extradite Assange as well as his vicious, agressive assault on more whistleblowers than all prior presidents combined. The level of corruption, secrecy, immorality that has pervaded Washington and the U$ government for a long time must be both acknowledged and exposed if we are to have any change of not only freeing and exonerating Assange, all the other whistleblowers, and to put an end to the chicanery.

    Given the number of individuals, glorified and admired by many, who have served in high places there will be a fierce effort to protect them from exposure: Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Obama, Biden, etc. And then there is the complicity of the media.

    My thanks to all who are on the front lines of this effort and to Consortium News for keeping us well informed.

    • Gerard Vaughan
      July 26, 2020 at 11:03

      Here here. Pity there is no up/down buttons

  11. Dave
    July 23, 2020 at 10:59

    Perhaps Joe Lauria and Craig Murray can combine their knowledge of the Assange Affair to present to the public a concise and definitive chronological history of the charges against Assange and the outcomes of said charges. My reading of the matter is that he has paid his debt to society, possibly being convicted under concocted and spurious charges. Why he is still incarcerated and under what specific charges is he being held and why has he been denied bail pending prosecution of his case simply baffles me. My basic question: Is Assange being held under Brit law or some sort of an American/Brit conspiracy to muzzle his open court statements. It is obvious that the Brit Establishment is doing its best to delay or obfuscate any open court hearings and/or trial of Assange.

    • Dave Simmons
      July 23, 2020 at 13:24

      The charges against Assange are clear and are to be argued in an American Court of Law. Julian “the absconder” Assange is held in remand in HMP Belmarsh due to his unwillingness to accept being extradited to face justice in the USA. He cannot be released since he cannot be trusted. He requested a two week delay in reporting for extradition to Sweden and used that time to clear ducking into the Ecuadorian Embassy with then leftist Ecuadorian President Raphael Correa.

      The UK has no formal Constitution. Their Constitution are the collective Acts of Parliament. The Extradition Act of Parliament supersedes all individual Extradition Treaties with various counties and is the ultimate test of a an extradition request’s validity.

      It requires three conditions to be met.

      1) The extraditing country will not subject the extradited person to the death penalty. Agreed!

      2) No additional charged will be lodged against the person to be extradited. Agreed!

      3) The extraditing country has a valid judicial system. Established!

      It is not a question of if Assange will be extradited, only a question of when.

    • Barbara
      July 23, 2020 at 15:57

      I it is what he has not made public that the various politicians are not wanting made known.

      July 24, 2020 at 04:25

      Assange is being held on remand for possible extradition on US charges of espionage and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. He was denied bail because he was considered a flight risk based on his receiving asylum in the Ecuador embassy. He was never charged by Sweden. He was charged with skipping bail in London and has already served that sentence.

  12. Rev. John D Zeigler
    July 23, 2020 at 09:47

    “Though the cause of evil prosper, Yet tis truth alone is strong; Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne is wrong. Yet that scaffold sways the future, And, behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow Keeping watch above His own.”

    Once to Every Man and Nation/ hymn by James Russell Lowell, 1845

    Thank God for those who speak truth to power, regardless the cost to themselves!

  13. Katj
    July 23, 2020 at 04:40

    I don’t think Seth Rich can respond

  14. July 23, 2020 at 03:04

    What’s the bet the FCO will stop him going to Spain just like Bernard Colliery was prevented by Australia from testifying to the Hague over Canberras despicable spying for Woodside Petroleum on the East Timorese delegation negotiating the return of stolen Timor Gap oil fields.

    • Tim
      July 23, 2020 at 12:21

      Or they’ll let him go to Madrid but refuse to let him back in on his return!

    • DW Bartoo
      July 23, 2020 at 14:49

      Do you imagine that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would repeat the performance used against Collaery on Murray, Andrew Nichols?

      The circumstances are rather different, as are the relative “positions” of Collaery and Murray in terms of suggesting that State secrets or “security” are at some fantasized risk.

      I do not, in any way doubt that the U.K. might try to thwart justice regarding any and every aspect of the “legal” charade around turning Assange over to the U$, I just wonder how effective such effort might prove to be?

      Of Tim, I would ask a similar question.

      That is, what possible reasons might Her Majesty’s Government raise against Murray’s return to England?

      Again, both Tory and Labour are totally aligned with the abuse of Assange such that the political establishment would have little qualm in terms of hindering Murray’s testimony.

      I simply do not see how anything that Brit officialdumb might could be seen as anything but ludicrously heavy-handed and foolish.

      While majorities of the U$ and Brit public may still believe the worst, as their respective media have instructed, more people in both rather mindless nations, are beginning to look into the truth of things, on very many levels, and the mistreatment of Julian Assange is one of those areas where the “official story” is looking more shaky and disingenuous by the day.

    • dean 1000
      July 23, 2020 at 18:57

      Murray may have mailed an affidavit of his testimony to the Spanish lawyer in case his plane was delayed by bad weather.

    • July 25, 2020 at 04:06

      Thank you Andrew – good to keep that memory alive. The Australian Government is as evil as any in the Anglosphere. Eventually there will be an accounting.

  15. DW Bartoo
    July 22, 2020 at 18:58

    Julian Assange is not facing legal jeopardy, Thomas Mellman, for the disclosure of the DNC emails.

    He is being charged with a number of other things relating to the revelation of U$ war crimes, specifically related to the “Collateral Murder” video.

    Principle does matter, to Assange, and to Chelsea Manning, who spent time in prison twice, most recently for refusing to implicate Assange before a Federal Grand Jury.

    Principles, if they are to really matter, are to mean anything, cannot be fair-weather holdings, to be discarded when things get rough or tenuous.

    Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Craig Murray, Ray McGovern, Bill Binney, and many other courageous human beings understand that and behave accordingly.

    McGovern and Binney are mentioned in the further context of having long ago made very clear how Assange got the information which the Democrats and the M$M media, along with certain “intelligence” and “law enforcement” officials, spun into Russiagate.

    That is why Robert Mueller and his “investigation” are mentioned in the article, which is actually about how Assange, his attorneys, and others, including Craig Murray were spied upon while Assange was, legally, living in asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

    A Spanish company did the spying and passed the information along to U$ “intelligence”.

    Which is directly counter to the principles required for an actual rule of law to exist.

    Even if governments will not abide by foundational principle, it is wise that individuals do have the courage and conscience to do so.

    A world totally bereft of principle would be a world of perpetual war and total corruption.

    Perhaps we are already dangerously close to finding ourselves in such a world?

    • teresa smith
      July 23, 2020 at 08:55

      I believe we have reached that tipping point.

    • Harry
      July 23, 2020 at 12:14

      Read Zucked and you’ll realize that it wasn’t @spin” into “Russiagate”. It actually happened and the Republicans are neck deep into it.

  16. DW Bartoo
    July 22, 2020 at 17:35

    My great appreciation to Craig Murray, Ray McGovern, Joe Lauria, and Consortium News.

    Russiagate seems to have yet a few gasps left and apparently consumes the obcessive interest of both U$ and U.K. “Intelligence”, although another term might be both more accurate and more fitting.

    Once again, CN has “scooped” the M$M whose disinterest in actual evidence makes clear that the corporate media is totally aligned with the (lacking) intelligence agencies.

    The Assange case provides ample (and actual) evidence of the media complicity in the framing and and hard selling of both Russiagate and the attempt to silence, intimidate, torture, and imprison Assange in a fashion quite bereft of any conceivable connection to the rule of law.

    Indeed, it is an empty “form” of “law”, a contrived appearance of “legality” quite reminiscent of what transpired in a certain European nation some eight decades ago.

    That its purpose is to punish the revelation of war crimes makes that historic connection all the more damning.

    • July 23, 2020 at 06:50

      “…the attempt to silence, intimidate, torture, and imprison Assange in a fashion quite bereft of any conceivable connection to the rule of law.”

      Indeed, but this is hardly the only example of America’s government operating outside the rule of law.

      Right now, unidentified federal agents are teargassing and arresting protesters downtown Seattle. The Mayor of the city was just teargassed. People are arrested by unknown agents and tossed into vans. Sounds a bit like the good old Soviet Union during one of the Purges.

      But even more so is America’s behavior abroad. Its effort to topple a twice-elected government in Venezuela have involved theft of national assets, illegal sanctions (American laws applied to people who are not American). a blockade, putting bounties on the heads of elected leaders, crashing the electrical grid a number of times (ruining the food in millions of refrigerators and stopping the operation of life-supporting machines), and other thuggery.

      Where is any rule of law in all that? And where are the American voices against it?

      How about the coup in Bolivia against an elected government? How about giving away what is not America’s to give in Palestine? How about the horrible pressure, abuse, and murders in Iran, a country which had abided by its treaty commitments completely? How about illegal troops and theft in Syria? Illegal troops in Iraq?

  17. Thomas Mellman
    July 22, 2020 at 16:38

    I have all the respect in the world for Craig Murray and Julian Assange, but I simply do not understand why they don’t give the long explanation of how Assange got the DNC emails.
    Please don’t respond about journalistic principles. This is bigger than Wikileaks, or any journalist’s professional reputation. There need also be no respect for any coward sources who don’t step forward and save Julian from a fate he doesn’t deserve. This could be about war and peace.
    Withholding this information furthermore jeopardizes Mr. Murray’s life, assuming he knows the background.

    • John A
      July 23, 2020 at 03:28

      Because Assange is an honorable man who respects his sources and ensures they remain confidential. Yes, it is quite possible that the source was the late Seth Rich, and his death was related to this so no need, effectively, to protect his anonymity any longer. However, a principle is a principle. I admire Assange all the more for this stance.

    • Stevie Boy
      July 23, 2020 at 07:53

      You’re being naive and a bit disingenuous – exposing sources would stop a lot of whistleblowers coming forward, and would undoubtedly destroy their lives. Wikileaks, Assange and Craig Murray understand this perfectly, it’s a shame you don’t. The real enemy and criminals here are the state, why don’t they give the ‘long explanation’ for their acts ?
      And, have you considered that there is a possibility that the source for the DNC emails may be dead …

    • Tim Jones
      July 23, 2020 at 08:47

      I wish Craig Murray well and hope he is protected from the powers of the Deep State, and able to testify in the Madrid case.

    • July 23, 2020 at 10:04

      Seth Rich would come forward, but he was suicided.

      July 23, 2020 at 10:54

      Stevie Boy, that’s dead as in Seth Rich is dead.

    • Norumbega
      July 23, 2020 at 22:26

      As reported in the story above, Murray has _offered_ to give legal testimony. Robert Mueller’s team showed no interest. There are indications that Assange has made a similar offer, and that _preventing_ him from testifying on the matter of the DNC and Podesta leaks has been a significant motive on the part of the British and American deep states for imprisoning and torturing him.

      However, just a couple days ago, lawyers for Fox (in the defamation case brought by the parents of Seth Rich) submitted legal briefs requesting the British justice system make Assange available for questioning.

      Note that Lauria writes accurately that Murray has alleged that two different sources were responsible for the DNC and Podesta leaks, respectively. So we shouldn’t just speak of “the DNC emails” and “the source”. Furthermore, according to Murray, both sources were American. He has strongly hinted that the former source was a DNC insider, and the latter someone from intelligence or law enforcement with access to relevant NSA materials. Neither, according to Murray, had anything to do with “Guccifer 2.0”.

      We might understandably wish for more details – but should direct our concern to the legal and political system’s lack of interest in establishing the facts. But we can start with what we have: Murray’s meeting near American University with a person involved in the Podesta leak occurred in late September, 2016. The meeting had an auxiliary purpose, and Murray was not personally involved in any hand-off of files (contrary to misreporting in the Daily Mail). The files were already in possession of WikiLeaks at that time, but had not yet been published. Murray admits that his information regarding the DNC leak is less direct, but claims to know something about that source as well (we may infer that Assange confided in him during one of his visits to the Ecuadorian embassy). He has also repeatedly expressed interest and concern about the Seth Rich case, and criticized the lack of such interest on the part of the authorities.

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