Westminster Foundation For Torture

by craig on July 4, 2010 11:03 am in Rendition

duffield.jpg

This is Linda Duffield’s take on the vexed moral question on whether or not it can be justifiable to boil somebody alive to obtain information from them:

There were difficult ethical and moral issues involved and at times difficult judgements had to be made weighing one clutch of “moral issues” against another. It was not always easy for people in post (embassies) to see and appreciate the broader picture, eg piecing together intelligence material from different sources in the global fight against terrorism.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/06/proof_of_compli.html#comments

Linda is now the chief executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, an all-party supported organisation, funded by the FCO, to spread democracy abroad. This is their blurb:

Established in 1992, WFD is an independent public body sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, from which it receives an annual grant. Over the years we have grown in strength and diversity, working to achieve sustainable political change in emerging democracies. Working with and through partner organisations, we seek to strengthen the institutions of democracy, principally political parties (through the work of the UK political parties), parliaments and the range of institutions that make up civil society. We believe that, for a democracy to flourish, all of these institutions must be strong and sustainable.

I don’t imagine this includes training in the reasons why it can be OK for a democracy to condone boiling people alive, but who knows? I have worked with WFD in Poland and it used to do very good work, but it was distorted by Blair to focus its work in support of places we were invading, occupying, bombing or selling arms to. See how many of the current case studies on its website fall into that category?

http://www.wfd.org/pages/standard.aspx?i_PageID=144

And what an interesting gathering this was in Prague of the proponents of “democracy” by invasion, organised by “democracyandsecurity.org”.

http://www.democracyandsecurity.org/doc/List_of_Participants.pdf

The conference brought together Richard Perle, Aznar, the American Enterprise Institute, the exiled Cuban opposition, numerous Israeli representatives and the neo-con funded Amir Abbas Fakhravr of the “Iranian Freedom Institute of the USA”. From Wikipedia about Fakhravr:

In late April 2006, he arrived in the United States from Dubai where he had been greeted by Richard Perle [5] who interrupted his trip to central Asia in order to meet Fakhravar in a hotel. [23] They had been in touch through a contact since 2003. [23] Their meeting in Dubai was recorded and some of it is included in a documentary titled “The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom”. [24][25]

Since his arrival he has called for a unified Iranian opposition to the Islamic government, in order to bring regime change in Iran. [23] He has had several meetings with American officials from the Pentagon to the State Department, as well as with Vice President Dick Cheney.[26]

Some very interesting other delegates included the Las Vegas Sands Corp.. From Wikipedia:

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) is a casino resort company based in Paradise, Nevada. It is the world’s leading Casino based company with a market capitalization of $17.3 billion as of April 2010. At one point in 2007, it had a market capitalization of $43.7 billion, making its majority shareholder, Sheldon Adelson, one of the world’s richest men.

Any idea what they were doing there? Oh yes, and Linda Duffield was there too. Doubtless it was relaxing to be in the company of so many who might share her views on the efficacy of torture.

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57 Comments

  1. Of course, some of us regard democracy as a means of stopping “sustainable political change” and “strengthen[ing] the institutions of democracy”.

    A Marxist-Revolutionary agitprop by any other name…

  2. Edward Spalton

    4 Jul, 2010 - 12:17 pm

    As the late Professor Joad of Brains Trust fame used to say “It all depends what you mean by…” – in this case “condoning” torture.

    The world is full of countries with beastly governments, many of which treat prisoners and suspects appallingly. If we don’t deal with them (e.g. China) with whom do we deal?

    Did the UK’s alliance with Soviet Russia during the war “condone” the methods of torture and mass murder which that country habitually employed?

    If the Soviets had (unusually) sent vital information known to have been obtained by torture, would HMG have been justified in using it to save British lives? (I think so)

    Going further back, was HMG “condoning” Bolshevik terror by sending Bruce Lockhart to establish relations with them in the early days of the revolution?

    Was HMG condoning genocide when it supported the Tudjman regime in Croatia? Tudjman had written defending genocide and NATO sent air power to help him practise it against the Krajina Serbs. Mrs Thatcher accepted a decoration from him. Was she “condoning” genocide?

    I am very glad I don’t have to deal with these questions but very much doubt whether any international convention can have any real, practical effect. Whilst Britain may be able to exercise some good influence occasionally and should control its own operatives strictly, torture seems to be a result of Original Sin in a fallen world – and HMG controls very little of that.

  3. Edward,

    You take resort, as torture apologists always do, in the Holywood fantasy of the single bullet item of life-saving information obtained by torture – the “ticking-bomb scenario”.

    In fact it’s not like that. We were knowingly accepting via the CIA a stream of information obtained by torture in uzbekistan, where the vast majority of those tortured had nothing to do with terrorism, and none of the material pointed to a threat to the UK. Which is why La Linda was falling back on the argument that the information helped build up a wider picture.

    By accepting the mateiral we and the US were creating a market for torture. More people were being tortured to supply us with information, and the Uzbeks got rewards – international backing for the regime and hard cash to the security services from the CIA.

    Your “torture works” defence could have been put forward by Torquemada or Walsingham or Himmler. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  4. You also make an otiose point I have frequently had thrown at me. It is almost always wise to have diplomatic relations with other countries, whoever is in charge of them. But that does not necessitate accepting information from their torture chambers.

  5. I’m confused. Is/was this drab looking woman HM Ambassador to the Czech Republic? I thought that she was based in the FCO in London and held the post of Director Wider Europe.

    http://www.neoconeurope.eu/Linda_Duffield

    She looks as if she could have been at home in the Ceausescu regime.

  6. somebody

    she went from director wider europe to Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

  7. thanks for enlightenment. lloking through the liust of delegates, it appears thatthere are many from the Chech republic and israel, some from Poland, a sole Ms. Tomashenko from the Ukraine, but

    Nobody from Hungary Romania, Turkey or Lithuania and Estonia, are these countries not interested in democracy and security as hawked by this eclectioc club.

    Anything Richard perle is involved stinks of double dealing and tripple agenda’s, he is the work horse of the apocalypse.

    Question to Edward: do you think the dastardly handling by US/UK and the French, ‘holing up’ German soldiers returning from the war in fileds, starve them slowly to death at below survival ration calories, some 300.000 of them, was slow torture? against the standing conventions of POW’s?

    Do you also belive that the subsequent destruction of all relating evidence to that torture feast by the victors, on already emaciated soldiers returning from the war, was something beast do, revenge torture and subsequent killing, well after the war, treatment that was not metted out to those responsible in the Nuremberg trials, whatever one thinks of them?

    Toprture in this and many other colonial rulers countries has a history far longer than Human rights, to deny it now, because of some pathetic notion of ‘democracies don’t torture’ is childish and naive rewriting of history.

  8. David Halpin FRCS

    4 Jul, 2010 - 1:03 pm

    Craig reminds me of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Is this not the outfit that spent our money tweeking the vote in the presidential elections in the Ukraine? The major help for that orange revolution came though from an oily ex-Russian oiligarch.

    This is a quote from its web site re Ukraine:-

    ”An important contribution was made to ensuring free and fair elections by preparing activists with the skills to educate voters on their rights in preparation for the 2004 presidential election.”

    You will note ‘educate’. The words here fit very well with those from Ms Duffield at the head of Craig’s posting. There is a continuum between the ability to lie and to justify torture of man or animal.

  9. David

    Interestingly Julia Timoshenko was among those at the Prague conference.

  10. This sounds like the British version of the National Endowment for Democracy. Basically, the NED does sort-of overtly what the CIA used to do covertly. People from big financial institutions seem to be engaged in proliferating various ‘foundations’ all over the world. The octopus.

  11. mike cobley

    4 Jul, 2010 - 1:55 pm

    “Working with and through partner organisations, we seek to strengthen the institutions of democracy, principally political parties (through the work of the UK political parties), parliaments and the range of institutions that make up civil society. We believe that, for a democracy to flourish, all of these institutions must be strong and sustainable.”

    This is the key passage, I feel. It sounds high-flown and lofty but cunningly leaves undefined “the range of insitutions that make up civil society” – this is code for neoliberal markets, advanced financial instruments under the control of the private sector, as well as the popular media which – under GATS – can quite legitimately be bought by brobdingnagian transnational corporations.

    That’s pretty much all you need for a managed democracy – an economic sphere utterly fenced off from democratic control, and a media owned by corporate interests. Yay, let freedumb ring.

  12. I agree, Mike. I take it then, Mike, that you see yourself as a Lilliputian?(!) Or perhaps a Lemuel G?

  13. Edward Spalton,

    you seem to be unaware of exactly what it was that Craig Murray was opposing. In Uzbekistan, the authorities were (and are) torturing ordinary people to secure false confessions of involvement with terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda. This “information” was then given to the CIA, as “proof” of the Uzbek regime’s commitment to the War on Terror. Such “information” does not in any way help to save lives, US, UK or any other. It does cost the lives of Uzbeks.

    International conventions can only have any real, practical effects if countries including the US and the UK actually abide by them.

    You write that “Britain [...] should control its own operatives strictly”. In fact, this seems to have been the problem. A POLICY of approval of torture was in place. Britain tried to control its “operative”, Craig Murray, and make him shut up about torture in Uzbekistan. When he proved impervious to such immoral control, they used other methods. They smeared his reputation, raised fabricated disciplinary charges against him, and sacked him.

    If you wish for fuller details, I suggest that you read Craig’s book, Murder in Samarkand.

  14. Erm, anyone notice how she actually looks a bit like a bloke. Maybe another feminist foisted on menfolk with an absurd agenda.

  15. It’s Bjorn

    http://cn.last.fm/music/Bj%C3%B6rn+Ulvaeus

    She definitely wears sensible shoes. No wonder she was so exercised about Craig’s love life.

  16. We are lay-dees, you know.

  17. Come on, guys, I know what you mean and I don’t mean to be sanctimonious or inordinately PC, but let’s focus on what the conference, etc. represents, not on how the person in the photo looks or her couture.

  18. Chubby Charles

    4 Jul, 2010 - 3:33 pm

    Reza Pahlavi and Kanan Makiya. Blasts from the past. Yulia Tymoshenko and Joe Lieberman too. Quite a party. I wonder if they dance naked round a stone owl at the end.

  19. “…Joe Lieberman too”

    Would that be the same Joe Lieberman whose regard for democracy is such that he is currently pushing through legislation that would enable Obama to shut down the internet? I thought so.

  20. Chubby Charles

    4 Jul, 2010 - 3:58 pm

    “Would that be the same Joe Lieberman whose regard for democracy is such that he is currently pushing through legislation that would enable Obama to shut down the internet? I thought so.”

    I don’t know. Doesn’t Bill Gates have the keys? Surely Al Gore must have a spare set as he was the inventor.

    Ha ha! I’m just kidding.

    I don’t know about this legistation though.

  21. actually I can’t stop focusing on that wall light

  22. Las Vegas Sands Corp – from ‘source watch’:

    Sheldon Gray Adelson “is one of several prominent conservatives and board members of the Republican Jewish Coalition funding Freedom’s Watch, a new White House front group[5] which on August 22, 2007, began “a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to urge members of Congress who may be wavering in their support for the war in Iraq not to ‘cut and run’.”[6]

    “Freedom Watch’s ad buys target both Porter and Heller in Nevada?”to the tune of $202,110.[7]

    “As of July 2008, Adelson had reportedly spent at least $30 million on political activities in the 2008 election cycle.[8]

    ….

    “…also into the newspaper business ?” in Israel.[12] Yisrael Hayom is a new daily paper closely tied to the ultra-nationalist wing of the Likud party, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s political aspirations.[13] It was recently launched with a massive free mailing to hundreds of thousands, and has attracted considerable attention,” Justin Raimondo wrote August 24, 2007, at Antiwar.com.[14]”

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Sheldon_Adelson#Controversy

  23. Chubby Charles

    4 Jul, 2010 - 4:19 pm

    I found iit now….

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-can-shut-down-internet-for-4-months-under-new-emergency-powers.html

    Unfortunately I dont understand much about the Inetrnet and how it works. Didn’t the American government kind of make it in the first place? But how can they shut down the Internet in England or in other countries? Can they do that? Do you think that is one thing being discussed at this meeting? Under “security”?

    (by the way is “internet” with a capital “I” or small “i”?)

  24. Just finished your book and now here is a photo of one of the major players, as well as an update in her CV. One is delighted with so much information.

    Thanks so much for your work, then and now, and for introducing me to a part of the world I knew little about (being an American, you see, I need to know next to nothing about anybody else.)

    Are you still able to get Uzbek people to safety now and then? Granted, that’s not an answer to such a mass problem, but it’s something.

    I thought, somewhere about two-thirds of the way through the book, that if you were to be taken into custody by Karimov or his henchfolk, the UK would probably have done little or nothing to secure your freedom (well, apart from some PR statements). That gave me a cold chill, as I imagine it might have done you.

    Please don’t misunderstand, the people who deserve the most justice are the Uzbeks, not the ambassadorial elite, but you’re the one whose face I know.

  25. “Didn’t the American government kind of make it in the first place?”

    Good lord no. It was developed by academics who wanted to be able to share research papers etc instananeously and across different platforms.

    “But how can they shut down the Internet in England or in other countries?”

    In theory they can’t but ICANN, the system that administers domain names and IP addresses, is based in the US and if it were shut down it would cause havoc world-wide.

  26. MJ,

    Chubby Charles,

    I usually capitalise “Internet”. I thought it was developed in collaboration between academics and US defence; “Darpanet”?

    Yes, the Domain Name System (DNS) is vulnerable because it’s centralised. It’s a database that turns the web addresses we see into a numeric codes. If we started caching the numeric codes ourselves, I think we could keep on-line, mostly, if the DNS servers were disabled.

    The Internet Service Providers are big companies that would shut down if ordered, but we could maintain dial-up connections across ‘phone lines. Slow, and we’d need to be prepared.

  27. Are you sure that’s not Col. Kleb as a young woman in the picture?

    Recording of an acrimonious conversation in KGB HQ:

    ‘Comrade ambassador, we need information about saboteurs and wreckers. That is why we get information from such interrogations in Lubyanka.’

    ‘Comrade Colonel, the confessions are false. They are based on torture. The interrogators are feeding us lies that they think the Comrade General Secretary wants to hear.’

    ‘Comrade, you have to remember that the words and ideas in the confessions follow a pattern. Our analysts put them together with the information from other interrogation centres, and this gives us an indication of activity in an area. You see, that can be operationally useful to our analysts.’

    ‘But Comrade, the interrogators might simply be trying to fill their norms for the number of confessions over a year required of them, as the annual target assessments come up.’

    ‘Let me remind you, Comrade ambassador, that the interrogators include Colonels in the state security service. You are wandering on to dangerous ground, and what’s more, the norms have been ordered by the …’

    (At this point the comunication has been cut).

  28. avatar singh

    4 Jul, 2010 - 5:37 pm

    In other words she is a n enemy spy in whichever country she or her organisation works. and the country targetted by her or her organsitation wouldbejustified in dealing with such enemis in whatever form it deems correct to safegaurd the sovernity of the nation concered,

    talk about democracy-first bring that to your co=own country britian then talk about democracy !

    msiot parastic group of people everr populated on theis earh and talk of democracy!

  29. avatar singh

    4 Jul, 2010 - 5:43 pm

    suhail wrote-”This sounds like the British version of the National Endowment for Democracy. Basically, the NED does sort-of overtly what the CIA used to do covertly. People from big financial institutions seem to be engaged in proliferating various ‘foundations’ all over the world. The octopus. ”

    but donot confuse octopus with cancer that is england. both are entwined now.

    “Modus operandi of british and american scumbags –Groom an opposition candidate to run against the guy you hate, pay him well and line up your media to back him.

    During the campaign, sell him as the savior of the bourgeois opposition who lost their money in the revolution. Use your own pollsters and media propaganda to convince his followers that they are going to win by a wide margin.

    When your guy loses, scream “FRAUD!” It’s akin to yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre, inflaming all those disappointed bourgeois counter-revolutionaries. Get them out on the street, setting fires, playing the victim, waving flags, ready-to-go placards, banners, women crying in front of CNN and BBC cameras and men yelling angrily ”

  30. Seriously, if Linda Duffield is looking unhappy because of some personal tragedy, I wouldn’t criticise her for that. Also, she must be most gifted and capable to have reached the rank of ambassador. I can respect accomplishment like that without approving of the views of the person concerned.

    But wouldn’t it be delicious if William Hague kicked her out of her job as ambassador for not being *sufficiently* committed to human rights, for example those of communities in the Czech republic with whom Britain had trade relations elsewhere!

  31. Well done. Nice article. This torture whore as well as the institution she now runs should be exposed for all to see.

  32. “actually I can’t stop focusing on that wall light”

    It’s those chunky ankles that draw me in. Nice.

  33. She really is out of central casting for a torture apologist

  34. Scouse Billy

    4 Jul, 2010 - 8:38 pm

    What’s wrong with you people?

    She has strong calves and an enigmatic pout.

  35. “actually I can’t stop focusing on that wall light”

    I’m more drawn to the French fireplace in the background, its mediocre, it can not be one of the main Whitehall abodes,imho, it would have more opulence to it.

    Her ankles seem to do for some of you chaps, I could not possible say as everything about her screams NOOooo, please don’t touch.

    This looks like a display of looted goods from somewhere, could be in some side office of Admirality House maybe, slap me down if I’m wrong.

  36. Torture being discussed (rather poorly) following this;

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/03/abu-ghraib-baha-mousa

    The BBC link in the article is a 2009 interview with a Military Police whistleblower, and makes for grim reading;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2009/10_october/11/donal.shtml

  37. Now tell me about Sands nightclub…I mean like Larry’s got a cathouse in St Louis he runs for Larry Silverstein this guy, Adelson’s running one he inherited from Meyer Lansky in Vegas, right?

    So these so-called Democracy Foundations with Orwellian names like AEI, OSI, and WFD are all in league with Moshepoche outfits like Sands to promote democracy and think deeply about torture?

    You guys are even more naive than I thought!

    Saps!

  38. She was at the Kaunicky Palace.

    ‘Her Excellency Linda Duffield welcoming guest at the BNG Gala Evening in Kaunicky Palace’.

    http://www.parnhamsgroup.com/news/&article=14

  39. “This is Linda Duffield’s take on the vexed moral question on whether or not it can be justifiable to boil somebody alive to obtain information from them”

    Craig, you are deliberately misleading your disciples. The vexed moral question that you mention is not whether torture is acceptable – Linda Duffield does not defend torture. The moral question is about what to do with information someone else has obtained by torture – ignore it/use it/reject it etc.

    And you are sounding more pompous by the day. Get an independent friend, if you have one, to look through your recent output.

    And beware of door-rattlers!!

  40. Neil Barker, do you know her? Personally? Lucky man. I thought you were in a far-off outpost, with not a penny to your name: our man in Gondwanaland. No? You actually in London? Our man in Legoland?

  41. That photo really should carry a mental health warning. I particularly like the way her skirt obscures part of the lower green banner, making it read “ear clean-up”. I’ve brightened the photo a bit if anyone is interested:

    http://www.killick1.plus.com/duffield.jpg

  42. Clark: sorry, but in my my book that’s not brightened up, it’s pixelated down. Her ankles still seem to follow me round the room though.

  43. MJ,

    I couldn’t see much in the darker parts of the photo, so I adjusted the brightness curve. Maybe I should check the gamma correction for my monitor. I know I overdid it a bit. I also increased the image size and the saturation. What do you mean by “pixelated down”?

  44. Richard Robinson

    5 Jul, 2010 - 1:22 am

    “You actually in London? Our man in Legoland?”

    (Denmark, shirley ? – ed)

    “the work horse of the apocalypse”

    Fantastic ! Thanks, ingo, wonderful phrase.

  45. “What do you mean by “pixelated down”?”

    Nothing really. I made it up. I just meant it seemed a bit blotchy and pixelated compared with the original.

    Incidentally I’ve just come across an excellent and free graphics programme called Photofiltre (it’s French). Portable too, no install. You might want to check it out.

  46. On the euphemistic contortions performed by the US press to avoid use of the word, “torture”, to describe waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques”:

    http://just-another-inside-job.blogspot.com/

    WARNING: This is an anti-Zionist blog and some of you may find the content offensive.

    TOUGH SHIT!

  47. Legoland.

    http://www.urban75.org/london/images/london-march07-01.jpg

    And who’s Shirley? Is that Miss Moneypenny’s first name: Shirley Moneypenny. Yes, that sounds about right.

    “If it’s Monday, it must be Denmark,” Miss Moneypenny.

    “Yes, sir. Denmark it is.”

  48. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIS_Building

    The mad design matches the minds of the inmates. It is a completely hideous building. I like the idea that there’s a tunnel connecting it to Whitehall.

    When you walk along the pavement at the rear, you get a very creepy feeling of being watched and filmed by unseen others. There never seem to be many other pedestrians about.

  49. Richard Robinson

    5 Jul, 2010 - 11:38 am

    “If it’s Monday, it must be Denmark,”

    “If it’s Denmark, it must be Monday”, I say.

  50. You’re stretching this one a bit, Craig.

    As a notoriously unamused Vegan, Linda D is just right to head the WFD which (although it may disappoint your followers to hear the bad news) is about as polite and ineffectual a force for regime change as we are ever going to see on Earth.

    Have you a shred of evidence to support the assertion that WFD was ‘distorted by Blair’?

  51. @ingo

    “Question to Edward: do you think the dastardly handling by US/UK and the French, ‘holing up’ German soldiers returning from the war in fileds, starve them slowly to death at below survival ration calories, some 300.000 of them, was slow torture? against the standing conventions of POW’s?”

    If I read this right then you are saying that 300,000 German POWs were starved by allied forces (or US, UK, France). Not to death, if I understand you, but as a form of punishment/torture.

    Do you have documentary evidence for this claim? I’d be very interested to find out more, if you do.

    “subsequent destruction of all relating evidence to that torture feast by the victors”

    If this is true, how did you come to hear about this?

  52. @Chubby Charles

    “Didn’t the American government kind of make it in the first place?”

    Inter-networking was developed as a collaboration between DARPA and a couple of US universities (I forget which, MIT was probably one). It evolved from there. By the way, don’t confuse ‘the internet’ with the worldwide web, that evolved from Tim Berners-Lee’s work (whilst at CERN, I believe).

    “But how can they shut down the Internet in England or in other countries? Can they do that?”

    Strictly, no. Though shutting down the internet in (and through) the US would cause massive disruption outside the US too. (Much as say, shutting all US ports and airports would, for instance.) You can be sure that all sorts of ways to disrupt the parts of the internet outside of direct US control exist though. Most of these would probably be construed as an on that other country though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_cyberattacks_on_Estonia

    “(by the way is “internet” with a capital “I” or small “i”?)”

    Well, ‘internet’ means any internet (i.e. a network of networks). The global internet is sometimes spelled ‘Internet’ though. Usually, though people writing ‘internet’ mean the global one.

  53. @MJ

    @Chubby Charles

    “Didn’t the American government kind of make it in the first place?”

    MJ: “Good lord no. It was developed by academics who wanted to be able to share research papers etc instananeously and across different platforms.”

    As mentioned, I think MJ seems to be confusing the worldwide web (used to ‘share research papers’) and the internet. The WWW rides ‘on top’ of the internet (as does email, etc). The internet, at the very beginning, was a joint development of DARPA (US Govt’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) and some US universities. It has grown far beyond that now.

    “But how can they shut down the Internet in England or in other countries?”

    MJ: “In theory they can’t but ICANN, the system that administers domain names and IP addresses, is based in the US and if it were shut down it would cause havoc world-wide.”

    It is true that ICANN does this sort of administration but they are not directly involved in the minute-to-minute routing of internet traffic. They manage the ‘list’ not the technology that makes copies of the ‘list’ available to the world. If they were shut down this would certainly cause a lot of confusion; but the internet wouldn’t suddenly stop working.

    Also, there is more than one official, top-level DNS server (the server that knows were to go ‘next’ when presented with ‘.com’, ‘.uk’, ‘.jp’, etc, suffixed domains). They are in more than one country. Also, there is nothing to stop unofficial top-level servers being set up (there are some, in fact).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_DNS_root

    Hypothetically, if the US shut down it’s entire internet infrastructure for a prolonged period, you could expect that I.T.-types all over the world would charging around in overdrive fixing stuff. You could expect services (which didn’t, of necessity, originate or end in the US) would slowly be ratcheted back up to something resembling normal activity over days, weeks and months. In the very long run, capacity would have to be routed around the US (perhaps meaning new cables). It’s hard to imagine what could cause such a scenario though: maybe a massive natural disaster; or an intentional act by an utterly authoritarian government. Even then some connections to some parts of the US might remain available and working.

    This is distinct though from an intentional cyber-attack by one country against another (or the whole internet). There are very many different ways this can be attempted (and many possible counters).

    Bare in mind that one of the goals of the original research was to find way for interconnected networks to resist single points of failure (accidental, or from deliberate attacks or sabotage) and to keep the networks working (even if at a degraded level).

    In many ways it parallels the development of the interstate road network in the US, which had a similar original rationale.

  54. A president or prime-minister can order torture illegal but that is not enough. Repealing and passing legislation will not be enough. A commission, inquiry or independent panel is not enough.

    The British and American people want a criminal trial & Prosecution (USA Today Gallup Feb 2009: BMRB Jan 2010).

    A criminal prosecution is likely to obtain more information than anything else – and more information is likely to quickly be made public.

    State secrets and jeopardising national security is a fallacy (Silvio Berlusconi and Romano Prodi – torture by electroshock to genitals)

    COMPLICIT IN TORTURE:

    CACI International Inc

    L-3 Communications

    John Ashcroft

    Larry Thompson

    Tom Ridge

    Tommy Franks

    Rumsfeld

    Cheney

    Bush

    Blair

    METHODS

    electric shock

    beatings

    deprivation of food and sleep

    threatened with dogs

    stripped naked and humiliated

    forceably shaving genitals

    choking

    forced to witness murder

    faeces poured on face

    held down & sodomized with tooth brushes

    paraded naked with other prsoners

    forced consumption of water until vomiting blood and fainting

    plastic ties around penis to prevent urination

    [David Dishneau, 'Abu Graib Inmates Sue Contractors, Claim Torture' AP July 1 2008]

  55. Yes, anonymous @09:11hrs, it is a creepy, awe-inspiring place, intentionally so, of course.

    I also get the feeling that some of the ‘Big Issue’ sellers and other hangers-about nearby are not really ‘Big Issue’ sellers and hangers-about at all, but people keeping an eye on the streets in the area to protect against potential attack, with studiedly ordinary folk moving in and out of the line of sight. They remind me a little of undercover cops pretending to be junkies and watching a house where drugs are being grown/sold/transited, etc. Their movements are too controlled, too premeditated. They are also too physically clean.

    At times, it seems almost like a stage-set. I half-expect Natalie Wood to coming leaping out of Vauxhall Station, singing, ‘Na-na-na-na-na-namerica!’ Too purposefully casual, naowha’a'mean? Well, once not so very long ago, I guess the IRA did launch a mortar at the building.

    No raincoats, though – disappointing, eh! What on earth has happened to covert couture?

  56. Paul,

    thanks for that informative post.

  57. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/03/abu-ghraib-baha-mousa

    Folowing the inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, more deaths in custody have occurred but have not been investigated.

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