Navalny, Ward, Assange, Snowden and the Attack on Free Speech

by craig on July 25, 2013 4:44 pm in Uncategorized

Russia does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all, in the sense of a trial mechanism aimed at determining innocence or guilt.  Exactly as in Uzbekistan, the conviction rate in criminal trials is over 99%.  If the prosecutors, who are inextricably an arm of the executive government, want to send you to jail, there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you.  The judges are purely there for show.

When critics of Putin like Alexei Navalny are convicted, therefore, we have absolutely no reassurance that the motivation behind the prosecution or the assessment of guilt was genuine.  Which is not to say that Navalny is innocent; I am in no position to judge. People are complex.   I sacrificed my own pretty decent career to the cause of human rights, but in my personal and family life I was by no means the most moral of individuals.  I see no reason for it to be impossible that all of Navalny’s excellent political work did not co-exist with a fatal weakness.  But his criticisms of Putin made him a marked man, who the state was out to get, and the most probable explanation – especially as prosecutors had looked at the allegations before and decided not to proceed – is that he is suffering for his criticisms of the President rather than a genuine offence.

It fascinates me that the Western media view the previous decision by the prosecutors not to proceed as evidence the case is politically motivated against Navalny; but fail to draw the same conclusion from precisely the same circumstance in the Assange case.

David Ward MP has not been sent to jail.  He has however had the Lib Dem whip removed, which under Clegg’s leadership perhaps he ought to consider an honour.  It is rather a commonplace sentiment that it is a terribly sad thing, that their community having suffered dreadfully in the Holocaust, the European Jews involved in founding the state of Israel went on themselves to inflict terrible pain and devastation on the Palestinians in the Nakba.   Both the Holocaust and the Nakba were horrific events of human suffering.  For this not startling observation, David Ward is removed from the Liberal Democrats.  He also stated that, with its ever increasing number of racially specific laws, its walls and racially restricted roads, Israel is becoming an apartheid state.  That is so commonplace even Sky News’ security correspondent Sam Kiley said it a few months ago, without repercussion.  In Russia you cannot say Putin is corrupt; in the UK you cannot say Israeli state policy is malign.  Neither national state can claim to uphold freedom of speech.  Meanwhile, of course, David Cameron announces plans to place filters on the internet access of all UK households.

In the United States, the House of Representatives failed by just 12 votes to make illegal the mass snooping by the NSA which was not widely publicised until Edward Snowden’s revelations.  What Snowden said was so important that almost half the country’s legislators wished to act on his information.  Yet the executive wish to pursue him and remove all his freedom for the rest of his life, as they are doing to Bradley Manning for Manning’s exposure of war crimes and extreme duplicity.

Around this complex of issues and the persons of Manning, Navalny, Snowden and Assange there is a kind of new ideological competition between the governments of Russia, the US and UK as to which is truly promoting the values of human freedom.  The answer is none of them are.  All these states are, largely in reaction to the liberating possibilities of the internet, promoting a concerted attack on freedom of speech and liberty of thought.

States are the enemy.  We are the people.

 

 

 

 

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670 Comments

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  1. Scarlet Pimpers

    25 Jul, 2013 - 4:59 pm

    “If the prosecutors, who are inextricably an arm of the executive government, want to send you to jail, there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you.”

    by your definition above the USA does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all either.

    Manning will go down no doubt about it. Also, when they catch Edward Snowden (eventually), he too will go down.

    America is creating one of the biggest human rights exploitations in the history of the world. Deplorable…

  2. As far as Snowden is concerned, and Assange to some extent, I’m amazed at the people who judge them according to the places they seek asylum. Russia = Bad, so anything worthwhile about Snowden is automatically negated. He’s a traitor, end of story (besides, if you’ve got nothing to hide, etc. etc.). Much the same with Assange – since Ecuador does not have a glowing record on press freedom, Assange must be a hypocrite of the first order, should be ignored, and so on.

    This sort of knee-jerk dismissal of whistleblowers/ publishers has taken place across the political divide – many progressives give them the thumbs down. This, despite the fact that Assange/ Snowden had little choice about where to go – there are few countries with the ability to resist/ ignore US threats and disfavour, but also would not just willingly do whatever the US asks as a matter of policy (such as the UK).

    Recall that US Secretary of State John Kerry recently threatened to ground any Venezuela’s aircraft in US or any other NATO country’s airspace, if Snowden landed up there.

  3. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    The twelve votes that were missing (not voting) was no coincidence, craig. Strange alliances unless you consider the NSA has dirt on everyone including the House of Representatives.

    “99% conviction rate” Only about 600 jury trials (12 member) out of one million trials. Ostensibly, a jury trial is available if the defendant wishes. how could anyone NOT want a jury?

    It’s not that bad in the US as of yet. I recently served on a criminal trial and it was a clear case of prosecutorial abuse and police bungling. I think the judge agreed with the jury, but thank the gods for the defendant. If the judge was corrupt, he wouldn’t have had a chance.

  4. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 5:17 pm

    “This sort of knee-jerk dismissal ”

    It’s been interesting seeing the lines in the sand, glenn. I think it may be simplistic analysis, but I have broken it down to two disparate groups.

    1) Authoritarian law-givers, who either make their living as an officer of the Court, or have friends in law enforcement, who believe the LAW is an immutable edifice merely needing to superficially reference Constitutional issues.

    2) Civil rights advocates who recognize the Law is just a temporary structure promulgated by the status quo.

    To me, it’s that simple.

  5. Michael Stephenson

    25 Jul, 2013 - 5:54 pm

    Glenn_uk,
    Is Ecuador’s record on press freedom really that bad? How would the US regime react to media that was as critical to the establishment as is tolerated by the Latin American states, and is funded by the US who are trying to bring about a coup.

    The US and the UK will not tolerate PressTV, how’s that for press freedom?

  6. Lots of issues in this post, Craig.

    Are we reaching a stage where there is too much information, too much disinformation, too many distractions, too many incidents of corruption, too many accusations of guilt, too many acquittals and too many relative truths that ordinary people give up trying to understand how it all works and  consequently seek relief by ensconcing themselves in little bubbles of false conciousness to simply get by?

    For every bad thing that people protest and demonstrate over, there are a hundred more bad things waiting for their attention. I sometimes wonder whether the powers that be are trying to overwhelm the common man with so many incidents of injustice that his will to resist collapses.

  7. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    Craig is establishing an equivalence between the US, the UK and Russia in the question of whether they are interested in promoting human freedom (his thought being that none of them is).

    It’s sad to see that this simple message – expressed in clear English – simply does not penetrate into the minds of (some) readers, who swerve away from Russia in order to give a supplementary kick to the US.

    Note the very first comment on this thread , from Scarlet Pampers. He says :

    ““If the prosecutors, who are inextricably an arm of the executive government, want to send you to jail, there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you.”

    by your definition above the USA does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all either.”.

    and overlooks entirely the point also made by Craig which is that in Russia the judge is there purely for show. This is not the case in the US, where, apart from having judges who are not there purely for show, there are also juries. THEREFORE what Craig correctly says about Russia (“there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you) is NOT valid for the US (and he does not say it is)and CONSEQUENTLY Scarlet Pampers’ statement that the “USA does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all either” is tosh.

    Some of your commenters really do you no favours, Craig (not that that’s your fault).

  8. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    Sorry, I meant Scarlet PIMPERS.

  9. This is both a free speech issue and a monarchy issue.

    “Insulting the French president no longer a criminal offence

    Change to law pushed through after conviction of man who held up a sign telling then-president Nicolas Sarkozy to get lost”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/25/insulting-french-president-criminal-offence

    Hmmm. The UK fares very unfavorably with this.

  10. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:31 pm

    @ Jemand

    “For every bad thing that people protest and demonstrate over, there are a hundred more bad things waiting for their attention. I sometimes wonder whether the powers that be are trying to overwhelm the common man with so many incidents of injustice that his will to resist collapses.”
    _______________

    I think that’s absolutely right (although one could discuss whether the overwhelming is deliberate policy by the powers that be or simply a case of much more information coming out into the open compared to the past).

    It’s a little like so-called compassion fatigue, isn’t it : the more cases of corruption and shady dealings that come out into the open, the more such behaviour inperceptibly becomes to be seen as the norm; the consequences are that public indignation subsides with each new revelation, which in turn emboldens more people to try it on (all the more so as offenders are usually rehabilitated after an interval which appears to be getting shorter and shorter (contrast the John Profumo and David Maws affairs).

  11. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:33 pm

    David Laws, of course! (too much beach volley today)

  12. Michael: Slight misunderstanding, those are not my arguments, but those from people who want a reason to bash Assange’s pitching in with Ecuador. For that matter, how’s Ecuador’s record on spying upon not only its own citizens, but everyone else in the world (compared with the US) ?

    *

    Ben: I’d not considered the divide that way before, but now you mention it – bartcop (who used to have a good site) is absurdly authoritarian, particularly on this issue, for someone who likes to call himself progressive. Given the name, perhaps he used to be in law enforcement. I only mention bartcop because it was a rather entertaining place for a long time. Now it’s gone increasingly mainstream and right wing, and so – apparently – are a substantial number of its subscribers.

    Greenwald has also come under the same attack. Contributors who have been on the right side of issues (IMHO, of course!) for years, on the likes of rawstory and so on, can’t find enough unpleasant things to say about him, or with which to mock him, now. Here’s a new interview with Greenwald on the consistently brilliant Majority Report (majority.fm) :

    Glenn Greenwald NSA revelations fallout, on the Majority Report

  13. I suppose it’s fair enough to say that Russia is currently operating a much less nuanced gangster system than the US, and that’s understandable given the naked power stage they’re at.

    This system was created for them of course by the US neocons, but still it’s what you’d expect at this stage of development.

    Over time you would expect them to develop soft power alternatives. Much easier to maintain. More stable etc.

    The worrying thing is that the US, even with so much soft power still available to it, is increasingly revealing its fangs and opting for the naked power approach, even at home.

  14. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:43 pm

    @ Herbie

    I’m not sure that the UK compares unfavorably : is not the difference that there is no specific law in the UK on insulting public officials and perhaps MPs, Ministers and the head of state – any alleged offences would in general be tried under various general common law offences such as “insulting behaviour”, “behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace”, etc – whereas in some continental countries there are specific offences such as “Beamtenbeleidigung” (Germany)?

    But I stand willing to be corrected (not my speciality).

  15. States are the enemy.

    Do you mean this in a can’t live with em can’t live without em kind of way or something more interesting?

  16. Habbabkuk, I think all judicial systems are functional and therefore serve a function. But was is the function? To quell public unrest? To protect and raise the high standards of humanity? To intimidate people into robotic compliance of state laws? All of the above, it seems to me.

    So many countries have politicised criminal justice systems that are perfunctory exercises in nominal justice but also, more usefully, extensions of state oppression for troublemakers. But that doesn’t let the US justice system off the hook for its own failures.

    The US criminal justice system is a career path for some politicians. Defence lawyers can’t expect many votes coming their way from their legal career in defending pedophiles, rapists and murderers. On the other hand, prosecutors can expect plenty of votes for putting away anyone, guilty or not. There are a few documentaries (by Errol Morris et al) that reveal the political exploitation of the system by (psychopathic) careerist, prosecutors.

    Having said that, I would much rather go to trial in Oz than the US, and the US than Russia, and Russia than China, and China than North Korea.

    But, wherever you are, “justice” is more likely when you have money and clout.

  17. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:57 pm

    “The worrying thing is that the US, even with so much soft power still available to it, is increasingly revealing its fangs and opting for the naked power approach, even at home.”

    Herbie; I think it’s easier for most to deal with the stealthy and covert diddling behind the curtain of foreign governments and cold-cocking that influence around the world, when the goodies intended to distract (expanding unemployment insurance to perpetuity) make the medicine go down. Any well-publicized efforts to expand democracy will be lauded in the Media, pushing the untoward stories into the back pages of local fishwrap. It’s an iron fist in a velvet glove and thereby makes criminal governments nearly universal. It’s just a matter of degree.

  18. Habby

    In UK there’s a specific offense under Section 5 of the Public Order Act that makes it an offence to use ‘insulting’ language, which of course has been overused by police in what are now quite notorious cases.

    But if you’re arguing more generally that the UK police, in implementation and using a battery of legislation, are more restrictive in this area than the French, then I’d agree.

  19. There are no juries in most Scottish trials. The Sheriff is god.

  20. Yes, Ben.

    I’ve long been an advocate of seeing ourselves as we’re asked to see others.

    This is why RT and Press TV etc are so useful.

    And yes, they too are more interesting for what they say about us than what they say about themselves. That’s kinda how it works.

  21. Habbabkuk @6.31p

    Yes, correct.

    I believe I see this also in police responses to criminality. If not well managed, crimes can become so overwhelming for the police that their apparent inability to cope is seen as an opportunity to exploit. For criminality, there is likely to be a tipping point at which management rapidly begins to fail.

    And the normalisation of experiences is an important psychological phenomenon. In many parts of the world, petty corruption is unremarkable and flourishes.

    Civilisation appears to be a very thin veneer that is easily scratched.

  22. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 7:15 pm

    glenn; Thx. I hadn’t sen that interview.

    I, too have been horrified at the Nationalism displayed by so-called progressive bloggers and other journos. They seem to be so focused on the cultural opportunity for a black POTUS that they fail to see it a sform of affirmative action due to their enabling behaviors. HE MUST NOT be criticized, and the surveillance issue brings an avalanche of excuses and fly-bys which he then picks up as permission to do what he does. I really think the Neocons did genius-level work at moving the political needle so far right, that the center-right can view themselves as Leftists.

  23. Unfortunately the case for Assange being the victim of a US conspiracy comes unstuck when you notice that the release of the American diplomatic cables didn’t start until the 28th Novemeber 2010; eight days after the arrest warrant was issued and nearly 3 months after the rape complaints were first made.

  24. Kempe says:

    “Unfortunately the case for Assange being the victim of a US conspiracy comes unstuck when you notice that the release of the American diplomatic cables didn’t start until the 28th Novemeber 2010; eight days after the arrest warrant was issued and nearly 3 months after the rape complaints were first made.”

    I do hope Arbed sees this.

    My thinking was that the dropping of the case against Assange, and more particularly its subsequent resurrection by another (more politically linked) prosecutor highlighted the conspiracy rather than weakened it.

    Is this incorrect, and if so why?

  25. Kempe: Are you really that lazy, or just deceptive (and rather poor at it)? Wikileaks revealed that Collateral Murder evidence of a war crime in April 2010. Even you should be able to work out that came well before the rape ALLEGATIONS were made.

    Collateral Murder interview, Amy Goodman, 18/April/2010

    Assange was also interviewed about it on Al Jazeera English on 19/4/2010 . Wikileaks stated in January 2010 that it had this evidence and would be showing it at a later date, such as in this tweet here:

    Wikileaks tweet concerning Collateral Murder

    Aren’t you concerned about your credibility, when you post easily proven falsehoods such as that one just above? CM did make a sound suggestion to you personally a few months back – now why don’t you just follow that advice like a good fellow?

  26. Craig:
    “In Russia you cannot say Putin is corrupt; in the UK you cannot say Israeli state policy is malign. ”

    That says a lot. Another to put it is, “Putin rules Russia, Just as Israel Rules the UK”.

  27. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 7:36 pm

    With all due respect for the Nationalists….Judy Collins…Patriot Game (might need your headphones)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1uGhxvSlqg

  28. My gut feeling is:

    Blair – Obama – Navalny

    i) Lawyer
    ii) Presentable
    iii) Fond of PR
    iv) Supports change – 3rd way – Hope and change – End corruption
    v) Described as ‘liberal’

    http://marknesop.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/a-dark-side-of-alexei-navalny/

    Apparently he went to Yale for ‘training’ as a ‘World Fellow’, receiving $32,000 stipend, and was allowed to take his family. His reported lack of fluency in English apparently caused no problems. Not bad for someone only 6% of Russians have heard of.

    The Yale World Fellow program is aimed at ‘creating a global network of emerging leaders and to broaden international understanding’. Such a global network would be very useful to the global empire.

  29. Flaming June

    25 Jul, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    Anger at BBC’s insistence all Jerusalem is Israeli

    July 25, 2013

    Press release

    Anger at BBC’s insistence that all of Jerusalem is Israeli city

    The BBC’s insistence on describing Jerusalem as an Israeli city, despite such a status not being recognised under international law, has been condemned by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

    In a ruling delivered this week, the BBC Trust appears to have accepted Israel’s facts on the grounds, namely that Jerusalem is a united Israeli city.

    Writing to PSC, the Trust quotes the BBC’s Senior Editorial Strategy Advisor, Leanne Buckle, in her assessment of the BBC’s decision to describe Jerusalem as an Israeli city.

    The Trust writes: “The advisor [Buckle] acknowledged that Israel’s sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem was not recognized under international law. However, she considered that Israel had de facto control over the entire city in a political, administrative and military sense. She also noted that Jerusalem was administered as a single entity by the Jerusalem municipal authority which made no distinction between East and West.”

    Based on this, the Trust has said it will not consider a complaint by PSC that BBC journalists are breaching the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines on Accuracy when they refer to Jerusalem as an Israeli city.

    Under international law, only West Jerusalem is considered to be under Israeli de facto control, not the whole of Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is described by the UN as Occupied Palestinian Territory that has been illegally occupied and annexed by Israel.

    /..
    http://www.palestinecampaign.org/bbcjerusualem/

    For BBC throughout, read ZBC.

  30. Flaming June

    25 Jul, 2013 - 8:27 pm

    For David Ward read Jenny Tonge, Paul Flynn, Sir Gerald Kaufman, Jeremy Corbyn, others whose names I have forgotten, who have all been demonized for speaking for Palestine.

    Sir Bob Russell LD Colchester is the latest case in point. He was asking Michael Gove a question about the history curriculum, wishing al Naqba to be included just as Gove intends to include the Holocaust.

    The next thing he is almost being called a ‘Holocaust denier’.

    http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/10550341.Sir_Bob_criticised_for_Holocaust_comments/

    Some good comments among the 66 which is an unusual number for a provincial paper.

    He has also raised the question of the Bedouin cleansing many times I see.
    Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Israel (11 July 2013)
    Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations he has received in opposition to proposals by the government of Israel to forcibly remove 40,000 Bedouin from their historic lands.

    Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Middle East Peace Process (18 June 2013)
    Bob Russell: Israel, by its policies, is a racist, apartheid state. Will the Foreign Secretary confirm that that all the products we are discussing are produced on land that is illegally occupied?

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/search/?pid=10521&pop=1

  31. “Hezbollah: EU listing gives Israel licence to kill”

    http://euobserver.com/foreign/120971

  32. If there had not been a jury at the inquest into the death of Princess Diana and Jodi Fayad a verdict of “unlawful killing” would not have been brought in, which is probably why Tony Blair interrupted normal proceedings and Lord Hutton was called in to handle an Inquiry only three hours after Dr David Kelly’s body had been found and before a pathologist had seen the body. The British judiciary is so bent Julian Assange has had to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

    I posted this link a couple of days ago about the death of doughty journalist Helen Thomas. Well worth watching. Not every president is allowed to get away with everything unscathed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbjaCsjAB3s&feature=em-uploademail

  33. Flaming June

    25 Jul, 2013 - 9:00 pm

    Journalists at Bradley Manning trial report hostile conditions for press
    Xeni Jardin at 10:05 am Thu, Jul 25, 2013

    Journalists and bloggers covering closing arguments in the military trial of Wikileaks source Bradley Manning are reporting a far more intense security climate at Ft. Meade today, as compared to the past two months of court proceedings.

    @carwinb, @kgosztola, @nathanLfuller, and @wikileakstruck have tweeted about armed guards standing directly behind them as they type into laptops in the designated press area, and extensive physical searches. I visited the trial two weeks ago, and while there were many restrictions I found surprising (no mobile devices allowed in the press room), it wasn’t this bad.

    Tweets from some of them are below; there are about 40-50 reporters present and not all are tweeting. Internet access is spotty today. Oh, wait; as I type this blog post, I’m now seeing updates that they’re being told they are not allowed to access Twitter. So there’s that.

    /..
    http://boingboing.net/2013/07/25/journalists-at-bradley-manning.html

  34. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 10:03 pm

    @ Herbie

    “In UK there’s a specific offense under Section 5 of the Public Order Act that makes it an offence to use ‘insulting’ language..”
    _____

    Yes, I know that. What I was wondering was is there a specific law dealing with insulting public officials, MPs, the Head of State, etc. I gather from your reply that there is not such a specific law and that there is only the general law you refer to, which would apply whether I insulted you or the Prime Minister (for example). Correct?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “But if you’re arguing more generally that the UK police, in implementation and using a battery of legislation, are more restrictive in this area than the French, then I’d agree.”
    ___________

    No, I wasn’t arguing that at all, and I don’t see how you could infer that from my post. I have no idea whether the French are more restrictive than the British in this area

  35. HOW DOES THE STATE AND THE PEOPLE DIFFER. AREN`T THE STATE SIMPLY PART OF THE PEOPLE.

    IT COULD BE JUST SAID THAT THE STATE IS A MESS BECAUSE MANKIND IS A MESS. “IN MY PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIFE I WAS BY NO MEANS THE MOST MORAL OF INDIVIDUALS.”

    WE ARE ALL AT SOME POINT PERHAPS NOT THE MOST MORAL OF INDIVIDUALS. SO WHO IS THERE IF NOT THE STATE FOR GUIDANCE.

    WHAT SEEM`S TO BE PARAMOUNT IS THE SPREAD OF CORRUPTION AND UNDERHANDID BEHAVIOUR. MORAL BEHAVIOUR!
    WE ALL KNOW WHERE THAT IS HEADED IF NOT PROPERLY ADDRESSED,. ANARCHY OR COMPLETE STATE CONTROL.

    AS A SIMPLETON, THE STATE AND PEOPLE ARE TO ENTRENCHED. TO “DEVIDE”.

    MAYBE WE NEED A MONARCHY TO LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION AND SHOW US THE FRUITS OF OUR LABOUR.

    I DO AGREE THAT CAMERON SETTING UP INTERNET FILTERS FOR ALL HOUSEHOLDS, WILL PROTECT THE INDIVIDUAL: “OUR” LITTLE PRINCE`S AND PRINCESSES`OR AT LEAST IN WILL INHIBIT THE WANKERS!

  36. “The Pentagon’s war plan for China is called “AirSea Battle.” The plan describes itself as “interoperable air and naval forces that can execute networked, integrated attacks-in-depth to disrupt, destroy, and defeat enemy anti-access area denial capabilities.””

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/07/24/the-two-faux-democracies-threaten-life-on-earth-paul-craig-roberts/

  37. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 11:22 pm

    http://yalejournal.org/2013/06/12/who-authorized-preparations-for-war-with-china/

    “The United States is preparing for a war with China, a momentous decision that so far has failed to receive a thorough review from elected officials, namely the White House and Congress. This important change in the United States’ posture toward China has largely been driven by the Pentagon. There have been other occasions in which the Pentagon has framed key strategic decisions so as to elicit the preferred response from the Commander in Chief and elected representatives. A recent case in point was when the Pentagon led President Obama to order a high level surge in Afghanistan in 2009, against the advice of the Vice President and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. The decision at hand stands out even more prominently because (a) the change in military posture may well lead to an arms race with China, which could culminate in a nuclear war; and (b) the economic condition of the United States requires a reduction in military spending, not a new arms race. The start of a new term, and with it the appointment of new secretaries of State and Defense, provide an opportunity to review the United States’ China strategy and the military’s role in it. This review is particularly important before the new preparations for war move from an operational concept to a militarization program that includes ordering high-cost weapons systems and forced restructuring. History shows that once these thresholds are crossed, it is exceedingly difficult to change course.”

    We sure have heeded Eisenhower’s warning about the Military/Industrial complex.

    A lack of oversight and poor accountability from Security Services, the outsourcing to contractors, and general MILSPEC waste hogs has led to this.

  38. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 11:23 pm

    Sorry someone. forgot to say thanks for the link. I thought it worthy of repetition.

  39. Kempe: “Unfortunately the case for Assange being the victim of a US conspiracy comes unstuck when you notice that the release of the American diplomatic cables didn’t start until the 28th Novemeber 2010; eight days after the arrest warrant was issued and nearly 3 months after the rape complaints were first made.”

    Memory tells me this is false. So I looked it up.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_diplomatic_cables_leak

    Started in Feb 2010. Sure, the release in The Guardian etc occurred in November, but the state department already knew who Assange was, and what documents he had. So the US conspiracy argument hasn’t come unstuck, really.

  40. @Jay

    Please don’t shout, I have a headache.

  41. it all reminds me of the shocking treatment dished out to animal rights activist Daniel McGowan, for exercising his First Amendment right of speech, and writing articles for Huffington Post

    On April 4, McGowan was rearrested and jailed. Center for Constitutional Rights lawyers represented him. They said it was because of an article he wrote.
    Their statement elaborated, saying:
    He was “released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he was taken into custody yesterday and is back at the halfway house where he has been residing since his release from prison in December.”
    “Yesterday, Daniel was given an ‘incident report’ indicating that his Huffington Post blog post, ‘Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech,’ violated a BOP regulation prohibiting inmates from ‘publishing under a byline.’ ”
    “The BOP regulation in question was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007, and eliminated by the BOP in 2010.”
    “After we brought this to the BOP’s attention, the incident report was expunged.”
    They called BOP retaliation against him “an outrage.”
    McGowan got CMU hard time for writing articles and letters about animal rights. His constitutional rights were violated.
    On April 4, he was jailed again briefly. He was released on condition he’d sacrifice his First Amendment rights. He was told no more articles.
    According to CCR, it’s a “made-up rule applied only to Daniel.” It’s a “further attempt to chill his freedom of speech.”

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/07/25/daniel-mcgowan-victimized-by-us-injustice/

  42. Despite habby’s protestations

    If the French have a specific law against insulting their President

    And the British have a general law against insulting anyone

    Who is more free to speak their mind. The French or the British?

    If the French go on to repeal the law against insulting their President

    Who is more free to speak their mind. The French or the British?

    There must be a Gillray somewhere that explains this much more succinctly.

  43. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 12:25 am

    Herbie; Check out the political cartoons of Conrad of the LA Times. The best ever.

  44. Ben Franklin at 11.22 pm

    It’s late and I’ve only scan-read the article you posted. My guess is this is sabre-rattling from the Pentagon, and the article states this has not got any approval from government. However it could get approval.

    What is worrying the US is that Russia, France and Germany have, if I understand correctly, withdrawn gold bullion formerly in US custody because of justified fears that the US economy is about to pop. The US national debt is growing faster than any amount of earned revenue or taxation can cover.

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    China, and other countries have stopped buying US debt (bonds) because they realise these are going to be worthless. The only thing the US can do, because most of its investment has gone into the military and wars to steal other countries mineral wealth, is to wage war on countries with growing economies, like Germany did on the strength of its mighty Krupps’ factories. This war, if it comes about, would probably wipe out mankind, and life on earth as we know it. Frightening, eh?

  45. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 12:56 am

    “What is worrying the US is that Russia, France and Germany have, if I understand correctly, withdrawn gold bullion formerly in US custody because of justified fears that the US economy is about to pop. The US national debt is growing faster than any amount of earned revenue or taxation can cover.”

    John; You are correctamundo. BRICS is the real threat to USG. The Petrodollar has reigned for some 40 years. BRICS seeks to establish some fiscal credibility by returning to a gold standard.

    This is contra-intuitive to Western interests, mostly the US. The ‘shadow’ economy seeking the continued auspices of the EU and the remainder of the World is critical to keeping the perception that Petrodollars must continue it’s reign of dominance. The dumbing down of silver and gold to record lows since 2008 is part of the plan to keep equity in the markets of choice. But from my perspective gold is not the place to put your confidence because it’s value makes it inefficient for trading. Junk silver is your hedge against future inflationary purchasing power. Lower denominations are easier to carry and trade.
    w

  46. “We sure have heeded Eisenhower’s warning about the Military/Industrial complex.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gahL5j4ack

    It should be noted that all during Reagan’s presidency he took the orders of Thatcher, except on one occasion, the Grenada invasion in 1983. She told him not to invade, so what had the power that overruled Thatcher…The US “Military/Industrial complex”.

  47. “The Too Big to Fail Insurers – the next bail outs, another nail in Democracy’s coffin.”

    http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2013/07/the-too-big-to-fail-insurers-the-next-bail-outs-another-nail-in-democracys-coffin/

  48. “The Madman Strategy”

    http://japanfocus.org/events/view/180

  49. @John Goss: I’ve probably misunderstood your last couple of posts on the subject… you’re not seriously suggesting that Al “The Fugger” Fayad has been right all along, and Lady Di was assassinated by the UK secret services, are you?

    *
    As far as gold is concerned, it appears you are right – but it could be even worse than you’ve set out here. Germany wants possession of its physical gold, as opposed to “paper gold”. The latter is a piece of paper – gold certificates – indicating your entitlement to the stated amount of gold held in that institution’s vault. The trouble is, there’s a high suspicion that these same certificates have been issued multiple times on the same physical resource.

    That is why Germany has become so suspicious recently about their physical gold held by America, and they’d like to get it back. These suspicions are not in any way alleviated by the considerable reluctance the US to hand it over.

    We might have a situation where the promise to exchange for the bearer the stated weight of gold for their certificate, is not much better than our own certificates – to redeem a UK banknote for the equivalent pounds of silver sterling. My advice is that you should take possession of your actual metal, and put it in your personal bank’s safety deposit box, before the whole thing kicks off.

  50. Me? I just play Strats.

    But i realise,through reading history,that at the end of every empire the veil of the soft state is snatched away and the hard/deep state stands naked,barking and omnivorous in their insane arc.

    Torture,by incompetents-who ought really know better-barely registers to the guy that they want to shut up-or else.

    I’m just a wallflower now-Strats notwithstanding-Eliza.

    My torture was cathartic,to them,over 15 years of complete amateur idiocy that would shame prep school kids.

    I just play Strats,same as it ever was,Jonathan.

    Mostly people tell me i’m really quite adept at that.

    But i already knew that,Stella.

  51. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 4:02 am

    Someone and Ben If you put a search for China on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_of_the_United_States

    some mind boggling numbers jump out.

    Also worth a mention is the near doubling since 2007 of the US gross debt as percentage of GDP. Was it all those wars that dunnit plus the crash?

    Entity United States

    2007 62%

    2010 92%

    2011 102%

  52. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 5:11 am

    Detroit

    ‘Kicking off a series of speeches about the economy, President Obama told a crowd in Illinois on Wednesday that reversing growing inequality and rejuvenating the middle class “has to be Washington’s highest priority.” During his remarks, Obama failed to mention the bankruptcy filing by Detroit, where thousands of public workers are now fighting to protect their pensions and medical benefits as the city threatens massive cuts to overcome an estimated $18 billion in debt. Detroit’s bankruptcy “is an example of a failed economic system,” says economist Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts. “There are so many other cities in Detroit’s situation, that if the courts decide that it is legal to take away the pension that has been promised to and paid for by these workers, you have [legalized] theft. It is class war, redistributing income from the bottom to the top.”‘
    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/25/richard_wolff_detroit_a_spectacular_failure

    I read elsewhere that the Detroit Red Wings have a new $400m stadium built with taxpayer support.

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/07/detroit-red-wings-get-new-400-million-taxpayer-financed-stadium-while-the-city-goes-bankrupt/

  53. Maybe the US wants their sovereign debt to become so huge that the world cannot afford to allow the US economy to fail. Provided that they service their existing debts (by sales of high value weapon systems?) they can maintain a perpetual debt that protects it from hostile action – economic or military. Can China afford to go to war with their biggest customer and debtor?

    For those who advocate for currencies to be tied to physical quantities of precious metals, I would ask you to consider the massive environmental damage that would result from exploration and extraction of those metals as their supposed value skyrockets and the relative cost of production plummets. Rain forests and coral reefs would be ripped up in the search for an overvalued scarce resource that has limited intrinsic or natural value. And, in the end, its nominal value is based on trust just like paper currency.

    It is also economic anathema that you can become increasingly wealthy just by sitting on a pile of gold. We should all be so lucky.

  54. The monetary system is the controling state.

    As we all are in debted to this system the state controls us.

    Assets are mostly influence and effluence of this system, ultimately what comes out the ground defines everything.

    How we are organised is state control.

    The real gold is what we say and do, is that down to the individual?

  55. Its God Blight America time now, the sins of Fallujah are coming home to roost in Detroit,etc. And the devils have started yet another Bush/Condi/Mubarak like Sharm el Sheikh “road map” charade, to fool the Arabs (yet again) into supporting another destruction of an Arab country, or even a war on Iran. Its only the fear of the Russian Yakhont that has kept the Generals at bay, if the aircraft carriers move AWAY from Syria or the PG, war is coming then.

  56. Practically speaking its got to be Aquaponics, it would also help to be ready to carry double door fridges/large flat screens on shopping trolleys,as the preppers started practising outside a Wal-Mart in the USA!

  57. There are no juries in most Scottish trials. The Sheriff is god

    On the other hand, there are juries in most Scottish trials dealing with severe offences (assault to severe injury or worse) and the dual system of summary and solemn procedures operating in Sheriff Courts seems to operate at least as well as the English system. The Sheriff is admittedly God – it’s at his discretion whether to opt for summary or solemn – , and there have been one or two somewhat bent ones, true.

    In any case, the Sheriff’s or other presiding nebbie’s function, with or without a jury, is to determine whether or not the law has been broken. If the law is reprehensible, that isn’t his fault.

    In plain, if the law is crap, don’t blame the workmen. Blame the people you have the illusion of having elected. Which is what I take Craig to be saying in his last sentence.

    I think the illusion of democracy is central to what Craig is saying. The Russians are probably under fewer illusions than we are, in that regard. But I don’t think, fundamentally, that there is much difference from our situation except in the degree of coercion our governors are prepared to use in order to entrench their power, wealth and influence. That’s changing all the time. For the worse, as Craig says.

  58. Obviously, our democracy is under threat when an elected MP can be sanctioned by his former party at the behest and on the say-so of a small and unaccountable grouping of British citizens. For breaking no law, but merely for uttering an opinion.

    Something’s badly wrong there.

  59. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 9:26 am

    Just in case you missed it, there is a reprise tonight on Sky News – ‘The Son and Heir’!

    And if you are short of something to do in London and have a spare £19!! (adult) or £50 (family) you can see the Queen’s dresses. Many diamonds too.

    ‘Queen’s coronation takes centre stage in Buckingham Palace’s summer show
    Monarch’s coronation robe will be laid out for first time since June 1953, along with personal objects including her coronation service
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk-news/2013/jul/26/queen-coronation-buckingham-palace-exhibition

  60. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 9:27 am

    Sorry that s/be on previous thread.

  61. Jay
    25 Jul, 2013 – 10:46 pm
    “HOW DOES THE STATE AND THE PEOPLE DIFFER. AREN`T THE STATE SIMPLY PART OF THE PEOPLE.”

    Quite right Jay. Who has created the State, if not us, the people? You and I, we….all of us have created the State/Society.

    IT COULD BE JUST SAID THAT THE STATE IS A MESS BECAUSE MANKIND IS A MESS. “IN MY PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIFE I WAS BY NO MEANS THE MOST MORAL OF INDIVIDUALS.”

    And yes, as inside, so outside. It is our messy consciousness that is the consciousness of mankind. But, when it comes to change, we blame it all on outside factors. We think by playing with the structure somehow we are going to bring about radical change. We don’t want to look at ourselves, our own fragmentation and take any true responsibility towards that. Change can only come one individual at a time — and that must reflect onto ‘Society’ or the State. We live in darkness ourselves but expect the State to be a miraculous shining light of beacon.

    Btw, I like your comment about our own children being little Princes and Princesses and they should be raised as such. But we raise them with the best of will out of our own messy consciousness. So, its CATCH-22. That is where we are and that is what we are perpetuating. It is the same all over the world, be it the US, UK or Russia or the beautiful paradise islands of the Maldives. Its one Earth and its anything but whole or holy.

  62. An excellent and timely post, Craig, not least because some of your followers think the sun shines out of Putin’s backside merely for his thwarting of some of the West’s evil schemes. One must, of course, be careful not to ‘go over to the other side’ – to start hailing Russia, Syria, Iran as paragons of civilized virtue and decency, as some here are wont to do. Russia’s sheltering of Snowden is a geopolitical manoeuvre and has nothing to do with any principled belief in transparency or the rights of whistle-blowers, as the Navalny case neatly illustrates, if, indeed, it needed illustrating at all.

    On another note, I’m glad Mary, Komodo et al are showing signs of having moved on from the royal baby hype. I understand that at moments of great national importance such as the delivery of Prince George, some commentators can get a little carried away amid the hysteria and find themselves thinking of little else . I would therefore suggest the opening of a special thread, similar to the 9/11 ‘dungeon’ and dedicated solely to discussion of the young Prince, so that the debate about names, dress, styles and such like can be continued for as long as the Royal baby watchers see fit.

  63. Times have changed since 1920 when a Liberal party MP could tell it how it is.

    http://www.israelect.com/reference/WillieMartin/ACoupleofQuotes%20%5BA%5D.htm

    That article leaves no doubts about the motive behind our politician’s support for Zionism.

  64. Sofia Kibo Noh

    26 Jul, 2013 - 9:58 am

    The posts of 9 32 and 9 34 put me in mind of this old Christy Moore song.

    I know it’s a bit early in the day for Happy Hour so I’ll just post the lyrics. For anyone who hasn’t heard this man sing all I can say is he, like Michael D Higgins (122 times better value than UK head of state), is another Irish national treasure.

    Natives

    For all of our languages, we can’t communicate
    For all of our native tongues, we’re all natives here
    Sons of their fathers dream the same dream
    The sound of forbidden words becomes a scream
    Voices in anger, victims of history
    Plundered and set aside, grown fat on swallowed pride

    With promises of paradise and gifts of beads and knives
    Missionaries and pioneers are soldiers in disguise
    Saviours and conquerors they make us wait
    The fishers of men they wave their truth like bait
    With the touch of a stranger’s hand innocence turns to shame
    The spirit that dwelt within now sleeps out in the rain

    For all of our languages, we can’t communicate
    For all of our native tongues, we’re all natives here
    The scars of the past are slow to disappear
    The cries of the dead are always in our ears
    Only the very safe can talk about wrong and right
    Of those who are forced to choose, some will choose to fight
    For all of our languages, we can’t communicate

  65. Glenn_uk at 2.33 a.m. I posted the link to a film two days ago called “Unlawful Killing” by Keith Allen. Fortunately I got to see it (and I hope you did too) before it was brought down allegedly for ‘copyright infringement’. The BBC reported that Diana had been hounded to death by the paparazzi and has stuck by that story. After days and days of deliberation the jury brought in a verdict which was atually ‘unlawful killing’ or put another way ‘murder’. You can watch this film practically anywhere except in the UK. And basically that appears to be the reason. A verdict of ‘Murder’ should mean the police are looking for a murderer. But they’re not.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/07/unlawful-killing-film-you-wont-see

    My satirical fairy story, ‘Nanna Babba and the common girl’ was influenced by this film and Barbara Cartland’s articles on Royal Jelly in ‘Here’s Health’ magazine.

  66. On another note, I’m glad Mary, Komodo et al are showing signs of having moved on from the royal baby hype.

    Just staying on topic as recommended by you and other excrescences. Snarked if I do, snarked if I don’t.

    Still, happy to see I didn’t initiate it on this thread.

    @ Fred: Good catch. Worth remembering. And on-topic, too. Think the excrescences will be vocal today?

  67. Ben Franklin at 12.36 ‘Lower denominations are easier to carry and trade.’ I agree. Unfortunately, assuming there is no war, nobody would know what, or which, currency to trust, and people are advised to get themselves a trade so they can trade. George Dalton and several other ancestors on my mother’s side were silversmiths in Norfolk Street, Sheffield, and it might not be a bad trade to get back into. When the crash comes it will be merciless.

  68. “The Zionists are losing the battle – how long can the apartheid State of Israel last?” [David Ward MP]

    That’s it. A tweet.

    Was it the mention of apartheid which caused the offence?

    The Association for Civil Rights in Israel concluded in 2008 that a segregated road network in the West Bank, expansion of Jewish settlements, restriction of the growth of Palestinian towns and discriminatory granting of services, budgets and access to natural resources are “a blatant violation of the principle of equality and in many ways reminiscent of the Apartheid regime in South Africa”.[44]

    Israel has also been accused of apartheid by Michael Ben-Yair, Israel’s attorney-general from 1993 to 1996 [45] and Shulamit Aloni, who served as Minister for Education under Yitzhak Rabin.[46]

    (and much more to think about) here -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Israeli_government

    Maybe it was mention of the Zionists in the same sentence?

    Sigmund Freud on being requested to condemn the Arab riots of 1929:

    Letter to the Keren Hajessod (Dr. Chaim Koffler)

    Vienna: 26 February 1930

    Dear Sir,

    I cannot do as you wish. I am unable to overcome my aversion to burdening the public with my name, and even the present critical time does not seem to me to warrant it. Whoever wants to influence the masses must give them something rousing and inflammatory and my sober judgement of Zionism does not permit this. I certainly sympathise with its goals, am proud of our University in Jerusalem and am delighted with our settlement’s prosperity. But, on the other hand, I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state, nor that the Christian and Islamic worlds would ever be prepared to have their holy places under Jewish care. It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land. But I know that such a rational viewpoint would never have gained the enthusiasm of the masses and the financial support of the wealthy. I concede with sorrow that the baseless fanaticism of our people is in part to be blamed for the awakening of Arab distrust. I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.

    Now judge for yourself whether I, with such a critical point of view, am the right person to come forward as the solace of a people deluded by unjustified hope.

    Your obedient servant,

    Freud.

    Criticism was legitimate then. Or maybe only Jews are allowed to criticise Israel? Ah, that’s it. Self-haters though they may be, G-d gave them the right.

  69. ex·cres·cence

    Noun

    1.A distinct outgrowth on a human or animal body or on a plant, esp. one that is the result of disease or abnormality.
    2.An unattractive or superfluous addition or feature.

    V. good

    ~~

    Anon took no notice of my following post saying that I was on the wrong thread. My point in sending the post about the exhibition at Buckingham Palace is that
    a)we paid for these garments and baubles in the first place with buckets full of our taxes and
    b)a charge of £19 is being made to see them

    btw I said nothing about the royal baby. My motto is ‘No child shall be harmed’ which holds no meaning for our warmongering pocket politicians.

  70. Flaming June at 4.02 a.m. (what were you doing up at that time?) the 2011 figures for total national debt stood at 14,200 billion dollars. It is now 16,877 billion and rising but that is just in the US (what it owes itself). The total debt, including that owned by other countries is more than three times that. 47% of the total debt is has been bought by foreign countries (China and Japan being the main holders of government bonds and securities). Why would they want to do that? I’m scratching my heat. As to GDP this is the most misleading of all and I would be tempted to leave it out of the equation. It amounts to all the money in the system (plus exports minus imports) but as governments can print money at will and the national debt is not subtracted from GDP an economy can look healthy even when it is on its knees. Dady Chery, in this article explains GDP, and what is bad for it, and who the vultures are that thrive on it, relating the whole lot to her native Haiti.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2013/02/06/global-gdp-growth-an-imf-and-world-bank-racket/

  71. Re. David Ward MP, a little recent history:

    http://www.totallyjewish.com/news/national/c-19442/no-more-second-chances-pressure-mounts-on-lib-dems-to-suspend-mp-ward/

    Tonge all over again. Some of the rank and file are a little disturbed by this, though -

    http://www.libdemvoice.org/has-it-all-gone-jenny-tonge-for-david-ward-or-is-that-a-bandwagon-i-see-before-me-32858.html

    Good man.

    LibDem Friends of Israel were the instrument of choice for ensuring that no LibDem ever again is permitted to use the words “Israel” and “atrocity” on the same page. Without a single democratic vote being taken by the rest of the party.

    As their leader, Gavin Stollar, who has failed to get elected since 2001 as an MP, says, LDFoI is not well provided with funds, and is rather dependent on the benevolence of the Israeli government. Which might raise a question or two in itself.

    http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/analysis/69079/liberal-democrats-celebrate-successful-israel-mission

    Our delegates, some of whom had previously visited Gaza with Christian Aid and CAABU, all came back grateful to LDFI for giving them the “balance” they needed. They all expressed appreciation that the issues many thought were black and white were actually more like shades of grey, and sometimes even impossible to interpret.

    Oh yes. That’s a fact.

    The trip confirmed that the power of seeing things firsthand cannot be underestimated.

    As well as the Dimona nuclear facility, they don’t seem to have visited Gaza. Recommended for next time, Stollar.

  72. Though some of the comments appear to have digressed they do fit the last statement.

    “States are the enemy. We are the people.”

    We might not all have been in positions to blow whistles, but we can support the whistle-blowers in our own ways. On Saturday there are hopefully demonstrations all over the country in support of Bradley Manning, whose verdict (probably life imprisonment) is due to be announced around then. Only when the thieves and banksters’ system collapses can people take control of their own resources.

    “States are the enemy. We are the people.”

  73. More Stollar after Clegg’s decision to appoint LDFoI his mentor:

    “Gavin Stollar, LDFI chairman, said that if the group “doubted Mr Ward’s sincerity in engaging in this process, or his willingness to take on board what’s coming, then there’s no question about our intention to feed that back.

    “LDFI has essentially been appointed as probation officers for David Ward,” said Mr Stollar. “If we are not convinced that he is salvageable then we’ll be in the position to report back to the leader and the chief whip and express our views.

    “Rather than making him a martyr, LDFI welcomes the opportunity to educate one of our MPs.

    I didn’t actually believe this assertion, that LDFoI, or any other Fo(any other country)
    could be authorised by anyone to ‘correct’ an elected MP’s opinions. But there it is, in the Jewish Chronicle, not Stormfront or al-Ahram…

  74. That should have read: ..LDFoI Ward’s mentor

  75. And this wonderful piece from LibDem Friends of PALESTINE’s website:

    http://www.ldfp.eu/2013/07/01/in-the-news-theres-nothing-liberal-about-offending-jews/

    There’s other material there which supports my suspicion that being a friend of Palestine is not intended to imply support for Palestinians. Or is this just LibDems being the political equivalent of semolina again?

  76. Some people just will not be silenced however…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2378259/Anger-Israel-fans-pig-shaped-balloon-Star-David-released-Roger-Waters-concert-Belgium.html

    They laughed at the Mohammed cartoons. Why aren’t they laughing now?

    (pmsl)

  77. Uzbek in the UK

    26 Jul, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    Mr Murray,

    You might know that states by their nature are repressive. Their main duty is to provide order (and security) in anarchic system. The problem with freedoms in modern days western societies is that with the introduction of War on Terror discourse western states were allowed to manipulate freedoms (and reduce them to some extend) in order to provide order (and security). Russia aside but in western societies with highly develop civic institutions this reduction of freedom is to great extend fault of western societies themselves. US citizens allow their government to keep people in prison indefinitely without charge and chance of fair trial, British citizens allow their government to participate in rendition and hand over their compatriots to foreign security services.

    There is no one else to blame in this but yourselves. Not you personally of course, as the man who put his career and health on the line to defend these freedoms you are in unfortunately minority camp.

  78. Ottawa keeps silent over Israel’s arrest and abuse of Canadian activist

    The Canadian government has remained silent over the abusive treatment of a Canadian human rights activist in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by Israeli forces amid criticism that Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper prioritizes Israel’s interests over those of its own citizens,

    Interesting to find the corporate media somehow is blind to the abuse of the human rights under their nose, but always on the look out to show boat about the slightest infractions of the Jonny foreigner, that is the right sort of forefinger and not the kosher kind of course.

  79. They laughed at the Mohammed cartoons. Why aren’t they laughing now?

    That is classed as running into a theatre and shouting zionist pigs Fire! (read this aloud and with a guttural hint of Yiddish German.

    pmsl indeed!

  80. The US Dept of Justice is also said to have a conviction rate above 98%. If the Feds want to throw you in jail, they will. Appearances may be more orderly than in, say, Uzbekistan, but is justice being served? The US still likes to lecture others about “human rights” though.

    , “Between 2000 and 2005, 99 percent of the 435,000 federal criminal defendants prosecuted nationwide were convicted” Source: Beating a federal rap not easy – Pittsburgh Tribune-Revie
    http://www.aipnews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=19688

  81. Any aspiring politicians here will be well advised to ‘forget’, if they ever knew, that the United Nations once upon a time had a policy describing Zionism as a form of racism (“Z=R”).

    Read accounts nowadays, and you’ll hear that the opponents of ditching the said policy were a bunch of rabid Nazis. You wonder just how fucking long the Zionazis are going to be able to run with that one. But no-one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the conditioned ‘public’, so it’s said.

    When Jenny Tonge was told to choose between “apologising” (!) for her criticism of Israel and losing the Liberal Democrat whip, she told Clegg to shove the whip where the Sun didn’t shine. Got to give credit where it’s due.

  82. States are the enemy. We are the people.

    Without the State, who will protect us from the Corporation?

    I’d like to see the latter dismantled first. Then we’ll deal with the State.

  83. I’m not sure what anyone in the UK could have done to avoid the subversion of our liberties by a state-enemy, Uzbek. Whistleblowers have some effect, but the state has ways of silencing them and redacting their legacy. Did Craig achieve any marked reform either in Uzbekistan or in the FCO? He raised public awareness magnificently, yes, but nothing seems to have altered: the nail that stood up was the nail that was hammered down, as the Japanese saying has it. Mass action has uncertain results, and with a consumerist, drugged population, is impossible to implement. What we are led to believe we are voting for is not recognisably related to what we get – saying it’s our fault implies that there’s a collective will for justice, and there isn’t. There is no visible route to a fair society that I can see, (though I am very open to suggestions).

  84. Andrea Davison, another whistle-blower, is living abroad and has made the following revelations regarding child abuse in Wales.

    http://macurstatement.blogspot.co.uk/

  85. Colin Brace I can relate to. How to dismantle the corporations? Stop buying stuff. Particularly stuff you don’t need. That IS an effective weapon. Possibly the only one left.

  86. The Daily Telegraph published an article calling Jenny Tonge “Jihad Jenny”.

    The same newspaper also published an article “In Defence of Anders Breivik”, by Roger Hicks.

  87. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    No UK politician ever goes to Gaza Komodo. B.Liar made a fleeting visit after Cast Lead.

    I know about Stollar. He tried to get into parliament in Buckinghamshire and failed.
    He is one of David Ward’s ‘re-educators’.
    http://www.palestinechronicle.com/israel-flag-wavers-to-re-educate-mp-david-ward/#.UfJj3K9wbSc

    LDFoI is/was run by a fervent Zionist Monroe Palmer. Cleggover has ennobled him. He is a Barnet borough councillor as is his wife Susette.
    http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=PARTY&VW=LIST&PIC=0

    He enters his interest in LDFoI and also declares receipt of ‘fees’ but does not give any source for them.
    http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=150&T=6

    A puff piece about him here. No mention of Israel of course.

    http://www.libdemvoice.org/local-liberal-heroes-monroe-palmer-24887.html

  88. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 1:14 pm

    Colin Brace Did you mean the Zionist Broadcasting Corporation or corporations in general? :)

  89. Colin Brace 26 Jul, 2013 – 12:47 pm

    “Without the State, who will protect us from the Corporation? I’d like to see the latter dismantled first. Then we’ll deal with the State.”

    Ah but doesn’t the people’s state immediately becomes the people’s only in name. At least that seems to have happened before and it makes perfect sense. Everyone is corruptible so retaining mechanisms of power invites corruption. In corporations and states.

    I hope for a gradual dismantling of both.

  90. Another LibDem lord who tells the truth and is censured for it -

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Phillips,_Baron_Phillips_of_Sudbury

    The Zionist Federation’s Jonathan Hoffman had this to say about Lord Phillips:

    “Lord Phillips is an obnoxious man and his views are revolting.”

    High praise indeed, considering the source. Imagine if Phillips had said that about Hoffman….

    More on Hoffman here, hilariously acid stuff from a Jewish blogger.

    http://www.jewdas.org/2010/08/jonathan-hoffman-anti-zionist-hero/

    Put this with your links, please, Craig.

    Sample:
    Now at this juncture we could go all po-faced, condemn his behaviour, and call for the Zionist Federation to sack him. But that would be an error. Jonathan Hoffman is so extreme, so constantly dogmatic, rude, intellectually dubious and pig headed that he constantly brings the Zionist Federation, and his own cause, into disrepute. There can be only one explanation, that he is in fact an Anti-Zionist mole trying to bring down the British Zionist movement. At this, he is doing an excellent job. No other anti-Zionist has had such success in promoting the cause and making Zionism look ridiculous. Whether funded by Hezbolllah, or simply doing it as a hobby Hoffman is the anti-zionist activist par excellence. Jonathan, we salute you!

  91. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 2:19 pm

    Have you ever been at a PSC meeting or similar which Hoffman has attended? He arrives with a young helper with armfuls of papers and then attempts to heckle throughout. Most chairpersons are wise to him these days. Is he still around?

    http://hoffmanchronicled.wordpress.com/isis-men-in-london/hoffman-gone-mad-ahava-26_11_10-9/

    Is he still around? Silly question.
    http://www.thejc.com/users/jonathan-hoffman

    I see that they are having a go at John Hilley of Zenpolitics and Medialens about his support for David Ward. Written by Matthew Harris ex vice chair of LDFoI in February. Tedious comments are still coming in!
    http://www.thejc.com/blogs/matthewharris/david-ward-blog-post-written-john-hilley

  92. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 2:31 pm

    We must watch out for the word ‘so’.

    So, here’s a carefully packaged sentence that shows me in my best light
    In a society where people market themselves as commodities, starting a sentence with ‘so’ signals a desire to impress

    Oliver James

    [..]
    So what? Care should be taken before building ideological mountains out of verbal molehills. But I think all this So-ing may be a symptom of broader trends. It is a fact that we have become what Erich Fromm characterised as marketing characters in a marketing society. Such characters experience themselves as commodities whose value and meaning are externally determined. They define themselves by having rather than being, by what they own, not who they are. This homo consumens is a thing to be bought and sold, just like a house or a car. All of us are involved in trying to increase the value of the commodity that is us.

    An Australian study of such people showed that, among other things, people who score high on a test of marketing character are heavy consumers, uncritical of society and have a strong drive to publicise and promote themselves. With a 24-hour news cycle, public figures have been forced to become acutely wary of what they say in public. Frank authenticity has almost disappeared. Even the Today programme sometimes seems as if it has given up the struggle to uncover the truth. But, more profoundly, the present ruling elite � many of whom never knew a society that was not governed by Thatcherism or Blairism, have been forced from a young age to market themselves. The pursuit of money, status and fame (affluenza, materialism) are our primary values.
    /..
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/26/so-sentence-starter-artifice-manipulation

    ‘So’ is a funny little adverb isn’t it?

  93. Sofia Kibo Noh

    26 Jul, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    @ Komodo. 1 32pm

    Thanks for the link.

    But just who is he hinting at?

    “Mr Hoffkuk is the leading thug (sorry spokesperson) of the Zionist Federation and is frequently to be found engaging in vitriol, abuse and wild accusation (sorry ‘hasbara’). What is notable about dear Jonathan is his constant willingness to ‘go there’ – no pussyfooting around for him. So when others merely hint at it, Jonathan will happily declare that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism. He will have no hesitation about tarring all criticism, as ‘anti Israel’, and all opponents as either self-hating Jews or anti-semites. Naturally Jonathan declines to accept that the occupation exists, insists that Israel is a full democracy, that all its actions are 100% justifiable and that human rights campaigners are Islamists in disguise. Jonathan likes to turn up to left wing events and shout, heckle and genuine make an ass of himself. So far so good. But in his latest action Jonathan has surpassed himself.”

    ( I know. Just when you think she’s plumbed the depths Sofia stoops even lower! )

  94. It looks as if the real antisemitic sin is putting the words “atrocity” and “Israel” in the same room together. (and see FJ’s third link @ 2:19)

    Like Ha’aretz did.

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israel-should-never-forget-its-mideast-atrocities-1.424506

    An awful reflection on our own leaders and journalists as much as on Israel’s propagandists that the same headline would be generally inadmissible in a UK paper. (by mutual consent not to attract a shitstorm from BICOM or its offspring)

    Our Press freedom is, de facto, worse than Israel’s. Apparently thanks to Israel. Go figure.

  95. Sophia, it had crossed my mind that Hoffkuk and Hoffkuk were in fact the same poster. Thank you for confirming my suspicions. BTW, if you’re looking for your dad, I saw him earlier trying to look inconspicuous with a petrol can near the Teddington Mosque. Go and get him before he gets into trouble, eh?

  96. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 2:48 pm

    @ Komodo (13h32)

    Excellent quotation in italics from a “Jewish commenter”!

    Here is part of it again, retouched slightly to bring it into accord with the efforts of some of the regular ‘contributors’ to this blog:

    “Flaming June, Komodo et al are so extreme, so constantly dogmatic, rude, intellectually dubious and pig headed that they constantly bring the anti-Israel and anti-Zionist forces, and their own cause, into disrepute. There can be only one explanation, that they are in fact Zionist moles trying to bring down the British anti-Israel and anti-Zionist movements. At this, they are doing an excellent job.”

    I have, actually, long harboured such a suspicion :)

  97. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 3:06 pm

    That last is SO funny.

  98. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    Are the scales are falling off? Habbakuk was the original handle in November 2012.

    Jonathan Hoffman Offline
    Religion: Judaism
    Title:Sophomore Member Join Date: Jan 2013
    Gender: Male
    Posts: 395
    Frubals: 21
    Jonathan Hoffman is an unknown quantity at this point

    Default

    Net.bible translates Hab 2:4 as
    2:4 Look, the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion, 12
    but the person of integrity 13 will live 14 because of his faithfulness. 15

    https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Habakkuk+2

    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/biblical-debates/144121-habbukuk-2-4-mistranslated-2.html

  99. Glen; The “Collateral Murder” incident was news from the time it happened. Wikileaks revealed nothing except the video and what secrets did that reveal? A full transcript of the incident formed part of a book published by David Finkel the previous year, 2009. If the US are so sensitive about this incident why hasn’t he been stitched up on a rape charge yet?

    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-09-15/world/36905794_1_reuters-apache-namir-noor-eldeen

  100. That last is SO funny.

    Yeah interesting! Kind of similar to kindergarten Crayon

  101. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 3:15 pm

    ‘Area C’. Ghastly is it not? South Africa had ‘areas’.

    Israel freezes co-operation with EU in Palestinian territories
    Move follows European Union directive banning funding for bodies linked with Israeli settlements

    guardian.co.uk, Friday 26 July 2013 12.07 BST

    Israel has frozen co-operation with the European Union on work in the Palestinian territories in retaliation for an EU directive banning funding or grants for bodies with links to Israeli settlements.

    The move, authorised by the defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon, affects all projects requiring permits from the Civil Administration, which governs Area C, the 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli control; access of EU diplomats and representatives to Area C and Gaza; and joint meetings.

    No permits have been issued to EU humanitarian aid workers to enter Gaza for several days, according to a western diplomatic source.
    /..
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/26/israel-freezes-co-operation-eu-palestinian

  102. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 3:18 pm

    John Kerry, a dead ringer for John McCain, and just as cruel. This is written by Jeffery St Clair, co editor of Counterpunch.

    The Blood-Soaked Resumé of a Peace Broker

    What John Kerry Really Did in Vietnam

    by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

    With John Kerry currently in full Henry Kissinger regalia, parading around the Middle East bullying the Palestinians and their allies in the region and Europe into signing onto a deeply flawed peace accord that primarily serves Israeli and American interests, it may prove a useful exercise to inspect the curriculum vitae of this putative peace-maker, especially during those formative years when the Secretary of State first carved out his name in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Though Kerry has a reputation as an anti-war activist, his brief tenure in Vietnam and Cambodia was notable both for acts of casual savagery and his striking lack of contrition for his own participation in atrocities that in a rational society might easily be classified as war crimes.–JSC

    In his senior year at Yale in 1966 John Kerry enlisted in the US Navy, with his actual induction scheduled for the summer, after his graduation. Already notorious among his contemporaries for his political ambition, he’d maneuvered himself into the top slot at the Yale political union, while also winning admission to Skull and Bones.

    While George W. Bush, two years behind Kerry, was seeking commercial opportunity at Yale by selling ounce bags of cocaine, (so one contemporary has recalled) Kerry was keeping a vigilant eye on the political temperature and duly noted a contradiction between his personal commitment to go to war and the growing antiwar sentiment among the masses, some of whom he hoped would vote for him at a not too distant time.

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/26/what-john-kerry-really-did-in-vietnam/

  103. Sofia Kibo Noh

    26 Jul, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    @Flaming. 2 31pm

    Sounds like a bunch of so and sos to me.

    Will it forever be so?

    This post is ,em> so scraping the barrel.

    So long or should I say “Slán”

    ….

    Lasmuigh den ábhar.

    An t-Asal Marbh

    Caitheann an tAth Ó Briain a shuil an tfhuinneog amach ar maidin agus cad tá ar an bhfaiche taobh amú roimhe ach asal marbh.

    Glaonn se ar oifig na nGardaí ar an dteileafon agus deireann,”Tá asal marbh ‘na luí ar m’fhaiche taobh amú. An misde cupla gardaí a cuireadh cugam i leith cun é a thogaint as?”

    “Cheapas i gcomhnui gur ar do churamsa e Óla Deireanach a cuireadh ar na marbh!” deireann an garda.

    Fanann an tAth Ó Briain in a thóst go cheann cupla noimeataí.

    Agus ansin deireann sé, “Is cheart dom eolas a cuireadh ar na ngeasghaol ardtus!”

  104. Jonathan will happily declare that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism. He will have no hesitation about tarring all criticism, as ‘anti Israel’, and all opponents as either self-hating Jews or anti-semites. Naturally Jonathan declines to accept that the occupation exists, insists that Israel is a full democracy, that all its actions are 100% justifiable and that human rights campaigners are Islamists in disguise. Jonathan likes to turn up to left wing events and shout, heckle and genuine(ly) make an ass of himself…..

    Such a good link, I’ll post it twice.

    http://www.jewdas.org/2010/08/jonathan-hoffman-anti-zionist-hero/

  105. Komodo, thanks for the link re RW and flying pig with star of david.

    Interesting that most people can’t manage a fart in protest when a country’s flag is burnt but any desecration of the holy image of Israel is subjected to a coordinated attack like we see with humourous depictions of ProMo. Sometimes I think that Muslims and Jews deserve each other. If only they would keep their internecine affections for one another within the dusty boundaries of the (un)holy land.

  106. Komodo Said;

    Jonathan will happily declare that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism. He will have no hesitation about tarring all criticism, as ‘anti Israel’, and all opponents as either self-hating Jews or anti-semites. Naturally Jonathan declines to accept that the occupation exists, insists that Israel is a full democracy, that all its actions are 100% justifiable and that human rights campaigners are Islamists in disguise. Jonathan likes to turn up to left wing events and shout, heckle and genuine(ly) make an ass of himself…..

    Agreed, it may even be better to be posted thrice, in case someone missed it .

  107. Uzbek in the UK

    26 Jul, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    Komodo,

    The last 2000 years of human history proves your statement to be false. States have always been repressive and elites have always been unwilling to share their power with society. However; some of us generated progressive ideas that changes a lot in the course of two millenias. Some of us died for the progress and for what we now call freedoms. Absolutism and religious oppression of medieval Europe was turned into modern societies with representative system of power and religious freedoms. However; states now again trying to subvert these freedoms in order to do what they do the best – benefit elites.

  108. I would like to offer this link to an address by a concerned Israeli Jew who spells out the difficulty he has in accepting the Netanyahu narrative. And confirms that Israel has NO INTENTION of permitting any kind of Palestinian state.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOaxAckFCuQ&feature=player_embedded&t=80

    The name of the game: erasing Palestine, getting rid of the people and de-Arabizing the country…

    “When people talk about the possibility of Israel… giving up the West Bank for a Palestinian state, if it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the objective of Zionism and the Zionist state.

    “By 1993 the Israelis had achieved their mission to make the conquest of the West Bank irreversible. By 1993 the Israeli government knew for certain that a Palestinian state could not be established in the West Bank – the settlements were there, $billions were invested, the entire Jordan River valley was settled… there was no place any more for a Palestinian state to be established. That is when Israel said, OK, we’ll begin negotiations…”

  109. Not sure which of my statements you object to, Uzbek. What I would like to know is how we move from a corporate, greed-based political economy in which the vast majority are simply not discontented enough to move, and too well subdued by anodyne propaganda to realise that things will get gradually and subtly worse until they are restored to actual serfdom, in the absence of effective weaponry or any prospect of external aid…to an ideal society (on which we are bound to disagree anyway) I take Egypt as my model. What more should Egyptians have done to obtain a truly democratic state? They were pre-empted, outflanked and shafted by the global big battalions. The rise from feudalism to an acceptable system cannot be repeated by the same means. What means do you suggest?

  110. UITU Said

    Absolutism and religious oppression of medieval Europe was turned into modern societies with representative system of power and religious freedoms.

    How did that go?

    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya;
    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya;
    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya;
    Oh, Lord, kumbaya.

    Or was it:

    Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha,
    Ging gang goo, ging gang goo.

    states now again trying to subvert these freedoms in order to do what they do the best

    Interesting, there are optimists believing there are degrees of freedom for the autonomous slaves, that are being eroded.

  111. “CORRUPTION BY COMMITTEE; SCRUTINISING THE SCRUTINEERS”

    http://www.firmmagazine.com/corruption-committee-scrutinising-scrutineers/

  112. On the photograph in this link there are lots of giant Yanks ensuring a little man in glasses does not escape custody. The little man has more balls than the lot of them. Prosecutors in the Bradley Manning trial have summed up by saying his purpose was to aid Al Qaeda (a CIA-created terrorist group).

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2013/0725/Bradley-Manning-trial-closing-arguments-ask-Why-did-he-do-it

  113. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 4:22 pm

    “Major Fein also stressed the direct connection between what Manning leaked and Al Qaeda, including information gathered when Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs.

    “He had actual knowledge that the enemies of the US used the Internet and WikiLeaks to gather information to be used against this country,” Fein said. “He knew releasing such information on the Internet would be in the hands of terrorists and other adversaries of this nation.””

    John Goss; Attorneys remarks are not evidence. Have they proven the ‘intent’ to aid the enemy?

    He talks about ‘reckless’ behavior and that’s a ways off from intent. A person can be guilty of being reckless while driving a car. If he kills a pedestrian and they want to prove intent so they can charge with murder, it’s a much steeper cliff.

    When the Prosecutor says ‘he knew releasing such information…..’ that only means he’s convinced, not the judge.

    But, the way the military has treated the journalists covering this story, I’m not sure of Judge Lind’s autonomy.

  114. Uzbek in the UK

    26 Jul, 2013 - 4:26 pm

    Passerby

    The results might be more important here than the process itself. Although if you are interested in the process, there is a lot of reading material available. This gradually happen in Europe more than anywhere else. Some argue that despite huge human cost two world wars greatly contributed to demise of religion in Europe at last.

  115. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    Will Edward Snowden believe Eric Holder’s assurance that he will not be tortured or receive the death penalty if he returns to the US? How generous of the United States.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1120836/us-will-not-seek-death-penalty-for-snowden

  116. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 4:39 pm

    “Unfortunately, assuming there is no war, nobody would know what, or which, currency to trust,”

    If the fabric of society were torn, any currency would most likely be untenable as trade. Foodstuffs, coffee, liquor and other items would be sought in exchange for other needs.

    Junk silver is recognized in many quarters as having intrinsic value based upon current market value. For example, even now with silver being pommeled it’s at $18 per oz. If you have a 1964 or earlier US half-dollar it has .336 oz of silver so it’s value is a bout 6 bucks. It’s not useful for apocalyptic scenarios, but it’s a good stopgap for short-term regional crises.

  117. Uzbek in the UK

    26 Jul, 2013 - 4:51 pm

    Komodo,

    If only I new good and applicable practical answer. Marxism could be good example of ideal or better say academic answer to this but as it turned out it was a disaster in practise.

    Further development of civil societies could be good way forward. Societies that less dependent of state and that have means of communication within and between each other (something like internet). However; as it is evident state (elites) is penetrating hard both means of communication is subverting further development of civil societies by eroding foundations of understanding of common good by replacing it with need of material benefits. For instance rising living costs and consumerism make people more silent and some would rather shut their eyes on wrong doings to keep their jobs (like many in FCO) than criticising and becoming scape goats.

  118. Some argue that despite huge human cost two world wars greatly contributed to demise of religion in Europe at last.

    True some used to argue the Earth is flat, and others argued Earth was at the centre of the universe, and still there were those who argued, Blacks could not fly aircraft, in the very wars that evidently did so much for the cause of humanity, and its progress!

    There always is misanthropy, then there is bloody genocide, and of course there is the last option of would it not be nice for the Human vermin to disappear from the face of the Earth. All said and conveyed in the most palatable fashion of the zeitgeist!

  119. “Military Industrial Congressional Intelligence Complex”

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6116

  120. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 5:53 pm

    A blood-diamond whistleblower….https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Gordon_Douglas_Brown

    A blood-diamond enforcer—Sam Childers (machine-gun preacher -leaded version)

    His was the inspiration for the Gerard Butler movie.

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

  121. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 6:28 pm

    The connections between Israel and South Sudan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%E2%80%93South_Sudan_relations

    Oil and water are mentioned.

    ~~~

    I read about this protest in Brighton against Southern Water using Israeli made water meters.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/135830PaPalestine Activist Wins Water Fight.

    Good for Caroline.

    Arad Technologies –
    http://arad.co.il/learning-center/case-studies/southern-waters-amr-implementation/

    Based in Dalia, Israel a kibbutz that found water.
    http://www.dalia.org.il/kibutz/begin.html

  122. KhartoumKarli

    26 Jul, 2013 - 6:29 pm

    ” States are the enemy “, well yes they are if they are denying their citizens their human rights. I guess we were a lot more human when we made that UN charter.
    The problems with the States which we have problems with , are , that they have become fascist. Corporations are fascist.They respect no borders, they avoid paying tax,break the law, they manipulate politicians with the money they don’t pay in tax.
    Look at Wullie Hague for gods sake. There was a (man ?) without a f***n clue and yet now she is our Foreign Secretary and they , whoever they are , have given her something to say, something to strive for, defend, get passionate about….. Suddenly clueless little Willie has a stage.. Cameron and Osborne are no different. There’s a script writer in there somewhere.The same guy who beds his male assistant and wanders the streets in a baseball cap, is suddenly projected as being Churchillian… He’s a ball handler and always hasbeen.
    People power, why does it not work ?? Craig, you chose the Liberals thinking they were different from the other MS parties only to find out they are all bought and paid for by the same bunch… whoever they are. The fact they have a zionist agenda could just be a BIG coincidence…
    Why isn’t there a decent alternative politics wise to the LibLabCons ? Why can’t someone come up with a Bank that operates the way they were supposed to ? Why don’t we change what we don’t like ? The younger generation are far too quiet for my liking, and the bite’s gone out of ours.
    There was so much hope in Tarir Square and it has been reduced to a grin in an army uniform with a groovy pair of shades. Is that our fate too ?
    On the bright side, I’m out of Sudan now . The only oppressive things there are the heat and Ramadan for a non-believer like myself.
    And I finally saw the Blue Nile
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDTxD55Fz9w

  123. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 6:49 pm

    To illustrate his contention that states are the enemy (of the people), Craig takes the examples of Assange, Manning and Snowden, Navalny and British MP David Ward to show that neither the US, nor Russia, nor the UK, are truly promoting the values of human freedom. So the US, Russia and the UK all come under fire and their outlooks and actions are seen as roughly equivalent. Israel is mentioned by Craig to illustrate his UK/David Craig example.

    It is therefore quite revealing of the pensée unique and certain obsessions on this blog that of the comments posted so far, the kicks (whether on-topic or not) are distributed approximately as follow:

    - the US gets about 23 kicks
    - Israel/the Zionists get about 22 kicks
    - Russia gets about 2 kicks
    - The UK gets 1 kick.

  124. The Justice system in the UK has been subverted for use as a tool of repression by the state. Its all very totalitarian and the model has to be the former Soviet Union. Assange, Snowden, Manning and the UK’s own whistleblower Andrea Davison seek asylum from Western oppression. The UK’s Andrea Davison is not a young man like the others but a pensioner and former intelligence operative with an incruable illness forced to seek asylum because of persecution by the UK government

    http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/87110-former-british-intelligence-operative-andrea-davisons-explosive-evidence-to-the-macur-investigation-into-north-wales-child-abuse-an-absolutely-must-read-and-must-circulate

  125. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 7:41 pm

    ‘Porn’ takes on many definitions depending on who’s defining.

    that’s a failure of the educational system. Dismantle it.

  126. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 7:42 pm

  127. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 7:51 pm

    The poster @ 6.49pm is SO good at counting numbers. Top of the class.

    I think that should be UK/David Ward btw.

  128. Horace Swanson

    26 Jul, 2013 - 9:02 pm

    “Exactly as in Uzbekistan, the conviction rate in criminal trials is over 99%.”

    That’s hardly unusual. It’s over 98% in the USA, and something similar in Japan.

  129. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 10:01 pm

    @ Flaming June

    “The poster @ 6.49pm is SO good at counting numbers. Top of the class.”
    ____________________-

    Yes, I know you don’t like numbers very much.

    Certain kinds of numbers anyway.

    I remember how upset you got with Glenn_uk when he was once kind enough to supply numbers for who had posted how many times on a number of threads. :)

  130. only one big ball

    26 Jul, 2013 - 10:07 pm

  131. - the US gets about 23 kicks
    - Israel/the Zionists get about 22 kicks

    Sounds about right. The two biggest threats to peace. The two most rogue states on the planet.

  132. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    25 Jul, 2013 – 6:19 pm

    “It’s sad to see that this simple message – expressed in clear English – simply does not penetrate into the minds of (some) readers, who swerve away from Russia in order to give a supplementary kick to the US.”

    Habbabkuk; who on this blog supports Russia – politically or on human rights?

    Why have you not addressed Craig’s points re-produced below?

    “It is rather a commonplace sentiment that it is a terribly sad thing, that their community having suffered dreadfully in the Holocaust, the European Jews involved in founding the state of Israel went on themselves to inflict terrible pain and devastation on the Palestinians in the Nakba. Both the Holocaust and the Nakba were horrific events of human suffering. For this not startling observation, David Ward is removed from the Liberal Democrats. He also stated that, with its ever increasing number of racially specific laws, its walls and racially restricted roads, Israel is becoming an apartheid state.”

    And:

    “In the United States, the House of Representatives failed by just 12 votes to make illegal the mass snooping by the NSA which was not widely publicised until Edward Snowden’s revelations. What Snowden said was so important that almost half the country’s legislators wished to act on his information. Yet the executive wish to pursue him and remove all his freedom for the rest of his life, as they are doing to Bradley Manning for Manning’s exposure of war crimes and extreme duplicity.”

    You’re not really up to the task are you?

  133. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 10:25 pm

    @ Doug Scorgie

    “Habbabkuk; who on this blog supports Russia – politically or on human rights?”
    ______________________

    I have no idea, Doug.

    And now a question for you, in turn : who on this blog comments on political,, social or human rights abuses in Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, North Korea, Venezuela, Ecuador, Zimbabwe, South Africa and various corrupt and despotic African countries?

    If nobody, why should this be so, do you think?

  134. Juteman
    25 Jul, 2013 – 7:03 pm

    “There are no juries in most Scottish trials. The Sheriff is god.”

    Are you trying to mislead Juteman? Perhaps you’re anti-independence laddie.

    There are no juries in most of England’s trials either because the majority of cases are heard at Magistrates courts (no jury).

  135. Kempe
    25 Jul, 2013 – 7:17 pm

    “Unfortunately the case for Assange being the victim of a US conspiracy comes unstuck when you notice that the release of the American diplomatic cables didn’t start until the 28th Novemeber 2010; eight days after the arrest warrant was issued and nearly 3 months after the rape complaints were first made.”

    Not true Mr Kempe:

    “The United States diplomatic cables leak, widely known as Cablegate, began in February 2010…”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_diplomatic_cables_leak

    The arrest warrant for rape was issued in August 2010. Six months AFTER the leaks began.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11949341

    I note your use of the word conspiracy.

  136. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 11:17 pm

    @ Scourge :

    “”Juteman
    25 Jul, 2013 – 7:03 pm

    “There are no juries in most Scottish trials. The Sheriff is god.”

    Are you trying to mislead Juteman? Perhaps you’re anti-independence laddie.

    There are no juries in most of England’s trials either because the majority of cases are heard at Magistrates courts (no jury).”
    __________________

    Illogical argument, there, Dougie : you found your accusation that Juteman is trying to mislead people by saying there are no juries in most Scottish trials on your revelation that there are no juries in most of England’s trials EITHER?

    A bit like saying, for example, that Doug Scourgie isn’t intelligent because Herbie and Macky aren’t intelligent EITHER, isn’t it?

  137. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 11:29 pm

    “Everyone is corruptible so retaining mechanisms of power invites corruption. In corporations and states.

    I hope for a gradual dismantling of both.”

    —————–

    And what happens after the dismantlings have been completed?

  138. Sofia Kibo Noh

    26 Jul, 2013 - 11:36 pm

    doug scorgie

    26 Jul, 2013 – 10:11 pm

    “Habbabkuk …..You’re not really up to the task are you?”

    Doug.
    Have you no heart? How can you be so too hard on Dad? After all he has selflessly taken on an impossible task which, day after endless day, he cheerfully throws himself into heart and soul. But even with his vast intellect it’s still impossible to defend the indefensible.

    Sometimes it just all gets a bit too much for him. Who wouldn’t moved by his attempt at 10 01pm.

    “Yes, I know you don’t like numbers very much.

    Certain kinds of numbers anyway.”

    Sigmund Freud would, if he wasn’t dead, intervene here like a shot he would tell you this is a classic example of paranoid hysterical projection triggered by ingrained phobias about periods and women’s power and suppressed feelings of foolishmess. Only a decade of intensive psychoanalysis would have a chance of bringing relief from such a torment.

    So please, just put yourself in Dad’s shoes for a moment. Give him credit where credit is due. Doesn’t it take a unique talent to confidently enter a discussion and turn it into the intellectual equivalent of cold tapioca with a few taps on his keyboard?

    Remember his valiant efforts to convince the Eministas that 2500000 US soldiers through Shannon Airport wasn’t really “millions” because, um, 2.5 isn’t really that much more than one. Even Kibo had trouble with that one and she’s a world renowned mathematical genuis.

    So next time you feel tempted to have a go at Dad just remember, even henchmen have feelings.

  139. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 11:40 pm

    “Sigmund Freud would, if he wasn’t dead, intervene here like a shot he would tell you this is a classic example of paranoid hysterical projection triggered by ingrained phobias about periods and women’s power and suppressed feelings of foolishmess. Only a decade of intensive psychoanalysis would have a chance of bringing relief from such a torment.”

    Shorter version; penis envy; but the projection? That’s even shorter.

  140. BRADLEY MANNING NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT NOW. US government says he is a “traitor” with “evil intent”

    SIGN THE NOBEL PRIZE PETITION

    http://bit.ly/1bMEJBp

    Petition has 96,000 signatories

  141. Jon: Replied to your comment/ questions to me in this earlier thread regarding free speech on the blog. Thanks.

  142. Flaming June
    25 Jul, 2013 – 7:58 pm

    “In a ruling delivered this week, the BBC Trust appears to have accepted Israel’s facts on the ground, namely that Jerusalem is a united Israeli city.”

    Not surprising Mary; the BBC has been like this for decades but usually discretely. Now it appears that the state broadcaster is happy to proclaim aloud its biased stance on political issues ranging from Royal babies to ethnic cleansing by Israel.

    The hiring of an ardent Zionist, James Harding, says it all.

    “James Harding will be in charge of its flagship news and current affairs programs including Today, Newsnight, Panorama and Question Time. He will also be responsible for daily news bulletins on the BBC’s main television channels and radio stations.”

    “In 2011, Harding spoke at a media event organized by The Jewish Chronicle, telling his audience: “I am pro-Israel. I believe in the State of Israel. I would have had a real problem if I had been coming to a paper [The Times] with a history of being anti-Israel. And, of course, Rupert Murdoch is pro-Israel.”

    He also said:

    “We wrote an editorial called ‘In defence of Israel’ during the Gaza offensive, but we also reported on the use of white phosphorus, which was the Israelis breaking their own rules.”

    Breaking their own rules? It was breaking international law and a war crime.

    If states are the enemy, as Craig mentioned, then in the UK the BBC is also the enemy.

    Of course the alternative to the BBC is a private corporation like Fox TV but whatever model of funding, the state would hold the upper hand as with the so called “free press”.

    That means the Main Stream Media is the enemy.

  143. Well Said Doug. The MSM are certainly a long held Enemy of the poor Souls we have been murdering in far off lands.

    Almost 300,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Israel headed to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to perform Ramadan prayers on yesterday

    http://www.alresalah.ps/en/index.php?act=post&id=2370

  144. Anon
    26 Jul, 2013 – 9:34 am

    “An excellent and timely post, Craig, not least because some of your followers think the sun shines out of Putin’s backside merely for his thwarting of some of the West’s evil schemes.”

    Which followers are you talking about Anon? Any names?

    “One must, of course, be careful not to ‘go over to the other side’ – to start hailing Russia, Syria, Iran as paragons of civilized virtue and decency, as some here are wont to do.”

    Names please.

  145. @ Craig,
    You said:-
    “It is rather a commonplace sentiment that it is a terribly sad thing, that their community having suffered dreadfully in the Holocaust, the European Jews involved in founding the state of Israel went on themselves to inflict terrible pain and devastation on the Palestinians in the Nakba. Both the Holocaust and the Nakba were horrific events of human suffering. For this not startling observation, David Ward is removed from the Liberal Democrats. He also stated that, with its ever increasing number of racially specific laws, its walls and racially restricted roads, Israel is becoming an apartheid state.”
    You may care to consider that the world is round and what went around – sometimes does come around:-
    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Caribbean-leaders-to-seek-slavery-reparations-from-Europe | Jamaican News Online – JamaicaObserver.com
    http://blackagendareport.com/blog/62

  146. “Are you trying to mislead Juteman? Perhaps you’re anti-independence laddie.”

    Hey Juteman, you’re a traitor because you criticised the Scottish legal system which like the Scottish government and everything else Scottish is perfect and can do no wrong.

  147. “A bit like saying, for example, that Doug Scourgie isn’t intelligent because Herbie and Macky aren’t intelligent EITHER, isn’t it?”

    Or a bit like saying for example the infant mortality rate in Palestine isn’t appalling because the infant mortality rate in Ethiopia is as bad.

  148. In the back pages:

    “George Galloway’s ex-secretary faces charges over data protection”

    “Aisha Ali-Khan charged with data-protection offences allegedly carried out while she was working for Respect MP last year”

    “A Met police officer based in the counter-terrorism unit S015, Detective Inspector Afiz Khan, known as Alfie, was also charged with two related counts of misconduct in a public office and four counts of data-protection offences between May and September 2012.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/25/george-galloway-secretary-ali-khan-data-charges

  149. @ Hab,

    You posted:-

    “Scarlet Pampers’ statement that the “USA does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all either” is tosh.”

    Well – just look at:-

    1. US criminal justice system’s rates of incarcerations of minorities versus whites – and relative to the same offence.

    2. The “buyability” of the criminal justice system in the US when one weighs nature of crime relative to quality of defence representation related to the defendant charged.’

    3. Forget the laws as drafted in the US criminal justice system – and just ” stand your ground – Hab”

  150. Flaming June

    27 Jul, 2013 - 7:29 am

    There has been terrible slaughter in the square at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque overnight. There are reports that 70 people have been killed with the army using live rounds.

    The propaganda machine yesterday was putting out stuff about Morsi’s links to Hamas. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/23464016 – Jim Muir who is usually in Lebanon reporting on Syria!

    Strange that. There have been the same difficulties for the Palestinians attempting to leave or enter Gaza at the Rafah gate during the period of Morsi’s presidency as there were in Mubarrak’s time.

  151. Flaming June

    27 Jul, 2013 - 7:57 am

    Did anyone hear Welby on Radio 4 Today yesterday?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03775fr/live 8.10am 16mins

    This archbishop came over as shallow and an apologist for capital, including the most aggressive usury. He discussed the niceties of interest rates. He even gave Wonga a pat on the back. They are very professional and keep good books. Wow!

    Pay day loans are a great wart on our nation and imho utterly amoral with their massively high interest rates into 1000s of percentages. Yet he spoke using all shades of grey. He made no mention of why, ‘in our depressed areas’, people turn to loan sharks. Their employment opportunities are poor or non-existent and unlike the elite, probably their education too. The wages too are poor if there is employment and rents exorbitant.

    And then there is the list of amoral Church Commissioners’ investments which include hotels who profit from pornography on the bedroom TVs (and Visa too) and gambling. ‘Very difficult, many facets.’

    We have a ‘dog eats dog’ society, which the ex Big Oil rep will not impinge on at all. You could feel his lack of real concern, and John Humphrys drew it out well.

    He is very obviously a Cameron ‘pick’ to use the US word. Should he even be a priest, let alone an Archbishop? He is a lightweight and cannot give any moral leadership.

  152. Flaming June

    27 Jul, 2013 - 8:06 am

    John Pilger comments on our present condition and exhorts us to take action.

    How We are Impoverished, Gentrified and Silenced … and What to Do About It
    The Age of Regression

    by JOHN PILGER
    London

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/26/the-age-of-regression/

    [..]
    How long can the British watch the uprisings across the world and do little apart from mourn the long-dead Labour Party? The Edward Snowden revelations show the infrastructure of a police state emerging in Europe, especially Britain. Yet, people are more aware than ever before; and governments fear popular resistance – which is why truth-tellers are isolated, smeared and pursued.

    Momentous change almost always begins with the courage of people taking back their own lives against the odds. There is no other way now. Direct action. Civil disobedience. Unerring. Read Percy Shelley – “Ye are many; they are few”. And do it.

  153. Sofia Kibo Noh

    27 Jul, 2013 - 8:09 am

    @Flaming. 7 57am

    “Should he even be a priest…?”

    Of course he should. I’ll let Dave Allen explain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u6XXOELs_s

  154. Today Bradley Manning will probably be sentenced to life-imprisonment by a US military court for telling the truth. That being the case we must never stop campaigning for his release. One day he will be free. He will be awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace among the other awards he has won. Even when things seem desperate we must never despair.

    Success! Sometimes writing in support of a fellow-writer, coupled with other support from charities and the free press, can help liberate those illegally imprisoned. It is heartening when this happens. My article in News Junkie Post in early June may have helped. But the good news is Shaye is now free.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2013/06/04/the-united-states-of-extra-judicial-murder-and-imprisonment/

  155. I should have written Shaye is out of prison rather than free. He still cannot leave Yemen.

  156. Sofia Kibo Noh

    27 Jul, 2013 - 8:30 am

    Masque of Anarchy.
    Percy Shelley

    Stand ye calm and resolute,
    Like a forest close and mute,
    With folded arms and looks which are
    Weapons of unvanquished war.

    And if then the tyrants dare,
    Let them ride among you there,
    Slash, and stab, and maim and hew,
    What they like, that let them do.

    With folded arms and steady eyes,
    And little fear, and less surprise
    Look upon them as they slay
    Till their rage has died away

    Then they will return with shame
    To the place from which they came,
    And the blood thus shed will speak
    In hot blushes on their cheek.

    Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number,
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you-
    Ye are many — they are few

    Men of England, heirs of Glory,
    Heroes of unwritten story,
    Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
    Hopes of her, and one another;

    What is Freedom? Ye can tell
    That which Slavery is too well,
    For its very name has grown
    To an echo of your own

    Let a vast assembly be,
    And with great solemnity
    Declare with measured words, that ye
    Are, as God has made ye, free!

    The old laws of England–they
    Whose reverend heads with age are grey,
    Children of a wiser day;
    And whose solemn voice must be
    Thine own echo–Liberty!

    Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number,
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you-
    Ye are many — they are few

  157. Flaming June

    27 Jul, 2013 - 8:40 am

    Some voyeuristic thugs and bullies reside within the Notts police force.

    Nottinghamshire officers disciplined after woman’s top removed

    Related Stories
    Misconduct case over pregnant arrest

    Three police officers who stripped a “vulnerable” pregnant woman naked to the waist have been disciplined.

    Lynnette Wallace was left semi-naked for 13 minutes and also put in handcuffs for 11 hours.
    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-23472511#

  158. I think the Masque of Anarchy, which contains the lines “I met murder on the way, he wore a masque like Castlereagh . . .”, is one of the poems which helped get Shelley sent down from Oxford. It is one of my favourite poems. Ironically the university now has a statue of Shelley (naked of course) to commemorate him having studied there, which either demonstrates an advancement in academic tolerance or extreme cynicism.

    http://spenceralley.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/shelley-memorial.html

    We are many – they are few. Just remember that. Let’s bring down the Bilderbergers!

  159. Flaming June

    27 Jul, 2013 - 8:52 am

    Ah thanks Sofia. Dear Dave Allen. I loved his dry wit and the sketches were so imaginative and at the time, in the late 60s and early 70s, his anti-clerical and anti-establishment act was quite radical and outrageous.

    I like the Bishop’s crozier in this YT. :)

    Sadly I did not know that he died aged 68 in 2005.
    He was lovely. RIP.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Allen_(comedian)

  160. Flaming June

    27 Jul, 2013 - 9:18 am

    From Hidari on Medialens

    “UK PM David Cameron and Claire Perry say that they plan on forcing Britain’s ISPs to have a “default-on” censorship app for every connection in the UK. But the UK Open Rights Group have been talking with whistleblowers from the ISPs that have met with the government’s censorship grandees, and they report that the censorware will come equipped to block an enormous swath of legal Internet content, and unless you untick the boxes, this will all be censored for your Internet connection:

    Do you want to block

    ☑ pornography
    ☑ violent material
    extremist and terrorist related content
    ☑ anorexia and eating disorder websites
    ☑ suicide related websites
    ☑ alcohol
    ☑ smoking
    web forums
    ☑ esoteric material
    ☑ web blocking circumvention tools”

    http://boingboing.net/2013/07/26/uk-censorwall-will-also-block.html

  161. When dark shadows cloud the sky a ray of hope can break through. Manning the 2013 Peace Prize winner. Congratulations to him.

    http://www.uspeacememorial.org/PEACEPRIZE.htm

  162. Sofia Kibo Noh

    27 Jul, 2013 - 9:21 am

    @Flaming. 8 52am

    Yes he was lovely. Too good to shine in his home country, controlled as it was at the time by clerics. Ironic that he was finally brought down by using one rude word.

    @Jon.

    Yes. Let’s!Let’s!

    http://www.healthyskepticism.org/files/soapbox/peter/bigfishlittlefish.gif

  163. Winning the Peace Memorial Prize is a great demonstration of “We are many – they are few”.

  164. Flaming June

    27 Jul, 2013 - 9:25 am

    Egypt Bans Gaza Fishermen From Its Waters

    NEWS / Posted by Friends of Al-Aqsa / Friday, 26th July, 2013 http://foa.org.uk/news/egypt-bans-gaza-fishermen–from-its-waters

    The head of the Palestinian Syndicate of Fishermen in Gaza, Nizar Ayesh, said that his organization was not officially informed that Gaza fishermen were no longer allowed to sail in the Egyptian waters.

    “Egyptian gunboats always watched the borders between Gaza and Egypt, yet never banned any Palestinian boat from sailing to Egypt before last week,” Ayesh told Al-Monitor in an interview at the seaport on July 25.

    Darweesh al-Assi, 43, a fisherman for more than 35 years, said that he always fished in the Egyptian waters before he heard from his colleagues that it was no longer permitted.
    [..]
    Ayesh explained, “Gaza fishermen escape the Israeli violations and the restricted zone to the Egyptian open zone, but now their space is totally besieged.”

    In addition to limited fishing zones, Gaza’s fishermen are also suffering from a lack of fuel after the Egyptian military demolished many smuggling tunnels stretching under the borders between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.

    ~~

    UN and world bodies, Quartet Envoy, John Kerry, William Hague – silence.

  165. The police who ‘mishandled’ Ms. Wallace have obviously no idea of the sanctity of life, what pregnant women go through, or what normal public decency would demand in such a situation.

    Instead they displayed gang culture, rude bad manners, a surprising lack of humanitarian knowledge as well a predilection to overreact and use violent means on an unborn.

    Those who question that a foetus feels the stress and hears the shouts of its aggrieved and sobbing mother, please consult someone about it.

    I question police education and the selection process, somewhere within it, there is a moral override being implanted in these young malleable minds, anybody who does not think critically is accepted, utter loyalty is demanded regardless and ‘UEBER ALLES’, hail to the political party of the day, we will protect those who extend out franchises and licks the arse of our police federation.

  166. Defense’s closing arguments in Bradley Manning trial

    https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/sites/default/files/072613amsession_F.pdf

  167. From the defence summary posted by Dreolin at 9.34 am.

    “He wanted the information, he believed that it would have impact on entire world. And the Government says, entire world, that includes the enemy.”

    The United States has difficulty in understanding that the entire world, with one or two exceptions, sees it as ‘the enemy’ although little is likely to change the sentence. These things are rarely settled in court when there is no jury.

  168. Flaming June, these categories all fit into one,i.e. News, why the heck can we not opt out of news channels?

    Is it because its filtered and purified for us, content displayed is not what’s in the tin, fortuitously prattled and smothered with their own excretions.

    Can’t think why there’s no opt out for news channels. I have not looked at a BBC site, sorry those who still proffer their propaganda, for over a year now and it feels better already.

    The electronic control tools are now so sophisticated and in almost every gadget form car, TV to phone, that I expect a movement away from it, something authorities would hate.
    Imagine all those posting here, disbanding their cell phones after making explicit noises to go somewhere or other. If all of us not paying a TV license because we have junked our sets in disgust at their blatant bias, self centred navel gazing, and corporate/political arse licking use of OUR BBC, basically if we are ‘uncontrollable’ or traceable by electronic means, that would worry them tremendously, especially if it is an exponentially growing number of us.

    Because everything they do is about control and management of news trivia and traditionalist rigmarole/mania, as we have seen during the last five days.

    Control freaks can’t stand not knowing what we do.

  169. “A race to generate Jews, courtesy of the Israeli government”

    ‘For the past few weeks, radio spots have been urging Israel’s non-Jewish citizens to register for an accelerated conversion process.’

    “Under the influence of Habayit Hayehudi, the government has launched a race to generate Jews. MK Ayelet Shaked likes to talk about the country’s unique character as a type of armor, but what she’s really getting at is protective, human armor with a Jewish hue, which will shield her against all those who are not like her.

    “All this racism is compressed into a two-minute public-service ad, which is supposedly light and positive but in truth embodies the essence of everything that’s rotten about the government’s priorities. The rot is not achievable per se, since it was already achieved long ago. Now it is also being celebrated.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/1.537865

  170. “US-Australian military exercise rehearses for war against China”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/27/tali-j27.html

  171. Hi Kempe,

    Unfortunately the case for Assange being the victim of a US conspiracy comes unstuck when you notice that the release of the American diplomatic cables didn’t start until the 28th Novemeber 2010; eight days after the arrest warrant was issued and nearly 3 months after the rape complaints were first made.

    I’m not sure the 20th November 2010 date you suggest for the warrant vis a vis Cablegate publication quite pans out. IIRC, the Swedish domestic warrant was put before the Stockholm District Court (without informing Assange’s Swedish defence lawyers) on 18 November, that was appealed to the SVEA Court on 24 November, failed there and the Swedish Supreme Court refused to hear a further appeal on 26 November. The international European Arrest Warrant was issued on 27 November, two days before the start of Cablegate. (This was, in fact, sent back by the British SOCA unit because it was invalid as it correctly stated Assange was sought for questioning. A second EAW with a more – how to put this? – naunced wording was issued on 6 December.

    But doesn’t your whole argument fall apart by considering that the US State Department had been aware for many months – from at least the point where Adrian Lamo handed over his chatlogs with Bradley Manning in May 2010 – of exactly what Wikileaks had in their possession and were likely to publish soon?

    But what about Barack Obama’s public announcement on 10 August – the day before Assange even travelled to Sweden – that Britain, Germany, Australia and other allied Western governments should open criminal investigations into Julian Assange and limit his travel?

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/08/10/a-western-crackdown-on-wikileaks.html

    You do realise, don’t you, that Assange was under Swedish intelligence surveillance the entire six weeks or so he was in Sweden?

  172. “What commitments has the Labor government made to US war plans?”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/25/inte-j25.html

  173. Komodo, 8.49pm yesterday

    For breaking no law, but merely for uttering an opinion.

    Something’s badly wrong there.

    I was reminded yesterday of the case of Tarek Mehanna, the 29 yr old US pharmacist sentenced to 17 years as a terrorist for “material support” by merely providing translations of texts on jihadist websites. Glenn Greenwald published Mehanna’s sentencing statement, read to the court just after that sentence was handed down. A powerful and moving statement on what free speech means in the Land of the Free nowadays:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/the_real_criminals_in_the_tarek_mehanna_case/

  174. Hullo Craig,

    May I summarise things thus?

    In Russia one may not criticise Putin because Putin rules Russia.

    Yes? Might we declare that inarguable? Okay then, what of the following?

    In Britain one may not criticise Israel because…

    Rather an easy solve I’m afraid but that’s ipso facto for you.

  175. Ben Franklin, yesterday 4.26pm

    But, the way the military has treated the journalists covering this story, I’m not sure of Judge Lind’s autonomy.

    An even more telling sign of that is the fact she’s already been given a promotion – to the same court where Manning’s appeal will be heard:

    “Schenck said Lind has already been informed that she will take up a new position, as a judge on the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, when the Manning trial ends.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/more-than-bradley-mannings-fate-lies-with-judge-denise-lind-in-case-about-leaking-info/2013/07/24/fb546d14-f496-11e2-aa2e-4088616498b4_story_1.html

  176. Nevermind what is the word on that unfortunate environmental protester who was injured in Norfolk?

  177. Doug Scorgie, 11.57pm

    That means the Main Stream Media is the enemy.

    and

    Of course the alternative to the BBC is a private corporation like Fox TV but whatever model of funding, the state would hold the upper hand as with the so called “free press”.

    You may be interested in this. It’s a speech given yesterday by Julian Assange to the Australian Splendour in the Grass festival. In it, he outlines an interesting idea for increasing the plurality of alternative voices and other forms of freedom of speech/expression, music, etc to combat the malign effects of the “media-ocracy” – namely, a Content Fund similar to an author royalties scheme based on stats of the 100,000 most-loaned titles from public lending libraries. I know nothing of how that original scheme works in Australia, so can’t comment on it, but I thought the most interesting aspect of the idea was that Assange said this Content Fund would be funded from the Defence budget. He obviously has some pretty radical ideas about how one builds “a strong and independent military” – something he’s also called for in the Australian context.

    Worth a listen:

    http://vimeo.com/70982502

  178. Jonathan Cook (who lives in Nazareth) on medialens on his account of his travels across the US and how he was treated by security at airports.

    Jonathan Cook comments on the US security and surveillance state
    Posted by The Editors on July 27, 2013, 9:21 am

    Via Facebook:

    The extent to which the US has become a security and surveillance state was illustrated to me that last time I travelled there, a few years back on a book tour.

    I had 10 internal flights to make over the course of 2 weeks. When I was pulled out of line and taken for “extra security checks” on the first flight, I was told by the official that I was unlucky because such checks were entirely random. Except I kept being unlucky. In fact, I got extra attention on nine of my 10 flights – and I suspect that the occasion I wasn’t subjected to the extra checks was simply an oversight. I noticed that I had a large red “S” scrawled on my flight stub, as I did on the others. Presumably the security people missed it.

    I am reminded of this by a story showing that the FBI has had under surveillance the website anti-war.com, a place I have published on many occasions, for more than a decade.

    /..
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1374913298.html

    ~~~~
    Antiwar.com Under Surveillance

    The FBI doesn’t suspect any crime but monitors the site anyway—and this fits a pattern of targeting journalists who probe state secrets
    By Kelley Vlahos • July 25, 2013 http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/antiwar-com-under-surveillance/

  179. Arbed at 10.30 “You do realise, don’t you, that Assange was under Swedish intelligence surveillance the entire six weeks or so he was in Sweden?”

    I would be very surprised if Anna Ardin’s flat was not bugged with cameras from the day he arrived, especially with her known connections to various Swedish embassies. It has always puzzled me why she was not there to meet one of the “coolest” people in the world, and why she could not postpone a visit to her family in order to see Assange. The whole honey-trap was buzzing.

  180. I wondered how Tristan Anderson was. He was shot in the head by an Israeli tear gas canister in 2009 whilst on a protest in Ni’lin. Alison Weir reports on the NYT piece.

    Weekend Edition July 26-28, 2013
    Myra Noveck & the New York Times:

    Another Journalist with Children in the Israeli Military

    by ALISON WEIR
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/26/another-journalist-with-children-in-the-israeli-military/

    Jonathan Cook drew attention on his Facebook page to the above article. He also writes about Michael Hastings’ unusual death.
    https://www.facebook.com/Jonathan.Cook.journalist?hc_location=timeline

  181. Flaming June, thanks for posting the two links in your last regarding the US secret services surveillance of anti-war. It is par for the course. What governments fear most is that good journalists will expose their lies and corruption and confirms the old adage:

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

  182. John Goss says:

    “You do realise, don’t you, that Assange was under Swedish intelligence surveillance the entire six weeks or so he was in Sweden?”

    John do you have any links to articles on this issue? This puts an entirely different complexion on the whole stinking affair. The notion that Anna Ardin later complained could indicate that Assange did not co-operate once the trap was sprung on him, and Ardin’s complaint followed soon after.

    Also I have always had a nagging doubt that Assange could be an SIS asset after his arrest for Nortel hacking. Any ideas to prove, or disprove such a notion?

  183. @ Nevermind.

    Ideal would it not be too be able to purchase radio with “news opt out”.

    I for one would pleasantly have in the earshot of sympathetic minds.

    Stupidity could raise many a question new’s night, vulnerbility is present all the same.

    @ Jon Goss

    Isn’t it funny a bear likes honey;
    Buzz Buzz Buzz;
    I wonder why he does.

    If Bears were bees they would build there hives at the bottom of trees

    And if bees were bears they wouldn’t need to climb all those stairs.

  184. Passerby, I don’t know where Arbed gets all his information from but it is usually accurate.

    Most security services set up profit-making companies. Public relations companies are a favourite because the agents within them have access to the highest level of government and the most influential people. Prime is the biggest in Stockholm.

    No ideas about your ‘nagging doubt’ but seems very unlikely he was ever an SIS asset. When he hacked into Nordex he was too young to be an asset of any country.

  185. George Quinn says:
    July 24, 2013 at 17:29

    lucy wangari decourcy says:
    July 27, 2013 at 12:42

    http://dpac.uk.net/2013/05/hardship-paymentsbudgeting-loans-and-short-term-advances/#comment-18064

  186. My favourite picture from the International Day of Action (today) for Bradley Manning:

    https://twitter.com/jaraparilla/status/360730052813537281/photo/1

  187. John Goss says,

    When he hacked into Nordex he was too young to be an asset of any country.

    John my fault, for not being more specific. After Assange was arrested, charged and tried, he was given a $2100 (Australian) fine. Although judge indicated that he could have been jailed for ten years, however due to coming from a broken home background he was only fined. Later he helped the police. Although throughout he has plausible explanations, but given the extent of the duplicitous, cunning, crooked modus operandi of the SIS there could also be a case of Assange being an asset.

  188. Passerby, please provide independent evidence that supports any hypothesis that Assange is someone’s bitch. Otherwise it’s just dreamy speculation with zero analytical value.

  189. Flaming June

    27 Jul, 2013 - 2:16 pm

    Those in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough needing NHS care at the end of their lives will be receiving it from the likes of Branson’s Virgin Care, Serco or Circle Health!

    NHS privatisation fears deepen over £1bn deal

    Biggest health contract yet – for services including end-of-life care – is condemned by Labour as ‘audacious sell-off’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jul/26/nhs-privatisation-fears-deepen-deal

    Footnote of the article:The slice of the NHS’s £100bn a year budget going to non-NHS providers has risen from £5.6bn in 2006-07 to an estimated £8.7bn by 2011-12, according to a recent analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Nuffield Trust health think tank.

  190. Passerby, I doubt it, although all things are virtually possible. He probably had to help the police as a kind of plea-bargain. I doubt Gary McKinnon has had a holiday since he was saved from extradition. If that makes him an asset then I guess he is. But let’s face it Assange has released documents into the public domain that would not have allowed for his freedom if he had been an asset of the secret services. I’ve noticed others have speculated about him being an agent but neither Assange nor the intelligence services have claimed he ever was an agent – unlike say, Edward Snowden. Why hide the fact. Andrea Davison doesn’t and she was once in exactly the same position Assange is in now but she has never denied working for MI5/6.

  191. Someone says;

    lucy wangari decourcy says:
    July 27, 2013 at 12:42

    Jus one more thing is please can you consider me because I didn’t want to go through this because I never claimed benefit before but this is my first benefit but to much for me as I didn’t want it to happen I was going to work and had accident on 16 jan 2013 and im still having too much pain my shoulder so when I don’t eat im not strong and looking for job I got to go to libraly please is just cant understand why I cant get at least some money to make me eat and do some things. I have been in advise bureau but they couldn’t do nothing please advise me where and what to do. Thanks for your consideration

    It is the most disgusting situation in which the banksters get their gambling debts transferred onto the nation’s balance sheet, whilst we cannot feed the desperate people who are chasing the imaginary jobs in the imaginary flourishing economy.

    We are all Lucy! Only lagging behind her by a week in funds. The plutocrats’ overseers are drunk on their achievements; less in budgets for the social security, and for the NHS, they are going to start introduction of charging for the GP visits, first it was the “illegal immigrants” who had to pay because they were the cause, and now we all need to pitch in and to keep our services going!!

  192. Passerby, 12.43pm

    First, can I point out that I don’t 100% endorse John’s view that it’s a honey-trap, or at least that it was one from the very start. Although that is a distinct possibility, it’s very far from being proven. My comment was merely meant to show that the Swedish intelligence services were poised to take advantage of events pretty much immediately once they were in train.

    In any case, if it was a honeytrap all along, it is far more likely to come from Sofia Wilen than from Anna Ardin. Trust me on that.

    (Fun fact: Did you know that Enkoping, scene of the most serious allegation against Assange – the “half-awake” condomless sex incident – and home to Sofia Wilen, is also the home of the Swedish military’s PSYOPS headquarters? http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enköping#Milit.C3.A4rstaden – apparently, it’s about a 5-minute walk from her flat. Not many people know that, as Alfie would say…)

    Fun facts aside, the most obvious evidence that Assange was under surveillance during his time in Sweden comes from a combination of what Swedish journalist Johannes Wahlstrom says in his police witness statement about events after the 14 August seminar where Assange first met Sofia Wilen and the fact that the Expressen newspaper reported the following day details of Assange’s itinerary on that afternoon which only Assange and Sofia Wilen knew (ie. not even Wahlstrom knew where Sofia Wilen worked at the time when they discussed what Assange would do next when the three of them were alone together following the after-seminar lunch). Details here:

    http://rixstep.com/2/20120806,00.shtml

    Johannes Wahlstrom’s statement: http://rixstep.com/1/20110201,00.shtml

    So, where did Expressen get these facts they couldn’t possibly have known? Who was their source? Remember, this publication is two days before even the alleged incident, let alone it’s reporting to police three days later.

  193. John Goss syas,

    Why hide the fact. Andrea Davison doesn’t and she was once in exactly the same position Assange is in now but she has never denied working for MI5/6.

    You have a point there, however as you have added; He probably had to help the police as a kind of plea-bargain there lies the niggle. further, the wikileaks saga of the document release, and Assange getting involved with famous five (Guardian, et al) to a large degree forwarded the agenda of the neo liberal hacks. As with their early day releases, which had literally nothing other than bashing the usual suspects and enemies!

    Fact is as you point out, all things are possible, and given that we must remain vigilant and not to fall into the trap of personality cults. There lies the leverage for derailing any quest for the truth.

    Finally, I often wonder; has anyone ever read the rest of the documents released with the famous accidental publication of the passwords?

    _ – - – _

    Jemand says;

    please provide independent evidence that supports any hypothesis that Assange is someone’s bitch. Otherwise it’s just dreamy speculation with zero analytical value.

    I fully appreciate such an eventuality being in such an august company as yourself! Incidentally it a good habit to develop; reading the comments as they are, and not read into them!

  194. Arbed says;

    I don’t 100% endorse John’s view that it’s a honey-trap, or at least that it was one from the very start. Although that is a distinct possibility, it’s very far from being proven. My comment was merely meant to show that the Swedish intelligence services were poised to take advantage of events pretty much immediately once they were in train.

    I can subscribe to this notion, as ever when someone is down is the best time to kick them in the head, and given the spooks remit they would relish such an event.

    However, due to my lack of expert knowledge on this subject (and obviously many others too) I will accept your version of events readily, up until such a time that a convincing case to the contrary was forwarded by some other source. Thanks for clarification.

  195. .. andd thee attack on freea speeach …
    And i’ll say wot i fucking like you white nigger zionizt Cunts!

  196. I dont99‰ endorse j’$ viewz that… bla dee bblue

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