Moazzam Begg a Political Prisoner Again

by craig on February 26, 2014 1:38 pm in Uncategorized

I first met Moazzam Begg in 2005 when he came to support my campaign in Blackburn against Jack Straw.  I was immediately struck by how gentle he is.  For somebody who has been through Guantanamo Bay and suffered torture and injustice, he is free of bitterness and rancour to a degree I find quite astonishing.  It is an extraordinary spiritual quality, comparable to that of Nelson Mandela.  He does not hate.  That impression has only been reinforced every time I see him, and comes over well in his book.

What the British state did to me for opposing their torture programme was bad enough, but nothing to what Moazzam suffered.  Yet he is much less embittered than I am.

The fall of Libya further revealed the terrible truth about the extraordinary rendition programme and undeniable evidence of British complicity in torture.  This included of course the appalling case of the Belhadj family, orchestrated by criminal torturers Jack Straw and Sir Mark Allen.  As Assad’s Syria was even more involved than Libya in the extraordinary rendition programme as a supplier of torture for the UK and US intelligence services, Moazzam sensibly concluded that evidence may now be available there to be recovered from the chaos.  He has been to Syria to that end.

Last week my friend Ray McGovern called on Moazzam and discussed Syria.  Ray briefed me on the conversation, and Moazzam’s take was one of great regret at the bloodshed and despair at the ferocity of inter-Muslim rifts.  It was the opposite of violent partisanship to support one side.

Moazzam Begg has not been arrested for terrorism in Syria.  He has been arrested to stop him digging for further evidence of complicity in torture by senior politicians and civil servants in the UK.

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70 Comments

  1. Dr David Nicholls, who has known him many years, has said the same thing about what a peaceloving man Moazzam Begg is. I have met him too and agree. I am so pleased you raised this important issue. As you say he has been arrested to quieten him over UK intelligence torture complicity.

    There is a campaign for his release. It really needs support. Only 5,000 or so signatures yet.

    Hope this link works:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=310052299120102

  2. This link is better.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Moazzam-Begg/309986402460025

    I want my country back to how it was before 9/11 and the anti-terror laws introduced to bang people away indefinitely.

  3. @ John Goss, I agree with you. I really hate the UK now – it is a fascist state that truly scares me. I think I would be even more frightened if I was a Muslim. Thanks again Craig for setting out the facts about this issue.

    This is an interesting article by Moazzam about his harrassment. http://www.islam21c.com/politics/the-real-reason-behind-the-confiscation-of-my-passport/

    I find the whole thing so disgusting – this government is beyond filthy.

  4. [ Off topic, but am I alone in having thought, or assumed that there had been some sort an openly agreed, understood or bestowed amnesty in NI? Not quite an RSA Truth and Reconciliation, but that all sides had somehow understood, accepted or agreed that there would be waivers to help facilitate the talks. If the letters were issued to both sides in the conflict then surely both sides understood what was going on, or am I missing something here?]

  5. “Theresa May

    Should you ever come to wonder, Theresa May,
    where they came from, it is me swinging in the sagging bags
    beneath your eyes, making them sag more and more each day.
    I have made my home in them, staked my claim, and if it nags
    your conscience, then it ought, for all the injury you’ve wrought
    on decent sober people, the ones you would forever lock away,
    Talha Ahsan, Babar Ahmed, Abu Qatada and others you have sought
    to bang in solitary, extradite, throw the key away: Theresa May.

    Here am I, punching above my weight in the punch-bags on your cheeks,
    but I don’t care, I’m making progress even though I’m shut away.
    It’s dark in this confinement, day and night, so if the wick it leaks
    you might wake up with runny eyes, please, please, defray
    from cursing me, I’m settled here, swinging in each hammock
    hanging from your bulwarks, like a pair of bollocks. I must say
    the spider-red conjunctiva becomes you, as I rock, rock, rock
    and roll, roll, roll, to and fro, swing and sway: Theresa May.

    On Sunday after mass, oh, yes, I am still there, and everywhere,
    I’ve staked my claim, remember? Parishioners come up and shake
    your hand, they hardly look at your new shoes, or latest hair,
    they are looking at your eyes, or rather bags, and by mistake
    may start to smirk, or even laugh, forgive them, they are there
    to watch my training session; when your wrinkled punch-bags quake
    or twitch, that’s what they’ve come to church to see, if they stare
    too long, consider it a sin, bang them away: Theresa May.

    Not having sons or daughters you missed out on how a mother loves
    her children. Your surrogates: nastiness and hatred, sagging with the years,
    screwed-up embittered twins are possessed by me. Pass me my gloves
    I’m going to box them into shape, give them thick lips and cauliflower ears,
    bloody noses, blackened rings around the eyes. Watch this drooping pair
    puff up like vol-au-vents, then get punched down. Another crow’s foot appears,
    your mirror tells it all. If your bags were paper I would somehow cause a tear,
    as it is in solitary I punch your bags twenty four hours a day: Theresa May.”

    Peter Pindar

  6. John Goss 26 Feb, 2014 – 1:48 pm
    “I want my country back to how it was before 9/11″

    Ah yes those wonderful days of old where people from the North were rich and the Queen would serve creamy teas to those who had nothing to do after church on a Sunday. When Gents were proper condescending and the lovely Ladies were still happy to have gotten to the top. When we only tortured black people in Africa. And the Irish of course. I remember the unions were unanimously anti war and the TSG had a good proportion of ethnic minorities in their ranks. When we still blamed 2 world wars on the Germans rather than the Prussians. When laughing at Manning (Bernard) was not sneered at by a metropolitan elite. Miniskirts! When pubs closed in the afternoon. When people like Craig Murray ran the place. You are so right John. 911 ruined everything. And I’m no idiot.

  7. It may be of interest to re-post a couple of talks that Moazzam Begg gave, and which I attended and recorded.

    https://archive.org/details/cus_2007-02-07_speaker_moazzam-begg
    https://archive.org/details/cus_2008-02-06_speaker_moazzam-begg

  8. For folks who would like to see for themselves what Craig means by his description of Moazzam Begg’s character, here’s the full Episode 5 of Wikileaks’ The World Tomorrow series, in which Julian Assange interviewed Begg and Qureshi of the Cage Prisoners group (now renamed CAGE):

    http://assange.rt.com/begg-qureshi-episode-five/

    Here’s Moazzam Begg’s blog post on what he had uncovered about UK complicity in torture on his trip to Syria (originally published in early January, but re-published only 12 days ago):

    http://www.cageuk.org/article/real-reason-behind-confiscation-my-passport

    From CAGE’s press release about Moazzam’s arrest:

    “The timing coincides with the planned release of a CAGE report on Syria and a major news piece that was due to be televised soon. As with David Miranda it seems those who are engaged in exposing abuse of powers are targeted and smeared to prevent disclosure of vital evidence.”
    http://www.cageuk.org/press-release/press-release-moazzam-begg-arrested-uncovering-western-complicity-rendition-and-tortur

    Here’s Julian Assange on that planned CAGE report:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emfncWOhXw8

    Some very good points made in that last one.

  9. “I really hate the UK now – it is a fascist state that truly scares me.”

    AnnaP

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/homes-not-jails-sleeping-rough-is-not-a-crime-protest-tomorrow-26th-february/

  10. I saw Moazzam speak in Blackburn and was extremely moved by his extraordinary fortitude and forgiveness. His story of befriending a Guantanamo guard stayed with me: a lesson for everyone, that someone can come through that experience with such grace. So I also found this ‘arrest’ quite incredible, and the statement: “West Midlands police said naming Mr Begg did “not imply any guilt”” deeply troubling.

    Thanks for this post.

  11. Tabitha, 4.01pm

    Here’s that Guantanamo guard, Brandon Neely, coming out in support of Moazzam:

    @BrandonTXNeely

    I know many former #GTMO guards who consider @Moazzam_Begg a friend as do I and we stand with him. #ReleaseMoazzam
    https://twitter.com/BrandonTXNeely/status/438436858138079232

  12. BrianFujisan

    26 Feb, 2014 - 4:50 pm

  13. Oh dear. I used to like Craig and felt generally supportive of his opinions, even when I don’t agree with them, but putting this chap on a pedestal with Nelson Mandela is a dealbreaker for me. Mr Murray has finally lost his marbles, and most of his fawning supporters in the comments never had them in the first place.

  14. The Achilles heel of Liberals is used to infiltrate and destroy all that stands in the way of the rabid fascists

    How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

    One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

  15. It probably sticks in HMG’s craw that Mr Begg took them on and received a financial settlement.

    21 November 2010
    Moazzam Begg: We settled so we could get our lives back
    A former Guantanamo detainee says the Government will have to look into 29 similar cases in its inquiry into torture
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/moazzam-begg-we-settled-so-we-could-get-our-lives-back-2139647.html

  16. Patricia Sheerin

    26 Feb, 2014 - 6:58 pm

    I never met Nelson Mandela but I have met Moazzam Begg and heard him speak at meetings on numerous occasions. My impression of him was much the same as those expressed above, particularly his lack of bitterness. He could have returned home, resumed family life and kept a low profile but instead he has campaigned tirelessly for others who remain in the same desperate situation as he was during his time in Guantanamo. The authorities – US captors and their spineless cohorts in the British secret service – no doubt thought that he would keep out of the public eye, not bargaining for the possibility that he might write a book and set up a campaigning organization. That is why Shaker Aamer is not being allowed to leave Guantanamo, despite being cleared for release several years ago, and that is why Moazzam will continue to be followed and harassed. And, although this is not a competition, Techno, he wouldn’t be seen dead with the likes of the Spice Girls hanging around his neck for a photo-shoot.

  17. willyrobinson

    26 Feb, 2014 - 7:05 pm

    There’s a nice bit about Ray McGovern here for anyone who’s interested:

    http://wemeantwell.com/blog/2014/02/24/government-watch-lists-ray-mcgovern-and-post-constitutional-america/

  18. AnnaP – “I really hate the UK now – it is a fascist state that truly scares me.”

    Dear god. The yoof of today really haven’t a clue.

  19. Techno

    I should be sorry if you went, having enjoyed your comments for many years. While there is little disagreement on this thread yet, in general to describe commenters as “fawning” is simply wrong – see the last thread for example. Those that know Moazzam Begg understand what I am trying to say. If you don’t know him, I cannot see why you would be so definitive I am wrong in comparing his quality of forgiveness to that of Nelson Mandela.

  20. Some of the questions on Twitter to the Foreign Secretary that were not answered.

    Jacques Hughes ‏@pangallion · 2 hrs
    @WilliamJHague How soon will #NATO be deploying weapons in #Ukraine pointed at Russia? #askFS

    Faisal Khan ‏@FKhan123 · 2 hrs
    @WilliamJHague Do u have an oversight over the activities of M16 #AskFS?

    Jacques Hughes ‏@pangallion · 2 hrs
    @WilliamJHague How soon will the IMF/World Bank start insisting #Ukraine sell of all its assets for cents on the dollar? #askFS

     Cliff Buckley ‏@Cliff_Buckley · 2 hrs
    @WilliamJHague If Yanukovich is in Russia is it likely that Putin would hand him over to face justice?
    from East Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire

    LOL
    https://twitter.com/WilliamJHague

  21. Craig: How high up does the decision making go when it comes to the torture , rendition that Mr Begg is investigating?
    This is all very Gestapo and the methods have been more or less accepted by our public. I remember the Scottish Police shouting out loud when they found out what was going on at Prestwick, but that was nipped in the bud quickly.
    Or do the security services work pretty much independently of Govt. ? The more frightening I would think.

  22. The murderers of Lee Rigby got 45 years and whole life today. An alledged murderer of FOUR British soldiers isn’t going to be prosecuted because of faulty paperwork. If he had been the maximum sentence would have been 2 years. The British soldier who murderered a Taliban soldier got 10 years. A third of the public said he should have got nothing. The one British soldier found guilty in the kicking to death of Baha Mousa got 1 year. The rest got off Scot free. As does Tony Blair and all his war criminal associates.

    None of that makes any sense – except as being heavily tainted by politics. The idea of an independent (of the government/media/public opinion) judiciary representing justice and nothing else… well British courts are very far from that.

  23. technicolour

    26 Feb, 2014 - 9:18 pm

    Just for the record, tho am not sure it needs it, ‘Techno’ is not ‘Technicolour’.

  24. Craig

    I’ve heard him speak and you are so right.

    Please keep blogging! We missed you,

  25. We are off topic Je but it is worth mentioning that in addition to the 200 odd letters giving immunity from prosecution sent under the watch of Hain, Brown and Blair, 38 have been sent out by the ConDems. A peace deal at any price.

    ‘Tory Attorney General Dominic Grieve yesterday insisted the letters did not guarantee anyone “immunity”.

    But he said today that the government did not intend to appeal the judge’s decision to let IRA suspect Downer walk free. He also revealed that dozens of similar letters had been sent out under the Coalition.

    He said: “My understanding is that since the present government came into office some 38 letters have been sent out.”

    Northern Ireland threat from First Minister: I will quit unless David Cameron investigates
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/northern-ireland-threat-first-minister-3186731

    More and more problems pop up by the day for Cameron. Have you noticed that Clegg is completely out of the loop? He will have to find himself another job in the EU.

  26. I was shocked to see the news on TV that Moazzam Begg and three others had been arrested. I believe we must try to understand the driving forces behind these decisions; which may be complex. This arrest of Moazzam Begg seems exceptionally silly; the others I do not know enough to say anything, much. Maybe the authorities have gone too far this time; although most of public see the world though the distorted vision of racialism, nationalism and cheap larger opinion. This forms a formidable barrier against any form of balanced view from the mass of the public. I have written a protest letter to the Home Office;it seemed better than doing nothing at all.

  27. Malcom Bush; “although most of public see the world though the distorted vision of racialism, nationalism and cheap larger opinion”

    Would disagree with that.

  28. Tabitha: Sad to say, but I’m not sure I could disagree with Malcom Bush. Remember that The Mail and The Sun are the best selling newspapers in the UK. The great British Public might not agree with the nastier sentiments of those rags when push came to shove, but – generally speaking – they’re more than happy to go along with their drift.

  29. Craig,

    You said:-

    ” The fall of Libya further revealed the terrible truth about the extraordinary rendition programme and undeniable evidence of British complicity in torture. This included of course the appalling case of the Belhadj family, orchestrated by criminal torturers Jack Straw and Sir Mark Allen. As Assad’s Syria was even more involved than Libya in the extraordinary rendition programme as a supplier of torture for the UK and US intelligence services, Moazzam sensibly concluded that evidence may now be available there to be recovered from the chaos.”

    For quite some time ( and maybe 9/11 is a reference point) I have had serious concerns -not just about Western complicity in contracted torture dungeons – but with the compromise of habeas corpus and the rule of law.

    But – what do my concerns count for? They have the weapons; the battalions; and how many tanks does the Pope have ( but maybe he too has access to a lot of the money which funds the battalions and buys the tanks).

    What a fucked up world we live in – when you begin to think about it.

  30. CAT Article 12

    27 Feb, 2014 - 4:21 am

    Begg beat the torture cowards and they can’t stand it. He retained his dignity and his peace and the timmies who tortured him are more scared of him than ever.

  31. Courtenay Would you agree with John Locke who said ‘Where the law ends, tyranny begins’?

  32. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    27 Feb, 2014 - 8:38 am

    ‘An alleged murderer of FOUR British soldiers isn’t going to be prosecuted because of faulty paperwork.’ (Lee Rigby)

    The paperwork was fine (1). It was an official guarantee of non-prosecution of the murderer, and many others. It is causing a major ruckus, as apparently no-one outside the inner cabinet and the Provos were told a damn thing about it. Not even the CPS, it would seem.

    (1)as far as an unattributable phone call with the right SIS codeword can ever be considered paperwork…

  33. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    27 Feb, 2014 - 10:27 am

    I see the description of the raids (all media) contains the words ‘intelligence-led’. And that suggests to me that Assad’s people, deeply complicit in CIA rendition during Gulf 2, know that Begg has a fair idea where the bodies are buried – literally, perhaps. No need to add to his, Assad’s woes by grabbing a British citizen and disappearing him, as the possibility that he, Assad, may need to do some more deals with the UK remains. So something disturbing about Begg was transmitted to the right quarters…

  34. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    27 Feb, 2014 - 10:35 am

  35. “I see the description of the raids (all media) contains the words ‘intelligence-led’. And that suggests to me that Assad’s people, deeply complicit in CIA rendition during Gulf 2, know that Begg has a fair idea where the bodies are buried – literally, perhaps.”

    That isn’t exactly what “intelligence-led” means. All it means is that they haven’t got any actual evidence. Intelligence led policing is a new proactive form of policing pioneered in America which is replacing the old reactive method whereby someone commits a crime first then the police arrest them later.

    They’re just covering their backs for when he is released without charge.

  36. I think I’ve worked out on what grounds Moazzam Begg was arrested. He helps run the charity “Cage Prisoners”. On Sunday the spooks put out a piece in the Sunday Times:

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1379084.ece

    “Jihadists using charity as cover”. It looks like they, the spooks, have raised investigations with the Charity Commission into certain charities.

    “Michelle Russell, head of investigations and enforcement at the watchdog, said more than a fifth of its 48 current terror investigations now relate to Syria.”

    Of course the more inquiries the spooks raise that relate to Syria and charities with connections there, the more relating to Syria there are going to be. One interesting detail about the Charity Commission website is that it advises anybody making a complaint to contact the charities first. Bet the spooks missed out that step. I’m really busy at the moment and have limited computer access but would appreciate it if someone would raise a FOI with the Charity Commission to see if whoever initiated these complaints went through the procedure of contacting the charity first with each complaint.

  37. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    27 Feb, 2014 - 11:55 am

    Missing your link there, Fred (1)…here’s a good working definition-

    http://jratcliffe.net/research/ilp.htm

    Intelligence-led policing is a business model and managerial philosophy *sign of cross* – BZ where data analysis and crime intelligence are pivotal to an objective, decision-making framework that facilitates crime and problem reduction, disruption and prevention through both strategic management and effective enforcement strategies that target prolific and serious offenders.

    (1) I know, you didn’t supply one. It was your own definition. However, it doesn’t in the least conflict with what I said, which did not attempt to define it.

  38. Arbed at 3.51 p.m. yesterday. Thanks for your links. No time to watch the videos at the moment but Moazzam’s own testimony in CAGE is well worth a second read. Thanks.

    http://www.cageuk.org/article/real-reason-behind-confiscation-my-passport

  39. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    27 Feb, 2014 - 12:35 pm

    “Michelle Russell, head of investigations and enforcement at the watchdog, said more than a fifth of its 48 current terror investigations now relate to Syria.”

    and we know their addresses because that’s where we send their paychecks

    Fixed.

  40. The number of likes on the Free Moazzam Begg FB page has increased by about 1500 since yesterday. Do your bit please.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Moazzam-Begg/309986402460025

  41. AnnaP, thanks for your support, and the link. Sorry I did not respond but I have limited access to a computer at the moment.

    “I find the whole thing so disgusting – this government is beyond filthy.”

    Me too. The world we live in has become a despicable place. The masses are so complacent. Young people are much more vulnerable than they used to be. They have not learned to question authority about important issues, and are mind-controlled by games and social-networking sites. I fear for society.

  42. doug scorgie

    27 Feb, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    Je
    26 Feb, 2014 – 8:40 pm

    “An alledged murderer of FOUR British soldiers isn’t going to be prosecuted because of faulty paperwork.”

    I don’t think it was “faulty paperwork” that stopped the trial Je but a secret deal between the Blair government; the security services; the IRA and loyalist paramilitary groups, that needs to be kept out of the public sphere.

    It is revealing that:
    “After a meeting on Tuesday morning with Dominic Grieve, the attorney general, the prosecution told the high court in London it would not appeal against the ruling…”

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/feb/25/ira-hyde-park-bombing-1982-attack-john-downey

  43. This is kind of interesting, a new Snowden document showing how GCHQ/NSA use deceptive online tactics to damage reputations:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/25/new-snowden-doc-reveals-how-gchqnsa-use-internet-to-manipulate-deceive-and-destroy-reputations/

  44. Peter Oborne on Syria and Saudi Arabia.

    We can get rid of Assad or fight al-Qaeda, but we can’t do both
    To get a proper picture of the Syrian conflict, the West needs to listen to its enemies
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/10662823/We-can-get-rid-of-Assad-or-fight-al-Qaeda-but-we-cant-do-both.html
    26 Feb 2014

    ‘For the past three years, when seeking enlightenment about the Syrian crisis, I have often talked to Alastair Crooke, a former MI6 officer. Mr Crooke, who left government service a decade ago after a long career, now runs a think tank called Conflicts Forum, which maintains contact with organisations such as Hizbollah and governments such as Iran, when official contact has been broken off.

    I have learnt to respect and trust Mr Crooke, who has the invaluable habit of being right. When the British and American governments both claimed that President Assad of Syria would fall within weeks, he told me this was wishful thinking. When Western governments hailed the Syrian rebels as a democratic movement of national liberation, he said: hang on a moment. At the heart of the rebellion, he pointed out, was a group of armed gangs funded by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, dedicated to the establishment of a militant Sunni caliphate across the Middle East. He uttered this warning right at the start of the Syrian conflict, and at last the penny is (ever so painfully) beginning to drop in Whitehall and Washington. ‘

    [..]

    ‘The second message was that by far the greatest threat to stability in the Middle East is not Iran, as so often claimed, but Saudi Arabia. This may seem surprising: the Saudis remain among Britain’s closest allies, and only last week Prince Charles paid a happy visit to the kingdom. Yet they have been far and away the most important and deadly sponsor of global terrorism – a fact very well understood by all intelligence agencies, even if the British and American governments cannot bring themselves to admit it, let alone to come to terms with the consequences.

    Several participants drew attention to the haunting parallel between Pakistan during the Afghan war against the Soviet Union, and Saudi Arabia today. Back then, the Pakistan intelligence services, urged on by the CIA, channelled money and arms to rebel forces. But they catastrophically failed to foresee that these very groups would create mayhem back home when the war ended.

    This is the danger that faces Saudi Arabia today. The kingdom has been providing – indirectly – a vast amount of cash and resources to extremist groups advocating the takfiri mutation of Islam, an orientation that brands other Muslims as targets for killing. These takfiris deny the legitimacy of any state or secular power – including King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. A comparable problem is starting to emerge in Britain, where M15 is fretting about what British jihadists fighting in Syria might do on their return. This concern has created a potential conflict with the more gung-ho SIS, which has effectively been egging on these very same jihadists.’

  45. Off topic. CameraOn on the back foot.

    Cameron orders NI suspects review
    UK PM David Cameron appoints independent judge to review Northern Ireland secret letters row by end of May

  46. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Feb, 2014 - 3:59 pm

    Mary (14h47)

    Interesting link to Peter Oborne, thanks for posting.

  47. A few years ago I had the priviledge of meeting Moazzam and spending some time in his company and fully agree with the above opinions that he is an amazingly gentle, peaceful and reconciling person.
    That would have been so even if he had had the change to lead a ‘normal’ life.
    In view of what he suffered through the ‘War on Terror’, those qualities are even more baffling. Ever since I met him, I remind myself of his positive attitude towards those who made him suffer whenever I am tempted to blow my top.
    I now additionally admire his courage -even if it arguably could be called folly in his situation- in taking such risks to fight for what he feels is reight, necessary and his ‘duty': transparency and redress for the other victims of the War on Terror, in particular those who were less lucky and are still imprisoned.
    May he soon be released!

  48. Mary,

    You asked:-

    “Courtenay Would you agree with John Locke who said ‘Where the law ends, tyranny begins’?”

    I answer in this way:-

    1. Locke’s formulation is accurate and works if one has a power structure that does abide by the rule of law.

    2. The world in which we live is one in which the power of finance capital buys, church, state and most important organs of civil society.

    Thus, in the real world Locke’s thoughts end up being idealism – while – today – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria remain – realism.

    CB

  49. Thanks Courtenay. You are as sage as ever. ATB

  50. One key problem here is the British media (e.g. The Guardian), which just faithfully repeats the state’s line that Begg and three other persons were arrested on terrorism related charges, leaving uninformed readers clueless.

    We really do need an alternative internet source for news information, even if for legal reasons that service cannot be located in the UK.

  51. I realise MPs are busy. My MP responds to a lot of my correspondence with him but some questions, like why we have a US communications interception station at Menwith Hill when this has never been discussed in parliament I don’t get an answer. He happens also to be Moazzam Begg’s MP so I have sent him the following email:

    “Dear Steve McCabe

    While our police force is important it is beginning to look like we have become a police-state since the introduction of the anti-terrorism acts. These monstrous acts have got to go. I have met Moazzam Begg and a more quietly-spoken and peace-loving man I have yet to meet. But because our special services have been complicit in torture they make one of your constituents life intolerable. The people who should be in the dock are the special services.

    I recently sent you an open letter I wrote to David Cameron about Shaker Aamer’s continued imprisonment. I want my country back to how it was. These anti-terrorism acts are like the Sus Laws of the eighties allowing the authorities to do things that would not be possible under normal conditions. There is no war on terror except the one created by Bush and Blair and now the country that I love has become a Kafkaesque nightmare.

    Can you please inform me what you are doing on behalf of Moazzam?

    Kind regards,

    John Goss”

  52. Presumably the police will have to release him if they can’t find any evidence that Begg received terrorist training in Syria, or that he helped terrorists overseas?

  53. “Thus, in the real world Locke’s thoughts end up being idealism – while – today – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria remain – realism.”

    nice reply to Mary’s query Courtenay

    Thanks to u.s u.k. Nato..international Law is in tatters…And increasingly, it looks same with much of domestic law too…Especially in the u.s, they just do what they want regardless…And abuse Laws to save their scrawny wee necks… Hence the Moazzam Begg, Fabricated charges….

    well done John firing off the Email… i hope you get a half sensible reply… though as Bena say, the own the NSM… to me its the only reason the get away with it all….as for alternative source’s of news and info Bena…Craig’s Blog very many links…provided by many posters.

    Here is a good read on Moazzam Begg’s trumped up Arrest

    “Moazzam Begg’s arrest smacks of politically-motivated vengeance and repression, and is likely to convince many British Muslims that they are under siege.

    “His arrest is not only about Begg himself. His arrest, according to Cageprisoners, coincides with the publication of a new report on the UK involvement in ‘extraordinary renditions’ – including renditions to Syria, in the good old days when Assad was ‘our son of a bitch.’”

    http://stopwar.org.uk/news/if-moazzam-begg-is-a-terrorist-then-my-mother-is-al-capone#.UxBmuuN_uqi

  54. Ahh…effin typo’s…Rushing aboot…gotta dash ..Daughter moving into new home today.

  55. “Posted Today, 04:53 AM

    2’nd anti terrorist free to go home..

    Cuban Hero Fernando Gonzalez Released from U.S. Prison”

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=482d8b61fc16548b314b6b0c455b72c5&showtopic=18242&page=6

  56. Unbelievably John your MP appears to feed from no trough and is not a member of the Friends of Israel lobby. He is a rare bird indeed.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=10377

    The only mention of Israel in his appearances is this question to the man of Straw in 2004.

    Mr Stephen McCabe (Birmingham, Hall Green, Labour)

    How concerned is my right hon. Friend about the recent reported comment of the Palestinian Prime Minister that elements in the Iranian regime seek to undermine his leadership, and are directly responsible for the sponsoring of terrorism in Israel? What impact will that have on our relations with Iran?

    Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 27 January 2004, c147)

    Mr Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary; Blackburn, Labour)

    I have not read those remarks, but a constant item for discussion with the Iranians is our concern about their support for rejectionist terrorist groups working in Israel and the occupied territories, and causing mayhem and death on a significant scale. Another is our profound concern that the Iranians’ so-called policy on Israel’s right to exist—or, in this case, not to exist—runs counter to United Nations resolutions, and to any prospect of a serious peace process getting on the move there. That is an important issue. We believe that Iran needs to resolve it, and cease to support the terrorists.

    !!

  57. The good Ray McGovern again, speaking here.

    Friends,

    National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel “Special Relationship”

    I will be speaking at the upcoming National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel “Special Relationship” on March 7 (next Friday) at the National Press Club, which is located at 529 14th ST NW in Washington, DC.. The conference will be taking place on the 13th floor. It is open to the public. See: http://natsummit.org/

    If interested in attending, see “register” on the website.

    Other speakers include:

    Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern, Paul Pillar, Michael Scheuer, James J. David, M.E. “Spike” Bowman, Karen U. Kwiatkowski, Paul Findley, Orval Hansen, Jeffrey Blankfort, Allan C. Brownfeld, Delinda Hanley, Scott McConnell, Janet McMahon, Mark Perry, Gareth Porter, John B. Quigley, Stephen M. Walt, Geoffrey Wawro, Philip Weiss, Ernest Gallo, Justin Raimondo, Grant F. Smith, and Alison Weir.

    For the backgrounds of the speakers, see: http://natsummit.org/speakers.htm

    The topic for my presentation will be “The Neocons who brought us the Iraq War,” and I will be participating on a panel titled “Does the Israel Lobby Foment Middle East Wars?” I am told that my presentation will begin at 10:15 am.

    The organizers of the National Summit are: The Council for the National Interest, The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and If Americans Knew.

    Information on the National Summit is also on Facebook

    Best,

    Stephen Sniegoski

    http://home.comcast.net/~transparentcabal/

  58. “Presumably the police will have to release him if they can’t find any evidence that Begg received terrorist training in Syria, or that he helped terrorists overseas?”

    That’s what we would have expected, Abe Rene, before the anti-terrorism acts. Since then, Babar Ahmed and Talha Ahsan have not seen freedom and not been tried for any offence for 9.5 years and 7.5 years respectively. Instead, to get them to confess to a crime they have not committed they have been extradited to the US and tortured in Supermax torture-chanbers.

  59. Tomorrow in Birmingham. It makes a change to have a national protest on one’s doorstep.

    Release Moazzam Begg National Protest
    Saturday 1 March: 12 Noon
    Outside West Midlands Police Headquarters
    Lloyd House, Colmore Circus Queensway
    Birmingham B4 6NQ

  60. Full text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-02/28/c_133150579_3.htm

    EXTRACT:

    The website of The Washington Post revealed on June 7, 2013, that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were tapping directly into the central servers of some Internet companies, and users’ data, extracting their emails, chats, audio and video data, documents and photos in real time, and putting certain targets and their contacts under full surveillance. According to a government document disclosed by The New York Times on September 29, 2013, the NSA, since November 2010, had been exploiting its huge collections of U.S. citizens’ data to identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions, and other personal information. The scrutiny program, which links U.S. citizens’ phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain”, exposed large amount of citizens’ privacy to the government. The website of the Guardian, a British newspaper, revealed on June 6, 2013, that one of the largest U.S. telecommunications providers, the Verizon Business Network Services Inc, was required to provide to the NSA all the telephony metadata within its system, including telephone numbers, locations and call durations. Germany’s Spiegel Online reported on September 7, 2013, that internal NSA documents showed that the U.S. intelligence has the capability of tapping user data from the iphone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The NSA developed cracking programs and tapped users’ data held on the three major smart phone operating systems, including contact lists, SMS traffic, and location information about where a user has been. The NSA is able to infiltrate the computer a person uses to sync their iphone, and the script programs enable additional access to at least 38 iphone features.

  61. doug scorgie

    28 Feb, 2014 - 3:19 pm

  62. doug scorgie

    28 Feb, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    Will Moazzam Begg get this treatment?

    “A Chinese dissident convicted of murder after an Old Bailey trial held in secret has lost his attempt to present his whole defence case to the European court of human rights.”

    “The decision comes as potentially significant new evidence has emerged – a potential new witness – as a result of a Guardian report on the case last month.”

    “His defence case was held in camera on the grounds of “national security” and the media were barred from reporting it or even speculating on what it might be.”

    In his written judgment published , Mr Justice Ouseley, the original trial judge, declined to vary the gagging order.

    “The judgment states: “I acknowledge that a court should not stand in the way of what an applicant wishes to place before Strasbourg, unless there is very good reason to do so. I have no doubt that there are very good reasons to do so in this case.” He added that “the protected interests included national security and the protection of the identity of a witness or other person”.

  63. doug scorgie

    28 Feb, 2014 - 3:39 pm

  64. Doug. Thanks for that news which I had not heard. No wonder the Palestinians are enraged. It will leave East Jerusalem wide open for the Israelis to steal what remains of Palestinian homes and property and build more of their housing.

    I have just re-read this moving interview with Hedy Epstein, now an old lady but still going strong.

    She is an amazing person. She supported the Free Gaza movement and was sorry that she never made a voyage. I was told by an American friend today that ‘We talked for over an hour yesterday, and she is getting ready for another trip to Germany where she has several speaking engagements. She has lost much of the sight in one eye, but is doing amazingly well, and nothing seems to hold her down for long. She probably wouldn’t consider herself frail, but rather unsinkable. Of course she has never got over her disappointment at not being on our boats to Gaza, and has tried several times since then to make it there, side by side with me.’

    Do spare time to read it.

    June 13, 2007
    An Interview with Hedy Epstein
    “I Was Not Prepared for the Horrors I Saw”
    by SILVIA CATTORI
    Hedy Epstein, 82, was born in Germany in 1924(1). She was the only child of parents who died in the Nazi extermination camps. She is a tireless worker for human rights and for the dignity of all people.

    Hedy decided to visit Palestine in 2003. She returned terribly shocked with what she had seen there, women and children defenceless, Palestinians locked up into ghettos, an entire people brutalized.

    She had learned to love the people that she met, and was determined to tell the world of the injustices she had seen. Palestinians were being dispossessed of their land, removed from the homes that they had lived in for centuries. Nothing that anyone has done, no protests that have been made, has made Israel stop its treatment of the Palestinians. In fact, it has become worse every time Hedy has returned.

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/06/13/quot-i-was-not-prepared-for-the-horrors-i-saw-quot/

    Note the ‘smudging’ of her story here ref the strip search. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Epstein

    I had been reminded of Hedy’s experience when I read this today.

    Palestinian Teacher Strip-Searched Before Flying with Her Jewish Students
    Friday February 28, 2014
    http://www.imemc.org/article/67128

  65. BrianFujisan

    1 Mar, 2014 - 1:52 am

    We…. many, of us Knew they would Dave…it’s an unrelenting Evil Game they are playing… I’m so Ashamed… it’s just out of control now….

    i found John Goss’s Sentiment, that he wants his country back to pre 9/11 kind of heart breaking…. the crimes and deaths – ONGOING – that 9/11 has led to.

  66. A nice summary piece on what is wrong [legally] with the legislation.

    http://obiterj.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/r-v-gul-uk-supreme-court-observations.html

  67. Was hoping to see some mention of what happened to British whistleblowers outside of prison, like David Kelly, Gareth Williams, GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd, etc, but didn’t see any.

    Perhaps the authorities are doing Begg a favor, especially if he is on to who murdered them.

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