The Security State Crushes Ever Tighter

by craig on February 19, 2014 9:29 am in Uncategorized

The disgraceful judges of Britain’s High Court – who have gone along with torture, extraordinary rendition, every single argument for mass surveillance and hiding information from the public, and even secret courts – have ruled that it was lawful for the Home Office to detain David Miranda, a journalist as information he was carrying might in some undefined way, and if communicated to them, aid “terrorists”.

Despite the entire industry, both private and governmental, devoted to whipping up fear, it is plain to pretty well everyone by now that terrorism is about the most unlikely way for you to die.  A car accident is many hundreds of times more likely.  Even drowning in your own bath is more likely.  Where is the massive industry of suppression against baths?

I had dinner inside the Ecuadorian Embassy on Sunday with Julian Assange, who I am happy to say is as fit and well as possible in circumstances of confinement.  Amongst those present was Jesselyn Radack, attorney for, among others, Edward Snowden.  Last week on entering the UK she was pulled over by immigration and interrogated about her clients.  The supposed “immigration officer” already knew who are Jesselyn Radack’s clients.  He insisted aggressively on referring repeatedly to Chelsea Manning as a criminal, to which Jesselyn quietly replied that he was a political prisoner.  But even were we to accept the “immigration officer’s” assertion, the fact that an attorney defends those facing criminal charges is neither new nor until now considered reprehensible and illegitimate.

As various states slide towards totalitarianism, a defining factor is that their populations really don’t notice.  Well, I have noticed.  Have you?

 

 

 

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496 Comments

  1. Hello Craig, good to see you again. Yes, I’ve noticed.

  2. Hi Clark,

    sent email to you ask whether it is possible to get the twitter feed working and tweet this one. Can you help?

  3. I’ll check my e-mail.

  4. http://www.vineyardsaker.blogspot.mx/2014/02/creeping-fascism-or-maybe-its-just-me.html?m=1

    Yes but you only the violence in society also needs addressing. We are so stupid that what is seen on our screens is inherent in our lives. We are what we consume.
    For me is a worry.

  5. And we see ‘terrorism’ continually redefined. In the US the push is to make it mean doing harm to a company’s profits (by say exposing aminal abuse).

    Its now clear that facilitating copyright infringement (ie Pirate Bay etc) is also now considered terrorism by the ‘security’ services. We are in a more and more explicit state of corporate capitalism and to keep it going more and more totalitarians measures are needed.

  6. We are all terrorists.

  7. Craig, I’ve replied by e-mail.

  8. The truth is bad news in the new world

  9. Yes we did notice. An outrage. If they can treat a human rights lawyer like this, what chance do the rest of us stand?

    On the previous thread.

    ~~~
    Mary 18 Feb, 2014 – 2:48 pm

    Mrs May’s bastards this time.

    Heathrow Customs Agent Interrogates Snowden Lawyer
    ‘Why Have You Gone to Russia Three Times in Two Months?’

    By Kevin Gosztola

    February 17 2014 “Information Clearing House – “Firedoglake” – A lawyer who represents National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and has spoken on his behalf numerous times was detained while going through customs at Heathrow airport in London.

    Jesselyn Radack told Firedoglake she was directed to a specific Heathrow Border Force agent. He “didn’t seem interested” in her passport. She was then subjected to “very hostile questioning.”

    As Radack recalled, she was asked why she was here. “To see friends,” she answered. “Who will you be seeing?” She answered, “A group called Sam Adams Associates.”

    The agent wanted to know who was in the group. “Ray McGovern, Annie Machon, Thomas Drake, Craig Murray,” she answered. She said she is part of the group as well.

    “Where will you meet?” Radack answered, “At the Ecuadorian Embassy.” Then, the agent asked, “With Julian Assange?” Radack said yes.

    /..
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37666.htm

    ~~~
    Mary 18 Feb, 2014 – 9:50 pm

    Hear the account of Edward Snowden’s lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, of her treatment at Heathrow on Sunday by the ‘Border Force’. The banality of their bizarre questioning completely unnerved her. Shocking and disgusting. For the record, the interrogation was not done in our name Jesselyn.

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014
    Attorney for Edward Snowden Interrogated at U.K. Airport, Placed on “Inhibited Persons List”
    http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/18/attorney_for_edward_snowden_interrogated_at?autostart=true&get_clicky_key=suggested_next_story

  10. I noticed that totalitarian groups, including cults, will hide behind ‘sacred cows’, such as feminists and sodomites in the example of the Western ‘democracies’; whilst all the time advocating equality,as though it were liberating, they practice absolute control.

    With no true democratic feedback, the system will not be in equilibrium; and therefore will suffer a positive feedback catastrophe.

  11. Noticed. Thought I was going mad, for a bit. Immensely grateful to have found a few others who’ve noticed, too, and either speak out or try to find alternatives.

  12. JimmyGyro, while I agree with the first point you make to some extent, I object to your use of the pejorative term “sodomites”. What anyone does with their own body is their own business; please keep out of others’ private lives – same for you, same for GCHQ.

    Very good point on positive feedback.

  13. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    19 Feb, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    Noticed. As others have observed, the terrorists have won. Their aim is to overthrow democracy. Democracy, or its not-terribly-convincing simulacrum here, has obligingly overthrown itself. And the megacorps are loving it.

  14. SAL the GAL, yes, I’ve been doubting my sanity too. Trying to discuss the matter with my real-world friends leads to hostile responses, and they attempt to make me shut up.

    It’s the same here in this comment section. Certain contributors, notable by their absence so far today, aggressively ridicule any other commenter who expresses such an opinion. It would be easy to assume that they have a mission to suppress such opinions, but my real-world experience suggests widespread denial as another possible cause.

  15. @Clark

    Pejorative or not, it is what they do.

    Further, the State has given them fostering rights, facilitated by the secret family courts; so it is not so much a ‘private’ concern, as you suggest, but more of a secret deal.

  16. Ba’al Zevul 12:08 pm

    “the terrorists have won”

    No, terrorist groups have not had their demands addressed. The accusation that terrorist groups wished to overthrow democracy was attributed to them, or at least selectively amplified, by political spokespersons and the corporate media.

  17. JimmyGiro 12:21 pm, you refer to “them”. You could well be referring to me. Please don’t alienate your allies. Divide and Rule is deadly.

  18. Oh yes, noticed.

    I’ve also noticed that no one seems to care. The silence in response to the shocking Snowden revelations is deafening. Essentially, by not protesting against it, the people have signalled to the elites their tacit acceptance.

    Is there anything they won’t accept?

    Although, having said all that, I don’t accept it, but have no idea what to do about it.

  19. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    19 Feb, 2014 - 12:38 pm

    ‘No, terrorist groups have not had their demands addressed. The accusation that terrorist groups wished to overthrow democracy was attributed to them, or at least selectively amplified, by political spokespersons and the corporate media.’

    I dispute that. Terrorism is simply asymmetric warfare. The intention is to amplify limited means of physical coercion by psychological means. At the outset of the (granted, bogus) War on Terror, we were still able to point to our superior democratic and humanitarian principles, and maybe win a few hearts and minds in the countries concerned. If we attempt to do that now, we are very rightly laughed at. That’s because we’ve abandoned the principles in favour of winning the war. In the process we’ve lost the war. Example: separate and draconian legislation on terrorists. There is nothing a terrorist can do that is not adequately covered by pre-existing legislation. Whether he does it to cause terror or to steal a pensioner’s handbag is immaterial, as regards the perceived requirement for different legislation.

  20. This is off topic but he is part of the UK surveillance society after all and will eventually head it.

    What a pillock. Cavorting with these creatures. Will be visiting/toadying around the Bahrainis or does he leave that part of the arms selling op to the younger brother?

    Prince Charles Joins Sword Dance In Saudi

    Wearing a long flowing robe and headdress, the Prince of Wales takes part in a ceremony celebrating the country’s culture.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1213951/prince-charles-joins-sword-dance-in-saudi

    Totally cringe making.

  21. Ba’al Zevul, 12:38 pm, I agree that terrorism is asymmetric warfare, but, I repeat, such groups have not had their grievances addressed. Illegal Israeli settlement into Palestine continues to proliferate, “Western” military forces continue their activities in the Middle East, drone strikes continue, etc., etc.

  22. Dispatches
    On the UK’s Equating of Journalism with Terrorism

    By Glenn Greenwald 19 Feb 2014,

    (updated below)

    As my colleague Ryan Deveraux reports, a lower U.K. court this morning, as long expected, upheld the legality of the nine-hour detention of my partner, David Miranda, at Heathrow Airport last August, even as it acknowledged that the detention was “an indirect interference with press freedom”. For good measure, the court also refused permission to appeal (though permission can still be granted by the appellate court). David was detained and interrogated under the Terrorism Act of 2000.

    The UK Government expressly argued that the release of the Snowden documents (which the free world calls “award-winning journalism“) is actually tantamount to “terrorism”, the same theory now being used by the Egyptian military regime to prosecute Al Jazeera journalists as terrorists. Congratulations to the UK government on the illustrious company it is once again keeping. British officials have also repeatedly threatened criminal prosecution of everyone involved in this reporting, including Guardian journalists and editors.

    /..

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/19/uks-equating-journalism-terrorism-designed-conceal-gchq/

  23. It appears we were warned in 1968 by futurist Arthur C Clarke in his 2001 Space Odyssey. The totalistic monolith of terror has reached into the very heart of truth and justice spreading a corruption affecting humanity and destined to transmute human evolution.

    2001 sowed a seed of dangerous perfidy that can only lead to disaster crucially evident now, today, in the hiatus of nuclear powers.

    Perhaps only a ‘star child’ can save us from extinction.

  24. Mary, the Saudi aristocracy are not subhuman “creatures”, and what matters about Prince Charles is not that he dances with them, but to what use he puts any influence thereby gained with them.

  25. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    19 Feb, 2014 - 1:07 pm

    Yes, Clark, granted, but tangential. My view is that terrorism and the activities of the US in the ME – or of Israel in the Occupied Territories – are symbiotic entities – each knowingly feeds on the other(1). Grievances are addressed by both with bombs and bullets. We are now in a state of moral equivalence with the entities we demonise. Which is what they wanted.

    (1) And where would Israel’s massive military aid handouts from the US be without the combined loathing of its neighbours to call on?

  26. Ba’al Zevul, 1:07 pm, I think clarification of the meaning of “we” is needed, as in “we‘ve lost the war” and “We are now in a state of moral equivalence”.

    But yes, aggression feeds aggression. This is another example of positive feedback. Aggression promotes fear, and fear helps to propel security states towards totalitarianism, the subjects of this thread.

  27. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    19 Feb, 2014 - 1:26 pm

    We: The democratic formerly Christian West. Sorry.

  28. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    19 Feb, 2014 - 1:28 pm

    …which is not to minimise the increasing tendency of the EU’s central members to see Israel for what it really is, and impose sanctions…

  29. Ba’al Zevul, 1:26 pm, no apology necessary; I struggle with that term “we” myself! It creeps into my comments, and I have to rewrite them before they’re clear enough to post.

  30. “I have no idea what to do about it.”

    I recommend agitating in your community and on the streets.

    Hanging around here endlessly bickering with a handful of people for 13 pages of comments is probably not any way to challenge the powers that be.

  31. “Hanging around here endlessly bickering with a handful of people for 13 pages of comments is probably not any way to challenge the powers that be.”

    + 1

  32. If true, abandon all hope for truth and justice. They are laughing in our faces, again.

    Ambassador Prosor becomes first Israeli to chair elections to UN Human Rights Committee

    Israeli ambassador to UN unanimously nominated by representatives of 170 countries to chair significant elections, says ‘central role Israel plays to advance human rights is the real answer to anyone calling for boycotts against us’.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4489889,00.html

    Prosor was in Kensington Green from 2007 – 2011. I was outside his gate a few times over that period!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Prosor

  33. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 2:10 pm

    “Hanging around here endlessly bickering with a handful of people for 13 pages of comments is probably not any way to challenge the powers that be.”
    _____________________

    I would certainly agree with that. And allow myself to add that posting ad nauseam on the usual themes is unlikely to influence the powers that be either; at most it is the mutual “feeding” of a small group of commenters who – to judge by their reaction to anyone who attempts to challenge – are on the same page anyway and therefore have little if any need of nourishment.

  34. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 2:13 pm

    “Israeli ambassador to UN unanimously nominated by representatives of 170 countries to chair significant elections,..”
    ______________-

    That’s interesting (especially the unanimity). What conclusions do people here draw from this?

  35. ‘Cringe’ Mary is appropriate speaking of the Saudi collective. Grovel kneel and quiver are components of fear.

    Prince Bandar lead the field in revulsion, abhorrence and despair when he implied an arranged terrorist attack could snuff the flame and spirit of the Olympic games.

    That to me is inhuman.

  36. Is the UK state not conducting a terrorist action in Syria using proxies, similar to its operation in Yugoslavia and not dissimilar to its murderous operations in Northern Ireland. So this is once again a terrorist organisation, the UK government, spreading calumny against all and sundry and in many dirty trick methods in order to obscure their own violence.

  37. Habbabkuk, please follow your own advice by reposting your 2:13 pm comment on the previous thread which is already on that topic, and requesting that any replies be directed there rather than here.

    I know it was Mary who introduced this topic here; I was trying to comment less, but a discussion really would divert this thread.

  38. People often say: “How could an intelligent, cultured race — the Germans — allow Nazism to exert such a grip on the life of the nation?”

    How? Like this — a bit at a time, while most ordinary people get on with their lives. Unless you actually come up against the state, you tend not to realise how oppressive it’s becoming until it’s too late.

  39. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 2:31 pm

    Clark

    “Habbabkuk, please follow your own advice by reposting your 2:13 pm comment on the previous thread which is already on that topic, and requesting that any replies be directed there rather than here.

    I know it was Mary who introduced this topic here;..”
    ______________

    You are right, it probably does more properly belong there. Having said that, I shan’t repeat it there because that thread has, I fear, already reached the end of its useful life. Happy to stay on-topic provided that others do.

  40. Reminder: the topic of this thread is

    The Security State Crushes Ever Tighter

    The previous thread is still open and can be used for off-topic comments.

    Habbabkuk, sorry I singled you out; further off-topic comments arrived while I was writing to you.

  41. I can think of one good use this can be put to: satire.

    As an idea, there was a brilliant Goodness Gracious Me character, whose answer to anyone or anything great in the world was that the person/thing was Indian or made in India. I can easily picture a buffoonish state apparatchik whose answer to any question is “terrorism”. It is the catch-all justification for everything these people want to do, and it needs to be ridiculed.

    And yes, while the state’s abuses needs be fought and exposed, it is also important to mock them. Because the very last thing the abusers deserve is respect.

  42. Careful how you “challenge the powers that be” …

    Elderly nun among anti-nuke peace activists sentenced to prison

    http://rt.com/usa/nuclear-nun-sentenced-peace-activist-631/

    Imagine the msm if Vlad had done this!

  43. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 3:06 pm

    “Unless you actually come up against the state, you tend not to realise how oppressive it’s becoming until it’s too late.”
    ____________________

    The above has two sides to it though, doesn’t it? The institutions and laws of a state at the same time provide (or should provide) a framework for fostering the greatest happiness of the greatest number (eg, the personal positive development of the individual)and a framework for “oppressing” individual actions which it is judged work or are likely to work against that greatest happiness. So “oppression” is an integral and inevitable feature of any state. Much depends, furthermore, on how you would define it and the balance struck between it and the parallel “liberating” framework.

    Are compulsory schooling, compulsory vaccinations, compulsory motor vehicle insurance, anti-discrimination and anti-hate laws, even taxation – the list is endless – oppressive? In one sense yes, but no one would seriously argue against them, I think.

    Furthermore, it seems to me that a good deal of the arguments goes back to the use of certain technologies. Take speed cameras, for instance: if you accept the need for speed limits, and believe that they should be effective rather than just pious wishes, then you surely have to accept the use of such cameras rather than seeing their use as some sinister manifestation of a looming totalitarian state. Idem CCTV, idem vehicle number plate recognition technology, idem a certain policing of the internet, etc, etc.

    As for the point that one only becomes aware of state “oppression” when you come against it yourself, well, that’s obviously true but it is so evident that it hardly needs saying. It is irrelevant as an argument in evaluating the extent to which a state might overstep its normal and justified oppressive aspect and even more irrelevant in determining whether or not a state is sliding into totalitarianism.

  44. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    19 Feb, 2014 - 3:10 pm

    Good point, Ed. Ridicule, intelligently deployed, is probably a better weapon than terror, IMO, although rebellion by the upcoming generation has a way of upsetting a norm so established. What’s regrettable is that we have nothing of the calibre of Spitting Image or early Bremner to get the mockery seen. It’s all very comfortable, and tjhe rising generation of comedians aren’t nearly sharp enough. Exceptions: Martin Rowson, the Guardian cartoonist, an unashamed fan of Hogarth and Gilray. Who were extremely rude people…

  45. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    Pykrete

    “Imagine the msm if Vlad had done this!”
    _________________

    We don’t have to imagine it, Pykrete, as we have a concrete example to throw light on your imaginings.

    I read very recently that a Russian opposition figure who also happens to be an environmental campaigner but not a nun or monk either – has just been convicted of various offences arising out of him breaching a perimeter fence somewhere – I think it was at Sochi, actually. Some damage to the fence (obviously) but no damage to anything or anybody else. He got 8 years.

  46. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    “Habbabkuk, sorry I singled you out; further off-topic comments arrived while I was writing to you.”
    _______________

    No apology necessary, Clark. Peace!

  47. yes, I have noticed as its gone beyond what can be hidden.

    “Hanging around here endlessly bickering with a handful of people for 13 pages of comments is probably not any way to challenge the powers that be.”

    Thanks Phill you can be so down to earth, I just hope that the next time rage governs our actions and we are up for taking our much challenged bodies to another kettling, that we will stop and think locally, not all bunch together in London to suit the Met’s logistics.

    BTW. Anybody seen Dietrich Wagner, the OAP who had his eyes nearly blown out of his sockets by a water canon, I wish him well and hope his mission had the desired effect.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-dangers-of-water-cannon-blinded-german-man-tells-britain-dont-make-the-same-mistakes-as-other-countries-9134670.html

    Such treatment will happen here, its almost inevitable as the police will have no time to distinguish between agitators, out to damage and loot, and principled activists wanting to make a democratic point.

    GCHQ and the NSA have a lot to answer for and they are refusing to do so, hence the German move to turn the table on them. Those who are challenged at airports need bringing together as a group, their arguments would make for a powerful manifestation.

  48. Habba is realistic applying simple sensible thought to the extensive subject of social issues that concern us all I hope.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism

    Education and reasonable indoctrination should be realised and morals and values promoted.
    We have a msm that promotes anything that seems entertaining in a desperate attempt at avoiding boredom.

    Lawful state and citizens= boring. Great…..

  49. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    19 Feb, 2014 - 3:36 pm

    ‘As for the point that one only becomes aware of state “oppression” when you come against it yourself, well, that’s obviously true but it is so evident that it hardly needs saying. It is irrelevant as an argument in evaluating the extent to which a state might overstep its normal and justified oppressive aspect and even more irrelevant in determining whether or not a state is sliding into totalitarianism.’

    Not at all. When the oppression extends to people going about their formerly completely legitimate daily business, it’s extremely relevant. Totalitarianism, if it means anything, means the absence of democratic input into the laws and workings of the State. In terms of whose voices are actually heard by this or any feasibly electable government, totalitarianism has arrived. Only it’s a bit difficult for the financial markets to collectively address a Nuremberg rally. That stuff comes just a little later, when the entrenched power changes hands.

  50. Glenn Greenwald tweets:

    “The Guardian with some interesting reaction to the UK decision equating journalism and terrorism”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/19/high-court-ruling-on-david-miranda-heathrow-detention-live-coverage

  51. ” … Russian opposition figure … got 8 years” …

    Actually he got 3 years and as he was already serving a 3-year suspended sentence he violated the conditions of his parole.

  52. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 3:49 pm

    re the subject of this thread:

    I must say that it is going somewhat overboard to take the Miranda case to come to the conclusion that certain states – presumably including the UK – are “sliding into totalitarianism”.

    Let us note firstly that although there are differences of opinion as to whether the powers contained in Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 1970 are excessive, no case has yet been made – convincingly or otherwise – that those powers are totalitarian.

    Secondly, let us note that totalitarian UK allows the legality of actions undertaken by immigration officers to be challenged in the courts.

    Thirdly, let it be noted that the three High Court judges found that those powers were used lawfully and proportionately.

    And finally, let us note that the law provides for the possibility of appeal against that High Court decision – a possibility of which Mr Miranda apparently intends to avail himself.

    Now, are these the hallmarks of a state sliding towards totalitarianism?

  53. And the security state is crushing its weakest people first, by any means possible. Please comment on this local, slightly off topic story, if you feel like it.
    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/two_years_on_and_norwich_s_disability_assessment_centre_still_does_not_have_wheelchair_access_1_3341999

  54. Mr H, I guess the desire to keep us all safe unfortunately means the end of certain freedoms and personal privacy. Leviathan can always decide what is in our best interests, even if that includes minority groups who threaten the health of the nation. Sounds suspiciously like Nazi ideology to me. Seems we’ve learned a lot from the herrenvolk — and I don’t just mean the American space programme !

  55. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    Pyrete

    Well, I read 8 years. Perhaps it was a typo. But even if you are correct, it would seem to show that Russia and the US treat such actions with equal severity. But it is interesting – given that human rights are supposed to be universal (this is often claimed by various frequent posters here) – that someone – presumably a Brit – saw fit to post on the American case but no one seemed to be similarly exercised about the Russian one.

  56. “agitating in your community and on the streets” is not the same as organised public protest.

  57. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 4:03 pm

    Mike

    “Mr H, I guess the desire to keep us all safe unfortunately means the end of certain freedoms and personal privacy. Leviathan can always decide what is in our best interests, even if that includes minority groups who threaten the health of the nation. Sounds suspiciously like Nazi ideology to me”
    ______________________

    That’s not really a very serious or substantial response, is it?

    Now I hope we’re going to try and discuss various aspects of the British state – as reflected in the structures and laws of the British state – on their own merits instead of immediately making comparisons with the Nazi, Soviet or other epochs. But I must respond to your reference to minority groups: if this is intended to be a reference to UK groups such as those responsible for the London bombings and various other bomb plots (if it is not, you will correct me), then I would point out that as far as I’m aware there were no minority groups of Jews planting bombs in Germany in the 1930s.

  58. Antoine Héry of campaign group Reporters Without Borders said his group was appalled by the ruling.

    “Once again, press freedom in the UK suffers from a confusion between journalism and terrorism by the authorities.
    It is a practice very well known and used in countries where authoritarian regimes are in power. It is a shame to say, but the United Kingdom has several times descended to that level in the past six months.
    The UK dropped 3 places in the 2014 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, and if nothing happens to protect the Guardian and its collaborators in the future, we are afraid that press freedom will be more and more seriously challenged in the country.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/19/high-court-ruling-on-david-miranda-heathrow-detention-live-coverage

    Vincent Peyrègne of the World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers has said today’s ruling deals a “serious blow” to public interest journalism in the UK:

    “With this ruling we’re even less likely to see the vital public debate – that has so far been lacking in the UK – into the nature of the Guardian’s revelations and what they mean for our society.
    The future of serious public interest journalism in the UK has been dealt a serious blow by the court’s refusal to recognise that journalists also have a vital role in defending democracy.”

    Michelle Stanistreet of the National Union of Journalists said Miranda was stopped as part of a “fishing expedition which had nothing to do with the prevention of terrorism”. She added:

    “It is clear from the evidence presented to the court of appeal that even the Metropolitan police had doubts about the propriety of stopping and searching Miranda.
    Today’s judgment represents a serious attack on press freedom and the protection of journalists’ sources. That can only limit the public’s right to know what is done in its name, and is a real threat to democracy.
    We believe there must be an urgent public inquiry into the use of anti-terrorism legislation as a battering ram against press freedom.”

    Mr Nick Pickles of campaign group Big Brother Watch said:

    “What is bizarre is that the security services twice declined to tell the police David Miranda was involved in terrorism, and then changed their mind after being told by the police that they could not use schedule 7 if he was not. This looks like making the facts up to fit the law, rather than using the appropriate power to do what was the ultimately goal, namely seizing the material in David Miranda’s possession.
    This is exactly why independent judicial oversight of terrorism powers is needed and parliament should revisit the legal framework. It is clearly remarkable for a British court to equate journalism with an act of terrorism and if the law is so vague as for that to be reasonable then it should be abundantly clear how badly in need of reform the law is.”

    (all from the same link, above)

  59. Homeland Security seeking to develop massive license plate database

    February 19, 2014

    The US Department of Homeland Security is hoping to find a private company that is technologically capable of providing a system that will track license plates across the nation, according to a new report.

    A government proposal noticed by various media outlets including The Washington Post on Tuesday shows that DHS is trying to gain the ability to sift through large amounts of data collected from roadside surveillance cameras and law enforcement license plate readers.

    The justification given on the document in question is that the database will be able to identify and track immigrants who entered the United States illegally and are on the run from authorities. The method could easily create such a vast network of information, though, that American citizens suspected of no wrongdoing could easily be snagged in the dragnet and unknowingly have their information shared between police agencies.

    A spokeswoman for the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), which falls under DHS authority, said the information would only be used in a way that it would not put civil liberties at risk.

    /..
    http://rt.com/usa/license-plate-database-tracking-immigrants-643/

    My reaction to the sentence in bold… Oh yeah?

    Coming to the UK soon. Have you noticed the cameras that exist already? We have ANPR and extensive CCTV surveillance.

    Surveillance cameras in Birmingham track Muslims’ every move
    About 150 car numberplate recognition cameras installed in two Muslim areas, paid for by government anti-terrorism fund
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/jun/04/surveillance-cameras-birmingham-muslims

  60. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 5:35 pm

    Komodo (15h36)

    I disagree with everything you write at 15h36 but shall only commennt on the follow excerpt:

    “Totalitarianism, if it means anything, means the absence of democratic input into the laws and workings of the State. In terms of whose voices are actually heard by this or any feasibly electable government, totalitarianism has arrived.”

    1/. I’d dispute that there is no democratic imput into the laws and workings of the state. Let me leave aside the rôle of Parliament and local authorities and ask me how you would characterize, for example, judicial reviews?

    2/. You seem to be saying that Parliamentary democracy is a sham. Now, most of the world’s nations have some sort of parliamentary system. Is it your contention that totalitarianism has arrived for most of the world (in addition of course to those states that follow non-parliamentary forms of government and are therefore, a fortiori, totalitarian)?

  61. Craig posed a straightforward yet powerful question. Have you [noticed]?

    I myself believe that examination is key to creating a perception that those who believe in true democracy are classed in this ‘as ‘terrorists’ or revolutionary at the relucent boundary.

    The judicial oath it seems means nothing to those that serve the tyranny of control and fear.

    “”I will do right by all manner of people, after the law and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.” -is of no effect.

    When I say ‘we’ I mean individually, personally for the commonpoor; for freedom and justice. Those ‘we’ here in Craig’s place, understanding, reviewing, reflecting and giving respect are mind to our liberation, power to our escape from disdain.

    ‘We’ love you all.

  62. The BBC can remove news from Youtube if they don’t like it.
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-news-is-not-news/

  63. Here is the BBC version of the case.

    David Miranda loses detention legal battle
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26256544

    This is one of Judge Ouseley’s previous rulings. He is also one of the three judges in the David Miranda case.

    23 August 2006,
    Bomb damage in Lebanon
    Israel launched air strikes in southern Lebanon

    The government did not knowingly assist “acts of terrorism” by allowing US aircraft carrying bombs to Israel to stop at UK airports, a judge has ruled.

    The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) claimed in the High Court the flights encouraged Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

    Peter Carter QC, for the IHRC, told the judge that the UK was assisting in “disproportionate military attacks”.

    The IHRC’s attempt to get an injunction halting such stopovers was rejected.

    /..
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5277684.stm

    http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/08/348977.html?c=on refers

  64. Yes, sadly I have noticed, Mr. Murray and I’m sad and depressed.

    The majority probably aren’t. It may be an unpopular sentiment, but provided the Christmas sales aren’t too bad, I really don’t think that they’re bothered.

  65. “This is one of Judge Ouseley’s previous rulings. He is also one of the three judges in the David Miranda case.
    23 August 2006,
    Bomb damage in Lebanon
    Israel launched air strikes in southern Lebanon”

    Mary, would you do us all a favour and wait until at least ~page 5 of comments before you drag Israel into this thread?? PLEASE!!

  66. Yes, I have noticed Craig. We are victims of our own stupidity. I don’t think a lot of people even really know what Ed Snowden was talking about when he talked about being complicit in building an architecture of oppression and ‘turnkey’ tyranny. The internet is incredibly powerful and those people like Assange and Snowden who are gifted in this new era are trying to warn us of it’s inherent dangers if new protocols are not brought into being to safeguard us. In ‘Cypherpunks’ it was likened to the emergence of the nuclear era. At the moment we seem hellbent on persecuting the messengers and hastening on our own imprisonment. I am glad that the students of Glasgow University have elected Ed Snowden as their rector. Maybe some of the young, at least, get it, and that is hopeful.

  67. “Craig posed a straightforward yet powerful question. Have you [noticed]?”

    Certainly here in Scotland.

    The unification of the police forces, attempts to abolish corroboration, plans to make every child have a named government guardian.

    All seems to be heading in one direction.

  68. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 7:20 pm

    “The judicial oath it seems means nothing to those that serve the tyranny of control and fear.”
    __________________________

    Is not the indignation and outrage voiced in certain quarters about the High Court ruling just an example of “bad losers”? After all, it is not uncommon for UK courts to issue rulings which go against what the govt wanted – and in such cases, where those rulings are in line with the pensée unique of this blog, there are no expressions of outrage and indignation here.

    Like in football, the referee’s decision is surely final – with the difference that Mr Miranda can appeal to at least two higher courts in the UK and then, if he chooses, to the ECHR

  69. Jesselyn could have added, when describing Manning as a political prisoner, “… just as I am currently – on a temporary basis hopefully – your political prisoner.”

  70. @JimmyGiro “Pejorative or not, it is what they do.

    Err… not all the time dude! Sometimes they just hold hands, you know? Or maybe watch a film, do the dishes, mend the car…

  71. One wonders what Julian Assange, Andy Mueller Maguhn and others like them make of the latest measures mooted by the German Government. It has just seriously broken up with a certain ME country one should only mention on page five.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-considers-counterespionage-measures-against-united-states-a-953985.html

    They have tried asking the USA about the extend of spying and have been batted back, now they are proposing to get proactive. I’m sure that those in the know above, Ed Snmowden, who is very popular in Germany, even within certain sectors of the rightwing CSU, the idea of an EU internet, personal encryption and much more has a far better prospect to work for all, then without their input.

  72. Habbabkuk (19 Feb, 2014 – 3:06 pm) wrote:

    “As for the point that one only becomes aware of state “oppression” when you come against it yourself, well, that’s obviously true but it is so evident that it hardly needs saying. It is irrelevant as an argument in evaluating the extent to which a state might overstep its normal and justified oppressive aspect and even more irrelevant in determining whether or not a state is sliding into totalitarianism.”

    Interesting points all round in that post, but the point about running up against the state is worth further mention. People will go out of their way to ensure they do not run up against the state. You might not be saying or doing anything wrong in the workplace, but your behaviour will be quite different if your boss happens to be looking over your shoulder. Knowing how statements can be deliberately misconstrued, one will speak with caution at all times, given that mobiles can be used as a personal bugging device.

    Surveillance has a chilling effect on the criticism of authority – even for perfectly legitimate concerns.

    We might have just a little bit of faith in the use of CCTV as being for the benefit of the public, as opposed to being for the sole use of the state against the public, if those CCTV’s occasionally happened to catch the authorities doing something wrong.

    Remember poor Ian Tomlinson – there was no case to answer, until some passing tourist’s footage of the incident happened to land in the public domain. All those high-tech cameras, plus their staff, at taxpayer expense, didn’t see a thing. We never see police identified and prosecuted for assault during demonstrations without (a) blatant offence against the innocent, and (b) independent evidence identifying the criminal concerned.

    Indeed, the authorities have gone a long way to ensuring that the public does not have the means to get evidence, by banning cameras in public demonstrations, pictures of police, and even of well known public buildings and spaces.

    How come this “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” argument only ever goes one way, when the authorities want to hide everything?

  73. A reminder what Craig said

    ‘The disgraceful judges of Britain’s High Court – who have gone along with torture, extraordinary rendition, every single argument for mass surveillance and hiding information from the public, and even secret courts – have ruled that it was lawful for the Home Office …..’

    Planes landing on British soil carrying bombs for Israel to use on Lebanon come into the equation in my opinion.

    Think too of the jets taking tortured souls for rendition which were also allowed to use our airports and airspace.

  74. Damn right i’ve noticed.

    Many people have noticed.

  75. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 8:33 pm

    Glenn-uk

    You too have made some interesting points. But it’s difficult for anyone to discuss dispassionately and cast aside certain basic philosophies, isn’t it.

    Let’s take what you said about the use of CCTV. No reasonable person could argue against your contention that CCTV should serve to identify wrong-doing by anyone and that that includes wrong-doing on the part of the authorities, whether police or other. But you “spoil” (if I can use that word) your argument somewhat by saying “…as opposed to being for the sole use of the state against the public,..” : that expression is tendentious because it tends to transform the use of CCTV by the police against law breakers into an affair of the “state” against the “public”;; the police are not the state, except insofar as they maintain (or should maintain) the law of the state, and the law breakers are not the public except insofar as they are part of the public.

    On a point of information, is it really the case that cameras are banned on public demonstrations and that one cannot take pictures of police officers (not clear whether you meant on such demonstrations or more widely) or certain public buildings? I can well imagine that some police officers on the spot would claim that taking pictures is illegal, but is this really so or is it just a case of them pushing their luck (in the same way as other public officials do when they think they can get away with it? I’d welcome more on this theme if you or some one else would care to supply more detail.

  76. Resident Dissident

    19 Feb, 2014 - 8:41 pm

    Pykrete

    “Imagine the msm if Vlad had done this!”

    Well he certainly has a rather tougher policy with regard to questioning those he doesn’t like when they leave Russia – I myself have been questioned many times about my activities when leaving Russia, and the detail and the extent of the questioning is far more detailed and extensive than that experienced by Jesselyn Radack (unjustified though such behaviour clearly is I might add). If I had links with someone who was responsible for liberating KGB secrets I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be here now. I should also add that for good measure the Boarder Guards (or should we call them the KGB to be be more accurate) also spent so long interviewing my son, who was at a time still not an adult that he missed the flight and then we had to spend further time in Russia renewing the paper work (funny how they find such deficiencies when they want) so that he could not leave until a number of days later.

    Oh and for those who think this is an isolated incident – perhaps they should ask why BA always builds about 1 hour into its schedule for flight delays leaving Moscow. I might also add that the British Embassy in Moscow has been worse than useless in improving matters over many many years.

    Perhaps I should ask Wikileaks and the Sam Adams Trust to represent my case with the Russian authorities – but on second thoughts I don’t think I will bother.

  77. Resident Dissident

    19 Feb, 2014 - 9:07 pm

    Habba

    I think this is the case you were referring to

    http://navalny-en.livejournal.com/117916.html

    Perhaps Snowden could take it up with his lawyer, who is also on the KGB supervisory board and is a friend of Putins, or Craig could raise it next time he is on Voice of Russia, or Assange in one of his independent programmes on Russia today? Or perhaps everyone here could write a letter to the Russian Ambassador.

    PS don’t mention the Ice Hockey

  78. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 9:20 pm

    Resident Dissident

    Thank you and yes that’s the case I was thinking of (sorry for getting the Sochi detail wrong). I note the 3 year sentence, so the 8 years I saw was a typo.

  79. @H, RD …

    My comment was not meant to excuse or condone Russian behaviour towards any particular individuals. It was merely to highlight the treatments by western media of similar behaviours by the “good guys” as compared to the current/future “bad guys”.

    Never been through Moscow. Had fun with TSA at Dallas with a laptop and photo gear (sister-in-law lives 15miles from Dubya!!)

  80. This blog is always worth a read. It gives chapter and verse in close detail on security and surveillance developments.

    http://spyblog.org.uk/

  81. It’s good to see so much agreement that the “us and them” is not Britain vs Russia, it’s the people vs the psychopath in both. Different sections of the blog are gathering evidence against those with a thirst for power both sides of the Atlantic and in Eastern Europe as well.

  82. Habbabkuk (20:33): Agreed, it is certainly difficult to discuss on an entirely objective basis. Even the selection of indisputable facts betrays a bias, let alone the direction in which they steer the discussion.

    For instance, your argument about whether we should be be talking about CCTV being used against “the pubic”, or “lawbreakers”. I’d argue it’s definitely used against a group, and for the police (or state), rather than for the public generally. If it were only used as evidence to prosecute law-breakers, we would not have many concerns. However, when the police are also law-breakers, CCTV is of no use to the public.

    Obviously CCTV will be used when the police are (figuratively) throwing one of their own under the bus, but that will only be when they are bang to rights anyway. As far as protecting the law, rather than the state – and those with interests that benefit from the power of state apparatus – take a look at this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gxI4ToNKGQ

    Here you have police acting against lawful protestors, as the muscle for a private corporation. They’re not just clearing people obstructing the highway, and certainly not looking after the interests of locals. They forbid evidence being captured, and then blatantly lie to bring false charges against a protestor.

    Such behaviour should be regarded as grounds for immediate dismissal and prosecution, but of course nothing of the kind will happen. All his colleagues who witnessed the “fit-up” and did nothing should also be up for the same. Perverting the law – like surveillance – is a one-way street.

    *

    As I understand it, section 76 of the “Counter Terrorism Act” (2008) allows for arresting those “eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc” – it specifically goes on to mention police – “which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/28/section/76

    This is wide open to interpretation.

    In China, just about everything is a crime. Failing to notify authorities and get written permission (which is never forthcoming) when moving between areas is a crime. Nobody is ever prosecuted for it, unless they fall foul of the authorities for some reason. Thereupon, you have committed an arrestable offence.

    Same trick, different regime – here we have a near catch-all which can be employed whenever someone does something the state, and its enforcers, does not like. It might be dismissed as individual police “pushing their luck”, you may not get prosecuted eventually, but it’s pretty effective in hauling someone off, destroying their evidence, and only admitting they might have gone a bit far after the fact.

    If any police officer has been disciplined for harassing law-abiding citizens for ludicrous “terrorist” related charges, I have not heard of it.

  83. ‘strewth – when I make a typo, does it have to be _such_ a howler? Wish there were some sort of edit feature. :(

    Any kindly mods still about, I’d be most obliged…

  84. any fule can see

    19 Feb, 2014 - 10:13 pm

    As various states slide towards totalitarianism, a defining factor is that their populations really don’t notice. Well, I have noticed. Have you?

    An answer may come in how people respond to RB’s comments about TB advising on holding a Hutton type enquiry. Gob smacking if it is proved he said it and if people still do not find that their confidence in the system is shaken well then presumably you have to conclude that they deserve the system they get.

  85. any fule can sleep

    19 Feb, 2014 - 10:24 pm

    The wonderful possibly greatest ever GP driver Tazio Nuvolari, who is said to have invented the technnique of drifitng a Masarati 250 around a corner, when asked whether he was scared of dying in a motor race answered with a question, noting that most people die in bed, but are you terrified of going to sleep? And as we know the answer is no.

  86. Resident Dissident

    19 Feb, 2014 - 10:35 pm

    Pykrete

    I once was stopped at Atlanta where the border guard went through all the pile of printed material I held (about 4-5 inches) – when he flicked through a book of Jan Morris travel essays I had and when he alighted on one chapter he just questioned “Moscow?” in a low and deep voice. I’m afraid that border guards around the world are pretty much cut from the same cloth.

  87. half the fules can wake up

    19 Feb, 2014 - 10:47 pm

    “WHITEWASH”

    The reference to the Hutton inquiry could prove hugely embarrassing for the former Labour leader, who won three elections to lead Britain from 1997 to 2007 but who has had to repeatedly defend himself over his decision to join the United States in going to war in Iraq.

    Lord Hutton was appointed by Blair to investigate the circumstances which led to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporting that the government had “sexed up” the case for the invasion of Iraq.

    That near six-month investigation cleared the government of any wrongdoing and laid the blame firmly at the door of the BBC, leading to the resignation of two of its most senior executives. A poll of Britons in the wake of the inquiry found that half believed the report was a “whitewash”.

    Cut & pasted from Reuters article today: Former PM Blair offered to help Murdoch over phone-hacking
    BY MICHAEL HOLDEN AND KATE HOLTON
    LONDON Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:55pm

  88. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 11:05 pm

    I must agree that bLiar slipped up when he suggested a Hutton type enquiry; one would have thought that the old twister would have found a safer example :)

    I wonder why the prosecution brought this up. And it will be interesting to see what consequences might flow.

    (Oops – O/T – harmless – but apologies anyway!)

  89. Habbabkuk, 8:33 pm; photography has effectively been criminalised under section 44 of the Terrorism Act – at the discretion of the police. Some useful links and resources:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/warning-do-not-take-this-picture-1833127.html

    http://photographyisnotacrime.com/forums/topic/uk-traffic-officer-harassing-photographer/

    http://www.photographyisntacrime.com/

    There have been several incidents of police confiscating cameras and memory cards at demonstrations, erasing the data before returning them. On one occasion, I seem to remember, data recovery techniques were used by the photographer to recover evidence against the police.

  90. Mary, 6.45pm

    This is one of Judge Ouseley’s previous rulings. He is also one of the three judges in the David Miranda case.

    So was Assange’s extradition (High Court). A political, rather than legal, decision if ever there was one. Same with Miranda.

  91. “Drone victims are today lodging a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing NATO member states of war crimes over their role in facilitating the US’ covert drone programme in Pakistan.”

    http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/2014_02_19_complaint_international_court_drones/

  92. Hi Craig,

    Nice to hear Julian Assange is bearing up in the Ecuadorian embassy. Must have been a very interesting chat, all youse Sam Adams types around the same table.

    Meanwhile, the debate in Sweden over whether the Swedish prosecutor should be sacked for refusing to interrogate Assange in London is hotting up:

    Nordic News Network 3/1/14: Mounting Criticism of Swedish Prosecution in Assange case:
    http://www.nnn.se/nordic/assange/critics.pdf

    Sverige Radio 4/1/14: Most of Eric Holder’s visit has been kept secret:
    “Our political reporter Ci Holmgren had to ask the Swedish Minister of Justice what Holder really doing here.”:
    https://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=1637&artikel=5775707

    Expressen 4/1/14: Holder’s speech is not likely to have calmed Assange:
    http://www.expressen.se/kronikorer/mats-larsson/holders-tal-lar-inte-ha-lugnat-assange/

    SvD 11/2/14: Assange should be treated according to Swedish law:
    http://www.svd.se/opinion/brannpunkt/assange-should-be-treated-according-to-swedish-law_8982528.svd

    Paragraf 13/2/14: Not so little fishy [Google translated]:
    http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.magasinetparagraf.se%2Fbilden%2Finte-sa-lite-skumt

    Dagens Juridik 18/2/14: The prosecution has painted itself into a corner with no honorable return:
    http://www.dagensjuridik.se/2014/02/assange-sarbehandlas-negativt

    Last one translated: http://rixstep.com/1/20140219,00.shtml

  93. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 11:28 pm

    Thanks, Glenn-uk

    Not nit-picking but just a couple of (genuine) queries about your latest.

    “I’d argue it’s definitely used against a group,..”

    By “group”, are you speaking generically, ie do you mean a segment of the public or are you referring to specific groups, eg muggers, or demonstrators?

    “If it were only used as evidence to prosecute law-breakers, we would not have many concerns.”

    You appear to be suggesting it is also used for other purposes. What do you have in mind?

    Re. your China example : that was interesting and certainly gives the state a strong hold over everyone, or almost. But the example depends on the existence of the “notify when moving between areas” law and, presumbaly, other laws of that type. Now, for your example to be transposable to the UK, you would have to find examples of similar laws – or laws with similar intent – in the UK. Do you have any?…..

    …..unless you mean the panonply of UK anti-terrorism laws…? (it’s not clear to me from your text).

    On the photo-ing question : I’d find it difficult to believe that the section you refer to is used to justify an order not to take photos at a demonstration. Now, I agree that you could be arrested and then not charged, but can you refer to any cases of this kind where charges were brought and the matter came to court?

    And, finally, thank you for the courteous way in which you set out your thoughts.

  94. “So when “a foreign exchange trader” jumped to his death from the top of JP Morgan’s Hong Kong headquarters this morning, that definitely raised my eyebrows.”

    http://www.wallstreetsectorselector.com/2014/02/trail-dead-bankers-lead-somewhere/

  95. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 11:35 pm

    Arbed

    You’re straying perilously near off-topic as well….

  96. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    19 Feb, 2014 - 11:37 pm

    Clark

    thanks for that on photos, I hadn’t seen it when I replied to Glenn-uk.

  97. “Perhaps Snowden could take it up with his lawyer, who is also on the KGB supervisory board and is a friend of Putins, or Craig could raise it next time he is on Voice of Russia, or Assange in one of his independent programmes on Russia today? Or perhaps everyone here could write a letter to the Russian Ambassador.”

    Contrariwise, the effort to place Snowden and Vitishko at opposite poles is a conservative gambit without any realistic odds of winning.

    Have you considered that their goals could be in unison? I doubt it.

  98. “You’re straying perilously near off-topic as well….”

    Pot/Kettle

  99. Habbabkuk, 11.35pm

    Excuse me? Let me quote from Craig’s post:

    I had dinner inside the Ecuadorian Embassy on Sunday with Julian Assange, who I am happy to say is as fit and well as possible in circumstances of confinement. Amongst those present was Jesselyn Radack, attorney for, among others, Edward Snowden. Last week on entering the UK she was pulled over by immigration and interrogated about her clients…

    Presumably you’re aware that the dinner at the Ecuadorian embassy was for the Sam Adams group (it’s been all over the news…); that the Sam Adams group were meeting at the embassy ahead of the award of this year’s Sam Adams Prize to Chelsea Manning at the Oxford Union this very evening, with Craig one of the speakers there (I do hope you’ll post the video when it’s available, Craig); that Jesselyn Radack was questioned at Heathrow Border Control – though not quite as fiercely as David Miranda (also very topical this evening) – about her intended destination (guess where? Yes, that’s right, the Ecuadorian embassy to meet up with Assange and Craig); and that Julian Assange is a previous winner of said prize.

    Quite rare for me to be this on-topic, actually. ;)

  100. “GP magazine Pulse reported on 7/2/14, “Patients who have opted out of the scheme will still have their records sent to the HSCIC stripped of identifiers” (see 4th paragraph from bottom of this article). This confirms something buried on page 9 of NHS England’s recently-published care.data Privacy Impact Assessment [PDF] (UPDATE 12/2/14: there appeares to be a problem with the official link to the PIA, so here is a copy), which states:”

    http://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out/

  101. “Amerikan Stasi Police State Staring Us In The Face — Paul Craig Roberts”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/02/18/19371/

  102. The judgment in full is here-

    http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/miranda-v-sofshd.pdf

    A couple of comments- our learned friends acknowledge an earlier judgment which states, alarmingly,that under the 2000 Act ‘the definition of ‘terrorism’ was indeed intended to be very wide.’

    But, heigh ho, they go on in the next paragraph (para 29) to state-

    With great respect, the bare proposition that the definition of terrorism in s.1 is very wide or far reaching does not of itself instruct us very deeply in the proper use of
    Schedule 7.’

    How convenient !

    Our learned friends also make repeated references to ‘the theft of 58,000 GCGQ documents’ and to ‘stolen GCHQ intelligence’.

    Are we therefore to assume, in the light of this statement alleging ‘theft’ on the part of Miranda & Greenwald, that these documents are no longer in GCHQ’s possession ?

    The fictional Mr Justice Cocklecarrot’s legal reasoning skills bear favourable comparison to these 3 hacks in the High Court.

  103. Terrorism Act 2000 Schedule 7 now licenses the UK securicrats to embark on fishing expeditions-

    http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37465/en/uk:-miranda-ruling-fails-to-protect-public-interest-journalism

    Btw I meant to write ‘bear favourable comparison to those of these 3 hacks in the High Court’ in the previous post.

  104. Chelsea Manning: Sam Adams Award Acceptance Speech, Feb 2014

    http://pastebin.com/igpXK26G

  105. On the day of the seriously dodgy Miranda judgment , how timely it is that, simultaneously, the grubby machinations of our political elite and the Murdoch press, are revealed in their full glory-

    http://fothom.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/the-brooks-plan-b-and-blair-unofficial-advisor-emails/

  106. “Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday ordered the cancellation of a plan by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to develop a national license-plate tracking system after privacy advocates raised concern about the initiative.

    “The order came just days after ICE solicited proposals from companies to compile a database of license-plate information from commercial and law enforcement tag readers. Officials said the database was intended to help apprehend fugitive illegal immigrants, but the plan raised concerns that the movements of ordinary citizens under no criminal suspicion could be scrutinized.”

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014732685

  107. Sections 44, 45, 46 and most of section 47 of the 2000 anti-terror act were repealed by a Remedial Act in 2011 having been declared illegal by the ECHR.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/terrorism-act-2000-remedial-order-2011

    Police officers do not have any right to prevent anyone taking photographs in a public place neither can they delete images without a court order.

  108. Kempe, 1:09 am; thanks for that good news. It’s a shame it required the ECHR to overrule those oppressive British laws.

  109. BrianFujisan

    20 Feb, 2014 - 1:40 am

    Someone @ 11;58 ..Good one….

    I was reading that from a site i visit from time to time…they (Activist Post) are running this Story too.

    http://www.activistpost.com/2014/02/amerikan-stasi-police-state-staring-us.html

    they A.P have been onto the goings on in Fema Region 3 for many months….

    i’m with Clark, and some others Here… when he talks of trying to tell friends what is going on… many of my bunch just don’t want to know…or care.

    Some lines from Someone’s link if i may… worth repeating Ye know.

    “The Army is being trained for domestic police duties that are in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act that prevents the use of the military for domestic law enforcement, another indication that Washington has no respect for the country’s laws and that Obama and his “Justice” Department have no intention of enforcing the laws of the land or abiding by the Constitution.

    Where is the media outcry? Where are the law schools? Where is Congress? A government that disregards the laws of the land is both treasonous and tyrannical. Yet, not a peep from “the free and the brave.”

    The US government and its puppet auxiliary, the UK government, have turned with vengeance against whistleblowers and their attorneys. Bradley Manning is in prison, Julian Assange is confined to the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, and Edward Snowden is under Russian protection from a tyrannical US government. Jessellyn Radack, an attorney who represented Snowden was recently detained and questioned in an intimidating way at London’s Heathrow Airport. Washington has taught its British puppet state how to mimic Washington’s Gestapo ways…..

    “Julian Assange stated, correctly, “The NSA and its UK accomplices show no respect for the rule of law.” ……

    “What has occurred in the US and UK is that the criminal and treasonous acts of both governments have become so extreme that the governments must destroy civil liberty in order to protect themselves from exposure. Whenever you hear “national security” invoked, you know that government is covering up its crimes and its lies…..

    “Meanwhile Washington continues the pretense of America as the land of “freedom and democracy” and “concern for human rights,” blah-blah-blah. People all over the world, with the exception of the paid protesters in western Ukraine, are no longer listening to the bullshit flowing from Washington and its presstitute media.”

    Link @

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

    Thank you Someone

  110. Craig,

    I salute you.

    However, my legal career encompasses two death threats and one indication that arson could be inflicted on my home ( i.e. I came home to find electrical cords pulled out of the wall and stripped and fully exposed – well – yes – you can burn my house down – I got the message.)

    All we can do is resist and hope that the threats are not carried out – or – maybe if they are – we have already informed more of us to carry on and resist.

    ALUTA CONTINUA!

    CB

  111. BrianFujisan

    20 Feb, 2014 - 2:05 am

    Courtenay

    Stay safe out there…wee hero’s both yirself and Craig… And Brave ( i strongly Suspect that Craig has Many unsung hero’s as part of his readership… to each n all Thank you.

  112. Yeah, I’ve noticed. My guess is that totalitarianism requires a disguise, and the nature of the disguise doesn’t especially matter. So it can be a charismatic Caesar, it can be ultra-nationalism, Nazism, Italiian Facism, Communism, whatever. It’s still the same old lunatics seeking power and domination. The current disguise is more subtle, and it has to be because the average citizen is far better educated. And the present disguise is managerialism, in my humbe opinion.

    In the workplace, I’ve been subjected to bullying managerialism – it’s my way or the highway dickwaving, and is often about ego, and almost every disagreement is personalized, subverted into a challenge to authority. Ditto our current parliamentary system. It’s us and them, and they don’t like us. Any protest is viewed as ‘anti democratic”, and any differing opinion is viewed as ‘extremism’. The language politicians use is leader-speak, and preachy, carefully couched in terms which suggest they know best, and disagreement is silly. It’s pathetic, sure, but also increasingly sinister. In their own minds, they no longer serve the people, they rule, and I’m far from the first to make this observation, I just think it’s becoming more obvious, and extreme.

    Monbiot wrote a dreadful article recently, linking Orwell to Al Nusra in Libya. I don’t want to discuss the article, which was a bit poor. But the article noted that Orwell might have gotten 2 years in prison, on his return from fighting in Spain. I took a minute to note on CiF, and now here, that these days you can get a bigger sentence for … a FACEBOOK POST. Check the Google, people have in point of fact gotten more for incitment on Facebook. This is actually genuinely disturbing. We’re talking a few posts, maybe organizing a meeting, here. I know JS Mill talked about incitment of a rioting mob being a crime, but I’m really not sure this has much to do with a stupid Facebook post. For one, how many people actually read this post? Also. Facebook post. I mean, really.

    So, yes, the signs are there, have been for a few years now I think. And I’m afraid our judiciary, as well as The Met, appear to be corrupt institutions, who won’t be able to help us, if things truly go awry, for example during a financial collapse which, I fear, looks inevitable.

    Perhaps I am being too gloomy, who knows? But i read the newspapers every day, and have to say, it’s hard to be sunny, for sure.

  113. half the fules can sleep

    20 Feb, 2014 - 7:19 am

    Some interesting links above; thanks. This site is a good place to find references for other sources for eg I only heard about Peter Dale Scott from reading these pages. I thought TB’s alleged comments, attributed to him by RB to JM, on topic and sufficient to suggest a tipping point. The fact that only Habba also notes their relevance perhaps I am wrong and that peeps are even more sleepy than I had thought, or perhaps you had all concluded Hutton was a ‘whitewash’ long ago. When Reuters use that word for a sub headline though you have to think Hello can I hear something ……Have a nice day all.

  114. Dreoilin

    I suspect the reason for the moderation alert is to protect the blog from legal action under new blog legislation which came out in January. Yesterday your friend Mary linked to: http://spyblog.org.uk/ and there is an article there which may be relevant.
    Defamation Act 2013 comes into force 1st Jan 2014 – section 5 Notice threat to anonymous blogging

  115. At the risk of repeating myself, I give the link to
    Milton Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free.
    The Germans 1933 -1945
    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html

    Indented/quoted

    “Your friend the baker was right,” said my colleague. “The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?

    “To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.’

    There are many parallels.

  116. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    20 Feb, 2014 - 8:13 am

    Clark / Kempe

    To Clark, thank you for the 3 links you provided (on which more below)

    To Kempe, thanks for that update.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Re Clark’s links:

    I looked at these and must say that even without the benefit of Kempe’s updare I didn’t find them very convincing.

    The 3rd one is about the USA , not the UK (hence not of great value).

    The 2nd one concerns someone video-ing (or photo-ing) at the scene of a crime. Nothing happened to him or his pictures (he was even able to openly record and film his discussion with the two police officers) and the explanation given for why he was asked to give his ‘details’, ie name and address, was that the crime unit had not yet arrived on the scene and that which he was filming was evidence of which the police might wish to avail themselves. In other words, a reasonable enough explanation, it seems to me.

    The first one (a Guardian article) actually indirectly confirms what Kempe brought to our attention : towards the end of the article a high-ranking police officer confirms that Article 44 does NOT make the taking of photos on the street, eg at a demonstration, illegal. The article also, by the way, makes it clear that there is a need for better educating the policeman on the ground on the correct application of the (complicated) Terrorism Acts.

    I wish everyone a nice day and shall continue to endeavor to stay on-topic.

  117. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    20 Feb, 2014 - 8:20 am

    ‘An answer may come in how people respond to RB’s comments about TB advising on holding a Hutton type enquiry. Gob smacking if it is proved he said it and if people still do not find that their confidence in the system is shaken well then presumably you have to conclude that they deserve the system they get.’

    In fairness, that isn’t the system, but people (allegedly, m’lud, allegedly) operating slightly outside it. That News International’s activities are the subject of court proceedings confirms that while the system demands unlimited surveillance rights over the public, it can still question private snooping. I don’t see booking Brooks as totalitarianism. I do see grabbing Miranda under an irrelevant Act as a symptom of totalitarianism. But maybe that isn’t your point…

    Blair was (allegedly) offering to act as a private advisor, that is, not as a representative of the State. He has considerable form with Murdoch, who switched his allegiance to help give him the 1998 election. He may owe Rupert a favour or two; Rupe undoubtedly knows where the bodies of his victims are buried. Blair tours the world in a charter jet selling his influence to anyone who can pay – it’s his modus operandi, but it’s not totalitarianism. If it came to court, it would be corruption, and while its extent is worrying, it’s nothing new in British politics.

  118. Why do I foul up on the formatting?! Answers on a postcard please.

  119. Brendan “Yeah, I’ve noticed. My guess is that totalitarianism requires a disguise, and the nature of the disguise doesn’t especially matter. So it can be a charismatic Caesar, it can be ultra-nationalism, Nazism, Italiian Facism, Communism, whatever. It’s still the same old lunatics seeking power and domination. The current disguise is more subtle, and it has to be because the average citizen is far better educated. And the present disguise is managerialism, in my humbe opinion.

    In the workplace, I’ve been subjected to bullying managerialism – it’s my way or the highway dickwaving, and is often about ego, and almost every disagreement is personalized, subverted into a challenge to authority.”

    An eloquent description of modern management style. However, if you look at the puppetmasters behind the puppets, i.e.the big political, Masonic screws being crushed into the managers as Craig describes in his post comment, you will see that the manager/puppets, apart from being well-paid, are often very patient, humble individuals who are themselves being very seriously abused.

  120. Craig, thanks once again for raising one of the biggest problems facing society today. Why people are so complacent is beyond me. It’s the “I’m all right Jack” society that cares for nothing and nobody except their own comfort, watching television and getting fat. Gradually people are being indoctrinated in a media-led onslaught which makes it impossible for them to see beyond the cloud-screen.

    KingofWelshNoir, welcome back. I found it rather ironic that you make your first comment in months that I’ve seen, and Phil (where did he come from?) and people who regularly comment, Dreoilin, attack you for relentlessly hanging around here. While I agree that we should be doing more in way of protest, and I am sure that they were not targeting you KingofWelshNoir it made me smile. Please don’t take offence.

    Courtney, stay safe.

    Arbed thanks for all the links.

  121. Ref BLiar’s advice to the goddess as reported.

    It reflects several facets of his paramount psychopathy. Firstly that he believes, in spite of his legal ‘training’ at the Bar, that he can be part of a possible manipulation of a criminal trial/conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Secondly, that he sees no impropriety in giving such advice as an ex PM to an alleged criminal thus demonstrating his lack of insight and his mountainous view of himself. Thirdly he has shown how he was intent to pervert the course of justice re David Kelly’s death. Still no inquest for the latter of course.

    Throwing sand in the faces/illusion/adds complexity.

    A suitable case for treatment and/or locking up.

    Q. Why was this thrown in right at the end of the prosecution case Regina v Brooks, Brooks et al? What will be revealed over the next months. The case has been ongoing for four months already. Who is paying? Joe Bloggs of course.

  122. Clarke 23.06 pm: section 44 Terrorism Act and photography. Thanks for that.

    “Craig Mackey, who speaks for the Association of Chief Police Officers on stop-and-search legislation, said he does have sympathy for photographers, but said that part of the problem was that some officers were not aware how best to use the “complex” legislation. He said: “It goes back to the issue of briefing and training of staff and making sure they are clear around the legislation we are asking them to use.

    There is no power under Section 44 to stop people taking photographs and we are very clear about getting that message out to forces.”

  123. Mary, Tony Blair was being used. For a fee of course.

  124. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    20 Feb, 2014 - 8:44 am

    Afterthought:

    The rot really set in when the fundamental right to silence was removed:
    http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/the-rights-of-suspects/the-rights-of-suspects-in-the-police-station/curtailment-of-the-right-to-silence.html

    The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which did this, was Michaellll “Vampire” Howard’s kneejerk response to young people making a lot of noise, and has been repeatedly challenged, unsuccessfully.

    Some good advice, not just for photographers, here -

    http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-on-arrest.html

  125. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    20 Feb, 2014 - 8:47 am

    ‘Q. Why was this thrown in right at the end of the prosecution case Regina v Brooks, Brooks et al?’

    For the media to enjoy. Linking Blair with Rebekah probably won’t do either of them much good. Like it.

  126. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    20 Feb, 2014 - 9:10 am

    Memory Lane: How Blair appointed Hutton, instantly -

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362659/Revealed-How-Blair-fixer-picked-judge-David-Kelly-Inquiry-just-hours-weapons-inspectors-suicide.html

    Can forgive the Mail a lot for this piece. Mind you, there’s a lot to forgive.

  127. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    20 Feb, 2014 - 9:18 am

  128. John
    Indoctrination is a form of education as the definition states.

    Indoctrination is a proven method of controlling opinion with disregard to sentiment.
    Do we have liberty? I thnk so but in regard to sentiment we are inclined to seek self gratification as over ruling our sentimental response to other being which I am sure we do still cling to.

    Peace.

  129. Following the toothpaste bombs to Sochi terrrrr alert, we hear of a new alert today for shoe bombs on incoming flights to the US.

    US Airlines Warned Over Possible Shoe Bombs

    Concerns are raised for the second time in less than three weeks over possible attempts to smuggle explosives onto planes.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1214411/us-airlines-warned-over-possible-shoe-bombs

    ‘It is the second time in less than three weeks the US government has raised concerns over possible attempts to smuggle explosives onto commercial jetliners.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declined to discuss specific details about the warning but said it regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners.

    “Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continues to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment,” the department said in a statement.’

    The current head of the Orwellian sounding Department of Homeland Security is Jeh Johnson http://www.dhs.gov/secretary-jeh-johnson
    where it says that he is a member of the neocon ‘think tank’ Council on Foreign Relations – Rubin, Rubenstein, Albright, Rockefeller, Powell. Branches all over the US.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_on_Foreign_Relations

  130. Remembering Gerald Berreman
    One Who Raged Against the Machine

    by DAVID H. PRICE
    February 19, 2014

    A few mornings ago I saw an announcement that anthropologist Gerald Berreman died this last December. Berreman was a professor of anthropology at Berkeley for decades who became an important voice of dissent in the 1960s and 70s, speaking out against anthropologists’ interactions with the CIA and other intelligence agencies, and championing openness in science. Berreman’s early ethnographic work studied caste stratification dynamics in India, and cultural ecology in India and Nepal.

    I did not know Professor Berreman well. We occasionally corresponded and both contributed to an American Anthropological Association (AAA) panel on militarism a few years ago, but his writings, his work on the AAA code of ethics, and his political activism have had a significant impact on my work and on generations of anthropologists who followed him. I write this brief salute to Gerry Berreman’s ideas with the simple hope that some new generation of anthropologists and other academics might be drawn to his work (his essays like “The Social responsibility of the Anthropologists,” “Ethics Versus ‘Realism’ in Anthropology,” or his book The Politics of Truth) in this disjointed era where notions of knowledge for the public good have been outsourced to cynical opportunists of capital or state.

    Berreman was the real deal, a strong early voice speaking out against anthropologists’ collusion with military and intelligence agencies, playing crucial roles in giving legitimacy to the AAA’s efforts to develop an ethics code during the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was an era when a strong belief in unmitigated science led many to view other cultures as datasets to be explored as needed, but to Berreman, the world was no longer anthropologists’ “laboratory,” but “a community in which we are coparticipants with our informants.”

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/19/one-who-raged-against-the-machine/

    There was a man who stood up for his principles and beliefs.

  131. Apologies if already posted. From the Medialens editors.

    Video: Edward Snowden tells Oxford students that Government secrets undermine democracy
    Posted by The Editors on February 20, 2014, 9:42 am

    Edward Snowden or, as the Independent calls him, ‘the fugitive from US justice’, recorded this video message for Oxford University students attending an award ceremony for Chelsea Manning:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/video-edward-snowden-tells-oxford-students-that-government-secrets-undermine-democracy-9139897.html

  132. 20 February 2014 Last updated at 10:12
    Breaking news
    Rebekah Brooks cleared of one charge
    Rebekah Brooks acquitted of misconduct in public office at Old Bailey hacking trial – faces further four charges

    More to follow.

    ??

  133. I believe Ray McGovern is a friend of Craig’s.

    Ray dared to turn his back on Shillary and look what ensued.

    Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Sues State Dept. For Putting Him on Watch List
    Lawsuit Challenges Brutal Arrest at Clinton speech
    For anti-war beliefs, State Dept. instructed agents to stop and question McGovern on sight

    WASHINGTON – February 18 – The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of U.S. military veteran and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern against John Kerry, in his capacity as the Secretary of State, and against officers at George Washington University.

    The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia three years to the date of Mr McGovern’s brutal and false arrest at GWU during a speech of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. After the arrest, the PCJF uncovered that then 71-year-old McGovern was put on a “Be On the Look-Out” list, and agents were instructed to stop and question him on sight. The reasons cited included his “political activism, primarily anti-war” — a clearly unconstitutional order.

    /..
    https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2014/02/18

  134. .
    I don’t meant to boast because this is definitely not a race, or a competition, but I noticed the sea change in the late 70’s – can’t explain what it is except to say a sort of scent of slow death of humanity – and this tendency has accelerated since around 2000. Strongly reminiscent of Ionesco’s play “Rhinoceros”. It compels me to feel dreadfully alone. But in a paradoxical way, these days I begin to sense solidarity among another souls that are trapped in the same total aloneness.

  135. I am re-linking the important Reprieve article which Fred linked earlier about drone-strike victims trying to make NATO countries accountable for complicity in US-led drone-strikes. Although the US itself is not a signatory to the ICC (presumably so it can continue its torture, slaughter and abuse) and because NATO allies are so closely tied to the dollar and serving their master it has a high likelihood of success. I hope everybody here who can afford to do so will support the charity Reprieve which would show they are concerned.

    http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/2014_02_19_complaint_international_court_drones/

  136. Edward Snowden addresses the Oxford Union as part of the Sam Adams awards ceremony on 19th February 2014.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFll2lry9lk

    Thanks Dreoilin for the Chelsea Manning: Sam Adams Award Acceptance Speech, Feb 2014

  137. Linked four posts above John. Note how the Independent describe him. Disgusting.

  138. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    20 Feb, 2014 - 12:38 pm

    Reprieve…yeah, but the link from there to the complaint gives me a 404…

  139. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    20 Feb, 2014 - 1:18 pm

  140. Ba’al Zevul, 12:38 pm, I just spoke to Clemency Wells in Reprieve’s Press Office on the number on the page John Goss linked to; she said she’d get the link to the complaint fixed.

  141. You’re welcome Mark

  142. Clark, you beat me to it. I got the 404 message too so just rang Reprieve and the man there said they would do something about it.

  143. From Edward Snowden’s speech to the Oxford Union:

    The foundation of democracy is the consent of the governed. After all, we cannot consent to programmes and policies about which we are never informed. …the decline of democracy begins when the domain of government expands beyond the borders of its public’s knowledge, because when a public is no longer aware of the actions of its officials, is no longer aware of what’s going on behind closed doors, it can no longer hold the most senior members of its society to necessary account for serious wrongdoing, because the evidence of that wrongdoing is itself a secret from them.

  144. doug scorgie

    20 Feb, 2014 - 2:01 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    19 Feb, 2014 – 3:12 pm

    “I read very recently that a Russian opposition figure who also happens to be an environmental campaigner but not a nun or monk either – has just been convicted of various offences arising out of him breaching a perimeter fence somewhere – I think it was at Sochi, actually. Some damage to the fence (obviously) but no damage to anything or anybody else. He got 8 years.”

    Search as I may on the internet Habbabkuk, I can find nothing about a Russian male opposition figure, or an environmental campaigner, being arrested for damaging a fence, or any male being given 8 years for such an action, in Sochi or anywhere else in Russia recently.

    We know the police in Russia arrest protesters and fit them up on false charges (a bit like our own police) so you don’t need to make stories up as in your quote above.

    You could of course prove me wrong by referencing your claims.

  145. From Chelsea Manning:

    “the [American]government first refused to acknowledge the existence of the documents [regarding the practice of "targeted killing" of American citizens], but later argued that their release could harm national security and were therefore exempt from disclosure.”

    Equivalently David Cameron and his coalition have refused to release information compiled by the Chilcot inquiry that documents formal dialogue between then prime minister Tony Blair and President George W Bush some two years before the start of the Iraq war.

    A disclosure has been made to interested parties that proper record keeping by the British foreign office in the prelude and preparation of the Iraq war was unsubstantial and unaccountable.

    This of course is utter bollocks and that announcement was made under extreme pressure from the White House and the US department of State who are delaying the release while experts in law ‘comb’ the report for anything legislative, congressional or jurisdictive that might lead to a challenge in court that the Iraq war was and is illegal and pre-World Trade Center attack preemptive.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-us-blocks-publication-of-chilcots-report-on-how-britain-went-to-war-with-iraq-8937772.html

    According to Iraq hospital records I hold and information from DoctorsforIraq (thankyou) thousands of Iraq babies including unborn, thousands of infants, toddlers and children under 16 years old were murdered in the pre-Iraq war (secret war) and the initial cruise missile/cluster bomb attacks on Iraq.

    Demand the Chilcot Inquiry Report/dossier unabridged and ‘un-dodgy’ be released NOW!

  146. doug scorgie

    20 Feb, 2014 - 2:22 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    19 Feb, 2014 – 3:49 pm

    “Let us note firstly that although there are differences of opinion as to whether the powers contained in Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 1970 are excessive, no case has yet been made – convincingly or otherwise – that those powers are totalitarian.”

    It is not the powers themselves that are the problem but how they are applied and often abused by the “authorities”.

  147. Ba’al Zevul (La Vita è Finita)

    20 Feb, 2014 - 2:24 pm

    Looks to me as if ‘the domain of government’ must inevitably ‘expand beyond the borders of its public’s knowledge’ in a complex modern state. Having full public accountability would seem to be unrealisable in practice. If the world were composed of cuddly bunnies, we could probably get rid of the OSA, for example, but it ain’t. What is attainable has to be a compromise.

  148. many thanks for the on topic news links to Sweden’s information spring time, Arbed, finally public pressure is having some effect on those who would do anything to get listed on the NYSE. My best wishes to all those who are trying to tell the public prosecutor to act or resign.

    ‘Hallå Noddy Holder, gå hem till Amerika’

    Thanks to someone, Dreolin and Clarke for the excellent links. Political policing has been carried out in Britain and other countries for decades.

    Re: CCTV How is it possible that CCTV that should have/did record Mr. Tomlinson being stabbed/pushed with the tip of a baton, at force and it should have/did record the Mets officers shooting Mr. Menezes.

    Personally I have seen a Police officer, of the rank of superintendent, turn around as a young women was indecently assaulted by a hired thug working as a security officer in Twyford Down. We were locked on to a buuldozer, and she pleaded with me not to unlock myslef and flatten the bloke, as that was exactly what the police wanted us to do, she suffered a sexual indecent assault for her principles and the secuity guard was never challenged.

    Group 4 was allowed to hire anybody for their work and they did. Anybody with a previous record for GBH was welcome to work for them.

    It was politicians who coined the phrase ‘ecoterrorism’ in an open attempt to denigrate and finally criminalise environmenmtal protesters under terrorism legislation.

  149. sorry for not finishing a sentence. After Menezes it should read’ was never recovered or made public, how come that CCTV, when it suits the authorities, does not work or presents only grainy pictures.

    CCTV is not to safeguard the public, but to control it, imho.

  150. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/world/europe/ukraine.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    “Eleven bodies were taken to a makeshift morgue at the entrance to Independence Square on Thursday morning and an undetermined number were lying elsewhere. Around 28 people, including police officers, died in clashes earlier this week. The Interior Ministry said 29 police officers had been hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

    Demonstrators captured several dozen policemen, whom they marched, dazed and bloodied, toward the center of the square through a crowd of men who heckled and shoved them.

    “There will be many dead today,” Anatoly Volk, 38, one of the demonstrators, said. He was watching stretchers carry dead and wounded men down a stairway slick with mud near the Hotel Ukraina.”

    Civil war awaits?

  151. Civil war awaits?

    Yes. If Ms Nuland and Mr Kerry have anything to do with it. Think of how many uprisings have been fomented on several continents.

  152. Hague joins in. He has called in the Ukrainian Ambassador.

    70 police have been taken hostage by the protesters.

    ‘Hague: ‘Emphatic protest’ at events in Ukraine 1 hour ago

    The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has said that the situation in Ukraine is “utterly unacceptable and indefensible”.

    Speaking ahead of an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers, Mr Hague said that the Ukrainian government was putting itself at odds with “reasonable opinion all across the world.”‘

    It goes like this.

    Yanukovych must go. Ditto Assad and Maduro and before them Mubarak, Gaddafi, Saddam and several others whose names I have temporarily forgotten.

  153. The judge in the Brooks et al case is Mr Justice Saunders.
    http://inforrm.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/hackgate-all-rise-mr-justice-saunders-at-southwark/

    These are his sentencing remarks in the case of a RN officer who pleaded guilty of planning to pass secrets to the Russians. He had taken photos of the Crypto code system. He was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment. Never heard much about the case.

    http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/saunders-j-sentencing-remarks-r-v-devenney.pdf

  154. Gareth Williams, Dr David Kelly, Stephen Ward and Allan Turing, Suicides?

    A sneak preview by Mike Lesser of Heathcote Williams new play, Killing Kit.

    http://internationaltimes.it/sneak-preview/

  155. Something that slipped my views three days ago. Congratulations to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for winning the Polk award, one of the highest prizes one could be given.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/02/17/intercept-editors-win-polk-award-coverage-snowden-documents/

    For their brave revelations to each and every US citizen, well, all of us really. Their integrity when faced with harrassments is exemplary.
    There is no reason to hold Glenns partner at all, there weren’t any, his mistake was to be the partner of Glenn.

    His case is not in the public interest nor should it be pursued any longer, money is tight everywhere and such own goals would not be conducive to anyone’s election propspects.

    You just can’t trust judges anymore these days, what is not in the public interest to prosecute in the USA, is hardly a crime here, so why this political farce, fingers wagging, turning David M. into a scapegoat, all their judgement shows is the bendy/stretchyness of the law in hand, pure rubber.

    thanks for that preview Dave lawton.

  156. Ba’al, I wasn’t and am not suggesting that the arrest of RB was totalitarian. I always try to remain sceptical about anything and everything even if or especially if it supports what I might think, and I am no fan of the Mail although it does have some surprisingly interesting stories (as well as pics). Your link to the Mail story on how Hutton was instructed within three hours of Dr Kelly’s death did raise both my eyebrows. Sorry if off topic but I thought part of the topic was to do with people being asleep to creeping totalitarianism……Reuters’ use of ‘whitewash’ as a paragraph heading in its RB/TB/Hutton story did seem to suggest some sort of mainstream waking up to acts, which if proven might indicate elements of totalitarianism.

  157. Lithium in your orange juice vanishes your conscience and speaking the truth vanishes your comments. Fortunately no harm done.

  158. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    20 Feb, 2014 - 7:01 pm

    Dirty tricks or unannounced moderation?

    Several posts from me, posted in the last hour or so, have disappeared.

  159. Helena Kennedy explains the problems with the Miranda ruling:

    “If someone travelling as part of journalistic work can be lawfully detained like this – questioned for hours without a lawyer present, his electronic equipment confiscated and cloned and all without the merest suspicion of wrongdoing required – then clearly something has gone wrong with the law.

    We’ve been here before. Schedule 7 suffers the same glaring flaws as the old section 44 counter-terrorism power that also allowed stop and search without suspicion. Such laws leave themselves wide open to discriminatory misuse: section 44 never once led to a terrorism conviction but was used to stop people like journalist Pennie Quinton. In a significant victory, Liberty took her case to the European court of human rights and the power was declared unlawful.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/19/david-miranda-press-freedom-race-justice

    People need to understand that it’s the Kafkaesque powers available to border guards that are the pressing problem here.

    Anyone can be detained for up to 9 hours at UK border points, without suspicion of an offence having been committed, they must answer all questions put to them, even seemingly irrelevant personal questions, there is no right to silence, and there is no right to have a solicitor provided.

    It was this power which was used against Miranda. They couldn’t for example have so detained and questioned him at a police station, or in the street or at his residence, or indeed anywhere else beyond the perimeter of a UK border or entry or exit port.

    It is very possible and indeed probable that these powers are as unlawful as Section 44, but we’ll have to wait a few years until the European court gets around to looking at them. In the meantime the UK security state will continue to use them to their heart’s content.

    In repeatedly taking to itself such dubious powers, and the UK has plenty of form on that score, it is reasonable to infer that the UK takes a rather instrumental approach to due process, and is determined to game the Law, ignoring the best tenets of jurisprudence, and is now in dire need of a post war exorcism itself.

    In the meantime, those who want to travel without let or hindrance could do worse than avoid UK ports, especially when they’re only passing through.

  160. @John Goss

    Hi John

    Thanks for your kind words, nice to see you again.

    Yes, I did note with a certain exasperation I was being berated for wasting my time on a comment board by people who were clearly guilty of the same sin.

    Point is, I know writing here doesn’t change anything. It’s not meant to. It’s just chewing the fat like talking to your neighbour over the garden fence. Nothing wrong with that.

    I also know in my heart why no one does anything against the State oppression: life’s too comfortable. Instead of making Molotov cocktails we’re busy making ones with mini parasols and pineapple chunks on them.

    I plead guilty.

  161. Perhaps to chime with the anti-Putin anti-Russian propaganda being put out on the media at the moment with Sochi in the headlines, Gordon Correra, the BBC’s Security Correspondent had a long item tonight on the One Show about the KGB in London in the 60s and featuring Oleg Lyalin in particular.

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

    No link to the item. This is his output on the BBC website. Several pieces about Edward Snowden.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/news/?q=corera

  162. A case of ‘top secret’ entrapment Mary using 2012 restricted information; sadly.

  163. “anti-Putin anti-Russian propaganda” yes Mary while Kiev slides towards civil war and Viktor Yanukovych gets the hand on shoulder from America.

    p.s. Job vacancies exist in the Ukraine riot police – SAS training an advantage.

  164. Yeah. Some of us noticed at the time of 9/11.

  165. KingofWelshNoir 20 Feb, 2014 – 7:23 pm

    To some extent I plead guilty too. Much prefer the parasol cocktails to Molotov cocktails (well actually a real ale or glass or two of merlot) but I’ve joined Left Unity. Never thought I’d get political again. Like you, its founder is a writer. You probably know of Ken Loach, who wrote the moving account of homelessness called “Cathy Come Home”. I would support a writer with a social conscience before any politician who pretends to have one. And the poet Václav Havel was rather good for the Czech Republic. I’m not really all that active in that I miss most meetings. But I’ve subscribed because something has to be done before it’s too late. The main parties are useless.

    Torture, and complicity in torture, has to be opposed as does the erosion of human rights and removal of rights in the workplace. Lack of progress brings on a desire to drink, and come nine o’clock, that’s what I intend.

    Tell me, in your Aberystwyth novels do you mention a church called Holy Trinity? My great grandfather was the church organist there for fourteen years until 1904 when he moved to Sheffield. They presented him with a gold watch and an illuminated certificate. I’ve got the certificate. Wish it had been the watch!

    Ah well, nine o’clock.

  166. I have had all my comments deleted today except the three spoof ones above.
    Hint: Ukraine is close to Chechnya and Chechens are fighting for UKUSIS in Syria.
    Hint: UK Muslim scholars with historical grudge against the British Raj have failed to condemn predatory sexual exploitation.

    I’m not going to be silenced by Muslim pressure groups or Craig or anyone.

  167. Maybe someone who speaks the lingo might summarise what the reporter is saying …

    Ex Ukrainian Prime Minister Under Timoshenko Caught With Sniper Rifle and Silencer

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3e0_1392899402#kRwY5ulURFOAAPkr.99

  168. I have noticed.
    But it was when our Police forces stopped being public servants and became political tools that I first noticed the tendencies. That was during the miners strike.
    The establishment supports the Police by letting them off no matter how blatant Police crimes are. Murder, assassination,theft are allowed to pass by our so called “Judges”.
    The same goes for the Politicians…. Aparatchiks….
    The Police have been armed and are slowly being militarised. That can only be bad news for us.
    Protest in Britain is almost a crime. There are so many “no go” area’s plus you have to ask for permission and then have routes assigned.I haven’t been to Speakers Corner for over 20 years, but I doubt any old sod can jump up on an orange box and shout his displeasure at HM Govt anymore. Those days have gone.
    Assange is a prime example of what is wrong with our society. He has been judged guilty by our politicians and police before he has even seen a court.And then there is his very justified fear that it is all an excuse to wheech him off to an orange jump suit in Guantanamo.
    And as for this place just being a talking shop…. so what ? Craig is active ! There might even be a few more on this blog that do their bit too.Habbakuk, you really ought to find a woman or a job.You spend far too much time here.
    Just holding an opinion that is contrary to what they are trying to push down our throats is something.

  169. I have noticed:

    that our police people now spend a lot of their time stuck in very slow or very fast moving cars, or behind desks, which is bad for the mind and the body.

    that it is increasingly usual for our police people to be issued with deadly weapons (see police at airports) or weapons of torture (police being issued with tasars apparently at random) with the apparent approval of our society

    and that apparently, according to the dictates of the government that the people have elected, they are from then on expected/required to have to use them if necessary

    *

    Perhaps we should be just as cross about what is happening to our police people as to everyone else. Just a thought.

    Of course there is a very strong case against needing police people at all – and an interesting one, which is not, entirely, off topic.

  170. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    20 Feb, 2014 - 11:11 pm

    Who is deleting posts on here and why?

    And, for that matter, scattering “your comment is awaiting moderation”s around?

  171. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    20 Feb, 2014 – 7:01 pm

    Dirty tricks or unannounced moderation?

    Several posts from me, posted in the last hour or so, have disappeared.
    Who’s getting paranoid now Habbabkuk?

    Perhaps there’s a conspiracy afoot.

  172. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    20 Feb, 2014 - 11:30 pm

    No, that last one’s still here.

  173. @ nevermind

    I’ve seen CCTV, taken from bus, and on a railway station. It’s reasonable quality, make no mistake. Whatever these grainy images are, I’ve no idea, but I doubt they are the norm. I strongly suspect that there is high quality CCTV pertaining to the Menzies death on the tube, but it’s probably protected under official secret by now. I’ve whined about street-CCTV before, so won’t go on about it. But there is way too much of it.

    “Equivalently David Cameron and his coalition have refused to release information compiled by the Chilcot inquiry that documents formal dialogue between then prime minister Tony Blair and President George W Bush some two years before the start of the Iraq war.”

    2 years? Forgive my ignorance, but this actually is a surprise to me. I always assumed the dialogue was during the escalation to war, not a whole 2 years before. I’d ask why Cameron won’t release it, but why bother. He loves Blair, and he’s entirely linked to the establishment; so I’m sure he has his reasons.

    As to Blair, every so often a story slips out in which his vile mendacity is shown in all it glory. And yet on some level, I keep being surprised, which is foolish of me. Our Tony is clearly a man with very serious problems indeed, and I vaguely wonder if he was sent to a psychologist when he was a teenager, as can happen in middle-class families. That would definitely be an official secret by now.

  174. Some of my posts were also deleted. Two enquiring about moderation, and one in reply to John Goss, denying that anyone was “attacking” KingofWelshNoir.

    Is it Craig, or is there a new moderator? Or an old moderator returned?

  175. Nothing to be concerned about Mr Habbakuk, sir, Ms Dreolin just a security matter. You can always repost or write to the authorities. Move along now please, nothing to see here.

  176. As an observer of deleted comments, my own I mean, it occurs to me that where third persons are not directly addressed in response to a comment, especially in a provocative manner it gets deleted. I suspect also that off-topic comments may well be deleted too. I am happy with this if it is applied universally, but that is a difficult task for the mods. Nevertheless, whoever took this decision may save this blog. Thanks.

  177. Dreoilin, you responded to Phil, agreeing with him, whereas as far as I know neither he nor KingofWelshNoir had recently been on this blog and Phil’s comment suggested that KingofWelshNoir should spend less time here and more time in active protest. I found it a bit funny. But I think there was a misunderstanding. Don’t worry about it. I hope I’ve clarified things. Good wishes.

  178. Perhaps posts have been deleted for being off-topic.

    It can’t have been because they’re merely boring.

    I posted a tiresomely long boring on-topic piece above on the Miranda decision and it wasn’t deleted.

  179. Habbabkuk (19 Feb, 2014 – 11:28 pm) : “Not nit-picking but just a couple of (genuine) queries about your latest.

    Actually, one of the reasons I like your posts is because they often contain genuine, if probing and difficult, questions. Let idle assumptions lie, and lord knows where we’d end up. This sort of forced examination keeps us honest :)

    My use of the term “group”, as distinct from citizens in general, was to distinguish those people with which the authorities will have a problem (the awkward squad, if you will), in addition to genuine criminals, but minus those criminals who act on behalf of the state. That is a particular subset of the public. Not lawbreakers necessarily, and definitely not the state’s apparatchiks. ( A definition I probably meant to get back to, but had already rambled enough.)

    H: “You appear to be suggesting it is also used for other purposes. What do you have in mind?

    Identifying individuals, who are opposed to corporate interests, and the direction of the government. Simple as that. Why has any repressive government undertaken enormous efforts to identify malcontents? Why indeed do security services always want unlimited power and information?

    Unless we believe our “security” forces sit with the angels, we should be concerned. Would you not agree?

    H: “…..unless you mean the [panoply] of UK anti-terrorism laws…? (it’s not clear to me from your text).

    Sorry if I was a bit unclear. Yes – that’s more or less what I meant. Sweeping, vague powers which could always be interpreted as defence against “terrorism”. We considered terrorism legislation to prosecute Icelandic banks when they decided to default on dodgy loans. Terrorism legislation is always offered as an absolute last resort, to be used in only the most dire circumstance when being debated into law.

    Then it gets used to haul off a vegan chef for reading out the names of dead British soldiers at a London Cenotaph, or to manhandle an 80-year old Labour stalwart for heckling Straw at a Labour party conference. Or for wearing a T-Shirt denouncing our Great Leaders of being war criminals. Or for obstructing business interests, demonstrating for animals rights, failing to abide by Control Orders… the list is fairly extensive. Of course, they are not prosecuted. Except – for instance – when it does, such as in the case of the vegan chef mentioned, who now has a rap of terrorism against her.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4514004.stm

    She was convicted of breaching Section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

    But it doesn’t matter if anyone was actually charged later or not – the chilling effect is there. How many people dared to heckle a lying Labour politician at a conference since? How many people don’t like to show up to completely legal demonstrations, because they don’t want to be on the record as a trouble-maker? Not to mention the brutality of the police which is exceedingly unlikely to be prosecuted, while the mildest defence of oneself most certainly will be.

    Let’s take it a step further – would you be happy with a government camera in every room of your house, and if not, why not?

    Always interesting – appreciate it!

  180. Cheers on your 12:41, Glenn. I’m drawing a pint in your honour.

  181. Deleting posts?

    What I hope is going on is that someone – Craig? – is deleting without explanation all posts which are primarily about other posters rather than relevant subject matter. If so, we will soon learn that if we want our pearls of wisdom to survive and enlighten the masses, we will have to excercise self-restaint. In short, we are hopefully being trained to stop bitching.
    I hope this post is deleted because it will probably mean I am right.

  182. BrianFujisan

    21 Feb, 2014 - 1:27 am

    Nice foto here, of Aaron Kirkhouse accepting the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence on behalf of Chelsea Manning,

    And oor own Craig in the Thick it

    http://www.privatemanning.org/featured/chelsea-manning-acceptance-statement-of-sam-adams-award-for-integrity-in-intelligence

  183. BrianFujisan

    21 Feb, 2014 - 1:28 am

    In the Thick Of it

  184. Great article and commentary with things that need to be said. But it’s not a security state that we are developing. It’s a secret police state.

    @ 19th Fen at 12.31 above – KingofWelshNoir asks what we can do about it. Well, one shouldn’t throw Molotov Cocktails or take any form of violent action. But one can do some things peacefully. Speak out – try and hold our human rights industry and media to account (they are not doing their job) – and don’t vote for any politicians who won’t tackle the secret state.

    I recently drafted another paper on Zersetzen – which is the state’s illegal use of its secret police (MI5, MI6, CSIS, etc.) to persecute dissenters and other enemies of power-elites with a program of lies, threats, harassment, intimidation, ostracization, etc. But it is a paper with a difference as it doesn’t use my own example to make its case, but the examples of 25 others. The paper is embedded on a Wiki I drafted which can be accessed by clicking on my signature, or be viewed by pasting in the following URL

    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=B4C0386C05842C0F!1466&authkey=!ABbuVTB8me3qmMs&ithint=file%2c.pdf

    The purpose of this paper is to provide examples – precedents – of where Zersetzen / Cointelpro has happened to others (not myself), and to do so in a way that you can check the facts out on the internet for yourself. Some 25 cases of Zersetzen in the UK, Canada and USA are reviewed. Zersetzen seems to be quite common across all the countries that are part of the “five eyes” intelligence agreements. But we are not really talking about intelligence or security – we are talking about control (of the people). We can’t do much; but we can speak out – again and again.

  185. This is on-topic for everything, not just this thread. This is the topic to end all topics. This regime has got to go.

    http://correntewire.com/i_couldn_t_believe_that_s_how_we_treat_human_beings_witnessing_omar_khadr

  186. Saw this. Right. Let’s cut out the courts and trials at a stroke. From arrest to prison cell in one easy step.

    Calls for ‘on-the-spot’ justice
    Magistrates should be moved to police stations at peak times to dispense on-the-spot justice, a report by the Policy Exchange think tank says.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26277087

    Policy Exchange History

    Policy Exchange was set up in 2002 by a group including Nicholas Boles (director), Michael Gove (chairman) and Francis Maude. Maude went on to become Minister for the Cabinet Office, and names being one of the co-founders as his proudest political achievement. Gove went on to become Secretary of State for Education.

    Gove was succeeded as chairman by Charles Moore, former editor of the Spectator and the Daily Telegraph. In June 2011, Moore stepped down to focus on his newspaper columns and his biography of Margaret Thatcher, and was succeeded by Daniel Finkelstein, associate editor of The Times.

    In May 2007, Boles was succeeded as director by Anthony Browne, a journalist and political correspondent for The Times. In September 2008, Browne stepped down to work for Boris Johnson, and was succeeded by Neil O’Brien, formerly director of Open Europe. In November 2012, O’Brien was appointed as a special adviser to George Osborne, and in 2013 he was succeeded by Dean Godson, formerly head of Policy Exchange’s security unit.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy_Exchange

    Enough said.

    On the Charity Commission website, their income for 2012 is stated as £3,224,162 and spending as £2,898,384. Little detail in the accounts as to the source of the income. £2.6m of the total is designated as ‘voluntary income’.

    PS Boles is now the Planning Minister.

  187. Writing The Snowden Files: ‘The paragraph began to self-delete’
    Was it the NSA? GCHQ? A Russian hacker? Who was secretly reading his book on Snowden while he wrote it, wonders Luke Harding

    Luke Harding
    The Guardian, Thursday 20 February 2014
    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/20/edward-snowden-files-nsa-gchq-luke-harding

    PS He never found out.

  188. Pan
    Thank you for that link.

  189. Jonangus Mackay

    21 Feb, 2014 - 7:39 am

    Amok: Jim ‘Puzzle Palace’ Bamford details the uncontrolled cancerous growth of the #NSA. Riveting: http://tinyurl.com/pouql95

    NB: Confirmed (1.07 in). Not just ’5 Eyes: #NSA does indeed shovel
    its raw data to Israel.

  190. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 8:10 am

    I see a comment of mine was deleted. So I should damn well think. LOL.

  191. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 8:11 am

    Look, I don’t want to make too much of this,

    [so it has been made less of]

    I’d be reluctant to believe that CM would intervene – or at least, that he would intervene without notification.

    [Reams of waffle deleted]

  192. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 8:20 am

    Old and overlooked US report on counterterrorism measures -

    http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/media/investigative-report-criticizes-counterterrorism-reporting-waste-at-state-and-local-intelligence-fusion-centers

    ‘A two-year bipartisan investigation by the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found that Department of Homeland Security efforts to engage state and local intelligence “fusion centers” has not yielded significant useful information to support federal counterterrorism intelligence efforts.

    “It’s troubling that the very ‘fusion’ centers that were designed to share information in a post-9/11 world have become part of the problem. Instead of strengthening our counterterrorism efforts, they have too often wasted money and stepped on Americans’ civil liberties,” said Senator Tom Coburn, the Subcommittee’s ranking member who initiated the investigation….’(continues)

  193. How about the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies?? They are interested in ‘COMBATING VIOLENT EXTREMISM’. Really?
    http://www.qiass.org/news/

    Next week in committees.

    Tuesday

    The Home Affairs Committee (3pm) takes evidence on counter-terrorism, from Richard Barrett of the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies and The Soufan Group, which provides strategic security intelligence services to governments and multinational organizations.

    Then at 3.30pm the switch to their inquiry into the performance to date of the new elected Police and Crime Commissioners, with evidence from Ann Barnes, the Police and Crime Commissioner in Kent , and her Chief Constable Alan Pughsley.

    Then (4pm) they hear from the Police Minister Damian Green – usually the last act in a select committee inquiry.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26279577

    ~~~

    Ali Soufan, ex FBI, is on the same Qatari QIASS set up. Many other of the names too.
    http://soufangroup.com/about/team/

  194. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 8:44 am

    More hilarious background on DHS Fusion Centers here -

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

    Is there a Brit equivalent? Nearest I can think of is the JIC.

  195. Ba’al Agree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Intelligence_Committee_(United_Kingdom)
    See all the knights of the realm listed as chairmen apart from the current chair. His gong is in the post presumably.

    A quote from your link.
    ‘The report also said that in some cases the fusion centers violated civil liberties or privacy.[4]

    Registration is needed to see the link.
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/03/senate_report_says_national_intelligence_fusion_centers_have_been_useless

  196. Not the most flattering image.
    Director Private Office Jonathan Stephen Day
    2001 –

    http://www.nato.int/cv/is/dir-po/day.htm

  197. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:06 am

    My link at 0820 doesn’t need registration, Mary. And it’s to the US .gov site. I try to find original sources when I can. In this case I was chasing a Press TV story, which, as usual, badly needed authentication.

  198. Ba’al I meant the link numbered 4 on your Wiki link against the line -

    ‘The report also said that in some cases the fusion centers violated civil liberties or privacy.[4]‘

  199. @ glenn_uk 21 Feb, 2014 – 12:41 am
    “Let’s take it a step further – would you be happy with a government camera in every room of your house, and if not, why not?”

    I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear.

    My portrait of Our Dear Leader never hangs askew and I always genuflect when near.

    I never engage in funny walks, excepting those specifically prescribed by the Ministry of Funny Walks.

    I never assemble unauthorized devices in the kitchen using common household supplies. My fridge contains no sugary drinks, salty snacks or transfats.

    Before flushing, I allow the camera a clear view of the toilet bowl so worthy Government Turd Inspectors can certify my fibrous diet, and not dispatch the feared Celery Squad to force-feed with a funnel, like a Strasbourg goose.

  200. Some people commenting here seem alarmed that their comments have been interfered with. Rest assured that we have complete records of all that has happened, nothing of great value has gone missing, and please be confident that we won’t tell any member of the public a damn thing. Our NSA colleagues say to ‘have a nice day’.

    [Shit, is that Snowden? Quick, put the bland denial literature on the desk and hide underneath!]

  201. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:25 am

    Further to the ineffectiveness and possible unproductivity of counterterrorism measures-

    http://www.rutgerscps.org/publications/Lum_Terrorism_Review.pdf

    ‘There is almost a complete absence of high quality
    scientific evaluation evidence on counter-terrorism strategies;

    What evidence there is does not indicate consistently
    positive results – some counter terrorism interventions
    show no evidence of reducing terrorism and may even increase
    the likelihood of terrorism and terrorism-related harm….’

  202. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:26 am

    Yes, Mary. That’s Wiki’s fault, not mine. They should have linked to the source.

  203. “Dreoilin, you responded to Phil, agreeing with him”

    No John. I quoted one sentence from Phil (“Hanging around here endlessly bickering with a handful of people for 13 pages of comments is probably not any way to challenge the powers that be”) which I took to be a reference to the previous thread. And I agreed with that.

    Since I was well aware that KingofWelshNoir had played no part in those 13 pages, I couldn’t have been commenting on him.

    “Phil’s comment suggested that KingofWelshNoir should spend less time here and more time in active protest.”

    More inaccuracy. Phil quoted KingofWelshNoir (“I have no idea what to do about it”) and Phil said “I recommend agitating in your community and on the streets.” He did not berate KingofWelshNoir about spending less time here, and neither did I. If there was a misunderstanding, John, it was only because you are not reading carefully enough. And you are then misquoting people.

    —————————————————————————

    Habbabkuk says, “I’d be reluctant to believe that CM would intervene – or at least, that he would intervene without notification”

    Clearly someone is intervening, without notifying us, and I doubt very much if it’s Jon or Clark.

    I doubt if this comment of mine will be allowed to stand. Anyway, one way or another, I’m out of it until the situation is clarified.

    [Your lengthy self-justification remains. Thank you for its valuable political content. What's the problem? Do all the moderators at the Guardian etc. reveal their identities? Rhetorical - please don't answer.]

  204. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:34 am

    RT (CAVEAT: its remit is to illuminate the less attractive aspects of Western government while remaining opaque on Russia’s many problems) went into some depth on that report. Here -

    http://rt.com/usa/intelligence-fusion-dhs-report-598/

  205. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:53 am

    Download the .pdf from here -

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1766790

    if you thought drone strikes on alleged terrorists did anything more than make more people dead.

    ‘If the goal of counterterrorism policy is to reduce casualties, then the
    tactic of targeted removal is at the least inconsistent in its effectiveness. At worst, it puts innocent civilians in danger.’

    This is a pretty rigorous paper, and its conclusions are cautious. But it wouldn’t encourage me to buy some drones and start shooting up someone else’s countryside.

  206. Edit: Most horrible gaffe above. It should, of course, have been The Ministry of Silly Walks. Entirely unintentional. Hope the Ministry doesn’t send me to a re-eduction camp.

  207. Thanks for adding a big fat smile to my face this sunny morn, NR and how right you are.

    @ Brendan. I fully agree that CCTV has been rolled out too far and too wide, only some hollow voices these days still argue that it is used for criminal detection.
    Norwich has got some 70 cameras of the best CCTV system money can buy. It has been trialled and tested in Palestine by those best not mentioned before page five.

    http://www.norwichadvertiser24.co.uk/news/the_4_8m_cost_of_norfolk_s_cctv_cameras_1_767403

    CCtv can also be seen on private housing, advertising that they are either a victim of crime, scared to become one, have something valuable to protect and/or hide. CCTV is not a deterent but it raises questions as to why its there on a suburban semi, when the rest of the housing has none?

    Thanks for the link Pan. and Dreolin, there is no situation here, except that moderation has been resumed. I welcome it, thank you.

    As for phil’s point you and I supported. It most likely was raised at us all, a reasonale point, imho, because the action for change will not happen on the internet alone, it will have various active forms and its people like us who should get involved and dare I say this, we will.

    My ‘Dreolin’ outside is busy building nests, I have two in the hedge and they do not like each other, or is it the other way round…. like each other too much.

  208. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 10:02 am

    Nevermind

    “Thanks for the link Pan. and Dreolin, there is no situation here, except that moderation has been resumed. I welcome it, thank you.”
    _______________

    If that is the case, Nevermind, then it has been resumed without notification and without any guidelines having been set out – which I find rather difficult to believe.

  209. The drones are targeting terrorist (sic) cell-phones, which are not necessarily accompanied by a terrorist.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/10/us-government-reportedly-ordering-drone-strikes-based-on-cell-phone-location/

  210. ‘As various states slide towards totalitarianism, a defining factor is that their populations really don’t notice. Well, I have noticed. Have you?’

    A 98 year old Jewish friend who died this month noticed the totalitarianism coming and wriggled out of Austria to this country.

    As a Muslim I am excited by the Arab Spring, removing dictators , but I am cautious about one type of dictatorship and puppet-persecution being replaced by another type of thought crime.

    The alliance between Tories and Al Qaida freaks out my brain. Like ultra-sound over-exciting mice instead of frightening them away. Too much is happening politically to not-notice at this particular time.

  211. Dreoilin, what it read like you and what it appeared like to readers were two different things and I did try to support you and Phil in this. Even KingofWelshNoir was a bit taken aback.

    “Yes, I did note with a certain exasperation I was being berated for wasting my time on a comment board by people who were clearly guilty of the same sin.”

    He did not mean you Dreoilin, and we have all had comments deleted. You can think what you want about my understanding. Peace.

  212. Sorry for responding off topic

    “If that is the case, Nevermind, then it has been resumed without notification and without any guidelines having been set out – which I find rather difficult to believe.”

    Don’t think it has anything to do with our believe systems, Habbakuk. Its not our blog, tough up as Tone would say. I accept moderation of my own/others comments, especially for when the blood curdles and words hurt.

  213. Let me link again, for those who missed it, the presentation to Chelsea Manning (in absentia) of the Sam Adams award first linked by Brian Fujisan.

    http://www.privatemanning.org/featured/chelsea-manning-acceptance-statement-of-sam-adams-award-for-integrity-in-intelligence

  214. “People stripped of benefits could be charged for challenging decision”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/20/people-stripped-benefits-charged-decision

  215. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 11:37 am

    Someone – that’s neat.

    I can see the cabinet discussion as if I were in the room;

    Osborne: We haven’t got any money. What can you raise, chaps?
    IDS: My people had this whizzo idea. Let’s charge people who haven’t got any money for having their income taken away.
    All: That makes sense. Good lad. Fancy lunch now? (etc)

  216. “Why Is The Obama Administration Putting Government Monitors In Newsrooms?”

    http://newswatch.us/why-is-the-obama-administration-putting-government-monitors-in-newsrooms/

    I thought they already had them!.

  217. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 11:55 am

    Coincidence department -

    ‘Between December 2013 and January 2014 the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 27,600 to reach 1.22 million, the lowest figure since December 2008. Between January 2013 and January 2014 the number of claimants fell by 327,600, the largest annual fall since March 1998.’

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/unemployment-rate

    (before going further: the usual definition of unemployment:

    ‘ In the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.’)

    Someone’s Guardian link says -

    ‘Earlier this week figures showed that in the past year nearly 900,000 people have had their benefits stopped, the highest figure for any 12-month period since jobseeker’s allowance was introduced in 1996.’

    Which makes it entirely credible that a third or so were kicked off JSA completely. They would then have had no statutory requirement to actively look for work (see definition) and would have miraculously become employed. Hence the amazing unemployment stats. And the proliferation of food banks.

    Genuinely informed comment (not silly questions) welcomed.

  218. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 12:26 pm

    Thanks for that very depressing read, Someone. While it’s good to know that thousands of people care enough to supply and run food banks, it’s shameful that the government doesn’t care at all. And continues to slander the poor – as countered by this excellent report -

    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/files/truth_and_lies_report_final.pdf

  219. Chris Floyd is right. Sinister is the word for Obama.

    Sinister Illusions: Masking Tragedy in Ukraine

    Chris Floyd
    February 20, 2014 “Information Clearing House

    It is no secret that Barack Obama is one of the supreme illusionists of modern times. The disconnect between his words and his deeds is so profound as to be almost sublime, far surpassing the crude obfuscations of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Their projections of unreality were more transparent, and in any case were merely designed to put a little lipstick on the pig of policies they were openly pushing. For example, they openly wanted to conquer Iraq and expand the militarist state, they openly wanted to redistribute national wealth to the elite, so they just gussied up this unhidden agenda with some fantasies about WMD and the occult magic of “tax cuts,” whereby enriching the rich and degrading all notion of the common good would somehow create a utopia of prosperity (for deserving white folk, at least).

    There was a disconnect between their rhetoric and reality, to be sure, but it was easily seen through (except, of course, by the highly-paid credulous cretins of our national media). Indeed, the Bushists seemed unconcerned by how threadbare their lies were; they delivered their lines like bored performers at the end of a long stage run, not caring whether they were believed or not — just as long as they got to do what they wanted.

    But Obama has taken all this to another level. He is a consummate performer, and strives to “inhabit” the role and mouth his lines as if they make sense and convey some sort of emotional truth. Also, most of the time his rhetoric, his role, his emotional stance are in stark opposition to his actual policies. He is not just gilding his open agenda with some slap-dash lies; he is masking a hidden agenda with a vast array of artifice, expending enormous effort not to prettify an ugly reality but to create an entire counter-reality, an alternate world that does not exist. Again, no one one was in any doubt about the Bushists’ militarism, their dedication to the financial elite or their disdain for anyone who was not, in their view, a “normal American” (white, traditionalist, bellicose, greedy). In fact, that’s exactly why millions of “normal Americans” voted for them. But Obama’s image — cool, compassionate, progressive, peace-seeking, non-traditionalist, anti-elitist — is so far at odds with his actual policies, and with the world as it actually exists, that you can get severe whiplash turning from his rhetoric to reality.

    Take his astonishing attack on Vladimir Putin for “interfering” in Ukraine. That Obama could make this charge with a straight face — days after his own agents had been exposed (in the infamous “#### the EU” tape) nakedly interfering in Ukraine, trying to overthrow a democratically elected government and place their own favorites in charge — was brazen enough. But in charging Putin with doing exactly what the Americans have been doing in Ukraine, Obama also fabricated yet another alternate world, turning reality on its head.

    /..

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37710.htm

  220. RT (CAVEAT: its remit is to illuminate the less attractive aspects of Western government while remaining opaque on Russia’s many problems) went into some depth on that report.

    For “opaque” substitute “downright dishonest”

  221. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    You are notably “opaque” on facts you don’t like, too, ESLO.

  222. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 12:56 pm

    To the mystery Censor/(?) Moderator

    “Do all the moderators at the Guardian etc. reveal their identities? Rhetorical – please don’t answer.]”

    _________________

    No, but at least contributors are made aware that there is moderation.

    And The Guardian’s moderation criteria are public.

  223. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 12:58 pm

    What a whiner.

  224. My objection to CCTV is the “CC”; Closed Circuit. No one seems to object to public web-cams. CCTV takes information about the public and places it exclusively in private hands. If these cameras could be controlled from and viewed via the Internet they’d become a valuable public resource. There would also be far more people watching (and probably recording) what was being captured, rather like “Linus’ Law”:

    “With enough eyes on the code, all bugs become shallow.”

    Regarding moderation, when I was moderating here I was repeatedly insulted, came under psychological attack, and was later subjected to attempted blackmail which another contributor supported. Jon came under intolerable criticism and pressure. Consequently I think it’s quite sensible for moderators conceal their identies, especially if they wish to continue participating in the debate. Why shouldn’t they? Plenty of contributors, often the most troublesome, don’t even submit a valid e-mail address with their comments; when you see the “dark glasses” avatar, they’ve submitted “anon@anon.com”. Maybe some contributors just have a problem with authority, though I see that quite a few have welcomed the new arrangement despite their own comments having been deleted.

    A friend who’s coming to visit me for a few days texted to say that she’s chatting with a young Uzbek woman on the train, so hopefully I’ll have something interesting to report when I’m not so busy.

  225. Noticed and warned about this for a very long time, shame it will have to take people dragged literally through barbed wire and family members tortured, for any one to realise that this has been going on all around them, all the time, and people never realising or even when told, believing it.

  226. “Consequently I think it’s quite sensible for moderators conceal their identies, especially if they wish to continue participating in the debate.”

    Moderators should not participate in debates – bound to lead to a conflict of interest on their part.

  227. This American Army veteran gets hassled when returning to the US.

    Harassed by the Empire
    They Do It Because They Can

    By Anonymous

    February 20, 2014 “Information Clearing House – I’m a WASP, in my late 60s and retired after spending most of my working life in finance. I’m a US Army veteran. And I get harassed by Customs and Border Protection each time I return to my home in the USA.

    /..
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37712.htm

  228. “UK economy faces Lehman-type crisis, says leading economist”

    http://www.scottishtimes.com/uk_economy_faces_lehman_type_crisis_says_leading_economist

  229. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    ‘Moderators should not participate in debates – bound to lead to a conflict of interest on their part.’

    BS. Mods ‘volunteer’ from the poster pool, where else? So what’s their interest in moderating if they can’t debate?

    Still, feel free to start your own blog, where the rules you make up won’t be ignored. Or moderate here, and STFU?

  230. ESLO, you’ve enjoyed plenty of freedom of speech here; maybe you should reflect upon what you have gained rather than what you may possibly have failed to gain – I was going to write “lost”, but you’ve lost nothing, comparing with the blog not existing or not accepting comments at all.

    This is one individual’s blog; “conflicts of interest” don’t really apply. Craig can check the deleted items for any “censorship” and can post a moderation policy if he wishes. Moderation has only just restarted; if its nature eventually reveals itself as unacceptable for you, there are plenty of other places on the ‘net you can comment at.

    That’s enough of this from me; it’s irrelevant to anything outside this comments section, and I have a visitor to prepare for.

  231. This thread is about the abuse of human rights and freedoms in the UK, while this clearly does not suit some comment-makers it is an important issue that really needs to be addressed before it is too late. Arresting and detaining David Miranda because he was carrying important document about the NSA spying on everybody is just one such example of UK bending over backwards to serve US interests. Likewise the interrogation of Jesselyn Radack just because she is Edward Snowden’s lawyer is another such breach of trust in the British public. We did not elect our parliamentarians to make decisions to our disadvantage without our consent.

    The US telephone, telecommunications and electronic communications-tapping station at Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, was built and expanded without parliamentary debate. It may also be providing co-ordinates for extra-judicial drone strikes as GCHQ is almost certainly. All this has been done without my consent. Do not vote for anybody who does not pledge to make these military bodies answerable to parliament, and yourself.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/28/gchq-mass-surveillance-spying-law-lawyer

  232. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 1:39 pm

    Someone – you have a knack of finding chilling and I am afraid horribly accurate pieces.

    ‘He added that the UK has the largest “hot money” economy in the world and sounded the alarm that when the “game of asset price inflation is over all the regulation that let England accumulate financial wealth in the last 20 years will go into reverse because it will be so easy to pull the money out of the economy”.

    Explaining why the UK economy faces a Lehman-sized crunch and will experience a contraction far worse than the US has already experienced, Mr Keen said that it is “because you are a far more speculative economy than the Americans were and you’ve got a far bigger debt overhang and you’ve got far hotter hot money than even the Americans had.”‘

    Even Carney admits (and has produced the voice tape for the clockwork Osborne) the ‘recovery’ is unsustainable.
    As anyone who knows of the Gods of the Copybook Headings has known for a long time.

  233. “Magistrates should sit in police stations, report says”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26277087

  234. I beat you to it on that one Someone. 5.13am earlier today. Could not sleep last night!

  235. “Even Carney admits (and has produced the voice tape for the clockwork Osborne) the ‘recovery’ is unsustainable”

    I think they know that

    3 May 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17925477

  236. “I beat you to it on that one Someone.”

    Mary,

    You have done that before, lol.

  237. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    (from ESLO)

    ““Consequently I think it’s quite sensible for moderators conceal their identies, especially if they wish to continue participating in the debate.”

    Moderators should not participate in debates – bound to lead to a conflict of interest on their part.”
    ________________

    Exactly.

    The Guardian has been cited – do its moderators participate in debates?

  238. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    “This thread is about the abuse of human rights and freedoms in the UK, while this clearly does not suit some comment-makers it is an important issue that really needs to be addressed before it is too late.”
    ________________

    That’s right, Mr Goss, and the four posts of mine which were deleted were all on-topic (and measured) responses to equally on-topic posts from Mr Scorgie (x2), Nevermind and Mary.

    It may of course be that posters who seek to challenge the pensée unique on here are not welcome. Whether that’s consistent or not with the “open policy” I thought guided this blog, I think whoever is doing the moderation should have the honesty to say so.

  239. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    Privacy International has noticed….

    https://www.privacyinternational.org/sites/privacyinternational.org/files/file-downloads/privacy_international_isc_evidence.pdf

    ‘…not only are the public unable to access and scrutinise the agreements that regulate the actions of the Five Eyes, but even the intelligence services themselves do not have a complete picture of the extent of intelligence sharing activities…’

  240. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 3:43 pm

    Right on topic….

    Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000 is a law intended to fight terrorism, and was not drafted to target people like David Miranda. In this instance however the government used it to seize the devices of journalists to intimidate and obstruct the reporting of mass and unlawful surveillance practices of the British government. To equate journalism with espionage, as the government has, is truly shameful.

    What this case has shown is that the Government will work to bend the confines of the law to suit their purposes, but alarmingly they will bend logic to do so as well. They have included remarkable claims about the nature of the Snowden disclosures, developed theories of a Russian conspiracy, and made unverifiable claims that the disclosures threaten national security. We are disappointed that the court did not check these wild allegations, and instead questioned the ability of journalists to understand the ramifications of their stories.

    We are concerned about the surveillance powers of Government at borders. As a democratic society, we must tightly constrain the power to detain and collect information on individuals and to interfere with their devices. Parliament needs to introduce safeguards over Schedule 7 powers, especially when it comes to the seizing of devices. It is an arbitrary use of power when anyone passing through the border, Briton or not, can be subjected to a search and their devices seized as the government develops theories to justify it in the name of national security. Already tens of thousands of people are stopped under Schedule 7 every year.

    In the end, this is all about holding the state to account for its incredible powers of surveillance. Journalists writing stories that identify unchecked surveillance are instead subjected to unjust scrutiny; the use of wide discretionary powers of device seizure at borders are left intact; and government officials making unverifiable claims regarding national security have their arguments supported by the court. This case is another example of how the UK’s legal framework needs much urgent repair.

    https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-releases/privacy-international-statement-on-ruling-of-david-miranda-detention

  241. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    Charles Falconer (1), even, may have noticed-

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/21/terrorism-act-david-miranda-detention

    (1) Blair’s mate, once on a day

  242. Scyptonite daily has also noticed. This just a reminder of the rights lost since 1984, that wretched year when the police raged against Hippies in the beanfield and helped to drive Thatchers ghastly war with the miners forward.

    http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/03/19/police-state-uk-the-rights-you-didnt-know-youd-lost/

  243. Habba – be grateful. Guardian moderators delete everything. There are no other blogs out there which allow drop-by comments without registration. The CM blog has an international reputation for serious, political, free comment. Pluralism rules OK, not endless repetition of the same points.

  244. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 4:06 pm

    Guano

    “There are no other blogs out there which allow drop-by comments without registration.”
    ____________________

    Which was, I was led to believe, one of the reasons why this blog was superior to others.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Pluralism rules OK, not endless repetition of the same points.”
    ___________________

    Coming from you, that is rather rich.

    Which of the regulars do you have in mind?

  245. Ba’al Zevul (etc) 21 Feb, 2014 – 3:31 pm

    A very useful .pdf but one likely to be ignored. It raises important questions about how the security-services of the five eyes are protected but there is little legislation behind the exchanges and it is not known just who exactly from individual countries can see what. The world’s in a mess and it is clear from the wrongful imprisonments and tortures in various institutions round the world is due to inaccurate information being circulated that was gathered by 5 eyes intelligence. It seems like one hand does not know what the other is doing. “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out.”

  246. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    “If you don’t like aspects of life in Britain, why don’t you bugger off abroad?”

    That could come from any saloon bar loudmouth or UKIP supporter.

    COMPARE AND CONTRAST, as the expression goes, with the following from Clark:

    “Moderation has only just restarted; if its nature eventually reveals itself as unacceptable for you, there are plenty of other places on the ‘net you can comment at.”

  247. the blog and its moderation is not the thread, so please, feel free to delete this reminder and those wanting to make it a topic.

  248. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    Anyway, now something substantive on the subject of this thread “The security state crushes ever tighter”.

    Nevermind, at 09h58, writes:

    “CCtv can also be seen on private housing, advertising that they are either a victim of crime, scared to become one, have something valuable to protect and/or hide. CCTV is not a deterent but it raises questions as to why its there on a suburban semi, when the rest of the housing has none?”

    Given the subject of this thread – the “security state” – are we to infer from the above that Nevermind considers the use of CCTV on or in private dwellings to be yet another manifestation of the security state and, in consequence, a further step in creeping totalitarianism?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As to the questions Nevermind raises (“..it raises questions..” , I think he has supplied the answers himself in the first part of the very same sentence. To which I would add that if the semi he refers is the only house on the street with CCTV then that would seem to be not a manifestation of the security state but, rather, a prudent homeowner.

    Finally, since we’re on, about CCTV and cameras : Nevermind will be aware of the increasingly popularity of devices known as “dash cams” (these are carried on board motor vehicles). What is Mevermind’s position on those devices?

  249. This will get you moving in the morning..NSA slow jam….

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

  250. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    “…and we have all had comments deleted.”
    __________________

    What’s with the “all”, Mr Goss? I can’t quite recall any comments of yours having been deleted on this thread (or the previous one).

  251. For the record some of my comments were deleted on page 1. I am happy with the moderation. It has been long overdue.

    For heaven’s sake stop whingeing and note what Guano said. Be thankful and as Michael Winner used to say in that ad ‘Calm down dear(s)….’.

    I have been outside. It’s been a wonderful day, the crocus have opened to the sun, some bumblebees are in flight and there was some warmth at last to do some gardening without getting soaked or chilled.

  252. No, Habbakuk, I regard CCTV systems on private housing a sign of the times, the fact that fear mongering and the use of, creation of terrorism to spread fear, has the required effect on people, fear sells, in this case cctv systems.

    A CCTV on a house is an indicator that this person is scared to loose something, scared witless by relelntless media focus on crime and benefit scroungers, no do wells with time on their hands to scout out CCTV systems.

    I’m not aware of any increasingly popular use of dash cams, but I’m sure that they will be stolen as much as other valuable items people leave in their cars. CCTV is a costly traditional pet issue of party politicians an epedemic of known proportion and a tool that is being used to manipulate laws as well as life’s.

    There is one for you as well

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/10172298/One-surveillance-camera-for-every-11-people-in-Britain-says-CCTV-survey.html

  253. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 5:20 pm

    Also on-topic.

    The statement from Privacy International which Ba’al Zebub reproduces at 15h43 is heavy with polemic and ex cathedra assumptions but light on reasoned argument.

    The last sentence of the first para is a good example:

    ” To equate journalism with espionage, as the government has, is truly shameful.”

    I do not accept that this is what the govt did or does.

    As a further point : are journalists – or the friends of journalists – to be exempt from the constraints of law? If, let us say, I was the journalist friend of a known counterfeiter and was believed to be carrying some samples of the counterfeiter’s output in my briefcase should I be able to refuse the authorities access to my briefcase? And if the authorities obliged me to open it, would I then be justified in claiming that the authorities were equating journalism with counterfeiting?

    The article refers several times to the “seizure” of a device and of “interference” with it. . If the device was finally restored to Mr Miranda then the article is just playing with words – or it should have said “temporarily seized”. As to “interference” : this gives the impression that the files were removed from the device, as opposed to being examined, and, possibly, copied and then restore to Mr Miranda. Was this the case?

    Finally (I say finally in the interests of brevity) the article is firm on holding authorities to account for their actions. Many people might assume that the ability to challenge those actions in the High Court – followed by the possibility of two further appeals in higher UK courts – fulfills that very necessary requirement.

  254. Tap It: The NSA Slow Jam (featuring @goremy)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkojjUahxAk

    That was very good Dave Lawton. Thanks. Surprising it has had so few viewings.

    PS I thought it was supposed to be prunes or senna pods! Sorry to be so crude.

  255. @Mary 5:23
    Mary yes I was suprised at the number of viewings ,I was only made aware of it a few hours ago. This has a nice barb,as we are having comments about CCTV.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIbx8dO4ZcU&list=UU1Cbp8Fjy7iMfjp0jzGY3rQ&feature=c4-overview

  256. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    Nevermind

    “No, Habbakuk, I regard CCTV systems on private housing a sign of the times, the fact that fear mongering and the use of, creation of terrorism to spread fear, has the required effect on people, fear sells, in this case cctv systems.”
    _________________

    I’ll give you credit for a cunning answer: unable to say “yes, the use by individuals of CCTV in or outside their own houses is an indicator of an increasingly repressive state”, you deftly switch to talking about ” a sign of the times”. Yes, burglaries and personal assaults are a sign of the times, but they are also fact, not mere fear-mongering. BTW, what has terrorism got to do with burglaries?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “A CCTV on a house is an indicator that this person is scared to loose something, scared witless by relelntless media focus on crime and benefit scroungers, no do wells with time on their hands to scout out CCTV systems.”
    ___________________

    Is it wrong, or perverse, to wish not to lose your possessions in a burglary? And are you suggesting that people’s fear of being burgled is completely irrational and arises out of media scare-mongering rather than out of fact?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “I’m not aware of any increasingly popular use of dash cams, but I’m sure that they will be stolen as much as other valuable items people leave in their cars.”
    _____________________

    You haven’t answered my question, but thank you for recognising that things get stolen out of cars (a form of burglary, I believe you’d agree). Secondly, rest assured that they are getting more popular, primarily as a way providing factual visual proof of exactly what happened in a motor accident. Thirdly, most sensible people would not leave them in open view in their cars in the same way as they would not leave a briefcase on the back seat.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “CCTV is…. a tool that is being used to manipulate laws as well as life’s.”
    __________________________

    That’s an interesting thought. Could you flesh it out a little?

  257. Habbabkuk, 5:20 pm, regarding interference with computing equipment; you can’t trust any computing device that has been out of your possession – this includes ‘phones. Software or even hardware could have been added to it (a keylogger to monitor and transmit keystrokes for instance – this is a favourite according to Snowden’s documents), or existing software or settings could have been modified to enable remote control, remote deletion, corruption or modification of files, complete surveillance including remote activation of camera and microphone and recording and transmission thereof, basically anything the device is capable of. Software modification can be performed in under one minute.

    So even if the equipment is returned, it really ought to be replaced. The cost in time easily exceeds the cost in money.

  258. New on Counterpunch. Weekend Edition February 21-23, 2014

    Targeting the Muckrakers
    The Surveillance of WikiLeaks

    by BINOY KAMPMARK

    It was the worst kept secret in the novella of espionage delights, but the discussion in Glenn Greewald’s the Intercept was anticipated. The article suggested its imminent newsworthiness: “Top-secret documents from the National Security Agency and its British counterpart reveal for the first time how the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom targeted WikiLeaks and other activist groups with tactics ranging from covert intelligence to prosecution” (Feb 18).

    If only we could say it was the first time. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have become the bread and butter of a good many staff in the National Security Agency and their British equivalent, GCQH. The outfit is also providing rich fare for a range of agencies keen to mark out WikiLeaks in some capacity as an illegal organisation. The effort has so far failed because the implications – at least for now – are simply too terrifying, especially for those with even a shade of interest in publishing and reporting. Criminalise WikiLeaks, and you criminalise us all.

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/21/the-surveillance-of-wikileaks/

  259. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Clark

    Thanks for that and I’m sure you’re right. But these are only possibilities, aren’t they; the existence of these possibilities does not prove that the device which was temporarily seized was actually interfered with as claimed by the article reproduced.

    (and I should have thought that the authorities wouldn’t bother because they must assume that Messrs Greenwald and Miranda are fully aware of those possibilities..)

  260. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 6:06 pm

    Clark

    Sorry, I forgot to ask : is anyone claiming that the files were removed from the device before Mr Miranda got it back, or was he allowed to leave with both device and files?

  261. Not secure even at home. No surprise.

    21 February 2014
    Security failings in home routers exposed
    Security flaws are being actively exploited but malicious attacks are currently rare

    Related Stories
    EE rushes to fix broadband box risk
    Backdoor found in D-Link routers
    Fridge sends spam emails ???

    Serious security failings in home routers are getting more attention from both attackers and researchers.

    In recent weeks, attacks have been mounted on Linksys and Asus routers via loopholes that thieves could exploit.

    In Poland, reports suggest one gang has successfully adjusted router settings in a bid to steal cash.

    A separate study found many of the routers sold online have bugs that attackers could easily exploit.

    This week the Internet Storm Center (ISC) warned about a continuing attempt to exploit a vulnerability in 23 separate models of Linksys routers.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26287517

  262. “Yes, burglaries and personal assaults are a sign of the times, but they are also fact, not mere fear-mongering. BTW, what has terrorism got to do with burglaries?”

    I leave the comparrisson to you, I’m sure that will find some weaselworded argument that the high level of crime and punishment rep[orting, the slow course to criminalise those who have little, with sanctions, with withdrawl of benefits, whilst bemoaning that the discourse to withdraw from human rights legislation which was to a gtreat extend drafted by British lawyers in the first place, is misplaced.

    There is a tendency to stamp on journalism in this country, the moment one tries to find out and interview anyone about the legalities of Menwith Hill and Fylingdale operations.

    Just in case you had not realised, Habbakuk. Crime is down by ten percent.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25858421

    and another one from aft

    http://www.worksopguardian.co.uk/news/local/lincolnshire-crime-down-by-10-per-cent-1-6404542

  263. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 7:19 pm

    “I’m sure that will find some weaselworded argument that the high level of crime and punishment rep[orting, the slow course to criminalise those who have little, with sanctions, with withdrawl of benefits, whilst bemoaning that the discourse to…”

    ___________________________

    Is that meant to be a reasoned reply to my points? You know perfectly well that I was talking about people such as burglars when discussing home CCTV and not “criminalising those who have little”. For Heaven’s sake, if that’s the best you can come up with as I reply you’d do better to follow the advice of some of your friends and just ignore me.

  264. Intriguing, this obsessive focus on CCTV, considering the original post was about the US and its satellite states’ increasingly overt contempt for the entire edifice of human rights and jus cogens.

    What, did Bibi rev up the armored bulldozer and plow under some more little girls?

    Did Brennan splat another blushing bride?

    Did GCHQ plant more homegrown kiddy porn on SPD computers?

  265. Who is leopoldo Lopez? Maduro seems to be acting like another tinpot dictator, but is lopez another CIA recruit?

    http://www.ticotimes.net/2014/02/20/who-is-jailed-venezuelan-opposition-leader-leopoldo-lopez

  266. “12 Banker Suicides Linked to JP Morgan Investigation for Forex Manipulation”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyUiXgtHR8E

  267. If we’re not supporting al Qaida in Syria, we’re fans of neofascists in Ukraine:

    http://rt.com/news/kiev-clashes-rioters-police-571/

    This is on the same subject:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/29/ukraine-fascists-oligarchs-eu-nato-expansion

    Obviously the liberal Western media aren’t bothered by either affiliation.

    The BBC had a very interesting live feed on Wednesday: 235 protesters admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds, and 342 police officers with the same. Who are the aggressors here?

    We ignore massacres in Egypt, and of course in Andijan, but the bloodshed in Kiev gets Hague and Fabius et al hot under the collar.

    Eastern Ukraine might form closer ties with Russia, which will be able to secure the Crimea (Black Sea access) forever. Silly Western “democrats”!

  268. Yes, Mike I agree with that analysis regarding Silly Western “democrats” and that closer ties not only might be formed with Russia, but will be formed. Hague has to stick to the script he’s given. There was an occasion when Israel massacred nearly a thousand Lebanese in retaliation for the killing of I think six Israeli soldiers and Hague called it “disproportionate”. As Peter Oborne noted on Despatches the Israeli lobby withdrew funding to the Conservative Party. That’s how it works.

  269. Nextus, if you’re reading, you might like to come and trash some wild speculation of mine, here:

    https://squonk.tk/blog/2014/01/20/the-general-discussion-thread/comment-page-4/#comment-3720

    Mary, 21 Feb, 6:12 pm: yes, there are security holes in routers, or the manufacturer may have deliberately included a ‘back door’. The answer is, of course, Free (GPL) Software – the freedom is our protection. Re-flashing new software into a router is a fairly technical task, but at least routers are cheap/throw-away; you can find plenty down the dump. The software is called LibreWRT; available here:

    http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html

    http://librewrt.org/

    Habbabkuk, sorry, I’m out of time; I’ll have to get back to you later.

  270. Yes I have noticed. I am afraid and sad :(

  271. BrianFujisan

    22 Feb, 2014 - 1:35 am

    As Craig mentions… some states are sliding towards totalitarianism…. yep…and some of it scary stuff, like this from last summer -

    The United States government claims 100% ownership over all your DNA and reproductive rights. This astonishing revelation has emerged from the fact that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claims the power to assign ownership of your DNA to private companies and universities who apply for patents on your genes.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/040400_gene_patents_genetic_slavery_human_DNA.html#ixzz2u0e7ZPPc

    And Police abuse of power is never ending in the u.s on Thursday
    four cops arrest an innocent student as she was out jogging with her headphones on…apparently for jay walking… big n brave aint they….some guy caught it on video… nothing much to see really… but the story is a shocking abuse of power

  272. Security State – I have noticed something. My web-page security tells me I am connected to a site[wanbee.org] via ‘CloudFlare’ -Matthew Prince, CEO.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/12/cloudflare-ceo-says-insane-nsa-gag-order-is-costing-u-s-tech-firms-customers/

    Can any gracious sleuths and bloodhounds here rubber stamp this outfit? .

  273. An excellent infographic with startling details.

    The only addition I would have made is to the media section, where there is no mention of the state broadcasters like the British Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, etc.

    Which Corporations Control the World?
    By Global Research News

    February 21, 2014
    Hannah Williams

    A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares.

    Banks and Finance, Media, Big Oil, The Global Food Conglomerates,

    The World’s largest banks hold a total of $25.1 trillion in assets

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/which-corporations-control-the-world/5369928

  274. ‘Give us five minutes and we’ll supercharge your website’

    There are a lot of them feeding off Cloudfare Mark.

    http://www.cloudflare.com/people

    I think the four ‘investors’ at the bottom are the ones to study.

  275. “Researchers working on social media ‘lie detector’”

    http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/britain-university.tzk

  276. Mark:

    No need to worry about Cloudflare, essentially they create multiple mirrors of a website in different regions, and then is a user from the EU visits the website, the user will be served a copy of the site from the EU mirror. It’s just a way to increase performance and reduce demands on the main web server. As for the people running the company, no idea, but I would be more worried about Google Analytics on every site if I were you.

  277. “This astonishing revelation has emerged from the fact that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claims the power to assign ownership of your DNA to private companies and universities who apply for patents on your genes.”

    Perhaps unsurprisingly the Supreme Court ruled against the concept later in the year.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/13/politics/scotus-genes/

    Jaywalking is an offence in most parts of the US and the cops can be as heavy handed as the thugs in London.

  278. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    22 Feb, 2014 - 10:16 am

    Re the repressive security state:

    Interesting video footage just available (from RT!) showing how rasPutin’s state deals with protest in Russia (Sochi) – check it out (just google “Pussy Riot”

    To quote from the RT footage:

    “The footage shows Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who both served prison sentences for their Moscow church performance, being attacked along with other band members.

    A Cossack appears to spray a substance in the face of one of the band members, who were wearing ski-masks.

    An officer with a whip then proceeds to attack the band members along with a man with a camera.

    Other Cossacks then jump in, punching the band members and throwing them to the floor. ”

    I bet Pussy Riot and the guy with the camera wish they’d had to deal with the evil, fascist, racist British police rather than rasPutin’s nice Cossack police!

  279. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    22 Feb, 2014 - 10:25 am

    Kempe (10h04)

    Thank you for debunking another bit of tendentious nonsense.

  280. Habbabkuk, and Kempe, I advise against complacency in the ongoing struggle about “intellectual property” – which itself is a misleading term. It is remarkable and very worrying that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ever made that original decision. I strongly suspect that the Supreme Court only decided in the people’s favour due to intense campaigning.

    Habbabkuk, please read this short story. It’s fictional, but check the notes at the end; it is based upon very real contemporary developments.

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html

  281. Habbabkuk, 21 Feb, 6:06 pm: I haven’t read up on the incident (pressure of time) but it doesn’t really matter whether files were “removed”, and it doesn’t work like that with files anyway. Files may be copied, and they may be deleted; “removal” would be copying followed by deletion of the original.

    The authorities will assume that back-up copies probably already exist in a different location, so deletion would be an attempt with some small hope of disadvantaging the target. Copying of files would be an attempt to gain information, for instance, to discover a journalist’s sources, or a lawyer’s defence material.

  282. Kempe 22 Feb, 2014 – 10:04 am

    Wake up!, they will find away around anything to get what they want!, its only a matter of time!. Like this

    http://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out/

    “The question many potential voters may well ask is will the real Labour please stand up!”

    http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/newly-appointed-labour-donor-opens.html

  283. Sorry if this has already been posted, but I just noticed a new ‘Rap News’ has been released. Probably the best one yet.

    ‘The News’ feat Sage Francis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VD33jRpeMM

    If you like the Sage Francis verse, I recommend you check out his track ‘Makeshift Patriot’, a great track in response to 911. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3spSAvJkm8

  284. Ben
    21 Feb, 2014 – 8:58 pm

    “…Maduro seems to be acting like another tinpot dictator, but is Lopez another CIA recruit?”

    I’m surprised at you Ben. Maduro a tin-pot dictator?

    Only in the western media.

    His predecessor Chaves was treated the same:

    “Such is the state of misrepresentation of Venezuela – it is probably the most lied-about country in the world – that a journalist can say almost anything about Chávez or his government and it is unlikely to be challenged, so long as it is negative.

    Even worse, Rather referred to Chávez as “the dictator” – a term that few, if any, political scientists familiar with the country would countenance.”

    “Here is what Jimmy Carter said about Venezuela’s “dictatorship” a few weeks ago:

    “As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.”

    Read more:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/03/why-us-dcemonises-venezuelas-democracy

    As for Lopez, is he a CIA recruit?

    Well he went to a private school in Princeton New Jersey USA, then Kenyon College, Ohio, USA and then Harvard University. He is an economist of the neo-liberal type so will be loved by the regime in Washington.

    What do you think?

  285. An interesting insight into the world of Julian Assange.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2014/02/21/andrew-ohagan/ghosting

  286. Habbabkuk, 6.06pm

    Sorry, I forgot to ask : is anyone claiming that the files were removed from the device before Mr Miranda got it back, or was he allowed to leave with both device and files?

    I believe all items seized from Miranda are still being ‘worked on’ by GCHQ so therefore, no, they’ve not been returned. The difficulty was that they are unable to crack the encryption and seem to have only been able to some sort of outer layer (perhaps some top-level file tree) enabling them to estimate there were 58,000 files on Miranda’s drive, and partially decrypt 75 of those. Go here if you want to read the full set of legal documents in which the UK police explain to the High Court what GCHQ is doing:

    http://freesnowden.is/category/legal-documents/index.html

  287. Alan campbell

    22 Feb, 2014 - 2:06 pm

    The last thing you have to read about Assange. What a f*cking nutter.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2014/02/21/andrew-ohagan/ghosting

  288. Be warned, Fred – there is a whole world of contextual detail missing from that “inside” account by Assange’s ghostwriter, such as the existence of the banking blockade against Wikileaks, ditto the existence of the US Whole-of-Government task force against the organisation, the recently revealed “Manhunting Timeline” of the NSA’s, the proven misconduct by the Swedish prosecutor, etc etc. As an insider, Andrew O’Hagan would be very aware of all this and how much of Assange’s statements and behaviour could be explained in light of it. The fact that O’Hagan has nevertheless omitted it all allows the reader to see his ‘lecture’ for what it is.

    I read it all carefully last night and spotted quite a few outright lies (by O’Hagan, I mean) so I can only assume that this lecture was intended as a ‘sales pitch’ for a book deal. The point about having “all the tapes, which are really shocking” is a bit too laboured.

    His career as a ghostwriter commissioned to deal with anything vaguely confidential is over – who’d touch him now? So, the only question that remains is Bought And Paid For, but by whom? The angry and superior tone of the whole thing implies that he more or less hated Assange from the get-go, and yet it’s clear that until about a month ago Assange saw him as a ‘friend’. I can’t help feeling, therefore, that O’Hagan was basically so pissed off he didn’t get what he wanted out of the imploded autobiography that he’s subsequently used the access afforded to him as a (pretend-)friend to gather more material for his own purposes.

  289. Any chance of Craig commenting on the situation in Ukraine?

    This thread on Medialens raises some questions on who or what fills the power vacuum.

    ‘Ukranian President is awol; palace abandoned; Nuland feted in Whitehouse presumably
    Kiev handed over to an armed, neo-nazi mob: well done Catherine Ashton
    Ukraine could split in two.
    etc etc’

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1393067848.html

    The largest country in Europe. Population 46 million.

    The BBC appear to very satisfied with the current situation.

  290. “The last thing you have to read about Assange. What a f*cking nutter.”

    I just read it and that wasn’t the impression I got.

    He struck me as someone who the younger generations would probably identify themselves with and let’s face it, they are the future. We got this world into one hell of a mess, we let the wrong people get too much power and our only hope is that future generations are not like us.

  291. Trying to link to pictures from Aangirfan:
    http://aangirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-war-in-ukraine.html

  292. @Arbed

    I don’t know what your problem is with the piece unless maybe it didn’t build Assange into something you want him to be.

    For me it removed much of the mystery, which I’m sure was the intent rather than to be a comprehensive timeline of Wikileaks events.

  293. Nadhim Zahawi took the opportunity of being on Any Questions to insult Islam gratuitously by saying that he enjoyed Red wine. How to climb the slippery poles of power in UK 2014.

  294. Hi Fred,

    Well, we may be coming to it from different bases but I’m glad to hear you thought it helped your understanding.

    My problem with it is the outright lies it contains, such as saying that Julian Assange and Wikileaks hacked and reversed the Mubarak shut-down of the internet during the early days of the Arab Spring. In fact, it was an organisation called Telecomix who did that. Telecomix are closely connected to Wikileaks, and sympathetic to their cause, but they are nevertheless a different organisation. And giving his readers the false impression that Wikileaks themselves did this hack, instead of merely knowing about it as it was happening, plays right into the hands of the US Department of Justice who are eager to find *any* charges on which to hoick Assange over there – whether founded in fact, nor not.

    Another substantial lie it contains is the part about Al-Jazeera allegedly offering Assange/Wikileaks $1.3 million dollars for exclusive access to Cablegate. O’Hagan is, of course, careful not to say whether such an offer was accepted or indeed whether negotiations proceeded beyond the point of this ‘offer’. You see, Al-Jazeera became one of the official media partners (meaning the cables relating to their region were shared with them free of charge, as with all the other media partners) pretty early in 2011 just as the Arab Spring was kicking off. See the excellent little film Mediastan – can be downloaded here: http://mediastan.net/ – to see that all media partners got the cables for free. But, again, this type of allegation – “Wikileaks sold the cables” – gives the US Department of Justice the opportunity to drum up all sorts of false charges against the organisation. Damn dangerous stuff.

    So, that’s my reasons for having a problem with this O’Hagan piece – not the character assassination of Assange it contains (which, I guess, he must be used to by now – struck me as very old hat, anyway).

  295. @Arbed

    Can’t say that I noticed any character assassinations, maybe we have different opinions on what good qualities in a person are.

  296. Doug; I am still looking for any media outlet telling a different story on Maduro. He could just be a victim of covert ops, but his behavior plays into their hands.

    http://www.ticotimes.net/2014/02/20/who-is-jailed-venezuelan-opposition-leader-leopoldo-lopez

  297. @Fred,

    Actually, I agree with you. What I meant was that Assange comes across in it as more human and likeable than O’Hagan does. I always hate it when a writer attempts to paint themselves whiter-than-white, while at the same time doing their best to blacken their subject’s character – hence, I call it character assassination but really I should add the word ‘attempted’ because I don’t think the piece really succeeds in that objective.

    I’d also be curious to know how this piece squares with the ethics of being a ghostwriter. I know that the ghostwriter/subject confidentiality relationship is not legally formalized in the same way that attorney/client or doctor/patient is, but there must be some sort of professional ethics subscribed to by ghostwriters. As far as I’m aware, a ghostwriter doing something like this to a living subject he’s contracted with is unprecedented.

  298. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    22 Feb, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    Ben

    I see from that link of yours on Venezuela (http://www.ticotimes.net/2014/02/20/who-is-jailed-venezuelan-opposition-leader-leopoldo-lopez) that President Nicolas Maduro Moros (to give him his full name!) has taken to calling his opponents “right wing fascists”. Typical for a left wing wannabe demagogue.

  299. “The largest country in Europe. Population 46 million.

    The BBC appear to very satisfied with the current situation.”

    Germany no longer in Europe then?

    As the Ukraine appears to have halted its descent into civil war we might be excused a small sigh of relief. Of course it may be short lived and a lot will hinge on the forthcoming elections.

  300. Guano Nadim Zahawi is the trougher who was claiming on expenses for the heating of his horse stables!

    Child benefits cuts call from Tory MP who claims expenses to heat stables at his mansion
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/child-benefits-cuts-call-tory-2931012

    I switched him off Guano.

  301. “The Security State crushes ever tighter”

    While some of the previous comments are interesting and thought-provoking in their own rights some do not exactly fit in with the topic. Have you noticed, asked Craig Murray, that states, he means like the UK and US, are moving ever closer to totalitarianism. Since 9/11 new laws have been introduced called anti-terrorism laws. They have enabled the imprisonment of people like Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmed without trial for years on end. In this short video Hamja Ahsan, brother of Talha, speaks about why he has become a human rights’ activist. The way the police entered the Ahsan household and took away personal possessions that could not in any way be connected with terrorism, and imprisonment without trial demonstrates how things we took for granted are gone. Think about this carefully. One day it is going to you and your family.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVa7dPOKLXM

  302. Mary

    I’m cynical enough to believe that they say and do these things deliberately to get themselves onto the BBC panels and further up the UK political pole and one day when they get to the top… chop… suddenly they call for Shari’ah.
    I want shari’ah, but not racially-tinted shari’ah.
    I like democracy in Ukraine, but not US=flavour, Chewyer’ear.

  303. On Canadian politics and Stephen Harper.

    Speak Now or Forever Renounce Peace
    February 9, 2014

    Antoni Wysocki argues that having to decide amongst the Liberals, the New Democrats and the Conservatives is like being asked if it would be preferable to drink hemlock from a red, orange or blue cup.

    ‘Stephen Harper is odious; this much is obvious. His foreign policy is about running interference for Washington in internationals affairs; his economic policy is to export whatever can be extruded from the tar sands; his domestic policy is building prisons. Harper’s determination to obstruct, divert or distort all streams of information that do not flow directly from his office suggests a man at war with the idea of independent thought as such. Harper’s very countenance and manner are vaguely horrifying, giving the impression of some failed simulacrum of a human being — a creepily imperfect copy whose uncanny presence is wont to induce horripilation. In short, Central Casting could scarcely have selected someone better suited to the role of bogeyman in the nightmares of Canada’s left and liberals. No wonder editorial cartoonist Michael de Adder likes to depict Harper in the guise of Darth Vader.’

    [..]

    ‘What changes took place in 2013 to so radically overthrow standard conceptions of the global political order? One was the release of an avalanche of top secret documents by Edward Snowden, who obtained them while working for the National Security Agency of the United States.

    That the capitalist system is safeguarded the world over by a universal policing establishment under the direction of the United States was not news to those who had been paying attention, but it was only with Snowden’s revelations that the regime’s true dimensions finally hove into view. Thanks to Snowden we now know that the United States government commands a global spying operation that is invasive and ubiquitous beyond the most fervid longings of a Hitler or a Stalin; a totalitarian surveillance apparatus so monstrous as to have no parallels outside the realm of science fiction.

    Nor — and here we come to the other great thunderbolt of 2013 — are the masters of the universe satisfied with merely being omniscient. One of God’s attributes is that nothing is hidden from Him; another is that He alone decides who will live and who must die. Naturally then this is a regime that, in the person of the president of the United States, openly and explicitly reserves to itself the right to exterminate by fiat whomsoever it pleases, anywhere on the planet. In February of last year a white paper released by the administration of US President Barack Obama put the world on formal notice of this autotelic licence to kill.

    There could be no more obscene insult to the most basic notions of justice, freedom and democracy than this world-spanning system of surveillance and repression. Yet the parliamentary opposition has neither denounced this unbounded tyranny nor called for Canada to cease its direct participation in it as a member of the “Five Eyes” network with the US, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.’

    http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/blog/antoni-wysocki/21347

  304. I agree, John. I think of the Pastor Bonhoeffer poem when considering this creeping totalitarianism. Maybe the West thinks that as China can have capitalism without democracy, “we” should go the same way.

    To answer Craig’s question, if you pay attention, you’ll notice. But for as long as there is cheap food and screen-based distractions, most people, it seems to me, don’t really care.

    If UK capitalism can’t be revived – growth and jobs – that might change, I guess; there could be enough disenfranchised young people to become politicised and active – and angry.

  305. “If UK capitalism can’t be revived – growth and jobs – that might change, I guess; there could be enough disenfranchised young people to become politicised and active – and angry.”

    There were a lot of angry young men in my day as well as playwright John Osborne. But then our forefathers had fought to get a national health service and other rights (like amendments to working hours, overtime pay and good safety practices). Many of these have gone and the Tories are currently chipping away at the NHS, siphoning off the more lucrative parts to their private sponsors, and making the rest top-heavy with management (who all have to be paid) instead of doctors and nurses. It is a world gone mad.

  306. Can the UK’s official unemployment figures be trusted (sorry for O/T)?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/jobs/unemployment-figures-iain-duncan-smiths-3152770

    There was also a snippet (tucked away) in the Guardian, but not a peep from the state broadcaster.

  307. I agree John Goss.

    When I was at school in the ’60s, we were all politically aware, and mostly ‘left’ in the sense of caring about inequality and injustice. I went to the Garden House demo in Cambridge against the Greek military junta. Melford Stephenson would be at home in today’s world I think.

  308. Johno, Judge Stevenson defended the last woman to be hanged, Ruth Ellis. At the Nuremberg trials he “served as Judge Advocate at the “Peleus” Trial, swiftly despatching Commander Eck and two other officers of the German submarine U852 to death by firing squad.” He fought for the reintroduction of the death penalty after its abolition. He stood as a Tory. There is not much more to say about him except for the harsh sentences he handed out especially as concerned the Cambridge protesters.

    http://copperknob.wordpress.com/extra-notes-melford-stevenson/

  309. An interesting and quite scary article here about the use of panoptical surveillance and its uses within the corporate world:

    https://medium.com/matter/76d9913c6011

  310. @ Mary 22 Feb, 2014 – 6:37 pm
    Quote from the Antoni Wysocki article you referred to above: “One of God’s attributes is that nothing is hidden from Him…”

    It isn’t necessary for God to exist, only for a large number of people to believe that nothing is hidden from Him and He will exact vengeance.

    This from a reader’s comment on a Washington Post blog some months ago, discussing the ObamaCare website fiasco:

    “Snowden’s real threat is that he reveals the NSA doesn’t have any clothes.”

    “This is a rare glimpse of what kind of computer systems are being built by and for Government. The vast majority of them are like that. Both in cost and quality. Defense or civilian. It is even worse in the Defense/Intelligence sector because of the secrecy. And the price tag is at least double because of that.”

    “The only difference is that this garbage got exposed to general public to see it. We have a cottage industry of both Gov contractors and Gov employees who are in one business only: to milk the taxpayers cow as much as they can. And try entering that circle. They will eat you alive.”

    This from the British playwright Sir David Hare:

    “The security services are running the country. The American security services have been ripped off for such huge sums of money, a lot of them for phantom projects that don’t even exist. They’ve been taken to the cleaners. Apart from anything else, the war on terror has been the biggest criminal racket for the last 10 years.”

    http://
    aangirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-spooks-run-country-sir-david-hare.html?m=1

  311. doug scorgie

    23 Feb, 2014 - 9:13 am

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    22 Feb, 2014 – 10:16 am

    “Re the repressive security state:”

    “Interesting video footage just available (from RT!) showing how rasPutin’s state deals with protest in Russia (Sochi)…”

    Yes Habbabkuk it is disturbing but not surprising; power corrupts.

    A link to the video here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26263141

    British police are not immune to the corrupting effects of power.

    How the British state deal with protest:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8597217.stm

    There are many other example of police brutality in Britain and of course the USA and most go unpunished.

    Perhaps you can’t see the wood for the trees Habbabkuk

  312. Last October’s speech given by Andrew Parker, head of MI5, at the HQ of RUSI.

    Director of Security Service on MI5 and the Evolving Threat
    http://www.rusi.org/events/past/ref:E5254359BB8F44#.UlRy-RZsfld

    I had been looking at this profile of David Abrahams, the Labour Party donor involved in a donations scandal in 2007. He is now a vice president of RUSI!
    He obviously seeks and obtains associations with the powerful as he views them. He is still a Labour supporter.

    Political Lives: David Abrahams
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25869867

    Petraeus is the Senior Vice President.
    http://www.rusi.org/about/council/

    McChrystal is speaking there on March 3rd
    A lecture by General (Ret) Stanley A. McChrystal, former Commander of US and NATO International Security Assistance Forces, Afghanistan.General Ret Stanley A McChrystal

    In his lecture, General McChrystal will reflect on the enduring lessons of leadership and the complex security challenges of Iraq and Afghanistan. He will also make observations on the emerging requirements of the ‘post-Afghan’ security environment.

    LOL

  313. I have just referred to Petraeus speaking at RUSI.

    I saw this quote about him in the Bill Moyers’ article that Someone posted.
    http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/

    ‘In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus’ expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy.

    Petraeus and most of the avatars of the Deep State — the White House advisers who urged Obama not to impose compensation limits on Wall Street CEOs, the contractor-connected think tank experts who besought us to “stay the course” in Iraq, the economic gurus who perpetually demonstrate that globalization and deregulation are a blessing that makes us all better off in the long run — are careful to pretend that they have no ideology. Their preferred pose is that of the politically neutral technocrat offering well considered advice based on profound expertise. That is nonsense. They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican.’

  314. Sorry. It was McChrystal who is speaking at RUSI. Petraeus is the Senior Vice President there. Lots of flights across the Atlantic then?

  315. doug scorgie

    23 Feb, 2014 - 9:51 am

    Ben
    22 Feb, 2014 – 3:40 pm

    “Doug; I am still looking for any media outlet telling a different story on Maduro. He could just be a victim of covert ops, but his behaviour plays into their hands.”

    I don’t know what you mean by his “behaviour” Ben.

    If you want to know more about the situation in Venezuela you could try this:

    http://venezuelanalysis.com/

  316. Thanks for the link to O Hagans piece of ‘ghosting, at Ellingham and the intersting discussion you had with Arbed.

    The problem with taking other peoples assumptions or near truth, is the exclusion of the subject from real life.
    If Julian Assange was free to speak and act, without the pressures that eminates from the hegemonial power structures of this world, then we could make our own mind up, won’t have to rely on this or that morsel to pre judge a character.
    It still was a good reflection of his time at Ellingham Hall, some 20 miles from here. I desisted from visiting Vaughan during that time, but ensured that his plight was raised on local radio and in the press.

    Mayb e the omissions of OHagan were due to lax research, or feeding from too many troughs out there, all pushing one or other false speculations, maybe its due to some editor asking for embllishments, we do not know.

    I do not need to see Julian in the flesh to support his plight for freedom, justice and acceptance of his vital work within Wikileaks, but it would slightly change my perception of him should it happen in future.

    Which brings me back to the ‘against crushing us with security garden party’…….

  317. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Feb, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    re President Nicolas Maduro Morors

    “I don’t know what you mean by his “behaviour” Ben.”
    ___________________

    I think, Mr Scorgie, that if you look at the links Ben supplied, you will get some idea of what he meant.

    I know it’s heresy to even whisper a word of criticism about El Presidente and so I would like to thank Ben for those links.

    I shall of course also peruse the link you kindly supplied, Mr Scorgie, and then compare what’s there with comment and analysis available from other sources.

  318. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Feb, 2014 - 1:23 pm

    “There are many other example of police brutality in Britain and of course the USA and most go unpunished.”
    ________________________

    I’m sure you’re right, Mr Scorgie, but if I were a protester, dissident or otherwise disaffected with the the state, I think I’d rather take my chances in the UK than in the land of President rasPutin.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Actually, you may have (inadvertently) put your digit on it when you wrote

    “…it is disturbing but not surprising; power corrupts.”

    I would tend to agree with that and therefore draw the conclusion that many of the woes and travails of humanity have their roots in the nature of the human being himself and are not unique to the UK, the USA and the West.

  319. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Feb, 2014 - 1:36 pm

    “Judge Stevenson defended the last woman to be hanged, Ruth Ellis. At the Nuremberg trials he “served as Judge Advocate at the “Peleus” Trial, swiftly despatching Commander Eck and two other officers of the German submarine U852 to death by firing squad.””

    ________________

    Thanks for the above, Mr Goss, it was very interesting. I looked up the case just now and also learnt that the three Germans were tried, convicted and executed (firing squad) for having shot the survivors of a Greek merchant ship clinging to wreckage in the water.

    I didn’t find anything about “swiftly dispatching” anyone, though; the impression I got was that the trial was a perfectly normal war crimes trail, neither faster or slower than any other. But if you dispose of any information to the contrary, I’d be interested to hear it.

    BTW, did you know that the house in Brighton to which Judge Stevenson retired was named “Truncheons”? I think that was rather witty.

  320. doug scorgie

    23 Feb, 2014 - 1:46 pm

    Can I suggest that Craig or his IT helpers set up an “off-Topic” thread?

    It would help to remove the temptation to post off-topic material on specific threads.

    I’d like to post about the ongoing situation in Venezuela for example.

  321. Mary,

    “Why the US media ignored Murdoch’s brazen bid to hijack the presidency”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/20/bernstein-murdoch-ailes-petreaus-presidency

  322. Well done Russia for Sochi and for winning. US fourth!

    1 Russian Federation 13 11 9 33 Gold silver and bronze. 
    2 Norway 11 5 10 26 ditto 
    3 Canada 10 10 5 25 ditto 
    4 United States 9 7 12 28 ditto

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-olympics/2014/medals/countries

  323. Yes, Mary, shame about the US. The UK too, but then again, we did better than expected. The Times says that £34 billion was spent by the Russians and asks if it was worth it. I think the answer is it is much better spending that kind of money in international competitive sport than in killing people to steal their resources. I mention no names but we all know who they are and Russia is not among them.

  324. Doug; Thanks. I’ve been distracted with personal matters for some time now and haven’t had time to separate the chaff from the wheat. It’s been several days and Craig seems to have interest in the topic for a day or two, so I shouldn’t worry about breaking this up with Venezuela. In fact I think it would be instructive.

    “Bloodworth says that he supported the Chavista movement when a US backed coup violently ousted Hugo Chavez in 2002. “I have no trouble remembering which side I was on” he claims – very dubiously as I’ll explain.

    Bloodworth doesn’t remember that Leopoldo Lopez was among the leaders of that coup. This video shows Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles (a state governor who ran against Maduro in April of 2013) supervising the illegal “arrest” of a Chavez government minister during the 2002 coup. Bloodworth objects to Lopez’s arrest for leading protests over the past few weeks that are clearly aimed at repeating what happened in 2002, but Bloodworth never considers an incredibly obvious point. Lopez would have been locked up for decades (if he were lucky) had he participated in the violent overthrow of the UK or US governments. If not for the Venezuelan government’s unusually high tolerance for dissent, Lopez and Capriles (his “moderate” ally) would never have been around to lead protests, much less hold public office as Capriles now does. One can only shudder at what their fate would have been in the USA after participating in a briefly successful coup. Chelsea Manning has been locked up for years and openly tortured simply for exposing human rights abuses and embarrassing the US government. Manning will not be leading violent protests or holding public office (even if she wanted to) any time soon.

    Bloodworth also forgets (or more likely doesn’t know or care) that Human Rights Watch (HRW) utterly disgraced itself during the 2002 coup. He takes HRW assessments of Venezuela at face value but does not recall that during the 2002 coup HRW failed to denounce the coup, failed to call on other countries not to recognize the Carmona dictatorship, failed to invoke the OAS charter, and did not call for an investigation of US involvement. Thankfully, most governments in the region denounced the 2002 coup at once, exactly as HRW would have done had it not been penetrated by US State Department officials and other elites as Keane Bhatt recently noted.

  325. “This Week in Internet Censorship: Opaque Censorship in Turkey, Russia, and Britain”

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/11/week-internet-censorship-opaque-censorship-turkey-russia-and-britain

  326. Bloodworth has resorted to smearing Joe Emersberger of Venezuela Analysis in exactly the same way that Oliver Kamm of the Times who smeared the Medialens Editors as ‘holocaust deniers’ on Srebrenica. Remarkable.

    https://twitter.com/J_Bloodworth/status/437533750100897792

    Who is this person with the unfortunate sounding surname? He seems to have/have had a foot in several doors.

    http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/james-bloodworth/38/486/274

  327. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 3:29 pm

    @John Goss
    “I think the answer is it is much better spending that kind of money in international competitive sport than in killing people to steal their resources.”

    And of course the Russian Government wouldn’t kill anyone or steal their resources. Why do you think the Sochi games cost more than all the previous Winter Olympics put together – don’t you think that there is the slightest possibility that some of the spending was diverted elsewhere? Why do you think that most of Russia’s natural resources are now in the hands of Putin and the oligarchs – when they all used to be state owned? Why do you think Putin has spent rather more on his palace than the now deposed Ukrainian president? Why do you think Putin and his cronies are such great admirers of the General Pinochet? Why do you think that they introduced a flat rate income tax system with a tax rate of 13% and for those oligarchs who thought that was a little on the high side allowed them to avoid tax through a rather helpful tax treaty with Cyprus. And if you don’t believe that the Russian kleptocracy woun’t kill people in order to steal their own resources from them – perhaps you should look at what they spend on pensions, health and housing for their own people.

  328. I thought that Joe Emersberger was part of Venezuela Analysis. Not so.

    http://venezuelanalysis.com/about

    But he does contribute.
    http://venezuelanalysis.com/search/node/emersberger

  329. What next for Prosor and Sacks? International Friends of Israel? International Friends of BICOM?

    Prosor and Sacks to launch American friends of BICOM
    February 19, 2014

    Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor will address a New York event marking the launch of American Friends of BICOM next week.

    The new group will support the work of the London-based organisation, which aims to create a more supportive environment for Israel including by taking journalists and opinion-formers to the Jewish state and Palestinian territories.

    The launch of the first Friends of BICOM group in America recognises the growing impact of British media in the US.

    The BBC is among the world’s most widely-consumed broadcasters, the Daily Mail’s website recently overtook the New York Times as the most visited newspaper site and the Guardian’s site last year saw 12.5m visitors from the States.

    Bicom Dinner 13037http://jewishnews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/007-Bicom-Dinner-13037-2.jpg?ce4b75

    BICOM CEO Dermot Kehoe said: “The launch of American Friends of BICOM gives a great opportunity for further transatlantic cooperation. The global reach of British media means BICOM’s work matters worldwide.”

    Prosor is to join former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks during the launch event, where around 100 guests will hear about the importance of engaging with UK media. It will be hosted by BICOM founder Poju Zabludowicz, chairman Edward Misrahi and the new American Friends of BICOM board.

    The launch was announced as the organisation unveiled a new 60-page BICOM publication called ‘The Apartheid Smear,’ which addresses the intellectual foundation of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement.

    The document will be circulated by Israel’s foreign ministry with pro-Israel groups worldwide. In the UK, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) has been working with BICOM to distribute the leaflet on campus.

    http://jewishnews.co.uk/prosor-sacks-launch-american-friends-bicom/

  330. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 3:43 pm

    Mary

    Of course it was not just Oliver Kamm who got it spot on about Media Lens and Srebenica but George Monbiot who Media Lens, of taking “the unwarranted step of belittling the acts of genocide committed by opponents of the western powers”.

    And where exactly do you stand on what happened at Srebenica, Mary?

  331. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 3:47 pm

    I should add that what we are seeing with the response to O’Hagan and Bloodworth is of course further examples of how political and religious cults save their greatest venom for their apostates. And the more the “true” believers protest the more that we know that this is the case.

  332. Mary: “Well done Russia for Sochi and for winning. US fourth!”

    Isn’t it funny. Mary couldn’t stick the London Olympics, or “Limp Ics” as she called them. Far too much money spent at the expense of ordinary people, if I remember correctly. And yet here we have the most expensive Games in history, Summer or Winter, and not only is Mary completely silent on the grotesque expenditure that pales into insignificance that of the London Games, but she actually has the gall to gloat about the number of Russian medals won.

    If you don’t like her principles, she has others!

  333. “The government also suspects that “paramilitaries and criminal gangs” are involved in the actions, with the complicity of the local opposition mayor, Daniel Ceballos.”

    http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10386

    Translation-CIA

  334. For information – the Medialens Editors wrote:

    DANCING ON A MASS GRAVE – OLIVER KAMM OF THE TIMES SMEARS MEDIA LENS
    25 November 2009
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2009/585-dancing-on-a-mass-grave-oliver-kamm-of-the-times-smears-media-lens.html

    A ‘Malign Intellectual Subculture’ – George Monbiot Smears Chomsky, Herman, Peterson, Pilger And Media Lens
    02 August 2011
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2011/637-a-malign-intellectual-subculture-george-monbiot-smears-chomsky-herman-peterson-pilger-and-media-lens-sp-1119850121.html

    ‘Sworn Enemies’? A Response To George Monbiot
    6 November 2012
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2012/704-sworn-enemies-a-response-to-george-monbiot.html

  335. Ref smearing of Sochi by Western media.

    The media’s ‘crusade’ against Sochi: where does the whistle blow from?
    Wed, Feb 5, 2014

    ‘Jon HELLEVIG (Finland)

    The Western press is once again brimming with a fresh wave of anti-Sochi slander. The new round is dedicated to the supposedly “skyrocketing” costs of the games, or the “bacchanalia of waste and corruption” as Steven Lee Myers of the New York Times so poetically expresses it.*’

    *
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/world/europe/russians-debate-sticker-price-of-sochi-games.html?_r=1

    http://orientalreview.org/2014/02/05/the-medias-crusade-against-sochi-where-does-the-whistle-blow-from/

  336. “Venezuela Beyond the Protests: The Revolution is Here to Stay”

    http://www.chavezcode.com/2014/02/venezuela-beyond-protests-revolution-is.html

  337. Protestors still wearing masks. Why? Is there a chance Moscow might throw some weight around in the Ukraine?

  338. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    Why? Is there a chance Moscow might throw some weight around in the Ukraine?

    Yes – or they might try to freeze by turning off the gas, or starve them – all of which has been tried in the past. It is quite comical how some point to US/EU interference in the current dispute and ignore both the current and past interference of Russia in the affairs of the Ukraine.

  339. Ach. The threat already made; http://www.eutimes.net/2014/02/russian-threat-of-war-over-ukraine-stuns-obama-regime/

    “A new report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) relating to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine says that United States President Barack Obama was “stunned” yesterday after President Putin warned him in a telephone dialogue between these two leaders that Russia was prepared to send over 250,000 heavily armed troops into Crimea to protect the sovereignty of its citizens against further US-EU aggression.”

  340. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 4:55 pm

    Mary

    Is this another smear of Sochi or is it just a raid on pension funds so as to plug a gap in the state pension fund that might otherwise have been funded by a cheaper Winter Olympics

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/03/us-russia-pension-idUSBRE9920UT20131003

    What would have been your reaction if such a thing had been tried by the UK Government?

  341. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 5:00 pm

    Mary and John

    Is your problem with the Tories and their NHS cuts that they are not being as ambitious as your friends in Moscow? Do you really believe that the spending on the Sochi games was justified against such a background?

    http://rbth.co.uk/articles/2013/01/12/russian_authorities_plan_to_cut_health_spending_in_2013_21817.html

  342. 23rd June 2007

    “Sentient world: war games on the grandest scale”

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/23/sentient_worlds/

  343. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 6:01 pm

    Nick Cohen gets it spot on in today’s Observer:

    “You complain about ‘western imperialism’,” we should say. “Allow us to show you what modern imperialism will do to you if you even think of sending snipers to shoot peaceful demonstrators. We will change the locks of your apartments on Fifth Avenue, the Avenue Montaigne and Kensington Palace Gardens. We will shutter your villas of Cap Ferrat. Then we will empty your bank accounts so completely you will realise that all your thieving has been for nothing.”

    The Putin’s, Karimov’s and Yanukovych’s of this world should note.

  344. Great closing ceremony to the Sochi Olympics, with a bit of humour referencing the the ring that failed to open. And of course Misha the bear and the single tear. Very moving. A pity there are those who comment here who can only see the bad in Russia. Incredible organisation said the English commentators.

    Thanks Mary for the Bicom links. I do not know about you but I suspect the moderator(s) is having the weekend off. They do such sterling work. I am expecting a few comments to be gone tomorrow. Responding would be futile. Even this might go because it is off topic.

  345. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 6:47 pm

    John Goss

    I can see plenty of good in Russia – it just isn’t represented by Putin and the oligarchs or their show projects – the good lies with their many many victims.

  346. Nick Cohen the shill for BLiar’s war on Iraq, like Aaronovitch and Rent(a)tool.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/03/10-years-right-invaded-iraq

    ~~

    Yes John. We are ALL God’s children. I watched some of the closing ceremony although I have not watched any of the events. I do not like snow or ice! I thought the ceremony was more tasteful than London’s and much more creative. Not as jingoistic either. No dummy queens jumping from helicopters and not the constant wrapping everything in the national flag, the butcher’s apron in our case.

    ~~

    The mods will be busy with the delete button as you say. I just complimented the Russians for leading the medal table and saying well done for Sochi and suddenly there was a mass arrival here. No response is best.

  347. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 7:09 pm

    John and Mary

    If you understood the first thing about Russia you would understand that the Sochi Olympics and the despots in charge would be the last place to go looking for all that is good about Russia. Might I suggest that I know rather more about Russia and Russians than you are ever likely to – I shall be kind and assume that you are just Putin’s useful idiots rather than his fellow travellers for the present.

  348. Mary I second your remark. A great games.

    Getting back to the topic Binoy Kampmark argues: “The material Snowden supplied, the subject matter in Miranda’s possession when he found himself being detained at Heathrow, was vital. It served a fundamental purpose: to expose massive, unaccounted surveillance by supposedly free states against their own citizens and those of allied countries.”

    See more at: http://newsjunkiepost.com/2014/02/23/freedom-of-the-press-government-does-not-know-best/#sthash.tj5KxD91.dpuf

  349. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    Mary

    Does the stance of Nick Cohen et al on the Iraq War just mean that they are non people (and hence not God’s children) and that all views on any other subjects can just be dismissed? Do you apply a similar principle to all who disagree with you on this blog?

  350. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 7:28 pm

    Mary

    I have read the Media Lens links you provided very carefully and no where can I see a clear and definitive statement from the writers that they believed that that there was a massacre at Srebenica that amounted to genocide. Without seeing Kamm’s and Monbiot’s original articles and the pieces they were complaining about it is not possible to conclude whether their charges of “genocide denial” are supportable – you seem only to want to present one side of the case, presumably with the view of encouraging others to support that side.

    Perhaps you could confirm whether or not you believe that there was a massacre at Srebenica that amounted to genocide? I most definitely do.

  351. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 7:34 pm

    John

    Since you are an expert on all thinks Russian perhaps you might wish to elucidate on whether or not the charge of “massive, unaccounted surveillance by supposedly free states against their own citizens and those of allied countries” might also applies to Russia – or would that amount to not seeing the good side about Russia?

    PS Do you think Left Unity would be in favour of a 13% flat income tax rate and pension and NHS cuts here in the UK just like in Russia?

  352. Res
    I am reading War and Peace. How will my knowledge of Russia be through the book.

  353. “Does the stance of Nick Cohen et al on the Iraq War just mean that they are non people (and hence not God’s children) and that all views on any other subjects can just be dismissed?”

    I just read his piece and I must say in my opinion he is a most repugnant man with no good qualities whatsoever.

    His first line: “Ten years on, the case for invading Iraq is still valid” is a lie in itself. Which case is he talking about? The yellowcake from Niger? The links to Bin Laden? The WMDs? That was the case put to us, they weren’t valid then and they certainly aren’t valid now.

    He helped murder a hell of a lot more Iraqis than Saddam did and still counting, war is still waging in Fallujah ten years on with no end in sight.

    Bloody psychopaths, no shame, still got the brass neck to pretend the did nothing wrong.

  354. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 7:54 pm

    Jay

    You’ll get nearer to the soul of Russians through Tolstoy than any of Putin’s productions. Anyone who knows Russians will know that “soul” is very important – its obe of the few things the despots cannot touch.

  355. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 7:58 pm

    Fred

    You didn’t read the piece he wrote today that I referred to – what is objectionable about that and why is the Iraq war of relevance.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/22/stop-state-terrorists-seize-assets

    You may of course want to indulge in the statutory five minutes hate.

  356. “You didn’t read the piece he wrote today that I referred to – what is objectionable about that and why is the Iraq war of relevance. ”

    Everything is objectionable about that. Is he going to seize the assets of Bush and Blair?

    I suppose the terrorists trained at Fort Benning aren’t really terrorists as far as he’s concerned.

    Why did you mention the Iraq war if you don’t think it’s relevant? You asked a question, I answered it, the man is a liar, he has no conscience and no remorse for the hundreds of thousands he helped murder. They should seize every penny he as made from peddling his war mongering lies. It’s people like him the world wants rid off.

  357. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 8:28 pm

    Why did you mention the Iraq war if you don’t think it’s relevant?

    I didn’t

  358. Getting back to the topic of the blog Binoy Kampmark argues: “The material Snowden supplied, the subject matter in Miranda’s possession when he found himself being detained at Heathrow, was vital. It served a fundamental purpose: to expose massive, unaccounted surveillance by supposedly free states against their own citizens and those of allied countries.”

    See more at: http://newsjunkiepost.com/2014/02/23/freedom-of-the-press-government-does-not-know-best/#sthash.tj5KxD91.dpuf

  359. “I didn’t”

    So who wrote: “Does the stance of Nick Cohen et al on the Iraq War just mean that they are non people (and hence not God’s children) and that all views on any other subjects can just be dismissed?”?

    Don’t keep trying to deny it, anyone can look back and see for themselves.

    I answered your question as far as I’m concerned, yes, most definitely, the man has shown himself to be a heartless liar. I wouldn’t believe a word he said about anything.

  360. I think the author is thinking of Venezuela primarily. Then Ukraine and then any other country which the USUKIsNato axis alights upon.

    The White Army Still Marches
    by Paul Lojeski / February 22nd, 2014

    Dark vipers
    slink through
    the shadows
    of Democracy,
    reactionary
    forces waving
    bloody hands
    in the night.
    Under diplomatic
    cover they slip
    into countries
    whose elected
    leaders Wall
    Street doesn’t
    abide, leaders
    who resist the
    slavery of capital,
    who steer a course,
    instead, towards
    decency. Once
    there, they plot
    and scheme,
    instigating violent
    unrest, turning
    the streets
    a sea of red
    and a smiling
    assassin puts
    a bullet
    in the leader’s
    heart and the
    United States
    of Counter-
    Democracy
    declares another
    victory for freedom,
    while the invisible
    killers quietly
    move on to
    another target.
    Are you next?

    From Dissident Voice

  361. KingofWelshNoir: “I also know in my heart why no one does anything against the State oppression: life’s too comfortable. Instead of making Molotov cocktails we’re busy making ones with mini parasols and pineapple chunks on them”

    Indeed, not only too comfortable, and kept in passive inaction by numerous “bread & circuses” factors, but also by the fear to oneself & to your family & friends, if you dare raise your head high enough to draw the attention.

    Which is why the bravery shown by recent whistleblowers simply defies description; the US deliberately made a show of the long drawn-out torturing of Manning, in order to terrorise other potential whistlebowers, and the same with its hidden hand directing the persecution of Assange, yet despite these terrifying deterrents, Edward Snowden still chose to put his conscience before his comfortable lifestyle, and before his fear of the likely danger to his own life & liberty, and possibly to that of his love-ones also.

    These are very, very rare individuals, as most of us simply don’t have the required bravery of our convictions, coupled with the almost suicidal concern for the well-being & dignity of unknown others; I think that no matter how terrible the penalty yet still may become, there will always be whistleblowers, willing & prepared to martyr themselves because of their conscience. We lesser mortals who profess to share the same values as these people, are just fit enough to shake their hands; as for their detractors & critics, they are worth less to mankind than any dirt between the toes of such whistleblowers.

  362. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 10:10 pm

    Fred

    Mary first raised the issue of Nick Cohen’s stance on Iraq AFTER I had made the reference to his article in today’s Observer that made no reference whatsoever to Iraq. I then made the point that what Nick Cohen’s stance was of no relevance to what he was saying today – the evidence is there if you bother to check properly.

    Please go and try your dissembling techniques somewhere else.

  363. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Feb, 2014 - 10:11 pm

    Mr Goss

    “I suspect the moderator(s) is having the weekend off. They do such sterling work. I am expecting a few comments to be gone tomorrow. ”

    ___________________

    That comment reminds me a little of those old Soviet doctored photos (where’s Yezhov gone?) and how the Soviet authorities used to ask subscribers to the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia to cut out certain articles with a razor blade and stick in something else (article on Beria replaced by an article on the Bering Sea).

    Those who know something about the USSR will know what I’m talking about.7

  364. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 10:19 pm

    John Goss

    Everyone of my comments today has been made in response to comments already raised by others. Do you really think that any of the comments to which I replied had the right to go unanswered? Perhaps you should criticise the original posters, such as yourself, for taking the discussion off topic.

  365. So for those who missed it Resident Dissident here it is again. Discuss.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2014/02/23/freedom-of-the-press-government-does-not-know-best/#sthash.tj5KxD91.dpuf

  366. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 10:25 pm

    Habba

    And President Putin likes to keep the tradition of rewriting history going

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-18/russian-schools-to-teach-putin-s-version-of-history.html

    Just imagine if Michael Gove were to try and go so far!

  367. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 10:31 pm

    John Goss

    I totally agree that the Government does not know best when it comes to freedom of the press – perhaps we might also wish to talk about regime on which you shower such praise deals with freedom of the press. Or we could talk about how Wikileaks effectively handed Snowden over to said regime

    http://www.businessinsider.com/did-wikileaks-sell-out-snowden-to-the-russians-2013-9

  368. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 10:40 pm

    Mary

    could you please explain on what basis you consider Yanukovych’s election and subsequent behaviour to be democratic (the one thing that almost all Ukrainians East and West are agreed on are that he should go), and why are you silent when Russia interferes in the affairs of the Ukraine?

  369. Resident Dissident

    23 Feb, 2014 - 10:43 pm

    Macky

    So what is the majority view on the behaviour of Putin and the oligarchs? Do you support really brave whistleblowers like Politskaya and Navalny?

  370. John with regards to Commander Eck and two other officers of the German submarine U852 to death by firing squad.” There was a case of a British T class submarine committing a war crime.
    But there was no charge. Maybe it was because we won the war ! Also there have been the outrages which were hushed up on which I could not possibly comment as a ex Submariner

  371. If Cohen and the others who supported the war criminals’ invasion of Iraq in 2003 want to know how things are going there, then read this. Absolutely horrific. But of course the US and the UK have moved on from the scene of their crimes.

    Iraq’s Prime Minister Offers Financial Bounty to Extrajudicial Killers
    February 23rd, 2014 by Felicity Arbuthnot
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/02/iraqs-prime-minister-offers-financial-bounty-to-extrajudicial-killers/

    and a very nasty snake here crawls out from under the hay. Amongst other things he fails to mention that his nephew is in charge of de-Baathification.

    Chalabi: Anbar crisis sign of ‘political failure’ in Iraq
    BAGHDAD — Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraq National Congress, says that Iraq is in a “very difficult situation.”

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/02/iraq-opposition-ahmed-chalabi-interview-elections-iran.html

  372. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Feb, 2014 - 11:17 pm

    I too share Mary’s pride in Russia’s achievements at the Sub-tropical Olympics, just ended. It was a splendid performance, made all the more splendid when you consider it was achieved by the only major nation whose population is steadily declining year on year owing to decreasing life expectancy.

  373. Resident Dissident, we’re British, we celebrate when we’ve had our best medal clutch since the 1920s. It’s nearly 100 years. I can understand that. I cannot understand people wanting to try and turn the blog into an anti-Russian site. We are all guilty of commenting off-topic. As to “we could talk about how Wikileaks effectively handed Snowden over to said regime” that is so provocative from someone who would rather, I suspect, have him handed over to the US (the worst human rights’ abuser in the world). But the topic is still the erosion of journalistic rights and the Binoy Kampark article, hot off the press today, has not been challenged.

    Thanks Dave Lawton. What you say is true. But for me it is not about who is right or wrong in war, because war is horrific. It is about those who delight in things like capital punishment and torture, who seem to be the same people. They obviously have had no love in their lives. People without a heart are not worthy of my time. Not yours either I suspect.

  374. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Feb, 2014 - 11:28 pm

    “I just complimented the Russians for leading the medal table and saying well done for Sochi ”

    _______________________

    No you didn’t ‘just’. Here’s what you wrote :

    “Well done Russia for Sochi and for winning. US fourth!”

    I hereby award you the John Goss Order of Socialist Fibbing (2nd class).

  375. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Feb, 2014 - 11:35 pm

    “Resident Dissident, we’re British,…..”
    _________________

    That’s what it might say on your passport, Mr Goss, but judging by the stream of vilification you pour out against Britain almost daily, you’re anything but.

    NB to Moderator — feel free to delete, I know Mr Goss is a protected species on here.

  376. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    23 Feb, 2014 - 11:38 pm

    Mr Lawton

    “There was a case of a British T class submarine committing a war crime.”
    ________________

    Nothing would surprise me! But could you just be a tad more specific, so we can look up the case, etc? Ta.

  377. ResDes: “no where can I see a clear and definitive statement from the writers that they believed that that there was a massacre at Srebenica that amounted to genocide”

    Despite claiming to have read their responses to the disgusting & loaded smears of “genocide-denial” & “genocide-belittlers”, what they have written seems to have clearly gone over your head, because although they specifically state that they acknowledge that a massacre occurred, they reject the demand that some events in preference to others, be labelled “genocide” for purely politically expedient reasons.

    ResDes: “So what is the majority view on the behaviour of Putin and the oligarchs? Do you support really brave whistleblowers like Politskaya and Navalny?”

    I believe most people are inherently decent, so are naturally opposed to injustices, cruelty, etc, and will therefore automatically support all whistleblowers of conscience; but as to why I’ve never heard of these people, I refer you to this;

    http://noam-chomsky.tumblr.com/post/17547861328/my-own-concern-is-primarily-the-terror-and

    (BTW, re the high cost of the Sochi games, I should imagine that a fair porportion was for highten security, especially in view of the terrorist threats made by that US favourite, Prince Bander.)

    [Several insults deleted. Don't waste my time or I'll ban you.]

  378. Nick Cohen is yet another shameless Blair toady and NeoCon shill.

    Wretched purveyor of grotesque bullshit.

  379. I’m told in bold that my comment is awaiting moderation. Could you pass it through dear Mod/Jon, or otherwise point out what’s wrong with it?

    [Q: What's wrong with it? A: Zero political content. A similar comment from John Goss was stopped by automatic filters and then manually deleted.]

  380. craigmurray.org.uk

    24 Feb, 2014 - 12:02 am

    [James Mason and Anon have been banned for attempting to pick fight against moderation. If others continue in same way, comments will be closed temporarily.]

  381. There is no edit on comments and Binoy Kampmark is the correct spelling, so apologies for that.

  382. Ben, you were interested in informed comment regarding President Maduro. Andre Vltchek has earned the right to speak with authority on Venezuala. He believes Maduro is a worthy successor to Chavez.
    From “Open Letter to President of Venezuela, Soon, the Battle for Venezuela

    ……
    I am not a Venezuelan citizen. I wish I could be, but I am not. But I have fought for Venezuela, in my own way, through my reports and speeches, through films and in my books. I fought ever since Hugo Chavez became the President, ‘my President’.
    And I am proud that I fought. And now, when Venezuela is once again under vicious attack, I want to stand firmly by her side, by the side of her Revolution, by the side of El Processo, and of her great Presidents – both Chavez and Maduro!”
    …….

    Here’s the full article ……
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/21/soon-the-battle-for-venezuela/
    ….and here’s why I think you should trust Vltchek’s opinion:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Vltchek

  383. Habbabkuk @11:38 pm
    It`s submarine warfare ,Miers was reprimanded,and as I said we won the war.
    If you have ever served on a old T boat you would know it pretty Ruff Tuff.

    “The next war patrol in the Mediterranean began on 27 June 1941 and again led in the Aegean Sea. Two command-soldiers of the recently newly formed Special Boat Section were on board. On 2 July Torbay discovered a small Italian convoy and sank a freighter. Two days later, a caique and a schooner were sunk with on-board artillery. Both ships went sailing under the German flag and loaded with troops. After the artillery attack Commander Miers did shoot with the two Lewis machine guns on the survivors floating in the water until he was sure that no one lives. Commander Miers noted in the logbook: “Everyone and everything was destroyed by the one or Type of gunfire.””

    http://archive.is/30cGO

    And while we are on the subject of T boats the Israelis bought the Submarine Totem.
    The totem was carved by a First Nation Shaman to protect the boat and all who sailed in her.
    The first thing the Israelis did was to remove the totem .On passage to Israel it sank with all hands.
    You don’t disregard Totems.

  384. Doug Scorgie writes: “Can I suggest that Craig or his IT helpers set up an “off-Topic” thread? / It would help to remove the temptation to post off-topic material on specific threads.

    No it won’t. Nearly anyone posting anything believes it deserves everyone’s attention, immediately, and should be given maximum prominence.

  385. Thanks A Node; I springboarded off your link to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_killings_of_1965–66

    I fear Venezuela could be another slaughterhouse like Indonesia in 1965 under similar circumstances.

  386. An attempt to downplay the significance of Julian Assange and Wikileaks here.

    Read the penultimate sentence. Revolting.

    Julian Assange posed ‘no real security threat’ to Australia
    February 24, 2014
    Philip Dorling

    WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has been an “irritant” and “a gadfly” but not a significant security threat, according to former Australian intelligence and security officials.

    [..]
    ‘Former attorney-general Robert McClelland has said he received “no such request” from the US, though he did not rule out it had pressed for criminal charges in discussions between officials.

    Attorney-General’s Department head Roger Wilkins referred the question of whether Mr Assange had broken any Australian law to the Federal Police. After a brief investigation in December 2010 they reported he had not.

    Former Australian security and intelligence officials have said that in late 2010 and in 2011 US Justice Department officials canvassed the possible prosecution of Mr Assange in the US, making it clear they were “determined to get Assange, but also didn’t want to make a martyr of him”.

    “We were all happy when he got caught up in a sexual imbroglio in Sweden,” one former Australian official said, because “it was much better to have him facing sex crimes allegations than to argue about First Amendment [press] freedoms in the US.”

    Mr Assange has been in Ecuador’s London embassy since June 2012 and has been granted political asylum.’

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julian-assange-posed-no-real-security-threat-to-australia-20140223-33akn.html

  387. Ashton is hot footing it to Kiev to pre-empt any Russian action. Have these ‘interim leaders’ any legal or democratic right to deal with her? Does she come bearing gifts? I hear that billions of euros would be needed to prop up the economy of the non- industrialized west of the country. Even Osborne seems to be able to magic up some £millions although we keep being told there is no money.

    Ukraine: Interim Leaders Seek EU Integration
    European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton travels to Ukraine as Western countries – including Britain – pledge support.
    Sky News

    We should open chequebook to rebuild Ukraine, says Osborne: Chancellor offers millions to new government
    Chancellor: ‘UK willing to pour taxpayers’ money to help new government’
    ‘We are here ready to help as soon as someone at end of telephone’
    Ukraine may need a bailout since it has a dire ‘CCC’ credit rating
    Mail

  388. Journalist Glenn Greenwald Suggests He Is Likely to Return to US to Accept Polk Award

    Kevin Gosztola Wednesday February 19, 2014

    Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who won a prestigious award for reporting on National Security Agency documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, says he will return to the United States to accept the award in April. (Washington Post journalist Barton Gellman, who received documents from Snowden, won an award as well.)

    Greenwald, along with Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras, won a George Polk Award for National Security Reporting for “investigative stories based on top-secret documents disclosed by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.”

    /..
    http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/02/19/journalist-glenn-greenwald-suggests-he-is-likely-to-return-to-us-to-accept-polk-award/

    ‘George Polk
    George Polk (17 October 1913, Fort Worth, Texas – May 1948) was an American journalist for CBS who disappeared in Greece and was found dead a few days later on Sunday May 16, 1948, shot at point-blank range in the back of the head, and with hands and feet tied. Polk was covering the civil war in Greece between the right wing government and communists and had been critical of both sides. He alleged that a few officials in the Greek government had embezzled up to $250,000 in foreign aid (equivalent to $2.3 million in 2011 dollars) from the Truman Administration, a charge that was never proved.

    He had been particularly outspoken in his criticism of the Truman government’s unqualified support for the rightist authoritarian regime in Greece. In the late 1970s, the story emerged as to how AMAG (American Mission for Aid to Greece) authorities helped the Greek police frame two young communists for his death.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Polk

  389. I posted this on the Syria and Diplomacy thread but am reposting it here.

    CIA front exposed by UK Ambassador, interview with Craig Murray
    1 February 2014

    Download audio file

    At the beginning of the US war on terror, and even to this day, the US literally kidnapped “suspects” and took them to countries where the could torture and even kill suspects. This practice of kidnapping and usually flying suspects around the world and then torturing or killing them in countries with poor human rights records or brutal regimes happened so much that the practice soon became known to all and the name for it “extraordinary rendition” became a household word.

    The Voice of Russia’s John Robles spoke to Craig Murray the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and he stated that during his time as ambassador over 126 people were renditioned to Uzbekistan and never heard from again. He personally learned the name of the airline the CIA was using from CIA pilots. That airline was called Premier Executives.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_02_01/CIA-front-exposed-by-UK-Ambassador-interview-with-Craig-Murray-0990/

  390. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Thanks for the BICOM links, Mary. In which BICOM attempts to deny that Israel is pursuing a policy of slow ethnic cleansing, and to pretend that Israeli Arabs have equal rights in Israel. Which they manifestly don’t. I suspect that this is less American Friends of BICOM than British Friends of AIPAC, however.

    For very detailed treatment of the untruth of Israeli justification of its actions, and for analysis of why its policies are actually doing neither Israel nor the US any good, see

    ‘The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’ by Mearsheimer and Walt -

    http://www.amazon.com/Israel-Lobby-U-S-Foreign-Policy/dp/0374531501

    Essential reading, still absolutely relevant. Buy, beg, borrow or steal.

  391. Someone, 8:39 am; thank you for this link and many others. I’d like to request that you include a summary in your comment; for that one for instance you could have added the article’s title:

    “Revealed: how the West set Saddam on the bloody road to power”

    It would help when searching for information, and I think it would encourage more readers to follow your links.

  392. Have these ‘interim leaders’ any legal or democratic right to deal with her?

    Yes they were elected by the Ukraine parliament, which has also recognised the need for new presidential elections given the 2012 were quite clearly rigged. Do you believe that Yanukovych has more legitimacy? If so, why?

  393. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 9:23 am

    There’s a link on BICOM’s site to the “Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process”. *Click* ….”Not Found”.

    Exactly.
    And no wonder.

    Here’s a link to the Special Envoy to the “Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process” -

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/07/2013730132025907195.html

    Rather understates Indyk’s commitment to Zionist neoconservatism – he was one of the true architects of Gulf 2 – but you get the picture.

  394. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 9:40 am

    Very good site by dissenting (Jewish-) Israeli journalist. Illustrates the paradox that it is a lot easier to criticise Israel in Israel than in the US (thanks to AIPAC). Here proposes that EU aid to the Palestinians enables Israel to evade its legal responsibility. Think he’s a little optimistic about Israel’s conscience on this, but good piece.

    http://972mag.com/how-eu-money-enables-israel-to-continue-the-occupation-avoid-its-consequences/87583/

  395. An antidote for those who seem to believe that Putin doesn’t interfere in the Ukraine.

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/01/putin_ratchets/

  396. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 10:17 am

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/14/cyber_streetwise/

    £160 K for a lousy website? Oh yes; taxpayers’ money no object. On cyber security? Yes again. Insecure? Bad advice…?

    “‘This is the kind of code you might write for a bet,’ says critic”

  397. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 10:23 am

    In which our guardians illustrate the free-speech-suppressing benefits of DDOS attacks.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/05/gchq_anonymous_ddos_spat/

    ‘”Legally, we enter a very grey area here; where members of Lulzsec were arrested and incarcerated for carrying out DDoS attacks, but it seems that (the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) are taking the same approach with impunity.”’

  398. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 10:27 am

    A Node (00h35)

    That was an interesting post. But I’m a bit curious when you say “Andre Vltchek has earned the right to speak with authority on Venezuala” and follow that by referring to an article in Wikipedia, for the salient points made in that article appear to be only that Vitchek is an author and film maker and has lived for a time in Latin America, and an endorsement by Noam Chomsky. I can’t help wondering if that is sufficient to consider him to be an authority on Venezuela.

    More generally, I’m perplexed by how a country as oil rich as Venezuela can be a country where annual inflation is running at around 60%, the crime rate is one of the highest in the world and there appear to be shortages of a wide variety of consumer goods (including of toilet rolls according to reports, which provides an interesting flashback to the old Soviet Union). Whatever the intentions if the former and current Presidents of Venezuela, does this not point, at the very least, to startling economic mismanagement by that country’s leaders?

  399. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 10:31 am

    @ Dave Lawton

    Thanks for that reference. A example I think – and certainly not the only one – of where the winners get to decide what’s a war crime.

  400. Habbabkuk,10:27 am, final paragraph; there’s at least one South American country that is paying companies not to extract oil – leaving fossil fuels in the ground is the only action with any hope of halting global warming – I can’t remember if that country is Venezuela, but it is worth looking into; it could help explain the economic problems.

  401. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 10:43 am

    “Illustrates the paradox that it is a lot easier to criticise Israel in Israel than in the US (thanks to AIPAC)” (frpm Ba’al Zebub)
    _____________

    Yes, that’s quite often said and I wouldn’t argue against it without the benefit of in-depth study and analysis of the situation. If it is true, however, then one might point to this as an example of the democratic nature of the Israeli state (as enunciated in one of Israel’s Basic Laws – the one from 1992 in point of fact).

    Having said that, I don’t think it would be sufficient to make me want to go and live in Israel, in the same way that the frequent praise of President rasPutin’s Russia br certain people is insifficient to make those people want to go and live in Russia.

  402. Weekend Edition February 21-23, 2014

    The Revolution is Here to Stay
    Venezuela Beyond the Protests

    by EVA GOLINGER

    For those of you unfamiliar with Venezuelan issues, don’t let the title of this article fool you. The revolution referred to is not what most media outlets are showing taking place today in Caracas, with protestors calling for the ouster of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The revolution that is here to stay is the Bolivarian Revolution, which began in 1998 when Hugo Chavez was first elected president and has subsequently transformed the mega oil producing nation into a socially-focused, progressive country with a grassroots government. Demonstrations taking place over the past few days in Venezuela are attempts to undermine and destroy that transformation in order to return power to the hands of the elite who ruled the nation previously for over 40 years.

    Those protesting do not represent Venezuela’s vast working class majority that struggled to overcome the oppressive exclusion they were subjected to during administrations before Chavez. The youth taking to the streets today in Caracas and other cities throughout the country, hiding their faces behind masks and balaclavas, destroying public buildings, vehicles, burning garbage, violently blocking transit and throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at security forces are being driven by extremist right-wing interests from Venezuela’s wealthiest sector. Led by hardline neoconservatives, Leopoldo Lopez, Henrique Capriles and Maria Corina Machado – who come from three of the wealthiest families in Venezuela, the 1% of the 1% – the protesters seek not to revindicate their basic fundamental rights, or gain access to free healthcare or education, all of which are guaranteed by the state, thanks to Chavez, but rather are attempting to spiral the country into a state of ungovernability that would justify an international intervention leading to regime change.

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/21/venezuela-beyond-the-protests/

    Unlike some who comment on Venezuela here, Eva Golinger lives in Caracas. Her blog is
    Postcards from the Revolution
    http://www.chavezcode.com/

  403. I am concerned about the power of the government to strip people of their citizenship without due process. Does anyone know whether the extension of the power to people who would be made stateless as a result has already become law?

  404. Nevermind Saw this and thought of you! I expect that there are many such examples in every location.

    http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/more_than_180_homes_in_norwich_and_broadland_empty_for_more_than_two_years_1_3356410

    The Guardian are reporting that there are over 700,000 empty homes in the UK and 11m in Europe. A scandal indeed.

    Scandal of Europe’s 11m empty homes
    Housing campaigners denounce ‘shocking waste’ of homes lying empty while millions cry out for shelter
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/23/europe-11m-empty-properties-enough-house-homeless-continent-twice

  405. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 11:34 am

    ‘Yes, that’s quite often said and I wouldn’t argue against it without the benefit of in-depth study and analysis of the situation. If it is true, however, then one might point to this as an example of the democratic nature of the Israeli state (as enunciated in one of Israel’s Basic Laws – the one from 1992 in point of fact).’

    Dropped like a hot potato from the Basic Law of 1992 (which is when it first became legally binding) was, of course, the equality clause in the Declaration of Independence….

    … that the State of Israel would ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex, and guaranteed freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. However, the Knesset maintains that the declaration is neither a law nor an ordinary legal document.[28] The Supreme Court has ruled that the guarantees were merely guiding principles, and that the declaration is not a constitutional law making a practical ruling on the upholding or nullification of various ordinances and statutes. Whenever an explicit statutory measure of the Knesset leaves no room for doubt, it is honored even if inconsistent with the principles in the Declaration of Independence.[Wiki]

    Yes, Israel is a democratic State. If you’re Jewish. Only. And that freedom of speech can be a little bit selective too -

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.533917

    While peaceful protest by Arabs is definitely a no-no -

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/02/israel-ejects-palestinians-from-protest-camp-20142784637910462.html

    So I wouldn’t fall over myself to praise Israel just because Israeli Jews allow each other to debate there.

    Any more than I endorse Putin, who does not have a large, well-organised and politically embedded lobby group working to elide his many crimes and retain the uncritical support of the UK and US.

  406. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 12:12 pm

    If you recall that Meyrav Wurmser, an Ashkenazi, was a co-founder of MEMRI. and helped write “A Clean Break” ( http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1438.htm ), this is a fairly astonishing piece by her on the racist attitudes of Ashkenazim to Sephardim (Mizrahim – the Jewish Arabs of the ME)-

    http://www.meforum.org/707/post-zionism-and-the-sephardi-question

    Until you get to the end, which concludes that although Zionism has discriminated against Sephardim, Zionism’s what they’ve got, and they’d better get used to it. Phew. Had me worried there, Meyrav…

  407. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 12:31 pm

    Good article countering the easy lie that Israel is a true democracy -

    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/02/jewish-state-citizens-israel

  408. “US And Israel Quietly Provide Military Support And Parts To Iran, Which In Turn Is Arming Syria”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-23/us-israel-providing-military-supports-and-parts-iran-which-turn-arming-syria

  409. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    Ba’ar Zevul

    A couple of comments on your post at 11h34.

    “Dropped like a hot potato from the Basic Law of 1992 (which is when it first became legally binding) was, of course, the equality clause in the Declaration of Independence….”
    ________________

    I don’t think it’s quite fair to use the word “dropped”. Firstly – given that the Declaration of Independence preceded the Basic Law of 1992 – it would be more correct to say, eg, “not taken up in” or “not subsumed in”. A small point, but words are important in attempting to discuss matters such as this in an objective way. Seconly – and more importantly – as you yourself quote -
    ” However, the Knesset maintains that the declaration is neither a law nor an ordinary legal document.[28] The Supreme Court has ruled that the guarantees were merely guiding principles, and that the declaration is not a constitutional law..”; it is therefore somewhat illogical to complain that something which has been declared a guiding principle has not become part of a subsequent Law, thereby acquiring the status of a law.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Yes, Israel is a democratic State. If you’re Jewish. Only.”
    ____________________

    No, that is not exact. Israeli Arabs have the vote and, for that matter, their own political parties. Furthermore, I think that Israeli Arabs do enjoy “..freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.” (to take up your quote from the Declaration of Independence).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “So I wouldn’t fall over myself to praise Israel…”

    ___________________

    More emotive language which I don’t think is borne out by anything posted here on this blog.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Putin, who does not have a large, well-organised and politically embedded lobby group working to elide his many crimes and retain the uncritical support of the UK and US.”
    _______________________

    That is factually correct but, if I may say so, irrelevant to the question of whether or not Israel is a democracy (or indeed to the question of the extent to which rasPutin’s Russia is a democracy as most people would understand that term).

    *****************

  410. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    PS to Ba’ar Zevul

    I note that the article from the New Statesman you link to conatins the following in its very first paragraph:

    “In the last week BICOM has published a series of essays on ‘Israel’s democratic futures’ (if that’s a question, the answer is ‘here’s hoping’). ”

    Not a very reassuring bit of writing and not very likely to instill confidence in the writer’s objectivity, is it.

  411. Geopolitics rules OK? While many in Britain rely on food-banks to survive and many more in Britain are homeless, chancellor Osborne promises an open checkbook to any pro-European and pro-NATO ‘associate’ in need of financial assistance.

    Speaking in Sydney after the G20 finance ministers conference, George Osborne, the chancellor, said British cash is available to help Ukraine return to stability.

    “We are here ready to help just as soon as there is someone at the end of the telephone. We should be there with a chequebook to help the people of Ukraine rebuild their country,” he said.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized on Thursday the West’s threat to impose sanctions on Ukraine as a blackmail and double standards.

    http://english.cntv.cn/20140221/103658.shtml

    In a cold-war context–in which East and West battle for influence, Britain has used the ‘sanctions’ threat against the elected government of Ukraine and America has ‘warned’ Russia against putting ‘boots on the ground’ in an attempt to protect it’s interests.

    As a component of the Western backed coup, CIA man and and Yulia Tymoshenko’s buddy Oleksandr Turchynov, has issued an arrest for impeached President Yanukovych for crimes against humanity.

    I myself believe this game of chess is to ‘check’ Russia and force her into creating independence to Russian aligned East Ukraine thus keeping her eye is ‘off the ball’ to the situation in Kiev. Putin would be wise to concentrate on his economic leverage forcing the West into granting Ukraine debt forgiveness and restructuring along with a hefty aid package.

  412. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 1:03 pm

    It’s a pity you can’t bring yourself pick the nits out of the Israeli Basic Law as diligently as you search for them in anything remotely supporting the Palestinian case for self-determination in their own native land.

    And I see you are a big fan of obfuscation and weasel words. But thank you for confirming that the concept of equality before the law (you can ask the thousands of Palestinians held without charge or access for years in Israeli jails about that) was too inconvenient to be formally embodied in the code, and get-out clauses had to be liberally sprinkled over the mess in case anyone thought the original terms of the D of I were anything but a cosmetic measure designed to appease the UN.

    Meanwhile in Gaza, the involuntarily stateless persist in their ghetto.

    http://www.aucegypt.edu/GAPP/CairoReview/Pages/articleDetails.aspx?aid=528

    What else can you possibly call it?

    Human rights my arse.

  413. doug scorgie

    24 Feb, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    23 Feb, 2014 – 1:23 pm

    Doug Scorgie says:
    “…it is disturbing but not surprising; power corrupts.”

    “I would tend to agree with that and therefore draw the conclusion that many of the woes and travails of humanity have their roots in the nature of the human being himself and are not unique to the UK, the USA and the West.”

    Quite true Habbabkuk not unique at all.

    Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. History is full of examples.

    A prime example being Hitler’s Nazis and the extermination camps.

  414. Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    24 Feb, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    Not a very reassuring bit of writing and not very likely to instill confidence in the writer’s objectivity, is it.

    The New Statesman is no more objective than the Jerusalem Post, and doesn’t pretend to be. On the other hand, it does its research, doesn’t always swallow Ron Prosor press handouts whole, and has some well-referenced and valid points. Which are incontestable, [Accusation deleted. Give a reference or quote instead.]

  415. doug scorgie

    24 Feb, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    Resident Dissident
    23 Feb, 2014 – 10:25 pm

    “President Putin likes to keep the tradition of rewriting history going”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-18/russian-schools-to-teach-putin-s-version-of-history.html

    “Just imagine if Michael Gove were to try and go so far!”

    He did:

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/jun/21/michael-gove-history-curriculum

  416. “Richest MP in Britain slams welfare state but makes £625k a year in housing benefit”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/richest-mp-britain-slams-welfare-3178089

    “UKIP housing spokesman trousering a fortune renting to migrants on benefits despite party’s policies”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ukip-housing-spokesman-trousering-fortune-3175130

  417. doug scorgie

    24 Feb, 2014 - 2:05 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    23 Feb, 2014 – 11:17 pm

    “I too share Mary’s pride in Russia’s achievements at the Sub-tropical Olympics, just ended. It was a splendid performance, made all the more splendid when you consider it was achieved by the only major nation whose population is steadily declining year on year owing to decreasing life expectancy.”

    Habbabkuk “Vodka Blamed for Dismal Russian Life Expectancy Figures”

    http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140131/187079194/Vodka-Blamed-For-Dismal-Russian-Life-Expectancy-Figures.html

  418. doug scorgie

    24 Feb, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    23 Feb, 2014 – 11:38 pm

    Mr Lawton

    “…could you just be a tad more specific, so we can look up the case…”

    Good advice Habbabkuk please take it yourself.

  419. New post from Craig…

  420. Hello Habbabkuk… did you notice I’d replied to your questions to me on CCTV and state surveillance?

  421. ‘Crushing tighter:’

    National Service bill – (18yrs-26yrs) – to include apart from killing, instruction in personal financial budgeting, household bills, nutrition, cooking, time keeping, life skills, tolerance towards others, treating elderly and disabled people with dignity and respect.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0032/14032.pdf

  422. An e-mail received today…..

    Thanks for signing up to the Privacy International mailing list! Last week, you participated in a global day of action: The Day We Fight Back. It was an amazing effort from thousands of organisations, and thanks to people like you, we are at the beginning of a movement to put an end to mass surveillance around the world.

    You may be new to Privacy International, so let us introduce ourselves. PI is a London-based charity that is committed to fighting for the right to privacy across the world. We’re a team of activists, investigators, researchers, and lawyers who envision a world in which the right to privacy is protected, respected, and fulfilled. We’ve been around since 1990, and were the first international organisation working on privacy rights, back when that meant dealing with this emerging thing called the “internet”.

    What are we doing right now? PI is challenging powerful governments and companies to ensure that your rights are upheld, and fighting to keep the surveillance state in check. Here are just a few of the things we’ve been doing over the past few weeks:

    We filed a criminal complaint with the UK National Crime Agency on behalf of an Ethiopian political refugee here in the UK, who was spied on using British-made surveillance technology sold to governments.
    We recently launched a campaign to pry open the alliance of the US National Security Agency and its fellow intelligence agencies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK, and bring it under the rule of law. Recently, we wrote to all of them to get copies of their spy agreement, and their responses were…interesting.
    Repressive regimes have ambitions to keep pace with the NSA through the help of the commercial surveillance market. Through materials collected at surveillance trade shows around the world and information provided by Wikileaks and other organisations, PI hosts the Surveillance Industry Index, the largest catalogue of the private surveillance sector ever assembled.
    We’ll help you stay on top of urgent and emerging issues related to privacy, surveillance, and so much more through our monthly newsletter, Private Thoughts.

    Stayed tuned for updates on our new project working with partners in 13 countries around the world to understand modern surveillance techniques, an upcoming meeting in Geneva at the Human Rights Council led by PI, and the latest in our legal challenge against the UK Government for its involvement in PRISM and its vast global communications surveillance apparatus, Tempora.

    We’re excited you’re a part of our growing community. The Day We Fight Back may be over, but we still need you to be our activists on the ground.

    If you think PI is doing great work, why not help us spread the word? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to sign-up to our mailing list. As a charity, we also rely heavily on donations. Please consider lending your support by making a donation to PI.

    Thanks again for your support!

    The PI Team

    https://www.privacyinternational.org/about-us

  423. LATEST:UK Foreign Secretary William Hague will travel to Washington to speak to US Secretary of State and IMF about the Ukraine crisis

    Ashton is in Kiev.

    Ukrainians – beware of Greeks bearing gifts. If you get an IMF bailout, you won’t know what’s hit you in terms of cuts and austerity.

    ‘Interim Finance Minister Yuriy Kolobov has said Ukraine needs around $35bn (£21bn) in urgent foreign aid and asked for an international donors’ conference to be held.

    Moscow recently agreed to provide $15bn for Ukraine’s struggling economy – a move seen as a reward for Mr Yanukovych’s controversial decision not to sign the long-planned trade deal with the EU.

    But there are fears Moscow could withdraw that offer. Ukraine has state debts of some $73bn, with around $6bn to be paid this year.’

    BBC website.

  424. The Rehabilitation of Tymoshenko
    Unleashing the Gas Princess

    by BINOY KAMPMARK
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/24/unleashing-the-gas-princess/

    ‘The anti-government forces have invested in her rehabilitation. She is being purified as figurehead, ill but unrepentant. Her record is being white washed, and she is being granted holy orders in the revolutionary movement. Yanukovych might be deemed a beast, but Tymoshenko is no saintly maiden of clean persuasions.

    The WikiLeaks US cables shed some light on the picture of the ambitious Tymoshenko. It is worth noting – after all, Washington claims it has an intrusive canine in this fight. The sub-title of one dispatch on February 24, 2010 is instructive: “Tymoshenko: Power-hungry Populist.” Former Tymoshenko associate, economist and Minister of Finance Viktor Pynzenyk is mentioned, having failed to understand her logic on reforming (or non-reform) of the economy. She had “wasted the opportunity in favor of populism and a simple desire for all-embracing power.”

    The anti-West, pro-Russian divide (and vice-versa) is at best a deceptive construction on interest and self-interest. Even the “West” is confused on this. For one, the EU and the US do not see eye to eye on all matters regarding Ukraine – Nuland’s blunt “gaffe” was hardly an accident. Tymoshenko was happy to play Moscow and Western powers when it suited her. The Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash was certainly aware. Tickle patriotism a bit and you are bound to find the laughter of a looter. In the cable “B.KYIV 2294” from December 2008, a meeting between Firtash and the American ambassador is discussed. While not asking Washington for any favours “he spoke at length about his business and politics in a visible effort to improve his image with the USG.”

    Firtash finds Tymoshenko to be “an accomplished oligarch who had made deals with Moscow that would leave Ukraine vulnerable to Russian oligarchs in the future – something neither he nor Ukrainian billionaire and PoR backer Rinat Ahkmetov could stand by and watch happen.”’

  425. ‘Following Edward Snowden’s revelations of GCHQ’s mass collection of personal data (including phone calls, emails and use of social media), Mr Graham has written to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chair of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.

    “We have said there has got to be a democratic and accountable oversight regime for the security services’ access to data; we have got to understand how it works,” he says. “It’s no longer convincing to have a senior Privy Councillor saying ‘OK chaps, it’s fine’.”

    He says the public is more exercised by the NHS England care.data programme of a giant store of individual medical records than it is worried about Snowden.

    “People have been challenging me on the bus about care.data. That’s the talking point but Snowden hasn’t been, which is kind of a surprise.”

    He is critical of the NHS’s efforts to explain the care.data system, saying the ICO had advised individual letters to all patients.

    “They said ‘No, we’re going to do a leaflet.’ I never received my leaflet,” he says.’

    Privacy guardian Christopher Graham finds himself in the public eye http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/privacy-guardian-christopher-graham-finds-himself-in-the-public-eye-9147738.html?origin=internalSearch

  426. “National Service bill ”

    A private member’s bill from loony tune Tory backbencher Philip Hollobone which stands zero chance of ever reaching the statute books.

    Don’t loose any sleep over it.

  427. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    Mr Doug S.

    “Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    23 Feb, 2014 – 1:23 pm

    Doug Scorgie says:
    “…it is disturbing but not surprising; power corrupts.”

    “I would tend to agree with that and therefore draw the conclusion that many of the woes and travails of humanity have their roots in the nature of the human being himself and are not unique to the UK, the USA and the West.”

    Quite true Habbabkuk not unique at all.

    Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. History is full of examples.

    A prime example being Hitler’s Nazis and the extermination camps.”
    ________________________

    I agree completely.

    And would add the Russian communists and the Soviet Union as another prime example.

    I’m sure we can agree on that.

  428. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 5:37 pm

    Glenn_uk

    Yes, Glenn, I did, and apologies for not replying so far (I might try later today) – I was a little taken up with correcting various bits of guff as you may have noticed. :)

  429. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    Mr Doug S.

    “Habbabkuk “Vodka Blamed for Dismal Russian Life Expectancy Figures”

    http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140131/187079194/Vodka-Blamed-For-Dismal-Russian-Life-Expectancy-Figures.html
    _____________________

    Phew! At least that’s something the US and the West can’t be blamed for!

    Of course I’m familiar with the Article in The Lancet cited in that link of yours. I did think of bringing it up myself but then thought it would be better if someone else did, lest I be accused of hostility to Russia.

    And of course it is a fact that alcohol and in particular vodka could be taxed much more heavily in Russia than it currently is – which would have, if experience in the West with the taxation of tobacco is anything to go by, have the effect of reducing consumption – but the Russian govt cynically prefers not to do so, finding it better to let people keep killing themselves.

    If the West stands accused of providing its citizens with “bread and circuses”, perhaps the Russian slogan should read “vodka and circuses”?

  430. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 5:53 pm

    Mr Doug S.

    “Resident Dissident
    23 Feb, 2014 – 10:25 pm

    “President Putin likes to keep the tradition of rewriting history going”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-18/russian-schools-to-teach-putin-s-version-of-history.html

    “Just imagine if Michael Gove were to try and go so far!”

    He did:

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/jun/21/michael-gove-history-curriculum
    ___________________________

    With great respect, your comment/comparison is ridiculous and devalues any sensible commentary you might occasionally make on this blog. I invite readers to take the time to read the link you provide.

  431. Hollobone is a leading light in the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby in our parliament.

    http://searchthemoney.com/profile/300/4 donations to him

    http://searchthemoney.com/associate/4 and to the rest of them. Keep clicking ‘Next’ after page 4.

    His recent actions –

    National Service Bill Sponsor Philip Hollobone Wants People To Sign Petition Against It
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/19/national-service-bill_n_3952816.html

    Tory MP’s ban the burqa bill reaches parliament
    Philip Hollobone, who refuses to meet constituents who wear the veil, has tabled a bill making it illegal to wear “face coverings” in public. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/09/tory-mps-ban-burqa-bill-reaches-parliament

    http://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/top-stories/mp-slams-ghettoisation-of-the-countryside-over-gypsy-and-traveller-sites-1-5265785

    No Romanians, no travellers, no sites for them and so on. Little love in his heart but I suppose it’s OK by him for the Israeli war criminals to come and go here with impunity.

    He is a Kettering borough councillor (allowance £436 a month) and a Special Constable for British Transport Police. Gets free all zones travel on a pass valued at £3,256.

  432. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 6:01 pm

    Ba’al Zevul

    “The New Statesman is no more objective than the Jerusalem Post,….”
    ________________

    Probably not – which merely serves to demonstrate that it might be more sensible to reference more objective and non-partisan sources, surely? In matters which are in dispute, it’s not very convincing for you to say “x” and then attempt to authenticate your point of view by referring to a source which also says “x”.

  433. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 6:05 pm

    “Hollobone is a leading light in the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby in our parliament.”
    ____________________

    Here we go again! Relevance to a discussion on a private member’s bill on national service? We’re not eben on Page 5, for God’s sake! :)

  434. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    @ Ba’ar Zevul

    “It’s a pity you can’t bring yourself pick the nits out of the Israeli Basic Law as diligently as you search for them in anything remotely supporting the Palestinian case for self-determination in their own native land.

    And I see you are a big fan of obfuscation and weasel words. But thank you for confirming that the concept of equality before the law (you can ask the thousands of Palestinians held without charge or access for years in Israeli jails about that) was too inconvenient to be formally embodied in the code, and get-out clauses had to be liberally sprinkled over the mess in case anyone thought the original terms of the D of I were anything but a cosmetic measure designed to appease the UN.”
    __________________________

    I think I’ll have to pick up a couple of points here before going on to the next thread.

    1/. Have I pronounced on the case for Palestinian self-determination on the West Bank (except to point to the responsibility of Jordan for ensuring that a Palestinian state didn’t come into being before 1967)?

    2/. One man’s facts are another’s obfuscation and weasel words, I guess.

    3/. “But thank you for confirming that the concept of equality…. was too inconvenient to be formally embodied in the code,..”

    Not inconvenient at all. By definition, the Basic Law of 1992 applies to all citizens of Israel, whether Jews or Arabs, and contains a lengthy lists of rights and freedoms. May I suggest you read it?

    4/. “(you can ask the thousands of Palestinians held without charge or access for years in Israeli jails about that)”

    These are not Israeli Arabs, and he subject of this mini-thread was equality between Israeli citizens within Israel. You should stay on-topic and not seek to divert.

    5/. “Meanwhile in Gaza, the involuntarily stateless persist in their ghetto.”

    Same comment as for point 4.

    5/.

  435. Re: Timoschenko. it has to be said that the western stooge is not liked much and most commenters do not want her in any position of power, which is understandable, people had enough of the usual party politicians.

    Watch the educated Mr. Klitschko, not promising anything except that hge will ‘do his best’.

  436. February 24, 2014

    The Secret Alliance
    Zionism in the Age of the Dictators

    by LENNI BRENNER

    I’m American, but my first book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators (now finally back in print), was published in Britain. American houses wouldn’t risk selling an expose of Zionist collaboration with Hitler. Then I found pro and anti-Zionist books published by Croom Helm Ltd. I went to them. They gave me an ultimatum: “You are about to write the most controversial book imaginable…. So there can be no mistakes. You must send us a photocopy of every document you quote.” It was published in 1983.

    While British leftists organized a lecture tour for me, I went to Israel. By luck, that visit ultimately generated international attention to the book.

    When Menachem Begin retired and Yitzhak Shamir became Israel’s 2nd Likud Prime Minister, I had a Palestinian English-language weekly publish a translation of his 1940-41 outfit’s offer to go to war on Hitler’s side. An Israeli newspaper questioned him about it. I went on to London and there, in the 21 October Times, was the PM’s lie:

    “Shamir… denied that he had any part in the efforts by Mr. Abraham Stern… to establish contact with the Nazis and Italian Fascists.

    ‘There was a plan to turn to Italy for help and to make contact with Germany on the assumption that these could bring about a massive Jewish immigration to Palestine. I opposed this… but I did join Lehi after the idea of contacts with the Axis countries was dropped.’”

    The “Proposal of the National Military Organization (Irgun Zvai Leumi) Concerning the Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and the Participation of the NMO in the War on the side of Germany” was found post-war in Germany’s Turkish embassy. The Sternists declared that

    “The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

    Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/24/zionism-in-the-age-of-the-dictators/

    PS As Basil Fawlty said, ‘Don’t mention the Germans’. !!

  437. On BBC South News just now. No comment. Just accepted as normal. Wiltshire is the new North Waziristan.

    Army’s new Watchkeeper drone to patrol Wiltshire skies
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26320927

  438. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 - 7:24 pm

    Mary

    “Wiltshire is the new North Waziristan.”
    __________________

    Mary, would you mind if I sent this off to Private Eye? They have a column for the best “this is the new that” quotes.

    I would identify it as “Mary” in “Craig Murray’s political blog.”.

    Rapid OK required ‘cos I want to send it off tomorrow.

  439. Please consider signing the following petition to get Israel out of FIFA (international football association), and encourage others who might be interested:

    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/fifa-suspend-the-israeli-football-association-s-fifa-membership

    “X has been working on a campaign focusing on football. As a sport with fans worldwide, it offers the opportunity to considerably broaden awareness of Israeli racist/apartheid policies. This also raises the question of acceptance of Israeli participation in international football & other sporting organizations & puts pressure on the Israeli authorities. His ‘Red Card Israeli Racism’ campaign has now posted a petition on change.org to suspend the Israeli Football Association’s FIFA membership. We’re asking you to sign & to pass it on to as many people as possible.

    Impetus has been added to this campaign by a recent vicious attack by the IDF on two young footballers returning home after football training in Abu Dis. So we are also sending a link to Susan Shalabi’s blog, which includes photos of these boys & their injuries along with information regarding other sports related transgressions. Susan is Director, International Dept., Palestinian Football Association & Member of the Executive Committee of the Asian Football Confederation. Link to the blog is below next paragraph.

    We understand from our local Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association that this attack on the boys appears to have been unprovoked & no charges have been made against them. They were first shot with live ammunition, then beaten & set upon by the soldiers’ attack dogs, taken away & beaten again with particular attention given to breaking their knees. They were initially taken to an Israeli military camp for some hours &, subsequently, to a hospital in Israel for four days with no family contact allowed. Adam’s mother, who is from Ukraine, could in theory have gone into Israel to see her son but was threatened with deportation if she attempted to do so. The boys were released from the Israeli hospital without any charges having been brought & taken by their families to a hospital in Ramallah. Unfortunately, that hospital hadn’t the facilities to deal with the seriousness of their injuries, so we’ve heard that they are now in hospital in Jordan. Given what you already know, this sort of incident may not surprise you, but it would shock many who should, perhaps, be shocked into action – even if it’s only to sign a petition.

    Blog (with photos): http://xsportal.blogspot.com/

  440. doug scorgie

    24 Feb, 2014 - 7:47 pm

    Ba’al Zevul (Etc)
    24 Feb, 2014 – 8:29 am

    “For very detailed treatment of the untruth of Israeli justification of its actions, and for analysis of why its policies are actually doing neither Israel nor the US any good, see:”

    ‘The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’ by Mearsheimer and Walt –

    Excellent book, also I recently bought “Goliath” by Max Blumelthal, another excellent book.

    Strangely I couldn’t find it in Waterston’s.

    If you go to Waterstons website and search for Goliath it does not appear.

    If you search for Max Blumenthal you will find the book is unavailable but you can have it as an e-book.

    I got it from Amazon.

  441. This decent American woman stands up for truth and justice and for the upholding of the law

    Under International Law, Drone Wars are Illegal
    Judy Bello
    February 22, 2014, 7:47pm

    ‘On January 31, I made the following argument before a Court in the town of DeWitt where I was charged with Disorderly Conduct for protesting the MQ9 Reaper drones flown from Hancock Base over Afghanistan.. I argue that the War on Terror is illegal under International Law and drone attacks in particular violate both Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law. Furthermore, by virtue of the Constitution of the United States, we are committed to abide by those laws and under the Bill of Rights, it is our privilege to uphold those laws.’

    Following her defence, she concluded

    ‘We cannot ignore the fact that these laws are often broken; often restated in new language. It seems to me that war is much like an addiction, deadly and difficult to end. We vow to quit, then fail, and recover and relapse again and again. This does not mean that we should cease trying. Every treaty and promise to repudiate the deadly violence of war, and restrain the instruments that make it easy for us to engage in war, must be held up and honored, over and over again until justice prevails, and we are at last free to live as civilized human beings in peace and security with other individuals and other nations.

    That is why I was at Hancock Base on October 25, 2012 and that is why I am here today. I am not asking you, Judge Gideon, to try defendants under these laws as the Nuremberg Judges were required to do. That is not your job. What I am asking is that you acknowledge our obligations under these laws, along with my obligation and privilege to uphold them under the Constitution and acquit me and my companions of the current charges under Penal Code 35.05 which says that we may justify an act that would otherwise constitute an offense when it is authorized by a law or judicial decree.’

    /..
    http://forusa.org/blogs/judy-bello/under-international-law-drone-wars-are-illegal/12890

  442. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37739.htm

    Israel Murdering Palestinian Grandmothers Under Cover Of The Holocaust

    Video By RT

    Sir Gerald Kaufman MP says his grandmother didn’t die in the holocaust to provide a cover for Israelis killing Palestinian grandmothers today — speaking in the British parlaiment on 5 February 2014

    February 23, 2014

    Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, speaking in the British parliament on 5 February 2014.

    I once led a delegation of 60 parliamentarians from 13 European Parliaments to Gaza. I could no longer do that today because Gaza is practically inaccessible.

    The Israelis try to lay the responsibility on the Egyptians, but although the Egyptians’ closing of the tunnels has caused great hardship, it is the Israelis who have imposed the blockade and are the occupying power.

    The culpability of the Israelis was demonstrated in the report to the UN by Richard Goldstone following Operation Cast Lead. After his report, he was harassed by Jewish organisations. At the end of a meeting I had with him in New York, his wife said to me, “It is good to meet another self-hating Jew.”

    Again and again, Israel seeks to justify the vile injustices that it imposes on the people of Gaza and the west bank on the grounds of the holocaust. Last week, we commemorated the holocaust; 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza are being penalised with that as the justification. That is unacceptable.

    The statistics are appalling. There is fresh water for a few hours every five days. Fishing boats are not allowed to go out—in any case, what is the point, because the waters are so filthy that no fish they catch can be eaten?

    The Israelis are victimising the children above all. Half the population of this country is under the voting age. What is being done to those children—the lack of nutrition—is damaging not only their bodies and brains; it will go on for generation after generation.

    It is totally unacceptable that the Israelis should behave in such a way, but they do not care. Go to Tel Aviv, as I did not long ago, and watch them sitting complacently outside their pavement cafés. They do not give a damn about their fellow human beings perhaps half an hour away.

    The Prime Minister says that Gaza is a prison camp. It is all very well for him to say that, as he did, in Turkey—he was visiting a Muslim country—but what is he doing about it? Nothing, nothing, nothing!

    The time when we could condemn and think that that was enough has long passed. The Israelis do not care about condemnation. They are self-righteous and complacent. We must now take action against them.

    We must impose sanctions. If the spineless Obama will not do it, we must do it—even unilaterally. We must press the European community for it to be done. These people cannot be persuaded. We cannot appeal to their better nature when they do not have one.

    It is all very well saying, “Wicked, wicked Hamas.” Hamas is dreadful. I have met people from Hamas, but nothing it has done justifies punishing children, women and the sick as the Israelis are doing now. They must be stopped.

    As has been pointed out, there is a time limit for what we are talking about. The idea that things can go on, while we wait for a two-state solution, is gone. Sooner or later, the Palestinians will say, “We are dying anyhow, so let us die for something.”

    Let us stop that: I do not want a war. I do not want violent action, but the action that the international community takes must be imposed, otherwise hell will break loose.

    Via Stop The War

  443. I think this blog’s comment section currently violates my mental boundaries. How am I supposed to leap from someone’s hairstyle to war crimes in Gaza in the space of a quick scroll down?

    And how can I possibly read all the links? And how can I trust their veracity – especially if there is obvious ill-will behind them?

  444. Here’s oven-ready McCain, with a rather interesting, er, friend in Ukraine last December.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/john-mccain-meets-oleh-tyahnybok-in-ukraine-2013-12

    We couldn’t close Tartus and I doubt if we’ll manage Sevastopol either. Time to prod a basket case Japan into challenging China’s ADIZ, methinks.

    And here’s the Beeb, making Big Brother nice and normal for us. Is it a militarised police force or the army doing law enforcement? Hey, that’s one of those blurred lines that doesn’t really matter cos it’s all one big fear factory anyway.

    Fuck ‘em.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26320927

  445. Mike, are you being paid to recycle mainstream news reports?

  446. Sorry, Mary, I should really scroll back a little more before venting my spleen on drones!

  447. Habbabkuk wrote, “Yes, Glenn, I did, and apologies for not replying so far (I might try later today) – I was a little taken up with correcting various bits of guff as you may have noticed.”

    That’s quite alright, I do fully appreciate that you have many correspondents to entertain ;)

    Just so long as you didn’t think your interesting and – as ever – decidedly pointed questions were being ignored, we can pick it up on a future occasion.

  448. Leading party says Soros prepares “Libyan scenario” for Ukraine

    April 14, 2011
    Davos: A Hungarian-American financier George Soros. (AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)

    Ukraine’s leading political party has said that the international financier George Soros has been preparing a “Lybian scenario” for the country.

    ­The head of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction Aleksandr Yefremov said in a televised comment on Wednesday that he had information that George Soros had allocated funds for the overthrow of the Ukrainian political authorities.

    “I even have information that Soros has allocated certain funds in order to prepare a certain group of young boys here in Ukraine who could launch any existing projects based on the North Africa examples,” Yefremov said. He also added that he hoped that the Ukrainian people will be wise enough not to follow such provocations.

    The information about George Soros’s involvement in Ukrainian politics was openly voiced by Yulia Timoshenko in 2008. Timoshenko, then the country’s prime minister, said that she was attempting to minimize the effect of the global financial crisis by following George Soros’s advice. This raised suspicions that through such advice George Soros could influence the rate of the Ukrainian national currency in his own speculative interests. Several officials from president Yushchenko’s administration said they wanted to launch a probe into Soros’ Ukrainian activities, but it did not happen.

    It was only in 2010 that the Ukrainian State Security Service started to check the activities of the Vozrozdeniye foundation, officially sponsored by Soros, and its ties with other Ukrainian NGOs, but this probe gave no feasible results.

    The Soros Foundation reacted to Yefremov’s statement almost immediately and refuted all accusations. The foundation said in a special statement that all funds allocated for Ukrainian programs are being spent on the development of the open and democratic society and also for helping Ukrainian citizens, who suffered from the effects of the international financial crisis.

    The statement also said that the accusations of funding some antigovernment activities should be backed by proof and that the policy of the foundation was maximum transparency that left no room for such criticism.

    http://rt.com/politics/leading-party-soros-prepares/

  449. Moazzam Begg, an ex prisoner at Guantanamo, is one of four people arrested in the West Midlands today on ‘Syria related’ terrorism activity.

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

  450. From BBC today: “Mr Begg, a British citizen originally from Birmingham, moved to Afghanistan with his family in 2001 before moving to Pakistan in 2002 when the war started.”

    The War????? That was a war?

    And they can’t even get the fuckin date right: the bombing started in October 2001.

  451. Compare Moazzam Begg’s arrest in the West Midlands with three others for Syria related terrorism to British Jews allowed to go to Israel for military training.

    Israel
    Question
    Asked by Baroness Tonge in the House of Lords 24 February 2014

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Jewish students domiciled in the United Kingdom travel to Israel each year for military training. [HL5251]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Ministry of Defence does not hold this information.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/140224w0002.htm#14022415001240

    Answer was there none.

  452. Followed shortly by this question.

    Interception of Communications Commissioner

    Asked by Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government what, if any, reports they have received in the past 24 months from the Interception of Communications Commissioner in relation to any United States base operating in the United Kingdom.[HL5396]

    24 Feb 2014 : Column WA208

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Interception of Communications Commissioner reports annually to the Prime Minister and to Parliament. These reports discharge the Commissioner’s role to keep under review the use of lawful interception within the UK, and the authorisation systems in place to control that use. The Ministry of Defence has received no reports in the last 24 months which make specific reference to any United States base operating in the UK.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/140224w0002.htm#14022415001240

    As if the truth would be told!

  453. doug scorgie

    25 Feb, 2014 - 4:06 pm

    ESLO
    24 Feb, 2014 – 9:52 am

    “An antidote for those who seem to believe that Putin doesn’t interfere in the Ukraine.”

    Who on this blog ESLO seems “to believe that Putin doesn’t interfere in the Ukraine?

    Can you point the individuals out?

  454. On Oliver Kamm and James Bloodworth smearing Edward Snowden

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1393336336.html

  455. doug scorgie

    25 Feb, 2014 - 5:33 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Feb, 2014 – 10:27 am

    “More generally, I’m perplexed by how a country as oil rich as Venezuela can be a country where annual inflation is running at around 60%, the crime rate is one of the highest in the world and there appear to be shortages of a wide variety of consumer goods.”

    You need to know a bit about Venezuela’s political history Habbabkuk.

    The current inflation rate of 56% is half what it was in 1996 which was 115.18

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/venezuela/inflation-cpi

    By the way it’s not like you to admit being “perplexed”

  456. Apple users in security warning
    The security flaw has been identified in OS X which runs on laptops and desktops

    Users of Apple’s OS X operating system are being warned to take care when browsing online as they wait for a solution to a security flaw.

    A software update was released last week to owners of iPhones, iPads and iPods to protect users from “an attacker” who may “capture or modify data”.

    It was later discovered that the problem also existed on Apple laptops and desktop computers running OS X.

    A security fix has not yet been issued.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26335701

  457. doug scorgie

    25 Feb, 2014 - 7:13 pm

    [blah blah...] Vieta Uniyal:

    “The BDS campaign targets and maligns Israel, the only functioning democracy and liberal-minded multi-ethnic society in the Middle East — a country that doesn’t discriminate negatively against its citizens on the basis of gender, sexual orientation or faith; and where every citizen has access to an impartial judiciary for redressing grievances regardless of faith or ethnicity.”

    Vijeta Uniyal is an Indian entrepreneur based in Germany. He is founder of “Indian Friends of Israel”

    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/4753/the_punching_bag_bigots_of_anti_israel_boycotts

  458. “In the meantime, the amount of companies that are financially connected to MPs and Lords who have gone on to gain contracts in the new NHS continues to increase and the question is, who do our parliamentarians serve?”

    http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.de/2014/02/non-executive-director-nadhim-zahawis.html?showComment=1393364971806#c5385205606895083121

  459. FYI

    26 February 2014

    ‘Contagious’ wi-fi virus created by Liverpool researchers
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26352439

  460. “Not inconvenient at all. By definition, the Basic Law of 1992 applies to all citizens of Israel, whether Jews or Arabs, and contains a lengthy lists of rights and freedoms. May I suggest you read it?

    4/. “(you can ask the thousands of Palestinians held without charge or access for years in Israeli jails about that)”

    These are not Israeli Arabs, and he subject of this mini-thread was equality between Israeli citizens within Israel. You should stay on-topic and not seek to divert.”

    Palestinians are intentionally excluded from Israeli citizenship in case the remaining dregs of humanitarian law should apply to them. They are refugees from….Israel, however.

    What you otherwise assert makes no difference to my point that the Knesset can – has for the last forty years, and since 1997 has granted itself the right to – at any time override the original Declaration of Independence’s admittedly cosmetic assertion of equal rights for all Israeli citizens. See also the Bedouins’ rights (220,000 of them, all Israeli citizens) – here -

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-next-major-land-dispute-seethes-in-the-negev-desert/

    ‘In the 35 years that have ensued, Israel has resolved, via compensation, only 12 percent of the cases, representing 18 percent of the land. Crucially, of the 80 cases heard in the Beersheba District Court, Justice Goldberg wrote, “not one single verdict of all the verdicts handed down to this day, has accepted the Bedouin plaintiff’s claim of ownership over the land he has filed for.”

    “It can be said,” Goldberg continued, “that in so far as the legal battle of ownership is concerned, the hands of the Bedouin, also in the future, will be on the bottom.”’

    Btw, your claim to be supplying facts would be more credible if you supplied a few links. And facts, of course.

  461. “Brazil champions undersea cable to bypass US”

    http://euobserver.com/justice/123260

  462. “Obama Asks Court To Make NSA Database Even Bigger”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-26/obama-asks-court-make-nsa-database-even-bigger

  463. Andrew Nichols

    27 Feb, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    I have noticed and continue to do so but am falling into a dispriting resignation that most people like the slow boiled frog, just dont give a damn.

  464. GCHQ intercepted webcam images of millions of Yahoo users worldwide

    GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo …

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/gchq-nsa-webcam-images-internet-yahoo

  465. Annie Machon praises the whistleblowers, of which she herself is one. A note for people’s diaries.

    “A num­ber of inter­na­tional whis­tleblowers were in the UK for the week for other events, and The Whist­ler was able to host them and hear their stor­ies. Gavin Mac­Fa­dyen of the Centre for Invest­ig­at­ive Journ­al­ism, and the indefatig­able cam­paigner Eileen Chubb hos­ted the event, and former CIA ana­lyst Ray McGov­ern, NSA whis­tleblower Tom Drake, Jes­selyn Radack of the Gov­ern­ment Account­ab­il­ity pro­ject (The Whistler’s US coun­ter­part), and myself spoke. The Whist­ler will offi­cially be launched in the UK on 20th March, so watch this space.”

    http://nsnbc.me/2014/02/28/celebration-whistleblowers/

  466. Someone wrote “Seen On An ATM In Western Australia”. Feb 24, 11:54am

    What the general public don’t know is that those atm bomb raids in WA were committed by an ex-ADF explosives expert and muslim convert. The money was to be used for bankrolling jihadist operations by an Islamist group, including blowing up a major police station in the city of Perth.

    That brings me to the question Craig asked.

    New generations have no personal experience of what precedes them. They are born into a new norm and will generally accept the arrangement having noticed nothing. They hear stories about “how things were” but cannot emotionally connect with those stories so will not typically feel inclined to agitate for a restoration of those things that have been lost.

    Enter Islam. 

    Over the last fifty odd years, there has been an influx of muslims into Europe that has been facilitated by a naiive cult of xenophiles who invented the term “multi-culturalism”. This term has been drummed into the minds of a shallow thinking public and critics have been excoriated for daring to challenge the premises on which this concept was founded. 

    While civil unrest, social problems and religious violence are not new to Europe, there is now a nascent threat to post-war social stability in the form of a looming political entity in the form of a growing muslim demographic that has no affinity with the indigenous cultures of the region.

    Europe is on an inexorable and *necessarily* slow course towards a major civil conflict with its domestic muslim populations. A defining factor is that Europeans really don’t notice.  Well,
    I have noticed.  Have you? If you’re an enthusiastic adherent of “multi-culturalism”, then probably not.

  467. A footnote on the above comment. The poster’s linked website used to be http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/ as far as I remember. It is now fuckoff.com. How nice.

  468. NHS England patient data ‘uploaded to Google servers’, Tory MP says
    Health select committee member Sarah Wollaston queries how data was secured by PA Consulting and uploaded to servers outside UK
    Randeep Ramesh, social affairs editor
    theguardian.com, Monday 3 March 2014

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/03/nhs-england-patient-data-google-servers

    ‘The patient information had been obtained by PA Consulting, which claimed to have secured the “entire start-to-finish HES dataset across all three areas of collection – inpatient, outpatient and A&E”.

    The data set was so large it took up 27 DVDs and took a couple of weeks to upload. The management consultants said: “Within two weeks of starting to use the Google tools we were able to produce interactive maps directly from HES queries in seconds.”

    The revelations alarmed campaigners and privacy experts, who queried how Google maps could have been used unless some location data had been provided in the patient information files.

    The issue of which organisations have acquired medical records has been at the centre of political debate in the past few weeks, following reports that actuaries, pharmaceutical firms, government departments and private health providers had either attempted or obtained patient data.’

    An outrage. Collusion with the fascists running this country is evident.

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