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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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/

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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/

  11. 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/

  12. 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”

  13. 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.”’

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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/

  19. 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?

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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…

  23. 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

  24. “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

  25. 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).

    *****************

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.]

  31. 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

  32. “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

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. New post from Craig…

  36. Hello Habbabkuk… did you notice I’d replied to your questions to me on CCTV and state surveillance?

  37. ‘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

  38. 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.

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    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.

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    Thanks again for your support!

    The PI Team

    https://www.privacyinternational.org/about-us

  39. 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.

  40. 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.”’

  41. ‘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

  42. “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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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. :)

  45. 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”?

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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”.

  49. 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! :)

  50. 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/.

  51. 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’.

  52. 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’. !!

  53. 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

  54. 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.

  55. 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/

  56. 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.

  57. 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

  58. 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

  59. 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?

  60. 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

  61. Mike, are you being paid to recycle mainstream news reports?

  62. Sorry, Mary, I should really scroll back a little more before venting my spleen on drones!

  63. 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.

  64. 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/

  65. 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

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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!

  69. 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?

  70. On Oliver Kamm and James Bloodworth smearing Edward Snowden

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1393336336.html

  71. 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”

  72. 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

  73. 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

  74. “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

  75. FYI

    26 February 2014

    ‘Contagious’ wi-fi virus created by Liverpool researchers
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26352439

  76. “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.

  77. “Brazil champions undersea cable to bypass US”

    http://euobserver.com/justice/123260

  78. “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

  79. 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.

  80. 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

  81. 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/

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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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