UK Moves to Block US Senate Report to Protect Blair, Straw and Dearlove

by craig on April 14, 2014 12:04 pm in Uncategorized

From a British diplomatic source I learn that Britain has lobbied the United States against the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and extraordinary rendition.  The lobbying has been carried out “at all levels” – White House, State Department and CIA.  The British have argued that at the very least the report must be emasculated before publication.

The British argument is that in a number of court cases including the Belhadj case, the British government has successfully blocked legal action by victims on the grounds that this would weaken the US/UK intelligence relationship and thus vitally damage national security, by revealing facts the American intelligence service wish hidden.  [We will leave aside for the moment the utter shame of our servile groveling judges accepting such an argument].  The British Government are now pointing out to the Americans that this argument could be fatally weakened if major detail of the full horror and scope of torture and extraordinary rendition is revealed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.  The argument runs that this could in turn lead to further revelations in the courts and block the major defence against prosecutions of Blair, Straw and Dearlove, among others, potentially unleashing a transatlantic wave of judicial activism.

The unabashed collusion of two torturing security states in concealing the truth of their despicable acts – including complicity in the torture of women and minors – and blocking criminal prosecution of the guilty is a sign of how low public ethics have sunk.  Fortunately there are still a few people in the British Foreign Office disgusted enough to leak it.

 

Tweet this post

461 Comments

1 2 3

  1. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    14 Apr, 2014 - 12:24 pm

    This is not good. Two questions

    1/. you say that the UK has lobbied the White House, State and the CIA. Do you know how receptive they have been to this UK lobbying? Have they in turn put pressure on the Senate Committee?

    2/. If so, are there any first indications of what the Senate Committe is minded to do?

  2. So Cameron and his cohort are attempting to hold the line to protect Blair, Straw and Dearlove. Incredible. In Felicity Arbuthnot’s piece on the previous thread, she reports on meetings between Blair and Cameron. The latter is now being described as ‘Heir to Blair’.

    ~~~

    The trial of Abu Hamza is about to start in New York. Torture is mentioned in this BBC report.

    ‘In fighting against the extradition, his lawyers claimed some of the evidence that could be used against him in the US was obtained using torture.

    They also claimed he could face inhumane treatment, but courts eventually found that his human rights would not be violated.’

    Abu Hamza terror trial set to start in US
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-27015350

    There is little news about Abu Qatada in Jordan.

    Defence team for Abu Qatada asks for delay in terrorism trial
    http://www.albawaba.com/news/abu-qatada-trial–564763

  3. Habbabkuk,

    My understanding is the response was that the Obama administration is of the same view that the report should be blocked or watered down to pointlessness. I don’t eexpect Feinstein to do much except bluster.

  4. Ba'al Zevul (Keep Calm, Dear!)

    14 Apr, 2014 - 12:38 pm

    I hope that Obama will proceed with releasing as much of the report as is possible, and that he will do so in the interests primarily of Americans, as he is paid to. Our lobbying to prevent this is itself clear evidence of our complicity – if we had no part in it there would be no reason whatever to try to influence a foreign government. And cases thrown out on the grounds of security should be retried in the light of any relevant US findings once they become public property.

  5. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    14 Apr, 2014 - 12:39 pm

    Craig,
    Thanks for that. It would be good if Feinstein found a hitherto hidden pair of cojones (or had a pair grafted onto her by her Committee colleagues).
    If the report does get out unexpurgated, it would not be the first time that information unavailable in the UK is dug out via the US (to whom all praise for that).

  6. “The British have argued…”

    If we were still a functioning democracy, then we would all share the blame; but the British people were unaware of what these spiteful little Bureaucrats were up to, in our name.

  7. Rather enigmatically, she seemed to speak some sense here.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/15/feinstein-under-fire-for-israel-comments.html

    whereas last year, she went along with a similar resolution.

    ‘Brooks also pointed out that Feinstein voted for a Senate resolution last year, sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), that contained the exact same language. That resolution passed last May by a vote of 99-0.’

    She is 80.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dianne_Feinstein

  8. Ba'al Zevul (Keep Calm, Dear!)

    14 Apr, 2014 - 12:53 pm

    Feinstein’s apparent eagerness to open up the report may have something to do with the CIA hacking the SIC’s computers last year. This from Fox News gives another, albeit rightwing, take on Feinstein –

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/03/20/freedom-for-me-but-not-for-thee-dianne-feinstein-cia-and/

  9. Chilcot – (verb) – To Chilcot – to lightly tickle with a feather duster before taking the participant out for a lovely, boozy dinner.

    How come i’m not even slightly surprised. I guess there may be electoral cycle issues which could allow publication but I doubt it….

  10. The psychology community was less than exemplary in their response. Mitchell and Jessen were professional psychologists hired to generate torture techniques that would not leave marks and would allow euphemisms to be believed. Now everyone is running around like Captain Reynault in Casablanca, “shocked” to hear that torture has occurred

  11. YouKnowMyName

    14 Apr, 2014 - 1:01 pm

    Don’t forget Jack Straw’s convoluted confirmation of the UK’s over-collecting over-influential corrupt Security State
    from Andre Tyrie MP (CON) http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=2010-03-18b.1057.0

    : I shall quote the then Foreign Secretary, Mr. Straw, who likened what I and others were suggesting to conspiracy theories. He said:

    “Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States…there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom had been involved in rendition”

    you can see why UKUSA is lobbying hard!

  12. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    14 Apr, 2014 - 1:01 pm

    Yes, what IS going on exactly with the Chilcot inquiry report?

    It may be that that report, when it finally emerges, will be less anodyne than many suspect. There are some FCO mandarins of the older generation who might not be adverse to putting in the boot into the Blair administrations….

  13. I read the Fox story. Interesting I had never hear of British General Warrants before; I can see why the American colonials were annoyed by them. Whilst reading it up popped up an F Type Jag ad with the line “There’s a new British villain in town”.

  14. Seems much too personalized, and too benign about why Britain is lobbying against the release of the report.

    There are assassinations that the UK has to be worried about, like that of GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd who had been completely frustrated in investigating, and the list of individuals would have to be increased to include officials like MI5 Directors, especially Jonathan ‘Bob’ Evans, key officers in the police, and those in GCHQ.

    A proper inquiry calls for more than just picking out a few most disliked ones, as Britain has been up to its ears in the process, and its cover up.

  15. Britain has always used torture, subsequent governments have always covered it up.

    There was one prisoner who had been held by the Gestapo and by the British at the London cage in WWII who said that the British were by far the worse.

  16. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:10 pm

    Mike Rogers, who is retiring from the House, is the mirror-image of Feinstein. He’s got big plans for carving his ideal Security State.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/30/mike-rogers-2016_n_5058537.html

    “”You know, Ronald Reagan back in 1980 — I don’t have to tell you — used his platform as a radio commentator to run for president,” said Wallace. “So is that a consideration for you? Are you prepared at this point to rule out any interest in 2016?”

    “Ronald Reagan used his platform on radio to run for president of the United States? I had no idea, Chris,” replied Rogers with a coy, joking smile.

    After a long pause, Wallace responded, “So what are you saying?”

    “Listen, I’m going to take it where it goes,” said Rogers. “This is a very unique opportunity that I will be able to talk about issues in ways you don’t hear on a national radio platform today, about the importance of national security, foreign policy and all of the issues facing America. … My goal here is to be as engaging as I can and to get listeners’ opinion.”

    Rogers will have a radio show on stations affiliated with Atlanta-based Cumulus Media. His interest in broadcasting dates back to his time in college, when he had a radio show. He has also been a frequent TV guest while in Congress.

    On Sunday, Rogers also criticized “celebrity politicians using issues” in a way that is “detrimental to the national security of the United States,” although he declined to name names.

  17. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    “In 2006, Cumulus acquired control of Susquehanna Radio, with the backing of 3 venture capital firms (Bain Capital Partners LLC, The Blackstone Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.) for a price of $1.2 Billion.”

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

    The usual suspects….

  18. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:16 pm

  19. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:28 pm

  20. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    “Blum’s wife, Senator Dianne Feinstein, has received scrutiny due to her husband’s government contracts and extensive business dealings with China and her past votes on trade issues with the country. Blum has denied any wrongdoing, however.[3] Critics have argued that business contracts with the US government awarded to a company (Perini) controlled by Blum may raise a potential conflict-of-interest issue with the voting and policy activities of his wife.[4] URS Corp, which Blum had a substantial stake in, bought EG&G, a leading provider of technical services and management to the U.S. military, from The Carlyle Group in 2002; EG&G subsequently won a $600m defense contract.[1]

    In 2009 it was reported that Blum’s wife Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to provide $25 billion in taxpayer money to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, a government agency that had recently awarded her husband’s real estate firm, CB Richard Ellis, what the Washington Times called “a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms.”[5]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_C._Blum

    Blum Capital is associated with CBRE; a Blackstone tentacle.

  21. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:42 pm

    Is the picture becoming clearer?

  22. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:50 pm

    Fred

    “There was one prisoner who had been held by the Gestapo and by the British at the London cage in WWII who said that the British were by far the worse.”
    _______________

    After pointing to the fact that not everyone held by the Gestapo was actually tortured (especially before the war, and in Germany itself), I should like to ask Fred to provide more info on the above; for example, who was this prisoner?

    {On a historical note, further info for Fred : after the partition of Poland in 1939, there were exchanges between the NKVD and Gestapo of Communists and /or Jews who had fled from Nazi Germany (who were handed over to the Gestapo) and of refugees from Soviet Russia (who were handed over by the Gestapo). Several, writing after the war (Mrs M.Buber-Neumann was one), claimed that their treatment in Soviet Russia was worse than their treatment by the Gestapo.}

  23. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    Ben

    “Is the picture becoming clearer?”
    _________________

    No. For God’s sake make your point clearly and preferably succinctly.

  24. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    You can lead a Jackass to water…….

  25. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 4:21 pm

  26. Was David Miliband also complicit?

  27. Is the picture becoming clearer?

    Yes Ben and it is all so horribly predictable.

  28. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 5:07 pm

    Mary; Feinstein is being portrayed as a reformer, but she is jacked-into the same mindset.

    Of course, she was upset that her own ox was gored (her credibility?) and she feigns some precious outrage.

  29. ” block the major defence against prosecutions of Blair, Straw and Dearlove, among others ”

    such as David Cameron and William Hague

  30. doug scorgie

    14 Apr, 2014 - 7:42 pm

    You’ve changed your tune Habbakuk.

    You said it was all a “conspiracy theory”.

  31. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    14 Apr, 2014 - 8:11 pm

    Mr Scorgie

    I don’t recall ever saying anything about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture, but I might of course be mistaken. Do you have a link/quotation?

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

    Support the GBP, the USD and the CHF, sell reals, rubles and renminbis.

  32. Here’s the point back in 2009 when UK judges weren’t totally convinced by the FCO’s argument that disclosing the UK’s complicity in torture would harm relationships with the US:

    “What made the FCO ratchet up the dispute is the judges’ devastating ruling last month, when they accused Miliband of acting in a way that was harmful to the rule of law by suppressing evidence about what the government knew of the illegal treatment of Mohamed.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/12/torture-foreign-office-miliband-judge

    Miliband has since gone on to take up the role of president and CEO of IRC.

    http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/more/item/5483-what-is-david-miliband-s-international-rescue-committee

    The CIA has long had an active role in this ngo. Others like NED were deliberately created as CIA front organisations during the period when the CIA was under political pressure over its illegal activities.

    NED was heavily involved in Ukraine, for example, and Putin has moved to close down these US ngos activities in Russia, much as Kennedy wanted the Israeli lobby organisations to register as foreign entities. Never happened after his assassination.

    Sibel Edmonds, in a wide ranging interview on Gladio and its successors, has pointed out that the CIA now prefers to base its foreign staff within such ngos than in more obvious embassy attachment.

    http://wideshut.co.uk/gladio-b-the-origins-of-natos-secret-islamic-terrorist-proxies/

  33. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 8:35 pm

    Blackstone is a major contributor to IRC, Herbie. Of course, they fund several non-profits.

    http://www.rescue.org/become-corporate-partner

  34. This article explains how clever neocons made torture legal:

    “But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/washington/04interrogate.html?pagewanted=all

    Amnesty USA’s take on the matter:

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/torture

  35. Back to Miliband D who ran off and found a niche.

    http://www.rescue.org/david-miliband

    David Miliband’s move to the US : A staff of 12,000 and a salary of £300,000 on the aid gravy train
    •Top job at International Rescue Committee charity includes number of perks
    •Complimentary private health care and gold-plated, tax-free pension
    •Likely to be paid five times salary of Labour MP for 37-and-a-half hour week

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300240/David-Milibands-US–A-staff-12-000-salary-300-000-aid-gravy-train.html

  36. Even The Daily Mail saw through Miliband’s role:

    “But the odds-on favourite to win the leadership contest, former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, is finding it very hard indeed to disentangle himself from the most sordid and shameful aspect of New Labour rule – British involvement in the torture of numerous terror suspects overseas.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1295158/TORTURE-INQUIRY-Nailed-David-Miliband-6-lies-abuse.html

    They further claimed that the trail led all the way to Blair:

    “Tony Blair was accused of ordering Jack Straw to ‘violate the law’ as the row over Britain colluding in torture took a new twist.

    Previously secret documents exposed their alleged roles in sanctioning British citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay, where they were abused.

    For the first time, the former Prime Minister’s office is implicated in a series of explosive classified files which Labour ministers battled to suppress but which have been released on the orders of the High Court.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1294868/TORTURE-INQUIRY-Former-PM-Tony-Blair-sanctioned-abuse-UK-citizens.html

  37. Interesting look at how the torture issue is played out politically in the US:

    “Gordon’s book, like most others, speaks of torture as being largely in the past — even while admitting that it isn’t really. “Bush administration-era policies” are acknowledged to be ongoing, and yet somehow they retain the name “Bush administration-era policies,” and discussion of their possible prosecution in a court of law does not consider the control that the current chief perpetrator has over law enforcement and his obvious preference not to see a predecessor prosecuted for something he’s doing.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/torture-is-mainstream-now/5377746

    Seems similar to how the issue plays politically in the UK.

    Here Liberty explain how the UK colludes in torture using secret courts to conceal their complicity:

    “In recent times extraordinary steps have been taken to keep any information about possible UK complicity in torture secret. The previous government sought to use principles of public interest immunity to restrict access to government documents and to suppress parts of a court judgment in the case of Binyam Mohamed which outlined what the UK knew about torture and ill-treatment of detainees in US custody.”

    http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/human-rights/no-torture/uk-complicity-torture

  38. Brennan First

    14 Apr, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    The transatlantic panic comes from US review by the Human Rights Committee (HRC), which just assessed US compliance with the ICCPR, a binding treaty with which all domestic legislation must be brought into compliance and supreme law of the land equivalent to federal statute. Here’s what the HRC said: “Interpret the Covenant in good faith.”

    Holy shit.

    Then,

    “Accountability for past human rights violations
    5. The Committee is concerned at the limited number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions of members of the Armed Forces and other agents of the U.S. Government, including private contractors, for unlawful killings in its international operations and the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees in U.S. custody, including outside its territory, as part of the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” program. While welcoming the Presidential Executive Order 13491 of 22 January 2009 terminating the programme of secret detention and interrogation operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Committee notes with concern that all reported investigations into enforced disappearances, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that had been committed in the context of the CIA secret rendition, interrogation and detention programmes were closed in 2012 leading only to a meagre number of criminal charges brought against low-level operatives. The Committee is concerned that many details of the CIA programme remain secret thereby creating barriers to accountability and redress for victims (arts. 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 14).

    “The State party should ensure that all cases of unlawful killing, torture or other ill-treatment, unlawful detention, or enforced disappearance are effectively, independently and impartially investigated, that perpetrators, including, in particular, persons in command positions, are prosecuted and sanctioned, and that victims are provided with effective remedies. The responsibility of those who provided legal pretexts for manifestly illegal behavior should also be established. The State party should also consider the full incorporation of the doctrine of ‘command responsibility’ in its criminal law and declassify and make public the report of the Senate Special Committee on Intelligence into the CIA secret detention programme.”

    Article 7, which deals with torture, is a non-derogable right and a peremptory norm to boot. That gives every country in the world a responsibility to stop the US breaches and hold the state and its officials to account.

    And this is only the warmup. The US goes before the Committee Against Torture in November. Then the US response gets tested against the binding requirements for investigation, prosecution, and compensation in the Convention Against Torture. Granted the US and UK have pissed away virtually all their influence, standing, and soft power, but now the whole world is watching them try to squirm out of this commitment: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

    NATO’s already a mile wide and an inch deep but this could fatally weaken it. As it is, NATO allies in Afghanistan are afraid to hold prisoners at all, they pass them off like hot potatoes to avoid the appearance of refoulement to the US torture state.

    Think Ukraine cannot blow up? The US needs a war to get out of this.

  39. I’m not going to hold my breath for a candid release of information from the Americans. But I do like the idea of both the UK and US being embarrassed for having to hide this information from the people they purport to represent.

  40. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 9:29 pm

    “The US needs a war to get out of this.”

    All roads lead to Teheran.

  41. Brennan First

    14 Apr, 2014 - 9:40 pm

    @ben hell, the US has got nothing to lose from aggression at this point. The Special Rapporteur on Counter-terrorism and Human Rights stated that US policy authorities are promulgated with the intent of “practically shielding from criminal and disciplinary responsibility all those involved in what appears to be a joint enterprise leading to widespread and systematic violations of Article 7.” That is, a serious crime of concern to the international community. Specifically, a crime against humanity. Universal jurisdiction, no statute of limitations. No impunity for heads of state.

  42. Blair’s had no major honour yet, which is usually given to senior politicians when they boost the military-industrial capacity to kill lots of foreigners.
    His brand is toxic. So why is he being protected? Maybe he’ll tell tales out of school if he gets collared. I wonder if he’ll fall ill quite soon like Cook and Kelly…

  43. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 9:58 pm

    “His brand is toxic. So why is he being protected?”

    Can you imagine the length and breadth if he gets squeezed and starts talking?

    Blair likes to travel without fears about his chances of arriving safely. He’s being protected because so many need protection.

  44. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    14 Apr, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    Mike; sorry that comment left off your name.

  45. Toxic Tony.

    And that’s just what his friends say.

    Yeah. I’ve long thought they’ll be looking for a scapegoat:

    “Tony Blair: from New Labour hero to political embarrassment

    Friend of the Murdochs, adviser to authoritarian regimes and associate of the super-rich – the former prime minister’s reputation is on a downward spiral. And each new revelation manages to be more jaw-dropping than the last”

    “It would be hard for him to move into working for more liberal international institutions,” says a former ally, “because he’s toxic.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/26/tony-blair-new-labour-hero-political-embarrassment-murdoch

    Puts Zoe Williams hagiographic article, the subject of the previous thread, in new light. He must now be desperate for any positive media he can get. Pity it wasn’t well received.

  46. Thanks Craig.

    On public ethics. Humans are supposed to work and co-operate. As Craig shows
    we are not so far away from deciphering our true being although the diversionary tactics employed by the status quo disable us to become the image of man?

  47. “So why is he being protected? ”

    It’s traditional, politicians always protect their predecessors. It means they themselves can do what they want, legal or illegal, and there won’t be any comeback.

  48. @Fred: And they call it Democracy?

  49. “And they call it Democracy?”

    Yes. In dictatorships ex heads of government tend to be hung from lamp posts or rodgered with bit of stick or something.

    Both systems have their merits.

  50. Craig,

    MAJOR respect for this post…holy hell you’ve got balls of steel for daring to push this post.

    One of the most important posts in the history of this blog-which is saying something indeed Craig.

    How much longer can the architects of this global institutionalised torture,gang-stalking,MK-Ultra programme hide?

    Thank you so much for this brave,vital and defining post Craig.

    Deep respect.

  51. Allow me also,Craig,to add my deepest respect for those extremely brave,principled and moral souls in the British FO who’ve leaked this vital info.

    I’m usually no fan of the Establishment but this act of bravery and principle shines so much positive decent humane light on the last decade or so of weak cowardly reptiles lies.

    Thank you all.

  52. There is no mention of Craig’s work here (I second Jives above) or any mention of Blair’s involvement with torture in the comments sections on these rather feeble Guardian articles.

    Don’t be nostalgic about Tony Blair. His effect on Britain and beyond was toxic
    The Iraq war is rightly seen as a defining low point in Blair’s career, but the damage he did does not stop there
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/14/blairism-britain-iraq-war-tony-blair
    Chris Nineham STWC 14 April 2014

    Publish Chilcot report on Iraq war now, says Nick Clegg
    Deputy PM appears to suggest that those likely to face criticism in inquiry’s conclusions are partly to blame for delay
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/apr/14/publish-chilcot-report-iraq-war-nick-clegg
    Rowena Mason, political correspondent Monday 14 April 2014

    not forgetting the Zoe Williams’ whitewash.

    ~~~

    Clegg’s piece is risible. I am sure that when he roars, the powers-that-be roll over.

    PS The Guardian US and Washington Post have been awarded the Pulitzer prize for ‘public service’. http://www.pulitzer.org/citation/2014-Public-Service

    Edward Snowden refers to a ‘free press’ in this piece.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/14/edward-snowden-pulitzer-statement-prize-guardian-washington-post

    So free I suppose that the Guardian give Blair houseroom.

    Articles by him http://www.theguardian.com/profile/tonyblair
    and articles that discuss him or refer to him by the thousand.

  53. It is perfectly predictable, if power answers to no-one it will happily become absolutely corrupt.

    I ask sincerely and apparently naively: What UK law, or lack of it, allows intelligence /diplomatic sensitivity to essentially trump the rule of law?

    The politicians are supposed not to be above the law but “there is nothing to see”? when the intelligence agencies are routinely above serious, despised by all British, crimes?

  54. Ba'al ZZevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 8:22 am

    Blair’s had no major honour yet…

    The most plausible reason for not taking his simpering mug to the Lords is perhaps that he would have to make a checkable disclosure of his finances. Which, as his duplicate parallel networks of income-hiding companies indicate, would not be convenient.

    Significant, in that case, that Blair’s dealings are even dodgier than those of his mucilaginous chum, “Lord” Mandelson, whose shining trail across the decks of numerous luxury yachts is more clearly visible.

  55. Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 8:24 am

    What UK law, or lack of it, allows intelligence /diplomatic sensitivity to essentially trump the rule of law?

    The Official Secrets Act.

  56. I imagine that the Senate Intelligence Report will be leaked by some “Ed Snowdon II” and so the truth will be made known in the long term anyway :)

  57. Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 8:41 am

    What UK law, or lack of it, allows intelligence /diplomatic sensitivity to essentially trump the rule of law? (2)

    The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005

    The Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011.

    The Justice and Security Act 2013

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/rod-jones/%E2%80%98enemies-within%E2%80%99-justice-and-security-act-2013

    I particularly recommend the last section of this piece: “The Ghost of Carl Schmitt”, as it underlines the legislative convergence between the UK and a fascist state.

  58. Sofia Kibo Noh

    15 Apr, 2014 - 9:02 am

  59. “Blair’s had no major honour yet…”

    George’s Day is coming soon, he could well get his reward for services to the establishment yet, I believe the sad demise of Mrs Thatcher created a vacancy.

  60. Sincerely hope you are wrong there Fred.

    Lord Blair of ……….? Can someone photoshop him in the ermine and suggest a place name for his title. Wouldn’t Cherie love to sit listening in her finery to the Queen’s Speech etc!

  61. Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 9:42 am

    Chilcott – 2015 (and counting). Even Clegg thinks this is a bit much, while Tony can’t wait to see it published. He still thinks Iraq wasn’t a miserable and expensive, bloody disaster. Just put your arms in here, Tony, and we’ll soon have you comfy in this special coat. Now the tranquilliser, Nurse…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-strikes-back-at-nick-clegg-over-chilcot-report-into-iraq-war-9259866.html

  62. @Ba’al Zevul (Follow The Money)
    15 Apr, 2014 – 8:41 am

    Thank you, it seems like the Justice and Security Act 2013 is the death knell of fairness and morality in the British judicial system.
    I just read it, a chilling Act of power grabbing Fascism.

    Dude, Where’s my country?

  63. Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 11:57 am

    Just for light relief –

    http://www.worthytoshare.net/theres-island-happy-pigs-swim-around-every-bit-awesome-sounds#

    (it gets a little Orwellian halfway through ;-))

  64. Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 11:59 am

  65. These two outfits can see the £ signs. Any connection between BLiar and the bidders?

    Abu Dhabi Fund And CVC In £1.5bn Spire Race
    The vast Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund enters the race to buy one of the UK’s biggest private hospital groups, Sky News learns.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1242920/abu-dhabi-fund-and-cvc-in-1-5bn-spire-race

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

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

  66. You have to laugh. MI5 getting suddenly caught short?

    Russian Intelligence Analysts
    Ref:RV Russian Apr 14
    Location:London
    Salary:£30,000 including language allowance
    Closing date:12 May 2014

    The deeper you go into a language the more you uncover.

    A conversation turns from sport, to the economy, to politics. And you’re there not just to translate it, not just to interpret it; you’re there to add a depth of understanding that enables us to make the right choices to help safeguard national security.

    As a Russian intelligence analyst at MI5, you’ll be a core member of the investigative team. Your work will involve translating a wide variety of challenging audio and textual material from Russian into English. You’ll listen to Russian language telephone calls and work with written documents intercepted under warrant, and your translations and analysis will feed directly into the team’s investigations. Your excellent Russian language comprehension will enable us to make the right choices to help safeguard national security.

    This role will stretch you like no other and you’ll develop not only your Russian language but also a range of other workplace skills in a supportive environment that is both friendly and informal. Every day you’ll be exposed to new subtleties and nuances in the Russian language, new terminology, new political, cultural and social differences.

    Using your specialist Russian language skills and your knowledge of Russia’s cultural affairs, history, politics, ideology and economy, you will add real understanding to the intelligence that has been gathered and deliver clear analysis in a variety of ways. Your work will enable us to take a well-informed view of potential threats to national security, including terrorism and espionage.

    As your experience grows and following relevant training and development you should have the opportunity to become more directly involved in investigations, working closely with colleagues from across the wider UK intelligence community and presenting on your work to other departments or agencies.

    Your linguistic skills and cultural awareness will be invaluable as you’ll be asked to contribute to team discussions on how to progress investigations. You also may be involved in providing interpreting support for agent meetings or assisting with delivering realistic training for our agent runners, all of which will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of what is fascinating work.

    […& cetera]

  67. RIP Michael C. Ruppert

    http://www.vice.com/vice-special/apocalypse-man-part-1

    A great friend has passed over – sadly missed

  68. Indeed Mark, I remember the impact that accidently stumbling on Collapse had on me; RIP Michael C. Ruppert

    A very important Blog post here, Craig doing what he does best, providing an insider’s insight, thank you.

  69. Mary 15 Apr, 2014 – 9:29 am

    “Lord Blair of ……….? Can someone photoshop him in the ermine and suggest a place name for his title. Wouldn’t Cherie love to sit listening in her finery to the Queen’s Speech etc!”

    Sorry hurried job, anyone got a better title?

    http://ubuntuone.com/6qED4cfag4PjquMEJGd05l

    Going out now, back tomorrow.

  70. A Node; “Sorry hurried job, anyone got a better title?”

    Well Robert Fisk always referred to him as “Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara”, but now thinks that “Lord Blair of Isfahan” may be more appropiate;

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-blair-should-take-responsibility-for-iraq-but-he-wont-he-cant-2069231.html

  71. Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    More correctly, Lord Mandelbrot (chaotic name, chaotic guy!) is officially styled thus: The right hon. the Baron Mandelson of Foy in the county of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the county of Durham

    Blair will need to trump the dual-residence thing and might add a couple of foreign plaguespots to his pedigree…so…

    The right hon. the Baron Blair (KCBS, etc – insert idiotic orders at random) of Sedgefield in the county of Durham, Almaty in the country of Kazakhstan and Baghdad in the country of Iraq?

    Kigali’s a contender, too…
    http://www.inyenyerinews.org/politiki/the-untold-stories-the-former-uk-prime-minister-tony-blair-and-the-international-community-is-betraying-rwanda-and-rwandans/

  72. Sofia Kibo Noh

    15 Apr, 2014 - 2:45 pm

    Winkletoe. 12 23pm

    Beat the gridlock and get to MI5 early as thousands, eager for the colossal £30,000 salary* are expected to clog the streets, desperate to get into the interviews.

    “…A conversation turns from sport, to the economy, to politics. And you’re there not just to translate it, not just to interpret it; you’re there to add a depth of understanding that enables us to make the right choices to help safeguard national security…”

    Once you have the job, and when you have listened in on you targets for a few days and can’t bear to hear another word about Lokomotiv Moscow you can get the fecker droned.
    In a few months time you can join the drone pilot in therapy.

    http://www.swords-to-plowshares.org/2013/02/25/drone-pilots-are-found-to-get-stress-disorders-like-combat/

    I bet you’ll be able to find the kidnappers and torturers in there too.

    *including language allowance!!!

  73. Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 2:50 pm

    eager for the colossal £30,000 salary*

    Was wondering about that, too. And the cost of commuting to the nearest affordable housing, in Handsworth, maybe. The language allowance will be for fluency in Brum.

  74. Thanks A Node for that and for the name suggestions. Excellent.

    These are some ‘news’ items for Mandelslime.

    Britain can cut gas prices by working with Europe, says Mandelson
    Telegraph.co.uk-1 Apr 2014
    “We pay more because Russia and Gazprom play divide and rule,” Lord Mandelson told the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference …

    Peter Mandelson Says UK Would Be ‘Stark Staring Bonkers’ To …
    Huffington Post UK-1 Apr 2014

    Lord Mandelson: Britain ‘bonkers’ to leave European Union
    Whittier Daily News-1 Apr 2014
    Explore in depth (43 more articles)

    Peter Mandelson refuses to defend links to Russian defence firm
    Telegraph.co.uk-4 Apr 2014
    Lord Mandelson, the former Labour business secretary, faces calls to surrender his directorship at Sistema, a large Russian conglomerate…

    ‘Lord Mandelson is not the marrying kind’
    Telegraph.co.uk-3 Apr 2014
    After more than 15 years together as a couple in all but name, Lord Mandelson may not be walking down the aisle with Reinaldo da Silva any …

  75. Ba'al Zevul (Follow The Money)

    15 Apr, 2014 - 2:54 pm

    And did you see this?

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/14/cia-drones-pakistan-us-air-force-documentary

    I really think the CIA should do its own murdering, preferably face to face against superior odds.

  76. Sofia Kibo Noh

    15 Apr, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    Drones: Legitimate Quesfbijdsfbz!

  77. Not sure if this has been posted. Is so, apologies.

    Retaliation from BLiar. Still gunning for war though.

    Tony Blair strikes back at Nick Clegg over Chilcot report into Iraq war
    Former Labour Prime Minister also took a swipe at the Coalition’s ‘inaction’ over the three-year-long civil war in Syria
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-strikes-back-at-nick-clegg-over-chilcot-report-into-iraq-war-9259866.html

  78. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    15 Apr, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    “still gunning for war’

    Yes, Mary. Clegg even said Iraq may have been the worst move since the Suez Canal. The MO doesn’t change.

    (trip down memory lane)

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

    “The attack followed the President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser’s decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal, after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam, which was in response to Egypt’s new ties with the Soviet Union and recognizing the People’s Republic of China during the height of tensions between China and Taiwan.[16] The aims of the attack were primarily to regain Western control of the canal and to remove Nasser from power,[17] and the crisis highlighted the danger that Arab nationalism posed to Western access to Middle East oil.[18]

    Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel, and then began to bomb Cairo. Despite the denials of the Israeli, British, and French governments, allegations began to emerge that the invasion of Egypt had been planned beforehand by the three powers.[19] Anglo-French forces withdrew before the end of the year, but Israeli forces remained until March 1957, prolonging the crisis. In April, the canal was fully reopened to shipping, but other repercussions followed.”

  79. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    15 Apr, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  80. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    15 Apr, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”

    ― Kurt Vonnegut

    Sofia; thax for intro to Prose before Hos. :)

  81. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    15 Apr, 2014 - 3:43 pm

    “Each Javelin round costs $80,000, and the idea that it’s fired by a guy who doesn’t make that in a year at a guy who doesn’t make that in a lifetime is somehow so outrageous it almost makes the war seem winnable.”

    ― Sebastian Junger, War

  82. “Lord Blair of ……….?”

    I was referring to being made a Knight of the Garter Mary, I don’t think you need to be a Lord to qualify though many of them are.

  83. Well Fred he would have had one of your thistles if he hadn’t blabbed so much according to the D Express.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/197595/Queen-s-snub-to-Tony-Blair-by-withholding-honour

    The honours system all archaic and nonsensical of course when you see some of those who have received them.

  84. ” …if major detail of the full horror and scope of torture and extraordinary rendition is revealed …”

    The US and UK have succeeded in limiting the discussion of torture to what they may have directly instructed others, such as Assad and Mubarak, to do. Craig has long campaigned against the additional creation of a market for evidence from torture by those dictators. But the discussion surely needs to move on to the message coveyed to the dictators of the entire world if UK and US leaders sponsor torture.

    Until Obama, Cameron, Bush, Blair and their accomplices stand trial I can’t see how the rest of the world’s crackpot rulers could see it to their advantage to stop it. Come on Dave, let’s wire you up first, and Barack, try this Klu Klux Klan style hood for us please.

    The reason why Syria won’t move forward is because Muslims have united with torturers against torturers. You can’t pass heat from a cooler to a hotter and you can’t win a jihad from the moral low ground.

  85. This comment is in the Medialens thread about Mike Ruppert’s suicide.

    ‘Devastated to hear the news

    Posted by Sherwoodian on April 15, 2014, 4:52 pm, in reply to “A good brave! Go well bro. NOM”

    Ruppert was a warrior to the last, RIP brave soul.

    I can´t help worrying for the safety of the other brave warriors, very few in number, Galloway, Craig Murray, Keiser, Ron Paul, PC Roberts, et al.

    We are approaching the end game and the empire will stop at nothing to win.

    I´m not saying that Ruppert was killed, but that he was put under enormous pressure. Jesse Ventura, another warrior has “gone underground” with his broadcasts for the same reason.’

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1397550255.html

    He was obviously well liked and loved.
    http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/news-alerts/item/12454-collapsenets-founder-michael-c-ruppert-has-committed-suicide

    The war criminals walk free and breathe fresh air.

  86. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    15 Apr, 2014 - 7:49 pm

    Mary; MR was an LAPD narcotics officer. He didn’t have psychological problems.

    http://www.fromthewilderness.com/mcr_lapd.shtml


    At the time of my resignation from the L.A. Police Department I had been certified for promotion to Detective, had no pending disciplinary actions, and was earning the highest rating reports possible. The records speak for themselves.

    Have I ever seen a psychiatrist? Absolutely. In 1977, after I had discovered the CIA bringing drugs into New Orleans, detectives from LAPD’s Organized Crime Intelligence Division, who I knew had CIA connections, began suggesting to me that I hadn’t seen what I had seen and that perhaps I was hallucinating. They began suggesting that I go see a psychiatrist of their choosing for “help.”

    Instead, I went to my own psychiatrist. His statement is included for your review. Having been betrayed by my fiancée and also by members of my own department, I do not need to justify a statement that this was a stressful period of my life. I had been threatened, burglarized, followed and shot at for months. If that isn’t stressful, then what is? I make no apologies for it and feel no shame. No one who seeks therapy or guidance should ever feel shame. My “injury” was ruled as being “Duty Related” or IOD. Never once was I placed on restricted duty.”

  87. Everything about this brilliant post rings true. In fact, the anti-Blair faction inside the FCO tried to get damning papers against Blair released during 2010…they hated Moral Tone because he’d ignored them nonstop for seven years.
    The papers were never leaked – MI6 made sufficient nasty threats to ensure this.
    At the time, my FCO source said “It will all come out in Congress in time”. So much for that.
    There is something about Blair and Black Jack Straw I find depressingly disturbing every time I watch them in action…but Hague has continued the nose/bum position without missing a beat. One wonders why…

  88. Michael Ruppert’s last radio show from Sunday night http://prn.fm/lifeboat-hour-carolyn-bakerfor-mimi-german-041314/

  89. RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s king has appointed a new intelligence chief, Youssef al-Idrisi, replacing Bandar bin Sultan in the key post, which oversees the kingdom’s support for Syrian rebels.

    The Saudi Press Agency carried the royal decree Tuesday saying Bandar had requested to be relieved of the post. Al-Idrisi was Bandar’s deputy.

    The news comes after security officials told The Associated Press that 65-year-old Bandar was returning to the kingdom after around two months abroad for surgery on his shoulder.

    Bandar’s responsibilities as head of intelligence included executing Saudi policy in the Levant, including policies toward Syrian rebels seeking to oust President Bashar Assad.

    Bandar was ambassador to the U.S. for 22 years before becoming director general of Saudi Intelligence Agency in July 2012.

  90. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    15 Apr, 2014 - 9:40 pm

    Bandar, no doubt has a rotator-cuff issue from pitching for the Yankees. :)

  91. @Ben

    Wasn’t it midnight toker?

  92. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    15 Apr, 2014 - 11:01 pm

    Yeah, Fred, but Hab made an issue of my intemperance. Time to revise the add-on. My swordfight with him is past, thank the Gawds.

  93. Baal 8.22 – “mucilaginous” what a wonderful word – goes with oleaginous a treat. Pome now complete. Patience Strong – eat your heart out!

    Thanks for all the digging and prodding; power to your elbow.

  94. Brilliant article Craig.

    Of course, the situation today is even worse with British citizenship being removed in private and the US then told they are free to drone or render the victim.

  95. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    16 Apr, 2014 - 12:12 am

  96. What are we to make of the revelation Neil Kinnock had been in the pocket of and owned fully by the US/CIA since 1970 -so that’s Labour institutionally fucked, with the Tories it seems just as likely a voluntary submission, swearing fealty would be all it would take; the SDP-Liberal-Dem lot are actual US/CIA creations, with UKIP revising that trojan role to spearhead a further pro-US rightward lurch in this new century of American shame.

    “The British argument is that in a number of court cases including the Belhadj case, the British government has successfully blocked legal action by victims on the grounds that this would weaken the US/UK intelligence relationship and thus vitally damage national security, by revealing facts the American intelligence service wish hidden.”

    The claim that “that a large part of the case should not be heard for fear of damaging relations with the USA” sounds similar to the weaselly arguments David Miliband made in court in another case where he claimed the US had threatened to reduce or end intelligence co-operation with the UK. Frankly that would be no bad thing and a desperate bluff that should have been called. Unravelling the 75 year long post-ww2 entanglement of our interests with those of the US, all done without any popular mandate approving such fusion and confusion in peacetime, in effect subjugating our interests to those of fickle US delusions and whims, is long overdue and that threat, unexpected indeed from a ‘friend’ or even partner, bluff or not, should have been grasped, it would have been far more damaging to the US in cementing its utter friendless isolation, and by now our again independent capabilities would have been commensurate with any realistic need.

    We don’t need no stinking US approval to try Blair or Straw domestically, nor for that matter Cameron/Hague, and of course the culpable head-of-state, throughout these orgies of depravity and bloodshed, is the one who calls herself Queen. You have to follow this through to its logical and just conclusion, as well as prevent any recurrence.

    I recommend too, the voluntary dismemberment and ‘pastoralisation’ of the United States.

  97. BrianFujisan

    16 Apr, 2014 - 4:17 am

    Tony M…. Well said

    And a great post from Craig… as Macky say’s Doing what he dose best ..Indeed.

    WRG Michael Ruppert… a heart felt tribute from Abby M

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

  98. Yes Brian. RIP Mike Ruppert. He obviously found that living in this world with its injustices and evils was no longer possible for him. In the link that AlcAnon sent, he said his head woke up before he did and that it was terrified.

    I thought of this poem by Louis MacNeice

    ‘Prayer Before Birth

    I am not yet born; O hear me.
    Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
    club-footed ghoul come near me.

    I am not yet born, console me.
    I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
    with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
    on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

    [..]

    I am not yet born; O fill me
    With strength against those who would freeze my
    humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
    would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
    one face, a thing, and against all those
    who would dissipate my entirety, would
    blow me like thistledown hither and
    thither or hither and thither
    like water held in the
    hands would spill me.

    Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
    Otherwise kill me.’

    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/prayer-before-birth/

    One of his friends speaking on the link is involved in monitoring the radiation being brought to the American Pacific shores from Fukushima. She was saying that the irony is that she has to pay $600 for the tests.

  99. The Tories are killing our NHS

    Wednesday 16th April 2014

    Now’s the time to pile on the pressure for Labour to go big on the health service, says JOHN LISTER

    Join the dots, you can see the emerging picture – the NHS is being suffocated through prolonged and deliberate cash starvation.

    What began under the banner of the Con-Dem coalition trying to address the deficits created by the banking crash has now emerged as a thought-out, long-term Tory plan to scale down public spending and permanently reduce the size of the state.

    [..]

    Since then we have seen things get even worse – more billions of “unspent” NHS money have been clawed back by the Treasury, and £1.5bn of the frozen, allegedly “ringfenced,” NHS budget has been forcibly handed over to councils this year to prop up the even more parlous finances of social care, with even bigger sums to be deducted next year.

    There’s also a huge question mark over the future of NHS spending after the 2015 election – a year in which a further round of major cuts in public spending has been set in motion by Osborne, and many expect that as soon as the general election votes are counted the “ringfence” protecting the NHS against outright cuts would be scrapped if the Tories get back in.

    But even in the best-case scenario Osborne’s plans would see a 10-year freeze in health spending while costs and pressures increase each year.

    /..
    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-9fe3-The-Tories-are-killing-our-NHS

  100. Here is Mike Ruppert in 1996. A courageous man.

    Former LA Police Officer Mike Ruppert Confronts CIA Director John Deutch on Drug Trafficking
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT5MY3C86bk

    How about the stooges including the House Representatives Juanita and Julian?

  101. A rather scary image of the newly promoted General Yousef Bin Ali Al-Idrisi.

    http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140416202122

    They all seem to have ‘bin’ there and done that. :}

  102. Mary,
    Evil will always be in the singular.
    “injustices and evils was”

    A contrast to goodness.

    The millitary machine is the foundation of our system. I suppose it is natures way of an sustainable civilised society?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dLM4uB6_d-E

  103. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 9:22 am

    The Slog – Good to see you here. Quality blogging.
    Rose – We try to please, and when we succeed we are astonished. “Oleaginous” doesn’t quite convey Mandelson’s exudative propensity, does it? Glad you agree.

  104. Keith Crosby

    16 Apr, 2014 - 9:29 am

    Thanks for that Craig, I’ve copied it onto Media Lens.

  105. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 9:39 am

    Good site, linked on The Slog. Sample page – tax-dodging fatcats leeching off taxpayer department:

    http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5236/nhs-2400-senior-officials-off-payroll-buried-review-revealed

    Good addition to the CM Blogroll, Craig?

  106. Excellent post,Craig, but it was to be expected that Jack and Tone both of the same hue, chosen for their ‘guile and cunning’ (barbara Castle)would act to ensure thier retirement is a fluffed pillow, not a cell at the ICC.

    Its refreshing to see new posters here, thanks for your contributions and wit, the more the merrier.

    leaves to say, time to exchange scoundrels is only a year away and should any of you want someone Independent to vote for, now is the time to put yourselfs about and start campaigning, time for it was never better. Norfolk has lost 40% of its Conservative membership and party politics is at its lowest ever….. good luck

  107. Mr Schultz of Starbucks wants our custom back. Revenues have fallen since the tax evasion was revealed and he is relocating the EU HQ to the UK, and the MENA offices too.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/uk/starbucks-to-move-europe-hq-to-uk-30191348.html

    I will never be a customer of his due to his support for Zionist Israel.

    ‘In 1998, Schultz was awarded the “Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award” from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish Ha-Torah for “playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between the United States and Israel”.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Schultz

  108. Neil Clark is, quite understandably, confused;

    http://rt.com/op-edge/west-leaders-ukraine-democracy-600/

  109. I have been looking around The Slog. Good stuff.

    ‘Hunt Balls’ caught my eye. Nothing to do with foxes but with a weasel called Jeremy.

    http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/hunt-balls/

  110. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 11:46 am

    Very interesting piece, Macky. Not so much for the obvious questions he is asking, but for a lead on what it is Russia is actually trying to do, and even on how it intends to do it. Which appears to be to define spheres-of-influence wrt Europe and the US a little more rigorously than the US, particularly, would like. I’m inclined to believe that an actual takeover, or even division, of Ukraine are not the current objectives, but that destabilisation and demographics will force the election of a Russia – leaning government; the presence of Russophobes in the west of the country would provide a channel for trade with Europe – as long as Ukrainian identity is maintained, there would be no conflict of interest between Ukrainian and Russian-speakers, and Russia itself would have a buffer state between it and an apparently expansionist EU/NATO area.

    Latvia (half of whose population (28% of Latvians are Russian – speakers ) have no vote in Latvia (14%) and Estonia (similar demographic and citizenship constraints) are perhaps less likely to retain semi-autonomy in the event of Russian expansion. Worth noting, perhaps, that

    “in accordance with Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the settlement of Russians in the Baltic States during the period (1945 onwards, under Stalin – BZ) was illegal under international law” (“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”).[6][7][8] The convention was adopted in 1949, including by the Soviet Union. However, as the Soviet Union maintained the Baltic States joined the USSR voluntarily, it did not consider the convention applicable to the Baltic states.” [Wikipedia: Russians In The Baltic States]
    (There were at the time only 7-8% Russians in Latvia, but ‘voluntary’, slightly earlier, meant ‘us or the Germans’ – BZ)

    – and that if Stalin considered the Balts worth mopping up in the interest of coherent borders, Putin may well have a similar notion.

  111. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 12:06 pm

    Ok. I can see a slug in the hostas. Old piece – what was Lord Mandelson of Mucilage doing in Ukraine in 2011?

    http://www.whatson-kiev.com/index.php?go=News&in=view&id=10894

    Akhmetov, eh?

    https://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine-abroad/financial-times-ukraines-oligarchs-accused-of-double-dealing-over-separatism-343694.html
    (links to FT piece – paywall, sorry, but you get the idea)

    Looks like Akhmetov’s running with the hare and hunting with the hounds.

    Private Eye’s current issue has a connection:

    Re:…the long-planned South Stream pipeline to bring Russian gas to southern European countries via a new route which bypasses Ukraine…construction contracts awarded to oligarchs close to…Putin….At the British Chambers of Commerce conference this month Peter Mandelson (who has many contacts among the ranks of the oligarchs) helpfully opined that all our gas bills could be lower if only the EU could negotiate a single gas purchase contract with Gazprom. [snip]

    …the undisclosed commissions paid on various big contracts between Gazprom and certain European national gas companies are legendary in the industry. Whom, one wonders, might Mandelson have in mind to negotiate the deal he is advocating?
    Private Eye 1364, print edition, p 8.

  112. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 12:21 pm

    Damn. Totally meaningless statement here:

    “Latvia (half of whose population (28% of Latvians are Russian – speakers ) have no vote in Latvia (14%)”

    To clarify: 28% of Latvians have Russian origins, either Imperial or Soviet. Half of these don’t have Latvian citizenship, probably mainly because as long as they don’t, they can cross the Russian border without visas. That’s 14% of the total.

  113. Ba’al Zevul; “I’m inclined to believe that an actual takeover, or even division, of Ukraine are not the current objectives, but that destabilisation and demographics will force the election of a Russia – leaning government”

    Most rational commentators agree with you on that score; talking of which, and as a complimentary return for your h/t iro the interesting Slog blog, check out this site;

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.fr/

  114. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 12:51 pm

    Thanks, Macky. Though it has to be said that both Ukraine and Russia are countries in which playing chess in the street is the norm, while I am crap at chess – so rationality may not be enough. The Saker site…may or may not be righteous but it’s very supportive of the Russian Authorised Version, and I have to treat it much as I would anything echoing William Hague, anywhere, on any subject whatever – with caution.

  115. “Ok. I can see a slug in the hostas. Old piece – what was Lord Mandelson of Mucilage doing in Ukraine in 2011?”

    More to the point what are armoured vehicles bearing the Russian flag doing in Eastern Ukraine doing today! Hardly the local militia that the Putinistas deceitfully claim.

  116. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 1:26 pm

    Haven’t a clue, old chap. Why not tell us? With sources, of course.

    Blair levered half a million out of his very good friend Pinchuk for his Cash Faith Foundation last year. Pinchuk has made quite a lot out of EuroUkraine, and supports the current unelected government (for now):

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/03/victor-pinchuk-interpipe-debt-downgraded-junk

    Whose oligarchs do you want to win, ESLO?

  117. @Mary

    and Michelle is busy lighting the candles.

    https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/455872355311419392/photo/1

    Same old, same old – what are you trying to say, somehow I doubt it is Happy Passover.

  118. “More to the point what are armoured vehicles bearing the Russian flag doing in Eastern Ukraine doing today! Hardly the local militia that the Putinistas deceitfully claim.”

    Did you just make this up, ESLO, or do you have a source?

    Sounds like total bollocks, but amusing that you don’t even seem to understand that.

  119. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 1:36 pm

    I’ll save him the trouble, Herbie.

    A soldier guarding one of six troop carriers now under the control of the rebels told Reuters he was a member of Ukraine’s 25th paratrooper division from Dnipropetrovsk.

    “All the soldiers and the officers are here. We are all boys who won’t shoot our own people,” he said, adding that his men had had no food for four days until local residents fed them.

    A spokesman for the separatists and a witness in Kramatorsk said the Ukrainian troops had given up their vehicles to the rebels after talks.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/16/uk-ukraine-crisis-idUKBREA3D0C420140416

  120. Whose oligarchs do you want to win, ESLO?

    Neither – but you forget where the Ukrainian oligarchs originally got their ideas from and how they benefit from Putin wishing to have a similar type of system to that which he imposes on Russia.

  121. Herbie

    Try the 5th photo from Reuters here – also reported on Sky TV

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27045534

  122. YouKnowMyName

    16 Apr, 2014 - 1:45 pm

    Some Latvian’s are Russian origin – some are North American origin

    Latvia’s President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (1999 – 2007) who grew up in Canada, not USA, was alleged to have been successively KGB then later CIA agent…

    Lithuania also had a former U.S. Citizen as President (1998 – 2009), Valdas Adamkus , who was NCO in the US Army Intelligence (Lithuania coincidentally had a black-torture-prison about this time)

    Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves (2006 – present) was educated in the USA before performing journalism/intelligence at RFE/RL [wikipedia]

    not that we’re exempt from ‘meddling’ in the UK – with Kennedy Memorial Trust/Laurence Stern Fellowships/British American Project alumni everywhere in British Meeja & Poli-ticks

  123. So it’s not exactly the Russian invasion ESLO tried to pretend.

    It’s the Ukrainian army surrendering to local civilians.

    Dear, oh dear.

    There’s no way in a million years Putin would send forces across the border, without first openly stating his pretext.

  124. “but it’s very supportive of the Russian Authorised Version”;

    The Saker is not only an ex-military analyst, but Russian as well, that his opinions may coincide with the Russian, is open for rigorous testing by his commentators, in one of the least moderated blogs I have encountered yet;

    “First, this blog deals primarily with two regions: the Middle-East and Russia. The reason for that is because these are the regions where, in my opinion, most of the important “action” is happening. Recently this blog has been “wall to wall Ukrainian”, but that is only because something really important is happening there. Before, for *years* I did not post a single thing about the Ukraine. In the past, I posted mostly about the Middle-East and, especially, Iran and Hezbollah. I did that because I considered that they played a crucial role. Eventually, when I realized that Syria had become the front line, I did a huge amount of coverage of the civil war in Syria. If tomorrow something massive happens in Australia or Iceland or Tahiti, I will try to cover that too. But the fact is that for the foreseeable future the Middle-East and Russia are the two spots on the planet where the most important things are happening”

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.fr/2014/04/personal-announcement-appeal-to-my-non.html

  125. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    I forget very little, Eslo. You forget that the Maidan protests were originally against oligarchy in general, and that they utterly failed to improve the situation. And have now been hijacked by oligarchs.

    Viz:

    https://www.kyivpost.com/content/business/oligarchs-step-in-to-save-ukraines-sovereignty-338116.html

    It’s basically one bunch of oligarchs against the other at the end of the day. Each citing the ‘threat’ posed by the other, and somone still waiting to see how it pans out before taking another slice of Ukraine’s GDP (1/3 of Poland’s, per capita, btw)

    Where did they get the idea? Milton Friedman, probably. Or maybe Fukuyama. Greedy bastards are transnational.

  126. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 1:51 pm

    Fair enough, Macky. Just registering my caution. I wouldn’t want to be like ESLO, uncritically swallowing soundbites from the people I liked.

  127. ESLO

    “Neither – but you forget where the Ukrainian oligarchs originally got their ideas from and how they benefit from Putin wishing to have a similar type of system to that which he imposes on Russia.”

    What are you on about. In Ukraine as in the West, Oligarchs have directly controlled the state.

    They don’t in Russia, since Putin took over.

    He doesn’t allow them to directly involve themselves in politics. He manages them by playing one off against the other, often invoking the national interest in oppossition to their business interests.

    If only we could have something like that in the West, we’d all be much better off.

  128. Another Russian who understands what is going on

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/the-true-role-of-the-fsb-in-the-ukrainian-crisis/498072.html

    @Herbie

    “They don’t in Russia, since Putin took over.”

    Comedy gold – please read something about Russia other than Putin’s propaganda – the whole State is being run for the benefit of Putin and those oligarchs in his circle. You really have no clue whatsoever.

  129. Herbie

    Ask yourself why the Sochi games were so expensive.

  130. Herbie

    Ask yourself why the Putin’s Party is usually called the “Party of Crooks and Thieves” in common Russian parlance.

  131. “He doesn’t allow them to directly involve themselves in politics.”

    So why did he appoint Roman Abramovich as governor of Chuchotka for 8 years – during which time his company was able to take advantage of some local tax concessions in order to reduce the tax on his companies which were located there?

  132. ESLO

    Spouting propaganda seems to be all you have. Amusingly that propganda would be far better directed at the West than at Russia under Putin.

    The simple fact is that Putin has relegated the oligarchs to interests competing with other interests, the most important of which is for Putin, the Russian state itself.

    He’s sharing the wealth amongst the people, increasing salaries and pensions and so on.

    We know what the West wants of Russia, that it be as it was under Yeltsin, him drunk as a skunk, whilst people starved and died as the resources of the country were stripped.

    You see, he changed all that. That’s the point. It’s also why the West don’t like him.

    Western oligarchs continue to plunder their peoples, and it will only get worse.

    Putin put it all back the way it should be with competing interests evaluated according to the priorities of the country as a whole.

    He’s what used to be called a one nation Tory.

  133. ESLO

    Abramovich was in politics at the beginning of Putin’s term, but he’s no longer involved in politics.

    That’s the transition.

    But even in Putin’s early days it’s clear the direction he wanted things to take.

    It looks as though Putin got him to put something back in the meantime, before he resigned from politics:

    “”There are probably strings tied to his governship of Chukotka, such as having to spend quite a lot of extra money there alleviating poverty,” says Ms Ter-Sakarian.

    However, Mr Abramovich is estimated to have already spent $1.3bn of his own money on good causes in the state.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4293684.stm

  134. ESLO

    “Another Russian who understands what is going on”

    That would be Andrei Soldatov …

    who works for Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs, the Neocon house magazines.

    Dear, oh dearie me.

    The Moscow Times takes a Western line on matters Russian.

  135. Sofia Kibo Noh

    16 Apr, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    Ba’al. 1:36 pm

    Is that how people who play chess in the street arrange the delivery of APCs?

    “All the soldiers and the officers are here. We are all boys who won’t shoot our own people,” he said, adding that his men had had no food for four days until local residents fed them.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/16/uk-ukraine-crisis-idUKBREA3D0C420140416

    Maybe the citizens of Donetsk should just organise a big street party with lots of FOOD!

  136. RT asks

    How will the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine play out?

    28% – The heightening of tensions will spark a new Cold War
    9% – Western sanctions will force Russia to come to the bargaining table
    46% – The West will accept Crimean integration with Russia for economic reasons
    17% – Crimea will remain a simmering issue for decades

    http://rt.com/news/

  137. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    Sofia – Is that how people who play chess in the street arrange the delivery of APCs?
    It’s how I’d arrange it if the Russian Army were just a hop and skip over the border waiting for a civil war to happen. But I’m crap at chess, as I said. And I agree re. food. Maybe they should roast an oligarch or two, and I am really neutral as to which ones.

    ESLO – So why did he appoint Roman Abramovich as governor of Chuchotka for 8 years – during which time his company was able to take advantage of some local tax concessions in order to reduce the tax on his companies which were located there?

    I’m sure you know really. Try to think of it as the Russian equivalent to Osborne’s appointment of Angela Leadsom as City Minister (what that? New Libor ministry?), also giving her the brief for the “help-to-buy” scheme. An ex – Barclay’s investment banker, as is her husband, and deeply into buy-to-let, she’s not short of a bob or two… but hey, why not buy Private Eye this week and see for yourself?

    Take-home message : the impression is that “…despite his protestations of clamping down on Britain’s many financial excesses, Osborne has given the Treasury’s City brief to a wealthy ex-banker who uses trusts to reduce her tax bill and offshore accounts to exploit a booming property market”

    Both Russia and the US do it bigger, but we do it too.

  138. The fog of war = the fogh of Rasmussen

    NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
    April 16, 2014

    BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the alliance’s chief said Wednesday.

    Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region and allied warships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere if needed.

    “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels, declining to give exact troop figures.

    /..

    http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/NATO-ups-military-presence-amid-Russian-threat-5406300.php

  139. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 3:19 pm

  140. David Swanson who co-founded After Downing Street.org, another American to whom we owe our gratitude, writes –

    Torture is Mainstream Now
    by David Swanson / April 15th, 2014

    As Rebecca Gordon notes in her new book, Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States, polls find greater support in the United States for torture now than when Bush was president. And it’s not hard to see why that would be the case.

    Fifteen years ago, it was possible to pretend the U.S. government opposed torture. Then it became widely known that the government tortured. And it was believed (with whatever accuracy) that officials had tried to keep the torturing secret. Next it became clear that nobody would be punished, that, in fact, top officials responsible for torture would be permitted to openly defend what they had done as good and noble.

    The idea was spread around that the torture was stopping, but the cynical could imagine it must be continuing in secret, the partisan could suppose the halt was only temporary, the trusting could assume torture would be brought back as needed, and the attentive could be and have been aware that the government has gone right on torturing to this day with no end in sight.

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/04/torture-is-mainstream-now/

    DAVID SWANSON is the author of “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org

    Swanson holds a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

    Swanson is Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, creator of ConvictBushCheney.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, and Voters for Peace, a convenor of the legislative working group of United for Peace and Justice, chair of the UFPJ working group on Accountability and Prosecution, and a member of the Robert Jackson Steering Committee.

  141. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 3:42 pm

    Mandelson and the Oligarchs (cont’d) – Evtushenkov, Deripaska:

    http://alexanderboot.com/content/mandelson-won%E2%80%99t-be-short-rouble-or-two

    A cutting wit at work here.

  142. Ba’al Zevul

    Reported tax breaks of $482 million for one company.

    But he spent $1.5 billion of his own money.

    Not quite the kind of deal you’ve described above.

  143. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    Macky – Not saying I agree with everything this man says, but just to give the other side of Church – State relations in Russia, apropos the (Russian Ortho) Saker blog:

    http://alexanderboot.com/content/letter-friend

  144. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 4:00 pm

    Herbie – Just to complicate the picture further, Abramovich (philanthropic as he certainly was to Chukotka – $179M annually since 1999, estimated) resigned the chairmanship of the legislature last year. In response to bad mans Putin’s decree:

    A United Russia source said that Abramovich’s decision to leave Chukotka was motivated by Putin’s decree that elected officials must get rid of their foreign property if they wish to hold office in Russia. Faced with the choice between wealth overseas or political power at home, many officials have already departed, though not always willingly. Nine members of the Federation Council (five of whom are on the Forbes list of richest Russians) have left since Putin first floated the ban last December. Federation Council member Valentina Matviyenko said she expected two more wealthy council members to quit in the autumn. By contrast, Mikhail Rostovskiy writes that Abramovich was relieved when Putin announced the policy, since he was tired of playing “papa” to the distant Chukotka okrug

    http://imrussia.org/politics/515-the-end-of-the-affair-abramovich-leaves-chukotka

    IOW he left Russian politics in order to Follow The Money.

  145. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 4:01 pm

    Like Blair.

  146. WHO CONTROLS BRITAIN?

    Barack Obama far from dismantling George W Bush’s secret state has diligently reconstructed and extended it, consolidating British expertise and resources in intelligence gathering to boot. Part of that deal was a promise not to rake up the past, except to rewrite history, which meant no naming or shaming the agencies torturers and their top level planners.

    The other part of course, according to a number of analysts including investigative journalist Jason Lewis, revealed it was the CIA that helped draw up the dodgy Iraq Dossier which John Scarlett produced as chairman of the UK governments Joint Intelligence Committee.

    http://not4attribution.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/rendition-did-uk-play-secret-role-new.html

    I strongly believe this secret entanglement between Britain and America needs urgent investigation and inquiry.

    Clearly the CIA were involved in the Lockerbie bombing.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/but-if-he-didn-t-do-it-who-did-the-other-theories-1-906931

    Within an hour of Flight 103 crashing American personnel were on the scene and took over to the annoyance of the local SOC police.

    We can ask, does America control the British Establishment? – Certainly Blair, Milliband and Balls furthered their education in America. UKIP was formed by American influence; EDL is suspected of being CIA sponsored, while other British political advisers are members of the elite British American Project, another CIA sponsored organisation.

    It seems our own ‘secret courts’ best answers this question – To be sure we are being screwed by the people we pay – WE PAY – to preserve our hard won freedoms now seriously undermined and eroded.

  147. Ba’al

    It’s fine that Putin would require such a commitment. Wouldn’t it be great if our own leaders were to do that.

    Point is that Putin changed the way these oligarchs operate, which is what I’ve been arguing.

    Only a fool would suggest that Putin hasn’t rescued the country from the Yeltsin days.

    And remember that Yeltsin’s way is the way the West wanted it run.

    ===================================================

    This article from Alexander Boot indicates he’s a bit of a looper too. Seems he was involved in the McWhirters’ very right wing so called Freedom Association

    http://alexanderboot.com/content/let%E2%80%99s-boycott-john-kerry-not-israel

    Perhaps he’s posting here.

  148. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 4:26 pm

    It’s fine that Putin would require such a commitment. Wouldn’t it be great if our own leaders were to do that.

    Wouldn’t it just. But that doesn’t make me a blind supporter of Putin. I think it can be taken that the oligarchs, though not permitted to rule directly, still rule, and with Putin’s consent. It’s not even certain that he could withdraw his consent – this is how Russia is traditionally governed. Or so this piece would suggest;

    ” Unfortunately, our understanding of Mr. Putin’s regime and its most important players remains heavily distorted by our disappointment that Russia has failed to develop along Western lines. By fixating on Mr. Putin’s authoritarian streak, hostility to outside influences and resistance to Western-style reforms, we generally overlook that his value to the system, like that of the czars who preceded him, is based on maintaining the balance among competing vested interests. Just as it was five centuries ago, the main battles inside the Kremlin among these groups are about power, money and access to special privileges, not ideology.

    Eventually, the day will come when Mr. Putin is no longer in power. Yet it seems highly unlikely that his informal style of rule will be replaced by a rule of law system based on strong institutions and checks and balances. Rather, the West must brace itself for the possibility that the oligarchic system itself, with its deep roots in Russian political culture, will outlive its current master. ”

    Unfortunately, our understanding of Mr. Putin’s regime and its most important players remains heavily distorted by our disappointment that Russia has failed to develop along Western lines. By fixating on Mr. Putin’s authoritarian streak, hostility to outside influences and resistance to Western-style reforms, we generally overlook that his value to the system, like that of the czars who preceded him, is based on maintaining the balance among competing vested interests. Just as it was five centuries ago, the main battles inside the Kremlin among these groups are about power, money and access to special privileges, not ideology.

    Eventually, the day will come when Mr. Putin is no longer in power. Yet it seems highly unlikely that his informal style of rule will be replaced by a rule of law system based on strong institutions and checks and balances. Rather, the West must brace itself for the possibility that the oligarchic system itself, with its deep roots in Russian political culture, will outlive its current master.”

  149. Ba'al Zevul (Close Brackets)

    16 Apr, 2014 - 4:29 pm

    Sorry – link here, rather than two copies of text:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/opinion/russias-oligarchy-alive-and-well.html?_r=0

    Agree re. Boot, but the Mandelson piece was a laugh, you have to admit.

  150. “IOW he left Russian politics in order to Follow The Money.

    Like Blair.”

    Don’t think so. Blair made his money after politics. Were Putin to do that it could be like Blair, but ultimately there was no future for Abramovich in Russian politics. Chukotka is a god-forsaken place about as far as it’s possible to get from Moscow without bumping into Sarah Palin.

    It’s not politics as an oligarch might wish it. These guys wanted to run the country for themselves, and themselves alone, before Putin got established.

    Bit like the way the Anglo/Saxon world runs these days.

  151. Richard Branson has fallen for a Ukrainian’s message.

    Richard Branson ‏@richardbranson · Apr 15
    Like Yulia, we should all stand firm alongside Ukraine & stand up for true democracy http://virg.in/yul

    Richard Branson ‏@richardbranson · Apr 15
    Honoured to receive a hand-painted orange protester helmet from Yulia from ‘I Am A Ukrainian’ http://virg.in/yul pic.twitter.com/OIc6LnQhT9
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BlRDSqFCcAAXnuF.jpg

    Like more than eight million people around the world who have watched the video I Am a Ukrainian, I was deeply moved by the message of Yulia Marushevska from Kiev earlier this year.
    15 April 2014
    http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/yulia-and-ukraine

    Now who has brought him into the arena.

  152. Ben-Smoker, joker, red-eyed toker

    16 Apr, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    Mark; The dots need connecting. Is there some relevance to Ukraine, Boston and Awlaki?

    Comments are interesting, as well.

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/04/14/uss-boston-bombing-report-hints-even-darker-reality/

  153. ESLO

    16 Apr, 2014 – 1:30 pm
    @Mary
    and Michelle is busy lighting the candles.
    https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/455872355311419392/photo/1
    Same old, same old – what are you trying to say, somehow I doubt it is Happy Passover.

    Yes Happy Passover. Perhaps you were as surprised as my Jewish friend in the West Country, who sent me the link, to find that the Obamas are Jewish too. Or perhaps they just celebrate Jewish holidays. That must go down well with the people in the AIPAC lobby group.

  154. “I think it can be taken that the oligarchs, though not permitted to rule directly, still rule, and with Putin’s consent. It’s not even certain that he could withdraw his consent – this is how Russia is traditionally governed.”

    Yeah but, he takes the decisions. He’s running it like a council of interests, and if the voters don’t like what he does they can get rid of him.

    It’s hard to get rid of oligarchs.

    He really does play one off against the other and when he wants to emphasise a state interest, he then says that his old muckers are insisting. Much better than the greasy pole bureaucrats we’ve got.

    It’s traditional leadership.

    I hear the argument that when he goes you may not get another leader with his skillset, and the oligarchs will just take over again, but I’m sure he’s thought of that.

    He’ll have to set up systems which ensure that doesn’t happen, and encourage ordinary people to take an interest in their democracy.

    Despite its long history, Russia is at an early stage of development in economic terms and new systems and the embeddedness of them takes time.

    All I ask of him is that he halt the onward march of Western hegemony.

    Whilst Putin is trying to bring in the rule of law, our gangsters are completely out of control, and it’s my belief that they need to be stopped before they do any more damage.

    I had my complaints in the past, but I wouldn’t have said that before the late 80s.

  155. “They don’t in Russia, since Putin took over.”

    Putin is now the world’s richest head of state, worth between $40 and $70 billion.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/29/richest-world-leaders_n_4178514.html

  156. “Yes Happy Passover. Perhaps you were as surprised as my Jewish friend in the West Country, who sent me the link, to find that the Obamas are Jewish too. Or perhaps they just celebrate Jewish holidays”

    There is nothing unusual in any democratically elected leader showing respect for religions and interest groups in a company other than his/her own – that is what seeking to govern by consent entails.

    “That must go down well with the people in the AIPAC lobby group.”

    It may well do – but isn’t it a form of reverse Zionism, or worse, to try and make links between the support of a respected religion and that of Israel? Aren’t you just the reverse side of the coin to those who say that those who oppose Israel are anti-Semitic (or prejudiced against the Jewish religion as the pedants here would prefer).

  157. Abramovich (philanthropic as he certainly was to Chukotka – $179M annually since 1999, estimated)

    Small price to pay for the amount of tax he avoided on his company’s profits I assure you.

  158. Eslo I have heard it all how. ‘Reverse Zionism’. That’s a new one.

  159. Try some ‘Zionism’ in forward gear, full speed ahead.

    Remote-control machine gun installed on top of wall near Bethlehem — Ma’an
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/04/machine-installed-bethlehem.html

    Imagine living with that pointing down at you.

    Or put yourself in the place of Mariam Barghouti, one of Obama’s citizens, languishing in an Israeli jail.

    American citizen, translator and student—Mariam Barghouti arrested and detained in West Bank
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/04/american-translator-barghouti.html

    Anyway a joyous Passover – Chag Pesach Sameach!

  160. Mary, Macky

    The Slog is f***ing funny. A libertarian Alf Garnet providing refuge for disenfranchised DM readers on acid. It gets more mental than here!

    The insane Nazism of extreme feminism
    pc feminism reducing efficiency of fire service.
    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/tag/feminism-islam/
    Don’t build more houses stop immigration

  161. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Apr, 2014 - 9:02 pm

    Just to pick out a couple of gems from Hurby’s post at 16h53, singing the praises of new world hope President Putin:

    “..and if the voters don’t like what he does they can get rid of him.”

    I assume that was written tongue in cheek?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “I hear the argument that when he goes you may not get another leader with his skillset, and the oligarchs will just take over again, but I’m sure he’s thought of that.

    He’ll have to set up systems which ensure that doesn’t happen, and encourage ordinary people to take an interest in their democracy.”

    I’m sure he has thought of that – probably with the help of a few well-endowed foreign bank accounts.
    And I’m also sure that encouraging “ordinary people to take an interest in their democracy” is something he spends most of his waking hours thinking about.

    And what you say there is in contrtadiction with what you said just vefore, which was :

    “He really does play one off against the other and when he wants to emphasise a state interest, he then says that his old muckers are insisting. Much better than the greasy pole bureaucrats we’ve got.

    It’s traditional leadership.”. VERY traditional!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Whilst Putin is trying to bring in the rule of law,…”

    More tongue in cheek, I suppose?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “All I ask of him is that he halt the onward march of Western hegemony.”

    The best of the lot, Hurby. Leaving aside the presumptiousness of the “All I ask of him” (I’m sure he’s listening hard, Hurby), I wonder if you could explain exactly why that would be a such good thing? I think you’re exhibiting what Orwell called “transferred nationalism”.

    ===================

    Taken together, your post is the most foolish post I’ve read for a very, very long time.

  162. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Apr, 2014 - 10:22 pm

    Hurby

    “There’s no way in a million years Putin would send forces across the border, without first openly stating his pretext.”
    ___________________

    Are we to infer from this that Hurby would be happy for Russian forces to enter Ukraine provided that rasPutin provides a pretext?

  163. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Apr, 2014 - 10:35 pm

    Hurby

    ““More to the point what are armoured vehicles bearing the Russian flag doing in Eastern Ukraine doing today! Hardly the local militia that the Putinistas deceitfully claim.”

    Did you just make this up, ESLO, or do you have a source?

    Sounds like total bollocks, but amusing that you don’t even seem to understand that.”
    _____________________

    “Total bollocks” – I do think that you have cracked the mystery, Hurby.

    As any fule – and any Eminence – no, these are not Russian troops at all. They are agents provocateurs impersonating Russian soldiers. They are, in fact, troops dressed up in stolen Russian-type garb sent by the illegitimate,fascist hyena govt in Kiev, liberally supplemented by cunningly disguised US Navy Seals, Walruses and Porpoises, all in the pay of Ronald Reagan, Boris Yeltsin and Amschel Rothschild (all deceased).

    Thanks for that insightful insight, Hurby.

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

    Russian Oligarch Flagday – please give generously!

  164. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Apr, 2014 - 10:43 pm

    Hurby (yes, It’s That Man Again!)

    “He’s sharing the wealth amongst the people, increasing salaries and pensions and so on.”
    ___________________

    I take it that the “he” refers to President Putin.

    You seem to possess considerable expertise in socio-economic developments in today’s Russia. Would you consider sharing with us the information you have regarding wealth sharing, salaries and pensions. I’m particularly interested in the figure for the minimum state pension in Russia – now and before the “increase”. Any oindication as to wealth distribution in Russia would also be welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

  165. That offering from Herbie truly was the very worst post ever written on the Craig Murray blog. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. :-(

  166. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    16 Apr, 2014 - 11:22 pm

    You are right, Anon. D’you know, I sometimes wonder whether Hurbee and posters like him aren’t really people in the employ of those who wish Craig’s blog and Craig himself ill. After all, with enough guff like the above from Irby, people in time will start thinking “well, if that’s the kind of nutter Craig’s blog attracts…..”

    Or are they just fruits and nutcases, full stop?

  167. Ultimately it boils down to the difference between Yeltsin and Putin.

    Most of the West’s puppets are Yeltsins, allowing the rape and plunder of their country.

    Putin has stopped that and is using the wealth generated by their resources to build up internal infrastructure, economic. social and so on. You can’t do that if you submit to the Western bully. That’s not what they want.

    That’s the whole history of Africa of South America and so on. They just weren’t allowed independent development. Until recently.

    Putin is in the mould of DeGaulle or Nasser etc, standing up for a multipolar world against the West’s desire to finally impose a unipolar one.

    That’s the choice.

    Place your bets.

  168. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    17 Apr, 2014 - 12:24 am

    “Putin is in the mould of DeGaulle or Nasser etc,…”
    ________________

    Not very encouraging models, I’d say, given the short-livedness of their “achievements” and the mess their countries are in.

  169. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    17 Apr, 2014 - 12:26 am

    BTW, Herbie, how about some concrete figures and data, as requested, re pensions “and so so” in Russia?

  170. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    17 Apr, 2014 - 12:27 am

    “[You do your job; I’ll do mine, thanks.]”
    _______________

    Fine by me, boss :)

  171. fred 16 Apr, 2014 – 6:27 pm

    “Putin is now the world’s richest head of state, worth between $40 and $70 billion.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/29/richest-world-leaders_n_4178514.html

    I’m hoping you’re just being mischievous with this comment, Fred. Your Huffington Post link presents no more ‘evidence’ than:

    “Putin is believed to be worth between $40 and $70 billion, Bloomberg notes.”

    When we check what Bloomberg actually said, their writer Leonid Bershidsky completely demolishes the idea. He says:

    “The media reports, which often cite one another, ultimately tend to rely on one primary source: a November 2007 interview given by a prominent member of Moscow’s chattering classes, Stanislav Belkovsky, to the German daily Die Welt. In the interview, he claimed that Putin “controlled” 37 percent of the oil company Surgutneftegaz and 4.5 percent of natural gas monopoly Gazprom. The $40 billion estimate of Putin’s fortune was simply the 2007 market price of these stakes.”

    ….then ….

    “There has never been the slightest bit of evidence that Putin actually owns stakes in Surgutneftegaz or Gazprom.”

    …. and even more damningly ….

    “The late tycoon Boris Berezovsky once admitted to hiring Belkovsky, who is Jewish, to muster Russian nationalist forces against Putin.”

    So to summarise, Fred, your claim about Putin’s wealth stems from an unsubstantiated allegation made by someone who was once paid to cause Putin trouble. When Putin was asked about journalists repeating the allegations, he said:

    “It’s just chitchat, nonsense, nothing to discuss. They picked it out of their noses and smeared it on their pieces of paper.” Then he continued, “I am the wealthiest man not just in Europe but in the whole world. I collect emotions, I am wealthy in that the people of Russia have twice entrusted me with the leadership of a great nation such as Russia — I believe that is my greatest wealth.”

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-09-17/vladimir-putin-the-richest-man-on-earth

  172. Habby says of my claim that “Putin is in the mould of DeGaulle or Nasser etc,…” in advocating a multipolar world rather than a unipolar one:

    “Not very encouraging models, I’d say, given the short-livedness of their “achievements” and the mess their countries are in.”

    They were early adopters. The later models are much more refined, reflective.

    And then there’s timeliness.

    You do understand that “the mess their countries are in.” is a direct result of their desire for independent development having been stymied by the West.

  173. The Next 911 : Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.

    Have the British Trident coordinates been programmed into the Trident II D-5 onboard arming computers? Yes I believe they have. Possibly 80 Russian sites have been targeted with 150KTon thermonuclear bombs.

    We rad today Rasmussen said that NATO air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region and NATO ships would be deployed in the Baltic Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.

    http://rt.com/news/nato-ukraine-response-rasmussen-872/

    The British Navy and the RAF will be involved in these various NATO ‘exercises’ to slowly ramp up the pressure on President Putin; a strategic part of the Ukraine putsch.

    Why do this when a ‘mistake’ or a tragedy or an’act of god’ might cause Russia and Putin to retaliate, strike back, turn the tables or even the score?

    I do not have to answer that question except to say that to our American neocons, Putin has forsaken world order. He has exposed, laid bare the Western alliance insidious, fraudulent, devious rendition program, it’s proxy wars and ‘red line’ activated chemical WMD covert operations; EVEN exposed the American ‘pearl harbor’ attack in 2001 when NORAD was confused by ‘drills’ and steel buildings fell like castles of sand hit by the oncoming tide.

    Putin like Saddam, like Moammar Gadhafi is a traitor to the ‘system’ -to Plutus and Mammon. He must fall on his sword,

    China the deponent will have to sit on her hands, impotent from the threat of nuclear annihilation by US nuclear war-heads totally around one thousand operational Megaton and 500 tactical 150Kton.

    I hope I am wrong albeit the double-encrypted plan must reside in Eastbury Park’s COMNAVNORTH bunker…

  174. Oh gosh look!

    Surely it’s not the Habbabkuk,ESLO,Anon night shift multi-post gang up on someone schtick?

    How quaint,really.

    Kerchingggg!!….now don’t forget to fill in the overtime chits chaps and bwing the bossy wossy a wittle apple for the morning eh?

    You know i’m right chaps innit like,yeah,what eh?

    Fanjitas yoll.

  175. BrianFujisan

    17 Apr, 2014 - 3:30 am

    It is not without good reason that Brennan is known unofficially as Obama’s “assassination and torture tsar”. The 58-year-old spymaster is the embodiment of how Washington has itself become a secret, unaccountable government that has set itself above the law in the running of torture and assassination programs by presidential command. Brennan is the “éminence grise” of the White House’s covert world of state terrorism.
    Following disclosure of Brennan’s weekend visit to the Ukrainian capital, the White House was evidently caught on the back foot. The Oval Office made the somewhat unconvincing attempt to portray it as a perfunctory meeting between security officials. Well, if it was merely a routine itinerary then why was the fact of the meeting such a closely guarded secret – up until the matter was leaked by parliamentary sources in Kiev?
    The timing of Brennan’s sojourn in Kiev comes at a crucial juncture. The unelected Western-backed junta in Kiev is threatening a violent crackdown on pro-Russian protesters in the east and south of the country.
    So far, the protesters have taken over government and police buildings in the major cities of Donetz, Karkhov, Lugansk, Slavyansk and Horlivka. The takeovers have been carried out with notably little violence – in contrast to the Western-backed street violence that occurred in Kiev from the end of November. The eastern Ukraine protests have met minimal resistance from local police and other security forces, and indeed the latter seem to have willingly joined in the defense of the demonstrations.
    The leaders of the self-appointed regime in Kiev are struggling to contain the protesters in the east and south of Ukraine. The chaotic situation is a pointed reminder that the fascists and neo-Nazis who seized power in Kiev at the end of February – after nearly three months of Western-backed street subversion – do not have a democratic mandate to rule over the whole country. The protesters in the eastern cities view the Kiev junta as having come to power illegally. As one woman told media: “They are just a gang of criminals”.
    That view would seem to be substantiated by the tacit revolt among police and security forces in the east of Ukraine against the orders for a crackdown given from Kiev. Such clear lack of command over a basic institution of the state indicates that the Kiev cabal has lost control, or more accurately, never had control in the first place – apart from precipitating the illegal coup in Kiev against the incumbent President Viktor Yanukovych.
    The vacuum of central authority in Ukraine is evident from the ineffective deadlines issued by the office occupiers in Kiev. Ironically, this supports Moscow’s position that any political solution will have to be based on a federal settlement among the regions of Ukraine. American, European and Russian officials are to meet in Geneva this week, but there is little sign that the Western parties can admit to the reckless folly of their efforts at forcing regime change across Ukraine on the back of the Kiev cabal.
    Kiev’s first ultimatum for the protesters in the eastern cities to relinquish their occupation of public buildings expired last Friday. Kiev had given demonstrators 48 hours last week to disperse otherwise it was sending in “anti-terror” military forces to do so. That deadline was defiantly ignored by armed protesters behind their barricades. So too was a second deadline, which expired on Monday morning.
    This is the context for the secret visit by CIA chief John Brennan to Kiev at the weekend. The Washington-backed regime is floundering to cope with the nationwide crisis it has helped to provoke, and it needs a steadying hand from Uncle Sam.
    The CIA’s covert involvement in destabilizing Ukraine goes all the way back to the end of the Cold War, when the country was targeted for regime change from the early 1990s as a calculated pressure point to exert on Russia. The admission at the end of last year by US state department official Victoria Nuland that the US had funneled some $5 billion into Ukraine for subversive activities under the guise of myriad CIA front organizations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy and the Heritage Foundation, is testimony to this strategic gambit.
    The question might be asked: why did Brennan have to visit Kiev in person? Surely, a lesser dignitary bearing a sealed letter would have sufficed? The fact that Brennan was obliged to press the flesh with leaders of the Kiev junta suggests two things. Firstly, the junta is way out of its depth in maintaining a façade of “governance” over a population of 45 million, many of which are armed and implacably opposed to its Western-infiltrated rule. Given Brennan’s top ranking as Washington’s éminence grise, his meeting in Kiev was probably designed at shoring up the shaky US-backed regime in the face of growing dissent.
    Secondly, and more sinisterly, Brennan was letting his hosts in Kiev know – in the most authoritative unspoken way – that they could rely on the full panoply of Washington’s state terrorist expertise.
    The CIA director is a holdover from the Bush administration in which he was a formative figure in drawing up the torture and extraordinary rendition practices during the 2000s. Brennan’s rise through the ranks of the American national security apparatus is in tandem with the rise of American government lawlessness around the world.
    In 2008, he had to withdraw his nomination for the top CIA post under public pressure then from his known involvement in and support for torture. The Obama administration circumvented that glitch by appointing Brennan as the president’s “chief counterterrorism advisor” – a career appointment that did not require Congressional oversight.

    http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/cia-terror-chief-pulls-rank-in-kiev-by-finian-cunningham/

  176. “The argument runs that this could in turn lead to further revelations in the courts and block the major defence against prosecutions of Blair, Straw and Dearlove, among others, potentially unleashing a transatlantic wave of judicial activism.”

    It would bring me great joy to see Blair in the dock. I’m not quite sure what he should be charged with, war-crimes, treason, or corruption in office. I don’t think he can realisticaly be charged with all of them, though of course he is quite obviously guilty of all of them. I’d go with Treason, personally. The war-crimes is never going to stick, and the corruption in office is too boring. But Treason is a good one. It brings added shame, and I wonder if we could still theoretically take him to the tower and chop of his head?

    Apparently, though, Blairy is fearful of assassination, quite genuinely. In case the spooks are reading, I personally would never go above shouting a bit of abuse, and maybe chucking a shoe in his general vicinity – but I’m quite sure some of Bliary’s new pals would go much further. I suspect this is the reason he pops up every so often, repeating his little mantra about whatever it is he talks about, so as to show he is still ‘safe’. I think there is much more chance of Bliar having a little accident, than there is of him going to court.

    Godwin alert. There is that little book called ‘Political Ponerology’, which I’m sure many have read on these boards. In this book, the writer bemoans, quite genuinely, the death of the leading Nazi’s at Nuremberg, because humanity lost the chance to see how evil works, to study the psychopathology of these deviant minds. They may have deserved their fate, no doubt, but their death gained us nothing other than revenge. The writer goes on to suggest that this was never entirely an accident, as too many people simply didn’t want us to know how evil works, and the legal establishment played along. I mention this, because I’m quite sure Blair will never face a court, in case we see a little too much about how powerful men operate, and about the inter-connectedness of it all. So I imagine the senate report will be bland, and full of those funny black redaction marks, and Obama – another curious case – will wibble something about healing, and moving forward, and much will remain a mystery, as ever.

    Also, lots of dead bankers these days. Very curious that. I didn’t know so many were that unhappy. One of them, apparently, shot himself with a nail-gun I believe 9 times, poor guy. Suicide, obviously.

  177. Jives Perhaps it is a surfeit of C2H5OH that produces the late night mass t—-l postings!

    ~~~

    Meanwhile the Heir to Blair does God again in an attempt to recover his diminishing electorate.

    David Cameron puts God back into politics
    British Christians should be unashamedly ‘evangelical’, says David Cameron, as he speaks of the ‘healing power’ of faith in his own life http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10771339/David-Cameron-puts-God-back-into-politics.html

    ‘His comments amount to an olive branch to the churches in the wake of rows over issues such as welfare cuts and gay marriage. His Government has also been accused of failing to stand up for Christians.’

  178. Ba’al; “Macky – Not saying I agree with everything this man says, but just to give the other side of Church – State relations in Russia, apropos the (Russian Ortho) Saker blog”

    Well my impression on reading his stuff, is much like yours & A Node’s, ie, he is as nutty as a fruitcake; I thought it would be rather fitting to see what Saker himself would have to say about his fellow Russian’s writing , so I asked him, and here’s the reply;

    “LOL! Whoever wrote that knows less about Russia than Bart Simpson or, alternatively, is a crazed russophobe with not an ounce of honesty left in him. You can safely disregard anything this character has to say about Russia. Besides, if the guy knew anything at all he would not have to pepper an article about Putin with Tsars, Rasputin, Holy Russia or this pearl “old imperial chauvinism underpinned by the Third Rome effluvia”.

    I just took a quick look at his site and there is no way he is just an ignorant Bart Simpson, which leaves option 2: he is the kind of folks who emigrated from the USSR in the 1970 and who made their entire career of the russophobia. It’s the kind of people I try to stay away from and I mean that, I always try to flush my mental toilet afterwards.

    How is this title (of one of his articles): “Putin: KGB Gang$ta for Life”? Putin was in the foreign intelligence service, just like Papa Bush, but I doubt that folks like this Boot (probably a made-ip name), would write that about him,

    Forget this steaming pile of shit is my best advice!”

    A clarifying correction to my “one of the least moderated blogs I have encountered yet” iro the Vineyardsaker blog, because in fact pre-moderation is in effect ! What I really meant is that I’ve seen strong challenging views to his opinion pieces, and that I have never seen anybody moaning about any other person being banned.

    Also I came across this, which adds interesting bio bits about Saker himself;

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2014/04/who-is-saker.html

  179. @A Node

    Only you could take an article that puts Putin at the top of a list of world leaders by wealth and decide it says he isn’t.

  180. Sofia Kibo Noh

    17 Apr, 2014 - 8:41 am

    RD / ELSO.

    I doubted your assertion that the Russian army had taken over Eastern Ukraine.

    Then I found this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NJ4ffOWmZpM#t=0

    (Not for the squeamish.)

  181. Norfolk county council is featured in this weeks Private Eye under rotten boroughs, please find it yourselfs, at least that would resemble some activity.

    I hade enough of rattling vages and reactionary sodding talk, disseminating information so that some f…wit can take the piss out of you for it here, a person who ius essentially leaderless, always on the lookout for new leaders they can latch on to, providing they fit the perfect ideals demanded.

    As usual I will try and help to get some Independent candidate, this time of my own choice, to get elected, because I want change. UKIP’s support shows that many traditional party addicts are now fed up with party politics, but there is nothing there for them but an apathetic public screaming for change, no takers, tacklers or new ideas.

    Shall leave you to the daily argy bargeying, blogging I believe its called.
    @Brian Fujisan
    Shall see you this year, not sure when shall let you know here or on Squonk.
    take care all, I’m just too busy for……..

  182. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    17 Apr, 2014 - 9:18 am

    Herbie

    “Habby says of my claim that “Putin is in the mould of DeGaulle or Nasser etc,…” in advocating a multipolar world rather than a unipolar one:

    “Not very encouraging models, I’d say, given the short-livedness of their “achievements” and the mess their countries are in.”

    They were early adopters. The later models are much more refined, reflective.”
    _________________

    Examples, please.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~=

    “You do understand that “the mess their countries are in.” is a direct result of their desire for independent development having been stymied by the West.”

    ________________

    Facile. Herbie vaunts Nasser and De Gaulle, and then when I point to their singular lack of success, does a reverse ferret and says ““the mess their countries are in.” is a direct result of their desire for independent development having been stymied by the West.”. Nit very convincing as an argument. For Herbie, always on the look out for new heroes, paradise always seems to be just around the corner.

  183. Coming to this a bit late, but to respond to Craig’s original post:

    The shocking bit is that it’s Obama defending actions taken by Bush’s administration and Cameron defending stuff done under Blair. What is the point of having an opposition and different parties of government if they are all on the same side? And it’s certainly not our side or they’d fess up and explain why whatever was done was so obviously in everybody’s best interests and deserves such cross-party support.

  184. @DavidH

    The point is that to do otherwise would be seen by many as unpatriotic and lose a lot of votes.

    Most people will defend their country on international matters whether it is right or wrong.

  185. The tragic loss of life on the now sunken S Korean ship Sewolss has happened close to its intended destination of the island of Jeju, a world heritage site.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-27056653

    That fact has not prevented the US from destroying some of its beauty for a naval base with the cooperation of a servile S Korean government.

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/19518-jeju-island-tragic-destruction-of-pristine-marine-area-for-another-naval-base-for-the-us-missile-defense-system

    Note that some of the original protesters have been imprisoned.

  186. s/be Sewol Owned by Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd since October 2012

    http://www.krs.co.kr/eng/custom/search/c_search_infoship_view.aspx?ClassNo=8955299

  187. YouKnowMyName

    17 Apr, 2014 - 11:19 am

    Quote “assertion that the Russian army had taken over Eastern Ukraine” :-)

    now mainstream media are reporting the recent secret CIA ‘inspiration’ in Kiev

    http://www.msnbc.com/all/why-was-cia-chief-kiev

    was he there to take-over western Ukraine or was he there to establish a new torture base?

    whilst we’re checking out the MSM – there’s a socio-scientific analysis of an Oligarch driven country – reported here in the Torygraph

    Personally I wouldn’t have guessed that – this country where positions of powerful interest groups are “not substantially correlated with the preferences of average citizens”, does seem to have some issues with its worldwide policies not being substantially correlated with the preferences of worldwide citizens? At least we’re only talking about a “Civil Oligarchy”[Winters]

    I have no opinions on this developing situation – I am reading widely – whilst it is still possible

  188. fred 16 Apr, 2014 – 6:27 pm
    “Putin is now the world’s richest head of state, worth between $40 and $70 billion.”

    A Node 17 Apr, 2014 – 12:56 am
    “I’m hoping you’re just being mischievous with this comment, Fred.”
    fred 17 Apr, 2014 – 8:35 am
    “Only you could take an article that puts Putin at the top of a list of world leaders by wealth and decide it says he isn’t.”

    A Node now
    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume that you’ve realised you were being a gullible fool by believing the Huffington Post article, but rather than take the graceful way out that I offered you, you’ve decided to bluster.
    I’m quite willing to discuss this. Perhaps we could start by you addressing the points I made instead of being insulting.

  189. @A Node

    I aint in any doubts at all shit for brains, you are one of them dumb retards that will just believe whatever suits you regardless.

    So go fuck yourself.

  190. Fred; “Most people will defend their country on international matters whether it is right or wrong.”

    If turning a blind eye to illegal wars, mass murder, inhuman crimes, as well as financial & human right crimes at the expenses of the ordinary citizen, can be classed as “defending their country”, then you may have a point, but the real answer is that it is a logical fallacy to have expected either Obama or Cameron to prosecute their predecessors, as they would never have got elected if they had even hinted at such a thing, as that is not how our respective “democracies” work ! I remember the Bush regime making very sure that Obama was very clear on this, long before he actually become President.

  191. fred 17 Apr, 2014 – 11:37 am

    “@A Node

    I aint in any doubts at all shit for brains, you are one of them dumb retards that will just believe whatever suits you regardless.

    So go fuck yourself.”

    …. counts to ten …. sighs …. moves on.

  192. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    17 Apr, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    Macky

    “I remember the Bush regime making very sure that Obama was very clear on this, long before he actually become President.”
    __________________

    Do you have any links/sources to confirm your memory? Thanks.

  193. @Macky

    It’s just the way people’s minds work. If somebody gets’ caught with a kilo of cocaine in Manchester then they are evil dope fiends and the government should lock them up and throw away the key. If they get caught with a kilo of cocaine in South America then they are victims and the government should be getting them out of there.

    For most people their country is like family, nobody wants to accept that their son is the kind of kid they don’t let him play out with. Cognitive dissonance kicks in.

  194. @A Node

    Look I don’t have any sort of an agenda here. I had recently read the Huffington Post article because it was linked to from the Tom Watson twitter feed, it seemed relevant to the discussion so I posted it.

    If you don’t want to believe it don’t but don’t go calling me names to try and discredit it.

  195. I understand what you are saying, Fred, and of course people will protect members of their family for minor misdemeanours. This is a natural and reasonable tradition.

    However, if that family member commits a heinous crime, such as “murder most foul”, there are few families who wouldn’t turn them in as a matter of decency, unless they were in fear of their own neck. Indeed, the law of the land would expect them to. I’d have thought that in a “mature democracy” there would be procedures that could be invoked, if the betrayal of expected values at a national level goes off the scale.

    It can’t be a proper democracy unless that is the case.

  196. Prince Bandar led the Saudi financial support for the miltary coup against Muhammad Mursi. That would be the equivalent of Cameron locking up Blair. Are there occasions when principles come before politics in Islam, while outside Islam politics always come before principles. The principle in question being the use of US supplied spying technology to allow the Mursi government to make problems for ideological opponents rather than security threats.

1 2 3

Powered By Wordpress | Designed By Ridgey | Produced by Tim Ireland | Hosted by Expathos