Daily archives: February 18, 2010

No Muslim, So No Terrorism updated

A tragedy in Austin, Texas where a man flew a light aeroplane into an office building. Reports – which may or may not be confirmed – indicate that the man set fire to his home first, and left a suicide note. The building included Federal government offices.

At least the apparent suicide is dead. But the White House’s immediate reaction that

“the crash did not appear to be an act of terrorism”


bears a little bit more thought. If Joseph Andrew Stack, a deranged man with a grudge against the IRS, had been a deranged Muslim, would this apparent suicide attack have been “Not terrorism”?


I do not vouch for the authenticity of this, but this is alleged to be from his “suicide note”.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.


That is the CLG site; I subscribe to the newsfeed, as can you at the bottom of that page. I recommend the feed as an excellent source of leads to alternative stories for the intellectually curious.

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Sorry about the unintentional ambiguity in my last post. As of three weeks ago, when I was last on the Zakhem site, they had not even begun to dig the foundation trenches, and the turbines were not on site. There was no assembled pipework. So I am convinced that the photo published by CitiFM could not be the Zakhem site. The most likely explanation is that it is either the VRA store or the Sunon Asogli power station.

CitiFM however tell me that they took the photos in good faith believing they were photographing the Zakhem site. I accept that, and CitiFM are going to check up on what they have photographed. That is why I have removed my post about CitiFM.

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Ghana Corruption

The debate in Ghana over my article on corruption has become very fierce. Zakhem International are threatening legal action. The Minister of Energy and Moses Asaga have said things which are broadly supportive of me.



I outlined today that I had been raising the Zakhem contract with both NPP and NDC governments at the highest levels. I was so concerned at serial payments being made to Zakhem with no work undertaken that I took Kwadwo Mpiani, then Chief of Staff to the President, to the site. He indicated to me that he was very disappointed with progress and that he had been told the foundations were finished, when in fact they were not started.

Kwadwo’s brother Sarpong came on air in a radio interview today and said that Kwadwo did not say that. I am sure that he did (and there were other witnesses), but I don’t quite understand Sarpong’s point. It was plain from this and other conversations with Kwadwo that Kwadwo was not involved in any corruption. Equally I found John Kuffour not well informed on the issue but disappointed with the lack of progress.

I then raised it with the new government, with Vice President John Mahama, and with Energy Minister Joe Oteng Adjei. They initiated an investigation which I believe is ongoing.

Zakhem have put out a statement in which they claim they had received only $39 million. That is contrary to my information, which I believe to be well sourced. They also give a breakdown of how $39 million was spent. If I find it, I will post a link.

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Jack Straw, Anti-Corruption Champion

This is particularly amusing. The British governemt has responded to my exposure of their attempts to thwart anti-corruption investigations in Ghana. They could not bring themselves to use my name, and sought to denigrate the article as anonymous internet comment. (In fact it was written for Ghana’s Insight newspaper which has been conducting a series of investigations into this matter).


This is the official British government statement:

Recent allegations circulated on the internet assert that the UK Government is trying to stop Ghanaian anti-corruption investigations. This is demonstrably false and deliberately misleading.


It then details the only anti-corruption abroad prosecution ever brought against a British company, the Mabey and Johnson case (M and J actually did a lot of good in Ghana, but that’s a long and different story).

But then comes the real jaw dropper:

The British Government’s opposition to bribery and corruption is unequivocal: The Foreign Bribery Strategy, launched by Anti-Corruption Champion Jack Straw on 19 January 2010, builds on the government’s anti-corruption work over the past three years and aims to help the UK strengthen its reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. And the new Bribery Bill, making its way through Parliament at present, signals a concerted effort to make the UK a leader in international anti-corruption efforts.

Have these people no shame? Jack Sraw anti-corruption champion? The MP for BAE? The man who has spent 13 years in government fighting for the interests of BAE and shielding them from successive investigations and prosecutions for corruption?





The man who broke anti-treating laws in his own election?


Jack Straw is a the epitome of the corrupt New Labour machine politician. Now for some news from genuine anti-corruption champions:

As part of its continuing efforts to press the UK government to stop

turning a blind eye to the corrupt activities of British corporations

abroad, The Corner House this week joined Campaign Against Arms Trade

(CAAT) to request a judicial review of a recent controversial plea

bargain that would let arms manufacturer BAE Systems off the hook for

alleged bribery in several European and African countries.

Nicholas Hildyard, for The Corner House, said of the decision by the

UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to allow the deal:

‘Plea bargains should only ever be entertained when companies have

really come clean. BAE has not. Once again, an SFO decision has

reinforced the UK’s reputation for letting big companies get away with


He added:

‘The SFO’s blatant disregard for the rule of law is damaging lives and

democracy abroad. We are undertaking this action in solidarity with all

those affected.’

Lawyers acting on behalf of The Corner House and CAAT wrote to the SFO

Director on Friday 12 February to signal their intention to request the

judicial review of the SFO-BAE settlement.

Under the SFO settlement, announced on 5 February 2010, BAE would plead

guilty to minor charges of ‘accounting irregularities’ in its 1999 sale

of a radar system to Tanzania for which the SFO proposed it should pay

penalties of 30 million pounds sterling. The SFO would not bring charges

relating to alleged bribery and corruption in BAE’s arms deals elsewhere.

The basis for the legal challenge is that, in reaching this settlement,

the SFO failed properly to apply prosecution guidance (including its own

guidance). In particular, the plea agreement fails to reflect the

seriousness and extent of BAE’s alleged offending, which includes

corruption and bribery, and to provide the court with adequate

sentencing powers.

The groups also argue that the SFO has unlawfully concluded that factors

weighing against prosecuting outweigh those in favour.

Kaye Stearman, CAAT’s spokesperson, says: ‘It is in the public interest

that BAE should not be let off the hook.’

The groups’ lawyers also requested that the Serious Fraud Office delay

applying for court approval of its settlement with BAE Systems. If it

does not do so, the two groups will seek an injunction against the court


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