The Sheer Front of David Miliband 219


Having been roundly defeated in the Court of Appeal, and with it now established beyond doubt that the UK knew that Binyam Mohammed was being tortured by the USA, Miliband has the massive effrontery to welcome the decision.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2010/feb/10/david-miliband-binyam-mohamed-statement

The truth about the government’s complicity in torture is becoming established beyond doubt. I am still shocked about the virtual media blackout on my own evidence to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF9spgagSHI

But am comforted that the forthcoming dramatisation of Murder in Samarkand with David Tennant will do more for popular understanding than dry evidence ever could.

We will never see justice, but I would strongly support the calls for a public inquiry into UK complicity with torture. Preferably of an inquisitorial kind; but even the cosy conversations of the Chilcot committee have thrown up some truth.


219 thoughts on “The Sheer Front of David Miliband

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  • technicolour

    Dear person who’s appropriated a name from a book whose message they clearly do not understand: you don’t know what ‘anarchy’ means; you refuse to define what you mean by ‘multiculturalism’, except for dark references to its ‘problems’; and you post a paragraph from a hack who was an extremist racist ideologue as an exemplar of political thought, then defend him by saying he arrived at his conclusions “from some sort of sociological or anthropological perspective.”

    I think you’ve revealed enough about yourself, don’t you?

  • mary

    There is this good comment on Clive Stafford-Smith’s Independent article.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/clive-stafford-smith-a-stuffed-toy-cant-stop-prisoner-abuse-mr-howells-1898860.html

    ‘Craig Murray has some interesting material to add here…

    gulliver055 wrote:

    Sunday, 14 February 2010 at 03:15 am (UTC)

    Go to his website and follow the link to his televised testimony to the Commons committee on torture. He asserts that there was a UK SyS policy change around July 2002 after which ‘intelligence’ collected under torture would be admissible and usable by UK SyS. At this time US intelligence would’ve been presenting UK SyS with ‘intelligence’ written down while waterboarding suspects. He asserted that this was a conscious ministerial-level decision.

    He asserted that ‘A vogue…an appetite for false intelligence’ had been created, the aim of which was to exaggerate threats in central Asia, such as where he was based in Uzbekistan, and thereby allow for the creation of narratives useful for the proponents of the war on terror. You get the idea – a local Uzbek resistance fighter becomes a global jihadist by the power of US-UK telegram.

    The timing was concurrent with the Dimbleby dossiers released for domestic consumption.

    Binyam is mentioned explicitly in this context.

    Will this national hero be on the honours list? How many British residents have had to become part of the intelligence myth for piratical invasion and occupation, have their genitals set to with razors in the process, live in legal limbo for eight years, all to fit up the goverrnment’s non-existent case?’

  • anno

    Islam counts all cultures outside its monotheism as one following. It’s irrelevant which of the aspects of God’s creation people worship, it’s not worshipping God. This presents a problem to those who deny the existence of Truth and who like to present Islam as just another culture. You could call a chicken wing a brush used in rural England, but you can’t call a billiard cue a brush even though it’s the same shape as a broom. It has a different function.

    There are of course some people who don’t like other cultures. But there is a universal resentment in this country against Islam. Every time the UKUS forces launch a brutal high-tech offensive like Fallujia or now in Helmand, I, a white British Muslim, get greeted by middle-aged English gentlemen passing by in the street with a cheery hello, which means: We are killing your brothers in thousands ho ho ho! Then, when you go to work on a day a few Brits have been killed, everyone looks at you as if you were Usama bin Laden and picks faults with your work all day.

    In UK society, multiculturalism is welcome, but Islam is hated, and the reason the government gets away with torture is because the public really hate Islam.

  • anon

    @anno

    The few that use their voices in the name of Islam and say ‘bad’ things fan many problems. Most people accept other religions but most people also remember the extreme outspoken things more than the less extreme.

    It is this memory which is used to fan any anti-religion propaganda. Curtail the extreme and you may find there is a greater mass of support and sympathy. I would hope most people in the UK country disprove of any war and suffering. Those who abuse their powers in Government will hopefully get their due reward the legal way.

  • anno

    anon

    i.e. ‘I would advise you at this stage Mr Anno not to make things worse by speaking the truth as you find it.’

    On the contrary, if the British people do not address how they are perceived by others, inside and outside their community, then the likelihood of those others attacking us through sheer exasperation increases.

    ‘I have the right to remain an arrogant, violent, racist snob if I choose to’ is not the way to win friends and influence people. The Brits have got some work to do on themselves. ‘I would hope most people in the UK disprove of any war and suffering’. They don’t. They love it, or it wouldn’t be happening. There’s not going to be any legal redress against those in power, just an election and sweep the old lot under the carpet.

    Sorry if the truth is too strong for you.

  • technicolour

    “Every time the UKUS forces launch a brutal high-tech offensive like Fallujia or now in Helmand, I, a white British Muslim, get greeted by middle-aged English gentlemen passing by in the street with a cheery hello, which means: We are killing your brothers in thousands ho ho ho!”

    No it bloody doesn’t. It means “we are reassuring you that we don’t hate you or want to kill you but we don’t know how to stop this”. Just as you don’t.

  • Jon

    @anno, I agree 100% with technicolour here, and although you and I have disagreed in the past (on religion) your perspective of the evil-ness of the UK is beginning to sound a bit mad.

    Of the Brits disapproving of war and suffering, you say “they don’t. They love it, or it wouldn’t be happening”.

    No offence meant, but this really does make you sound like you’re about nine years old. Surely you can think of alternative theories? How about the fact that the ordinary concerned civilian can do very little about it? Or, have you considered that our very human population is subject to relentless propaganda that encourages people into a dehumanisation process that makes foreign suffering less worthwhile than domestic suffering? Or how about that the man on the street has a world of problems of his own, and he can’t take the whole world on his shoulders? Or, perhaps, the ethos of capitalism is to inculcate selfishness, and that British people are vulnerable to that just as anyone else is?

    I am not saying that people are right to appear unconcerned. Like you, I fervently wish foreign suffering would register much higher on the importance scale of British voters. But to suggest that British people are wholeheartedly supportive of a war against Islam is offensive and completely wrong.

    You’ll not take the word of a non-Muslim for it, I’d wager, but I wonder if you might be swayed by progressive Muslims who are good at speaking out. Should you get the chance to see Moazzam Begg speak, I do recommend you go, and you should ask him whether he thinks the British people are at war with Islam. I don’t know him, and I don’t know what he would say, but I am confident he would disagree with you.

    (He comes to mind as I am reading his memoirs, and they are both enlightening and humbling – highly recommended also).

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Hey – anno and anon are not the same person! Eureka! It’s not an anagram or an amalgam. Unless, that is, there is a multiple personality thing going on… a la Fernando Pessoa.

    Further to Jon’s excellent suggestion, though broadening it out somewhat, intelligent analysis across a borad spectrum can be found in the works of Ziauddin Sardar, Amina Wuddud, Leila Ahmed, Asma Barlas and many others. It’s not imperative that an individual agree with everything ll of these writers say, but they provide refreshing critique.

    Also, expanding matters even further (as is my wont), it’s moving to listen to the songs of Yusuf Islam and Ian Abdellateef Whiteman/ Hajj Amin Michaal Evans. Many others, of course

  • Nurse Ratched

    Dear technicolour

    You know nothing about me, nor do you know anything of debate or argument.

    Childish word games, labels, definitions; mind-numbingly tedious abstractions. That’s all you can do. Life is just some sort of Scrabble game to you. I can just imagine you asking how many points for an “r” and an “ism”, and then claim to have won.

    You’re not even in the foothills of understanding, nor ever will you be.

    You’re pure superficiality and ideology, and nothing more.

    You’re a perfect example of a mind controlled, but not by yourself.

    But don’t fret. There are many more like you to keep you company. That’s the point, in so many ways.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Mary, I agree completely with you re. the heinous nature of UK state deep complicity and active pursuance of torture in the case of Binyam Mohd. and all the others. I think they should have redress and the cuplrits (from top to bottom) put on trial at the Hague. However, personally, I would hesitate before assigning him the role of ‘hero’ (national or otherwise). With all due respect, I do agree with most of what you write on this blog, but I think we have to be very careful about whom we choose to beatify.

  • technicolour

    yeah, ‘nurse’; don’t worry about the actual meaning of words, just ‘get an overall feel for the thing’; accept a lot of extremist racist rubbish poorly disguised as political thought; climb those ‘foothills of understanding’. You need to change your speech writer.

  • Jon

    @Nurse Ratched: a few points if I may 🙂

    I agree with your point that rules are brought in to strengthen oppression, though I see those rules as a natural effect of neoconservative capitalism. I am not sure multiculturalism is thought-control, however, and – though I have not read the author you cite – I do wonder if this is a prelude to arguing against the existence of a mixed-race society.

    I think technicolour’s point on the definition of anarchy is well-founded, and though you are right that a common usage of the word means “lawlessness” or “chaos”, I would regard the common usage as technically incorrect. I tend to use the words lawlessness or chaos specifically, if that is what I mean, for the avoidance of doubt. Perhaps the board will get a chance to discuss the merits and drawbacks of anarchy another time? 🙂

    In general, I dare say it is interesting to discuss multiculturalism, but one has to do so carefully – just in the same way as questioning how many people died in the Holocaust. In both cases it should be theoretically permissible to have a conversation, but you must know that most of those conversations are started by people who hold very racist ideas. I am not dismissing you as a racist – I don’t know what your views on racial differences are – but it is wise to bear this in mind!

    Anyway, I would tend to put the blame for the lawlessness of which you speak at the door of neoconservatism, rather than multiculturalism. I think research has shown that where societal inequality grows, crime, depression, and a host of other social ills tend to follow. Neoconservatism likes to blame it on faulty genes, sheer laziness or inate criminality, but I think these are just excuses to tighten the ratchet further on already disenfranchised people – for entirely selfish ends.

    I would point out that you seem to have made some ad hominem attacks on technicolour, which are unnecessary and distract from the core of what you are saying. Technicolour is a long-standing commenter here, his grasp of logical argument is sound, and he is willing to engage with people with whom he disagrees.

    So – debate away, but stick to the primary guideline if you can, which is: be nice!

  • Richard Robinson

    “a more arachnoid dynamic”

    Touch-typing with a difference.

    I keep getting the impression comments are in a different order from how they were last time.

  • Nurse Ratched

    @ Jon

    The term anarchy is mostly used to describe lawlessness and chaos, and hasn’t been used in the political philosophical sense much since WWI.

    But that’s beside the point. It doesn’t matter what its “technical” definition is if someone is using to mean lawlessness or chaos. That’s all that’s important. The rest is tedious pedantry. I don’t agree that it has a “technical” definition in that sense either, but as I say it’s all beside the point.

    No one is saying that multiculturalism is thought control, as you’d have seen when I responded earlier to this error on the part of technicolour.

    There are many people who discuss multiculturalism, even Sir Trev. The reason they discuss it is because it presents challenges, and increasingly so as we have more and more experience of it.

    Technicolour has but a naive appreciation of these matters and responds in a rather pavlovian way to signs and symbols.

    That’s what thought control looks like.

  • Richard Robinson

    Orwell’s “Homage to Catalonia” is a good read.

    Wikipedia also provides some English-language post-WW1 examples of the “hasn’t been much used” usage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy_in_Somalia looks like another iteration of this same discussion.

    As to the usual Humpty-Dumpty “don’t be so pedantic, it’s obvious the word only means what I want it to” – this works fine, so long as you’re only talking to yourself. If you expect to make any contact with anyone else, it’s more helpful to listen when the other party explains how they’re using their words.

    Personally, I find Yeats’ ‘*Mere* anarchy’, along with the slightly-more-pedantic “anarchism” is clearer. But, if pedantry is tedious, there’s not really much point going further.

    Nurse Knows Best, is all that’s going on.

  • technicolour

    Tsk, tsk, nurse. You agree with that wildly racist hack chap, remember?

    I asked:

    “I notice in your cut & paste from wiki the reference to “thought-control through…multiculturalist curricula”. Are you happy with that bit?”

    You replied:

    “I’m not at all happy with any form of thought control, from whatever source.”

    You then tried to change tack to ‘political correctness’ and ‘self-censorship’, of course.

    I appreciate you don’t care about the meaning of words, as long as they suit your agenda, but unfortunately, when using words, most people tend to see their meaning as important. For example, if I wanted to buy bananas, and asked instead for sausages. I might, of course, subsequently argue that what I meant was bananas, not sausages, or even that it didn’t actually matter what I meant, but I would still end up with a terrible banoffie pie.

    Waiting with interest for your definition of ‘multiculturalism’. I’d like to know what you think there is to have a problem with, you see. Make one up, by all means.

  • Nurse Ratched

    @ Richard Robinson

    There are definitely some very hard of thinking people here today.

    If we were having a debate on political systems, then it would be important to be accurate about what you meant by Anarchy. You wouldn’t simply get that from a dictionary definition, of course, as naifs like technicolour might do. You’d need to look at writings by Anarchists, look for common themes and historical antecedents and so on etc etc.

    BUT we weren’t having such a discussion.

    Someone just happened to use the term anarchy to mean lawlessnes or chaos, in a much broader discussion. The term is quite commonly used in that fashion, and only a pedant or idiot would run around looking up dictionary definitions, complaining that the word was used incorrectly.

    You see. It only matters when it is the nature of the term Anarchy that is at stake.

    It doesn’t matter at all when someone is just using it interchangeably with chaos or lawlessness, as a descriptive term.

    Anarchy after WWI: I was talking about Britain.

    After WWI, the weirdos are pretty much all Communism or Fascism, and their variants, of which Anarchy is but a lingering idealism.

    For example. They didn’t get too far in Homage to Catalonia and for obvious reasons.

  • Nurse Ratched

    “I asked:

    “I notice in your cut & paste from wiki the reference to “thought-control through…multiculturalist curricula”. Are you happy with that bit?”

    You replied:

    “I’m not at all happy with any form of thought control, from whatever source.””

    So what’s your problem with this, Mr Dictionary?

    The rest of what you wrote is drivel, I’m afraid.

  • technicolour

    Dead meat with toffee. No-one’s going to swallow it, you know.

    Definition of multiculturalism, please?

  • technicolour

    Oh, just spotted “Communism or Fascism, and their variants, of which Anarchy is but a lingering idealism.”

    Anarchy, a variant of fascism? Or communism? You know, I think you might actually have to read Homage To Catalonia, not just skip to the end.

  • Nurse Ratched

    When I mentioned multiculturalism initially, you told me you knew all about it.

    What’s changed?

    Other than that you’re flip flopping all over the place in desperation, of course.

    Anyway. What’s wrong with the quoted piece above?

    Don’t you know?

    For the record. One of the problematics of definitions are mentioned in my reply to Mr Robinson.

  • Nurse Ratched

    “Oh, just spotted “Communism or Fascism, and their variants, of which Anarchy is but a lingering idealism.”

    Anarchy, a variant of fascism? Or communism? You know, I think you might actually have to read Homage To Catalonia, not just skip to the end.”

    And your point is what exactly. Do you have one or are you just bluffing again?

  • Richard Robinson

    Nurse.

    You are, of course, every bit as free as I am to make assertions as to what’s being discussed.

    Me, I was picking up the bit about whether or not the word ‘anarchy’ only means chaos, and providing examples of other uses as an amplification of technicolour’s point.

    I gave Orwell as an example of the word’s usage. I don’t take the point of your response, that it didn’t get far – does it have any bearing on the fact that that word was used of those ideals ? which was the point under discussion. The only meaning I can find in it is that you stick your fingers in your ears and shout “I don’t like it, make it go away, I’m not listening” rather than show any interest in talking sensibly.

    If you have no better response than these silly sneering dismissals, I’ll just leave you all alone with your unquestionable “because I say so”. You don’t have any authority over me. If you can’t experience that as anything except chaos, it’s not my problem.

  • technicolour

    Bless you, Mr Ratched. I told you I knew what I meant by multiculturalism. I don’t see any problem with it. You do, from your dark murmurings and postings from an extremist racist hack so I would like to know what you mean by it. Simple.

    My point is, read Homage to Catalonia, and you will see that anarchy, in its political, social and spiritual senses, is the antithesis of facism, and an enemy of communism. But this is like teaching. Really, do some reading.

  • Nurse Ratched

    “Me, I was picking up the bit about whether or not the word ‘anarchy’ only means chaos, and providing examples of other uses as an amplification of technicolour’s point.”

    That was never in dispute, by me.

    On the contrary, it was technicolour who wanted it only to have one meaning and therefore the writer was wrong to use it in any other sense.

    In other words, techinicolour found a dictionary definition of anarchy and said the writer was wrong to use it to mean lawlessness or chaos.

    It’s all there in the early posts on this issue.

    Given that you don’t have a very clear idea of what’s actually being discussed, it’s probably best if you toodle along.

    I can manage the dictionary pedant on my own, thanks.

  • Nurse Ratched

    “My point is, read Homage to Catalonia, and you will see that anarchy, in its political, social and spiritual senses, is the antithesis of facism, and an enemy of communism.”

    Well no actually. Unfortunately it’s not that simple.

    Anarchists formed alliances with Communists in both the Spanish Civil War and indeed in Weimar Germany.

    Some anarchists even became fascists.

    This is where your dictionary definitions let you down, you see. Things are a wee bit more complex than can be reduced to definition.

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