Still at Schiphol 1154

I am becoming quite fond of my little corner of Schiphol airport. I have put up my Christmas cards and a few bits of tinsel. I now have a boarding card for the 0800 to Manchester. This is the sixth boarding card I have had. It is very hard to understand why, time after time, they don’t know a flight is cancelled until some time after it was due to leave and all the passengers have queued at the gate for hours.

Of course, Manchester is a lot further from Ramsgate than Schiphol is, so even if the flight atually goes, this represents rather dubious progress.

Happy New Year everybody.

Remarkably, KLM delivered my lost luggage, including my laptop, at 9.30 pm on New Year’s Eve. At that time a pretty lively party was already in full swing,much improved by the presence of a great many beautiful young women, mostly from Latvia. I am not sure why; my life as ever consists of a bewildering succession of chance encounters with really nice people. I am in the fortunate position of being able to say that Nadira was the most lovely of all, without indulging in dutiful hyperbole.

It was an extremely happy Christmas. Having my mum, both my brothers and all my three chidren together was as great as it was rare.

We have been through the laptop in lost luggage discussion before. The problem is that my shoulders dislocate at the drop of a hat, and I travel without hand luggage to avoid an accident.

2011 is going to be a very important year for me. particularly the first quarter. A number of crucial events are going either to set me up financially for the rest of my life, or result in real distress and failure. At present I have reason to be very optimistic. I am also very absorbed in my life of Alexander Burnes, which I hope will help establish a serious academic reputation.

The Portuguese edition of Murder in Samarkand has sold unexpectedly well in Brazil. The translation of the Turkish edition has just been finished.

I hope to do a Wikileaks retrospective in the next couple of days. Just a quick thought on the case of the poor young gardener in Bristol. Of the Jill Dando case, long before Barry Bulsara’s succesful appeal I blogged that this appeared to be a miscarriage of justice in which the police had fitted up the local weirdo.

Despite not being enamoured of landlords in general, I fear the same dynamic is at work in Bristol, albeit Chris Jefferies is much more intellectually capable than Bulsara. My instinct is that the police have picked up on Jefferies for being camper than a boy scout jamboree and archer than Trajan.

Jefferies’ release on bail has me worried that there was nothing against him other than the “He’s a weird one, guv” instinct of some not very bright cop. The case needs to be closely watched as history shows that the powers of the police to make the evidence fit the suspect are considerable.

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1,154 thoughts on “Still at Schiphol

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  • Clark

    Jon, I reckon that any job affects that worker’s view of the world. From a police viewpoint people can appear to fall into three categories: victims, villians and colleagues. Other structural problems exist. The police force used to be very biased against blacks, and would attract similarly biased applicants. Macrocosm dominates microcosm; get the structure right and good policing will follow.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    2011 – The Year of Redemption

    We will learn this year the disturbing, treasonous and destabilising facts of the attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon. It will be confirmed that rumours of prior knowledge of these attacks are true thanks to a courageous women.

    People have asked me why do you not believe the official story of the attacks. I answer because I believe the words of one women. Her name is Susan.

    Susan Lindauer is a former U.S. Intelligence Asset, accused as an “Iraqi Agent” for opposing the war. Her new book, “EXTREME PREJUDICE–The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq” relates her ordeal facing secret charges and secret evidence on the Patriot Act, and the shocking conditions of her imprisonment on a Texas military base without a trial, threatened with indefinite detention and forcible drugging.

    “Mine was a spook’s world of black ops and counter-terrorism. The real stuff–not color coded threats. For a decade I performed as a covert back channel to Libya and Iraq at the United Nations in support of anti-terrorism.

    My special access made me one of the very few Assets covering Baghdad before the War. Our team started talks for the Lockerbie Trial with Libyan diplomats. We also held preliminary talks to resume the weapons inspections with Iraq’s Ambassador, Dr. Saeed Hasan. Once Baghdad agreed to rigorous U.S. conditions for transparency in the inspections, I notified the Security Council myself, and within 72 hours the UN invited Iraq to attend formal talks to ratify the technical language. By then it was a done deal. Contrary to official reports, Iraq always welcomed the return of weapons inspectors as a necessary step to ending the sanctions. Ordinary people just didn’t know it.

    My world was “black.” Off radar. So deeply secretive that my father, brother, aunts and cousins had no knowledge of my work in Washington. I operated in absolute secrecy.

    My bona fides in anti-terrorism were no less outstanding for my lack of public acclaim. I discovered advance intelligence about the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, and the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. My team conducted one of the very first investigations of Osama bin Laden and his cohorts–then known as the Inter-Arab group– six months before the Embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam/Nairobi in 1998.

    Most provocatively by far, my team warned about a 9/11 scenario involving airplane hijackings and a strike on the World Trade Center throughout the spring and summer of 2001. My CIA handler responded aggressively, ordering me to threaten Iraqi diplomats with War, in the event they failed to supply intelligence to thwart the attack.

    If that wasn’t politically dangerous enough, I solicited Iraq’s cooperation with the 9/11 investigation–a cause Baghdad embraced enthusiastically. Oh yes, Iraq was one of our best sources on anti-terrorism throughout the ’90s. You didn’t know that either, did you?

    If only I’d known Julian Assange.

    A Time for Openness

    For all of the political scolding, there comes a time when secrecy becomes its own greatest handicap in the ultimate game to protect global security. Informed consent creates power for the people to make better decisions that impact the welfare of the total community. Just like government leaders require a depth of information to guide them, the people require it, too–so they can provide better instructions to government leaders representing their interests.

    Conversely, interrupting that flow of information robs the community of the power to make the wisest possible choices. That’s a major drawback of secrecy. There comes a point where secrecy compromises the community’s capability to evaluate events and trends, in order to protect its own best interests. Politicians are loath to admit that, not surprisingly. They’re most often the ones invoking secrecy as a method of hiding the incompetence of their policies. Lately, that’s become a serious problem in Washington, as elected leaders try to dodge voters’ questions.

    That’s not just lip service, tragically. Three examples prove my point most painfully, that a wider breadth of knowledge for the people would have substantially improved their ability to shape government policy, with better outcomes for national security.

    Exposing the failure of anti-terrorism policy

    The first is obvious: My team’s 9/11 warnings.

    Of course the intelligence community anticipated the 9/11 attacks! EXTREME PREJUDICE reveals the whole context of the warnings from May, 2001 onwards. It infuriates me that any politician would dare to deny it! Political fraud like that dishonors the community–and the dead.

    Worst of all, people know the government lied, and that has festered like a wound in the American heart. People have lost confidence in our leaders’ capability to speak truthfully because of 9/11–and that hurts the fabric of our democracy. It particularly offends Americans to recognize that politicians could be so cynical as to demagogue the issue for personal attention, and then use secrecy and intelligence classifications to prevent the electorate from adequately evaluating their leadership performance on anti-terrorism overall.

    If government honestly makes mistakes, they could be forgiven. But when the government actively creates a patchwork of deception to thwart public knowledge, though they clearly see they have created a crisis in the psyche of our nation, in my opinion, they have no business occupying positions of leadership at all.

    It’s serious reason why, despite my life amidst such black secrecy, I would have told Julian Assange everything, so that somebody could give that information to the people honestly. All of America would have rested easier for having that truth.

    Not only did the government lie about the 9/11 warnings, in my opinion as a participant, the 9/11 investigation was thwarted at every turn–mostly to conceal offers of assistance from Baghdad. Saddam’s government offered a windfall of intelligence on terrorism, including financial records on Al Qaeda figures. And the U.S. refused to take it, amounting to false promises and false leadership on a matter of genuine importance to national security.

    If only I had known Julian Assange. The world could have accepted the same documents that Tony Blair and George Bush spurned.

    Unhappily, the government’s decision to leave that terrorist money in play–mostly from global heroin trafficking–stands out as the single most dangerous decision in the War on Terrorism. That money is being deployed as a weapon in conflicts all over the world today–from Yemen and Indonesia to India, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Yet thanks to our great secrecy laws, the public has lacked the necessary information to challenge that decision to forego Iraq’s financial records on Al Qaeda figures. Instead, the American people have bought into the myth of outstanding leadership performance in the fight against terrorism, without ever knowing if it’s true.

    Here we come to the third and most tragic example of abusive secrecy that I discuss in great depth in EXTREME PREJUDICE. Forced to rely on the government’s word of honor before the War, the public failed to discover a range of non-military options dealing with Iraq, which required no deployment of troops, whatsoever.

    The corporate media has never reported the existence of our comprehensive peace framework, so even the most sophisticated opinion leaders have no comprehension that the U.S. and Britain could easily have resolved their conflicts with Iraq, without firing a single missile or killing a single Iraqi child.

    Oh, politicians in Washington were thoroughly debriefed on all its components, developed in a two year period before the War, and faithfully reported to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card in 11 progress reports on the success of our back channel. Andy Card happened to be my second cousin. For all of their denials afterwards, members of Congress in both parties understood that the peace option was rock solid to the very last days before the invasion.

    If only there’d been a Julian Assange to help me bring this critical and valuable intelligence to the attention of the world community. Empowering the global community with knowledge of the choices and options for peace in the Iraqi conflict would have given the people more power to compel the U.S. and British governments to accept the will of the people. The Middle East would be a different place today.

    Unfortunately, there was no Julian Assange. I had to trust in formal channels to raise these points on Capitol Hill. And I quickly saw proof of their bad faith. Thirty days after I phoned the offices of Senate leaders John McCain and Trent Lott, requesting to testify before Congress, I awoke to find FBI agents pounding on my front door, with a warrant for my arrest on the Patriot Act–a frightening arsenal of secret charges, secret evidence, secret grand jury testimony, and secret attorney debriefings.

    Because there was no Julian Assange to help expose these major deceptions, I got locked in prison on a Texas military base, while politicians in Washington and London reinvented the story of Pre-War Intelligence–focusing blame onto my shoulders as the “incompetent” Asset who failed to correct mistakes in pre-War assumptions. (I watched it all on prison television).

    Because there was no Julian Assange to break the media sound barrier, the world community never learned how this highly developed parallel track to War made the whole war in Iraq wholly avoidable and unnecessary.

    In the absence of public knowledge, politicians have manipulated silence and secrecy to their own advantage. They have abused secrecy classifications to prevent the public from discovering their own weakness and policy mistakes.

    Without public examination of their actual performance, they have continued to promote policies, which have caused grave harm to American security, and perhaps most ironically of all, undermined the War on Terrorism. Voters have been denied the fundamental right to hold leaders accountable for their actions and decision making, which is critical to the well being of democracy.

    And all because Intelligence Assets like me, with 10 years in anti-terrorism, had no Julian Assange to help us bring this vital intelligence to the attention of thinking peoples all over the world–

    There was no Julian Assange to help protect American soldiers from easily avoidable battle deployments, triple tours of duty, amputations, head injuries, paralysis, and post traumatic stress disorder.

    There was no Julian Assange to expose opportunities for peace that would have saved Iraqi families and children from an onslaught of suicide bombings, sectarian warfare, starvation, and the loss of their future.

    There was no Julian Assange to guarantee that non-military options for anti-terrorism would be used to maximum impact for the world community–reducing terrorism and closing down the cash pipeline without water boarding, rendition, Guantanamo, wasteful wars, or seizing Islamic charitable donations.

    Without Julian Assange to expose the truth, nobody could stop leaders in Washington and London from lying to all of us pretty much non-stop. Nobody could expose the fraud of using secrecy and the aura of intelligence to undercut national security at all levels.

    As a long-time Asset, I believe the world is not better off today because there was no Julian Assange to help me. Global security is weaker not stronger, because the people got thwarted from demanding accountability from our leaders. Public scrutiny is a critical factor in a vibrant democracy. The people lost a fundamental opportunity to possess knowledge of actions taken in our collective name. Indeed, a vital organ to a healthy system of governance has been cut down.”

  • glenn

    Hello Clark… not sure I totally agree that the police should have such fulsome praise when they actually do the job they’re paid for on occasion. They let themselves down so badly during the miner’s strike (remember taunts of “Arthur Scargill is paying off my mortgage!”), with their violence, same with the poll tax demonstrations, enthusiastically acting as state apparatus. Not law enforcement. Of course there are _some_ good police, just as there are _some_ genuine Christians in church, or socialists in the Labour party.

    But perhaps “pigs” is a little unfair, given I’m a vegetarian and all. How about “The Filth”?


    Jon: Same sort of reply for you, actually – why would it be hypocritical for you to expect the police to do the job they’re paid for, when it comes to sorting out this thuggish bouncer of yours? In the areas where you say you’re critical about them, again – that’s because you expect them to do the job they’re paid for, so you’re entitled to be critical

    As it is, they have pretty much decided that demonstrations are illegal, and people can’t have a bit of fun (like the Gloucester cheese rolling competition) because, “We can’t guarantee the safety of participants”, as if anyone was asking them to. They love having more and more powers of arbitrary arrest and detention, and have semi-militarised themselves. “Suicide by cop” appears to be getting as common in this country as it is in America.

    But it’s the “nobody to blame” business – the unaccountability – that really rots public confidence in them. For instance, if an unarmed, innocent man is shot seven times in the head deliberately, you’d think at least a reprimand might be called for. Instead, promotions and honours all round.

  • Clark

    Glenn, every fault of the police that you list is true, but I feel that such criticism must be directed primarily at the organisational structure. Of course, officers are brutalised when they are misused. There are obviously serious wrongs within the culture of the police. Some jobs give you eyestrain, or RSI; it seems that police officers are encouraged, trained and required to behave like thugs quite a lot, and that sounds like a shit job to me. The very same people are expected to be polite and helpful to the public the next day; I’m sure it’d drive me mad.

    I expect that the officers that shot Jean Charles de Menezes carry serious emotional scars. What had that team been told to make them so desperate? The cover-up didn’t exactly help, those officers are liars as well as killers now, for the rest of their lives. It would have been better if they could have told the truth (do you doubt that they were ordered what to say?) and someone higher up should have been held responsible and punished. As it is the ones sent to do the dirty job also carry the blame. Typical, eh?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Mark,

    A few quick ones requesting short straight answers:-

    1. Who/what was the prime mover behind the 9/11 attacks.

    2. What was the true motive for the 9/11 attacks?

    3. In publishing as you do – are you not running foul of the Official Secrets Act?

  • glenn

    Clark: You _might_ be right, but it’s more likely they’re of the “we couldn’t take a chance, nah” school of thought, and they’ll rationalise anything and not lose a wink of sleep about it. That’s why not one of those miserable, cold-blooded murderers has had the guts to speak out or resign. Principles before a pay-cheque in an exciting job they thoroughly enjoy? phhht… do me a favour. Even if you do need to shower off all the bits of brain of some innocent “collateral damage” in the course of duty.

  • technicolour

    Mmm, wanted to post yesterday saying Clark says what I’d like to have said but better, but it didn’t go through. Glenn, I think the point is that we don’t know, isn’t it? and not to avoid looking at the structure and who, apart from computer targets, is giving the police these inhuman orders (and the funding)?

  • Clark

    We all know of the psychological experiments that test how a subject will administer stronger fake “electric shocks” to an actor if told to do so by someone apparently in authority, and how people will do things in a group that they’d never do alone. Both of these influences must work far more strongly upon someone embedded within the police force. If the state takes people and amplifies their aggression beyond its natural level, if the state selects the most aggressive to use against other groups, then the state must carry most of the blame. Same with the armed forces.

    Two different situations: (1) If a copper abuses their position of authority to commit and hide acts of violence, that copper is a criminal. (2) If coppers are trained to be very fearful and hence aggressive, and are given orders that will increase aggression in demonstrators (kettling etc), the policy is wrong and people in authority are to blame.

    Between (1) and (2) lies a spectrum. Position (1) cannot be moved; you’ll always get rogue individuals. In an ideal world, position (2) wouldn’t exist. As it is, it should be minimised for its own sake, but also to reduce the spread of the spectrum.

  • Mr Humanus Wright


    Have you got any information regarding the use of remote, non-passive, non-invasive inner ear cochlea sound transmission via either the ultrasonic hearing effect (or hypersonic effect), or the microwave auditory effect (or microwave hearing effect or Frey effect), incorporating hybrid carrier wave sound (or overlay sound) propagation using ambient and subliminal sound techniques? Possible uses could be non-lethal weaponry, psychological warfare or private message transmission.

    Query is regarding the increased use of remote, non-invasive, non-passive, non-lethal military weapons, being used by security agencies, as well as in the UK, in the ‘surveillance war against terror’, against political dissidence, political activism and public demonstrations! They are being used along side more traditional remote, passive, covert full intrusive surveillance methods, and other abuses of RIPA.

    These include the use of ‘under the radar’ remote non-invasive, non-passive weaponised instruments that shoot intense radiations and emissions (ionizing or non-ionizing), to target individuals from nearby properties and vehicles, to cause a detrimental effect to their neurological and physiological well-being; surveillance war in an urban environment.

    There are serious human-rights & civil-liberties issues at stake with this kind of growing urban warfare, being rolled out in the UK since at least 2007. The legal issues regarding the use of suspect radioactive isotopes outside controlled laboratory environments, and the violation of ‘The Radioactive Substances Act 1993 – Prohibition of use of radioactive material without registration’ now known as ‘The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010’ are a blatant disregard and abuse to our freedoms and liberties.

    There maybe growing evidence that the security services have diversified their tactics, and are using ‘local instruments of government’ (particularly the ‘NHS’ – Over 2,000 organisations in England and Wales, including hospitals, research organisations, radiographers and process industries, use radioactive materials!) as a front and illegal loop-hole to allow them to orchestrate acts equatable to torture and interrogation within the UK.

    To isolate and identify the exact legal & technical definitions of these illegal, unlicensed, non-passive, non-lethal military weapons being used within the UK is nearly impossible, so that the correct ‘Freedom of information Requests’ can be made to the relevant non-/governmental institutions!


    Mr Humanus Wright

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