176 thoughts on “Afghan Disaster part 462

1 3 4 5 6
  • Mary

    CIA wins fight to keep MPs in dark on rendition
    Court keeps UK role secret – as No 10 calls for police to question Labour ministers
    .
    Cahal Milmo, Nigel Morris Wednesday 11 April 2012

    .
    American intelligence agencies including the CIA and the FBI have won a court ruling allowing them to withhold evidence from British MPs about suspected UK involvement in “extraordinary rendition” – the secret arrests and alleged torture of terror suspects.
    .
    A judge in Washington DC granted permission for key US intelligence bodies, including the highly sensitive National Security Agency, to exploit a loophole in US freedom of information legislation which bars the release of documentation to any body representing a foreign government.
    .
    Downing Street underlined the gravity of the torture claims yesterday when it urged police to interview former Labour ministers as part of an investigation into the alleged rendition and torture of a Libyan critic of Muammar Gaddafi. Jack Straw, who was Foreign Secretary at the time and is expected to be interviewed by detectives, denies any complicity in rendition – as have his successors at the Foreign Office. Whitehall officials have made clear that the intelligence services believe their operations “were in line with ministerially authorised government policy”.
    .
    The CIA’s court victory over British MPs came after the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition – which comprises about 50 backbench MPs and peers – submitted a slew of information requests to US intelligence agencies as part of its investigations into the extent of British complicity in rendition and torture. The US agencies were trying to avoid official embarrassment on both sides of the Atlantic by using a narrow legal exemption to prevent the disclosure of critical papers, said Tony Lloyd, a Labour MP and the vice-chairman of the group. He called the judgment “disappointing”.
    .
    /..
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cia-wins-fight-to-keep-mps-in-dark-on-rendition-7631357.html

  • DonnyDarko

    The corruption of the last Government won’t disappear. I hope they nail Teflon Tony and slippery Jack. According to Craig ,Jack was responsible for the torture permits which were handed out to our servants of the realm.
    It’s ridiculous that we would need freedom of US information to know what our politicians have been up to in any case.Unbelievable that our tax money is being used to bribe someone to stop them telling us what our servants of the realm have been doing.
    Turns out we’ve been disappearing people all in the name of something we are not permitted to know.

    Daily Mail begins to show its teeth. Nice little bit about Fox and Werrity too.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2127931/David-Cameron-Damning-verdict-PMs-shallowness-Britains-leading-political-analyst.html

  • Derel

    O/T @Mary Re Firefox
    .
    I would not read too much into that BBC report. The author does not seem to realise that Mozilla is not a company it is a non profit foundation. It is not dependent on ever increasing revenues to satisfy its shareholders. All it has to do is manage its spending in line with search engine revenue. At present Mozilla is drowning in money.
    .
    There is zero possibility of Google cancelling its deal with Mozilla since they would simply switch to Bing or one of the other search engines making Google the loser. (Note: give DuckDuckGo a try)
    .
    Plus it is the nature of open source software that even if Firefox withered and died something even better would take its place. Indeed you could argue that is already happening since Googles Chrome is itself open source.
    .
    Still Off Topic: Interesting debate on molten salt reactors. I take the point from Anon that any nation with an MSR research programme could if they chose extract Proactinium 233 from the reactor for use in weapons, but to my mind that is not a reason to not explore the technology.
    .
    The inherent safety of MSRs and the promise of greatly reduced cost of construction and fuel reprocessing offer substantial advantages over PWRs. Indeed if mankind is to wean itself off fossil fuels without civilisation collapsing then we will need thousands of new reactors all over the planet. I would rather these new reactors were safer than the ones we have at present.

  • Mary

    Thanks Derel.

    .
    Also O/T. The Curse of David Cameron cont’d. Yesterday he was in Japan and their stock exchange took a big dive. Today he’s in Indonesia and a terrible earthquake occurs. The poor people look terrified remembering what happened in Aceh Province before.

    .
    In Indonesia, he was announcing a large Airbus order by Garuda Airways as if he was personally responsible for obtaining it.

    .
    Watch out Burma. You are next for the Cameron photo ops. Landale BBC and Jones Sky News will oblige.

  • Jon

    @Derel, yes to what you said, about Mozilla and about DuckDuckGo. The search shortcuts in the latter are really useful, as is SSL and the privacy policy that actually means what it says.

  • Jon

    @kashmiri – you may regard yourself as progressive on the issue of Kashmir, but you’ll not win any friends by claiming your cause as more important than any other. Craig is not asking for nominations for ‘world’s worst dictator’ and he is fully right to criticise the situation in Uzbekistan. His position as an ex-ambassador to that country gives his view a great deal of prominence and it is good that he is using it for the furtherance of human rights in this way.
    .
    My primary concern is that in claiming “this is [Craig’s] personal vendetta against Karimov” you effectively diminish the claim for social justice in Uzbekistan, which is the antithesis of a progressive stance. Also, that phrase is much the same thing that was said by the maliciously-motivated militarists in the UK government who ousted Craig, and if you’re saying the same thing as those people, then you can hardly claim to be standing up for social justice now, can you?

  • Komodo

    Point of order (undeleted post some time ago): Boniface, I am not expressing your thoughts but mine. Unlike you, and unlike the Liberman tendency too, I am very concerned that criticism of Israel is not equated with racism of any kind. You have your own agenda, which might more appropriately be expressed elsewhere (civil suggestion only): please don’t involve me in it.
    .
    Clark: I am sceptical of materials operating at 700C in contact with molten radioactive salts. Hastelloy is lovely stuff, and I have used it on a small scale myself (it’s a bastard to machine). But its performance for extended periods (the life of a commercial reactor has to be measured in decades, not years) with 233U and its decay products has not yet been characterised, I think. Those “unexplained cracks” have a horrible habit of appearing in the best-engineered reactor containment and pipework, even at lower temperatures: the properties of the metal change with time,stress,heat and radiation (particle and e/m). As you say, the system operates at low pressure; but in the event of failure I would not want its contents dumped on my kitchen floor, or even some distance away, and the reactor would be offline for a very long time even if service could be restored.
    Quibbles, perhaps. Recall that my initial position was that I reluctantly accept the necessity of nuclear power. I would like this to be as cheap, safe and efficient as possible. Whether this is done through a 233Pa chain OR a 233U chain, yes, it is extremely unlikely that your average jihadi is going to be able to manufacture anything explosive from the reactor fuel or its products. A dirty bomb…that’s different, and 233U (+232U) would be an ideal candidate. Which would be a valid criticism of schemes in which excess 233U is separated from circulating liquid salt and reserved for use elsewhere. Which has, I think, been mooted.
    .
    Anon: re criticism of evil regimes, let’s start with the ones that shout loudest about freedom, democracy and civilised values. They may be more amenable to cleaning up their act. Let’s get our ducks in a row.

  • Komodo

    A pedantic lizard corrects:
    For “decay products” above, please read “fission products”

  • Airdrieonian

    For those who aren’t familiar: Pollock is a rather charming area on the South Side of Glasgow, which has a rather interesting ethnic mix.

  • Anon

    Clark,

    In several key areas on nuclear physics, if you look, on Wikipedia, you will find references don’t exist or they go to unsourced links themselves. Some stuff is “backed up” by an Internet faq – which breaks Wikipedia’s rules. It seems to be a mixture of fact and misdirection. Almost as if someone doesn’t want to give terrorists ideas.
    .
    All I’m saying is, even more than usual, don’t trust Wikipedia unless you’ve fully verified the data (and preferably from .gov or .edu sites). I could give you a list as long as my arm. I often make changes to Wikipedia pages but I’m not touching these ones.

    A good source for Dounreay information is http://www.youtube.com/user/DounreayTV (an official channel about decommissioning). A special tool has been created (described as like a swiss knife for reactors) to try and get the fuel out.

    http://www.dounreay.com/news/2011-07-19/20m-swiss-army-knife-will-harvest-nuclear-material

    It’s been dubbed the most sophisticated Swiss army knife ever built.

    A 16-piece tool designed to reach deep inside one of Britain’s earliest atomic experiments and harvest the nuclear material that once promised to revolutionise how the nation generated its electricity.

    Measuring 40ft in length, each of its 16 different tool-bits has been designed to withstand the harsh operating conditions inside the Dounreay Fast Reactor.

    The reactor shut down in 1977 after almost 20 years of experiments and is now being decommissioned, allowing energy bosses to reap the last of the plutonium and uranium from its unique “breeder” zone.

    A custom-built retrieval arm will spend three years inside the reactor vessel, carefully cutting free 977 metal rods standing vertically in a hexagonal rack around the near-empty core.

    Each rod will be cut free from its mounting and transferred to a waiting basket, ready to be lifted through the roof of the reactor and returned to the outside world after 50 years

    French engineers designed and built the tool needed to do the job safely at a cost of £20 million.

    It has now been moved into position above the reactor, ready to descend into the darkness of the reactor vessel below and begin harvesting the valuable metal.

    “The reactor was a one-off design and so is the tool we need to take out the breeder rods,” said Alex Potts, the engineer in charge of the project at Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd.
    =======================================
    .
    So I should really have said breeding rods stuck but there’s quite a lot of plutonium estimated in there. Previously though they’ve had to deal with fuel rods “bent like bananas” – that’s a direct quote. Anyway I strongly recommend the videos in any case.
    .
    If the nuclear industry comes up with safe designs I am for them. But the deeper you dig in nuclear, the more apparent comforting “facts” (that I used to trot out as well), appear more and more dubious. Security via Obscurity was no protection in the IT world but some people promote it in the nuclear industry.
    .
    It’s a very long debate and I don’t have more time right this moment and this isn’t really the place anyway.

  • Clark

    Anon, regarding molten salt reactors, do you know when the Oak Ridge National Laboratory documentation was declassified? And if the production chain of thorium -> MSR -> U-233 -> bomb is, as you said “a bomb maker’s dream”, why has no government chosen to follow this route, choosing instead the slow and expensive path of uranium enrichment and/or plutonium production?
    .
    Komodo, one thing that occurred to me about MSRs; the plumbing could be modular and support complete redundancy; just patch on a new reaction vessel or whatever, open the valves, and drain the old one into the new one. A fluid core could enable an entirely new way of approaching reactor longevity.
    .
    No, we don’t want the thing to spill its guts onto the factory floor, but that’s still much better than it blowing up! (I never trusted the “pressurised” in “pressurised water reactor”.)
    .
    Mary, Firefox is Free and Open Source, so development will continue even if Google cease to support Mozilla. Compare with GNU/Linux, for instance, that continues to develop and remains available despite a very small “market share”. The software is free (as in freedom), it isn’t “locked in” to any particular company, so even the complete death of a company couldn’t kill the software.

  • Anon

    Clark,
    .
    Post stuck in mod queue which hopefully you can sort out. ORNL simply says (referring to the US programme_ “The development of such special production techniques to produce high-purity, lower-cost 233U occurred after major decisions were made about which weapons materials to use.” – See my earlier link to this above.
    .
    ORNL was separating Protactiunium-233 in Summer 1967. It’s in their progress reports summary document from 1967 which is online. Can find the link but not right now as have to go now.

  • Clark

    Nothing, Mary. I tried an e-mail, and messages on the moderator’s list go to him, but no reply has come back.

  • Passerby

    Well here you have it, the truth at last:
    ,
    ,
    Tony Blair has ‘no recollection’ of Libyan dissident’s rendition
    ,
    ,
    Tony Blair, prime minister at the time MI6 rendered Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a prominent Libyan dissident, to the Gaddafi regime in 2004, has said he had “no recollection” of the incident.
    ,
    ,
    There you go, now we all can rest that we live in a civilized country with everyone shouldering their responsibilities and standing accountable for their actions.
    ,
    ,
    My ARSE.
    ,
    Trickle down was not about the economy or money, it was about corruption and lawlessness, so a nine year old boy getting mugged for his phone, and a four year old boy getting stabbed multiple times and wandering the streets with gaping wounds, are all natural consequences of the trickle down.
    ,
    Boy that showed them there terrorists didn’t it?

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Exactly what Reagan said when asked about the Iran-Contra (drugs to the US, guns to the Contras and Iranians) scandal. The difference is that Reagan had Alzheimers so may have been telling the truth, while Blair’s just lying through his teeth at a cost to other people tortured and killed as usual and being lauded by half the commentators in the media for it.

  • Clark

    So the government want the legal power to monitor all communications between the entire population. But most people’s communications are pretty inconsequential in the big scheme of things. There is a much stronger argument that the converse that should apply; that all communications of politicians and the powerful should be available to the general public. Then, when the likes of Blair and Straw had “no recollection”, we could help to jog their memories.

  • Mary

    A riposte to Gunther Grass from Yaoz-Kest, who obviously has been left with so much hate in his heart, that he ends with a version of the Samson Option:
    [..]
    .
    “For it is the right of the Nation of Israel to finally shut the gates to the world after it leaves this place (not of its free will!), and we have the right to say, at the price of the 3,000 year old fear: “If you force us yet again to descend from the face of the Earth to the depths of the Earth – let the Earth roll toward the Nothingness.”
    .
    The Samson Option – taking out Israel’s enemies with it, possibly causing irreparable damage to the entire world – has been a phantasmic Israeli strategy since the early 1950’s.
    .
    The message for the rest of us is clear- Israel is the biggest threat to world peace. Time is overdue to discharge the Jewish State of its destructive power.
    .
    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/the-devil-sings-again.html
    .
    How charming.

  • Mary

    The Nobel “Peace Prize”: A Front for NATO Warmongering

    by Prof. Francis Boyle

    Global Research, April 11, 2012

    “The Department of State is proud to be an active partner in this event.”
    .

    It is well known that the so-called Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by Norwegian Politicians and that Norway is a Member of NATO. In other words the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by NATO Politicians in order to further their own political interests.
    .
    And now the Nobel Prizers finally come out of the NATO Closet. The Nobel Prizers are now “an active partner” with the US Department of State at the NATO WARFEST in Chicago.
    .
    But of course the Nobel Peace Prize has always been the Kissinger War Prize. Nobel “Peace Prize”? Tell that to 3 million dead Vietnamese. Or 1.5 million dead Iraqis. Or 1 million dead Afghanis. Or 50,000 dead Libyans. And counting.The Nobel “Peace Prize” is just a front for warmongering. Their being “an active partner” with the NATO Warmongers and War Criminals in Chicago proves it once and for all time.
    .

    Francis A. Boyle, Professor of International Law, University of Illinois.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30253

  • me in us

    Re Anon at 1:19 pm:

    “Measuring 40ft in length, each of its 16 different tool-bits has been designed to withstand the harsh operating conditions inside the Dounreay Fast Reactor.”

    … Am I the only one suddenly missing Iron Giant?

  • boniface goncourt

    ## Nothing, Mary. I tried an e-mail, and messages on the moderator’s list go to him, but no reply has come back. ##

    Maybe he has anorak fatigue?

  • crab

    Dont ponder gruesome images without a special clinical or forensic or other strong interest. It is not good for most people to do, especially in an ‘on-line’ browsing state of mind. Gruesome images are instinctively haunting and difficult, not motivational or enlightening.

1 3 4 5 6

Comments are closed.