Tom Fingar Wins Sam Adams Award

by craig on January 14, 2013 11:36 am in Uncategorized

The following press release is from the Oxford Union:

The Oxford Union will be hosting the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award presentation on 23 January 2013. The ceremony will feature several individuals well known in intelligence and related fields, including, via video-stream, remarks by Julian Assange, winner of the Sam Adams award in 2010.

The annual award presentation provides a rare occasion for accolades to “whistleblowers” — conscience-driven women and men willing to take risks to honor the public’s need to know.

This year’s Sam Adams recipient is Professor Thomas Fingar, who is now teaching at Stanford University. Dr. Fingar served from 2005 to 2008 as Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis and Chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

In that role, Dr. Fingar oversaw preparation of the landmark 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, in which all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded with “high confidence” that Iran had halted its nuclear weapon design and weaponization work in 2003. The Estimate’s key judgments were declassified and made public, and have been revalidated every year since.

Those pressing for an attack on Iran in 2008 found themselves fighting uphill. This time, thanks largely to Dr. Fingar and the professional intelligence analysts he led in 2007, intelligence analysis on Iran was fearlessly honest. A consummate intelligence professional, Fingar would not allow the NIE to be “fixed around the policy,” the damning phrase used in the famous “Downing St. Memo” of July 23, 2002 to describe the unconscionable process that served up fraudulent intelligence to “justify” war with Iraq.

We are delighted to be welcoming several previous Sam Adams awardees, including Coleen Rowley, Katharine Gun, Craig Murray, Thomas Drake, and Julian Assange (by video-stream) — as well as other Sam Adams associates from both sides of the Atlantic, including Ray McGovern, Brady Kiesling, Davdi McMichael, Elizabeth Murray, Todd Pierce and Ann Wright.

We feel that the Oxford Union, dedicated to upholding freedom of speech and providing a platform for all points of view, is a fitting venue. The traditional acceptance speech by Dr. Fingar will be followed by briefer remarks by a few previous Sam Adams awardees. They will be followed by Julian Assange who will speak for 20 minutes immediately before the Q&A, during which the audience will be invited to put questions on any topic to any of the presenters.

Assange is clearly a figure who generates controversy for reasons ranging from the allegations made against him in Sweden, to the perceived recklessness of some WikiLeaks activities. We would therefore encourage those who disagree with him, or with any of our other speakers, to participate in the Q&A session.

Last but not least, we are happy to note that Dr. Fingar, will be with us for the entire term. Professor Fingar has just begun teaching a course at the University of Oxford on global trends and transnational issues, as part of Stanford’s Bing Overseas Studies Program. He will also give guest lectures and public talks while here at Oxford (January-March 2013).

Professor Fingar holds a PhD in political science from Stanford. His most recent book is Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security (Stanford University Press, 2011).

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  1. PIDGLEY not Midgeley.

    A worker from humble beginnings.

  2. Remember Aaron Swartz – A Memorial Page

  3. Trinity on GLP has been posting threads that everyone should provide a valid email address and get an account Even though they don’t use it. He claims this is so GLP can communicate with forum users if the authorities take the Internet DNs servers down.

    Of course most of the “retards” (in GLP speak) on GLP are falling for it. Trinity and staff post the most extreme ridiculous crap and then grab the email address and password (probably the same on they use elsewhere) of everyone stupid enough to fall for it. Anyone can speculate on what thy do with this info.

    It has to be said that if the forum was UK based Trinity and half the posters would have been arrested by now – statements like “This is a Muzzie hating forum” and “Kill all Muzzies” are regularly posted by staff and prominent users.

    When not calling for the deaths of all “Muzzies” and unquestioning support for Israel, The forum seems to try its best to stir up civil war in the USA.

  4. It’s disgusting that many of you think that Sandy Hook was a government conspiracy.

  5. ajmccracken,

    Sure you are not “Trinity”. Where has anyone posted here that Sandy Hook was a government conspiracy. That’s GLP you are thinking of. Interesting how quickly you jumped in after the post about GLP – which is more or less calling for armed revolt right now.

  6. I’m wondering how to get my email address, and thereby my mobile number, to Villager and Nevermind, who have both expressed interest in coming down to the counterprotest about Assange’s appearance at the same Oxford Union awards ceremony that will be celebrating Craig’s own endeavours at whistleblowing…

    Villager, Nevermind – can you both ask Clark if he would pass my email address to you? He has it. You can point him to this post as permission to forward it on.

  7. What’s GLP?

    Numerous people have posted Sandy Hook conspiracy talk here.

  8. “What’s GLP?”

    Probably this;

    Don’t know Trinity, but from this Post about them;

    “The racism
    The anti-welfare, anti-poor.
    The completely manufactured stories
    The endless WRONG predictions

    Most days it seems like someone came up with a recipe to provoke hostility and vitriole between people.”

    it rather seems to be a US version of Harry’s Place.

  9. Uzbek in the UK

    16 Jan, 2013 - 2:01 pm

    One of Russia’s most influential criminals Ded Hasan (Grandpa Hasan) was assassinated today in Moscow

    Here is his rumafia dosser

    Some argue that this is another KGB led criminal shake up.

  10. So you not only have never heard of “GLP” you can’t use Google either. Pull the other one. I must have missed all the Sandy Hook conspiracy talk from “numerous people”. It is certainly not in this thread.

  11. Uzbek in the UK

    16 Jan, 2013 - 2:02 pm

    Just to add here that Ded Hasan has had close relationship with Uzbek mafia leader Gafur Rakhimov who was mentioned by Mr Murray on several occasions.

  12. “Trinity” is the owner of GoebbelsLikeProductions.

  13. “Trinity” is the owner of GoebbelsLikeProductions.”

    In that case I’ll change my comparison from Harry’s Place to, the David Icke site effused with the political poison of Harry’s Place.

  14. A trio.

    ‘The helicopter that crashed is believed to have been operated by a company whose clients include David Cameron, Simon Cowell and the Dalai Lama.’

  15. Last week [my emphasis] the Obama regime warned the British government that it was a violation of US interests for the UK to pull out of the European Union or reduce its ties to the EU in any way.

    In other words, the sovereignty of Great Britain is not a choice to be made by the British government or people. The decision is made by Washington in keeping with Washington’s interest.”

    Anyone got a second source about this supposed warning last week?

  16. I should add a second quote from the above article, which was the reason it caught my eye:

    “Julian Assange is confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington won’t permit the British government to honor his grant of political asylum.”

    I suppose Craig might be able to confirm through his contacts at FCO whether or no the UK would actually like to grant Assange’s asylum, if it weren’t for the Washington boys breathing down their necks?

  17. Arbed, I just read your request and will forward it to Clark. Hope to talk soon via email.
    I also run enigmail encryption if its required/necessary

  18. Boris Johnson has been praising the work of the emergency services this morning, with special mention of the Londom Fire Brigade. Yet five days ago, he was proposing the closure of 12 fire stations with the loss of hundreds of jobs. Hypocrite.

    London fire station closures and 520 job cuts proposed

  19. Save our fire stations. Petition here.

  20. Uzbek in the UK

    16 Jan, 2013 - 4:26 pm


    Why? Let slams burn. I bid fire stations in central boroughs will not be touched. Who would put at risk those multimillion Chelsea mansions.

  21. Arbed:-

    Reads like the US are worried about not being able to influence EU policy via the UK. Odd when you consider how little influence we seem to be able to create for our own interests.

    I wouldn’t worry about anything in that link you found, I don’t think there was one accurate fact in it.

  22. Milliband D. has put it rather embarassingly in court –that failing to do what the US wants on anything, would result in sharp reductions in intelligence co-operation from the US; idle threats of this were made in the clearest terms. Having become dependent peons, the country would be left deaf, dumb and blind, they tell us. It makes you wonder then what the intelligence services actually do and into which pockets the money spent goes, and if they’ve been sitting on their shiny rumps, idle for many decades, and intend continuing to do so, then the whole operation can be drastically cut to the bone, indeed every government operation and budget should – like benefits for the most vulnerable and poor – be frozen at one percent for the next three years, at a minimum, effectively a swingeing cut in the face of real life price inflation of necessities such as food and heating fuel possibly topping 8 or 9 times that figure. I suppose they’re so out of touch and reliant on the US that they’ll wait for word and a clue from them before dimly recognising such a cut in already well eroded subsistence benefits is a ticking time-bomb which will finally blow with all the stored potential of centuries of inequality and injustice unleashed. If our strictly one way intelligence receiving services, tuned to radio Washington, cannot account for or justify their continued existence in such lavish style and grand scale, then questions need to be asked why we continue to indulge such out of practice and grossly over-manned spaniels, getting (well) paid for doing much less than nothing. I think we should command our government (they are ours, aren’t they?) to call that US bluff and assert some independence, see if the sky falls in or if we’ll all be murdered in our beds.

    Bullying freaks that UK governments are, I don’t think they’d like conclude the Assange matter in a humane and just way, develop consciences, stiff-upper lips or spines enough to defy the US; mental and physical torture -they like it and do it just for kicks alone.

  23. ‘Gentrified’ areas are included Uzbek in the UK and the MPs are worried.

    Fire stations proposed for closure
    Belsize in Camden
    Bow in Tower Hamlets
    Clapham in Lambeth
    Clerkenwell in Islington
    Downham in Lewisham
    Kingsland in Hackney
    Knightsbridge in Kensington and Chelsea
    New Cross in Lewisham
    Silvertown in Newham
    Woolwich in Greenwich

  24. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jan, 2013 - 6:43 pm

    It is being surmised that a key reason behind DOJ’s relentless pursuit and egregious penalties, is that they believed there was a connection to Assange.

    Asking for help here, from our excellent researchers. There is an Assange interview. Cannot find it.


  25. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jan, 2013 - 6:45 pm

    Alzo….MIT Society for Open Science petition asking MIT to apologize to Aaron’s family

  26. Ben, 6.43pm

    Apologies if I’ve misunderstood your question, but I believe that’s an interview with Assange which TTBooks has put out as a tribute to Aaron Swartz. Assange doesn’t actually mention him in the interview though. It’s an audio only, I think – or you can click on the Transcript button.

    As a part-answer to the first part of your post, I think that’s because there was:

  27. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jan, 2013 - 7:36 pm

    Yes Arbed. That was the only reference I could find. Another blog suggested there was an interview in which Assange discussed Swartz. It was a slim chance someone might know, so I asked.

    Did you know Secret Service was involved? This was not their jurisdiction.

  28. @ Nevermind (11h37) – the chief reason for using a towel is because eating ortolans (as you say, they’re eaten whole) is a bloody messy business (they ‘spatter’ around and you may feel like spitting out the odd bit).

    (Like eating sweetwater crayfish wearing a (big) bib)

  29. Our friend Kempe (yesterday, 15h44) says “It’s also telling that anyone is even contemplating an anti-Assange rally…”

    What precisely does that intention “tell” ?

  30. @ Mary (14h32), who writes ;

    “A trio.

    “The helicopter that crashed is believed to have been operated by a company whose clients include David Cameron, Simon Cowell and the Dalai Lama”.”

    Relevance? Point being made? Conclusion?

    Are you simply informing us that these three gentlemen occasionally get around by helicopter? If so, I am underwhelmed and will change neither my vote, nor my viewing preferences, nor my religion.

  31. Arbed, 16 Jan, 1:54 pm, and various others: sorry I’ve been absent. Yes, I’m hoping to attend the support rally for Julian Assange on Jan 23rd. Any and all of you can exchange your contact details through me. Click on my name by my avatar to reach my contact page. Please use the second, shorter e-mail address as it’s easier for me to reply from.

    Incidentally, the reason no one saw my “placard” is probably because it was crap; too small, badly written, on floppy paper and with no stick to hold it aloft.

  32. In spite of the £12bn of our money that NuLabour spent and mostly wasted on IT in the NHS. Hunt is announcing a new scheme whereby the NHS goes ‘paperless’. Some contracts for Tory pals in the equation no doubt.

    Going paperless ‘would save NHS billions’ Cost not mentioned. The NuLabour history

    PS The BBC report is not ‘news’. It is actually a PR announcement that Hunt will be making a speech to a think tank today. Policy Exchange is a right wing free market grouping that has led the charge for NHS privatisation. Founded by Boles and then Gove and Maude entered.

  33. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jan, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    Going paperless ‘would save NHS billions’ Cost not mentioned.

    I note that has been the promise for decades wrt to digital storage, Mary Now we have paper, and….

  34. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jan, 2013 - 9:31 pm

    Clark; The small nature makes people more curious, like white-space in an advertisement.

  35. Villager, I don’t have your contact info, so I can’t pass it on.

    Nevermind, Arbed, and John Goss, I’ve started an e-mail to multiple recipients with all your e-mail addresses on it. In case you’ve never done group e-mails, just click on “Reply to All…”; when the “Compose” window opens, all e-mail addresses on the list will be included in the “To…” fields.

  36. Ben Franklin 16 Jan, 6:43 pm; thanks for the Emptywheel Secret Services link, which I have passed on. You also wrote:

    “It is being surmised that a key reason behind DOJ’s relentless pursuit and egregious penalties, is that they believed there was a connection to Assange.”

    I don’t think that a specific connection was required in order to motivate the excessive charges against Swartz; Obama and his administration have persecuted whisleblowers more than all previous administrations put together, and they have advocated much legislation to reduce freedom on the internet; this bunch are seriously scared of freedom of speech, and with foreign policy like theirs, well, it’s understandable. However, we do have this from Cory Doctorow:

    “Even though MIT and JSTOR (the journal publisher) backed down, the prosecution kept on. I heard lots of theories: the feds who’d tried unsuccessfully to nail him for the PACER/RECAP stunt had a serious hate-on for him; the feds were chasing down all the Cambridge hackers who had any connection to Bradley Manning in the hopes of turning one of them, and other, less credible theories. A couple of lawyers close to the case told me that they thought Aaron would go to jail. “

  37. The US government, in common with many others, has identified “the people” as “the enemy”. The US has described Wikileaks’ releases as “aiding the enemy”, but those releases are publications, i.e. to the public. Therefore, in the US government’s opinion, the public equals the enemy.

    It fits with the 1.25 billion hollow-point rounds US Homeland Security has purchased.

    Glenn Greenwald:

    “Whatever else is true, Swartz was destroyed by a “justice” system that fully protects the most egregious criminals as long as they are members of or useful to the nation’s most powerful factions, but punishes with incomparable mercilessness and harshness those who lack power and, most of all, those who challenge power.”

  38. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    16 Jan, 2013 - 10:47 pm

    Clark @ 10:00

    The SS is just another agency promulgating Obummer’s policies, but their involvement straps in the malevolence toward this young man. He had no financial motive as he could easily afford the cost of the data. The reason he was so ridiculously charged with crimes punishable by up to 35 years and $1 million in fines, was his political intent and dissent. THAT is the true crime.


    Yes, this is the second bid sought by DHS for 300 million rounds. That’s two .223’s for every man woman and child in the US.

    They are moving fast on gun control as they have the momentum on Newtown’s massacre. No tragedy should be wasted. Children dying one-at-a-time does not get the public attention, but twenty at once, slaughtered like pigs with each having multiple gunshot wounds, gets the public to roll over with 60% approval. I keep hearing how courageous Obama is to take this stand, but he’s just following the polls.

  39. “Arbed, 16 Jan, 1:54 pm, and various others: sorry I’ve been absent. ”

    Clark, being absent from here, or anywhere else, is not something to be sorry about, REJOICE in the freedom not to be in touch, the morning mist pushed by the sun, the snow covered branches glistening, the excited screams and laughter of children sledging down a hill, all great fun and with immense value in itself.

    Syria Syria Syria Syria Syria Syria Syria Syria Syria.

    Not? oh shit……..
    ah well

    Mali Mali Mali Mali Mali Mali Mali Mali Mali Mali, there there, we just can;t manage without controlling others and take what they own.

  40. Habbabkuk: Mary provides a lot of background information, which I personally welcome. If you don’t like it, stop whining about it and skip to the next message.

  41. Clark: Nice to see you back mate, and hope the break was refreshing. It’ll only take a couple of days online again to realise what a nice time it was 😉

  42. “It’s disgusting that many of you think that Sandy Hook was a government conspiracy.”

    Is it any more disgusting than the blatant media management engaged by the authorities? What about those arms control agenda driven folk who have been peddling false assertions and blatant lies?

    There’s also plenty of evidence that the story as currently presented does not tie in with the known events as they were reported at the time, many of which there is still plenty of evidence for.

    We also have the ‘Active Shooter Drills’ being conducted in nearby towns, one of the photos that was supposedly showing Sandy Hook children being led away from the incident with their eyes closed was actually from one of these drills. The events of 9/11 and 7/7 were notable for happening on the exact same day as drills using the exact same scenario that transpired into reality. The suggestion is that the drills are used as cover. There were reports that two armed men were arrested nearby, one of them said “I didn’t do it”, suggesting he was aware of why the police were there.

    My personal perception is that the hundreds of photographs from the scene of stretchers and EMS personnel supposedly at the centre of the effort to save people are not credible. It looks as if they are staged, why would they need to do that?

    We also have the news media personnels bizarre behaviour – going from giggling and joking one second to choking up and wiping away fake tears, what do they know that’s so funny?

    None of it makes much sense and to top it all off, when the media story started spinning out of control, the authorities announced that the only ‘truth’ would be coming out of their mouths and they would prosecute anyone who suggested any alternative version of events – just like back in the good old days of the USSR eh?

  43. @ Nevermind (11h37) – the chief reason for using a towel is because eating ortolans (as you say, they’re eaten whole) is a bloody messy business (they ‘spatter’ around and you may feel like spitting out the odd bit).

    (Like eating sweetwater crayfish wearing a (big) bib)

    Hi Habbakuk, it was not me who said that they are eaten whole, but that’s not important, its a disgusting ‘tradition’, as these songbirds are on the endangered list in other countries and are intercepted on their migratory routes. Anything in the air over France is lucky to make it to the border, they shoot at anything that fly’s in the air.

    As if the French/us have not have enough to eat. I like eating crayfish, especially when its the self caught invasive American variety, with gusto….

    Its not the Muzzies, but the crayiezz that we should get to grips with.

  44. “Is it any more disgusting than the blatant media management engaged by the authorities? ”

    Yes it is. The sad acts on the David Icke forum have convinced themselves that nobody died and all the bereaved parents are actors, now it seems even minor police officials and the media are in on the plot. It seems any conspiracy no matter how outlandish and impossible is preferable to the simple truth.

    What’s really disgusting though is that it’s taken the deaths of so many children for the US to wake to the need for greater gun control.

  45. The repellent Jeremy Clarkson demonstrates how to eat ortolans (buntings). How could he?
    He thinks he is so funny. I feel sick.

  46. “Yes it is. The sad acts on the David Icke forum have convinced themselves that nobody died and all the breaved parents are actors, now it seems even minor police officials and the media are in on the plot. It seems any conspiracy no matter how outlandish and impossible is preferable to the simple truth.”

    You get people refusing to see the truth everywhere.

    Up here in Scotland our First Minister told a lie, a big whapping lie, he told it on television for everybody to see.

    Does he apologise? Does he pretend he made a mistake? No, he pays an independent advisor to say he didn’t actually tell a lie even though it is clearly evident he did.

    These SNP lot are a right bunch of nut jobs in a world of their own.

  47. This one comment, by Nick Robinson on this morning’s R4, 8.10am today, goes to the heart of what has been masquerading as BBC information about all things Europe, how it works/not works, who makes policy, what powers the unelected Commission over MEP’s, How EU law was made and to what extend its senior to respective countries legislations, the human rights act and what changes need to be achieved urgently with regards to the accounts of the EU.
    All the issue that are never discussed because blokes like him want to talk bent banana’s, cause their far more sexy and Kilo vs. Lbs. goes to the heart of being British, innit?

    Nick Robinson is supposed to be a political correspondent and all he can do is belittle important EU issues, the real reason why Joe Bloggs/voters have no idea about Europe.

    I tried to bring back the exact comment from him but BBC I player only lets you listen to the whole programme somehow, you can’t specify the time you want to listen to unless I’m doing it wrong.
    @Mary, most of Clarkson’s actions are bravado, that is why he’s so loved by the toads, he’s doing it to piss off the Greens, his favourite target?

  48. “You get people refusing to see the truth everywhere.”

    You don’t say.

    The official explanation: It was made in preparation for the ‘Active Shooter’ drill, just a sad coincidence. Except it was not an isolated incident.

    And does that explain why it was actually used, with people posting sympathy messages, and then later taken down once people started commenting about the date discrepancy?

    You believe that is the truth?

  49. Was it this segment Nevermind?


    As part of the Today programme’s new year leader interviews, Labour leader Ed Miliband speaks to presenter James Naughtie. The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson gives analysis. where it does have a separate audio link.

    It the good old days, the whole programmes was linked in segments and you could even get transcripts. So much for the NuBBC management whilst salaries and payoffs zoom, all they give us is the silly iPlayer where local news programmes are listed but not replayable. You can get endless celeb stuff like Strictly plus Eastenders of course. The dumbing down is soobvious.

  50. @ Glenn_uk – Not whining, glenn, just asking a question. I’m all in favour of background information, but don’t you think that the information about the man’s numerous directorships is so far in the background to the story of the helicopter crash as to need a telescope to see it?

    @ Nevermind : absolutely agree that killing ortolans, whether to eat them or otherwise, is horrible. Seriously.

    BTW I noticed that Kempe hasn’t bothered to explain to his numerous admirers how the proposed anti-Assange rally is “telling”. Come on, Kempe, don’t be shy, aren’t you paid by the line?

  51. Hear William Hague’s latest pronouncement on why Britain refuses to honour Ecuador’s offer of asylum to Assange. Interview with ABC Australia (relevant section starts at around the 7.30-minute mark but rest of interview re Afghanistan, Libya, Syria a corker too):

    Shhh, nobody mention Pinochet! It’s disgraceful that the interviewer didn’t call him on that. (I was yelling “Pinochet” at the screen :))

  52. Also listened to part of the Ed Miliband interview of the BBC this morning. He would be laughable if he weren’t so pathetic. No, acftually, I’ll rephrase that : Ed Miliban is laughably pathetic. NuLabour attacks the coalition’s policies, but when asked if they would – for instance – do the opposite, or repeal a particular peice of legislation, it launches into a hurricane of words designed to camouflage that it’s not answering the question.

    Oh dear.

  53. “You believe that is the truth? ”

    Compared to the idea that the 26 victims were faked, provided with fake pathology and fake funerals and that dozens of actors were hired to play the part of bereaved parents, relatives, officials and friends all with the connivance of local police, teachers, funeral directors, doctors, national media etc etc. Well, yes.

    “I noticed that Kempe hasn’t bothered to explain to his numerous admirers how the proposed anti-Assange rally is “telling”. ”

    What I was referring to was the way support for Assange has declined. Compare the size of the demonstrations of support when he first arrived with those that have taken place outside the Ecuadorean embassy.

  54. Kempe, 12.20pm

    “What I was referring to was the way support for Assange has declined.”

    I’d say it was growing, actually. This is, of course, taking an overview – how Swedish commentators are reporting public opinion about the case in Sweden; how US media outlets are talking about Assange now that the US government has confirmed in the Bradley Manning trial that they’d prosecute exactly the same had Manning leaked to them instead of Wikileaks; rough count of supporters vs trolls in Guardian and Independent articles, etc.

    Not everybody has the time to spend standing around on a street protest about something, particularly not something as long and drawn out as an embassy standoff. Besides, didn’t you hear? Assange sent them all hom. Told the protesters they didn’t need to stay as he “felt safe” and he was worried about their health. I think it’s a testament to how much support he does have that some people are still maintaining a daily vigil.

  55. Hey Kempe, since you’re now responding to questions ….

    What was the name of the book that you claim (earlier in this thread) is the real motive behind Tony Farrel’s fall out with S. Yorkshire police, or was that just an unfounded smear?

  56. Thanks for that, Kempe.

    Pace Arbed, I suppose it’s like everything else – the caravan moves on, new stories hit the headlines, etc. So measuring the size of demonstrations isn’t perhaps completely indicative of (more submerged, if you will)support levels.

    As a general comment, I do admire your style (or approach, if you prefer). When you do choose to attempt to rebut (and not attempting to do so is also a good tactic sometimes), you don’t fall for the provocation but always stay scrupulously polite and calm. Thus, in your reply, you ignored my jibe about being paid by the line. Chapeau! :)

  57. Thanks for that Mary, the short version does not have Robinsons jibe on the ‘Train-spotting element of Europe’ in it, had to listen to the long version which was available in an adjustable format earlier.

    He was using the term to describe no Labours inability to foresee what the Tory’s might do sitting on the non-committal fence over Europe, but it marks the whole information deficit that exists.
    Giving a politically inept public a vote on Europe in a referendum, is as much noLabour as it is Tory policy, no difference there. It doomed to failure, because the media will not be able to give impartial information, as they are in bed and dependent on the franchise of fickle politicians who can’t see over the rim of their teacups.

    Ed would also like to give his brotherly love to David, who sees nothing wrong with covering up torture, even a job in his cabinet is not out of the question.

  58. Anyone been following the Live Mail Art project? A Swiss artists’ collective, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, posted a package yesterday at noon addressed to Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy. It contained a camera and a GPS tracker which has been uploading pictures every 10 seconds to the Bitnik website. Assange was alerted it was on its way:

    Delivery for Mr Assange:

    The website keeps going down, presumably due to heavy traffic, but the Twitter account is fun:

    (PS. Yes, it did go via Vauxhall.)

  59. This judge needs some corrective re-training. The three thugs should have gone to prison. On sorry, they are ‘heroes’.

  60. “You believe that is the truth?”

    I don’t know, I would have to look into it in detail, I wouldn’t want to be going off half cocked on such a sensitive matter.

    It is reminiscent of the time the BBC announced the collapse of WTC7 half an hour in advance, on 9/11 I have always been in the LIHOP camp.

  61. Forbidden topic, read and destroy afterwards, but …

    I’m MIHOP.
    To quote Rumsfeld Cheney Wolfowitz, et al 12 months before 911:

    “….. absent some catastrophic catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” (PNAC, Rebuilding America’s Defenses (1997)

  62. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    17 Jan, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    Clark; earlier we discussed the Assange link to Aaron Swartz, and I mistakenly referred to an
    assange interview.

    It was actually Aaron being interviewed expressing sympathy for Wikileaks….

  63. O/T
    It has just started to snow again here in Norfolk, the birds are in haste, feeding. Just gave them some fresh water.
    we already have 3-4 inches on the ground and pedestrian path have turned into polished ice rinks. But then, they are not paying road taxes so they can go and get….

    In some countries it is the law to clear the path in front of your house and grit what is cleared, not here. My missus fell on her backside carrying two shopping bags yesterday and there was nowt she could do about it.

    During the last 72 hrs. the reoccurring limitations of the existing set up has been laid bare and some angry messages have been received by Freemason Cllr. Plant, in charge of planning and transportation here.

  64. Ben Franklin, I forwarded the link you posted to Richard Stallman, who re-published it:

    You wrote “This was not [Secret Service’s] jurisdiction”. Too right. All it was was an infringement of JSTOR’s terms of service, a purely commercial matter until the authorities took the initiative of persecution upon themselves. Swartz downloaded academic articles, the complete opposite of secret or classified information, and he didn’t use any “hacking” or cracking techniques in the process. There is no way that Swartz’s actions could have threatened national security.

  65. Oops! Bit of a slip up by the Met here.

    Police account of Mark Duggan’s injuries ‘differs’ from pathologist Mark Duggan was shot dead by police in Tottenham, north London, on 4 August 2011

    Mark Duggan’s injuries did not appear to be consistent with a police account of the fatal shooting, a Home Office pathologist has told a court.

  66. Mr Albanese’s run at Rio Tinto has come to a grinding halt.

    Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese resigns over $14bn write-down
    Tom Albanese became chief executive of Rio Tinto in 2007

    Rio Tinto targets $5bn cost cuts
    Weak prices hit Rio Tinto profits
    Rio Tinto reports record output

    The chief executive of mining giant Rio Tinto has resigned after the company announced a $14bn (£8.7bn) write-down.

    The write-down relates to the company’s aluminium and coal-mining businesses.


  67. LOL

    After listening to a papal address in several languages, Panetta and three of his military aides lined up, along with dozens of other Catholics, to meet Benedict and receive his blessing.

    Afterward, Panetta said the pontiff told him, “Thank you for helping to keep the world safe.”

    The Pentagon chief said he replied, “Pray for me.”

  68. Mary, thank you for highlighting that meeting of The Top Dogs.

    LOL indeed. What an unenlightened world we live in.

  69. “You believe that is the truth?”

    Same question to you Lemon Puffs, iro this;

  70. A Catholic is standing on a mountain and looks down into the beauty of the valley. Suddenly he slips and falls down the cliff and is barely able to hold on to the branch of a tree that is growing there. Below him is an abyss of a thousand feet. He doesn’t know what to do, so he prays, ‘Please, Lord, help me. Save me from death.’ And a voice comes out of the sky and says, ‘Have faith, let go! And the man looks up and calls out, ‘Is there anybody else up there?”

    More at this link

    No 4 is my favourite, i was first reminded of with the Panetta-Pope news item above

  71. I decided to put that one out too:

    The Pope dies and goes up to the Pearly Gates where he meets St. Peter. He says to him, ‘You must be St. Peter.’ St. Peter answers, ‘And who are you?’ The pope is taken aback, ‘You don’t recognize me? I’m the Pope.’ St. Peter picks up his list and goes over the names, ‘Pope, Pope—I’m sorry, there is nobody here by that name. I’m sorry, but you can’t enter heaven.’

    The Pope is shocked. ‘There must be some mistake. It’s impossible—I must be on that list. Please, look again: I’m the Pope!’ St. Peter gets impatient and tells him to buzz off. By now the Pope is in tears and begs him, ‘Please, St. Peter, I’m your successor and the representative of Jesus on earth. I’m the head of the Holy Roman Church. I have a right to enter heaven.’ St. Peter is getting annoyed and says, I’ve never heard of anything so foolish. If you don’t immediately buzz off, I’ll call the angels with the flaming swords.’ The Pope is in utter despair. ‘No, please don’t, I beg of you. Can’t you ask somebody, who knows me? Maybe Jesus or one of the saints will vouch for me.’

    St. Peter gives in and says to the chap, ‘All right, I’ll go and ask inside. You stay here. And don’t touch anything.’ So he goes inside, and there are Jesus, his mother Mary, the apostles and several angels and saints. ‘Excuse me, Lord,’ says St. Peter, ‘there is a chap by the name of Pope wanting to enter heaven. He claims to have been your representative on earth.’ Jesus laughs, ‘My representative on earth? That’s absurd, isn’t it? And I’ve never heard of anyone named Pope?’ No one seems to know the Pope, until suddenly the Virgin Mary speaks up, ‘Wait a minute. Pope—isn’t he the one who spread all the rumors about me and the Holy Ghost?’”

  72. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    18 Jan, 2013 - 1:59 am

    The World has enough ‘Fingarman’ or Fingermen (Hat tip to ‘V’)

    “A pardon for Swartz, however qualified, would undercut the case for severe punishment (including, possibly, the death penalty) of Bradley Manning and others. It would amount to an acceptance that Swartz’ motivation in seeking the free distribution of information was a noble one, and that his offences should have been judged in that light. Perhaps some people would see it as exonerating the state, but I think more would see it as a signal of a new direction, and a precedent to be followed.

    A refusal or evasion would serve the same function as the Czar’s orders to his Cossacks in 1905. Those who still believe Obama’s pledge to run the most transparent administration in history would see the reality, and might be moved to protest a bit more.”

  73. Grazia Ben and also for the link earlier to the radio interview with Assange.

    One has to acknowledge what a bold man he is.

    An extract from that interview is below, as an example:

    “Strainchamps: I’m curious, what about democracy in America? I mean is there, is their information out there that if made public, would have the potential to transform the balance of power in this country?

    Assange: I think it’s quite difficult. I’ve wondered what that information would be, and look like. When we released, we’re still in the process of releasing Cablegate. But when we entered into the Cablegate publication phase we saw a reaction by Washington and it’s friends that was cartoonish. That was, it had a sort of, produced a sort of Mccarthy-ist fervor for around two months, and very startling and unusual. But it reminded everyone of what was happening under the Soviets. And, so, that’s an example where information at that level, and at such quantities, can produce significant reform effects, and produce a back reaction by people in power. What other, sort of, information would be like that, given the extraordinary fiscalization in the United States? Perhaps, all emails of the New York Times going back 10 years. Maybe, maybe that would produce a similar understanding of the interplays between these big power and patrons groups in the U.S.? Perhaps staying to the finance industry. Although, within finance, matters tend to be quite complicated. Maybe all the emails of the U.S. Congress, if you had them all going back a few years. Perhaps that would produce a similar level of reaction. But I think it, because of the strong fiscalization which results in a de-politicization of basic power structures in the country, it is going to take something at that level. But of course the National Security Agency intercepts, estimates all telephone traffic coming in and out of the United States, and others have suggested domestically in places in the United States as well. If that material was released you might see a desire to reform the Intelligence sector.

    Strainchamps: So is that your wish list? [laughing] In a sense?

    Assange: Well, I have a long wish list, but I assume for the United States that wouldn’t be a bad start.”

    I think one way out of the Assange deadlock is for him to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, given to Obama at the start of his presidency. Would they have given it to him if he weren’t a black man? Ironically all the Nobel Prizes are awarded in Sweden, except for the Peace prize, in Norway.

    Is the Committee delighted with their decision to award Obama? They can correct it now.

    Btw a month to go for the Ecuadorian elections…

  74. Agent Cameron’s ‘compassion’. I see the current situation in Algeria as blowback from his and Hague’s ‘intervention’ in Libya and his assistance to Monsewer Hollande. At 11 am this morning he will rise from the green bench and give us a sob story, using nearly as many of those neuro linguistic skills that Bliar used, although not as skillfully.


    I see twerp Hague is scuttling back from Australia. Such a shame for him to leave the sun and warmth.

    I bet the anti EU Tory rightwing are peeved that they are not getting his speech today thuis depriving them of a stage to voice their propaganda.

  75. Felicity Arbuthnot on the start of Desert Storm and what followed it.

    Apart from her clearly demonstrated care and love for the Iraqi people over these past years, she did have her own personal tragedy. Margaret Hassan’s was her good friend and since she was killed, her body was never found.

  76. s/be Margaret Hassan without the apostrophe etc.

    More about her on Democracy Now.

  77. AQM The acronym of the moment in use by Cameron this morning in the HoC.

  78. PS Very few troughers in the House to hear him. All pushed off home I suppose in case they get stuck on their journeys in the snow. Most front bench.

    Still no real news from Cameron. ‘Moving situation’… ‘sympathies to families’ Of course DC. etc.

  79. Somewhere in Amsterdam Mark Urban and Nick Robinson are waiting patiently for the arrival of their favourite PM.

    ‘Eh, Nick me old pal, we’ve done our preps and this is a cool place, just watch the swirling colours on that snow’

    ‘yeah man, sorry, mark, giggle) its everywhere, but why is it blue?, or is it me? what were these little brownies we just tried with our coffee, they were gorgeously yummy, shall we have some more, or shall we go for a round of pancakes next?’

    Nah man, I’ve to sit this one out, feels almost like that Pink Floyd concert I watched during the seventies, Hahhaha, all gooey schmoozy colours, oops I’ve just seen a rabbit flop through the snow, its striped and looks like a slimmed down Eric Pickles, Hahahaha

    ‘D’you recon we ever get out of here with so many yummy cookies everywhere? Ah well who cares, cause DC is not cummin’ he’s chickened out hahaha, Cameron is a chicken hahahah, what a bummer, jabs on about it for weeks and then? haha, he turns into a blue floppy rabbit that can’t move…’ Mark, were are you?’

    ‘Sorry Nick, just dripped off the table, feel like letting it all hang out, All Shabbbabi’s or not, hahaha, whatever next. get me a tank or two I wanna trash Mac whatsits, you know that horsey burger chain, hahaha, with the yellow arches puissing all, over it, hahaha.
    God am I stoned.

    Phone rings
    ‘Hi Mark, Allegra here, looks like Cameron can’t get there, they are still hammering away at the speech and Mali is looming larger and bigger than ever’

    ‘Oyioui, Alegra, Alegra Alegra, what is there to say hahaha, no show eh, chickenshit all over again, gosh I fancy you now…’

    ‘Mark? are you OK? speak later…… hangs up.

    snoring sounds….

  80. And here it is, the school that never closes and its in Craigs birthplace of Sherigham. What a bunch of H&S freaks are running our schools.

  81. George Galloway at the Oxford Union on Julian Assange. If you listen to the quality of the participants you understand why there have been these protests of Assange’s impending appearance.

    Its quite shocking how ill-informed these students are.

    Separately, it still puzzles me why their LGBTQ Society should involve itself. The Assange allegations have absolutely nothing to do with LGBTQ issues. Very queer.

  82. Villager, absolutely agree, much fuss over very little , makes you wonder who steers their boat, who’s benefitting from their PR actions.

    Maybe its the guaranteed BBC coverage and high public profile that these ‘celebrity guiled students’ are going to get on the 20th. is the real impetus.

    I mean, how hard is it for Oxfords LGBTQ society to get such high profile these days? Surely, those trumped up reports next week by the PBC, the paedophile Broadcasting Corp., will do its best to kowtow to the slimey’s that conduct this crescendo and put some heat back into the stale bedrooms and dormitories of their society, oh what fun we all had on the back of Julian….

  83. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Jan, 2013 - 12:34 am

    Clark; Would you, when time allows, vet this. I need your keen analytical skills on the issue of Newtown massacre. Thanks, in advance.

  84. English Knight

    19 Jan, 2013 - 4:05 am

    The gays would be well advised not to be suckered into backing the USreali position (on Assange,Palestine,Iran,etc) otherwise they will surely end up being on the receiving end of another Hitlers wrath (again!). Agent Cameron is simply pushing gay marriage to garner their vote in the upcoming war on Iran. The “Friends” across all parties and gays together should be enough to carry an Iran war resolution in the Commons. After the Scots referendum in 2014 but before the Turkish elections in 2015,that could result in Erdogans exit a la Saakashvilli of Georgia.

  85. “George Galloway at the Oxford Union on Julian Assange. If you listen to the quality of the participants you understand why there have been these protests of Assange’s impending appearance.

    Its quite shocking how ill-informed these students are.”

    Well these are members of the Oxford Union who are responsible for inviting Assange to speak.

    The protest has spread beyond the LGBTQ. Could cancellation be looming?

  86. Moderators – not sure which is best page to put this startling new evidence in, so I’ve also put it in the top page. Please feel free to delete whichever post you feel is abusing the rules :)

    Some journalists have been digging into the reasons behind the US DoJ’s persecution of Aaron Swartz. First, there’s this:

    Not conclusive of anything much, but the involvement of the Secret Service in Swartz’s JSTOR case is odd. I understand it’s well off their patch. Then there’s this:

    In December 2010 through early 2011 Aaron Swartz was persistently FOIing David House’s visits to Bradley Manning in Quantico. That article includes a handy timeline to bear in mind when reading this Wall Street Journal article, dated 9 February 2011:

    Assange probe hits snag:

    The Empty Wheel blog is starting to put two and two together, here:

    And then comes this:

    Holy Hell!

  87. Thanks for that Arbed, seems that Wikileaks is in turmoil without its main man, why else would they denigrate their trust base with these releases, after Aaron Schwartz suicide?

    Another question must now be asked, is wikileaks self destroying itself for a reason? Are they expecting facts to come out that will put us all in a spin?

    Or is this whole line of tweets a string of thought spun with us in mind? the proverbial cat into pigeons?

    This indeed getting interesting and I bet there are some links to be discovered pitching Karl Rove into this murky, but slowly clearing, Fata Morgana?

    Thanks Arbed, now back to the hovering….

  88. ‘Hoovering’.dooh

  89. Hi Nevermind,

    I think the comments I’ve seen on Twitter about Wikileaks busting Swartz’ anonymity and therefore self-destructing themselves are coming from people who are not that familiar with the detail of the Wikileaks Grand Jury investigation. Alexa O’Brien’s timeline “US vs Wikileaks” is the best source for those details.

    My reading of Wikileaks going public about the close connection between Swartz and themselves – a respectful time after his funeral when whether he has anonymity or not cannot hurt him anymore – is that it’s been done to alert the general public about what was really behind the case against him, ie it’s to help those who want the truth and who want justice, real justice, for Swartz and the cause he believed in so much.

  90. “why else would they denigrate their trust base with these releases, after Aaron Schwartz suicide?”

    Have you considered that maybe what they are disclosing are actually relevant facts surrounding what many think is a very suspicious suicide ?

  91. Yes I have considered that option Macky and I’m not trying to make out Wikileaks is a placement of some or other state organisation, merely pointing out that they’re not helping to endear themselves to a larger public.

    Maybe the announced releases will set the record straight and show how much we have been hoodwinked by the state terrorists.

  92. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Jan, 2013 - 4:58 pm

    Yes. There is a great deal to be speculated upon. Three facts though.

    1.) Swartz gave an interview in which he expressed sympathy with Wikileaks.

    2.) He was avalanched with a threatened sentence of 35 years; $1 million in fines (far greater than homocide) and this is exactly how they deal with Confidential Informants when they want someone else.

    3.) Secret Service took over the investigation.

    Hmm, what an interesting an unconnected series of facts leaving us with no where to go

  93. Nevermind and Ben,

    I’d put my money on it being to do with the 8 February 2009 Wikileaks release they retweeted immediately after the above 4 tweets about Aaron Swartz. That release was a fully up-to-date archive of Congressional Research Service reports:

    and the reason I think Wikileaks is guessing Aaron Swartz was the source for that (they can’t prove it because their submission system was set up to anonymise leaks by pinging [technical term, that :) through dozens of different domain servers, shedding metadata as it goes, and keeping no logs) is this article I read a few days ago in the Naked Capitalism blog:

    Aaron Swartz interned in Congress in 2009.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that it was the Secret Service who were on Aaron’s tail. It’s really worth studying the detail of those links to the Empty Wheel blog I’ve posted above. There’s a wealth of clues in them for peeps who’ve been researching the whole Wikileaks saga and know the background quite well.

    The Secret Service, of course, report directly to Barack Obama – at least I think I’m right in saying ‘directly’. They’re in charge of the President’s personal security detail, arn’t they?

    This is getting very big, and very juicy. I’m kinda hopeful that this is the turning point, the moment when people start realising just how merciless – and morally bankrupt – the whole Get Wikileaks/Extradite Assange witch hunt is.

  94. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Jan, 2013 - 5:51 pm

    Arbed; SS has a broad spectrum of duties….a case in point from personal experience.

    In 2005 a friend of mine, who has a sister involved in Texas Democratic Party had a phone conversation with him, in which she blithely made a reference to a wish for natural death for GWB.

    He immediately told her not to go there, and got off the phone. A week later he got a visit from SS who threatened him with detainment in GITMO. Just sayin’

  95. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Jan, 2013 - 5:57 pm


    In addition, one used to be able to go the Library of Congress, check out scads of material, without any trace of your presence.

    Now you register with your Social Security # and each item you review is scanned into the file connected to your SS#.

  96. The excellent Marcy Wheeler at the Empty Wheel blog appears to be drawing the same conclusions that I am:

    First, there’s this where she analyses the US Govt requests for Swartz’s private data held by Google, Twitter and Amazon, despite those companies apparently having nothing to do with the JSTOR case:

    then she notices the coincidental timing of these subpoenas with similar requests being made in relation to known Wikileaks associates:

  97. Thanks for this from marcy Wheeler, she is excellent at digging and corroborating evidence.

    So Aarons death does have a massive question mark over it and one wonders whether his office and flat could bring up some DNA that is not down to his friends and partners.

    Maybe he even has had a nest egg somewhere, information cached on a USB stick or with a friend, no doubt many people are digging away at it, because he was a solidly great bloke going by Matt’s description of him.

    The world has lost a jewel.

  98. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Jan, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    FYI; link from EW’s comment

    “I was the expert witness on Aaron’s side of US vs Swartz, engaged by his attorneys last year to help prepare a defense for his April trial. Until Keker Van Nest called iSEC Partners I had very little knowledge of Aaron’s plight, and although we have spoken at or attended many of the same events we had never once met.”

  99. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    19 Jan, 2013 - 7:04 pm

    Nevermind; Paraphrasing my comment at EW…..

    Since Aaron’s attorneys were denying there was an offer of reduced sentence, and Ortiz (DOJ) came out yesterday (?) saying 6 months was offered, and this being confirmed by defense, it seems, not wildly speculative, that a deal was reached, making Aaron either a Witness for Prosecution against Wikileaks, or a CI. The young man was of high ethical standards, and may have found his position untenable; hence the suicide. This kind of coercion is a staple of our fine Legal System.

  100. Ben 5.51pm,

    That’s a horrific but sadly unsurprising story.

    What a bunch of thugs and goons they are.

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