Work for the UN 1072

GCHQ and the NSA between them employ tens of thousands of people.  I am bemused by the shock at the “revelation” they have been spying.  What on Earth did journalists think that spies do all day? That includes electronics spies.

Since Katherine Gun revealed that we spy on other delegations – and the secretariat – within the UN building, it is hardly a shock that we spy on other governments at summits in the UK.  For once, the government cannot pretend that the object is to save us all from terrorism, which is the usual catch all excuse.  Nor in the real world is any of the G20 nations a military threat to the UK.  The real truth of the matter is that our spies – GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 – are themselves a large and highly influential interest block within the state.  Lots of people make a great deal of money out of the security state, and this kind of activity is actually simply an excuse for taking money from taxpayers – which is from everyone who has ever bought anything – and giving that money to the “security industry”.

I do not view spying on other governments as quite as despicable as spying on ordinary citizens, which is an unspeakable betrayal of the purpose of government.  Spying on other governments is a game they all play to extort money each to their own security elites.  But I will say that spying on the South African government seems pretty low.  Why?

Interception of diplomatic communications is plainly a gross breach of the Vienna Conventions, even if the forms of communication have changed since they were drafted.  I have never studied the particulars of international law as they relate to spying, but it seems to me an area that in the modern world needs regulation.  There must be room here for the UN to be involved in preparing a Convention to outlaw the interception of international communications, with recourse to the International Court of Justice for those victim of it.

There is more work for the UN on Syria.  We should all be grateful that Russia is holding out against the very dubious western claims that the  Syrian government has deployed chemical weapons.  But while Obama can declare all the red lines he wishes, they do not give any country a right to take action on Syrian soil without UN authority.  That needs to be restated, strongly.  There is no basis at all for the continued and massive Israeli attacks on Syria – they are absolutely illegal.  Israeli strikes have definitely killed more people than the alleged deaths from chemical weapons.  Can someone explain to me why that is not a red line?

The UN Secretary General should be speaking out, and the UN Security Council should be meeting, to discuss the Israeli attacks on Syria.  The system of international law has broken down irretrievably.

1,072 thoughts on “Work for the UN

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  • John Goss

    Trowbridge H Ford. He, Monzer al Kasser, seems like a nasty piece of work.

    Considering Africa makes me think of that other arms-running leech, Tim Spicer, who is now a private army contractor for the US in Iraq protecting US stolen oilfields there. These sub-humans are not worth your spit.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Trowbridge; I tried to look at your articles, but was defeated by registraion.

    The issue with Bishop is interesting. I know CIA uses illicit sex charges to gum up the works, but I’m not sure it works in reverse with Snowden. I accept the slight possibility Snowden was fleeing, but there is nothing I can see (HuffPo also did Bishop) which dissuades me from believing Snowden’s the real deal. Thanks.

  • Dreoilin

    Unbelievable – and no doubt coming to a country near you …

    ‘How Shell is trying to send a chill through activist groups across the country’

    “This summer, the 9th Circuit Court in California is weighing the question of whether companies have the right to take preemptive legal action against peaceful protesters for hypothetical future protests. This will be an extraordinary decision that could have a significant impact on every American’s First Amendment rights …” [continues]

  • Villager

    Flaming June: “Villager May I say that what you said about me was not very Krishmamurthy of you. ”

    How would you know — you can’t even spell his name! And a couple of months ago after giving you some info you asked for, your reply was “Even Krishnamurti.” When asked several times to clarify, you ignored requests. Anyway as K would say you have too much monkey chatter going on, hence we see you all over the place; no cohesion. Always quoting quoting quoting copying pasting frenetically and yes peppered with your snide remarks that debase the subject.

    I do feel sorry for you that you see this as your life’s work just when i felt sorry Habba would take you to task once too often. But i’m disappointed at the arrogance you display and your dishonesty when you said i hauled you over the coals for not using punctuations. Do you want me to copy Jon’s advice for you again. Dreolin also pointed it out a couple of times gently and you brushed her aside and half nasty.

    Old age is all about wisdom, but its never too late to take a look in the mirror. Its how we learn — in the mirror of relationship. Feel free to quote me on Krishnamurti if you want but before you do be honest and try to ‘get it’ first. “even Krishnamurti” — you can still explain.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Found almost all the articles on

    Just google one of the articles, say why it look so long to catch ames and hanssen, and once you have finished it, just go to the names of the authors on its right, and once you have found my name, just go through the 163 articles on file.

    I am not saying that Snowden is not a real spy – only became one after the Bureau set him up in a honey trap so that he was made to look like one.

  • Kibo Noh

    How does a troll-pack work?

    Today’s “Preparing to Bomb Syria” thread shows it as clear as day.

    Villager. Multiple personalities or what?

    June. Don’t let them get under your skin.

  • Villager

    And btw lets be clear Habbabkuk is not a troll so when people use that word they only show their weakness in not being able to stand up to his questions or arguments.

    On abuse, i haven’t seen any one else have more abuse showered on him but he’s proven that he can rebut it without enjoining them in their lowered standards. Thats because he is in addition to being very intellectual he is highly articulate.

    I’ve also come to see that he has a great sense of humour, sometimes even self-deprecating, and uses it very effectively to diffuse tensions. Compare that with Chris2 spitting at his computer screen, how desperately low can you get?

  • Villager

    “Villager. Multiple personalities or what?”

    I’ll take that as a compliment. Just plain flexibility of mind, the ability to see things how they are, objectively without the fear of a pack and a herd mentality.

    Be original bring some fresh insights, but please don’t punish us with your poetry any further.

  • Clark

    Craig wrote:

    “Lots of people make a great deal of money out of the security state, and this kind of activity is actually simply an excuse for taking money from taxpayers – which is from everyone who has ever bought anything – and giving that money to the “security industry”.”

    National governments, especially that of the US, are now the biggest buyers of software vulnerabilities, and presumably the invasive malware required to exploit them:

    “If the U.S. government knows of a vulnerability that can be exploited, under normal circumstances, its first obligation is to tell U.S. users,” Clarke said. “There is supposed to be some mechanism for deciding how they use the information, for offense or defense. But there isn’t.”

    In order for the government to exploit vulnerabilities discovered in major software, they cannot disclose those vulnerabilities to the manufacturers or the public, lest the exploit be fixed.

    Off topic: why Jack Straw should pay Abu Qatada’s legal aid bill:

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Trowbridge; Whew! That’s a lot to digest. Gonna take a while, but it’s an impressive body of work you have there.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Clark; I was just going to email and see wtf you’ve been up to. 🙂

  • Suhayl Saadi

    A ramble through the weeds…

    Were the spambots that used to plague this site before Tim and Co sorted it, more than merely random spambotic activity? Who knows? Anyway, as the regular oldies (oldies, that is, in terms of specific blog-age rather than necessarily chronological age), I used to enjoy talking insouciantly to the spambots in their own, unique tongue. I ultimately got some exasperated flak for that (when I accused a spambot of being an upper-class spy) from the poster who used to be known as ‘Richard Robinson’. Where did he go? Is he still with us in another guise, or has he evaporated into the fragmentary, ancient songs of nettle and weed?

    But on a more serious note, yes, the security industry is massive and expanding and (this is relatively new) promotes itself relentlessly. Think of Sawyers-in-Speedos; that was a PR offensive aimed to make Sawyers seem like an ordinary and nerdish ‘1970s-man’ human being like you or I (though perhaps your first chloice would not be Speedos) or like those ‘David Bedfords’ in the long-running TV advert for a product which, for the life of me, I cannot – do not wish to – remember.

    Likewise, the tale put about of the recently retired MI5 Chief having to wait around in a security queue at an airport when he returned from holiday – a Regular Joe, you see? There cannot be anything sinsister about a Regular Joe, you see! The security services hire PR companies for this specific purpose.

    Think too of the FSB’s deep – systemic – involvement in organised crime. But as Ruth suggests, it’s not just Russia. As a cohort, ‘Russians’ seem to get a bad name in Britain, while the Chinese get a good press. This is all silly. And, one imagines, ‘we’ (or rather, ‘them’ who rule us, spy on us and take our labour and run…) also consist of variegated configurations. Well, you know, there are parts of – people in – the FSB and its domestic equivalent that/ who actually do their job properly, and then there are parts that basically murder and destroy people. I’m not suggesting that MI5 and MI6 are quite on that level and no doubt there are principled officers who do their jobs as best they can – though maybe Ruth knows something wrt organised financial criminality most of us do not. In which case, I do wish she would write that explosive essay I’ve been urging her to write for ages and post it somewhere prominent – go on, Ruth! Or perhaps Courtenay knows more – offshore havens, laundering, etc.? Of course, Roderick Russell – who has an excellent piece in the current Lobster magazine – has first-hand experience of the hard state, over in Canada.

    Naturally, the function of the security services is firstly to their own empire-within-an-empire and secondly to preserve the preserve of those who own big things and who help ensure the security/intel complex continues to be bankrolled – white, grey and black monies. The early 1990s in Britain a time of fear for the spooks. But that period of uncertainty ended in September 2001. The core aspect of the ‘industry’ is the systemic intimacy b/w the private security sector (in which I would include mercenary ex-Special Forces-type outfits, like Blackwater, or Sweetmeat, or Sour Grapes, or Nannies-on-Acid, or whatever it likes to call iself these days – but there are many, many others) and the hard state. Criminality, it seems to me, is inherent, in terms of both form and content. It is nomative. We should expect no different. The end-target is the human spirit. Cultivate the human spirit and you defy the entire weight of the hard state: Butterfly.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Right, don’t even try to read it all -just what strikes your fancy.

    And just remember that little of it was even properly proof-read because I am the world’s worst in that department, and none of it was edited.

    I just had to express what I really thought about things after having lived for years under the censoring eyes of academe.

    If you are inclined to sue because of brain damage, I am willing to settle out of court.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Well some graf-breaks and white space would help,, but the brain-damage has long been water under the bridge. Again I say;
    outstanding work.

  • Kibo Noh

    @Villager. 10 49pm

    …”don’t punish us with your poetry any further.”

    Apologies there. I hadn’t intended it to be read as poetry. I just wanted to be brief as I’ve other matters to deal with tonight. You’ll have noticed I’ve given the poetry a rest for a good while now.

    My point was that it seemed to me when I skimmed through the day’s thread that you and Habbakuk seemed clearly to be working as a team, especially in respect of your usual target.

    I also found it revealing that as soon as Sofia got serious and asked you a simple and pertinent question which was for once, as she admitted, “on-topic” you both disappeared, leaving Kempe to try to clean up your mess.

    Now tonight you are both hard at work trying, as usual, to distract Flaming June. This time you have slipped into your righteous Krishnamurti persona.

    I can’t believe I’m the only one who can see this but I wanted to briefly draw attention to how you work.

  • Phil

    I like Chris 2’s point. Habwonks’s relentless pursuit is a compliment to your one woman news dissemination service.

    Habwonk does intrigue me in one respect. The colloquial sometimes goes over his head and he uses pretentious words awkwardly, so I speculate he is a (youngish) man with (good) english as a second language. This makes me wonder if PR companys are outsourcing their troll hiring (much like the call center industry did twenty years back). A unit in, say, Mumbai would be a very tempting saving over a Soho basement to the likes of bell pottinger.

    @Kibo Noh
    I agree. Villager’s defence of Habwank is ridiculous. Perhaps they really are the same person. Or on the same team. The old bad troll less-bad troll one two. Give us a sign Jon. Are we warm?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Doug Scorgie (21h35):

    “You reply to Ruth:

    “I would agree that they [GCHQ, MI5, and MI6] are an interest block (as are any groups of professionals or corporations) but I’m less convinced of their high influence.”

    Surely you’re not implying that GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 are mere lobbyists that have no more influence than other “groups of professionals or corporations”?”

    No, of course I’m not calling them mere lobbyists (although I’m sure that they lobby government). You’ve possibly misunderstood me : I was using the words (“interest block”) Ruth used and in the same sense as Ruth used them.

    BTW, you’ll recall that the second half of my post went on to ask Ruth a question. As you have taken a flattering interest in our conversation, perhaps you’d now care to answer my question on her behalf as well?


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Ramble all you want Suhaly Saadi.

    Lucky for our JJonathan ‘Bob’ Evans aka William Perkins that he didn’t run into me with his guard down, as he would been calling for it as I continued to press him about who was responsible, and how had the deadly helicopter crash occurred at the Mull 19 years ago.

    Evans is the worst of Britain’s so-called counter terrorists.

    And countries’ intelligences services should be judged on a case by case basis.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Suahayl; ‘Butterfly Effect” or Muhammed Ali (float like a butterfly)? Seriously, I get it. Mark refers to an aspect of that approach as ‘the power of intention’.

  • Villager

    Kibo, you poor deluded thing. Hope all that you’ve been smoking at least helps you sleep well. Go read some more detective novels and sharpen your ability to see things as they are. Meantime sign-up as a card-carrying member of the June and Sofia act — it’ll give you a sense of belonging. And perhaps give your shoddy little life some meaning.

  • Kibo Noh

    Phil. 11:29 pm

    “@FlamingJune…one woman news dissemination service.”

    You bet!


    Here’s an observation from the “Preparing to Bomb Syria” thread earlier today.

    @Sofia Zabolotna-Habbercake. 4:14 pm

    “Habbabkuk and Villager

    At 1 51pm I asked…”tell us why you are avoiding the issue of the fake “Assad uses sarin so we have to save them with our bombs” plot?”

    For once I was on-topic and I think the question was appropriate.

    In the two hour period before that, between you, you sent 5 posts, containing zero information.

    In the two plus hours since then you sent zero posts, but managed to provide us with just as much information.

    I wonder what could all that mean?”


    Just how stupid do “the Laurel and Hardy of these threads” think we are?

  • Villager

    A quick eyeball of today’s new blog and Mary/June’s on topic contribution:

    Flaming June
    17 Jun, 2013 – 12:30 pm
    Shin Bet operatives were/still are at Johannesburg airport.

    And the link with a 2009 ‘NEWS’ item!

  • Kibo Noh

    @Villager 11 48pm

    …..”And perhaps give your shoddy little life some meaning.”

    While I was writing that last post your Krishnamurti mask seems to have fallen off.

  • Villager

    Phil. another poor little insecure toad — yes go running to Jon he’ll give you the facts but your insecurities will remain. Try it!

    In summary, is that all you can contribute? Calling people trolls when you can’t stand up to them. May you raise your levels of insight — thats my prayer for you.

  • guano


    You obviously know that the wind travels at different speeds and even directions at different altitudes. Same as politics. Craig is kindly sharing his observations about high altitude politics with us, but you find it difficult to do more than bum over the grass.
    It’s so kind of you to share the secrets of courting dung flies you observe as you skilfully rise over the annoying cowpats of life with us.

  • Indigo


    “The system of international law was never entirely fit for purpose. Multiple violations have taken place since its ad hoc construction over the years, and millions of lives have lost under the sustained gaze of the legal community. This points to the fact that international law is nothing more than a tool in the arsenal of imperial power”.

    Never a truer word was spoken.

    Don’t watch television any more but made an exception for this, this evening, on BBC 4:

    “The Law in These Parts:
    Documentary examining the legal system developed by the Israelis in the Occupied Territories”.

    It was a perfect example of your post … interviews with retired Israeli (mainly) military judges who (had) tried to square the legal circle … to deliver injustice, punishments and judgements that were illegal under international law while twisting and turning the law in order to claim that the ‘system’ was legal under international law.


  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I don’t know how stupid we really are, Kibo Noh, but one thing must be said for the not forgetting about the al-hillis thread has achieved – it isolated the worst of them, and is apparently killing some of them off from internet exhaustion.

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