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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  • doug scorgie

    18 Jun, 2013 – 12:54 pm


    “Credit where credit is due; the chief troll has no doubt been rewarded by his handlers for getting the some of the regular posters here to support him, but responding about him to his new fan club, is the same as engaging with the troll clown itself; best to ignore in both situations.”

    Sorry Macky but I don’t know what you are on about.

    It would help me and others here if you, and others, referenced time and date) the posts that you refer to.

    @Doug, just doesn’t do it.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Just had another post about The Guardian and its chief spook David Leigh scrubbed by secret government’s manipulation of security as I looked before posting to make sure that the CAPTCHA check was right, but it still disappeared.

    Looks like my posting days here are numbered.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Trowbridge; Is this the one?

    Why America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ Had Gareth Williams Assassinated

  • Phil

    Dreoilin 18 Jun, 2013 – 1:03 pm
    Nice RapNews link. It’s good to see young people fighting mainstream propaganda inventively.

    Re; Afghanistan. Apologies if you’ve seen this but here’s a film about the preparedness of the afghan forces for nato withdrawal.

    This Is What Winning Looks Like:

  • Macky

    @John Goss, re Guantanamo, I would have thought that the US max security prisons would be more than enough to act as a deterrent, even to those who embrace death, for what’s worse than the living death torture of life-long solitary confinement, but perhaps Gitmo is used as a frightener; check out the interregation scene at about the 7.30 minute mark in this;

    @Doug, nevermind; forget that I ever addressed you.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    No, Ben, though it is worth reading for the background to the Snowden Affair.

    I was talking about a letter that Denis Thatcher might have written after the 3/11 bombings.

    It’s called Emperor Antony Has No Clothes, as I recall, and appeared on codshit at the end of March, 2004.

    Really worth a read, even at this late date.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Flaming June

    “Should Joanna Gosling, a presenter on the BBC News Channel a) declare an interest when she is commenting on political affairs as she was earlier today or b) be doing the job anyway in the light that her husband is one of Agent Cameron’s spin doctors?”

    The answer to these questions is
    a) no
    b) yes.

    Thank you for your information on, and link to, various peoples’ marital problems.

    The relevance to the subject of this thread is obvious.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Glanced at the coverage The Guardian provided Genera Keith Alexander testified before a House Committee, and the newspaper allowed most suspect posts to appear, contrary to its own rules.

    Take the three comments by Westernworldrulz where he advocates someone European taking US nuclear weapons away by force, and goes on immediately with two more most provocative posts about living anywhere else, even Turkey, and still wanting marching on Washington to make sure that changes occur. The stuff is so good that The Guardian did replace the first post with a notice about the two others.

    Westernworldrulz is either a Western European troublemaker its data-miners could be investigating or a provocateur to produce real ones like him.

    I urge posters to steer clear of what The Guardian is helping unless you don,t care about being killed, possibly going to prison or just don’t give a damn. I’m too old to really worry about it.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Didn’t read the last post over before posting it – answering an inquiry at the back door about a wounded man on the run in the neighborhood, and wanting to know if I know anything about it! – so there are two errors in: General Alexander, and the paper did NOT replace Westernworldrulz’s first post with a notice about the other two.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Doug Scorgie :

    18 Jun, 2013 – 12:52 am

    “Howdy there Guano, nice to have you back with us again! I was getting worried that Fisons had got you bagged up and that you’d been spread over a field somewhere.”

    LOL Habba where do you pull these one-liners out from?!

    I count that as three lines in two sentences. Fatuus vicum.”

    Doug, you’ll recall that on several occasions in the past I’ve advised you to invest in a good dictionary.

    I regret to note that you haven’t followed this excellent advice. Had you done so – I would again recommend the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (2 vols) – you would have been able to look up the word ‘one-liner’ and find the following definition :
    “a short joke or witty remark”.

    You see? No mention of the number of lines required.

    Looking on the positive side, though, your post did make it clear that you are able to count at least up to three. Keep it up!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ The Scourge and Villager :

    As an earnest of my magnanimous character and forgiving spirit, I offer the following one-liner in accordance with the Doug Scorgie definition (“a one-liner can have only one line”) :

    “LOL Habba where do you pull these one-liners out from?!”

    “I don’t know, but, mutatis mutandis, not whence Guano issued”.

  • what

    Who’s the current Director of the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre?

    JTAC is a semi-detached agency, based in Thames House, the MI5 HQ, but with an autonomous structure. Its staff include people from SIS and GCHQ, and it’s called an “interagency”. It’s responsible to the director of MI5 but not part of the structure of MI5.

    It’s not to be confused with the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, which is part of the Home Office, headed by Charles Farr, formerly of SIS, who has ruffled lots of feathers.

    A former head of JTAC was Mary Calam.

    JTAC decides on threat levels, and mirrors the US National Counterterrorism Center, except that in true British style, it’s more secretive. For example, it doesn’t run a public database akin to the NCTC’s Worldwide Incidents Tracking System. And it seems to keep the identity of the person in charge pretty quiet too.

    Anyway, who’s the head of JTAC now?

  • guano

    According to David Attenborough millions upon millions of cockroaches live entirely on nutrients brought into caves from the outside world by bats and deposited as guano. Saves Habba venturing out into the real world.

  • doug scorgie

    Flaming June
    18 Jun, 2013 – 3:53 pm

    Mr Coulson was detained at his London home in May this year and driven more than 400 miles by officers from Police Scotland to Glasgow.

    I wonder if it is only the English cops that do “arrest by appointment”.

  • Flaming June

    Doug 🙂 but as Guido Fawkes says

    Guido Fawkes ✔ @GuidoFawkes

    Be careful what you say – you don’t want to be on Contempt of Court – Andy Coulson %$#@!+&%$#@@!$%&#@@[email protected]$%%@
    Careful now…


    Anyone know anything about this Orwellian sounding set up?
    CSARN – City Security and Resilience Networks. I see a few senior members of police forces in the lists of speakers.

    Much jargon.

  • Flaming June

    David Swanson writes about ‘Drones for Christ’.

    Drones for Christ
    by David Swanson | July 2013

    How Jerry Falwell’s Liberty U.—the world’s largest Christian university—became an evangelist for drone warfare.

    ‘I asked Young about drones’ most common use today, namely war fighting. “Is that kind of drone use Christian?” I asked.

    “I can only offer my perspective as a Christian,” he replied. “UAS are like any other aerial vehicle that can be used for a variety of missions including law enforcement, aerial surveillance, search and rescue, and crop spraying as well as for military reasons. As a former military combat aviator, I believe that UAS can be employed just like a manned aircraft and that there should not be a distinction between the two.”

    A brochure promoting the Liberty School of Aeronautics features a photo of Dan McCready, First Lieutenant USAF, who is quoted, “Since I was very young, I’ve dreamed about becoming a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Liberty’s aviation program gave me the opportunity to make my dream a reality, helping me to realize that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”’

  • gyges

    Shame that you’re promulating the party line that spying is a political activity. It isn’t, it is simply the enablement of theft through obtaining inside information and similar.

  • Cryptonym

    Is that Evening Times article correct? Wasn’t it last May – 2012 – that he was driven 400 miles to be questioned at Govan Police Station, Glasgow. In which case of course it was officers from what was then Strathclyde Police, not Police Scotland. Why would he be driven 400 miles by the police to attend court, they’re not providing taxi or chauffeur services are they? I suspect (and the Evening Times have considerable woeful form for inaccuracy) this online article was done by someone sent along to work there, for JSA money plus bus fares.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now The Guardian has posters responding to that war criminal, ultimate scum bag John Bolton.

    The spooks must be going bonkers with all the leads it’s generating.

    Should change the discussion section to this: Comment Is Likely Jail!

  • doug scorgie

    Just in:

    “The US is to open direct peace talks with the Taliban after more than 10 years of war in Afghanistan, senior White House officials announce.”

    I wonder why they didn’t have direct peace talks ten years ago.

    Strange that.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    For comedy value Marko Attila Hoare (yes that’s his real name) on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free arguing that anyone who’s against arming the rebels is pro-Assad, claiming Hezbollah carried out the attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria despite Al Qa’ida claiming responsibility for it – and well, too many other factual errors to repeat again (i posted a comment under the article on them)

  • treb

    Re Flaming June’s comment re Guardian Caption competition (18 Jun, 2013 – 2:58 pm), I like the entry:

    If you all stand on a black plinth I can photoshop the rest of Disneyland in later.

    The photograph was taken by Suzanne Plunkett, her who took (only one) iconic image in NYC on 11/9/2001…..

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