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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  • Herbie

    No mention of any of this on the BBC, of course.

    I often wonder are their vastly inflated salaries adequate compensation for the crimes against humanity in which they must collude, or does psychometric testing select only for those of a suitably psychopathic tendency.

    “Previously, when looking at the real underlying national interests responsible for the deteriorating situation in Syria, which eventually may and/or will devolve into all out war with hundreds of thousands killed, we made it very clear that it was always and only about the gas, or gas pipelines to be exact, and specifically those involving the tiny but uber-wealthy state of Qatar.

    Needless to say, the official spin on events has no mention of this ulterior motive, and the popular, propaganda machine, especially from those powers supporting the Syrian “rebels” which include Israel, the US and the Arabian states tries to generate public and democratic support by portraying Assad as a brutal, chemical weapons-using dictator, in line with the tried and true script used once already in Iraq.”

  • geoffrey

    Talking about Law,war,Israel and the BBC.I assume we all saw Storyville on BBC4 on Monday night “The law in these parts”?

  • Phil

    Geoffrey 19 Jun, 2013 – 3:49 pm
    “I assume we all saw Storyville on BBC4 on Monday night “The law in these parts”?”

    No. Was it any good?

    It’s available on iplayer. The storyville site is currently advertising next week’s show which may be of particular interest to Craig – “Power, Money, Greed & Oil. How a US energy company developed the first commercial oil field in Ghana’s history.”

  • Komodo

    Christ, Ben. Is that for real? Still, it’s heartening to know that he’s a lousy team player, when you look at the rest of the team…

  • Phil

    I recall the ‘orrible Andrew Neil sniffingly mocking Rolling Stone, on his daily politics love in, when the Mccrystal article came out. The article was a rare piece of journalism that broke all the club rules.

  • Phil

    Here’s a breakdown of propaganda from Brazil. A live tv poll asking “Do you support the rioters” gets rerun because the wrong answer was returned. The presenter says the people must have misunderstood the question. But the vote goes against him again. Hilarious. It’ll surely be rigged next time.!

  • Macky

    “A McChrystal buster dies in a fiery crash….his last article. RIP”

    After reading that, I guess a few people will not be too sad to learn of his death, if not actually relieved.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)


    Great reticence to whisper about the strange ‘accident’. The impact was so great the benz engine and tranny found 100 ft from wreckage.

    Again, I ask Obama; “How many Craft employees are on the public payroll in the 50 states?”

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Herbie (08h02) :

    “Listen up, Obama, Cameron and the French bloke:..”


    The “French bloke”‘s name, Herbie, is Mr Hollande. François to his friends and, more formally, Monsieur le Président.

    Don’t forget!

  • Phil

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!) 19 Jun, 2013 – 4:36 pm
    “@ Herbie (08h02) : “Listen up, Obama, Cameron and the French bloke:..””. The “French bloke”‘s name, Herbie, is Mr Hollande.

    And another colloquilism passes daft Hab by. Personally I laughed me socks off at Herbie’s comment…and some of my best friends are french.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    I wonder why the riots in Brazil – unlike the riots on Turkey, for example – have attracted next to no comment from the Excellences of this blog?

    It is true, of course, that Brazil is one of the BRICs and, therefore, a beacon of hope for a juster society and not part of the evil West/USA axis.

    Whereas Turkey is just a filthy Western stooge – part of NATO as well.

    Could that be the reason, perhaps?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Ah, now I get it! Thanks, that Phil-bloke.

    Herbie was being…funny!

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “At a Pentagon ceremony for his subsequent retirement in 2010, McChrystal made light of the episode in his farewell address. The four-star general warned his comrades in arms, “I have stories on all of you, photos of many, and I know a Rolling Stone reporter.””

    He was being gracious and philosophical, like any fired General would be.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    With all the hdwe and software in today’s cars, I have a question for the techies….

    Is it possible the Benz was tooled?

  • Flaming June

    Why is the BBC correspondent, Kevin Connolly, based in Jerusalem writing this very long piece about the holocaust which is neither topical or relevant to the news? The yellow star is given prominence to reinforce the message. Is this Purnell’s doing?

    Return to Auschwitz:How Israel keeps holocaust memories alive

    It has been given prominence on the main page and although new today is top of the features list and on the most read.

    By now, we all know about the holocaust.

  • poisoned keg

    Broken? More like sabotaged.

    Crucial NATO ally Germany is now on board with the world’s definition of the crime of aggression. Sort of complicates US government aggression in Syria and Pakistan and Somalia and so forth. So what does the government do? They infiltrate an Israeli/American agent of influence into the Former Yugoslavia tribunal to rig precedents in an attempt to get command structures off the hook for war crimes. The brass and the Clandestine Service desk jockeys want to make sure that when they commit crimes against humanity, they can hang a couple hillbillies and live to fight another day. Or at worst, they could string up their puppet Obama and promise to mend their ways.

  • Flaming June

    Komodo. Sorry for the typo earlier. Kompodo. It sounds like something to get a compost heap working.

    Poisoned Keg. Thanks for that link. I was looking at another version of that story on ICH earlier which linked to the NYT.

    President of International War Crimes Tribunal May Have Worked to Shield Israelis From Prosecution

    Q Who appointed Meron to the court or is that another silly question.

  • Dreoilin

    “Is it possible the Benz was tooled?”

    Jeezus, Ben, you think he was killed?
    As you say, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald better watch their backs.

    “Blimey, the guardian mods are cleaning up like there’s no tomorrow.”

    They shouldn’t have opened comments if that’s what they were going to do. It’s crazy. Must keep an eye on Twitter and see what’s being said there …

    “Michael Hastings: my friend and his enemies” Spencer Ackerman

  • John Goss

    Clark, done.

    Did you notice they were trying to justify it by pretending that they were targeting the rich who could afford to pay their own legal fees. Believe me the whole purpose of this is to prevent poor people from getting proper legal representation. There are already too many people imprisoned, not just without having committed a crime, but without even having been charged with one. The terrorism acts need to go. Habeas corpus needs to be brought back. I am sick of the way my country operates a two tier system.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    There is no bigger liar on the planet right now than google’s chief legal officer who, surprise, surprise, The Guardian is giving pride of place to spread the disinformation.

    Since I have really been going after our police states, google has steadily diminished what is available on its web site by me, most falsely claims that the little it cites is no different from what it suppresses (some 20 pages of possible reference to some 90 pages overall), and adds how many times I have gone to various ones which interest me, especially most negative ones, in case the spooks have forgotten to keep track.

    Just check for yourself what I have posted with what google says is available.

    The internet linkers are partners in crime with our police state minders.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    ““The probability of a certain set of circumstances coming together in a meaningful (or tragic) way is so low that it simply cannot be considered mere coincidence. ”

    ― V.C. King

    I’m not a big believer in coincidences, Dreoilin. I’m not going to categorically state that he was murdered. I’m going to be interested in his spouse’s comments about his doings and whereabouts on that morning. I’m keeping an open mind, that is, for a cynic.

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