All Law is Gone: Naked Power Remains

by craig on July 3, 2013 8:39 am in Uncategorized

The forcing down of the Bolivian President’s jet was a clear breach of the Vienna Convention by Spain and Portugal, which closed their airspace to this Head of State while on a diplomatic mission.  It has never been thought necessary to write down in a Treaty that Heads of State enjoy diplomatic immunity while engaged in diplomacy, as their representatives only enjoy diplomatic immunity as cyphers for their Head of State.  But it is a hitherto unchallenged precept of customary international law, indeed arguably the oldest provision of international law.

To the US and its allies, international law is no longer of any consequence.  I can see no evidence that anyone in an official position has even noted the illegality of repeated Israeli air and missile strikes against Syria.  Snowden, Manning and Assange all exposed illegality on a massive scale, and no action whatsoever has been taken against any of the criminals they exposed.  Instead they are being hounded out of all meaningful life and ability to function in society.

I have repeatedly posted, and have been saying in public speeches for ten years, that under the UK/US intelligence sharing agreements the NSA spies on UK citizens and GCHQ spies on US citizens and they swap the information.  As they use a shared technological infrastructure, the division is simply a fiction to get round the law in each country restricting those agencies from spying on their own citizens.

I have also frequently remarked how extraordinary it is that the media keep this “secret”, which they have all known for years.

The Guardian published the truth on 29 June:

At least six European Union countries in addition to Britain have been colluding with the US over the mass harvesting of personal communications data, according to a former contractor to America’s National Security Agency, who said the public should not be “kept in the dark”. This article has been taken down pending an investigation.
Wayne Madsen, a former US navy lieutenant who first worked for the NSA in 1985 and over the next 12 years held several sensitive positions within the agency, names Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy as having secret deals with the US.
Madsen said the countries had “formal second and third party status” under signal intelligence (sigint) agreements that compels them to hand over data, including mobile phone and internet information to the NSA if requested.
Under international intelligence agreements, confirmed by declassified documents, nations are categorised by the US according to their trust level. The US is first party while the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand enjoy second party relationships. Germany and France have third party relationships.

The strange script which appears there happens when I try to copy and paste from this site which preserved the article before the Guardian censored all the material about the UK/US intelligence sharing agreement from it.

As you can see from the newssniffer site linked above, for many hours there was just a notice stating that the article was “taken down pending investigation”, and then it was replaced on the same URL by the Guardian with a different story which does not mention the whistleblower Wayne Madsen or the intelligence sharing agreements!!

I can give, and I would give on oath, an eye witness guarantee that from my direct personal experience of twenty years as a British diplomat the deleted information from Wayne Madsen was true.






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  1. My guess would be that Putin had his spooks put out messages about what Snowden et al were up to – what FRA picked up, and sent along to its Gladio contacts who got France, Portugal and Austria involved.

    Bildt is obsessed in gaining points with the tossers because of what FRA can do.

  2. “a flimsy passing remark has been picked up by the US, and taken to be true.”

    They have a bug or bugs in the transit area at Sheremetyevo airport and heard something that gave them hysterics – someone threw a freaker. And sent out the word to Europe, STOP THAT PLANE!

    (and no, I’m not joking – when you ‘run the world’, the last thing you’re thinking about when trying to catch a leaker is what’s legal or what’s acceptable under the Vienna Convention. Vienna what?)

    I sincerely hope UNASUR kick up blue holy murder.

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

    3 Jul, 2013 - 9:52 pm

    Ok, ok. It was just a big international misunderstanding resulting in the re-routing of the flight to Austria, where they wouldn’t allow it to depart until searched….all is forgiven.

  4. Someone – 9:02 pm

    Scrooo Google! I use and have deleted any and all “accounts” online, other than gravatar and my Irish email.

  5. doug scorgie

    3 Jul, 2013 - 10:05 pm

    Trowbridge H. Ford
    3 Jul, 2013 – 2:58 pm

    “Thanks, N.., certainly sounds fishy, and I shall look into it.”
    “Wonder if he, like Rawlings, was asking too many questions about what was going around Oxbridge.”

    “It’s clearly open season on any possible trouble.makers, as I well know by narrowly escaping assassination last Thursday night at about 12:40 PM. If I had only stood up when the killer with a beam light, laser pistol shined it into the window next to my bed, I wouldn’t be doing this.”

    Another imposter post???

  6. Nah, Doug, he’s 008, semi-retired.

  7. Trowbridge, do you have any ideas on how this Snowden situation might have a connection, however tenuous, with the disappearance of Harold Holt?

  8. Who is the imposter poster, Doug Scorgie, N..for asking me if there is in the alleged suicide some foul play, or me for stating it looked fishy, would investigate, and did so – concluding that Professr JohnTiler apparently committed suicide for unknown reasons?

    Or am I alone the Imposter poster for claiming that I was almost assassinated – what I have complained about to the FBi for trying to set me up for something, and going to the police here three times, the last time to 911 which has apparently provided officer Bryce to keep an eye on where I live?

    Which is it?

  9. Oh, I see others have joined in to discredit me.

    I am no one’s spook, and am completely retired.

    And Jemand, if you tried to tie it to Gough Whitlam’s political disappearance, it might be worth answering,

    You guys will have to work harder to be taken as serious trolls.

  10. “Or am I alone the Imposter poster for claiming that I was almost assassinated – what I have complained about to the FBi for trying to set me up for something, and going to the police here three times, the last time to 911 which has apparently provided officer Bryce to keep an eye on where I live?”

    Actually it was because you thought 12:40 PM was night that got me wondering.

  11. doug scorgie

    3 Jul, 2013 - 10:40 pm

    Flaming June
    3 Jul, 2013 – 4:15 pm

    “The boy killed for an off-hand remark about Muhammad – Sharia spreads in Syria”

    “I am amazed that the BBC have carried this.”

    Don’t be amazed Mary. If its from the BBC its from MI6

    This appalling activity is not Sharia law

    Don’t be taken in

  12. As for you, Fred, you will have to provide more than a miscalculation in typing the time,12:40 AM, to make out I am nuts.

    And the earlier threat was at around 12:30 AM Tuesday.

    One apparently has to have everything perfect to be simply ignored on this site.

  13. “As for you, Fred, you will have to provide more than a miscalculation in typing the time,12:40 AM, to make out I am nuts. ”

    I didn’t say anything about nuts. Just thought you might be an imposter that’s all.

    What makes you think you are nuts?

  14. “What’s a £1 billion fraud worth? A suspended sentence”

  15. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jul, 2013 - 11:07 pm

    @ Someone (20h25), who regales us with :

    ““EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT Session document”

    11 July 2001

    “This report makes an important point in emphasising that Echelon does exist, but it stops short of drawing political conclusions. It is hypocritical for the European Parliament to criticise the Echelon interception practice while taking part in plans to establish a European Secret Service.””

    Sorry for correcting a post which might otherwise give a misleading impression (purely innocently, I’M SURE), but the above quotation is not from the Main Report of the EP’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System but from one of the several Minority Reports appended to the Main Report, signed by 2 members of the full 34 member Committee (Patricia Mc Kenna and Ilka Schroeder.

    These words do not, of course, appear in the Resolution adopted by the European Parliament pursuant to the Report.

    Just thought I’d clear that up for the edification of the reading public :)

  16. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jul, 2013 - 11:10 pm

    @ Fred and Trowbridge:

    I know you are not trolls and would hate to see you being accused of being such. So please stop this silly mini-quarrel and stop disrupting this thread.

    Thank you!

  17. [Jon/Mod: removed, abusive]

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

    3 Jul, 2013 - 11:13 pm

    “Thank you!”


  19. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jul, 2013 - 11:16 pm

    President Morales is a blusterer and I predict that he will find some very good reason for very regrettably not delivering on his offer of asylum.

    I further predict that his fellow El Presidente, Rafeal Correa, is at this very moment thinking furiously about how to retreat gracefully – and also very regrettably, from his bluster in the matter of Julian Assange.

    I fear that some of the regulars on here will soon have to be looking for new heroes.

  20. Dreoilin

    ixquick/startpage seem to be secure search engines if you believe them. Of course they could be a front for some spooks but even if they are the worst that’s happened is you’ve cut out the middle-man (Google) so I can’t see any harm in using it (and I do among others).

    If you use ixquick/startpage via https then your search terms won’t be flying down the wires in clear text for anyone to see. If the spooks have obtained their private encryption keys though then they’ll be decoding all that traffic in real time. Normal https security is no security at all if the watcher steals or buys the private key.

    Which brings me to Diffie-Hellman key negotiation also known as “(perfect) forward security”. All modern browsers support this but very few web sites use it. With Diffie-Hellman even if the spooks have the private key and monitor the entire connection they cannot normally decode your encrypted transmission by any known method. –

    So who does use this? Step forward “Google” for one. When you make an https connection to Google an exceptionally high grade of encryption will be negotiated with your browser. Nobody spies on Google without being part of their club it seems.

    Interestingly (the other main private search engine besides ixquick/startpage) also uses Diffie-Hellman so searches on it should be highly secure (unless they also are a front for the spooks).

    Anyway I just thought it interesting, Google will use the most secure encryption (even against those in possession of Google’s private keys) when you make an https connection to their servers.

    If all webservers turned on Diffie-Hellman (it is usually explicitly turned off) then decoding “civilian” encrypted traffic would probably be beyond any agency anywhere. At least for now.

    There is an extra cpu overhead on the servers to support this form of encryption but not enough it seems to me to explain why it is relatively rarely deployed.

    I am surprised that ixquick/startpage don’t support this form of encryption as it makes their private keys worth a lot of money. I’ve thought of emailing them and asking why but thought better of it.

  21. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jul, 2013 - 11:18 pm

    That should have been “regretfully” and not “regrettably”, of course.

  22. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jul, 2013 - 11:25 pm

    @ Fred

    I shall deliver good advice to you whenever I feel you need it, and this is one such occasion. Come on, lighten up, you know it makes sense!

  23. Thanks v much, Anon. All information gratefully received!

    I’ve just been reading this

    and at the end he says

    “If we really want to protect our privacy on the net what we need is more than better technology, we need fundamental changes in our laws and how we enforce the privacy laws we do have. Then, and only then, will we have a fighting chance of keeping our privacy on the Internet.”

    which is self-evident. But doesn’t give me much hope.

  24. “The boy killed for an off-hand remark about Muhammad – Sharia spreads in Syria”

    The boy had asked for payment for the glass of tea he had served to his killers. Hence he was shot dead, but reporting this as it is, then would clarify the position of the “rebels” and their ruthless exploits, be it; demanding a cup of tea wit menaces, or robbing the contents of the households that their occupants have fled the area due to the said “rebels” activities (indiscriminate bombing, and shooting), or going out on a jolly shooting, rocketing and bombing the crap out of Syrian infrastructures, and people.

    The same report contained the tale of a car-jacker getting fifty lashes of electricity cable for jacking some poor bastards ride. However shooting the boy in the head for an every day expression, then is passed as “blasphemy”.

    The daily two minutes hate ritual towards all things Islam and Muslims in line with the established practice of blaming the Muslim victims for their demise, as the precedence set and as practised for the past seventy years, in zionistan. The cold blooded murder of a fourteen years old boy whom had asked for payment for the glass of tea he had served, is portrayed as his execution for his disrespect to the prophet, blasphemy.

    Ergo the message is pounded home yet again, here is the proof; Muslims are fanatical killers, as it is established! Further the free loading murderous hooligans who are getting supplied with arms and munition by the West and portrayed as “rebels” fighting for democracy in Syria are absolved from their crimes of robbing a cup of tea from a tea boy and killing the tea boy too.

    Truly a fucked up state of affairs, that is further perpetuated by the bbc, and the other medjia, all in the way of “informing” the populace, and letting them know how their tax funds are being spent to make the world a “safer” place.

  25. “I shall deliver good advice to you whenever I feel you need it, and this is one such occasion. Come on, lighten up, you know it makes sense!”

    “Don’t tell me what to do” is already one syllable words, hard to make it any simpler for a moron to understand.

    Now go fuck yourself pathetic failed troll.

  26. Bloody hell, Fedup (and Passerby) could you cut down on the verbiage? I don’t know who you think you’re lecturing, but the vast majority of people here are pretty well-informed and don’t need your lengthy essays.

  27. Just for the sake of clarification;

    Sahria could mean:
    Law, code, legislation, dispensation, fundamental principle, general rule, canons of good behaviour, and yes religious law.

    Although it is a bold step to take, but here we go;
    All laws across the planet are normally founded in the general rules and fundamental principles that are accepted and prevalent within the societies that the said laws are to be legislated for. Further the accepted norms, general rules and fundamental principles are based on or derived from religious codes, and ethics.

    Thus Sharia somehow is not unlike the current codes of; ethics, conduct, and morality, as well as the body of the laws we have and enjoy in this country. The racists have not yet fully realised the length of time the English have been living under Sharia, for a long time now. I say potato they say “al batates”, what is in a name? Evidently far too much, ask the poor women folk whom are mourning the murder of their men folk in the arc of blood, death, fire, and instability.

  28. doug scorgie

    3 Jul, 2013 - 11:59 pm

    I’m sure that everyone who matters in the security business knows where Snowden is and he is being closely watched.

    He is not going to sneak out of Russia “under the radar”.

    The forced landing of Bolivia’s presidential jet was a show of strength in my view, by USA agencies which would have known that Snowden was not on board and was a warning to any nation not to step out of line; especially if they want economic/security ties with North America.

    The Latin American countries that are inclined to offer Snowden asylum are all fragile democracies and economies under constant subversion by the USA and its proxies; a safe haven today but maybe not tomorrow for Snowden, Assange or anyone else.

    This boils down to power politics and one man’s life is worth jack-shit when it comes to the “national interest”.

    There is no morality, humanity or ethics in realpolitik.

  29. Bloody hell, Fedup (and Passerby) could you cut down on the verbiage? I don’t know who you think you’re lecturing, but the vast majority of people here are pretty well-informed and don’t need your lengthy essays.

    You are back on the sleuthing, again Charlie no Chan: Fedup, Passerby! (we have had this dance before). The “vast majority”, evidently now you are talking for the nation too, and complaining about the “the verbiage”.

    A- Who is the “vast majority” you have in mind? Those who keep commenting here , or those who read and never comment?

    B- Do you have a problem with space, trees chopped, or electricity used to create “the verbiage” and sustain it?

    C- So far as “who you think you’re lecturing” is concerned, certainly not you, after all you know everything, so it was not intended for you.

    d- What nerve did I hit, for you to start your assault and playing the banshee?

    E- Other than a continual sleuthing to find who is who (fuck me this is really the important issue after all in among the anonymous pseudonyms finding that the colonel did it, with a candlestick is a heck of job). Or lecturing Flaming June on how she should publish her comments, what is it exactly that you fucking contribute?

    PS So far as the “Sock puppet-ting” goes, that is to be abhorred on the same thread, ie, someone keeps posting the same shite nuder differing names on the same thread. However to start laying fucking rules down as to who should have what fucking name, seems to be an uncalled for intrusion into the personal domain of others don’t you think?

    PPS there seems to be a drive to discount differing individuals and classifying these as a single person, that is all the rage among some of those commenting on this blog, I have been taken for some “steel fuckwit”, and then some “other tosser”, and “so forth”, seems to be an OCD affliction with some who comment around here.

  30. One apparently has to have everything perfect to be simply ignored on this site.

    You seem to have a point there, count me in with imperfect lot, we are at a disadvantage amidst the body of knowledge that seem to be brain farting away and putting everyone else right. Not forgetting to be “admiring” each other to boot.

    Finally, how come you know so much about Sweden?

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

    4 Jul, 2013 - 12:29 am

    You are nit-picking Fed-up. Get a grip.

  32. doug scorgie

    4 Jul, 2013 - 12:40 am

    Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)
    3 Jul, 2013 – 8:57 pm

    “This is not good news….”

    No it is not.

    However it does not surprise me. Ban Ki Moon has, in my view been a puppet of the USA for years through blackmail and threats towards him and his family.

    The western media portray him as a human rights champion, an international law champion; he is neither.

    He is a mere human-being manipulated by and compromised by the security services.

    They have the dirt on him.

  33. Dreoilin

    Just to add another curiosity. If Google use the highest encryption without exception then which one of the big players uses the lowest? Step forward Microsoft. Seems (based on published independent monitoring) you can sometimes even end up with an “encrypted” connection some teen cracker could break with an antique Sinclair ZX80. Microsoft also never use Diffie-Hellman.

    All https connections are not the same.

  34. You are nit-picking Fed-up. Get a grip.

    No mate I am fucking sick of unduly to get fucked around!

    Nothing to say other criticising those who actually think, or want to contribute, that is not fucking on, here I have already poked fun at it.

  35. Could I point out to you, Fedup, that I wrote, “Fedup (and Passerby)” to include Passerby in what I said, and that I made no remarks at all to you about sock puppets.

    What nerve did I hit, I wonder?

    I believe I was reiterating what Jon said to you on the UN thread

    “and if you can explain your views more clearly in less words, I think it would be helpful.”

    Oh, and Jon addressed it to “Passerby/Fedup” but I don’t recall you objecting at the time. [Correct me if I’m wrong.]

  36. “here I have already poked fun at it.”

    You tried.

    I’ve left a note on that thread about punctuation and how it clarifies what people write. Especially when they’re quoting from elsewhere.

  37. doug scorgie

    4 Jul, 2013 - 1:00 am

    3 Jul, 2013 – 11:05 pm

    “What’s a £1 billion fraud worth? A suspended sentence”

    Absolutely spot-on:

    “A college student with no criminal record was jailed for six months on Thursday for stealing a £3.50 case of bottled water during a night of rioting.”

  38. Thanks again, Anon. I hope to be off Microsoft by Christmas! (or so I’m told)

  39. Hmm after a bit more checking, Microsoft mail servers will use exceptionally secure Diffie-Hellman if absolutely forced to by client. No available browser or addon (as far as I can find with a quick search) will force this but Microsoft will support it if you have one that does…

    How the Microsoft servers do this is by supporting Diffie-Hellman as least preferred option. It will then only be selected by a client which refuses anything other than Diffie_Hellman. Interesting. Well to me anyway if nobody else :-)

    Information gathered mainly from

    Bottom Line: It is possible to make a probably spook-proof highly secure connection to Microsoft servers but not with your standard unmodified browser.

  40. Cryptonym. 7 26pm

    “…they and their fellow followers are better, superior, morally or in any number of ways, or more doctrinally correct in their own interpretation of their own ‘big magic book’ than those of of another religion or of no religion…”

    Here’s the late great Dave Allen on religion.

  41. OBarnum and Co. threw perception to the dogs and simply went gangster on Evo Morales.

    Simultaneously shoving a really big cream pie in the world’s face.

  42. @N_, Yeah, dignity’s the greatest. Dignity was the cri de coeur of the nascent Arab risings. So happens that the word dignity is in the preamble of both the ICCPR and the CESCR, since dignity, like peace and development, is another way of rolling all rights together into a word.

    In all the recent popular uprisings, the rhetoric and substantive demands were shot through with human rights stuff. Is that osmosis from clever propaganda? I tend to think it’s people availing themselves of an ethical framework that gives them a way to talk about state predation. Latin America caught on best, the Mideast pretty well, and the US only dimly, and that partly accounts for what each rising accomplished.

    HR’s soiled, yeah, in a sense. As Chomsky sez, when states talk about HR, it’s often casuistic bullshit signifying nothing. On the other hand, when humans start talking about human rights, that’s trouble. The throw-weight of human rights depends on their assimilation into public discourse.

    IMO rights fans and fans of class struggle sometimes wind up talking past one another, unnecessarily so. When you mention property rights, you put your finger on an interesting wrinkle in human rights doctrine. The CESCR in Article 1(2) mentions international law in connection with resource rights and then in Article 25 goes on to say nothing may impair the peoples’ resource rights. It subordinates legal property protections to peoples’ [collective] resource rights. It’s another stick to beat the state with. Everybody can get their licks in.

    Very thought-provoking, thanks for weighing in.

  43. “The Latin American countries that are inclined to offer Snowden asylum are all fragile democracies and economies under constant subversion by the USA and its proxies..”

    They are certainly constantly threatened by US subversion. In Obama’s time Honduras and Paraguay have both been take over by US backed gangsters and the President of Ecuador was nearly assassinated.

    On the other hand how robust do you consider democracy in the USA to be?
    And does it not strike you that with fifty million people on foodstamps, and millions more ineligible for health care, with unemployment, in real statistics, pushing 23% and a trillion dollars in student loans outstanding, there may be a wee bit of trouble coming down the ‘pike there?

    Or do you hew to the notion that Americans are so dumb that they will put up with anything?

    Snowden will be fine. He has already done more for his country and his world than most of us dream of doing in long lives. His name will live forever.

    It is a sad commentary on, not just the governments, but the peoples of countries which offered Kropotkin, Mazzini, Marx and Bakunin asylum that they now live in hope of earning tips from tyranny and turn in their own countrymen to torture and life imprisonment (without charge or trial) for the privilege of being given american boot leather to lick.

  44. “We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money. They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.”

    ― Chris Hedges, The Death of the Liberal Class

    “The corporations that profit from permanent war need us to be afraid. Fear stops us from objecting to government spending on a bloated military. Fear means we will not ask unpleasant questions of those in power. Fear permits the government to operate in secret. Fear means we are willing to give up our rights and liberties for promises of security. The imposition of fear ensures that the corporations that wrecked the country cannot be challenged. Fear keeps us penned in like livestock.”

    ― Chris Hedges, The Death of the Liberal Class

  45. A quickie:

    MasterCard breaks ranks in WikiLeaks blockade

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

    4 Jul, 2013 - 2:42 am

    Dreolin; That’s important. WL needs financial support ASAP.

  47. Stopping a president’s plane is ridiculous – their bad.

    But spying on everybody’s communications data? I thought that was common knowledge anyway. Don’t people realize we live in a post-privacy age? Everybody who uses modern forms of communication is leaving large quanities of data about themselves on servers all over the world. No way can this all be protected by privacy laws. That’s how the system works and the benefits are that we have instant and almost free communications and access to vast sources of information. If service providers mine this data to send us pop-up ads for stuff they think we want to buy, or governments mine this data for their own purposes, then that’s the price we pay for using the system.

    One thing’s for sure: if the shit ever really does hit the fan and we lose the relative peace that keeps us all so cosy in the western world, I hope it’s The US and The UK that have the upper hand in the cyber war, rather than the Chinese or the Russians. Let alone the narco criminals or the Islamists. I know which tyranny I’d rather live under.

  48. Re Dreoilin, 4 Jul, 1:03 am: “I hope to be off Microsoft by Christmas (or so I’m told)”

    Anyone who wants to get off Microsoft can install Ubuntu in practically two shakes of a lamb’s tail. I have been using Ubuntu for five years and currently have it on three machines. All of them I converted simply by downloading the latest 64-bit version and putting it on a USB stick (you have to use a special installer if you are working from Windows, but this is provided). I have had no problems on any of the machines, except for the inital loss of the wireless connection on one of them (but the system identified it automatically for me & directed me how to self-install it).

  49. @DavidH 3:30 am: LOL. Whatever you are being paid is far too much. Sheesh.

  50. “LOL. Whatever you are being paid is far too much. Sheesh.”

    So what has Snowden told us except what bears do in the woods?

    World politics is getting more like Pro Wrestling all the time.

  51. Flaming June

    4 Jul, 2013 - 7:25 am

    I was picturing what’s left of the army in control of the ZBC newsroom and the ConDems under house arrest. :)

  52. Flaming June

    4 Jul, 2013 - 8:03 am

    When I said that I was surprised that ZBC were carrying those reports from Syria about the child being shot and the sharia court’s sentences, I meant that it did nothing to support the plans of Cameron and Hague plan to arm the rebels. In fact Paul Woods piece does the very opposite.

    You might remember my posts about John Baron MP speaking up about Cameron reserving the right to act without either consulting parliament (the two month + recess is approaching) or having a vote on the arming and other interventions.

    Mr Baron has now secured a debate to be held on July 11th.
    Should be interesting. The vote is predictable though. All those whips will be out.!/calendar/Commons/MainChamber/2013/7/11/events.html

  53. John Spencer-Davis

    4 Jul, 2013 - 8:07 am

    Unless the story has been changed again since Craig’s comments, the replacement story *did* and *does* mention the intelligence sharing agreements, in similar terms to the original – towards the end of the text. Looks to me as if it is just Mr Madsen’s contribution that has been dropped out.

    Kind regards, John

  54. Flaming June

    4 Jul, 2013 - 8:07 am

    O/T Hope all the night owls are following the health advice here!

    Good night’s sleep ‘protects heart’
    By Helen Briggs

    BBC News

    Sleep is good for the heart as well as the mind, say researchers

    Seven or more hours’ sleep a night boosts the benefits to the heart of a healthy lifestyle, research suggests.


    Five things that stop a good night’s sleep

  55. Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows that the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Leonard Cohen

  56. Flaming June

    4 Jul, 2013 - 8:33 am

    A thread from Medialens on George Galloway with a presenter from the Australian broadcaster, James Carleton.

    which links to:
    which contains the audio link

    ABC is the state broadcaster?

  57. Flaming June

    4 Jul, 2013 - 8:39 am

    A happy Independence Day to all Americans.

  58. Will EVERYBODY please tackle the arguments commenters make, and not refer to their motives for making them – which you cannot know – or that people are paid, or their personality traits, or somebody else.

    What interests me is the arguments people put. I think most of the imputations made on all sides are probably inaccurate, but even if they were accurate they are irrelevant. A man or woman may be a one-eyed former contract killer with a cocaine habit in the pay of the state of Israel, but may still make an argument that is absolutely correct. Please address the argument, not the person. Posts which fail to do this will be deleted when seen.

  59. Can anyone help me find something online? It appeared yesterday in the Guardian: an MI5 advert for intelligence analysts. It consisted of the purported intelligence record of an IA’s day, complete with its culmination, the arrest of some evil terrorists (obviously). Ironically, the information sources listed strongly confirmed the notion that nothing is sacred. I know this, but I would like it to reach a wider public.

  60. @Someone. 2 15 am

    “Fear keeps us penned in like livestock.”

    Here’s how is works. (2.5mins)

  61. That’s glorious, Kibo. But a big question there, would a Border collie actually be any worse at running the country? They’re MUCH brighter than Cameron et al.

  62. “Dreolin; That’s important. WL needs financial support ASAP.”

    Yes, Ben, and look at this

    “The Supreme Court decision in Iceland was in favour of WikiLeaks and DataCell, but it did not include damages – deemed a separate issue under Icelandic law. A court claim for compensation is currently being prepared. Damages are estimated at 9 billion Icelandic Kronas (55.9m EUR or 72.7m USD).”

    Anything approaching that/those figures should make them a lot more secure.

  63. Flaming June

    4 Jul, 2013 - 9:20 am

    The CEO of this company has put out a statement denying accusations that his company was involved in the supply or placing of the bug at the Ecuadorean Embassy.

  64. “Russian femme fatale Anna Chapman proposes to Edward Snowden on Twitter”

    A diplomatic solution? If they married in the airport transit zone, would that get him into Russia legally and instantly? President Putin could say straightfacedly, “I have no choice, under Russian law, but to admit him.”

    They could be Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Make movies.

  65. Flaming June

    4 Jul, 2013 - 9:31 am

    Ref the announcement by Mr Patino that surveillance at the Ecuadorean Embassy has been discovered, this is the detail for the company which has denied involvement.

    The CEO is Timothy Young and has this history

    Boasting of their prowess.

  66. Flaming July, and a happy Independence from America Day. Last plug.

  67. For anyone who is interested in the question of Shannon and how many US troops have passed through there, I have received a reply from Shannonwatch as follows

    “Hi XXXXX,

    “First of all thanks for your ongoing support.

    “The troop figures are made available by the Minister for Transport who is asked on an annual (sometimes more frequent) basis to provide them. This is normally done through parliamentary questions.

    “Here’s a link to one such question/answer in 2010 (you will see it was asked on our behalf by Joe Costello who is now a member of the government that we have to drag the information out of!). If you search you will find other answers with troops information.


  68. @ Craig

    “ad hominem”

  69. Why do they even bother to censor it? Everyone with half a brain could guess it anyway. Or do they fear the sheep might protest? Most people would probably think it is a good idea. “Terrorism” needs to be fought after all ^^

  70. “A man or woman may be a one-eyed former contract killer with a cocaine habit in the pay of the state of Israel,”


    That’s me rumbled.


  71. Dragon,

    “Ironically, the information sources listed strongly confirmed the notion that nothing is sacred. I know this, but I would like it to reach a wider public.”

    Explain please,ta?

  72. This story appeared via Twitter, and I thought it was brilliant:

    “In 1999, the state-of-the-art in video game warfare was Quake 3 Arena – a fast and brutal game set in tight, cramped levels, where the aim was simply to kill, get killed, and repeat.

    “And among its various innovations – of which, arguably, there weren’t that many – was some rather clever artificial intelligence.

    “The ‘bots’ in the game – essentially the computer controlled players – were equipped with a kind of ‘learning’ AI.

    “In the game, the bots would watch your gameplay style, and adapt themselves as the fighting continued. The bots would effectively “think” their way to new tactics, discarding ideas that didn’t work and honing in on those that did.

    “Naturally this got some people thinking. If you left the bots playing, on their own, surely they would get better and better… and then what? Would they turn into the ultimate AI killing machine – or create a nightmare world of pain and suffering?

    “Well now we know.

    “They evolved world peace.

    “According to a mysterious message board thread from 2011, in about 2007 one gamer set up a server of 16 bots playing each other in an endless, pointless war.

    “In 2011, four years later, he remembered the server, and returned to it.

    “According to the thread on 4Chan, the gamer found that the bots had evolved to do absolutely nothing. Instead of running, shooting and killing, they had learned that the only way to ensure their survival was to abandon violence, and simply stand facing each other, forever – as one gamer in the thread put it, “waiting for a purpose or salvation”.

    “Nobody could win – but nobody could die. A peaceful stalemate had emerged naturally, after four bloody years.”

    However, that’s not the whole story … HuffPo is now claiming that the whole thing was a joke/hoax


  73. @Flaming June:

    The CEO is Timothy Young and has this history

    Hmmm…Herefordshire. Now what else is based there?

  74. Jives – Looking for a web image of this ad. Just that. After all the denials and obfuscations, this is what they do, and they advertise it. In the Guardian.

  75. None of those, Dreoilin, I’m afraid. This was a 1/8 page ad in the print edition, consisting entirely of a spookspeak (for public consumption) running record of interceptions – of a number of sources – and surveillance, with some insertions into the text, in bold, of the job details. Think it was in the educational ads section, more bizarrely still. I don’t have the paper with me.

  76. TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance

  77. Actually, I *am* a one-eyed former contract killer with a cocaine habit but I absolutely refute any ridiculous suggestion that I have ever been paid by the State of Israel. Mossad are so stingy all I got was a complimentary Barbra Streisand CD, one ticket to Fiddler on the Roof and a poster of Steve Guttenberg.

  78. Let’s not rely on western news reports. Here is a poor English translation (sorry!) of an official press release by the Bolivian foreign ministry.

    Comments to follow in next post.


    The Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia denounces before the international community the act of aggression against itself, and specifically against President Evo Morales, constituted by the surprise withdrawal of overflight and landing permissions for the Falcon 900 presidential aircraft FAB 001, which on 2 July 2013 was on its return flight after the participation by the Head of State and his delegation at the Second Summit of the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries, held in the Russian Federation.

    The Government of Bolivia denounces before the international community the unfriendly and blatantly aggressive communication that the presidential aircraft was not authorised to cross the airspace of the Republics of France and Portugal.

    The Republic of Portugal announced the withdrawal of overflight and landing permissions and later amended its decision, authorising only overflights and thus preventing a landing for necessary refueling.

    For its part, the Republic of France announced the withdrawal of permission to fly, when the Bolivian Head of State was within a few minutes of entering French airspace.

    The attitude of the two countries is a violation of existing international agreements, undermining the life and safety of a Head of State, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing in the Republic of Austria and to make a flight plan rearranging the return of President Morales, with consequent damage to the presidential inauguration.

    The Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia believes that these actions are discriminatory and intimidatory, and that they have been generated from the unfounded and malicious suspicions that the presidential aircraft was carrying US citizen Edward Snowden.

    La Paz, 3 July 2013

  79. Not much relevant since I was last here except NR’s Daily Mail article about Anna Chapman, the pin up girl of the ‘false lag’ Manhattan 11 where Snowden’s disaffection all started, offering to marry him.

    The article doesn’t mention that when Putin volunteered to take the ‘Russian’ spies back, they agreed to be under his control, so the offer has the approval of Russia’s President.

    Looks like a way to solve his lack of residence, and a marriage contract may include a provision that he will get her approval for any new disclosures he wants to make.

    Remember she was the one who exposed the American spies, refusing to go along with any more FBI efforts to make them look like Russian ones, what made hacker Gareth Williams and Snowden himself go off the rails.

  80. One thing that’s interesting is that Bolivia doesn’t criticise Austria at all.

    Austrian President Heinz Fischer actually went to Schwechat airport in Vienna and spoke with Evo Morales there.

    So we have

    a) western reports that Bolivia has accused Austria of “kidnapping” Morales, of not allowing take-off until they had searched the plane, of an Austrian “decision” to search, of an Austrian search, and of Bolivian “agreement” to a search – all with slightly different spin, with our being left unclear not just regarding whether a search took place, but as to what on earth did or didn’t happen in Vienna

    b) a Bolivian statement which does not criticise Austria but which also, very interestingly, does not even mention Austria; for example, it doesn’t deny that there is any problem between the two countries, or thank Austria for allowing the unscheduled landing

    c) no word from Snowden or Wikileaks regarding Snowden’s whereabouts or recent movements.

    As I have said before, it’s very unlikely Snowden could have boarded a plane without the FSB (formerly known as KGB) knowing about it; and in the unlikely event that they were in any doubt, they would have searched the airport and, if he was still at the airport, found him.

    Russia is involved in the propaganda here.

    I doubt Snowden has been in the transit area at Sheremetevo airport in Moscow all this time. In fact, I doubt whether he has been in Russia all this time.

    One possibility is that he did go to Austria, although if so, then by now he is probably somewhere else, perhaps even back in Moscow, or in captivity, or dead.

    Bolivia and Austria seem to have done some kind of deal.

  81. And here is an English translation of the press release from the Austrian President’s office. Austria doesn’t seem to have a problem with Bolivia either, at least if we discount the patronising and arrogant title, very possibly related to racism.

    Everything below the asterisks is from the Austrian President’s office.

    “Bolivian President Evo Morales can continue home”
    Statement by President Heinz Fischer

    3 July 2013

    Unplanned stopover by head of state after the departure from Russia. Some EU countries refused overflight permission because of the rumour that the former US intelligence official Edward Snowden was on board.

    Photo: President Heinz Fischer and his counterpart Evo Morales at Vienna airport: the Bolivian President expressed thanks “for the great hospitality of Austria!”

    Here is the President’s statement:

    “Today, at 7.45, President Evo Morales, whom I consider as a friend, contacted me by phone and informed me that he was at Schwechat airport, because the airspace of some European countries, especially Spain, had been denied to his aircraft, and he was waiting, pending further developments, in Vienna.

    I promised Evo Morales that I would meet with him at Vienna’s Schwechat airport, and also to use the opportunity to exchange views with him. In the meantime, the necessary air permits were received, and the Bolivian President could continue his journey home.

    He asked me in passing to express his great gratitude for the hospitality and for the excellent and proper treatment during his unplanned stay in the Republic of Austria and by the Austrian authorities,” said the President.


  82. Absolutely no reference to any search then, in either statement – or to any interest on the part of Austria regarding whether or not Snowden was on board.

    I await the next stage in the story with interest!

  83. Bolivia has REJECTED a formal US extradition request for Snowden:

    Note, too, that of the list of 21 countries that have applications for asylum from Snowden, the sidebar on this BBC article today says that only 4 have so far formally said No; the majority are fence-sitting, awaiting developments:

    Of which, there’s a good possibility some will come from the 12-nation bloc of UNASUR holding an emergency summit today, who can now co-ordinate a response as a strong enough bloc to resist trade threats. This letters page from the Guardian makes clear what Ecuador’s actual position is, as well as why so very many of those applications were aimed at European nations, who all have very compliant extradition treaties with the US – so it would seem odd at first – but who now, with the brilliantly timed stories of NSA spying on EU business, can be pressured to act as a bloc (which is clearly happening and having some effect – the US-EU trade treaty negotiations been completely disrupted):

    There’s a VERY clever game of geopolitic chess being played here and, of course, it’s Wikileaks who are the ones who’ve been busy plotting all the Knight and Queen moves…

    God, I would give my eye-teeth to know who exactly put out that *rumour* that Snowden was on Morales’ plane to be picked up by the intelligence services and kick off this unholy fuck-up in intercontinental political relations. Oh, what’s that you say? Ecuador found a bug in their London embassy three weeks ago…?


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

    4 Jul, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    France blames ‘conflicting information’…..

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

    4 Jul, 2013 - 3:32 pm

    Arbed; Imagine the poutrage if Air Force 1 were denied flyover in the airspace of some Latin American country.

  86. Don’t think that who put out the rumors that Snowden might be on the President’s plane, Arbed, is anything to waste important teeth on.

    Just listen to the interview with Morales while in Moscow, and recall all the times America has read Russian messages on land lines, and microwaves to its detriment.

    Back in Soviet times, the KGB planted in those tunnel operations in Vienna, and Berlin, just what the American wanted to hear, and when the Anglo-Americans assassinated Palme, Putin had reassuring messages put on lines CIA was monitoring in Moscow.

    All Moscow had to do now was put out some rumors about what was happening with Snowden for Sweden’s FRA and Britain’s GCHQ to pick them up, and the spooks swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

    Western intelligence agencies are the slowest learners on the planet because they are always using the same methods to prove that they finally got it right.

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

    4 Jul, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    Memories of ECHELON…

    “The US snooping on the EU, its most trusted ally, can therefore only mean one thing – this is about economic spying and about gathering economic information.

    Pretty soon negotiations for a far reaching free trade agreement between the EU and the US are about to start. Actually, preliminary negotiations – not to be underestimated – have already been going on for some years.

    The US is losing ground not just because of the economic crisis. Its economic power has been shrinking steadfastly long before the crisis started.

    It is a sign of its waning predominance that the US now finds itself in the embarassing situation of having to explain why it is bugging its own ‘trusted’ allies in Europe.”

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

    4 Jul, 2013 - 3:45 pm

    “Western intelligence agencies are the slowest learners on the planet because they are always using the same methods to prove that they finally got it right.”

    Yes, Trowbridge. Someone in the Agency made the system recommendations and now the purchase order has been paid for. Gotta push that square peg in the round hole, or my career ends here. Many examples of this in hdwe….The infamous Bradley comes to mind.

  89. Right, Ben, the West’s intelligence services have always put more emphasis upon systems, gizmos, and trade craft rather than just spies – why the KGB beat them hollow in the Cold War.

    If it had just been a spy war, Moscow would have won.

    In fact, Soviet spying helped loose it because it so overloaded the USSR with new technology that the system became increasingly unmanageable.

    Good example of the law of unintended consequences.

  90. doug scorgie

    4 Jul, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    “(Reuters) – France’s external intelligence agency spies on the French public’s phone calls, emails and social media activity in France and abroad, the daily Le Monde said on Thursday.”

    “It said the DGSE intercepted signals from computers and telephones in France, and between France and other countries, although not the content of phone calls, to create a map of “who is talking to whom”. It said the activity was illegal.”

    “All of our communications are spied on,” wrote Le Monde, which based its report on unnamed intelligence sources as well as remarks made publicly by intelligence officials.”

    “Emails, text messages, telephone records, access to Facebook and Twitter are then stored for years,” it said.”

  91. Just a pathetic way for French intelligence to explain away why it, along with other countries’ agencies, was fooled about what was going on in and around Moscow.

  92. Here’s an English translation of the Bolivian Foreign Ministry’s press release about the US extradition request. Comments to follow.

    Can someone please improve the translation of the second paragraph?


    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Plurinational State of Bolivia expressed outrage and condemnation at the request for the arrest of US citizen Edward Snowden, preliminary to extradition, submitted by the Government of the United States of America on the same day that our President was illegally detained in Europe on unfounded suspicions that the said person was in the presidential aircraft.

    In this regard, it is clarified and emphatically reiterated that Mr Snowden never met the President in Russia and less, up in the aircraft; has at the present time not been present on Bolivian territory and, if he decides to enter or transit through the country, Bolivia would exercise the principles of sovereignty, independence and equality of states.

    It is reported that the requirement for the purposes of extradition detention violates the Framework Agreement signed with the United States in 2011 and the Extradition Treaty of 1995, in a clear violation of the principles governing international relations enshrined in the Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

    So, the strange, illegal, unfounded and suggestive Request for Extradition of a person who is not in the territory of the requested State, shall be returned to the Government of the United States immediately and categorically.

    La Paz, 3 July 2013

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

    4 Jul, 2013 - 4:28 pm

    Trowbridge; Not sure it was unintended to break them with costs.

    I remember Reagan rolling out his posters showing the superiority of Soviet ICBM’s

    Of course, the ancient liquid-fueled Russkies were twice as big as the more efficient and techno-superior solid fuel rocketry.

    It illustrated his contempt for the truth, but he got his ‘Peacekeeper’ Loved that Orwellian name.

  94. @Doug – that Le Monde story makes me wonder whether there hasn’t been an agreement among the major western powers to bring it into the public consciousness that all activity on phone lines and the internet is monitored, and Snowden is just the means. (Those of us with a ‘critical’ bent have known for decades that the NSA listens to everything.)

    As for Snowden, it wouldn’t surprise me if he recently took a trip to a city renowned for its chocolate cake and Spanish riding school.

  95. I was talking about stealing technology across the economic spectrum, Ben, what spies like Gordon Lonsdale accomplished in spades, but created a complete mess when the command economy increasingly decentralized, creating a maze of problems throughout the system – what Gorby’s reforms only compounded.

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

    4 Jul, 2013 - 4:51 pm

    N_; 2nd graf. Just sounds like diplo-gobblygook to me. With all the cryptic back-and-forth on Ecuador, and the split-vote amongst the electorate, Bolivia’s population might be angry enough during the 24-hr news cycle to agree to asylum, but these things can’t happen that fast.

  97. “How NSA access was built into Windows”

  98. @Ben – did you look at the Spanish? Sorry, I should have posted a link: It’s the press release entitled “COMUNICADO DEL MINISTERIO DE RELACIONES EXTERIORES DE BOLIVIA SOBRE EL CASO SNOWDEN”. Second paragraph:

    Al respecto, se aclara y reitera enfáticamente que el Sr. Snowden nunca se entrevistó con el Presidente en Rusia y menos subió a la aeronave; no encontrándose al presente, en territorio boliviano y, si decidiera ingresar o transitar por este país, en ejercicio de los principios de soberanía, independencia e igualdad entre Estados.

    Here’s a big question: where is Edward Snowden?

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