All Law is Gone: Naked Power Remains 329


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.

 

 

 

 

 


329 thoughts on “All Law is Gone: Naked Power Remains

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  • Arbed

    Now will people believe that the UK DID try to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London last year, just ahead of Ecuador granting Assange asylum? I was up until 5am that night watching the livestream from the embassy and there were groups of police officers entering through windows round the side of the building. It seems the raid was called off abruptly about 3am because the police withdrew. As Craig told us at the time, he heard from Foreign Office colleagues that it had been planned for 3 weeks because of DIRECT pressure on Cameron and Hague from Washington/Obama. (Everyone remember Cameron and Clegg both booking their holidays at the same time, then Hague cleared off 2 days later? That’s how ‘plausible deniability’ is done.)

    Ecuador’s Foreign Minister announced last night they found a listening device in the London embassy during his visit to Assange last month. They say they are announcing which country it belonged to this morning. Also, that Snowden’s letter to Correa was hacked and leaked to the press before Correa even received it; Ricardo Patino claims his email account was hacked to create all the “increasing tensions in Ecuador over Assange ‘running the show'” stories; and they have tape recordings of Correa’s statements about Snowden’s asylum, which they claim have been mistranslated in the press. I predict a fairly explosive news day comin’ up!!

  • Flaming June

    ZBC have a tag* in their most read list on their website –

    Snowden suspicion jet ‘can fly home’ !!!!!!!!!!!

    Wow, that’s good of the ‘President of the World’, as another person has called him, this time in Tanzania.

    ‘“Obama is like the president of the world,” said Nuhu Sandari Mohamed, 60, who was out for a stroll along the street named after the president. “The fact that he’s connected to Africa, my children and their children and their children should know.”

    Couples strolled and sat by the water on Barack Obama Drive on Tuesday, as ice cream salesmen pedaled their three-wheel cycles with coolers loaded with treats. For Said Maumba, 28, Mr. Obama’s visit was the best day he had ever had selling frozen treats, like Kreemas for about 31 cents, to the throngs waiting to watch Mr. Obama’s motorcade pass.

    “He’s hugely famous, and a lot of people are obsessed and just want to see a glimpse of him,” Mr. Maumba said.’

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/world/africa/after-obamas-visit-an-electric-moment-for-tanzania-lingers.html?_r=0

    *The tag takes you to

    Snowden case: Bolivia condemns jet ‘aggression’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23158242

  • Arbed

    For the people asking upthread about the full extent of the NSA’s capability to capture all forms of comms in real-time, I have previously posted these two very informative articles about exactly that. The NSA were developing (and had patented) the technology to do “machine-transcription of voice” back in the 1990s. We can presume the technology has only improved since.

    Rixstep 13/6/13: NSA Transcribing Voice 17 Years Ago
    http://rixstep.com/1/20130614,00.shtml

    Rixstep 13/6/13: On US Patent 5,937,422 & ‘Semantic Forests’
    http://rixstep.com/2/20130614,00.shtml

    Hats off to Assange for understanding the implications for us all when he discovered this NSA patent back in 1999, and for trying to blow the whistle back then (aged 27 by my calculation – how happy he must be to see someone from the next Internet-generation doing the same to such effect a decade or so later. No wonder he’s doing everything in his power to help spirit Snowden out of danger.)

  • Passerby

    FAO Craig,

    Here is the text without strike through;

    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”.

    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.

    This article has been taken down pending an investigation.

    Perhaps this could be of some help.

    – – – – –

    This level of disregard for all conventions and treaties is repugnant even the National Socialist of the German Reich did not flout the international laws that US et al are systematically driving horse and coaches through! This is cowboys and red Indians gone wild.

    I am shocked, really truly shocked, this is the kind of stuff that starts all out wars.

  • Matt G

    I really feel that people are powerless. Its not that revelations that Snowden released that is of any significance, its the actions take by the US government and European governments that have proven that the people are completely and unilaterally powerless to the security establishment we have allowed are government to create. We are now truly living in an Orwellian state, and even now so many people are blind to it.

    Just a few notes: I recommend everyone to read the Indian press as they not only failed to condemn PRISM, but announced that it had helped fight terrorism and they will now be basing their own program on it. I kind of get the impression that a few under hand deals were done between the Indian government after the news broke. The Chinese press also announced a phone monitoring system in Tibet, which surprisingly went unannounced.But both cases hint that both governments programs are nothing in the line of the US program.

    Another interesting point is the Sinovel trade case, were America announced they would prosecute Chine over stealing trade secrets despite now also technically being accused of doing the same.

    And the last point is I looked into the EU-US bugging, I am assuming it was down to the US wanting to pressure the EU not to except the Russian energy deals they were making at the time. Being the Lisbon Treaty which the US felt threatened by had just come into force.

  • Arbed

    Ecuador’s Foreign Minister announced last night they found a listening device in the London embassy during his visit to Assange last month.

    So I guess that was the “security situation” that got Assange’s 1-year asylum anniversary speech cancelled the following day.

  • jake

    It’s entirely possible that Snowden was being kidnapped from the transit area of the airport and the presidential ‘plane being used as cover for an extraordinary rendition. Doesn’t it just gladden your heart to see that positive action is now being taken by the governments of the free world to ensure that this kind of thing no longer happens and that a blind eye isn’t turned to the comings and goings of potentially suspicious aircraft ? It’s all the more impressive that even a stateless individual with passport and travel documents revoked can initiate such a prompt and well co-ordinated response from disparate organisations operating in different jurisdictions.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Thanks, Craig, for starting this thread as it will allow posters to discuss all aspects of Snowden’s disclosures – e.g., who he really is, and why he did it, others apparently involved and what happened to them, government conspiracies and people who attempt to reveal them, all people are not invariably good and truthful, to get anywhere in effectively exposing our most corrupt, evil world one still has to make terrible compromises, then there are all kinds of surprises, good and bad, along the way, etc.

    Keep up with your efforts, and let’s hope that more posters show your virtues in promoting free expression.

  • Jemand - Censorship Improves History

    Although unlikely to be actionable, I believe NSA warrantless intercepts and recording of private communications are in breach of international copyright treaties that provide for extradition and prosecution of offenders as already effectively demonstrated in several cases. Will the US Govt provide public assurances that federal officials will not be allowed to engage in further copyright violations?

    Kim Dotcom (alleged copyright violator) has a stab at NZ PM (another copyright violator?)
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-03/kim-dotcom-challenges-new-zealand-spy-laws/4798006

  • Kempe

    “Snowden was stitched up into flying to Moscow. ”

    Well it was Wikileaks who facilitated and arranged Snowden’s flight to Moscow, they who issued the suspect non-American-English statement purporting to have come from him and who are allegedly obstructing communication between Edward Snowden and his father. I’d hate to accuse them of exploiting Snowden for their own ends but…

    Interestingly whilst the Austrians claim to have searched the president’s plane the Bolivians deny any search took place; France and Spain also deny blocking the plane from entering their airspace.

    One day we might find out what the hell IS going on.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Kempe, Wikileaks has been on the defensive ever since the summer of 2010 when it posted the Afghan Log, what Gareth Williams and Gudrun Loftus had put together and given it, without redacting names of those involved – what resulted in his brutal murder, and then hers when she tried to take up his cause. Astrophisicist Steve Rawlings followed them when he tried to determine St. John’s College, Oxford Dr. Sivia’s role in her murder.

    Certainly, Wikileaks did not try to stitch up Snowden by helping him go to Russia as Putin is more aware of what happened and more inclined to help than the Chinese but has nothing to gain by helping to promote the release of his disclosures.

    The Bolivian fiasco just shows what control Washington has over Snowden going almost anywhere now, leaving Obama with the puny, false claim about it not requiring the scrambling of fighters.

  • N_

    @Arbed
    Now will people believe that the UK DID try to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London last year, just ahead of Ecuador granting Assange asylum?

    I keep an open mind on it. Intimidation may have been a main aim.

    I was up until 5am that night watching the livestream from the embassy and there were groups of police officers entering through windows round the side of the building.

    Sounds like they took that route so as to get into an internal fire escape connecting several of the flats, including the embassy.

    Someone should keep video of stuff like this and post it up publicly.

    Craig told us at the time, he heard from Foreign Office colleagues that it had been planned for 3 weeks because of DIRECT pressure on Cameron and Hague from Washington/Obama.

    I wouldn’t believe every story that Foreign Office officials put out through Craig. They are capable of…well….you know…LYING THEIR SHITTY QUEEN-AND-COUNTRY PANTS OFF.

    And Craig, being mortal, is capable of being misled.

    Ecuador’s Foreign Minister announced last night they found a listening device in the London embassy during his visit to Assange last month.

    Hold the front page! 🙂

    “They say they are announcing which country it belonged to this morning.

    Doesn’t seem that they did, though. It is unfortunate that they cannot simply shut their embassy in London, or even close the British embassy in Quito, which would provoke a tit-for-tat closure. While I am not sure whether the Brits were about to storm the embassy last year, I am pretty sure that if Ecuador plays the ‘diplomatic courier’ card, appointing Assange to that role and taking the position that he should then enjoy personal inviolability (which seems very clear under article 27.5-6 of the Vienna Convention, and note that diplomatic couriers, unlike diplomats, do not need to be accredited by a host country), the Brits and their masters from across the Atlantic (whether they much burgers or bagels) will show about as much respect for the Vienna Convention as they have been showing for the Geneva Conventions which are supposed to govern the treatment of POWs.

    I doubt that any hierarchical organisation is going to come out of the latest affair smelling of roses.

    And that includes those who already stink of AIPAC every second of the day, such as all but a handful of US senators. That said, actions such as the release of NSA information and the expulsion of USAID officials from Bolivia are to be welcomed unequivocally.

    One possibility here is the imminent eruption of very big problems with international trade. That was always going to be a feature of the inevitable economic collapse.

  • rouge

    Message from the people to Edward Snowden:

    “Thank you, Mr Snowden, for informing us of the activities of the NSA and GCHQ (ie, the USA and UK). You must understand that this information is unsettling to us, even though for many it’s only confirmation of what was suspected.

    We all have lives to lead, mortgages to pay, children to feed. We need to be able to continue with our lives for as long as we can. We don’t want the sack or ostracisation for speaking out (look what happened to you!).

    Thank you again, but,

    WE DON’T WANT TO KNOW”

    ——————————————

    “First they came for the whistleblowers…”

  • N_

    @Kempe 1.25pm
    @ Trowbridge 1.51pm

    Good points!

    Trow, have you had a look at the death of John Tiley at Cambridge University yet? He was the top tax law academic in the country. He fell to his death from the roof of a building at the law faculty 4 days ago.

    He backed the introduction of a “general anti-avoidance rule”. Anyone who knows Britain will know that such a thing would be a complete dead letter as far as the big boys are concerned, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t conflicts.

    The police say they aren’t treating the death as suspicious.

    His wife Jillinda says he gave absolutely no indication that anything was wrong. “It just beggars belief”.

    Nonetheless, Jillinda puts queen and country first, and is quoted as speculating “whether her husband had suffered a stroke or had found out about a medical problem.”

    Yes, or perhaps he leaned over too far when admiring the view.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Let’s hear no Russopobhia here, especially conspiracy theories at Putin’s expense, when the Bolivian President plane fiasco is showing what a genius he is, and what criminal assholes are leaders are,

  • neorefusenik

    The NATO/EU satellites have about as much autonomy as the Warsaw pact and they will escape from their hegemon in the same general way. Tensions in the Warsaw Pact were not diplomatic disputes with Soviet Russia but divergent approaches to repressing the population. NATO has nothing to worry about until public outrage starts toppling regimes. The litmus test for a genuinely new regime is a state that either repudiates odious debt or formally denounces NATO per charter Article 13.

    There’s plenty of popular support for both but the subject populations can probably be kept down in the absence of a transmission medium for principled opposition. When the Warsaw Pact was decaying, the transmission medium was the Helsinki Final Act and the charter movements.

    So where might the impetus come from now? Candidates include UNESCO’s culture of peace and the various occupation movements, which interpenetrate – but rights and rule of law are very muted in the occupy movements, presumably because UNESCO wants to subordinate doctrine to organization. UNCTAD’s right to development is another institutional initiative but it gets no traction in the NATO bloc.

    The peace and development initiatives are saying the same thing: austerity is violence and repression is violence just as war is violence; peace and development are just the sum of all human rights. The new charter is out there, offering instant legitimacy to anyone who picks it up.

  • OldMark

    Excellent post, Craig.

    If, as some commenters are suggesting, there has been a concerted effort to close off NATO airspace to Morales on the hunch that Snowden was on board, this’ll seriously compromise any future attempts the latter may make to reach sanctuary in a Latin American country. It also represents a real upping of the ante by the septics.

    Faced with this sort of pressure, Putin as well may have blinked a couple of days ago in his press conference, in which he asked Snowden to desists from ‘anti American activities’. Interestingly, that still leaves the Chinese standing up to Uncle Sam- and if any country has the wherewithal to stare the US down, it’s them.

    The odds on Snowden taking a return flight to HK soon could be shortening quite a bit today.

  • Passerby

    N_ said;

    Indented/quoted

    Dropping is an age old favourite of the CIA, and by default the favourite of the satellite franchise of the the said illustrious organization, that even Truman after signing it into existence, became pretty disturbed by its putative “evolution” to the lawless firm that it was heading to become.

    Poor Gabby Rado in sulaymaniyah was dropped also, he had pretty damning evidence of the US B52 carpet bombing the Iraqi forces in that area.

    However remembering Terry Lloyd and his French cameraman Frédéric Nérac also among the list of the murdered for their intent on “whistle blowing”/reporting (unlike the embeds) on the hell on Earth that US created during its invasion of Iraq.

    – – – – –
    Flaming June said;

    I used to be jeered at for speaking of the rise of fascism. It is creeping in, invisible to many.

    Come on girl, we all know, and as Hollywood has taught us all; Fascists always wear jackboots, sport a moustache, clicking their heels at sighting any women, and heilling each other as they sip their Champagne, and talk animatedly and in foreign tongues about world domination. None of the current batch of lunatics, spivs, and carpetbaggers exhibit these traits, do they?

  • N_

    @Neorefusenik

    “Transmission”?

    Hello Kautsky and Lenin (‘injection of consciousness’), Bordiga (‘transmission belt’), or take it back to Chernyshevsky’s ‘Bell’ (Kolokol) later appearing as Lenin’s ‘Spark’ (Iskra). It’s all the same idea.

    I respect your good intentions, but you are looking for a “revolution” to be made by ‘nice’ middle class professionals leading a movement of public opinion.

    Things just don’t happen that way. Not if the word ‘revolution’ is to be used in a genuine sensem that is. Do you really like what’s happened in East-Central Europe? Adverts and ‘how much?’ all over the place, as increasing numbers of people fall through whatever passed for a social safety net.

    Things don’t happen that way

    EITHER in working class revolutions (which with a few exceptions, such as Spain in 1936 and in various places in 1968, are brought about by the fear of starvation),

    OR in the pro-US fake shit which went on in East-Central Europe in 1989 and has been going on in various Arab countries recently.

    The idea of a movement occupying buildings and spaces is great (so the police are preventing access to one building? fine, so go and take the building down the road; we are many; they are few), but unfortunately the notion of ‘occupy’ has been spectacularised (hello ‘Zeitgeist’), as have terms such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Room 101’. The ruling class are ahead of us, it has to be said.

    If there’s one thing the CIA know, it’s how to run a ‘colour revolution’.

  • Passerby

    It should be

    N_ said;

    perhaps he leaned over too far when admiring the view.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    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.

  • Phil

    And credit to Craig for his unambiguous witness. Excellent post.

    I remember echelon, spying on each other’s population, being public knowledge decades ago.

    The first wikipedia entry for echelon included:

    “…critics claim the system is also being used for crass commercial theft and a brutal invasion of privacy on a staggering scale.”

    “…one of the many new arrows in the intelligence community’s quiver, along with increasingly sophisticated bugging and interception techniques, satellite tracking, through-clothing scanning, automatic fingerprinting and recognition systems that can recognize genes, odours or retina patterns.”

    “Echelon is a name for one of the largest spy networks in history. It can capture nearly every telephone call, fax and e-mail message sent anywhere in the world. There are estimates that it intercepts up to 3 billion communications everyday. Participating countries: [[United States]], [[United Kingdom|UK]], [[Canada]], [[Australia]], and [[New Zealand]].”

    That was in 2001. None of these lines remain in today’s entry. Which starts with:

    “ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network”

    Comparing historical versions of wikipedia’s echelon entry is possibly watching the slow, choking grip of pr.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=ECHELON&diff=561743525&oldid=368157188

  • Abe Rene

    @ Conjunction: “Obama often speaks as if .. the USA is the benefactor of and main holder of wisdom amongst mankind.”
    You mean you didn’t know that? 🙂

  • John Goss

    Arbed, at 12.27 p.m. I believe it that our police did try to storm the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Steve Elibank made an FOI request about a memo sent to the government of Ecuador a note (unofficial) on 15 August 2012 from the British Embassy in Quito. It contained the following.

    “We have to reiterate that we consider continued use of diplomatic premises in this way, to be incompatible with the VCDR and not sustainable, and that we have already made clear to you the serious implications for our diplomatic relations.

    You should be aware that there is a legal basis in the UK – the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 – which would allow us to take action to arrest Mr. Assange in the current premises of the Embassy.

    We very much hope not to get to this point, but if you cannot resolve the issue of Mr. Assange’s presence on your premises, this route is open to us.”

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/assange#incoming-313501

  • Flaming June

    O/T but this is terrible. It is about the loss of law in Syria and its replacement with Sharia law.

    There are two parts – the shooting in the head twice of a 14 year old boy by one of the rabbles in Aleppo. He had refused to give a free cup of coffee and made a joke about the Prophet returning.

    The second part is filmed in Saraqeb. It is of a flogging, fifty times with an electric cable, for the ring leader of a gang who had tried to steal a taxi driver’s car. The sentence followed a ‘hearing’ in a ‘Sharia court’. The others received forty lashes.

    These people are allies of Messrs Cameron and Hague and the video should be shown to all those MPs and others who express support for these rabbles and for arming them further.

    The boy killed for an off-hand remark about Muhammad – Sharia spreads in Syria
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23139784

    I am amazed that the BBC have carried this.

  • Komodo

    They may be fundamentalist terrorist bastards but they’re our fundamentalist terrorist bastards, eh?

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