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.






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

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  • Arbed


    Meanwhile, deep breath…

    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 17m

    Dutch ALDE MEP Sophie Veld says EU has to guarantee Europeans that they are covered by European law, not American law
    Reply Retweet Favourite More
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 18m

    German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht accuses NSA of “meltdown” and “espionage against democratic countries & institutions”
    View summary
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 19m

    Former Belgian PM and EU parliementary political party head Guy Verhofstadt condemns “American data collection mania”
    View summary
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 19m

    German MEP Markus Ferber says US use of “Stasi methods sacrifices all credibility as a moral authority”
    View summary
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 20m

    Elmar Brok, chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee in European Parliament says NSA spying is “intolerable”
    View summary
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 20m

    Hans-Peter Martin, Austrian European parliamentarian, says US has become a worldwide spy, targeting friends.
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 20m

    Cornelia Ernst, German MEP says US/UK spying “is organised crime at behest of nation states”
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 21m

    Greek EU parliamentarian Dimitrious Droutsas on NSA spying: “we cannot back down on the rights of European citizens”
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 21m

    German Federal Prosecutors investigating whether NSA can be charged for committing crimes against German citizens

    I wasn’t kidding when I said this is all becoming a bit Tectonic…

    For Ben, this tweet may give a partial answer to your query about NATO, particular in light of all the above news from Germany:

    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 2 Jul

    States now named: France, Portugal, Italy, Spain. Was the alert NATO wide? If so which NATO state gave airspace from Moscow? Germany?

    N, this conversation may be useful, as regards why Moscow was the first port of call out of Hong Kong:

    Nadim Kobeissi @kaepora 30 Jun

    Snowden is stranded in Russia, and I blame WikiLeaks. Sorry, but Assange’s plan was absolutely ridiculous.
    WikiLeaks @wikileaks 30 Jun

    @kaepora The plan was to move him to Russia, a country without a US extradition treaty, number one. Number two, asylum in a protective state
    Reply Retweet Favourite More
    WikiLeaksVerified account

    @kaepora The current situation was factored into planning. The majority risk was in Hong Kong. It has been eliminated. Odds are good now.

    I think we have to trust that these guys have been studying asylum and extradition issues for at least a couple of years now.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “90 per cent political decisions, and 10 per cent legalities.”

    Hope you’re right. But it is instructive that Egypts coup disqualifies aid from the US. Then I heard an official say ‘there are ways around the Law’…heh.

  • fedup

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

    He has the IP in front of him, and he can see who is posting!

    Cease and desist from banging on about this one and that one, will you?


    The bum steer of Snowden is on board the Evo’s ride, is the best indication of Russians have pretty much worked out the CIA set-up. Which extends to the satellite nations’ SIS. It is evident that the Western ” 007″s have turned out to be “00 2 and one eighth”s.. Needless to point out as Trowbridge says;

    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.

    The formula is the more money you throw at it, the more likely there will be a breakthrough, a nice arrangement for all concerned, they get paid for failure just like their bosses the banksters.

  • Fred

    All he needs to do is find a country run by people who have nothing to hide. A country which doesn’t spy on it’s people, doesn’t spy on it’s neighbours.

    With around 200 countries in the world how difficult can that be?

  • Villager

    @ Arbed 7 39pm

    My money’s with yours Arbed. Here’s what one wrote earlier:

    3 Jul, 2013 – 8:50 pm
    I hope the silver lining to all this is that the South American countries will come together to find a solution to Snowden and present it as a joint solution so that the eventual country is not singled out for persecution. I can imagine that once settled a Russian military plane could render him to his asylum. Belarus is now being mentioned as a possible host.

    I’d love to know the contents of the Correa-Biden call. Could it be that Assange’s safe passage was discussed? Since Correa seems so satisfied with that call.”

  • Jemand - Censorship Improves History

    No country is going to give Snowden asylum under threat of politically frustrating and expensive US penalties. Let’s not kid ourselves here – countries do not imperil their national interests out of admiration for foreign whistleblowers.

    There are two options for Snowden, in my estimation. One, an indefinite legally anomalous situation, like Snowden’s supposed present state of limbo at Sheremetyevo or, two, disappearing with a new identity never to be heard from again — unless safe to reappear.
    . . . .

    The media has been trying to depict Wikileaks as obstructing contact between Snowden and his family in the US. It’s almost certainly the case that the FBI have been working on Snowden’s family to convince them with false assurances that Snowden’s best prospects lie for him in returning to the US. Any attempted contact by his father would be under surveillance to ascertain Snowden’s exact whereabouts. So it is perfectly reasonable that communications channels should be obfuscated by Wikileaks to prevent this. Snowden could, after all, be in another country already.

  • dirty sanchez

    It’s beginning to dawn on the EOP knuckledraggers that Snowden might have material that is not only outside his compartments but way above his pay grade. And that the latter might not have come to this honnête homme purely by serendipity, as in the case of Sibel Edmonds. The community of professional subversives is small and tight-knit, but not necessarily monolithic. As anybody with a grain of sense knows, you don’t piss off people who know how to knock over a regime.

    Panicked by fears of worse to come, the USG has made a joke of its pretense of rule of law and is now snared in a process called mobilizing shame. The world is now baiting the US like cops bait a drunk driver, savoring his diminished capacity and loss of control, seeing what new offense they can provoke. The permanent government will emerge from this wringer on a diplomatic par with the Symbionese Liberation Army. Heads will roll. You can almost taste the chyme Obama’s cheesing up into his mouth. Titan Group, feeling smug? Don’t.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Transcendental Aestheticism (Kant)

    Mobilizing Shame (thx Dirty)

    “In this regard, mobilizing shame has Enlightenment roots, as many have pointed out. But they are contradictory ones. Kant defined Enlightenment as the release or exit from heteronomy, from dependence or reliance on the opinions of others, and as growing up out of shame and into courage, reason, and conscience. But the sign of an accomplished Enlightenment is, he adds, the use of that reason in public, so as to engage with others and change their opinions. The Kantian moral subject is fully realized only when his or her reason is liberated from the guidance, surveillance, pressure, or context of others, but at the same time when it is destined for public exchange, exposure, or enlightenment. Reason must be employed in public, says Kant, if there is to be any possibility of progress or social transformation; beliefs and institutions have no hope of survival if they are not exposed to reason, to judgments sparked by its critical force in public. Reason works when it exposes, reveals, and argues.

    Mobilizing Shame

    No one seems to be able to pinpoint the moment when the phrase mobilizing shame entered our lexicon. Robert Drinan, in his recent book The Mobilization of Shame, credits what his footnote calls “Turkey campaign documents, Amnesty International” as the source of the phrase, but fails to supply a date or a title. The first published references, though, go a long way toward sketching the essential elements of the concept as…”

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “A few Minutes of Reflection this 4th of July

    Thursday, 4. July 2013 by Sibel Edmonds

    “I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic”- Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the USA

    During this celebratory holiday please take a few minutes to read our Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and US Citizenship-Office Oath. Please do it.

    You will not find the word ‘Flag.’

    You will not see the word ‘Borders.’

    You will not see the words ‘National Security.’

    What you will see is the word ‘Constitution.’

    What you will find is the obligation to defend, not the ‘flag,’ ‘borders’ or ‘government’, but the United States Constitution, and defend it against foreign and domestic enemies. Read more ?
    – See more at:

  • Dreoilin

    Michael Moore has tweeted (and Wikileaks has re-tweeted)

    Michael Moore ‏@MMFlint
    The most badass thing Morales could do is fly back to Moscow, NOW, pick up Snowden, & take him out of there — and dare Europe to stop him.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Vienna, Moscow… tunnels, men with brief-cases and large ears. It’s just like the old days! Park benches, dead drops, listening rocks. Lots of men named, ‘Sasha’ and ‘Major Halliday’. Deals-behind-the-scenes. A dangle? Now, who is dangling what before whom?

    “Did we meet in California?”
    “No, it was in St Louis.”

    Ben, 10:50pm, 4.7.13. ‘Riki Tiki Tavi’ – good song, from the much-underrated Open Road LP, 1970. He was from Glasgow, Mr Leitch, you know, originally. Like Billy Connolly, Maryhill.

    “Did we meet in Maryhill?”
    “No, it was in Arizona.”

    I mean, let’s be frank. Did anyone here NOT already know that as far as countries go, everyone spies on everyone else and that the UK/USA too spies on their own citizens? Has everyone not known this since at least the 1980s and possibly the 1960s? Does anyone really believe that intelligence services anywhere adhere to the law of the land (any land)? I mean, really?

    It was news to me, however, that the fascinating and critical subject of the electrical wiring in my house is available to the NSA/GCHQ. This may explain why, suddenly and without warning last week, my microwave went on the blink: The light’s on but there’s no-one at home.

    “How is the tea in Azerbaijan?”
    “It rains often in Maryhill.”

  • fedup

    Now, who is dangling what before whom?

    Is that not illegal, and have they caught the perp, or has he (always he s do this sort of thing) given them the slip. Austrians probably were looking for the Macintosh in the Plane!

    “Did we meet in California?”
    “No, it was in St Louis.”

    I have mislaid my one time pad, can you decode it just this once?

    Did anyone here NOT already know that as far as countries go, everyone spies on everyone else and that the UK/USA too spies on their own citizens?

    Why do they have embassies and fill them with Military attaches then? So far as population goes, best not speculate on that!!!

    fascinating and critical subject of the electrical wiring in my house is available to the NSA/GCHQ.

    Boy you have lead a very sheltered life. That was the good old days, now they can divine your ass in milliseconds, their technology entails pretty surprising stuff. Be happy and thank your lucky stars that your microwave has not been talking to you.

    “How is the tea in Azerbaijan?”
    “It rains often in Maryhill.”

    Oh the rain mainly falls on the plain, and tea is pretty rotten in Azerbaijan, Aliev keeps pissing in the teapot, and tells everybody it is Lapsang Souchong they are drinking. As you know it is an acquired taste, just as in case of horse meat.

  • fedup

    Secret Police Before and After

    “Before” goes to the broom cupboard down the corridor, can you give it another try?

  • Kibo Noh

    “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness… when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security…”
    US Declaration of Independence, July 1776

    Here’s Richie Havans.

    And the original, improvised after three hours , having run out of songs, while waiting for the other bands were stuck trying to get to there…..

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Be happy and thank your lucky stars that your microwave has not been talking to you.” Fedup.

    Actually, it has. It says:

    “I’m fed up I’m not fed up.”

    “Boy you have lead a very sheltered life. That was the good old days, now they can divine your ass in milliseconds, their technology entails pretty surprising stuff.” Fedup.

    My microwave also intones (in Russian bass):

    “I think you needlessly may be carrying over aggression from a previous thread and so have lifetd up the wrong stick altogether. Stop beating yourself around the ass [the microwave learned their English from an American]. You need to go to Azerbaijan, ride some ass into the mountains of Kaukash and drink some dictator tea, renowned for its therapeutic properties.”

  • Kibo Noh

    Barack Obama. 2008

    “I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are.”

    2013. The “without undermining our Constitution” sounds pretty silly now.

    More at:

  • N_

    Bolivia threatens to close US embassy. Let’s hope they do it! Once again, let Bolivia give a lead to the world, as it did at the time of the 2009 Gaza massacre.

    Let’s look towards not just shutting US embassies, but sanctions against the criminal US regime, to be imposed by as many countries as possible.

  • N_

    @Jemand “No country is going to give Snowden asylum under threat of politically frustrating and expensive US penalties. Let’s not kid ourselves here – countries do not imperil their national interests out of admiration for foreign whistleblowers.

    Er, Philip Agee? The word “whistleblower” is functioning in a Bernaysian way here. Everyone interested in thinking about elint has known for decades about the NSA. In the UK context, hello Menwith Hill and hello Diego Garcia. There’s stuff from the 1970s and 1980s by Duncan Campbell. European and other governments could have spoken about this years ago, if they’d wanted to. They didn’t want to. Now they do. That isn’t because it’s been in the newspapers. It’s about trade. All politics is about money.

    Compare the Vanunu case. Everyone interested in thinking about Israeli strategic capability had known about Israeli nukes for years. The British government still doesn’t talk about them. Nor do the German, French, US governments etc. I note that while “NSA” is the topic du jour in the chattering classes, there’s little talk of concrete things such as

    * closing Menwith Hill near Harrogate in Yorkshire, one of the biggest US spy bases in the world, and which is rigged in to the UK microwave system

    * asking why the CIA Head of Station in London attends the weekly meetings of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee (bit of an effing giveaway, that one!)

    Instead, there is drivel about ‘international law’ and so on. Although I welcome this kind of talk as one way to support Edward Snowden, let’s not start believing it…

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    For posters still interested in why America’s stooges in Europe hijacked Evo Morales’ plane, I suggest they read about what Sweden’s Lex Orwell gave its FRA, the eavesdropping agency, especially since almost all Russian internet traffic is routed through Sweden.

    Just imagine what false information Russian spooks could put in the minds of Russophobes who want to establish even closer relations with its American boss, the NSA.

    And can anyone believe the advice that CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou is providing Snowden, hoping that he will come back to the States to face the music!

    If he does so, he will end up dead.

    And don’t forget that all letters by Kiriakou must meet the approval of his jailers.

    When I wrote Rick Ames about his role in preventing the shooting of Palme from resulting in armageddon, he reminded me of his conditions in federal prison, stating he could never discuss anything so outlandish.

  • N_

    Bolivia says the Spanish ambassador to Austria, Yago Pico de Coaña y de Valicourt, turned up at the airport in Vienna and wanted to come on board to search the plane, but was refused.

    What’s going to come out next about what happened in Vienna?

    Who else was there, for starters?

    I notice that Aeroflot have got a terminal there.


  • N_

    D’oh! I mean Aeroflot have got an office at Vienna’s Schwechat airport, not a whole terminal! 🙂

  • Dreoilin

    “US sends [Irish] Government arrest warrant for Snowden”
    ‘Move a pre-emptive strike to stop fugitive intelligence analyst landing at Shannon on way to Cuba’

    They should send the damn thing straight back, and tell the U.S. that Snowden will be accorded the same facilities as U.S. troops passing through Shannon!!

    However, there’s a little chink (maybe)

    “However, if he travelled via Shannon as part of his efforts to get to Cuba and was arrested under the provisional arrest warrant pending an extradition process by the American authorities in the Irish courts, he could apply for asylum while being held in prison here.”

    ‘Twould be very risky thing to rely on … very very

  • Arbed

    Trowbridge, 12.17pm

    I’ve known about Sweden’s FRA laws for quite some time. Here’s my favourite Rixstep article of all time. It has lots to say on how the new surveillance laws were sneaked through parliament by subterfuge.,00.shtml

  • N_


    (Ireland’s) Extradition Act 1965, section 10:

    Ireland can only extradite under this Act if the person’s alleged offence would be an offence in Ireland punishable by at least a year in prison.

    Moreover, they may not use this Act to extradite for an alleged “political” offence, or for “an offence connected with a political offence” (section 11).

    Would the US say “imagine if Ireland had an agency which had an enormous international electronic spying capability, monitoring all internet and telephone traffic, which everyone knew about, and then one of its members told everyone”? 🙂

    This is not to say I’d fancy Snowden’s chances in an Irish court.

    Once again, I urge people to look at the Bobby Fischer case. Since playing chess in Yugoslavia was never against the law in Japan, it would not have been lawful to extradite Fischer from Japan to the US. The US just wanted to grab him.

    (Background: they revoked his passport behind his back, having recently renewed it – far more recently than the chess match in Yugoslavia – and got him arrested when attempting to enter Japan using a so-called “illegal” passport which he’d never been told had been revoked. This was probably in response to him goading the CIA on the radio.)

    Has someone got a copy of the US arrest warrant served on Ireland?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Thanks, Arbed.

    Lost a post through CAPTCHA censorship, so I shall just say that I thought Lex Orwell permitted wireless data mining.

    Being cable traffic, Russian must have realized its impact on their internet cable transmissions, and taken full advantage of it for Snowden’s benefit – a whistleblower everyone should want to protect despite the slowness and situation under which he decided to become one.

  • nevermind

    but newspapers have been served with D-notices, so Snowdens release, logged with them according to GGreenwald, will at best be a long drawn out affair that reveals very little, it will be lawyers deciding what gets published, if anything gets published at all.

    The reactions from Europe are tectonic and so are Bolivia’s measures. I would not discount a witness protection from a German Government, especially if SPD and CDU/CSU agree, it very much depends whether Ms. Merkel remembers her youth under the Stasi in East Germany and her discussion with Obama, the buster of all sovereignty.

    Arbed, I knew of Julian’s abilities, did not mean to come over as presumptuous and lecturing, I leave that to it.
    Merely wanted to encourage a daily random sweep of his office.

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