Feile An Phobail Belfast 4110

The Respectability of Torture

St Mary’s University College, Thurs 1st August, 7.30pm


Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, was a whistleblower who was removed from his ambassadorial post by Tony Blair for exposing the Tashkent regime‟s use of rape and systematic torture, including the boiling to death of political opponents. He has also spoken out against Central Asia‟s appalling dictatorships, regimes which are allies of the West, involved in torture and rendition, and was accused of threatening MI6‟s relationship with the CIA. Now a human rights activist, author and broadcaster, he outlines the dynamics of torture and the hypocrisy of incriminated Western governments.


My first public appearance for a while will be in Belfast on 1 August where I shall be giving a talk.  Long term readers of this blog will recall that, while my focus is largely on international affairs, the domestic political achievements I most hope to see are a united Ireland and an independent Scotland.

4,110 thoughts on “Feile An Phobail Belfast

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  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ John Goss,

    Who said:-

    ” I’d very much like to see the UK become independent of the US. There is only one thing worse than being a serf to the masters of your own country, and that is seeing the masters of your own country servants to a foreign power. It is I think the ‘doubly dying’ Sir Walter Scott talked about in “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”

    “Breathes there a man with soul so dead
    Who never to himself hath said:
    This is my own, my native land . . .”

    So – the death of an Empire and the emergence of others?

  • adriana

    Agree with Jemand 4.42 – Independence for Australia from sucking up to the US, and from having a foreign (English) head of state.

  • Jay

    As someone earlier stated secularisation serves the purpose of empowering the individual or at least leaves an impression of egalatarianism but really are we still entitled to share the freedoms we once had as a union.

    Serfdom requires us to be free.

  • Flaming June

    ‘When will Blair and co be held to account?

    Tuesday 30 July 2013

    Figures obtained by the BBC under a Freedom of Information request show that last year the Home Office identified nearly 100 suspected war criminals and that many of those individuals were believed to have been living in Britain for a number of years.

    Suspects are believed to have come from a number of countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Rwanda, Serbia and Sri Lanka.

    Now the Home Office is making robust noises and has vowed to ensure that Britain does not become “a refuge for war criminals.”

    Four Rwandan men arrested in May this year are “suspected of involvement in the 1994 genocide that led to the deaths of an estimated 800,000 people.”

    James Smith of Aegis, a charity involved in the prevention of crimes again humanity said: “If we don’t pursue those prosecutions, the UK could become known as a retirement home for war criminals.”

    In addition, a Home Office spokesman said: “Anyone accused of these crimes should be put on trial in their home country and we will always seek to return them to face justice.”

    In the light of the Home Office statement, I take it the relevant powers will be taking an equally robust stance towards Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Lord Goldsmith and Gordon Brown, who wrote the cheques for the illegal invasion of Iraq based on untruths and dodgy dossiers, which has resulted in significantly more than one million deaths and counting.

    Or do suspected war criminals only get counted if they are black, Middle Eastern, eastern European or from further afield, while ours travel the globe with impunity?

    Felicity Arbuthnot
    London E9 ‘


  • Flaming June

    O/T Will Theresa May reveal to the British public the names of these 100 organisations who have broken the law? We will probably be told that it would prejudice the ongoing investigations in Operation Tuleta. We have such an open society, NOT.

    Hacking: Law Firms On List Handed To MPs
    A list of 100 non-media names is handed to a government committee but police will not confirm who is under investigation.

    ‘The Metropolitan Police allegedly holds a list of 200 more companies and individuals who may have used rogue private investigators to steal personal information.’

  • Flaming June

    The Threat of Nuclear War, North Korea or the United States?
    By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

    Global Research, July 25, 2013

    While the Western media portrays North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as a threat to Global Security, it fails to acknowledge that the US has being threatening North Korea with a nuclear attack for more than half a century.

    On July 27, 2013, Armistice Day, Koreans in the North and the South will be commemorating the end of the Korean war (1950-53). Unknown to the broader public, the US had envisaged the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea at the very outset of the Korean War in 1950. In the immediate wake of the war, the US deployed nuclear weapons in South Korea for use on a pre-emptive basis against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in violation of the July 1953 Armistice Agreement.


  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    @Flaming. 8 59am

    Thanks for the link.

    The British Medical Journal published an article entitled” WHO suppressed evidence on effects of depleted uranium, expert says” in November 2006. It suggested that earlier WHO reports were compromised by the omission of a full account of depleted uranium genotoxicity.  
    Additionally, recent revelations by Hans von Sponeck, the former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, suggest that WHO may be susceptible to pressure from its member states. Mr. von Sponeck has said that “The US government sought to prevent WHO from surveying areas in southern Iraq where depleted uranium had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers.”
    Is it time to prepare to bring the perpetrators before the ICC​

    Can anyone justify the burning of depleted uranium in munitions?

  • Komodo

    The primary intention isn’t to burn it: the idea is to give a projectile enough density (or if you prefer weight relative to its cross sectional area) to penetrate armour. In the process it gets pulverised, and burns. As a byproduct of the nuclear industry, it is relatively available, denser and more convenient than, say tungsten (which can be used in DIME munitions, as a powder, because it doesn’t burn)

    Nasty shit, but you knew that.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh



    I used “burning” because it seems to me that the terrible public health consequences come from the oxidation bye-products rather than the armour-piercing impact.

  • Komodo

    Don’t go near any burning aircraft, btw. Commercial airliners use DU as ballast.

  • Passerby

    Sofia says:

    the oxidation bye-products rather than the armour-piercing impact.

    The gas cloud generated by the heat, and the compounds contained, that are in nano particle formats can breach the body defences, and barriers and lodge in various organs, that in turn due to the ceramic nature of these nano particles, body chemistry cannot break these ceramics down and render these harmless, in turn leading to many devastating diseases.

    Here you will find a better explanation..

  • Dreoilin

    Al-Qaeda pledges to free Guantanamo inmates

    “Al Qaeda will “spare no effort” in setting free inmates at the US-run Guantanamo Bay detention camp, the terrorist network’s leader pledged. The warning comes after a series of attacks by militant groups on prisons in Libya, Iraq and Pakistan.

    “Ayman al-Zawahri voiced his threats in an audio address published on an Islamist website. The authenticity of the recording has not been verified, Reuters reports.


  • mark golding

    America is truly the axis of evil in the Middle East. Buying and trafficking arms, training and funding rebel fighters, are considered U.S. investments in the future of M.E. conflicts, which, at any time, can be paid with interest via a direct U.S. military invasion.

    Paralysed by Israel’s high level influence and enervated by seductive Israeli lobbies, America took advantage of the ‘Arab Spring’ and declared that Libya was enduring a revolution, having engineered anti-government demonstrations in the eastern city of Benghazi. This then was the trigger, the spark for Emperor Obama to militarily intervene even though no such mass lobby was observed in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

    The same dynamic occurred in Syria where rebellion was ‘scammed’ into false revolution by using trained religious extremists who became the motor force of the rebels doing the vast majority of the fighting and distorting the true nature of the rebels as an anti-Assad coalition.

    The most effective fighting force among the Syrian rebels is Jabhat al-Nursa, religious extremists that use Iraq ‘death squad’ terrorist tactics and are directly affiliated with al-Qaeda and the CIA.

    Recently this group’s dominance is being threatened by another Islamist extremist terror group, Ahrar al-Sham, which is funded and populated by Qatar and which is thought to have around 30,000 fighters in Syria.

    While America pursues pro-Western geo-political goals by ‘strings attached’ manipulation, at least 25,000 Syrian children have been murdered and 6.8 million Syrians need aid according to OCHA figures – http://www.unocha.org/crisis/syria

    To insist that NATO or Gulf monarchies supply arms to the rebels is, in essence, to invite the United States to directly participate in the Syrian conflict on a deeper level (the Emperor Obama administration is already supplying thousands of tons of arms to the Syrian rebels covertly through the CIA).

    Currently the same manipulative dynamic is transpiring in Egypt with exactly the same U.S. investments in a future conflict with Iran intended to throttle energy supplies to China and energy cooperation with Russia.

    Without such massive control from America, Britain and allies these and imminent conflicts would have ended long ago and thousands of innocent lives would have been spared.

    Demanding that this bloodletting continue — especially without ANY prospect for a successful end — is to demand the destruction of an already suffering mother earth.

    The U.S. Occupy Movement was no revolution. It is time for the American people to be in a position to effectively assert their power in order to change the U.S. administration power dynamic of American society in their favor AND REMOVE ‘President’ Obama.

    A nation can be inhabited by entirely revolutionary-minded people, but there is no revolution unless people are massively asserting their power in the streets, workplaces, and neighborhoods.

    That connection is how we, as a human race, evolve and cheat extinction.

  • Dreoilin

    People commenting on Twitter that the fact that Bradley Manning is also a UK citizen is getting very little mention.

  • Komodo

    According to the Guardian today, he’s not a UK citizen. He was born in the USA to an American father and Welsh mother. She subsequently returned to Wales, so he was brought up there.

  • Dreoilin

    “According to the Guardian today, he’s not a UK citizen. He was born in the USA to an American father and Welsh mother. She subsequently returned to Wales, so he was brought up there.”

    Oh ok. I’ll start informing tweeters then.

  • Komodo

    Today’s Guardian –

    Manning doesn’t hold a British passport and doesn’t consider himself to be a UK citizen, but he is unquestionably half Welsh (the Foreign Office, notably, has stressed he is “British by descent”). Though he was born in the US, his parents met when Brian Manning, a US naval intelligence analyst, was stationed in the very southwest tip of Wales; Susan Manning, then Fox, was a local girl from Haverfordwest. An older sister, Casey, was born in Wales; Bradley followed in 1987 after his parents had returned to the tiny Oklahoma town of Crescent where Brian took up a job in a car rental firm. The marriage was not a success, and in 2001, after Brian walked out, Susan returned to her home town with her children.

    Wikipedia tells me that he probably has British citizenship, but may have had to formally apply for it. Does it matter? See William Hague for an independent champion of British rights against US interests, pmsl.

  • John Goss

    Dreoilin, hot hair.

    Yes, let’s get Bradley Manning home. Perhaps we could do an exchange with all the US citizens we have in custody! Oh, sorry, I was forgetting we are the slaves of the US. It makes that laugh of a nationalist anthem, Rule Britannia, laughable. “Britons never never never shall be slaves”.

  • Dreoilin

    No, stuff William Hague. They were commenting in relation to coverage of his situation in the UK. Which they didn’t seem to think was adequate.

  • Komodo

    Right, Dreoilin. Re. coverage, it’s predictable. And I wouldn’t expect the conservative press to do anything other than emphasise the fact that Manning, a US citizen and regarding himself solely as such, signed the US military’s version of the Official Secrets Act, was put in a position of trust, and betrayed it comprehensively. Which is the (uncomfortable, maybe) fact. He got the book thrown at him -predictably, since discipline needs to be maintained in anyone’s armed forces – and IMO got a reasonably fair disposal in the circumstances.

    The real issues are, again IMO, the effectiveness of US military security versus the incredibly trivial material that attracts a security classification there, and the near absence of any official concern regarding some of the actions, equally forbidden by military law, which were revealed by his disclosures.

  • Dreoilin


    “After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own “Rules of Engagement”.”


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