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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  • pt

    Freedom for Ireland.
    And also so for Great Britain – with or without Scotland – as old/ag(e)ing/former ambasdazsrz mite put yte

  • Dreoilin

    Glad someone enjoyed it, Villager. I was doubled up. Husband emailed it to me. 🙂

  • AlcAnon

    For users of ixquick/startpage search engines.


    StartPage and Ixquick Deploy Newest Encryption Standards against Mass Surveillance
    First search engines to offer TLS 1.1.and 1.2 as well as “Perfect Forward Secrecy”

    July 19, 2013

    NEW YORK & AMSTERDAM: In the wake of the US PRISM Internet surveillance scandal, companies are revisiting how they do business online and beefing up their privacy practices to protect their users.

    Private search engines StartPage and Ixquick have pioneered a new advance in encryption security this week, becoming the first search engines in the world to enable “Perfect Forward Secrecy” or PFS in combination with a more secure version of SSL encryption known as TLS 1.1. and 1.2 , which works by setting up a secure “tunnel” through which users’ search traffic cannot be intercepted.

    …With SSL alone, if a target website’s “private key” can be obtained once in the future – perhaps through court order, social engineering, attack against the website, or cryptanalysis – that same key can then be used to unlock all other historical traffic of the affected website. For larger Internet services, that could expose the private data of millions of people.

    StartPage and Ixquick have now deployed a defense against this known as “Perfect Forward Secrecy,” or PFS.

    PFS uses a different “per-session” key for each data transfer, so even if a site’s private SSL key is compromised, data that was previously transmitted is still safe. Those who want to decrypt large quantities of data sent using PFS face the daunting task of individually decrypting each separate file, as opposed to obtaining a single key to unlock them all.

    This can be likened to replacing the master “skeleton key” that unlocks every room in a building with a tight security system that puts a new lock on each door and then creates a unique key for each lock.

    In addition to its pioneering use of PFS, earlier this month StartPage and Ixquick deployed Transport Layer Security, or TLS, encryption versions TLS 1.1 and 1.2 on all of its servers. TLS is an upgraded form of SSL encryption, which sets up a secure “tunnel” that protects users’ search information.

    In independent evaluation, StartPage and Ixquick outscore their competitors on encryption standards. (See Qualys’ SSL Labs evaluation of StartPage’s encryption features:)


    CEO Robert Beens urges other companies to upgrade to these new technologies. “With Perfect Forward Secrecy and TLS 1.1 and 1.2 combined, we are once again leading the privacy industry forward. For the sake of their users’ privacy, we strongly recommend other search engines follow our lead.”

    U.S. Press Contact:
    Tiffany Daschke
    (877) 434-3100 ext. 2

    E.U. Press Contact:
    Alex van Eesteren

  • Michael Culver

    I didn’t realise that it was torturing Tony himself who had you sacked presumably because your revelations might have harmed his future business interests. Best of luck with the lecture,let us hope it opens a few more eyes to the horrors this revolting state has attempted to normalise.It is interesting in a grotesque kind of way that the U.S.military has said the retarded psychopaths involved in the collateral murder incident were operating in accordance with their “Rules of engagement” which appears to mean anyone anywhere may be slaughtered but then Obomber has made that crystal clear has he not? Anyway watch your back and have a great time.May I join others in thanking Dreoilin for a very funny piece ,I needed a lift!

  • AlcAnon


    The scheme was first published by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman in 1976, although it had been separately invented a few years earlier within GCHQ, the British signals intelligence agency, by JamesH. Ellis, Clifford Cocks and Malcolm J. Williamson but was kept classified. In 2002, Hellman suggested the algorithm be called Diffie–Hellman–Merkle key exchange in recognition of Ralph Merkle’s contribution to the invention of public-key cryptography (Hellman, 2002).

  • Flaming June

    This country is really good at setting up serious case reviews after a child like this little chap has been murdered, in this case by his own mother and her partner who have been found guilty of murder. They will be sentenced on Friday. Why didn’t the school intervene? Look at the list of his injuries.

    Daniel Pelka: Review To Examine Failures
    A serious case review will look at whether authorities failed as evidence of excessive and extensive abuse was missed.http://news.sky.com/story/1122807/daniel-pelka-review-to-examine-failures

  • Villager

    “Craig I see you got a mention in Rusbridger’s Ask Me Anything today! LOL”

    Oh What a good girl am I !

  • fedup

    This country is really good at setting up serious case reviews after a child like this little chap has been murdered

    I am so sorry for the little tyke who died so hopeless and alone. It would take nothing to keep that little Daniel alive, and happy. I am really upset, for him and for the other little angels, who are going hungry, afraid, and in pain, across the planet.

    So far only the evil bitch of his mother and duane dibbley of her boyfriend, have been charged and convicted, and may these evil bastard suffer in hell (I really wish I could be afforded five minutes alone with these two specimens, these fuckwits would soon understand the meaning of pain, and hopeless).

    Fact that none of the fucking teachers in the school that he attended have been hauled over the coals. These heartless bastards were locking the food away and not one of them ever thought why poor little tyke was stealing food, and eating left over and discarded food; in the rubbish bins, off the floor, and even the garden. These bastards stand culpable of joint enterprise in little Daniel’s murder.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    This country is really good at setting up serious case reviews after a child like this little chap has been murdered, in this case by his own mother and her partner who have been found guilty of murder. They will be sentenced on Friday. Why didn’t the school intervene? Look at the list of his injuries.”

    The answer to that, dear Flaming June, is perhaps that a lot of the teachers, civil servants and local government officials appointed by the Labour govt and Labour councils in their attempts to create a body of faithful future Labour voters are bloody useless at their jobs.

  • Macky

    Since my last posting on the previous thread about those who really like to throw the “anti-West” accusation around, but are not so hot at trying to justify it, that the best that they could come up with was the demented ramblings of the psychotic Unabomber !! This would be hysterical if it was tongue in cheek, but apparently this is presented as credible argumentation !! Beyond parody, and a true indication of how detached from the rational these people must be.

    I also noticed a debate about the nature of compassion, which is obviously an emotion that Jemand has never experienced, otherwise he/she would not have written the nonsense that was posted, and despite Dreoilin attempts to explain this most natural of human emotions, we can only conclude that unfortunately Jemand is one of those emotionally impaired individuals who are simply incapable of experiencing such basic human emotions.

    Talking of which, how ironic that it was Villager who claimed that compassionate Lefties are really ” bitter losers filled with hate, envy and jealousy”, and yet felt the need & choice to post the mean & petty “Oh What a good girl am I !” comment aimed at F/J-Mary, after she has posted a link to the horrendous case of the murdered child, in contrast to Fedup’s angry & compassionate post in response to this case.

  • Herbie

    Habby argues:

    “The answer to that, dear Flaming June, is perhaps that a lot of the teachers,
    civil servants and local government officials appointed by the Labour govt and Labour councils in their attempts to create a body of faithful future Labour voters are bloody useless at their jobs.”

    That’s an interesting personification of complex structural problems, albeit indicating a rather narrow village mentality.

    Is there some fundamental policy division between Tory and New Labour on these issues that might otherwise explain this curious phenomenon?

    Most policy decisions are made at EU level. I think about 80%. Then you’ve got corporate, banker and military welfare to consider.

    The rest is crumbs…

  • Flaming June

    Pathetic and infantile responses from the Resident Invigilator and Villager in that order.

    btw if I am a ‘good girl’ (I believe Villager is thinking of this nursery rhyme:
    Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
    Eating his Christmas pie,
    He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
    And said “What a good boy am I!”)

    he could be Christopher Robin saying his prayers!


  • Jives

    Kinda weird reading that Grauniad NSA link knowing the NSA is watching you watch the NSA watching you watch the NSA watching you…

    Maybe their data banks are narcissists?

  • AlcAnon


    The Snowden kill-shot nonsense originated with Sorcha Faal as far as I can figure. Therefore complete nonsense.

    There are various thread elsewhere about “holes in the sun” right now. Mainly based on an appallingly bad Fox news report about a Coronal Hole.

    Not that any of this means that a large CME definitely wont be on the way (the sun is misbehaving but it is quieter than expected – who knows if it is the calm before the storm – solar physicists are still trying to figure it out) but the Snowden claim appears false.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Thanks AlcAnon; It seems it’s an old story someone tacked onto Snowden. I keep abreast of sun activity, and sunspots have been unusually scarce and mild. I’m also interested in ISON’s potential demise as it approaches our Sun.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh


    Re DU public health disaster.

    Thanks for the WHO petition link on Navalny thread.

    ”The Iraqi people already know that there are spiralling rates of birth defects and miscarriages, they see it every day. The research carried out by the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation will provide the confirmation required to spur research into the causes and for action to be taken to mitigate this health crisis.

    Children and families continue to suffer the consequences of a war they did not cause, so no more delays, no more politics: the WHO and Iraqi Ministry of Health must release the study data for swift and independent peer-review in an open access journal.”

    Here it is.


  • AlcAnon


    With more and more sites starting to deploy variants of Diffie=Hellman key-exchange it seems to me that Xkeyscore can’t mine into that data – at least not just by recording the traffic. I will assume “they” have obtained or can obtain private server keys for all the key destinations on the web and so can decrypt most normal https traffic.

    However unless there is a huge breakthrough we don’t know about then it would seem that they can’t easily look inside traffic protected by this additional step. No webservers were using PFS at the time of the 2008 PRISM presentation so it wouldn’t have been an issue.

    Physicsl access to the servers themselves would seem to be required to monitor PFS protected traffic.

  • Dreoilin

    Funny thing Jives …
    I always thought Villager was a woman. And then he/she said one day “I’m the kind of guy who …” and I felt obliged to change my mind.

    Although, “guys” (when addressing people) is used in our house to encompass everyone, me included.

    (I’m getting all 9s again in the sum box)

  • Dreoilin

    Can someone give a brief explanation of the “Snowden kill-shot nonsense”?

  • AlcAnon


    A repeat of the Carrington Event or worse.

    Could in theory knock out the power grid across the planet blowing transformers beyond repair and lead to collapse of civilisation. There’s a new spurious claim that we just missed a Carrington flare but it wasn’t anything particular impressive and wouldn’t have done much if it had been earth directed.

    Note we would have many hours warning of such an event on the way and steps can be taken to shutdown grids and isolate equipment in advance. If a really bad shock hit the ACE early warning spacecraft I guess we would see contingency plans go into action.

    A far less powerful geomagnetic storm from an X15 flare knocked out much of the Canadian grid in 1989.


    The March 1989 geomagnetic storm was a severe geomagnetic storm that caused the collapse of Hydro-Québec’s electricity transmission system. It occurred during solar cycle 22

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