Navalny, Ward, Assange, Snowden and the Attack on Free Speech 670


Russia does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all, in the sense of a trial mechanism aimed at determining innocence or guilt.  Exactly as in Uzbekistan, the conviction rate in criminal trials is over 99%.  If the prosecutors, who are inextricably an arm of the executive government, want to send you to jail, there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you.  The judges are purely there for show.

When critics of Putin like Alexei Navalny are convicted, therefore, we have absolutely no reassurance that the motivation behind the prosecution or the assessment of guilt was genuine.  Which is not to say that Navalny is innocent; I am in no position to judge. People are complex.   I sacrificed my own pretty decent career to the cause of human rights, but in my personal and family life I was by no means the most moral of individuals.  I see no reason for it to be impossible that all of Navalny’s excellent political work did not co-exist with a fatal weakness.  But his criticisms of Putin made him a marked man, who the state was out to get, and the most probable explanation – especially as prosecutors had looked at the allegations before and decided not to proceed – is that he is suffering for his criticisms of the President rather than a genuine offence.

It fascinates me that the Western media view the previous decision by the prosecutors not to proceed as evidence the case is politically motivated against Navalny; but fail to draw the same conclusion from precisely the same circumstance in the Assange case.

David Ward MP has not been sent to jail.  He has however had the Lib Dem whip removed, which under Clegg’s leadership perhaps he ought to consider an honour.  It is rather a commonplace sentiment that it is a terribly sad thing, that their community having suffered dreadfully in the Holocaust, the European Jews involved in founding the state of Israel went on themselves to inflict terrible pain and devastation on the Palestinians in the Nakba.   Both the Holocaust and the Nakba were horrific events of human suffering.  For this not startling observation, David Ward is removed from the Liberal Democrats.  He also stated that, with its ever increasing number of racially specific laws, its walls and racially restricted roads, Israel is becoming an apartheid state.  That is so commonplace even Sky News’ security correspondent Sam Kiley said it a few months ago, without repercussion.  In Russia you cannot say Putin is corrupt; in the UK you cannot say Israeli state policy is malign.  Neither national state can claim to uphold freedom of speech.  Meanwhile, of course, David Cameron announces plans to place filters on the internet access of all UK households.

In the United States, the House of Representatives failed by just 12 votes to make illegal the mass snooping by the NSA which was not widely publicised until Edward Snowden’s revelations.  What Snowden said was so important that almost half the country’s legislators wished to act on his information.  Yet the executive wish to pursue him and remove all his freedom for the rest of his life, as they are doing to Bradley Manning for Manning’s exposure of war crimes and extreme duplicity.

Around this complex of issues and the persons of Manning, Navalny, Snowden and Assange there is a kind of new ideological competition between the governments of Russia, the US and UK as to which is truly promoting the values of human freedom.  The answer is none of them are.  All these states are, largely in reaction to the liberating possibilities of the internet, promoting a concerted attack on freedom of speech and liberty of thought.

States are the enemy.  We are the people.

 

 

 

 


670 thoughts on “Navalny, Ward, Assange, Snowden and the Attack on Free Speech

1 2 3 4 5 6 23
  • Komodo

    Another LibDem lord who tells the truth and is censured for it –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Phillips,_Baron_Phillips_of_Sudbury

    The Zionist Federation’s Jonathan Hoffman had this to say about Lord Phillips:

    “Lord Phillips is an obnoxious man and his views are revolting.”

    High praise indeed, considering the source. Imagine if Phillips had said that about Hoffman….

    More on Hoffman here, hilariously acid stuff from a Jewish blogger.

    http://www.jewdas.org/2010/08/jonathan-hoffman-anti-zionist-hero/

    Put this with your links, please, Craig.

    Sample:
    Now at this juncture we could go all po-faced, condemn his behaviour, and call for the Zionist Federation to sack him. But that would be an error. Jonathan Hoffman is so extreme, so constantly dogmatic, rude, intellectually dubious and pig headed that he constantly brings the Zionist Federation, and his own cause, into disrepute. There can be only one explanation, that he is in fact an Anti-Zionist mole trying to bring down the British Zionist movement. At this, he is doing an excellent job. No other anti-Zionist has had such success in promoting the cause and making Zionism look ridiculous. Whether funded by Hezbolllah, or simply doing it as a hobby Hoffman is the anti-zionist activist par excellence. Jonathan, we salute you!

  • Flaming June

    Have you ever been at a PSC meeting or similar which Hoffman has attended? He arrives with a young helper with armfuls of papers and then attempts to heckle throughout. Most chairpersons are wise to him these days. Is he still around?

    http://hoffmanchronicled.wordpress.com/isis-men-in-london/hoffman-gone-mad-ahava-26_11_10-9/

    Is he still around? Silly question.
    http://www.thejc.com/users/jonathan-hoffman

    I see that they are having a go at John Hilley of Zenpolitics and Medialens about his support for David Ward. Written by Matthew Harris ex vice chair of LDFoI in February. Tedious comments are still coming in!
    http://www.thejc.com/blogs/matthewharris/david-ward-blog-post-written-john-hilley

  • Flaming June

    We must watch out for the word ‘so’.

    So, here’s a carefully packaged sentence that shows me in my best light
    In a society where people market themselves as commodities, starting a sentence with ‘so’ signals a desire to impress

    Oliver James

    [..]
    So what? Care should be taken before building ideological mountains out of verbal molehills. But I think all this So-ing may be a symptom of broader trends. It is a fact that we have become what Erich Fromm characterised as marketing characters in a marketing society. Such characters experience themselves as commodities whose value and meaning are externally determined. They define themselves by having rather than being, by what they own, not who they are. This homo consumens is a thing to be bought and sold, just like a house or a car. All of us are involved in trying to increase the value of the commodity that is us.

    An Australian study of such people showed that, among other things, people who score high on a test of marketing character are heavy consumers, uncritical of society and have a strong drive to publicise and promote themselves. With a 24-hour news cycle, public figures have been forced to become acutely wary of what they say in public. Frank authenticity has almost disappeared. Even the Today programme sometimes seems as if it has given up the struggle to uncover the truth. But, more profoundly, the present ruling elite � many of whom never knew a society that was not governed by Thatcherism or Blairism, have been forced from a young age to market themselves. The pursuit of money, status and fame (affluenza, materialism) are our primary values.
    /..
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/26/so-sentence-starter-artifice-manipulation

    ‘So’ is a funny little adverb isn’t it?

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    @ Komodo. 1 32pm

    Thanks for the link.

    But just who is he hinting at?

    “Mr Hoffkuk is the leading thug (sorry spokesperson) of the Zionist Federation and is frequently to be found engaging in vitriol, abuse and wild accusation (sorry ‘hasbara’). What is notable about dear Jonathan is his constant willingness to ‘go there’ – no pussyfooting around for him. So when others merely hint at it, Jonathan will happily declare that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism. He will have no hesitation about tarring all criticism, as ‘anti Israel’, and all opponents as either self-hating Jews or anti-semites. Naturally Jonathan declines to accept that the occupation exists, insists that Israel is a full democracy, that all its actions are 100% justifiable and that human rights campaigners are Islamists in disguise. Jonathan likes to turn up to left wing events and shout, heckle and genuine make an ass of himself. So far so good. But in his latest action Jonathan has surpassed himself.”

    ( I know. Just when you think she’s plumbed the depths Sofia stoops even lower! )

  • Komodo

    It looks as if the real antisemitic sin is putting the words “atrocity” and “Israel” in the same room together. (and see FJ’s third link @ 2:19)

    Like Ha’aretz did.

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israel-should-never-forget-its-mideast-atrocities-1.424506

    An awful reflection on our own leaders and journalists as much as on Israel’s propagandists that the same headline would be generally inadmissible in a UK paper. (by mutual consent not to attract a shitstorm from BICOM or its offspring)

    Our Press freedom is, de facto, worse than Israel’s. Apparently thanks to Israel. Go figure.

  • Komodo

    Sophia, it had crossed my mind that Hoffkuk and Hoffkuk were in fact the same poster. Thank you for confirming my suspicions. BTW, if you’re looking for your dad, I saw him earlier trying to look inconspicuous with a petrol can near the Teddington Mosque. Go and get him before he gets into trouble, eh?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Komodo (13h32)

    Excellent quotation in italics from a “Jewish commenter”!

    Here is part of it again, retouched slightly to bring it into accord with the efforts of some of the regular ‘contributors’ to this blog:

    “Flaming June, Komodo et al are so extreme, so constantly dogmatic, rude, intellectually dubious and pig headed that they constantly bring the anti-Israel and anti-Zionist forces, and their own cause, into disrepute. There can be only one explanation, that they are in fact Zionist moles trying to bring down the British anti-Israel and anti-Zionist movements. At this, they are doing an excellent job.”

    I have, actually, long harboured such a suspicion 🙂

  • Flaming June

    Are the scales are falling off? Habbakuk was the original handle in November 2012.

    Jonathan Hoffman Offline
    Religion: Judaism
    Title:Sophomore Member Join Date: Jan 2013
    Gender: Male
    Posts: 395
    Frubals: 21
    Jonathan Hoffman is an unknown quantity at this point

    Default

    Net.bible translates Hab 2:4 as
    2:4 Look, the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion, 12
    but the person of integrity 13 will live 14 because of his faithfulness. 15

    https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Habakkuk+2

    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/biblical-debates/144121-habbukuk-2-4-mistranslated-2.html

  • Passerby

    That last is SO funny.

    Yeah interesting! Kind of similar to kindergarten Crayon

  • Flaming June

    ‘Area C’. Ghastly is it not? South Africa had ‘areas’.

    Israel freezes co-operation with EU in Palestinian territories
    Move follows European Union directive banning funding for bodies linked with Israeli settlements

    guardian.co.uk, Friday 26 July 2013 12.07 BST

    Israel has frozen co-operation with the European Union on work in the Palestinian territories in retaliation for an EU directive banning funding or grants for bodies with links to Israeli settlements.

    The move, authorised by the defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon, affects all projects requiring permits from the Civil Administration, which governs Area C, the 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli control; access of EU diplomats and representatives to Area C and Gaza; and joint meetings.

    No permits have been issued to EU humanitarian aid workers to enter Gaza for several days, according to a western diplomatic source.
    /..
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/26/israel-freezes-co-operation-eu-palestinian

  • Flaming June

    John Kerry, a dead ringer for John McCain, and just as cruel. This is written by Jeffery St Clair, co editor of Counterpunch.

    The Blood-Soaked Resumé of a Peace Broker

    What John Kerry Really Did in Vietnam

    by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

    With John Kerry currently in full Henry Kissinger regalia, parading around the Middle East bullying the Palestinians and their allies in the region and Europe into signing onto a deeply flawed peace accord that primarily serves Israeli and American interests, it may prove a useful exercise to inspect the curriculum vitae of this putative peace-maker, especially during those formative years when the Secretary of State first carved out his name in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Though Kerry has a reputation as an anti-war activist, his brief tenure in Vietnam and Cambodia was notable both for acts of casual savagery and his striking lack of contrition for his own participation in atrocities that in a rational society might easily be classified as war crimes.–JSC

    In his senior year at Yale in 1966 John Kerry enlisted in the US Navy, with his actual induction scheduled for the summer, after his graduation. Already notorious among his contemporaries for his political ambition, he’d maneuvered himself into the top slot at the Yale political union, while also winning admission to Skull and Bones.

    While George W. Bush, two years behind Kerry, was seeking commercial opportunity at Yale by selling ounce bags of cocaine, (so one contemporary has recalled) Kerry was keeping a vigilant eye on the political temperature and duly noted a contradiction between his personal commitment to go to war and the growing antiwar sentiment among the masses, some of whom he hoped would vote for him at a not too distant time.

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/26/what-john-kerry-really-did-in-vietnam/

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    @Flaming. 2 31pm

    Sounds like a bunch of so and sos to me.

    Will it forever be so?

    This post is ,em> so scraping the barrel.

    So long or should I say “Slán”

    ….

    Lasmuigh den ábhar.

    An t-Asal Marbh

    Caitheann an tAth Ó Briain a shuil an tfhuinneog amach ar maidin agus cad tá ar an bhfaiche taobh amú roimhe ach asal marbh.

    Glaonn se ar oifig na nGardaí ar an dteileafon agus deireann,”Tá asal marbh ‘na luí ar m’fhaiche taobh amú. An misde cupla gardaí a cuireadh cugam i leith cun é a thogaint as?”

    “Cheapas i gcomhnui gur ar do churamsa e Óla Deireanach a cuireadh ar na marbh!” deireann an garda.

    Fanann an tAth Ó Briain in a thóst go cheann cupla noimeataí.

    Agus ansin deireann sé, “Is cheart dom eolas a cuireadh ar na ngeasghaol ardtus!”

  • Komodo

    Jonathan will happily declare that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism. He will have no hesitation about tarring all criticism, as ‘anti Israel’, and all opponents as either self-hating Jews or anti-semites. Naturally Jonathan declines to accept that the occupation exists, insists that Israel is a full democracy, that all its actions are 100% justifiable and that human rights campaigners are Islamists in disguise. Jonathan likes to turn up to left wing events and shout, heckle and genuine(ly) make an ass of himself…..

    Such a good link, I’ll post it twice.

    http://www.jewdas.org/2010/08/jonathan-hoffman-anti-zionist-hero/

  • Jemand - Censorship Improves History

    Komodo, thanks for the link re RW and flying pig with star of david.

    Interesting that most people can’t manage a fart in protest when a country’s flag is burnt but any desecration of the holy image of Israel is subjected to a coordinated attack like we see with humourous depictions of ProMo. Sometimes I think that Muslims and Jews deserve each other. If only they would keep their internecine affections for one another within the dusty boundaries of the (un)holy land.

  • Passerby

    Komodo Said;

    Jonathan will happily declare that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism. He will have no hesitation about tarring all criticism, as ‘anti Israel’, and all opponents as either self-hating Jews or anti-semites. Naturally Jonathan declines to accept that the occupation exists, insists that Israel is a full democracy, that all its actions are 100% justifiable and that human rights campaigners are Islamists in disguise. Jonathan likes to turn up to left wing events and shout, heckle and genuine(ly) make an ass of himself…..

    Agreed, it may even be better to be posted thrice, in case someone missed it .

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Komodo,

    The last 2000 years of human history proves your statement to be false. States have always been repressive and elites have always been unwilling to share their power with society. However; some of us generated progressive ideas that changes a lot in the course of two millenias. Some of us died for the progress and for what we now call freedoms. Absolutism and religious oppression of medieval Europe was turned into modern societies with representative system of power and religious freedoms. However; states now again trying to subvert these freedoms in order to do what they do the best – benefit elites.

  • Komodo

    I would like to offer this link to an address by a concerned Israeli Jew who spells out the difficulty he has in accepting the Netanyahu narrative. And confirms that Israel has NO INTENTION of permitting any kind of Palestinian state.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOaxAckFCuQ&feature=player_embedded&t=80

    The name of the game: erasing Palestine, getting rid of the people and de-Arabizing the country…

    “When people talk about the possibility of Israel… giving up the West Bank for a Palestinian state, if it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the objective of Zionism and the Zionist state.

    “By 1993 the Israelis had achieved their mission to make the conquest of the West Bank irreversible. By 1993 the Israeli government knew for certain that a Palestinian state could not be established in the West Bank – the settlements were there, $billions were invested, the entire Jordan River valley was settled… there was no place any more for a Palestinian state to be established. That is when Israel said, OK, we’ll begin negotiations…”

  • Komodo

    Not sure which of my statements you object to, Uzbek. What I would like to know is how we move from a corporate, greed-based political economy in which the vast majority are simply not discontented enough to move, and too well subdued by anodyne propaganda to realise that things will get gradually and subtly worse until they are restored to actual serfdom, in the absence of effective weaponry or any prospect of external aid…to an ideal society (on which we are bound to disagree anyway) I take Egypt as my model. What more should Egyptians have done to obtain a truly democratic state? They were pre-empted, outflanked and shafted by the global big battalions. The rise from feudalism to an acceptable system cannot be repeated by the same means. What means do you suggest?

  • Passerby

    UITU Said

    Absolutism and religious oppression of medieval Europe was turned into modern societies with representative system of power and religious freedoms.

    How did that go?

    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya;
    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya;
    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya;
    Oh, Lord, kumbaya.

    Or was it:

    Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha,
    Ging gang goo, ging gang goo.

    states now again trying to subvert these freedoms in order to do what they do the best

    Interesting, there are optimists believing there are degrees of freedom for the autonomous slaves, that are being eroded.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “Major Fein also stressed the direct connection between what Manning leaked and Al Qaeda, including information gathered when Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs.

    “He had actual knowledge that the enemies of the US used the Internet and WikiLeaks to gather information to be used against this country,” Fein said. “He knew releasing such information on the Internet would be in the hands of terrorists and other adversaries of this nation.””

    John Goss; Attorneys remarks are not evidence. Have they proven the ‘intent’ to aid the enemy?

    He talks about ‘reckless’ behavior and that’s a ways off from intent. A person can be guilty of being reckless while driving a car. If he kills a pedestrian and they want to prove intent so they can charge with murder, it’s a much steeper cliff.

    When the Prosecutor says ‘he knew releasing such information…..’ that only means he’s convinced, not the judge.

    But, the way the military has treated the journalists covering this story, I’m not sure of Judge Lind’s autonomy.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Passerby

    The results might be more important here than the process itself. Although if you are interested in the process, there is a lot of reading material available. This gradually happen in Europe more than anywhere else. Some argue that despite huge human cost two world wars greatly contributed to demise of religion in Europe at last.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “Unfortunately, assuming there is no war, nobody would know what, or which, currency to trust,”

    If the fabric of society were torn, any currency would most likely be untenable as trade. Foodstuffs, coffee, liquor and other items would be sought in exchange for other needs.

    Junk silver is recognized in many quarters as having intrinsic value based upon current market value. For example, even now with silver being pommeled it’s at $18 per oz. If you have a 1964 or earlier US half-dollar it has .336 oz of silver so it’s value is a bout 6 bucks. It’s not useful for apocalyptic scenarios, but it’s a good stopgap for short-term regional crises.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Komodo,

    If only I new good and applicable practical answer. Marxism could be good example of ideal or better say academic answer to this but as it turned out it was a disaster in practise.

    Further development of civil societies could be good way forward. Societies that less dependent of state and that have means of communication within and between each other (something like internet). However; as it is evident state (elites) is penetrating hard both means of communication is subverting further development of civil societies by eroding foundations of understanding of common good by replacing it with need of material benefits. For instance rising living costs and consumerism make people more silent and some would rather shut their eyes on wrong doings to keep their jobs (like many in FCO) than criticising and becoming scape goats.

  • Passerby

    Some argue that despite huge human cost two world wars greatly contributed to demise of religion in Europe at last.

    True some used to argue the Earth is flat, and others argued Earth was at the centre of the universe, and still there were those who argued, Blacks could not fly aircraft, in the very wars that evidently did so much for the cause of humanity, and its progress!

    There always is misanthropy, then there is bloody genocide, and of course there is the last option of would it not be nice for the Human vermin to disappear from the face of the Earth. All said and conveyed in the most palatable fashion of the zeitgeist!

1 2 3 4 5 6 23

Comments are closed.