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

by craig on July 25, 2013 4:44 pm in Uncategorized

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.





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  1. OMG…Poor Bradley Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy But Faces 130 Years in Prison
    All for exposing us war crimes – SAD SAD SAD

  2. I see this bloke has been posting again:

  3. Ben, 10.39pm

    Oh, no kidding is it a murky business. At the time James Ball claimed the “accidental” leaking of the NDA on Twitter was that he was having a Twitter discussion about it with another journo who half-inched stuff from Wikileaks, Heather Brooke (who manipulated a copy of Cablegate out of a stressed volunteer and ran off with it to the Guardian, which enabled them to break their contract with Wikileaks and attempt to cut them out), and he simply “forgot” to send it to her by Twitter DM (private message). It was instantly picked up by David Allen Green who used it in the New Statesman, which James Ball then bounced off to write his own smear article about it in the Guardian. Standard M.O.

    Don’t know how carefully you read that link to the Gibney transcript note, but my interpretation of this bit:

    While Assange was in prison it was discovered that someone had accessed the Sunshine Press press contacts account using an email client, and had mirrored its archive. Ball had briefly been given access to the account. Documents from the account subsequently appeared in the Guardian. [my emphasis] Physical documents went missing, and Ball’s behaviour became erratic.

    is that it was James Ball who stole the Swedish police protocol from the Wikileaks email account and leaked it to Nick Davies at the Guardian. Hence, like Heather Brooke, he was rewarded with a job at the Guardian. It was Nick Davies’ seriously skewed write up of the leaked protocol – entitled “10 Days in Sweden” – which really started the whole “rapist” smear campaign against Assange in the English-speaking media. As James Ball’s dates at Wikileaks are 23 November-15 December and Assange was in Wandsworth prison 7 December-16 December and Nick Davies’ article was published on 17 December, I reckon – allowing a couple of days to get cherrypicked parts of the protocol translated – that James Ball was Davies’ anonymous source.

    The little shit.

  4. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    30 Jul, 2013 - 11:04 pm

    Oh, I didn’t see that triangular connection, arbed.

    What about these guys?

  5. Ben, 11.04pm

    Der Spiegel gets a clean bill of health. They were actually the ones who tipped off Assange to the impending double-cross of the Guardian and New York Times, and played the peacemaker role when Assange went storming into the Guardian’s offices on 1st November with the lawyers and threatened to take the whole lot to rival media organisations if the pair of them didn’t behave. The double-cross apparently involved going ahead with publishing selected bits of Cablegate 10 days early, with Wikileaks cut out of the deal entirely (and, of course, the New York Times vetting whatever would be published with the White House first). It was actually an exceedingly cavalier and dangerous thing to do – not just to the then-unknown source Bradley Manning – but because Wikileaks still had people in the United States, who would have been put at incredible risk.

  6. Hi Ben…. agreed, Gandhi said something along the lines that Christianity sounds fine, but he’s just not so sure about our Christians. I agree that some of the principles the prophet Jesus is said to have put forward are very good indeed – in fact, most religions have at their heart a few core doctrines which would make the world so much better. Love thy neighbour. Do unto others as you would have done to do. Do not lie, cheat or steal, honour your parents, and don’t be greedy. Do not worship money.

    All quite simple, and as relevant today as they were in Biblical times. Organised religion seemed to be among the things Jesus most despised.

  7. In case anyone wants a smile:

    Richard Dawkins reads his hate emails

  8. Sofia @ 9;36
    Exelent, what a chuckle

  9. not just to the then-unknown source Bradley Manning

    Sorry, that should be ‘then-unconfirmed’. Although he’d been arrested and Wired had published the chatlogs between Bradass87 and Adrian Lamo, Manning had neither confessed at that point nor were the partial chatlogs released by Wired viewed as necessarily authentic, given their source.

  10. Dreoilin@ 11:20pm Another smile.

  11. Love the fascinator :)

  12. Habbabkuk wrote, “It may of course be mere fancy on my part, but is there not just a slight, sour smell of disappointment in the posts from the Eminences that Mr Manning has NOT been found guilty of aiding the enemy?”

    Surely that is mere fancy, and not sooth? For myself, I found considerable relief if not momentary joy when a colleague passed on the news during a conversation this afternoon. (He received it via something called a “text message”, I have not advanced much further than the telephone device.)


    The initial thought was that justice has shone through! Military justice has seen fit to ignore the wishes of the establishment. My elation was rapidly deflated upon hearing there were enough charges upheld, to incarcerate Manning for a significant term. All the same, at least the mandatory life sentence was not going to be imposed.

    Why would the Eminences be happy at a guilty verdict? I don’t read them that way at all. There are surely enough injustices to go around – another martyr is not required. Anon’s staggeringly distorted view of the interests and motives of the Left is not uncommon, it appears – but surely you, Habbabkuk, are not given to such gross misinterpretation?

    At worst, I thought lefties would be accused of insufficient worldliness – given to considering good in those who are downright rotten. Unduly indulgent – and arguably soft – on criminals, professional claimants, terrorists, generally insufficiently condemning and overly understanding at times.

    It’s rather strange to see motives attributed that never were there at all – to see lefties accused of outright lies when they claim concern, and to expect them to feel cheated by an outcome they purport to welcome. Very strange. Perhaps I will become more enlightened as to why this reaction was expected with more conversation.


    It occurs that the Right brings false concern and lies about their motives as a matter of course, so they assume their political opposites are surely doing the same. For instance, Tories feign concern about the well-being of the working man, claim a “free market” is about justice and equal competition for all, while their every single act ensures the tables are tilted in their favour. Neo-libertarian idealists are useful idiots and indulged.

    True independents (arguably, the relatively uninformed), looking at the blatant self-indulgence of the Right, and the hideous performance of the supposed Left (in the form of “New” Labour and the Obama administrations), might conclude that both are equally bereft of merit, and simply engaging in alternative forms of a cynical ploy to win power, by appealing to popularism.

    Do you feel any of the above explains the perceived motives of Leftists, and why it is thought they might have been disappointed by Mannings’ not guilty verdict on the major crime ?

  13. Habbakuk,

    “It may of course be mere fancy on my part, but is there not just a slight, sour smell of disappointment in the posts from the Eminences that Mr Manning has NOT been found guilty of aiding the enemy?”

    Oh dear.You really are scraping the barrel there.It reveals much about you Habbabkuk:You really are getting desperate and more twisted than usual-which is saying something.

  14. Glenn, great posts — balanced and comprehensive in attempt to cover every angle.

    My only issue with the general applicability of your observations to the Eminences here is that the ‘word’ is not the ‘thing’. The word compassion is not compassion itself. Mostly what i see here are Little Englander leftists who are bitter losers filled with hate, envy and jealousy. These people may or may not be Christians but do not demonstrate that they have thought through life wholly/holistically– including human suffering, anger, envy, jealousy, hate, desire, becoming, self-centred activities of the ego, transformation, the process of change — in a meaningful enough way for their claims of owning the ground of compassion to sit well with, for example, their practice of hate. This makes me deeply suspicious that they are in it for the game. Wanting to play with the structures of governance, these are not the people i would trust to help bring about change in the world and especially not through their perceived flag of compassion.

    There is some resonance in what i am saying to your observation “True independents (arguably, the relatively uninformed), looking at the blatant self-indulgence of the Right, and the hideous performance of the supposed Left (in the form of “New” Labour and the Obama administrations), might conclude that both are equally bereft of merit, and simply engaging in alternative forms of a cynical ploy to win power, by appealing to popularism.”

    I am just going further and peering into the human mind, the collective of which forms human consciousness and saying that true right action can only come after these verbose moaners and posters have taken a good honest look at themselves in the mirror of relationship, including the conduct of those here, and achieved a certain refinement of their dull minds before they can claim authentic intelligence from which true compassion might have a chance to flow. In the meantime, they are only fooling themselves. Even the Right can see through that have a good laugh at their expense which is happening.

  15. Sofia Kibo Noh

    31 Jul, 2013 - 7:59 am

    @Villager. 2 02am

    It is said that the best sermon goes over one’s head – and hits one’s neighbour.

    “The word compassion is not compassion itself.

    …bitter losers filled with hate, envy and jealousy…

    …do not demonstrate that they have thought through life wholly/holistically– including human suffering, anger, envy, jealousy, hate, desire…

    …their claims of owning the ground of compassion…

    true right action can only come after these verbose moaners and posters have taken a good honest look at themselves……..and achieved a certain refinement of their dull minds before they can claim authentic intelligence from which true compassion might have a chance to flow..

    I am just going further and peering into the human mind…”

    Thanks for the latest blockbuster, so dripping with condescension and ill will towards people whose motives and minds you will never penetrate.

    On the other hand the regular motions that you pass into these threads reveal much about yours.

  16. Sofia KN, are you going to reply to my question posed to you re your thought experiment on compassionate groups A & B?

    You sort of left me hanging there, leaving me to wonder if you realised that it might have demonstrated the opposite of what you had hoped.

  17. These people do not demonstrate that they have thought through life wholly/holistically– including human suffering, anger, envy, jealousy, hate, desire, becoming, self-centred activities of the ego, transformation, the process of change — in a meaningful enough way for their claims of owning the ground of compassion to sit well with, for example, their practice of hate. This makes me deeply suspicious that they are in it for the game. Wanting to play with the structures of governance, these are not the people i would trust to help bring about change in the world and especially not through their perceived flag of compassion.

    A Christian (I am not one) might say “Judge not that ye be not judged.”
    A certain kind of Buddhist (I am/not one) might say (as in Suzuki’s story):
    “When your mind is thus in a state of absolutely-doing-nothingness, the world is identified with your self, which means that you make no choice between right and wrong, like and dislike, and are above all forms of abstraction…”

    If you were the Buddha, Villager, you would not write what you have just written there. And yet you are the Buddha….manifest here and now. Embrace the duality!

  18. Because of the self there is the foe; when there is no self there is no foe

  19. Sofia Kibo Noh

    31 Jul, 2013 - 10:14 am

    @Jemand. 9 26am

    Apologies. I took your question for an answer.

    “Does this hypothetical exercise, absent of any real evidence, prove anything?”

    Answer. No.

    It was an exercise of the imagination and not presented as a proof.

    I was asking you to consider oddsnot inevitabilities.

    My reading of the odds in such a hypothetical situation is simply that I’d expect to have more of a chance of thriving if I was part of a population whose responses to each other were proportionately more compassionate. Over time I would expect such a population to be far more likely to thrive.

  20. As soon as ’you’ find a ’node’ ‘they’ r goin 2 find it 2
    So witchway r u going⅔ turn next¿¡

  21. Mine is not a search 4 ‘futility’
    It is an exercize in ‘meaning’

  22. I hate the fucking ‘fascists’ … whether they are the bnp edl ukip or ‘whatever’ … pt

  23. ‘How could “they” “gas” so many peop at once?’
    And thatt was ‘only’ treblinka (they had not got on to ‘ow twitch’ yet)

  24. Sofia Kibo Noh

    31 Jul, 2013 - 11:18 am

    @Ben. yesterday evening

    Thanks for all the posts on Bradley Manning’s show trial. What a hero!

    More irony and history from the “Land of the Free”:

    “As a father, it pains me what he did, but as an American citizen, I am absolutely thankful for what he did.’’ Lon Snowden

    National Whistleblower Day

    Howard Zinn “A People’s History of the United States”

    Dee Brown “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee “

  25. I am Bradley Manning
    But i am safe in my european home so i am never going to have to face the consequences for .,,

  26. These psychological analyses of us carried out remotely by Villager leave me gob smacked.

  27. Fastidious respond in return of this query with real arguments and explaining all regarding that.

  28. Glenn_uk

    Jesus pbuh may be coming back soon as a Muslim to Damascus if it exists after Obama has flattened it and its inhabitants in a few weeks time.

  29. Flaming June

    31 Jul, 2013 - 1:10 pm

    Hell hath no fury like an ex ….Tory party co-treasurer… scorned.

    ‘Mr Cruddas, standing outside the High Court, also criticised the Tory leadership, saying: “The fact remains that, when the story broke, the behaviour of the Conservative Party made the whole thing a lot worse.

    “The fact that Mr [David] Cameron said it was quite right I resigned [when] he didn’t have my side of the story.”

    He added: “The Conservative Party, by not giving me support… and lining up to criticise me in public, made the situation a lot worse.”‘

    Ex-Tory treasurer Cruddas wins £180,000 libel damages
    Peter Cruddas resigned as Conservative Party co-treasurer hours after the reports in March 2012
    Former Conservative co-treasurer Peter Cruddas has won £180,000 libel damages over Sunday Times allegations about charging to meet David Cameron.

  30. Kimodo dragoon
    Because there is no self there is no f.o.
    Because there iz nu fu there is no …
    Flaming June
    Because there is no fresh/new/nu psychologocical investigatiçion of …
    There is no ‘final solution’/’closure’ ..,
    Thank goodnesz!

  31. You are a bare-faced liar.

    You also hate Israel, and I’d say – judging by your latest frenzied series of posts – that you hate the good people who make you aware of your hatred.

    I see you have a good working knowledge of hatred yourself, old chum. Nice to see the real Old Testament prophet surfacing from the prolix and disdainful pixels you occupy here. And I get a real sense of achievement from that.

    You’re talking sewage. JFJFP addresses the matter, too.


    • Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza are mostly located on hilltops and dump manure, untreated sewage and wastewater into the valleys – polluting Palestinian water sources and agricultural land. According to 1997 figures from the West Bank, settlers were 6 times more polluting that Palestinians (300,000 settlers produced 30 mcm of wastewater a year, while in the same period, 1,870,000 Palestinians produced 31 mcm of wastewater).

    • Highly polluting Israeli industries are being relocated to the West Bank (again, on hilltops) to avoid Israeli environmental regulations. At least 200 industries in 7 industrial zones in the West Bank send untreated industrial effluents and wastewater into Palestinian streams and agricultural land.

    • In February 2001, Israel discharged 3.5 million cubic meters of untreated wastewater mixed with rainwater into northern Gaza strip towns.

    What’s not to love?

  32. Dr drag artist goon
    I don’t hate israel
    I simply recognize palestine

  33. Me too, Pt.
    But some don’t know the difference.

  34. Flaming June

    31 Jul, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    A video of the Israeli deliberate fouling with sewage of Palestinian land was one of the first You Tubes I saw when I went on the internet in 2007. Memorable for me. For the Palestinians it must be heartbreaking to see their land fouled in this way.

    Israel’s sewage war on Palestinian Farmers Part 1 of 4 Part 1

  35. K + fj
    Points acknowledged

  36. K + fj
    Points acknowledged
    Pt x

  37. Flaming June

    31 Jul, 2013 - 4:56 pm

    The Return of Martin Indyk

    ‘Now that Obama and Netanyahu have contrived another virtual peace process, he has come forward to offer his judgment that peace indeed is to be had. The initiative badly needs a supposedly authoritative seal of approval. For it is nonsensical to think that anything close to a meaningful agreement and stable settlement cam emerge from current conditions. Let’s remind ourselves of its cardinal features. An ultra right Israeli government headed by an avowed opponent to any serious concessions at whose side is Foreign Minister and governmental no. 2, Avigdor Lieberman, who has been described as a “Jewish fascist” by the most honest and prescient of Israeli commentators –Uri Avnery. That is one. An American president who has been humiliated repeatedly and personally by Netanyahu who holds over his head the drawn sword of the Israeli lobby. Obama was stared down on the settlements, cowed into submission to the point where he reflexively swallowed whole, and publicly parroted word by word the Jerusalem spin on the Gaza flotilla affair. That is two. Mushrooming Israeli settlements (all illegal) on the West Bank that, along with collateral infrastructure, have eaten up a large fraction of Palestinian land. Those ‘facts on the ground’ are three. Then there is the hapless Mr. Abbas – used as a dish rag by both the Israelis and Americans – whose sole value for them is as signatory of an accord composed and issued jointly by Netanyahu and Obama. The fact that Abbas’ authority has been shredded by his repeated forced obeisance to the will of the Palestinians’ keepers is conveniently overlooked. A nominal President whose writ, such as it is, runs for only half the people and territory of Palestine he officially represents, he still will suffice for the legal formalities to be met. That is four.’

  38. I hope everyone didn’t misunderstand my “31 Jul, 2013 – 1:08 am” post… glanced at, it might appear to mean the opposite of its intent.

  39. It’ll be a sad sad day that Villager concludes her mission amongst us, and returns jungingly to quieter and even more remote contemplation

  40. Sofia Kibo Noh

    31 Jul, 2013 - 7:09 pm

    Glen. 5 37pm

    Re your 1 08am post “…why would the Eminences be happy at a guilty verdict?”

    No danger of your piece being misunderstood by anyone who took the trouble to read it. And your stuff is always worth the effort.

    At worst you were feeding the trolls. But then, aren’t most of us guilty on that charge and they’ll infest blogs like this whether we feed them or not.

    And to be fair on the useless feckers, they do spark of some interesting and amusing exchanges and make sure that issues like justice for the Palestinians and the more informative posters get plenty of attention. We could petition Haifa Uni to give us some better ones, but like they say, “the devil you know…”

    I’m sure the comments threads would wither a bit if all we could do here is agree with each other?

    So please keep on posting your insights. You have at least one fan.

  41. Flaming June

    31 Jul, 2013 - 7:11 pm

  42. Sofia: You are very kind, thank you for the assurance that at least some sense could be made of that post :)

  43. Komodo
    U are terrifying in ur knowingness
    Flaming july

    &thenitwereaugust in thesubjunctive

  44. Komodo
    U are terrifying in ur knowingness
    Flaming july

    &thenitwereaugust in thesubjunctive

    Pt x

  45. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    31 Jul, 2013 - 8:25 pm

    Glenn; You were missed. Glad you are back and hopefully fit-as-a-fiddle. Now if we could just get Clark back on a schedule. Cryptonym and Guano, likewise.

  46. technicolour

    31 Jul, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    Glenn, very considered and comprehensive response, much appreciated, thanks.

  47. technicolour

    31 Jul, 2013 - 9:22 pm

    ps I’m not good enough to be left wing :)

  48. technicolour

    31 Jul, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    For example, I was overwhelmed with something when it turned out that Bradley Manning was not going to be sentenced to death, but it was a combination of relief and gratitude – and horror and disgust that this was ever the possibility. I can’t say how I feel about the idea that he faces life in prison for espionage, because the fact that he was found guilty of espionage in the first place seems unworthy of even typing: we know what a spy is, and it was not Bradley Manning. Did he plead guilty to those charges after his ‘cruel and inhuman’ torture on remand?

  49. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    31 Jul, 2013 - 11:09 pm

    Tech; not sure if you saw this yesterday, but the irony and synchronicity of the date July 30 boggles the mind.

    “The law passed by the Continental Congress on July 30, 1778, declared that it was the “duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by an officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”

    It was passed unanimously in response to a whistleblower, Marine Captain John Grannis, who presented a petition to the Continental Congress on March 26, 1777, to have a commander of the Continental Navy, Commodore Esek Hopkins, suspended after he tortured British sailors who were captured.”

    Nuff said?

  50. Sofia wrote, “

    @Glenn. 5 44 and 5 53pm

    I can understand privileged right-wing parasites thinking their entitlement to our taxes is a good thing.

    What baffles me is the “clever” apologists and the obviously willing crowds who line the streets to wave plastic flags (made in China) and, when they can, give their votes to privileged right-wing parasites.”

    About the “clever” apologists – the privileged right-wing parasites you mention have enough money to hire people to tell them what they want to hear. John Kenneth Galbraith, economist to F. Roosevelt, said in the 1930s : “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises moral philosophies, that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    The apologists for these philosophies believe this stuff, they are sociopaths, or they just rationalise it as having to make a good living. Or some combination thereof. Somewhat akin to gun-runners – somebody would do it, so why not do it myself? And maybe I can can steer it in a better direction, etc., as Blair rationalised his pitching in with Dubbya’s invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    The flag-wavers are rather sadder, IMO… they simply think they are doing the right thing, being patriotic, even regarding it as wholesome entertainment. After all, it’s officially sanctioned, The Sun et al promotes this flag-waving as simply good citizenship, the BBC reports on it all day long, so they’ll get no criticism and possible brownie points.

    The fact that these filthy Tories get elected for anything, anywhere – even dog-catcher in a rough area – is testimony to the power of propaganda, generalised stupidity and ignorance, and nothing else.

  51. Tech/ Ben: Thanks. Much appreciated.

  52. Flaming June

    1 Aug, 2013 - 8:25 am

    XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’

    • XKeyscore gives ‘widest-reaching’ collection of online data
    • NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
    • Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history
    • NSA’s XKeyscore program – read one of the presentations

    Glenn Greenwald
    31 July 2013 13.56 BST

  53. “The program allows intelligence officials to conduct surveillance even when their targets are unknown, or are performing supposedly anonymous activity such as browsing the web. Unlike other systems, it does not require a “strong selector,” such as an email address or IP address, to conduct surveillance.”

  54. Flaming June

    1 Aug, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    Weird weather. It’s 29C here with 76% humidity. Thank goodness for potable water out of the tap. Tomorrow back to 15C apparently.

  55. Sofia Kibo Noh

    1 Aug, 2013 - 4:24 pm

    Turbine à Glace Professionnelle 11:26 am

    “This post is worth everyone’s attention. How can I find out more?”

    Welcome to the menagerie.

    Opinions and links aplenty to explore. A wonderfully diverse blog-ecology filled with creatures of passion, intellect and compassion, sly parasites, noisy drunks, clever chappies and paid henchmen. Who could ask for anything more?

    What will you bring?

    Thanks Craig for creating this space.

  56. From time to time in (un)certain social situations …
    A drunk appears
    Babbles somewhat ambiguously for a while
    Then disappears …

  57. Ditto SKN
    Thanks Craig (and allies) for creating this space.

  58. Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian appears to have opened a Q&A section on Reddit regarding the Guardian and Snowden

    A couple of interesting questions were asked regarding Snowden and Assange:

    [–]wokkachikka 17 points 1 day ago
    Given how the relationship between The Guardian and Assange soured quite spectacularly, did you approach this story and Snowden differently?

    No answer from Rusbridger

    [–]mickstep 130 points 1 day ago
    1, What do you think of Noam Chomsky’s and Edward Herman’s Propaganda Model?
    2, Does the propaganda model apply to the Guardian/Observer? If not why not?
    3, Do you have a response to Craig Murray’s claim about Amelia Hill’s article about Julian Assange addressing the Oxford Union ?

    [–]alanrusbridger[S] 123 points 1 day ago
    1: I haven’t read it. On my reading list: along with Middlemarch, War and Peace and Harry Potter.
    2: I’ll let you know once I’ve read it
    3: Not really. His most explosive Guardian revelation to date is that I wear a wig (I don’t)

    I find it interesting the the editor of a so-called left wing newspaper isn’t aware of the propaganda potential of journalism and how the state uses that potential. The answers to the seconds and third questions are suitably evasive.

  59. The Grauniad seems to have been quite active in releasing Snowden’s material. A good one today on GCHQ’s cosy relationship with NSA…R4 News mentioned it too.

    MSM front page – sorry.

    Facts You Always Knew But No-one Would Ever Admit Them.

  60. Flaming June

    2 Aug, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    The ConDems have flogged off our blood plasma (given freely by volunteers inc me for +25 years for their sick and injured brothers and sisters) to the privateers.

    Unbloodybelievable. I am getting really angry.

    Their project to privatise the NHS will go down the pan, if slowly.

    They have had to take back the operations of Clinicenta, a division of Carillion, who were running Listercare in Stevenage. Mind you our taxes have paid £53m for the privilege. A lose lose situation.

  61. Thanks for you apt description above Arbed, Nick Davies is a little shit and his actions have led to a series of consequences he should be hauled over a barrel for. He and Martin Indyk have a lot of smell in common.

    ‘I was so relieved to hear that Lt. William caley, war criminal, only got three years for murdering a whole village of civilians in Vietnam.’

    US logic, ha, a contradiction in terms if there ever was one, follows that Bradley Manning should get life, should he not?

    Will the verdict be a judgement on the US judicial system? will it have progressed since the heady days of ‘collecting gooks ears for beer’?

    off course if you are educated, as Lt. Caley was, he would have used the term Victor Charlie for Viet Cong.

    Free Bradley Manning NOW!

  62. Just to remind those clambering for arguments to send BM down for life that this war crime has yet to come to trial and is one of the few that is known.
    As far as we know there could be dozens of other incidents.

  63. Yonatan, at 9:03am: Underlying the substance of the specific and very relevant points you attempted to raise with Rusbridger, only shamefully to be dismissed as ‘just another peasant’ is a deeper, structural fact. As in a private school Debating Society, sections of the ruling class assume various rhetorical positions but remain the ruling class. Only they can instrumentalise consent and dissent and only through them is art, politics and the generally accepted view of the world mediated by these things deemed credible. Rusbridger’s typically metropolitan, snobbish response to you is a superb example of Chomsky and Herman’s model but it also exemplifies a very British social class narrative.

  64. An interview with Adam Michnik, long time Solidarity member and political dissident. here he speaks about the current nationalism that is sweeping Eastern Europe.

    It is the sort of view of Eastern European countries you rarely find discussed here.

  65. I absolutely love the latest statement by Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, the dirty little money-laundry for international criminals who are helped to salt their money away by MI6.

    Clearly saying what he really ‘thinks’, he says the Spanish government is acting “like North Korea”.

    Yeah, sure, mate.

    This is pigshit-stupid Tory kneejerking in action. Guardian readers, trendy this that and the other, ‘lefties’ of all descriptions, trade union militants, reformers of all kinds, pacifists, Quakers, ultraleftists, anti-monarchists, ‘intellectuals’, Christians who run food banks, opponents of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, and above all, FOREIGNERS and those who have any truck with them – we were all once upon a time told to GET BACK TO RUSSIA. There’s something bloody wrong with the lot of us!

    We’re nothing but bandwagon-jumpers. We’ve got absolutely no thoughts in our heads and absolutely no solid base on which to stand our attitudes. We don’t think at all.

    Either that, of course, or our opponents have got rabies.

    Rabies, with little pictures of the ‘Queen’ and a slogan saying ‘INHERITED WEALTH FOREVER!’ imprinted on every single virus.

    Don’t let any facts get in the way. Never mind, for example, that when Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev came to Britain in 1956 he said that if he were British he’d vote Conservative.

    Only a trendy lefty would make such an irritating point, right?

    But it’s not ‘Get back to Russia’ any more.

    Oh no; times’ have moved on. For anyone who’s opposed in any way to the absolute right of inherited wealth, to the cesspools of vomit known as ‘queen, country, and Tory Party’, nowadays it’s “HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE IN NORTH KOREA?”

    Shall I tell you what? These morons are going to do themselves big-time harm if they maintain this kind of orientation. They’re sounding increasingly like the hangers-on around the Hohenzollerns, Habsburgs and Romanovs in 1917-18. More please! Give it the best you’ve got!

  66. @Nevermind

    Thanks for the Adam Michnik link. If you are interested in profound aspects of what has been going on in eastern Europe but which are hardly ever discussed in western Europe, you will also find the writings of Georg Tamas very useful.

    I would especially recommend this article.

    Tamas, who was an MP in Hungary in the early 1990s, mentions facts such as the following:

    1) In Poland, 41 MPs proposed a bill to appoint Jesus Christ as honorary president of Poland, with some wanting to amend this to honorary king. The speaker threw it out on a technicality, not daring to risk a vote because they might have won.

    2) In Hungary, MPs discussed for 5 months what the republican coat of arms should be, and decided that it should include the holy crown; but there was no significant debate on unemployment when 2 million jobs disappeared in a country with a population of 10 million.

  67. I’m posting this spammish comment because I note that the number of comments on this thread has been ‘666’ for a week or more. And as we know, if the comments close at ‘666’ on any thread on any blog on the web, the world will begin to end. If the world begins to end, we shall have to summon Bruce Willis to save it – a prospect worse than Armageddon. Hence this post, which will save the world, if not from mutual assured destruction, then at least from Bruce Willis.

  68. You end your article saying The state is the enemy. We are the people. This truth is often forgotten by the people – and the likes of Stephen Fry – who get taught who to hate by media manipulation of the west’s enemies and lack of disclosure about its friends.

  69. Flaming June

    19 Aug, 2013 - 8:31 am

    If confirmation was needed that this is a fascist country, read on. It was referred to earlier by Ben Franklin.

    Glenn Greenwald’s partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours
    David Miranda, partner of Guardian interviewer of whistleblower Edward Snowden, questioned under Terrorism Act

    All his electronic equipment was confiscated for good measure. Mrs May’s goons are at this moment trawling through the hard drives.

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