The Security State Crushes Ever Tighter 496

The disgraceful judges of Britain’s High Court – who have gone along with torture, extraordinary rendition, every single argument for mass surveillance and hiding information from the public, and even secret courts – have ruled that it was lawful for the Home Office to detain David Miranda, a journalist as information he was carrying might in some undefined way, and if communicated to them, aid “terrorists”.

Despite the entire industry, both private and governmental, devoted to whipping up fear, it is plain to pretty well everyone by now that terrorism is about the most unlikely way for you to die.  A car accident is many hundreds of times more likely.  Even drowning in your own bath is more likely.  Where is the massive industry of suppression against baths?

I had dinner inside the Ecuadorian Embassy on Sunday with Julian Assange, who I am happy to say is as fit and well as possible in circumstances of confinement.  Amongst those present was Jesselyn Radack, attorney for, among others, Edward Snowden.  Last week on entering the UK she was pulled over by immigration and interrogated about her clients.  The supposed “immigration officer” already knew who are Jesselyn Radack’s clients.  He insisted aggressively on referring repeatedly to Chelsea Manning as a criminal, to which Jesselyn quietly replied that he was a political prisoner.  But even were we to accept the “immigration officer’s” assertion, the fact that an attorney defends those facing criminal charges is neither new nor until now considered reprehensible and illegitimate.

As various states slide towards totalitarianism, a defining factor is that their populations really don’t notice.  Well, I have noticed.  Have you?




496 thoughts on “The Security State Crushes Ever Tighter

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  • Mary

    ‘Following Edward Snowden’s revelations of GCHQ’s mass collection of personal data (including phone calls, emails and use of social media), Mr Graham has written to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chair of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.

    “We have said there has got to be a democratic and accountable oversight regime for the security services’ access to data; we have got to understand how it works,” he says. “It’s no longer convincing to have a senior Privy Councillor saying ‘OK chaps, it’s fine’.”

    He says the public is more exercised by the NHS England programme of a giant store of individual medical records than it is worried about Snowden.

    “People have been challenging me on the bus about That’s the talking point but Snowden hasn’t been, which is kind of a surprise.”

    He is critical of the NHS’s efforts to explain the system, saying the ICO had advised individual letters to all patients.

    “They said ‘No, we’re going to do a leaflet.’ I never received my leaflet,” he says.’

    Privacy guardian Christopher Graham finds himself in the public eye

  • Kempe

    “National Service bill ”

    A private member’s bill from loony tune Tory backbencher Philip Hollobone which stands zero chance of ever reaching the statute books.

    Don’t loose any sleep over it.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Mr Doug S.

    “Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    23 Feb, 2014 – 1:23 pm

    Doug Scorgie says:
    “…it is disturbing but not surprising; power corrupts.”

    “I would tend to agree with that and therefore draw the conclusion that many of the woes and travails of humanity have their roots in the nature of the human being himself and are not unique to the UK, the USA and the West.”

    Quite true Habbabkuk not unique at all.

    Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. History is full of examples.

    A prime example being Hitler’s Nazis and the extermination camps.”

    I agree completely.

    And would add the Russian communists and the Soviet Union as another prime example.

    I’m sure we can agree on that.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    Yes, Glenn, I did, and apologies for not replying so far (I might try later today) – I was a little taken up with correcting various bits of guff as you may have noticed. 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Mr Doug S.

    “Habbabkuk “Vodka Blamed for Dismal Russian Life Expectancy Figures”

    Phew! At least that’s something the US and the West can’t be blamed for!

    Of course I’m familiar with the Article in The Lancet cited in that link of yours. I did think of bringing it up myself but then thought it would be better if someone else did, lest I be accused of hostility to Russia.

    And of course it is a fact that alcohol and in particular vodka could be taxed much more heavily in Russia than it currently is – which would have, if experience in the West with the taxation of tobacco is anything to go by, have the effect of reducing consumption – but the Russian govt cynically prefers not to do so, finding it better to let people keep killing themselves.

    If the West stands accused of providing its citizens with “bread and circuses”, perhaps the Russian slogan should read “vodka and circuses”?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Mr Doug S.

    “Resident Dissident
    23 Feb, 2014 – 10:25 pm

    “President Putin likes to keep the tradition of rewriting history going”

    “Just imagine if Michael Gove were to try and go so far!”

    He did:

    With great respect, your comment/comparison is ridiculous and devalues any sensible commentary you might occasionally make on this blog. I invite readers to take the time to read the link you provide.

  • Mary

    Hollobone is a leading light in the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby in our parliament. donations to him and to the rest of them. Keep clicking ‘Next’ after page 4.

    His recent actions –

    National Service Bill Sponsor Philip Hollobone Wants People To Sign Petition Against It

    Tory MP’s ban the burqa bill reaches parliament
    Philip Hollobone, who refuses to meet constituents who wear the veil, has tabled a bill making it illegal to wear “face coverings” in public.

    No Romanians, no travellers, no sites for them and so on. Little love in his heart but I suppose it’s OK by him for the Israeli war criminals to come and go here with impunity.

    He is a Kettering borough councillor (allowance £436 a month) and a Special Constable for British Transport Police. Gets free all zones travel on a pass valued at £3,256.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Ba’al Zevul

    “The New Statesman is no more objective than the Jerusalem Post,….”

    Probably not – which merely serves to demonstrate that it might be more sensible to reference more objective and non-partisan sources, surely? In matters which are in dispute, it’s not very convincing for you to say “x” and then attempt to authenticate your point of view by referring to a source which also says “x”.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    “Hollobone is a leading light in the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby in our parliament.”

    Here we go again! Relevance to a discussion on a private member’s bill on national service? We’re not eben on Page 5, for God’s sake! 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    @ Ba’ar Zevul

    “It’s a pity you can’t bring yourself pick the nits out of the Israeli Basic Law as diligently as you search for them in anything remotely supporting the Palestinian case for self-determination in their own native land.

    And I see you are a big fan of obfuscation and weasel words. But thank you for confirming that the concept of equality before the law (you can ask the thousands of Palestinians held without charge or access for years in Israeli jails about that) was too inconvenient to be formally embodied in the code, and get-out clauses had to be liberally sprinkled over the mess in case anyone thought the original terms of the D of I were anything but a cosmetic measure designed to appease the UN.”

    I think I’ll have to pick up a couple of points here before going on to the next thread.

    1/. Have I pronounced on the case for Palestinian self-determination on the West Bank (except to point to the responsibility of Jordan for ensuring that a Palestinian state didn’t come into being before 1967)?

    2/. One man’s facts are another’s obfuscation and weasel words, I guess.

    3/. “But thank you for confirming that the concept of equality…. was too inconvenient to be formally embodied in the code,..”

    Not inconvenient at all. By definition, the Basic Law of 1992 applies to all citizens of Israel, whether Jews or Arabs, and contains a lengthy lists of rights and freedoms. May I suggest you read it?

    4/. “(you can ask the thousands of Palestinians held without charge or access for years in Israeli jails about that)”

    These are not Israeli Arabs, and he subject of this mini-thread was equality between Israeli citizens within Israel. You should stay on-topic and not seek to divert.

    5/. “Meanwhile in Gaza, the involuntarily stateless persist in their ghetto.”

    Same comment as for point 4.


  • nevermind

    Re: Timoschenko. it has to be said that the western stooge is not liked much and most commenters do not want her in any position of power, which is understandable, people had enough of the usual party politicians.

    Watch the educated Mr. Klitschko, not promising anything except that hge will ‘do his best’.

  • Mary

    February 24, 2014

    The Secret Alliance
    Zionism in the Age of the Dictators


    I’m American, but my first book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators (now finally back in print), was published in Britain. American houses wouldn’t risk selling an expose of Zionist collaboration with Hitler. Then I found pro and anti-Zionist books published by Croom Helm Ltd. I went to them. They gave me an ultimatum: “You are about to write the most controversial book imaginable…. So there can be no mistakes. You must send us a photocopy of every document you quote.” It was published in 1983.

    While British leftists organized a lecture tour for me, I went to Israel. By luck, that visit ultimately generated international attention to the book.

    When Menachem Begin retired and Yitzhak Shamir became Israel’s 2nd Likud Prime Minister, I had a Palestinian English-language weekly publish a translation of his 1940-41 outfit’s offer to go to war on Hitler’s side. An Israeli newspaper questioned him about it. I went on to London and there, in the 21 October Times, was the PM’s lie:

    “Shamir… denied that he had any part in the efforts by Mr. Abraham Stern… to establish contact with the Nazis and Italian Fascists.

    ‘There was a plan to turn to Italy for help and to make contact with Germany on the assumption that these could bring about a massive Jewish immigration to Palestine. I opposed this… but I did join Lehi after the idea of contacts with the Axis countries was dropped.’”

    The “Proposal of the National Military Organization (Irgun Zvai Leumi) Concerning the Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and the Participation of the NMO in the War on the side of Germany” was found post-war in Germany’s Turkish embassy. The Sternists declared that

    “The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

    Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”


    PS As Basil Fawlty said, ‘Don’t mention the Germans’. !!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    “Wiltshire is the new North Waziristan.”

    Mary, would you mind if I sent this off to Private Eye? They have a column for the best “this is the new that” quotes.

    I would identify it as “Mary” in “Craig Murray’s political blog.”.

    Rapid OK required ‘cos I want to send it off tomorrow.

  • Mary

    Please consider signing the following petition to get Israel out of FIFA (international football association), and encourage others who might be interested:

    “X has been working on a campaign focusing on football. As a sport with fans worldwide, it offers the opportunity to considerably broaden awareness of Israeli racist/apartheid policies. This also raises the question of acceptance of Israeli participation in international football & other sporting organizations & puts pressure on the Israeli authorities. His ‘Red Card Israeli Racism’ campaign has now posted a petition on to suspend the Israeli Football Association’s FIFA membership. We’re asking you to sign & to pass it on to as many people as possible.

    Impetus has been added to this campaign by a recent vicious attack by the IDF on two young footballers returning home after football training in Abu Dis. So we are also sending a link to Susan Shalabi’s blog, which includes photos of these boys & their injuries along with information regarding other sports related transgressions. Susan is Director, International Dept., Palestinian Football Association & Member of the Executive Committee of the Asian Football Confederation. Link to the blog is below next paragraph.

    We understand from our local Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association that this attack on the boys appears to have been unprovoked & no charges have been made against them. They were first shot with live ammunition, then beaten & set upon by the soldiers’ attack dogs, taken away & beaten again with particular attention given to breaking their knees. They were initially taken to an Israeli military camp for some hours &, subsequently, to a hospital in Israel for four days with no family contact allowed. Adam’s mother, who is from Ukraine, could in theory have gone into Israel to see her son but was threatened with deportation if she attempted to do so. The boys were released from the Israeli hospital without any charges having been brought & taken by their families to a hospital in Ramallah. Unfortunately, that hospital hadn’t the facilities to deal with the seriousness of their injuries, so we’ve heard that they are now in hospital in Jordan. Given what you already know, this sort of incident may not surprise you, but it would shock many who should, perhaps, be shocked into action – even if it’s only to sign a petition.

    Blog (with photos):

  • doug scorgie

    Ba’al Zevul (Etc)
    24 Feb, 2014 – 8:29 am

    “For very detailed treatment of the untruth of Israeli justification of its actions, and for analysis of why its policies are actually doing neither Israel nor the US any good, see:”

    ‘The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’ by Mearsheimer and Walt –

    Excellent book, also I recently bought “Goliath” by Max Blumelthal, another excellent book.

    Strangely I couldn’t find it in Waterston’s.

    If you go to Waterstons website and search for Goliath it does not appear.

    If you search for Max Blumenthal you will find the book is unavailable but you can have it as an e-book.

    I got it from Amazon.

  • Mary

    This decent American woman stands up for truth and justice and for the upholding of the law

    Under International Law, Drone Wars are Illegal
    Judy Bello
    February 22, 2014, 7:47pm

    ‘On January 31, I made the following argument before a Court in the town of DeWitt where I was charged with Disorderly Conduct for protesting the MQ9 Reaper drones flown from Hancock Base over Afghanistan.. I argue that the War on Terror is illegal under International Law and drone attacks in particular violate both Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law. Furthermore, by virtue of the Constitution of the United States, we are committed to abide by those laws and under the Bill of Rights, it is our privilege to uphold those laws.’

    Following her defence, she concluded

    ‘We cannot ignore the fact that these laws are often broken; often restated in new language. It seems to me that war is much like an addiction, deadly and difficult to end. We vow to quit, then fail, and recover and relapse again and again. This does not mean that we should cease trying. Every treaty and promise to repudiate the deadly violence of war, and restrain the instruments that make it easy for us to engage in war, must be held up and honored, over and over again until justice prevails, and we are at last free to live as civilized human beings in peace and security with other individuals and other nations.

    That is why I was at Hancock Base on October 25, 2012 and that is why I am here today. I am not asking you, Judge Gideon, to try defendants under these laws as the Nuremberg Judges were required to do. That is not your job. What I am asking is that you acknowledge our obligations under these laws, along with my obligation and privilege to uphold them under the Constitution and acquit me and my companions of the current charges under Penal Code 35.05 which says that we may justify an act that would otherwise constitute an offense when it is authorized by a law or judicial decree.’


  • Mary

    Israel Murdering Palestinian Grandmothers Under Cover Of The Holocaust

    Video By RT

    Sir Gerald Kaufman MP says his grandmother didn’t die in the holocaust to provide a cover for Israelis killing Palestinian grandmothers today — speaking in the British parlaiment on 5 February 2014

    February 23, 2014

    Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, speaking in the British parliament on 5 February 2014.

    I once led a delegation of 60 parliamentarians from 13 European Parliaments to Gaza. I could no longer do that today because Gaza is practically inaccessible.

    The Israelis try to lay the responsibility on the Egyptians, but although the Egyptians’ closing of the tunnels has caused great hardship, it is the Israelis who have imposed the blockade and are the occupying power.

    The culpability of the Israelis was demonstrated in the report to the UN by Richard Goldstone following Operation Cast Lead. After his report, he was harassed by Jewish organisations. At the end of a meeting I had with him in New York, his wife said to me, “It is good to meet another self-hating Jew.”

    Again and again, Israel seeks to justify the vile injustices that it imposes on the people of Gaza and the west bank on the grounds of the holocaust. Last week, we commemorated the holocaust; 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza are being penalised with that as the justification. That is unacceptable.

    The statistics are appalling. There is fresh water for a few hours every five days. Fishing boats are not allowed to go out—in any case, what is the point, because the waters are so filthy that no fish they catch can be eaten?

    The Israelis are victimising the children above all. Half the population of this country is under the voting age. What is being done to those children—the lack of nutrition—is damaging not only their bodies and brains; it will go on for generation after generation.

    It is totally unacceptable that the Israelis should behave in such a way, but they do not care. Go to Tel Aviv, as I did not long ago, and watch them sitting complacently outside their pavement cafés. They do not give a damn about their fellow human beings perhaps half an hour away.

    The Prime Minister says that Gaza is a prison camp. It is all very well for him to say that, as he did, in Turkey—he was visiting a Muslim country—but what is he doing about it? Nothing, nothing, nothing!

    The time when we could condemn and think that that was enough has long passed. The Israelis do not care about condemnation. They are self-righteous and complacent. We must now take action against them.

    We must impose sanctions. If the spineless Obama will not do it, we must do it—even unilaterally. We must press the European community for it to be done. These people cannot be persuaded. We cannot appeal to their better nature when they do not have one.

    It is all very well saying, “Wicked, wicked Hamas.” Hamas is dreadful. I have met people from Hamas, but nothing it has done justifies punishing children, women and the sick as the Israelis are doing now. They must be stopped.

    As has been pointed out, there is a time limit for what we are talking about. The idea that things can go on, while we wait for a two-state solution, is gone. Sooner or later, the Palestinians will say, “We are dying anyhow, so let us die for something.”

    Let us stop that: I do not want a war. I do not want violent action, but the action that the international community takes must be imposed, otherwise hell will break loose.

    Via Stop The War

  • testing

    I think this blog’s comment section currently violates my mental boundaries. How am I supposed to leap from someone’s hairstyle to war crimes in Gaza in the space of a quick scroll down?

    And how can I possibly read all the links? And how can I trust their veracity – especially if there is obvious ill-will behind them?

  • mike

    Here’s oven-ready McCain, with a rather interesting, er, friend in Ukraine last December.

    We couldn’t close Tartus and I doubt if we’ll manage Sevastopol either. Time to prod a basket case Japan into challenging China’s ADIZ, methinks.

    And here’s the Beeb, making Big Brother nice and normal for us. Is it a militarised police force or the army doing law enforcement? Hey, that’s one of those blurred lines that doesn’t really matter cos it’s all one big fear factory anyway.

    Fuck ’em.

  • glenn_uk

    Habbabkuk wrote, “Yes, Glenn, I did, and apologies for not replying so far (I might try later today) – I was a little taken up with correcting various bits of guff as you may have noticed.”

    That’s quite alright, I do fully appreciate that you have many correspondents to entertain 😉

    Just so long as you didn’t think your interesting and – as ever – decidedly pointed questions were being ignored, we can pick it up on a future occasion.

  • Mary

    Leading party says Soros prepares “Libyan scenario” for Ukraine

    April 14, 2011
    Davos: A Hungarian-American financier George Soros. (AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)

    Ukraine’s leading political party has said that the international financier George Soros has been preparing a “Lybian scenario” for the country.

    ­The head of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction Aleksandr Yefremov said in a televised comment on Wednesday that he had information that George Soros had allocated funds for the overthrow of the Ukrainian political authorities.

    “I even have information that Soros has allocated certain funds in order to prepare a certain group of young boys here in Ukraine who could launch any existing projects based on the North Africa examples,” Yefremov said. He also added that he hoped that the Ukrainian people will be wise enough not to follow such provocations.

    The information about George Soros’s involvement in Ukrainian politics was openly voiced by Yulia Timoshenko in 2008. Timoshenko, then the country’s prime minister, said that she was attempting to minimize the effect of the global financial crisis by following George Soros’s advice. This raised suspicions that through such advice George Soros could influence the rate of the Ukrainian national currency in his own speculative interests. Several officials from president Yushchenko’s administration said they wanted to launch a probe into Soros’ Ukrainian activities, but it did not happen.

    It was only in 2010 that the Ukrainian State Security Service started to check the activities of the Vozrozdeniye foundation, officially sponsored by Soros, and its ties with other Ukrainian NGOs, but this probe gave no feasible results.

    The Soros Foundation reacted to Yefremov’s statement almost immediately and refuted all accusations. The foundation said in a special statement that all funds allocated for Ukrainian programs are being spent on the development of the open and democratic society and also for helping Ukrainian citizens, who suffered from the effects of the international financial crisis.

    The statement also said that the accusations of funding some antigovernment activities should be backed by proof and that the policy of the foundation was maximum transparency that left no room for such criticism.

  • mike

    From BBC today: “Mr Begg, a British citizen originally from Birmingham, moved to Afghanistan with his family in 2001 before moving to Pakistan in 2002 when the war started.”

    The War????? That was a war?

    And they can’t even get the fuckin date right: the bombing started in October 2001.

  • Mary

    Compare Moazzam Begg’s arrest in the West Midlands with three others for Syria related terrorism to British Jews allowed to go to Israel for military training.

    Asked by Baroness Tonge in the House of Lords 24 February 2014

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Jewish students domiciled in the United Kingdom travel to Israel each year for military training. [HL5251]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Ministry of Defence does not hold this information.

    Answer was there none.

  • Mary

    Followed shortly by this question.

    Interception of Communications Commissioner

    Asked by Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government what, if any, reports they have received in the past 24 months from the Interception of Communications Commissioner in relation to any United States base operating in the United Kingdom.[HL5396]

    24 Feb 2014 : Column WA208

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The Interception of Communications Commissioner reports annually to the Prime Minister and to Parliament. These reports discharge the Commissioner’s role to keep under review the use of lawful interception within the UK, and the authorisation systems in place to control that use. The Ministry of Defence has received no reports in the last 24 months which make specific reference to any United States base operating in the UK.

    As if the truth would be told!

  • doug scorgie

    24 Feb, 2014 – 9:52 am

    “An antidote for those who seem to believe that Putin doesn’t interfere in the Ukraine.”

    Who on this blog ESLO seems “to believe that Putin doesn’t interfere in the Ukraine?

    Can you point the individuals out?

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