The Security State Crushes Ever Tighter

by craig on February 19, 2014 9:29 am in Uncategorized

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?

 

 

 

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496 Comments

  1. Ba’al I meant the link numbered 4 on your Wiki link against the line –

    ‘The report also said that in some cases the fusion centers violated civil liberties or privacy.[4]’

  2. @ glenn_uk 21 Feb, 2014 – 12:41 am
    “Let’s take it a step further – would you be happy with a government camera in every room of your house, and if not, why not?”

    I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear.

    My portrait of Our Dear Leader never hangs askew and I always genuflect when near.

    I never engage in funny walks, excepting those specifically prescribed by the Ministry of Funny Walks.

    I never assemble unauthorized devices in the kitchen using common household supplies. My fridge contains no sugary drinks, salty snacks or transfats.

    Before flushing, I allow the camera a clear view of the toilet bowl so worthy Government Turd Inspectors can certify my fibrous diet, and not dispatch the feared Celery Squad to force-feed with a funnel, like a Strasbourg goose.

  3. Some people commenting here seem alarmed that their comments have been interfered with. Rest assured that we have complete records of all that has happened, nothing of great value has gone missing, and please be confident that we won’t tell any member of the public a damn thing. Our NSA colleagues say to ‘have a nice day’.

    [Shit, is that Snowden? Quick, put the bland denial literature on the desk and hide underneath!]

  4. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:25 am

    Further to the ineffectiveness and possible unproductivity of counterterrorism measures-

    http://www.rutgerscps.org/publications/Lum_Terrorism_Review.pdf

    ‘There is almost a complete absence of high quality
    scientific evaluation evidence on counter-terrorism strategies;

    What evidence there is does not indicate consistently
    positive results – some counter terrorism interventions
    show no evidence of reducing terrorism and may even increase
    the likelihood of terrorism and terrorism-related harm….’

  5. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:26 am

    Yes, Mary. That’s Wiki’s fault, not mine. They should have linked to the source.

  6. “Dreoilin, you responded to Phil, agreeing with him”

    No John. I quoted one sentence from Phil (“Hanging around here endlessly bickering with a handful of people for 13 pages of comments is probably not any way to challenge the powers that be”) which I took to be a reference to the previous thread. And I agreed with that.

    Since I was well aware that KingofWelshNoir had played no part in those 13 pages, I couldn’t have been commenting on him.

    “Phil’s comment suggested that KingofWelshNoir should spend less time here and more time in active protest.”

    More inaccuracy. Phil quoted KingofWelshNoir (“I have no idea what to do about it”) and Phil said “I recommend agitating in your community and on the streets.” He did not berate KingofWelshNoir about spending less time here, and neither did I. If there was a misunderstanding, John, it was only because you are not reading carefully enough. And you are then misquoting people.

    —————————————————————————

    Habbabkuk says, “I’d be reluctant to believe that CM would intervene – or at least, that he would intervene without notification”

    Clearly someone is intervening, without notifying us, and I doubt very much if it’s Jon or Clark.

    I doubt if this comment of mine will be allowed to stand. Anyway, one way or another, I’m out of it until the situation is clarified.

    [Your lengthy self-justification remains. Thank you for its valuable political content. What’s the problem? Do all the moderators at the Guardian etc. reveal their identities? Rhetorical – please don’t answer.]

  7. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:34 am

    RT (CAVEAT: its remit is to illuminate the less attractive aspects of Western government while remaining opaque on Russia’s many problems) went into some depth on that report. Here –

    http://rt.com/usa/intelligence-fusion-dhs-report-598/

  8. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 9:53 am

    Download the .pdf from here –

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1766790

    if you thought drone strikes on alleged terrorists did anything more than make more people dead.

    ‘If the goal of counterterrorism policy is to reduce casualties, then the
    tactic of targeted removal is at the least inconsistent in its effectiveness. At worst, it puts innocent civilians in danger.’

    This is a pretty rigorous paper, and its conclusions are cautious. But it wouldn’t encourage me to buy some drones and start shooting up someone else’s countryside.

  9. Edit: Most horrible gaffe above. It should, of course, have been The Ministry of Silly Walks. Entirely unintentional. Hope the Ministry doesn’t send me to a re-eduction camp.

  10. Thanks for adding a big fat smile to my face this sunny morn, NR and how right you are.

    @ Brendan. I fully agree that CCTV has been rolled out too far and too wide, only some hollow voices these days still argue that it is used for criminal detection.
    Norwich has got some 70 cameras of the best CCTV system money can buy. It has been trialled and tested in Palestine by those best not mentioned before page five.

    http://www.norwichadvertiser24.co.uk/news/the_4_8m_cost_of_norfolk_s_cctv_cameras_1_767403

    CCtv can also be seen on private housing, advertising that they are either a victim of crime, scared to become one, have something valuable to protect and/or hide. CCTV is not a deterent but it raises questions as to why its there on a suburban semi, when the rest of the housing has none?

    Thanks for the link Pan. and Dreolin, there is no situation here, except that moderation has been resumed. I welcome it, thank you.

    As for phil’s point you and I supported. It most likely was raised at us all, a reasonale point, imho, because the action for change will not happen on the internet alone, it will have various active forms and its people like us who should get involved and dare I say this, we will.

    My ‘Dreolin’ outside is busy building nests, I have two in the hedge and they do not like each other, or is it the other way round…. like each other too much.

  11. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 10:02 am

    Nevermind

    “Thanks for the link Pan. and Dreolin, there is no situation here, except that moderation has been resumed. I welcome it, thank you.”
    _______________

    If that is the case, Nevermind, then it has been resumed without notification and without any guidelines having been set out – which I find rather difficult to believe.

  12. The drones are targeting terrorist (sic) cell-phones, which are not necessarily accompanied by a terrorist.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/10/us-government-reportedly-ordering-drone-strikes-based-on-cell-phone-location/

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

    A 98 year old Jewish friend who died this month noticed the totalitarianism coming and wriggled out of Austria to this country.

    As a Muslim I am excited by the Arab Spring, removing dictators , but I am cautious about one type of dictatorship and puppet-persecution being replaced by another type of thought crime.

    The alliance between Tories and Al Qaida freaks out my brain. Like ultra-sound over-exciting mice instead of frightening them away. Too much is happening politically to not-notice at this particular time.

  14. Dreoilin, what it read like you and what it appeared like to readers were two different things and I did try to support you and Phil in this. Even KingofWelshNoir was a bit taken aback.

    “Yes, I did note with a certain exasperation I was being berated for wasting my time on a comment board by people who were clearly guilty of the same sin.”

    He did not mean you Dreoilin, and we have all had comments deleted. You can think what you want about my understanding. Peace.

  15. Sorry for responding off topic

    “If that is the case, Nevermind, then it has been resumed without notification and without any guidelines having been set out – which I find rather difficult to believe.”

    Don’t think it has anything to do with our believe systems, Habbakuk. Its not our blog, tough up as Tone would say. I accept moderation of my own/others comments, especially for when the blood curdles and words hurt.

  16. Let me link again, for those who missed it, the presentation to Chelsea Manning (in absentia) of the Sam Adams award first linked by Brian Fujisan.

    http://www.privatemanning.org/featured/chelsea-manning-acceptance-statement-of-sam-adams-award-for-integrity-in-intelligence

  17. “People stripped of benefits could be charged for challenging decision”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/20/people-stripped-benefits-charged-decision

  18. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 11:37 am

    Someone – that’s neat.

    I can see the cabinet discussion as if I were in the room;

    Osborne: We haven’t got any money. What can you raise, chaps?
    IDS: My people had this whizzo idea. Let’s charge people who haven’t got any money for having their income taken away.
    All: That makes sense. Good lad. Fancy lunch now? (etc)

  19. “Why Is The Obama Administration Putting Government Monitors In Newsrooms?”

    http://newswatch.us/why-is-the-obama-administration-putting-government-monitors-in-newsrooms/

    I thought they already had them!.

  20. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 11:55 am

    Coincidence department –

    ‘Between December 2013 and January 2014 the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 27,600 to reach 1.22 million, the lowest figure since December 2008. Between January 2013 and January 2014 the number of claimants fell by 327,600, the largest annual fall since March 1998.’

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/unemployment-rate

    (before going further: the usual definition of unemployment:

    ‘ In the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.’)

    Someone’s Guardian link says –

    ‘Earlier this week figures showed that in the past year nearly 900,000 people have had their benefits stopped, the highest figure for any 12-month period since jobseeker’s allowance was introduced in 1996.’

    Which makes it entirely credible that a third or so were kicked off JSA completely. They would then have had no statutory requirement to actively look for work (see definition) and would have miraculously become employed. Hence the amazing unemployment stats. And the proliferation of food banks.

    Genuinely informed comment (not silly questions) welcomed.

  21. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 12:26 pm

    Thanks for that very depressing read, Someone. While it’s good to know that thousands of people care enough to supply and run food banks, it’s shameful that the government doesn’t care at all. And continues to slander the poor – as countered by this excellent report –

    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/files/truth_and_lies_report_final.pdf

  22. Chris Floyd is right. Sinister is the word for Obama.

    Sinister Illusions: Masking Tragedy in Ukraine

    Chris Floyd
    February 20, 2014 “Information Clearing House

    It is no secret that Barack Obama is one of the supreme illusionists of modern times. The disconnect between his words and his deeds is so profound as to be almost sublime, far surpassing the crude obfuscations of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Their projections of unreality were more transparent, and in any case were merely designed to put a little lipstick on the pig of policies they were openly pushing. For example, they openly wanted to conquer Iraq and expand the militarist state, they openly wanted to redistribute national wealth to the elite, so they just gussied up this unhidden agenda with some fantasies about WMD and the occult magic of “tax cuts,” whereby enriching the rich and degrading all notion of the common good would somehow create a utopia of prosperity (for deserving white folk, at least).

    There was a disconnect between their rhetoric and reality, to be sure, but it was easily seen through (except, of course, by the highly-paid credulous cretins of our national media). Indeed, the Bushists seemed unconcerned by how threadbare their lies were; they delivered their lines like bored performers at the end of a long stage run, not caring whether they were believed or not — just as long as they got to do what they wanted.

    But Obama has taken all this to another level. He is a consummate performer, and strives to “inhabit” the role and mouth his lines as if they make sense and convey some sort of emotional truth. Also, most of the time his rhetoric, his role, his emotional stance are in stark opposition to his actual policies. He is not just gilding his open agenda with some slap-dash lies; he is masking a hidden agenda with a vast array of artifice, expending enormous effort not to prettify an ugly reality but to create an entire counter-reality, an alternate world that does not exist. Again, no one one was in any doubt about the Bushists’ militarism, their dedication to the financial elite or their disdain for anyone who was not, in their view, a “normal American” (white, traditionalist, bellicose, greedy). In fact, that’s exactly why millions of “normal Americans” voted for them. But Obama’s image — cool, compassionate, progressive, peace-seeking, non-traditionalist, anti-elitist — is so far at odds with his actual policies, and with the world as it actually exists, that you can get severe whiplash turning from his rhetoric to reality.

    Take his astonishing attack on Vladimir Putin for “interfering” in Ukraine. That Obama could make this charge with a straight face — days after his own agents had been exposed (in the infamous “#### the EU” tape) nakedly interfering in Ukraine, trying to overthrow a democratically elected government and place their own favorites in charge — was brazen enough. But in charging Putin with doing exactly what the Americans have been doing in Ukraine, Obama also fabricated yet another alternate world, turning reality on its head.

    /..

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37710.htm

  23. RT (CAVEAT: its remit is to illuminate the less attractive aspects of Western government while remaining opaque on Russia’s many problems) went into some depth on that report.

    For “opaque” substitute “downright dishonest”

  24. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    You are notably “opaque” on facts you don’t like, too, ESLO.

  25. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 12:56 pm

    To the mystery Censor/(?) Moderator

    “Do all the moderators at the Guardian etc. reveal their identities? Rhetorical – please don’t answer.]”

    _________________

    No, but at least contributors are made aware that there is moderation.

    And The Guardian’s moderation criteria are public.

  26. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 12:58 pm

    What a whiner.

  27. My objection to CCTV is the “CC”; Closed Circuit. No one seems to object to public web-cams. CCTV takes information about the public and places it exclusively in private hands. If these cameras could be controlled from and viewed via the Internet they’d become a valuable public resource. There would also be far more people watching (and probably recording) what was being captured, rather like “Linus’ Law”:

    “With enough eyes on the code, all bugs become shallow.”

    Regarding moderation, when I was moderating here I was repeatedly insulted, came under psychological attack, and was later subjected to attempted blackmail which another contributor supported. Jon came under intolerable criticism and pressure. Consequently I think it’s quite sensible for moderators conceal their identies, especially if they wish to continue participating in the debate. Why shouldn’t they? Plenty of contributors, often the most troublesome, don’t even submit a valid e-mail address with their comments; when you see the “dark glasses” avatar, they’ve submitted “anon@anon.com”. Maybe some contributors just have a problem with authority, though I see that quite a few have welcomed the new arrangement despite their own comments having been deleted.

    A friend who’s coming to visit me for a few days texted to say that she’s chatting with a young Uzbek woman on the train, so hopefully I’ll have something interesting to report when I’m not so busy.

  28. Noticed and warned about this for a very long time, shame it will have to take people dragged literally through barbed wire and family members tortured, for any one to realise that this has been going on all around them, all the time, and people never realising or even when told, believing it.

  29. “Consequently I think it’s quite sensible for moderators conceal their identies, especially if they wish to continue participating in the debate.”

    Moderators should not participate in debates – bound to lead to a conflict of interest on their part.

  30. This American Army veteran gets hassled when returning to the US.

    Harassed by the Empire
    They Do It Because They Can

    By Anonymous

    February 20, 2014 “Information Clearing House – I’m a WASP, in my late 60s and retired after spending most of my working life in finance. I’m a US Army veteran. And I get harassed by Customs and Border Protection each time I return to my home in the USA.

    /..
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37712.htm

  31. “UK economy faces Lehman-type crisis, says leading economist”

    http://www.scottishtimes.com/uk_economy_faces_lehman_type_crisis_says_leading_economist

  32. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    ‘Moderators should not participate in debates – bound to lead to a conflict of interest on their part.’

    BS. Mods ‘volunteer’ from the poster pool, where else? So what’s their interest in moderating if they can’t debate?

    Still, feel free to start your own blog, where the rules you make up won’t be ignored. Or moderate here, and STFU?

  33. ESLO, you’ve enjoyed plenty of freedom of speech here; maybe you should reflect upon what you have gained rather than what you may possibly have failed to gain – I was going to write “lost”, but you’ve lost nothing, comparing with the blog not existing or not accepting comments at all.

    This is one individual’s blog; “conflicts of interest” don’t really apply. Craig can check the deleted items for any “censorship” and can post a moderation policy if he wishes. Moderation has only just restarted; if its nature eventually reveals itself as unacceptable for you, there are plenty of other places on the ‘net you can comment at.

    That’s enough of this from me; it’s irrelevant to anything outside this comments section, and I have a visitor to prepare for.

  34. This thread is about the abuse of human rights and freedoms in the UK, while this clearly does not suit some comment-makers it is an important issue that really needs to be addressed before it is too late. Arresting and detaining David Miranda because he was carrying important document about the NSA spying on everybody is just one such example of UK bending over backwards to serve US interests. Likewise the interrogation of Jesselyn Radack just because she is Edward Snowden’s lawyer is another such breach of trust in the British public. We did not elect our parliamentarians to make decisions to our disadvantage without our consent.

    The US telephone, telecommunications and electronic communications-tapping station at Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, was built and expanded without parliamentary debate. It may also be providing co-ordinates for extra-judicial drone strikes as GCHQ is almost certainly. All this has been done without my consent. Do not vote for anybody who does not pledge to make these military bodies answerable to parliament, and yourself.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/28/gchq-mass-surveillance-spying-law-lawyer

  35. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 1:39 pm

    Someone – you have a knack of finding chilling and I am afraid horribly accurate pieces.

    ‘He added that the UK has the largest “hot money” economy in the world and sounded the alarm that when the “game of asset price inflation is over all the regulation that let England accumulate financial wealth in the last 20 years will go into reverse because it will be so easy to pull the money out of the economy”.

    Explaining why the UK economy faces a Lehman-sized crunch and will experience a contraction far worse than the US has already experienced, Mr Keen said that it is “because you are a far more speculative economy than the Americans were and you’ve got a far bigger debt overhang and you’ve got far hotter hot money than even the Americans had.”‘

    Even Carney admits (and has produced the voice tape for the clockwork Osborne) the ‘recovery’ is unsustainable.
    As anyone who knows of the Gods of the Copybook Headings has known for a long time.

  36. “Magistrates should sit in police stations, report says”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26277087

  37. I beat you to it on that one Someone. 5.13am earlier today. Could not sleep last night!

  38. “Even Carney admits (and has produced the voice tape for the clockwork Osborne) the ‘recovery’ is unsustainable”

    I think they know that

    3 May 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17925477

  39. “I beat you to it on that one Someone.”

    Mary,

    You have done that before, lol.

  40. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    (from ESLO)

    ““Consequently I think it’s quite sensible for moderators conceal their identies, especially if they wish to continue participating in the debate.”

    Moderators should not participate in debates – bound to lead to a conflict of interest on their part.”
    ________________

    Exactly.

    The Guardian has been cited – do its moderators participate in debates?

  41. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    “This thread is about the abuse of human rights and freedoms in the UK, while this clearly does not suit some comment-makers it is an important issue that really needs to be addressed before it is too late.”
    ________________

    That’s right, Mr Goss, and the four posts of mine which were deleted were all on-topic (and measured) responses to equally on-topic posts from Mr Scorgie (x2), Nevermind and Mary.

    It may of course be that posters who seek to challenge the pensée unique on here are not welcome. Whether that’s consistent or not with the “open policy” I thought guided this blog, I think whoever is doing the moderation should have the honesty to say so.

  42. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    Privacy International has noticed….

    https://www.privacyinternational.org/sites/privacyinternational.org/files/file-downloads/privacy_international_isc_evidence.pdf

    ‘…not only are the public unable to access and scrutinise the agreements that regulate the actions of the Five Eyes, but even the intelligence services themselves do not have a complete picture of the extent of intelligence sharing activities…’

  43. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 3:43 pm

    Right on topic….

    Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000 is a law intended to fight terrorism, and was not drafted to target people like David Miranda. In this instance however the government used it to seize the devices of journalists to intimidate and obstruct the reporting of mass and unlawful surveillance practices of the British government. To equate journalism with espionage, as the government has, is truly shameful.

    What this case has shown is that the Government will work to bend the confines of the law to suit their purposes, but alarmingly they will bend logic to do so as well. They have included remarkable claims about the nature of the Snowden disclosures, developed theories of a Russian conspiracy, and made unverifiable claims that the disclosures threaten national security. We are disappointed that the court did not check these wild allegations, and instead questioned the ability of journalists to understand the ramifications of their stories.

    We are concerned about the surveillance powers of Government at borders. As a democratic society, we must tightly constrain the power to detain and collect information on individuals and to interfere with their devices. Parliament needs to introduce safeguards over Schedule 7 powers, especially when it comes to the seizing of devices. It is an arbitrary use of power when anyone passing through the border, Briton or not, can be subjected to a search and their devices seized as the government develops theories to justify it in the name of national security. Already tens of thousands of people are stopped under Schedule 7 every year.

    In the end, this is all about holding the state to account for its incredible powers of surveillance. Journalists writing stories that identify unchecked surveillance are instead subjected to unjust scrutiny; the use of wide discretionary powers of device seizure at borders are left intact; and government officials making unverifiable claims regarding national security have their arguments supported by the court. This case is another example of how the UK’s legal framework needs much urgent repair.

    https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-releases/privacy-international-statement-on-ruling-of-david-miranda-detention

  44. Ba'al Zevul (etc)

    21 Feb, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    Charles Falconer (1), even, may have noticed-

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/21/terrorism-act-david-miranda-detention

    (1) Blair’s mate, once on a day

  45. Scyptonite daily has also noticed. This just a reminder of the rights lost since 1984, that wretched year when the police raged against Hippies in the beanfield and helped to drive Thatchers ghastly war with the miners forward.

    http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/03/19/police-state-uk-the-rights-you-didnt-know-youd-lost/

  46. Habba – be grateful. Guardian moderators delete everything. There are no other blogs out there which allow drop-by comments without registration. The CM blog has an international reputation for serious, political, free comment. Pluralism rules OK, not endless repetition of the same points.

  47. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 4:06 pm

    Guano

    “There are no other blogs out there which allow drop-by comments without registration.”
    ____________________

    Which was, I was led to believe, one of the reasons why this blog was superior to others.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Pluralism rules OK, not endless repetition of the same points.”
    ___________________

    Coming from you, that is rather rich.

    Which of the regulars do you have in mind?

  48. Ba’al Zevul (etc) 21 Feb, 2014 – 3:31 pm

    A very useful .pdf but one likely to be ignored. It raises important questions about how the security-services of the five eyes are protected but there is little legislation behind the exchanges and it is not known just who exactly from individual countries can see what. The world’s in a mess and it is clear from the wrongful imprisonments and tortures in various institutions round the world is due to inaccurate information being circulated that was gathered by 5 eyes intelligence. It seems like one hand does not know what the other is doing. “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out.”

  49. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    “If you don’t like aspects of life in Britain, why don’t you bugger off abroad?”

    That could come from any saloon bar loudmouth or UKIP supporter.

    COMPARE AND CONTRAST, as the expression goes, with the following from Clark:

    “Moderation has only just restarted; if its nature eventually reveals itself as unacceptable for you, there are plenty of other places on the ‘net you can comment at.”

  50. the blog and its moderation is not the thread, so please, feel free to delete this reminder and those wanting to make it a topic.

  51. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    Anyway, now something substantive on the subject of this thread “The security state crushes ever tighter”.

    Nevermind, at 09h58, writes:

    “CCtv can also be seen on private housing, advertising that they are either a victim of crime, scared to become one, have something valuable to protect and/or hide. CCTV is not a deterent but it raises questions as to why its there on a suburban semi, when the rest of the housing has none?”

    Given the subject of this thread – the “security state” – are we to infer from the above that Nevermind considers the use of CCTV on or in private dwellings to be yet another manifestation of the security state and, in consequence, a further step in creeping totalitarianism?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As to the questions Nevermind raises (“..it raises questions..” , I think he has supplied the answers himself in the first part of the very same sentence. To which I would add that if the semi he refers is the only house on the street with CCTV then that would seem to be not a manifestation of the security state but, rather, a prudent homeowner.

    Finally, since we’re on, about CCTV and cameras : Nevermind will be aware of the increasingly popularity of devices known as “dash cams” (these are carried on board motor vehicles). What is Mevermind’s position on those devices?

  52. This will get you moving in the morning..NSA slow jam….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkojjUahxAk

  53. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    “…and we have all had comments deleted.”
    __________________

    What’s with the “all”, Mr Goss? I can’t quite recall any comments of yours having been deleted on this thread (or the previous one).

  54. For the record some of my comments were deleted on page 1. I am happy with the moderation. It has been long overdue.

    For heaven’s sake stop whingeing and note what Guano said. Be thankful and as Michael Winner used to say in that ad ‘Calm down dear(s)….’.

    I have been outside. It’s been a wonderful day, the crocus have opened to the sun, some bumblebees are in flight and there was some warmth at last to do some gardening without getting soaked or chilled.

  55. No, Habbakuk, I regard CCTV systems on private housing a sign of the times, the fact that fear mongering and the use of, creation of terrorism to spread fear, has the required effect on people, fear sells, in this case cctv systems.

    A CCTV on a house is an indicator that this person is scared to loose something, scared witless by relelntless media focus on crime and benefit scroungers, no do wells with time on their hands to scout out CCTV systems.

    I’m not aware of any increasingly popular use of dash cams, but I’m sure that they will be stolen as much as other valuable items people leave in their cars. CCTV is a costly traditional pet issue of party politicians an epedemic of known proportion and a tool that is being used to manipulate laws as well as life’s.

    There is one for you as well

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/10172298/One-surveillance-camera-for-every-11-people-in-Britain-says-CCTV-survey.html

  56. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 5:20 pm

    Also on-topic.

    The statement from Privacy International which Ba’al Zebub reproduces at 15h43 is heavy with polemic and ex cathedra assumptions but light on reasoned argument.

    The last sentence of the first para is a good example:

    ” To equate journalism with espionage, as the government has, is truly shameful.”

    I do not accept that this is what the govt did or does.

    As a further point : are journalists – or the friends of journalists – to be exempt from the constraints of law? If, let us say, I was the journalist friend of a known counterfeiter and was believed to be carrying some samples of the counterfeiter’s output in my briefcase should I be able to refuse the authorities access to my briefcase? And if the authorities obliged me to open it, would I then be justified in claiming that the authorities were equating journalism with counterfeiting?

    The article refers several times to the “seizure” of a device and of “interference” with it. . If the device was finally restored to Mr Miranda then the article is just playing with words – or it should have said “temporarily seized”. As to “interference” : this gives the impression that the files were removed from the device, as opposed to being examined, and, possibly, copied and then restore to Mr Miranda. Was this the case?

    Finally (I say finally in the interests of brevity) the article is firm on holding authorities to account for their actions. Many people might assume that the ability to challenge those actions in the High Court – followed by the possibility of two further appeals in higher UK courts – fulfills that very necessary requirement.

  57. Tap It: The NSA Slow Jam (featuring @goremy)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkojjUahxAk

    That was very good Dave Lawton. Thanks. Surprising it has had so few viewings.

    PS I thought it was supposed to be prunes or senna pods! Sorry to be so crude.

  58. @Mary 5:23
    Mary yes I was suprised at the number of viewings ,I was only made aware of it a few hours ago. This has a nice barb,as we are having comments about CCTV.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIbx8dO4ZcU&list=UU1Cbp8Fjy7iMfjp0jzGY3rQ&feature=c4-overview

  59. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    Nevermind

    “No, Habbakuk, I regard CCTV systems on private housing a sign of the times, the fact that fear mongering and the use of, creation of terrorism to spread fear, has the required effect on people, fear sells, in this case cctv systems.”
    _________________

    I’ll give you credit for a cunning answer: unable to say “yes, the use by individuals of CCTV in or outside their own houses is an indicator of an increasingly repressive state”, you deftly switch to talking about ” a sign of the times”. Yes, burglaries and personal assaults are a sign of the times, but they are also fact, not mere fear-mongering. BTW, what has terrorism got to do with burglaries?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “A CCTV on a house is an indicator that this person is scared to loose something, scared witless by relelntless media focus on crime and benefit scroungers, no do wells with time on their hands to scout out CCTV systems.”
    ___________________

    Is it wrong, or perverse, to wish not to lose your possessions in a burglary? And are you suggesting that people’s fear of being burgled is completely irrational and arises out of media scare-mongering rather than out of fact?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “I’m not aware of any increasingly popular use of dash cams, but I’m sure that they will be stolen as much as other valuable items people leave in their cars.”
    _____________________

    You haven’t answered my question, but thank you for recognising that things get stolen out of cars (a form of burglary, I believe you’d agree). Secondly, rest assured that they are getting more popular, primarily as a way providing factual visual proof of exactly what happened in a motor accident. Thirdly, most sensible people would not leave them in open view in their cars in the same way as they would not leave a briefcase on the back seat.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “CCTV is…. a tool that is being used to manipulate laws as well as life’s.”
    __________________________

    That’s an interesting thought. Could you flesh it out a little?

  60. Habbabkuk, 5:20 pm, regarding interference with computing equipment; you can’t trust any computing device that has been out of your possession – this includes ‘phones. Software or even hardware could have been added to it (a keylogger to monitor and transmit keystrokes for instance – this is a favourite according to Snowden’s documents), or existing software or settings could have been modified to enable remote control, remote deletion, corruption or modification of files, complete surveillance including remote activation of camera and microphone and recording and transmission thereof, basically anything the device is capable of. Software modification can be performed in under one minute.

    So even if the equipment is returned, it really ought to be replaced. The cost in time easily exceeds the cost in money.

  61. New on Counterpunch. Weekend Edition February 21-23, 2014

    Targeting the Muckrakers
    The Surveillance of WikiLeaks

    by BINOY KAMPMARK

    It was the worst kept secret in the novella of espionage delights, but the discussion in Glenn Greewald’s the Intercept was anticipated. The article suggested its imminent newsworthiness: “Top-secret documents from the National Security Agency and its British counterpart reveal for the first time how the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom targeted WikiLeaks and other activist groups with tactics ranging from covert intelligence to prosecution” (Feb 18).

    If only we could say it was the first time. Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have become the bread and butter of a good many staff in the National Security Agency and their British equivalent, GCQH. The outfit is also providing rich fare for a range of agencies keen to mark out WikiLeaks in some capacity as an illegal organisation. The effort has so far failed because the implications – at least for now – are simply too terrifying, especially for those with even a shade of interest in publishing and reporting. Criminalise WikiLeaks, and you criminalise us all.

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/21/the-surveillance-of-wikileaks/

  62. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Clark

    Thanks for that and I’m sure you’re right. But these are only possibilities, aren’t they; the existence of these possibilities does not prove that the device which was temporarily seized was actually interfered with as claimed by the article reproduced.

    (and I should have thought that the authorities wouldn’t bother because they must assume that Messrs Greenwald and Miranda are fully aware of those possibilities..)

  63. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 6:06 pm

    Clark

    Sorry, I forgot to ask : is anyone claiming that the files were removed from the device before Mr Miranda got it back, or was he allowed to leave with both device and files?

  64. Not secure even at home. No surprise.

    21 February 2014
    Security failings in home routers exposed
    Security flaws are being actively exploited but malicious attacks are currently rare

    Related Stories
    EE rushes to fix broadband box risk
    Backdoor found in D-Link routers
    Fridge sends spam emails ???

    Serious security failings in home routers are getting more attention from both attackers and researchers.

    In recent weeks, attacks have been mounted on Linksys and Asus routers via loopholes that thieves could exploit.

    In Poland, reports suggest one gang has successfully adjusted router settings in a bid to steal cash.

    A separate study found many of the routers sold online have bugs that attackers could easily exploit.

    This week the Internet Storm Center (ISC) warned about a continuing attempt to exploit a vulnerability in 23 separate models of Linksys routers.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26287517

  65. “Yes, burglaries and personal assaults are a sign of the times, but they are also fact, not mere fear-mongering. BTW, what has terrorism got to do with burglaries?”

    I leave the comparrisson to you, I’m sure that will find some weaselworded argument that the high level of crime and punishment rep[orting, the slow course to criminalise those who have little, with sanctions, with withdrawl of benefits, whilst bemoaning that the discourse to withdraw from human rights legislation which was to a gtreat extend drafted by British lawyers in the first place, is misplaced.

    There is a tendency to stamp on journalism in this country, the moment one tries to find out and interview anyone about the legalities of Menwith Hill and Fylingdale operations.

    Just in case you had not realised, Habbakuk. Crime is down by ten percent.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25858421

    and another one from aft

    http://www.worksopguardian.co.uk/news/local/lincolnshire-crime-down-by-10-per-cent-1-6404542

  66. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    21 Feb, 2014 - 7:19 pm

    “I’m sure that will find some weaselworded argument that the high level of crime and punishment rep[orting, the slow course to criminalise those who have little, with sanctions, with withdrawl of benefits, whilst bemoaning that the discourse to…”

    ___________________________

    Is that meant to be a reasoned reply to my points? You know perfectly well that I was talking about people such as burglars when discussing home CCTV and not “criminalising those who have little”. For Heaven’s sake, if that’s the best you can come up with as I reply you’d do better to follow the advice of some of your friends and just ignore me.

  67. Intriguing, this obsessive focus on CCTV, considering the original post was about the US and its satellite states’ increasingly overt contempt for the entire edifice of human rights and jus cogens.

    What, did Bibi rev up the armored bulldozer and plow under some more little girls?

    Did Brennan splat another blushing bride?

    Did GCHQ plant more homegrown kiddy porn on SPD computers?

  68. Who is leopoldo Lopez? Maduro seems to be acting like another tinpot dictator, but is lopez another CIA recruit?

    http://www.ticotimes.net/2014/02/20/who-is-jailed-venezuelan-opposition-leader-leopoldo-lopez

  69. “12 Banker Suicides Linked to JP Morgan Investigation for Forex Manipulation”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyUiXgtHR8E

  70. If we’re not supporting al Qaida in Syria, we’re fans of neofascists in Ukraine:

    http://rt.com/news/kiev-clashes-rioters-police-571/

    This is on the same subject:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/29/ukraine-fascists-oligarchs-eu-nato-expansion

    Obviously the liberal Western media aren’t bothered by either affiliation.

    The BBC had a very interesting live feed on Wednesday: 235 protesters admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds, and 342 police officers with the same. Who are the aggressors here?

    We ignore massacres in Egypt, and of course in Andijan, but the bloodshed in Kiev gets Hague and Fabius et al hot under the collar.

    Eastern Ukraine might form closer ties with Russia, which will be able to secure the Crimea (Black Sea access) forever. Silly Western “democrats”!

  71. Yes, Mike I agree with that analysis regarding Silly Western “democrats” and that closer ties not only might be formed with Russia, but will be formed. Hague has to stick to the script he’s given. There was an occasion when Israel massacred nearly a thousand Lebanese in retaliation for the killing of I think six Israeli soldiers and Hague called it “disproportionate”. As Peter Oborne noted on Despatches the Israeli lobby withdrew funding to the Conservative Party. That’s how it works.

  72. Nextus, if you’re reading, you might like to come and trash some wild speculation of mine, here:

    https://squonk.tk/blog/2014/01/20/the-general-discussion-thread/comment-page-4/#comment-3720

    Mary, 21 Feb, 6:12 pm: yes, there are security holes in routers, or the manufacturer may have deliberately included a ‘back door’. The answer is, of course, Free (GPL) Software – the freedom is our protection. Re-flashing new software into a router is a fairly technical task, but at least routers are cheap/throw-away; you can find plenty down the dump. The software is called LibreWRT; available here:

    http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html

    http://librewrt.org/

    Habbabkuk, sorry, I’m out of time; I’ll have to get back to you later.

  73. Yes I have noticed. I am afraid and sad :(

  74. BrianFujisan

    22 Feb, 2014 - 1:35 am

    As Craig mentions… some states are sliding towards totalitarianism…. yep…and some of it scary stuff, like this from last summer –

    The United States government claims 100% ownership over all your DNA and reproductive rights. This astonishing revelation has emerged from the fact that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claims the power to assign ownership of your DNA to private companies and universities who apply for patents on your genes.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/040400_gene_patents_genetic_slavery_human_DNA.html#ixzz2u0e7ZPPc

    And Police abuse of power is never ending in the u.s on Thursday
    four cops arrest an innocent student as she was out jogging with her headphones on…apparently for jay walking… big n brave aint they….some guy caught it on video… nothing much to see really… but the story is a shocking abuse of power

  75. Security State – I have noticed something. My web-page security tells me I am connected to a site[wanbee.org] via ‘CloudFlare’ -Matthew Prince, CEO.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/12/cloudflare-ceo-says-insane-nsa-gag-order-is-costing-u-s-tech-firms-customers/

    Can any gracious sleuths and bloodhounds here rubber stamp this outfit? .

  76. An excellent infographic with startling details.

    The only addition I would have made is to the media section, where there is no mention of the state broadcasters like the British Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, etc.

    Which Corporations Control the World?
    By Global Research News

    February 21, 2014
    Hannah Williams

    A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares.

    Banks and Finance, Media, Big Oil, The Global Food Conglomerates,

    The World’s largest banks hold a total of $25.1 trillion in assets

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/which-corporations-control-the-world/5369928

  77. ‘Give us five minutes and we’ll supercharge your website’

    There are a lot of them feeding off Cloudfare Mark.

    http://www.cloudflare.com/people

    I think the four ‘investors’ at the bottom are the ones to study.

  78. “Researchers working on social media ‘lie detector’”

    http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/britain-university.tzk

  79. Mark:

    No need to worry about Cloudflare, essentially they create multiple mirrors of a website in different regions, and then is a user from the EU visits the website, the user will be served a copy of the site from the EU mirror. It’s just a way to increase performance and reduce demands on the main web server. As for the people running the company, no idea, but I would be more worried about Google Analytics on every site if I were you.

  80. “This astonishing revelation has emerged from the fact that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claims the power to assign ownership of your DNA to private companies and universities who apply for patents on your genes.”

    Perhaps unsurprisingly the Supreme Court ruled against the concept later in the year.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/13/politics/scotus-genes/

    Jaywalking is an offence in most parts of the US and the cops can be as heavy handed as the thugs in London.

  81. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    22 Feb, 2014 - 10:16 am

    Re the repressive security state:

    Interesting video footage just available (from RT!) showing how rasPutin’s state deals with protest in Russia (Sochi) – check it out (just google “Pussy Riot”

    To quote from the RT footage:

    “The footage shows Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who both served prison sentences for their Moscow church performance, being attacked along with other band members.

    A Cossack appears to spray a substance in the face of one of the band members, who were wearing ski-masks.

    An officer with a whip then proceeds to attack the band members along with a man with a camera.

    Other Cossacks then jump in, punching the band members and throwing them to the floor. ”

    I bet Pussy Riot and the guy with the camera wish they’d had to deal with the evil, fascist, racist British police rather than rasPutin’s nice Cossack police!

  82. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    22 Feb, 2014 - 10:25 am

    Kempe (10h04)

    Thank you for debunking another bit of tendentious nonsense.

  83. Habbabkuk, and Kempe, I advise against complacency in the ongoing struggle about “intellectual property” – which itself is a misleading term. It is remarkable and very worrying that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ever made that original decision. I strongly suspect that the Supreme Court only decided in the people’s favour due to intense campaigning.

    Habbabkuk, please read this short story. It’s fictional, but check the notes at the end; it is based upon very real contemporary developments.

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html

  84. Habbabkuk, 21 Feb, 6:06 pm: I haven’t read up on the incident (pressure of time) but it doesn’t really matter whether files were “removed”, and it doesn’t work like that with files anyway. Files may be copied, and they may be deleted; “removal” would be copying followed by deletion of the original.

    The authorities will assume that back-up copies probably already exist in a different location, so deletion would be an attempt with some small hope of disadvantaging the target. Copying of files would be an attempt to gain information, for instance, to discover a journalist’s sources, or a lawyer’s defence material.

  85. Kempe 22 Feb, 2014 – 10:04 am

    Wake up!, they will find away around anything to get what they want!, its only a matter of time!. Like this

    http://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out/

    “The question many potential voters may well ask is will the real Labour please stand up!”

    http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/newly-appointed-labour-donor-opens.html

  86. Sorry if this has already been posted, but I just noticed a new ‘Rap News’ has been released. Probably the best one yet.

    ‘The News’ feat Sage Francis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VD33jRpeMM

    If you like the Sage Francis verse, I recommend you check out his track ‘Makeshift Patriot’, a great track in response to 911. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3spSAvJkm8

  87. Ben
    21 Feb, 2014 – 8:58 pm

    “…Maduro seems to be acting like another tinpot dictator, but is Lopez another CIA recruit?”

    I’m surprised at you Ben. Maduro a tin-pot dictator?

    Only in the western media.

    His predecessor Chaves was treated the same:

    “Such is the state of misrepresentation of Venezuela – it is probably the most lied-about country in the world – that a journalist can say almost anything about Chávez or his government and it is unlikely to be challenged, so long as it is negative.

    Even worse, Rather referred to Chávez as “the dictator” – a term that few, if any, political scientists familiar with the country would countenance.”

    “Here is what Jimmy Carter said about Venezuela’s “dictatorship” a few weeks ago:

    “As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.”

    Read more:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/03/why-us-dcemonises-venezuelas-democracy

    As for Lopez, is he a CIA recruit?

    Well he went to a private school in Princeton New Jersey USA, then Kenyon College, Ohio, USA and then Harvard University. He is an economist of the neo-liberal type so will be loved by the regime in Washington.

    What do you think?

  88. An interesting insight into the world of Julian Assange.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2014/02/21/andrew-ohagan/ghosting

  89. Habbabkuk, 6.06pm

    Sorry, I forgot to ask : is anyone claiming that the files were removed from the device before Mr Miranda got it back, or was he allowed to leave with both device and files?

    I believe all items seized from Miranda are still being ‘worked on’ by GCHQ so therefore, no, they’ve not been returned. The difficulty was that they are unable to crack the encryption and seem to have only been able to some sort of outer layer (perhaps some top-level file tree) enabling them to estimate there were 58,000 files on Miranda’s drive, and partially decrypt 75 of those. Go here if you want to read the full set of legal documents in which the UK police explain to the High Court what GCHQ is doing:

    http://freesnowden.is/category/legal-documents/index.html

  90. Alan campbell

    22 Feb, 2014 - 2:06 pm

    The last thing you have to read about Assange. What a f*cking nutter.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2014/02/21/andrew-ohagan/ghosting

  91. Be warned, Fred – there is a whole world of contextual detail missing from that “inside” account by Assange’s ghostwriter, such as the existence of the banking blockade against Wikileaks, ditto the existence of the US Whole-of-Government task force against the organisation, the recently revealed “Manhunting Timeline” of the NSA’s, the proven misconduct by the Swedish prosecutor, etc etc. As an insider, Andrew O’Hagan would be very aware of all this and how much of Assange’s statements and behaviour could be explained in light of it. The fact that O’Hagan has nevertheless omitted it all allows the reader to see his ‘lecture’ for what it is.

    I read it all carefully last night and spotted quite a few outright lies (by O’Hagan, I mean) so I can only assume that this lecture was intended as a ‘sales pitch’ for a book deal. The point about having “all the tapes, which are really shocking” is a bit too laboured.

    His career as a ghostwriter commissioned to deal with anything vaguely confidential is over – who’d touch him now? So, the only question that remains is Bought And Paid For, but by whom? The angry and superior tone of the whole thing implies that he more or less hated Assange from the get-go, and yet it’s clear that until about a month ago Assange saw him as a ‘friend’. I can’t help feeling, therefore, that O’Hagan was basically so pissed off he didn’t get what he wanted out of the imploded autobiography that he’s subsequently used the access afforded to him as a (pretend-)friend to gather more material for his own purposes.

  92. Any chance of Craig commenting on the situation in Ukraine?

    This thread on Medialens raises some questions on who or what fills the power vacuum.

    ‘Ukranian President is awol; palace abandoned; Nuland feted in Whitehouse presumably
    Kiev handed over to an armed, neo-nazi mob: well done Catherine Ashton
    Ukraine could split in two.
    etc etc’

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1393067848.html

    The largest country in Europe. Population 46 million.

    The BBC appear to very satisfied with the current situation.

  93. “The last thing you have to read about Assange. What a f*cking nutter.”

    I just read it and that wasn’t the impression I got.

    He struck me as someone who the younger generations would probably identify themselves with and let’s face it, they are the future. We got this world into one hell of a mess, we let the wrong people get too much power and our only hope is that future generations are not like us.

  94. Trying to link to pictures from Aangirfan:
    http://aangirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-war-in-ukraine.html

  95. @Arbed

    I don’t know what your problem is with the piece unless maybe it didn’t build Assange into something you want him to be.

    For me it removed much of the mystery, which I’m sure was the intent rather than to be a comprehensive timeline of Wikileaks events.

  96. Nadhim Zahawi took the opportunity of being on Any Questions to insult Islam gratuitously by saying that he enjoyed Red wine. How to climb the slippery poles of power in UK 2014.

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