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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  • mark golding

    Craig posed a straightforward yet powerful question. Have you [noticed]?

    I myself believe that examination is key to creating a perception that those who believe in true democracy are classed in this ‘as ‘terrorists’ or revolutionary at the relucent boundary.

    The judicial oath it seems means nothing to those that serve the tyranny of control and fear.

    “”I will do right by all manner of people, after the law and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.” -is of no effect.

    When I say ‘we’ I mean individually, personally for the commonpoor; for freedom and justice. Those ‘we’ here in Craig’s place, understanding, reviewing, reflecting and giving respect are mind to our liberation, power to our escape from disdain.

    ‘We’ love you all.

  • Mary

    Here is the BBC version of the case.

    David Miranda loses detention legal battle

    This is one of Judge Ouseley’s previous rulings. He is also one of the three judges in the David Miranda case.

    23 August 2006,
    Bomb damage in Lebanon
    Israel launched air strikes in southern Lebanon

    The government did not knowingly assist “acts of terrorism” by allowing US aircraft carrying bombs to Israel to stop at UK airports, a judge has ruled.

    The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) claimed in the High Court the flights encouraged Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

    Peter Carter QC, for the IHRC, told the judge that the UK was assisting in “disproportionate military attacks”.

    The IHRC’s attempt to get an injunction halting such stopovers was rejected.

    /.. refers

  • Richard

    Yes, sadly I have noticed, Mr. Murray and I’m sad and depressed.

    The majority probably aren’t. It may be an unpopular sentiment, but provided the Christmas sales aren’t too bad, I really don’t think that they’re bothered.

  • Dreoilin

    “This is one of Judge Ouseley’s previous rulings. He is also one of the three judges in the David Miranda case.
    23 August 2006,
    Bomb damage in Lebanon
    Israel launched air strikes in southern Lebanon”

    Mary, would you do us all a favour and wait until at least ~page 5 of comments before you drag Israel into this thread?? PLEASE!!

  • Fi

    Yes, I have noticed Craig. We are victims of our own stupidity. I don’t think a lot of people even really know what Ed Snowden was talking about when he talked about being complicit in building an architecture of oppression and ‘turnkey’ tyranny. The internet is incredibly powerful and those people like Assange and Snowden who are gifted in this new era are trying to warn us of it’s inherent dangers if new protocols are not brought into being to safeguard us. In ‘Cypherpunks’ it was likened to the emergence of the nuclear era. At the moment we seem hellbent on persecuting the messengers and hastening on our own imprisonment. I am glad that the students of Glasgow University have elected Ed Snowden as their rector. Maybe some of the young, at least, get it, and that is hopeful.

  • fred

    “Craig posed a straightforward yet powerful question. Have you [noticed]?”

    Certainly here in Scotland.

    The unification of the police forces, attempts to abolish corroboration, plans to make every child have a named government guardian.

    All seems to be heading in one direction.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    “The judicial oath it seems means nothing to those that serve the tyranny of control and fear.”

    Is not the indignation and outrage voiced in certain quarters about the High Court ruling just an example of “bad losers”? After all, it is not uncommon for UK courts to issue rulings which go against what the govt wanted – and in such cases, where those rulings are in line with the pensée unique of this blog, there are no expressions of outrage and indignation here.

    Like in football, the referee’s decision is surely final – with the difference that Mr Miranda can appeal to at least two higher courts in the UK and then, if he chooses, to the ECHR

  • glenn_uk

    Jesselyn could have added, when describing Manning as a political prisoner, “… just as I am currently – on a temporary basis hopefully – your political prisoner.”

  • glenn_uk

    @JimmyGiro “Pejorative or not, it is what they do.

    Err… not all the time dude! Sometimes they just hold hands, you know? Or maybe watch a film, do the dishes, mend the car…

  • nevermind

    One wonders what Julian Assange, Andy Mueller Maguhn and others like them make of the latest measures mooted by the German Government. It has just seriously broken up with a certain ME country one should only mention on page five.

    They have tried asking the USA about the extend of spying and have been batted back, now they are proposing to get proactive. I’m sure that those in the know above, Ed Snmowden, who is very popular in Germany, even within certain sectors of the rightwing CSU, the idea of an EU internet, personal encryption and much more has a far better prospect to work for all, then without their input.

  • glenn_uk

    Habbabkuk (19 Feb, 2014 – 3:06 pm) wrote:

    “As for the point that one only becomes aware of state “oppression” when you come against it yourself, well, that’s obviously true but it is so evident that it hardly needs saying. It is irrelevant as an argument in evaluating the extent to which a state might overstep its normal and justified oppressive aspect and even more irrelevant in determining whether or not a state is sliding into totalitarianism.”

    Interesting points all round in that post, but the point about running up against the state is worth further mention. People will go out of their way to ensure they do not run up against the state. You might not be saying or doing anything wrong in the workplace, but your behaviour will be quite different if your boss happens to be looking over your shoulder. Knowing how statements can be deliberately misconstrued, one will speak with caution at all times, given that mobiles can be used as a personal bugging device.

    Surveillance has a chilling effect on the criticism of authority – even for perfectly legitimate concerns.

    We might have just a little bit of faith in the use of CCTV as being for the benefit of the public, as opposed to being for the sole use of the state against the public, if those CCTV’s occasionally happened to catch the authorities doing something wrong.

    Remember poor Ian Tomlinson – there was no case to answer, until some passing tourist’s footage of the incident happened to land in the public domain. All those high-tech cameras, plus their staff, at taxpayer expense, didn’t see a thing. We never see police identified and prosecuted for assault during demonstrations without (a) blatant offence against the innocent, and (b) independent evidence identifying the criminal concerned.

    Indeed, the authorities have gone a long way to ensuring that the public does not have the means to get evidence, by banning cameras in public demonstrations, pictures of police, and even of well known public buildings and spaces.

    How come this “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” argument only ever goes one way, when the authorities want to hide everything?

  • Mary

    A reminder what Craig said

    ‘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 …..’

    Planes landing on British soil carrying bombs for Israel to use on Lebanon come into the equation in my opinion.

    Think too of the jets taking tortured souls for rendition which were also allowed to use our airports and airspace.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    You too have made some interesting points. But it’s difficult for anyone to discuss dispassionately and cast aside certain basic philosophies, isn’t it.

    Let’s take what you said about the use of CCTV. No reasonable person could argue against your contention that CCTV should serve to identify wrong-doing by anyone and that that includes wrong-doing on the part of the authorities, whether police or other. But you “spoil” (if I can use that word) your argument somewhat by saying “…as opposed to being for the sole use of the state against the public,..” : that expression is tendentious because it tends to transform the use of CCTV by the police against law breakers into an affair of the “state” against the “public”;; the police are not the state, except insofar as they maintain (or should maintain) the law of the state, and the law breakers are not the public except insofar as they are part of the public.

    On a point of information, is it really the case that cameras are banned on public demonstrations and that one cannot take pictures of police officers (not clear whether you meant on such demonstrations or more widely) or certain public buildings? I can well imagine that some police officers on the spot would claim that taking pictures is illegal, but is this really so or is it just a case of them pushing their luck (in the same way as other public officials do when they think they can get away with it? I’d welcome more on this theme if you or some one else would care to supply more detail.

  • Resident Dissident


    “Imagine the msm if Vlad had done this!”

    Well he certainly has a rather tougher policy with regard to questioning those he doesn’t like when they leave Russia – I myself have been questioned many times about my activities when leaving Russia, and the detail and the extent of the questioning is far more detailed and extensive than that experienced by Jesselyn Radack (unjustified though such behaviour clearly is I might add). If I had links with someone who was responsible for liberating KGB secrets I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be here now. I should also add that for good measure the Boarder Guards (or should we call them the KGB to be be more accurate) also spent so long interviewing my son, who was at a time still not an adult that he missed the flight and then we had to spend further time in Russia renewing the paper work (funny how they find such deficiencies when they want) so that he could not leave until a number of days later.

    Oh and for those who think this is an isolated incident – perhaps they should ask why BA always builds about 1 hour into its schedule for flight delays leaving Moscow. I might also add that the British Embassy in Moscow has been worse than useless in improving matters over many many years.

    Perhaps I should ask Wikileaks and the Sam Adams Trust to represent my case with the Russian authorities – but on second thoughts I don’t think I will bother.

  • Resident Dissident


    I think this is the case you were referring to

    Perhaps Snowden could take it up with his lawyer, who is also on the KGB supervisory board and is a friend of Putins, or Craig could raise it next time he is on Voice of Russia, or Assange in one of his independent programmes on Russia today? Or perhaps everyone here could write a letter to the Russian Ambassador.

    PS don’t mention the Ice Hockey

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Resident Dissident

    Thank you and yes that’s the case I was thinking of (sorry for getting the Sochi detail wrong). I note the 3 year sentence, so the 8 years I saw was a typo.

  • Pykrete

    @H, RD …

    My comment was not meant to excuse or condone Russian behaviour towards any particular individuals. It was merely to highlight the treatments by western media of similar behaviours by the “good guys” as compared to the current/future “bad guys”.

    Never been through Moscow. Had fun with TSA at Dallas with a laptop and photo gear (sister-in-law lives 15miles from Dubya!!)

  • fred

    It’s good to see so much agreement that the “us and them” is not Britain vs Russia, it’s the people vs the psychopath in both. Different sections of the blog are gathering evidence against those with a thirst for power both sides of the Atlantic and in Eastern Europe as well.

  • glenn_uk

    Habbabkuk (20:33): Agreed, it is certainly difficult to discuss on an entirely objective basis. Even the selection of indisputable facts betrays a bias, let alone the direction in which they steer the discussion.

    For instance, your argument about whether we should be be talking about CCTV being used against “the pubic”, or “lawbreakers”. I’d argue it’s definitely used against a group, and for the police (or state), rather than for the public generally. If it were only used as evidence to prosecute law-breakers, we would not have many concerns. However, when the police are also law-breakers, CCTV is of no use to the public.

    Obviously CCTV will be used when the police are (figuratively) throwing one of their own under the bus, but that will only be when they are bang to rights anyway. As far as protecting the law, rather than the state – and those with interests that benefit from the power of state apparatus – take a look at this:

    Here you have police acting against lawful protestors, as the muscle for a private corporation. They’re not just clearing people obstructing the highway, and certainly not looking after the interests of locals. They forbid evidence being captured, and then blatantly lie to bring false charges against a protestor.

    Such behaviour should be regarded as grounds for immediate dismissal and prosecution, but of course nothing of the kind will happen. All his colleagues who witnessed the “fit-up” and did nothing should also be up for the same. Perverting the law – like surveillance – is a one-way street.


    As I understand it, section 76 of the “Counter Terrorism Act” (2008) allows for arresting those “eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc” – it specifically goes on to mention police – “which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

    This is wide open to interpretation.

    In China, just about everything is a crime. Failing to notify authorities and get written permission (which is never forthcoming) when moving between areas is a crime. Nobody is ever prosecuted for it, unless they fall foul of the authorities for some reason. Thereupon, you have committed an arrestable offence.

    Same trick, different regime – here we have a near catch-all which can be employed whenever someone does something the state, and its enforcers, does not like. It might be dismissed as individual police “pushing their luck”, you may not get prosecuted eventually, but it’s pretty effective in hauling someone off, destroying their evidence, and only admitting they might have gone a bit far after the fact.

    If any police officer has been disciplined for harassing law-abiding citizens for ludicrous “terrorist” related charges, I have not heard of it.

  • glenn_uk

    ‘strewth – when I make a typo, does it have to be _such_ a howler? Wish there were some sort of edit feature. 🙁

    Any kindly mods still about, I’d be most obliged…

  • any fule can see

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

    An answer may come in how people respond to RB’s comments about TB advising on holding a Hutton type enquiry. Gob smacking if it is proved he said it and if people still do not find that their confidence in the system is shaken well then presumably you have to conclude that they deserve the system they get.

  • any fule can sleep

    The wonderful possibly greatest ever GP driver Tazio Nuvolari, who is said to have invented the technnique of drifitng a Masarati 250 around a corner, when asked whether he was scared of dying in a motor race answered with a question, noting that most people die in bed, but are you terrified of going to sleep? And as we know the answer is no.

  • Resident Dissident


    I once was stopped at Atlanta where the border guard went through all the pile of printed material I held (about 4-5 inches) – when he flicked through a book of Jan Morris travel essays I had and when he alighted on one chapter he just questioned “Moscow?” in a low and deep voice. I’m afraid that border guards around the world are pretty much cut from the same cloth.

  • half the fules can wake up


    The reference to the Hutton inquiry could prove hugely embarrassing for the former Labour leader, who won three elections to lead Britain from 1997 to 2007 but who has had to repeatedly defend himself over his decision to join the United States in going to war in Iraq.

    Lord Hutton was appointed by Blair to investigate the circumstances which led to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporting that the government had “sexed up” the case for the invasion of Iraq.

    That near six-month investigation cleared the government of any wrongdoing and laid the blame firmly at the door of the BBC, leading to the resignation of two of its most senior executives. A poll of Britons in the wake of the inquiry found that half believed the report was a “whitewash”.

    Cut & pasted from Reuters article today: Former PM Blair offered to help Murdoch over phone-hacking
    LONDON Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:55pm

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    I must agree that bLiar slipped up when he suggested a Hutton type enquiry; one would have thought that the old twister would have found a safer example 🙂

    I wonder why the prosecution brought this up. And it will be interesting to see what consequences might flow.

    (Oops – O/T – harmless – but apologies anyway!)

  • Clark

    Habbabkuk, 8:33 pm; photography has effectively been criminalised under section 44 of the Terrorism Act – at the discretion of the police. Some useful links and resources:

    There have been several incidents of police confiscating cameras and memory cards at demonstrations, erasing the data before returning them. On one occasion, I seem to remember, data recovery techniques were used by the photographer to recover evidence against the police.

  • Arbed

    Mary, 6.45pm

    This is one of Judge Ouseley’s previous rulings. He is also one of the three judges in the David Miranda case.

    So was Assange’s extradition (High Court). A political, rather than legal, decision if ever there was one. Same with Miranda.

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