The Empire Strikes Back 446

If you argue a case strongly on the internet you must expect to receive robust argument back. Plus the odd insult. There has been plenty of both in reaction to my posts about corporate media control of access to the data in the Panama Papers. But I believe it is fair to say that the overwhelming public feeling I have picked up through monitoring online discussion worldwide, is that the full data should be made available online in searchable form so that the public can look through it and form their own conclusions.

I wish to address in a little more depth the arguments which have been raised.

Several people have argued with my reference to “corporate media”, as the consortium includes state organisations such as the BBC. My response to that is that the BBC has become in the last few years a mouthpiece for state propaganda with no effective independence of government, and that the politicians are very much in the pocket of the corporations who fund them. The BBC therefore promotes corporate interests just as much as those outlets directly owned by corporate interests. It is simply a question of direct or indirect control.

The key point is that access to the Panama data has been restricted in accordance with a media order which is decades out of date. It ignores citizen journalism. The only online based platforms given access are the billionaire owned Huffington Post and Craigslist. Nowadays people prefer to find things for themselves.

This ostensibly sympathetic article from Richard Smith illustrates the problem rather well. It is one of trust. Do we trust the – let me use a neutral word – established media to filter the information and decide what we are permitted to see? My answer is no, I do not trust them. I know many mainstream journalists and the vast majority of them are interested in pleasing their paymasters and advancing their careers. Very few and vanishingly less are disinterested promoters of truth.

Nor do I accept that revealing a story about David Cameron’s dead father – a story which had been in the public domain for four years – or securing the resignation of the Prime Minister of Iceland, a tiny state which happens to have taken the most radical action of any against bankers, is sign of balance.

It is a sign of a pretence of balance.

But Richard Smith is entitled to his view and perhaps his naïve trust in corporate media indicates a pleasant and trusting nature. I am often called naïve myself for wanting the world to be a better place. Mr Smith evidently believes it already is.

The only thing I actively dislike in Smith’s article is the contention that I criticised the BBC for not pointing out that the British Virgin Islands were implicated in one document flashed on the screen, obscured, during the BBC Panorama. Actually there were three separate documents about separate transactions, all involving the British Virgin Islands. Those transactions were central to the entire first half of the programme, and for the BBC to hide that it was all happening in the British Virgin Islands was disgraceful.

The BBC of course do not like me and I have been banned from appearing for many years. One of the many thousand people who retweeted my original post on the Panama Papers, subsequently tweeted that he had done so by accident. This brought the magisterial rebuke from Jamie Angus, editor of the BBC Radio Today programme, that accident “is the only acceptable reason for retweeting Craig Murray.” I can understand that Mr Angus does not want people to hear opinions not sanctioned by his employers, but I would be interested to know why he feels it is not “acceptable” to read my pieces. He has since challenged me to mention that the British Virgin Islands were criticised on his radio programme. I am happy to do so, because unlike Mr Angus, I do not believe views other than my own should be suppressed.

I shall not trouble you with the large volume of simply abusive tweets I have received, co-ordinated by the usual two groups – British unionist and pro-Israel lobbyists who for some reason like to troll me. Let us just ignore them.

I should now come to the question of privacy. The Guardian newspaper, along with the BBC the main “owner” of the data in the UK, has made no bones about the fact that most of the data will not be published, and that there are “legitimate reasons” why people have offshore accounts and companies. As the Guardian’s owners operated from tax-dodging overseas accounts for years, they have to say that of course.

There has been surprisingly little discussion of this topic. I do not accept that there is any legitimate reason for owning offshore companies and offshore bank accounts, if you do not have a business genuinely located in and operating from the jurisdiction. Ordinary people do not have accounts in tax havens. The only reason people have accounts and fake companies in tax havens is to avoid tax and other legal jurisdiction. This is not morally acceptable, whether or not our rulers make sure it is legal. I therefore do not accept any privacy argument for keeping the vast bulk of the data from the public.

This argument s absolutely at the heart of the corporate media’s interest in hiding 99.9% of the information – which behind the obfuscation is precisely what they intend to do. This argument needs to be met head on.

The only subject of any interest now in the Panama Papers is whether the data will be fully released on the internet and available to everybody, and not hidden by the corporate media.

We must all campaign to release the data.

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446 thoughts on “The Empire Strikes Back

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  • brian

    we now know what a USAID George Soros backed leak /hack looks like
    one that hasnt brought on outrage from Washington

  • glenn_uk

    “I do not accept that there is any legitimate reason for owning offshore companies and offshore bank accounts, if you do not have a business genuinely located in and operating from the jurisdiction. Ordinary people do not have accounts in tax havens”

    I once had an off-shore account. Having worked in the US for a number of years, I was required to work in the UK and Europe, being paid directly by the US, and I had no idea which country I’d be working or living in from week to week, or end up in. Turned out it was this one, so I pulled the money into a UK bank and paid tax on it. I am a pretty ordinary person, though.

    • fedup (Watch out there is a snitch about)

      Ba’al you little stinker that was a really good find, I have been having a howl of a laughter!

      That swine has had plastic surgery and is the PM again? Mind at least this time he is no longer pretending to be a socialist and is showing his true colours!

      Also on the Bloatware you have a good point, there is a little unnoticed survey of the financial packages, that proves Europeans have around 300 to 400 kilo lines of code US around 800 kilo lines of code, in case of the UK we are talking about 1 to 1.5 mega lines of code, that puts us in the top ranking for the most insecure and most liable to be hacked category. Some of the lines are in fact in Cobol (I fell off, did you fall off your dishonours too?). Hence the regular banking outages of all sorts around the place.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well one wonders if David Cameron is made of stern enough stuff to hang on to the position of PM. After denials and stonewalling (reminiscent of Alistair Darling or I didn’t have sexual relations with that women Bill Clinton) over his father’s dealings in Blairmore Holding, which earned him (son David) a pretty penny.

    Of course David Cameron hasn’t broken any laws as such, but of course he denied any involvement from day one, which, in the eyes of Joe Public, is rather naughty and hypocritical, considering he sold his holding in 2010, just before he became PM for £ 31,500 pounds, a £19,000 pounds profit.

    Of course the timing was perfect, had no need to declare it to parliament, and he could orate loudly about going after tax avoiders, such as Jimmy Carr, whom Mr Cameron took a swipe at.

    But one has to wonder why the PM has been thrown to the wolves, he does have powerful enemies such as Lord Ashcroft, but I’m rather surprised at the intensity the square miles has allowed Cameron to be put under. Id imagine he must be pretty miffed to be mentioned in the same breath as Putin, Poroshenko, and Icleand’s PM, who was always going to first on the chopping block, due to him giving two fingers to Iceland’s debtors during the collapse of the highly incompetent casino banking industry.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I’d be surprised Ashcroft hasn’t come under more scrutiny if I didn’t think Cameron was taking the flak that would otherwise be heading his way. Cameron’s expendable, as far as the Tories are concerned – probably always was – but Ashcroft’s money isn’t. They’re not worried if he holds it in Turks, Belize or BVI (and he does). Cue a retumescence of the Fox tendency…

      • Ba'al Zevul

        …and a very quick survey suggests Ashcroft’s the one to look at. His flat denial of involvement with Mossack F – he’s in the above list as ‘MF and Co’ – doesn’t mesh completely with the previously recorded involvement of his (70%+) offshore Waterloo Holdings with “a Panamanian company” in joint ownership of another subsidiary. But. More if I can be arsed.

        • Republicofscotland

          Thanks for that info Baal, I’d be very surprised if Lord Ashcroft (author of Call Me Dave) is outed by the ICIJ to a greater extent. He does have a £1.3 billion pound fortune and he’s ranked on the Times Rich List.

          Ashcroft, oops, I mean’t Lord Ashcroft is a life peer since (2000) it was a controversial due to his tax exile status, Lord Ashcroft is reputed to be the 74th richest person in the UK.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile the the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have come out and said that more than 2300 people have been executed under the Rouhani regime, allegedly the highest number in the last 25 years.

    Interesting point who funds and supports the (NCRI)

    The executions include minors and teenagers which in my opinion is completely unacceptable.

    Also in the firing line over executions is Pakistan, in which 320 people and at least five children were executed in 2015. China’s number of executions are of course state secrets, which in my opinion, though not necessarily translates to a large number of executions,whichin my opinion if data were to be released would see a public outcry.

    But like Saudi Arabia, which has an appalling human right record, China’s trade and financial help to the West and Europe, allows those nations carte blanche when dealing with it denizens, Pakistan to a lesser extent also falls into that category, due to its strategic position in the region, now Iran, will too due to billions of dollars trade set to take place, now that sanctions have been lifted or at the very least eased.

    Coincidently last year over 2,851 people were sitting on death row in America.

    • MJ

      I don’t think Iran executes minors any more, following pressure from human rights groups. It keeps them in custody until they reach majority then executes them.

      • Republicofscotland


        I agree, you’d have thought that would be the case, but according to these sources injustices are taking place.

        “Capital punishment in Iran is legal. Crimes punishable by death include murder, rape, child molestation, sodomy, drug trafficking, armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism and treason. According to Amnesty International, there were 360 executions in Iran in 2011, 734 (of which 14 women and 13 juveniles ) in 2014 and 694 in the first half of 2015. According to Iranian public sources 252 executions (of which 5 women and 1 juvenile) were carried out in 2011, 289 in 2014 and 246 in the first half of 2015. Up to 74% were drug related, and almost all executions were carried out for murder, aggravated rape, deadly robbery/kidnapping, or large scale drug trafficking.”

        Source wiki

        “As a state party to the CRC Iran is legally obliged to treat everyone under the age of 18 as a child and ensure that they are never subject to the death penalty nor to life imprisonment without possibility of release.
        However, Amnesty International’s report lists 73 executions of juvenile offenders which took place between 2005 and 2015.”

        Source Amnesty International

  • Republicofscotland

    The prolonged hunger strike of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, caught my eye. At first glance it appears Savchenko could be a prisoner of war, and ergo her position could come under UN ruling and the Geneva Convention.

    I would imagine that, if Putin, wants to warm to the West, and vice versa, in his part the releasing of Savchenko, or to at least give her a fair trial, in a place of neutrality would be a good place to start.

    • bevin

      Savchenko who is a member of the neo nazi militia in Ukraine was sentenced to prison for her part in directing fire in the Ukrainian war against the Russian language enthusiasts of the Donbas.
      She could be freed immediately if the Ukrainians, who persist despite the Minsk ceasefire, in shelling Donbas towns and killing civilians would negotiate prisoner exchanges.
      To put the matter in perspective in Ukraine the death squads which Savchenko supports do not bother with trials: anyone suspected of Russian sympathies is liable to be tortured and killed.
      You suggest a re-trial in a neutral venue: where do you suggest?

      I note that you appear to believe in the accuracy, and presumably objectivity of this scrap of news
      “the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have come out and said that more than 2300 people have been executed under the Rouhani regime,..”
      I hate to disillusion you but you will be happy to learn that it is most unlikely that the report is true. The NCRI is a front of the MEK or Khalq a formerly marxist cult with links to the State of Israel which until recently was regarded as a terrorist organisation because it is comprised of terrorists.

      • Republicofscotland

        Thank you Bevin for your comment.

        I was under the impression that Savchenko was a member of the Ukranian Ground Forces, which forms part of the Ukranian land army force.

        I was also under the impression that Savchenko, was abducted by pro-Russian speaking Ukranians/Russians, with regards to fighting in Donbas.

        Furthermore there is some doubt of veracity to the crimes (the killing of two journalists) she’s alleged to have committed.

        As for a neutral venue for a fair and proper trial, it’s not up to me to suggest a venue, but I’m confident Putin and Poroshenko could come to an accord as to where and when.

        As for your second point Bevin, if you read my 15.32pm commet you’ll see I did ask who funds and backs, the NCRI. You appear to know what’s going on with regards to NCRI, therefore would you be kind enough to post some link which I can peruse.

        However I fear that Iran is executing its citizens at an alarming rate, as Amnesty International states.

        • bevin

          She was a member of the Ukrainian Army. She resigned and volunteered to work for the Bandera militia.
          I have no problem with the idea that she might have been falsely accused of direct complicity in the deaths of the journalists. If this is the case then she should appeal. Better yet Poroshenko should restore order to the country, rein in the vicious militia/gangs (many of whose members are foreign neo-nazis) and observe the Minsk II guidelines as promised.
          I do not subscribe to the view that justice in Russia is any worse administered than it is anywhere else. Perhaps it is, though it would be hard for it to be as rotten as the US system. The basic problem is that the lady is unhinged, a Bandera fascist fanatic and part of a powerful but tiny minority bent on cleansing the Ukraine (which is as Russian as Yorkshire is English) of Russians.

          As to the MEK my information is from my memory to which, as yet, I can provide no links.

      • Kempe

        A UN report put the number of executions in Iran during 2015 at 966, the highest number since 1989. It’s very likely that the 2,300 figure since 2013 is therefore not far off the mark. Iran also has a bad record for executing minors. I’m sure many here will remember the case of Atefeh Rajabi Sahaaleh, the 16 year old girl who was hanged in 2004 for the heinous crime of allowing herself to be raped.

        Like anyone else Ms Savchenko should have had the expectation of a fair trial, not something that even the Russian opposition have condemned as a transparent stitch-up. The irony of Putin putting someone on trial for killing journalists! I’m surprised he didn’t offer her a job.

        • bevin

          “..not something that even the Russian opposition have condemned as a transparent stitch-up.”
          The Russian Opposition specialises in making such charges. The evidence it provides however is negligible.

          “The irony of Putin putting someone on trial for killing journalists! I’m surprised he didn’t offer her a job.”
          You appear to be under the impression that unsubstantiated gossip, repeated often enough, eventually becomes fact. It does not.

          Those accusing Putin of “killing journalists” are invariably connected to special interests. The main source of these accusations is the oligarchs abroad community which wants to get rid of Putin because he attempts to tax their ill gotten gains and retrieve the capital that they-not he- have stashed away offshore. Then there are the Security Services working for war.

          You show us a single case in which there is real evidence of Putin being involved in assassinations, even evidence as good as the facts suggesting that Robin Cook and Davis Kelly were killed on Blair’s orders, and I will listen to you. But all you are doing is repeating malicious gossip from tainted sources.

  • Republicofscotland

    I know this link is to Press TV, but if the report is true then surely Saudi Arabia’s Western allies must step in.

    “The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Saudi Arabia used US-made cluster bombs in two recent airstrikes on a busy market in Yemen, which killed scores of civilians.”

    The slaughter in Yemen is almost the forgotten war, with countless women and children dying every day.

    Cluster munitions are illegal.

    • lysias

      RT also reported yesterday that HRW said that.

      The attack on the market in Yemen killed apparently over 100 people, including over 20 children. Far more than the death toll from the bombings in Brussels.

      • David Halpin

        And the cluster shells were obsolete stock which the entity was ‘using up’ at the end of its barbarous assault on the people of Lerbanon. (This was set going on a pretext, as usual.) An ‘Israeli’ officer I/C an artillery unit aditted this. The ‘PROBLEM’ was that there were a high number of duds – ready to blind, maim and kill children in particular. It reminds me how attractively coloured mines were let singly in the ‘West Bank’ for the curious child to pick up.

      • Republicofscotland


        It does make one wonder,when you hear Obama or Kerry wax lyrical, about humanitarian tragedies in the Middle East or sub-Sahara Africa. The fact that American made cluster munitions are used in Yemen and in the Israeli/Palestine conflicts, makes a mockery of theur stance.

    • RobG

      Republic of Scotland, you fail to mention the British role in the slaughter in Yemen. Angus Robertson raised this question during PMQs in January (short clip; 3 mins)…

      I could also tell you that there’s very convincing evidence that tactical nuclear weapons are being used in Yemen, but you’ll probably think I’m mad.

      • David Halpin

        The cool and great cruelty of launching devilish weapons on any creatures draws me to this discussion.

        Rob G. I think tactical nuclear weapons, in fact neutron weapons, were probably used in the ‘turkey’ shoot as the Iraqi forces retreated under white flags. Several pictures suggest this. ‘Melted’ flesh but an intact lorry and windscreen.

        I am certain that the arms of Ali Abbas and the lives of his 10 relatives (including his pregnant Mum) was caused by a neutron bomb. Their village lay between the Al Rashid base and Baghdad airport, over which there was a very fierce fight. It is not on line now I believe but I read of a US contractor taking off the ‘top soil’. Images and a wider story about the paramount psychopath and war criminal

        I discovered the location of the village later.

        There is more to this. I have spent many thousands of hours on the death of David Kelly. Almost all relevant questions/avenues have been blocked. The press and government story is that he was hounded after he spilled the beans re the ‘dodgy dossier’ > suicide. He was NOT the source of Gilligans story.
        Millions of us had guessed that the casus belli had been snatched from thin air, and the evidence for that grows. Kelly had 5 discs – encrypted. He had been to Iraq 37 times and liked the people. He would have know if a neutron shell had been used on the 10th day of bloody ‘shock and awe’. He had become outspoken. Imagine if the sofa cabinet, over their Sauvignon, had rumour that Kelly was going to blow the gaff on the use by the ‘coalition of the willing’ of a neutron bomb, a WMD, when WMDs were the casus!! Brown sofa it would have been under the most contemptible people in our poor corrupt and often cruel country.

        • lysias

          Wasn’t there also melted flesh on some of the victims of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon in 2006?

      • Republicofscotland


        Yes indeed Rob, Britain according to reports is playing a crucial part in the war going on in Yemen (in which one could reasonably say makes Britain partly complicit regarding the deaths of innocent civilians from cluster ammuntions). Britain’s security services and special forces are embedded in Yemen, fighting and training forces to defeat the “rebels” which in reality covers anyone who opposes the Western narrative.

        According to this site British special forces have also played their part in war torn Libya and Somalia.

        As for the detonation of nuclear weapons in Yemen Rob, I’d be shocked, but not surprised, if enough evidence surfaced to conclusively prove that point.

    • Kempe

      ” Cluster munitions are illegal ”

      Not strictly. A number of countries, 99 so far, have signed and ratified an agreement not to use them. The US and Saudi Arabia (as well as China and Russia) were not among them so are doing nothing illegal; immoral perhaps but not illegal.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Why are cluster munitions banned by treaty? Because they are indiscriminate. Weapons which are indiscriminate are illegal, treaty or no treaty.

      • RobG

        Kempe, USUK are committing war crimes on a large scale. The biggest, of course, is the widespread use of depleted uranium munitions (‘DU’). DU use has been going on for decades now in Middle East wars, and as a result parts of this region are totally contaminated…

        Then there’s the USUK use of white phosphorus…

        Not to mention flechette shells, which spray thousands of tiny but lethal darts over a wide area.

        All of these weapons used by USUK are banned by Geneva conventions. You can find some of them here…

        • David Halpin

          Difficult to measure use of course. The variety of flechettes used by ‘Israel’ against the people of Gaza and the folk in Lebanon has to be seen to be believed. Evil every one – including all those used by the ‘West’/NATO. I saw my first victim in February 2003 in Rafah and several since. One was called the ‘rose’ I think – discs which span out to scythe their way into flesh.

          I often write about individual children

          The girl here might have died shortly after I reported her story as she lay in Shifa hospital. Let no defender of the ‘only democracy’ question that which I witnessed. These people are being crucified. I have seen it with my own surgeon’s eyes.

          • John Goss

            Dear Dr. Halpin,

            I really wish more people would take notice of your work as a campaigner, especially over the needless deaths caused by Zionists in Palestine. And thank you for your continued work in trying to get the death of Dr David Kelly into the public eye.

            My focus has been more on Ukraine because it is under-reported. In fact nobody, apart from those who read my comments and those of a few others, know that the civil war and perpetual bombing there is a daily occurrence, and thanks to our media few know that more than twice as many people have been killed there than in Palestine over the same period of time. It is good that you concentrate on individuals, especially the children, who had their own (three-score years and ten) taken away from them at such a tender age.

            Today’s report.


      • bevin

        Talking of killing journalists:

        1/”Two American air-to-surface missiles hit the Qatar satellite TV station at Al Jazeera’s office in Baghdad and killed Tareq Ayyoub, a Palestinian reporter, and wounded Zouhair al-Iraqi, an Iraqi cameraman. They were live broadcasting on the roof of the building. Al Jazeera accused the U.S. of intentionally targeting Al Jazeera as the U.S. bombed its Kabul bureau in 2001 during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan….”

        2/” A U.S. Army tank fired into the 15th floor of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, where almost all foreign journalists were based. The image of the hotel had been frequently broadcast in the news, since many journalists filmed their reports nearby. The tank fire killed the Reuterscameraman Taras Protsyuk and wounded three. José Couso of Telecinco Spanish television who was on the 14th floor also died….”

        3/”The Qatar-based satellite television channel, al-Jazeera, claimed yesterday that its Kabul office had been targeted by United States bombers. Ibrahim Hilal, the chief editor of the Arabic language network, said it had given the location of its office in Kabul to the authorities in Washington – yet on Monday night, its office was destroyed by a bomb that almost wrecked the nearby BBC bureau….”

        4/”…formed part of NATO’s aerial campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and severely damaged the Belgrade headquarters of Radio Television of Serbia (RTS). Other radio and electrical installations throughout the country were also attacked.[2] Sixteen employees of RTS died when a single NATO missile hit the building. Many were trapped for days, only communicating over mobile phones. The station returned to the air 24 hours later from a secret location.[3][4] NATO Headquarters justified the bombing …”

        5/”…At the end of his life, Michael Hastings, like many of the progressive journalists he counted among his friends, felt besieged by an overreaching government. Hastings was living in Los Angeles, and at a Beverly Hills theater in April, he took part in a panel discussion about the documentary War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State. Interviewed in May on The Young Turks, a talk show on Current TV, Hastings railed against the Obama administration, which “has clearly declared war on the press”; the only recourse, he said, was for the press to respond: “We declare war on you.” On May 31, he dashed off an urgent tweet: “first they came for manning. Then Assange. Then fox. Then the ap.drake and the other whistle-blowers. Any nyt reporters too.” …

        “…Hastings’s pivotal article for Rolling Stone actually went beyond revealing Gen. McChrystal’s flawed leadership of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and his scorn for the Commander-in-Chief. In addition it drew on McChrystal’s former role as the commander of Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, a covert elite unit whose kill operations are routinely unaccountable to government, resulting in scores of civilian deaths by U.S. hands in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere that have gone unexamined and unpunished. (JSOC’s activities feature prominently in the book “Dirty Wars” by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, which was subsequently made into an award-winning film that premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

        Hastings continued to report stories that illuminated the darker side of U.S. military actions, including an investigation into the Army’s deployment of psyops, or psychological operations, on U.S. senators visiting combat zones in order to secure more war funding.

        In Hastings’s 2012 book, “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” Hastings wrote about being approached by one of Gen. McChrystal’s aides. “We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write,” said the unnamed aide, who afterwards apologized to Hastings for his remarks.

        Hastings later wrote, “I wasn’t disturbed by the claim. Whenever I’d been reporting around groups of dudes whose job it was to kill people, one of them would usually mention that they were going to kill me.”

        But never did those fears escalate the way they did during the final days and moments of Hastings’s life….”
        – See more at:

        6/ Then there was the attack that Chelsea Manning arranged to have published by Wikileaks:
        “The crews of two Apaches directed 30mm cannon fire at a group of ten Iraqi men standing at a position (intersection) insurgents had previously used to shoot an American Humvee with small arms fire. Among the group were two Iraqi war correspondents working for Reuters, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen. Namir accomplished his objective with three photos of the Humvee which included the large dirt pile used as cover by insurgents to attack the Humvee earlier that morning. Seven men (including Noor-Eldeen) were killed during this first strike, and Saeed Chmagh was injured…”

        • lysias

          If Michael Hastings really was murdered, it was by means of hacking his car. Frightening thought.

          Makes me glad I’m still driving a 1990 car with no computer.

          • lysias

            Details of his death sound as if it could have been a hack to me. New York Magazine: Who Killed Michael Hastings?:

            The lunch never happened. At 4:20 a.m. on Tuesday, June 18, Hastings’s silver Mercedes C250 coupe, speeding south on Highland Avenue, crossed Melrose, jumped the median, hit a palm tree, and exploded. The charred body of the driver was identified by the Los Angeles coroner as John Doe 117 until fingerprints confirmed that the deceased was Michael Hastings.

      • Republicofscotland


        You do have point, albeit a rather mute one, I say that, especially in the case of the USA. America a nation which constantly preaches fairness and democracy really should be able to do better, when it comes to cluster munitions.

        What kind of message does Obama send out when his country’s governing bodies fail to sign the ratification on using such indiscriminate weapons.

        You end by saying it’s a case of morality, I agree, morality takes a distant second place in US Foreign policy in my opinion.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I would just like to make one point. I had never used the handle before…and I still signed it Tony on the Saker’s Blog…and I didn’t purposely add 111 – but it made it even funnier..but I dare not post again there again tonight. I might get in trouble.

    and they can’t beat my gravy

    Completely Original

    About 2 results (0.56 seconds)

    Showing results for “British Intelligence 111”
    No results found for “British Intelligent111”

  • fedup (watch out there is a snitch about)

    A wise person once said:
    And zionists never flinch or blush – a hide like a rhinoceros and the logical rigour of a five year old. They’ll say anything. But that’s not a criticism! More power to them. They are exactly as special as their mothers told them; they were.

    These go and find figures of one source or another that they pull out and in an artificial indignation the flavour of the month villainous culprits are vilified and harangued at for “executing minors”. Missing from their figures are;

    One Palestinian child killed every three days for the last thirteen years! In fact none of these children ever faced a judicial process. None of the thousands of the dead children even knew what they had done wrong to deserve the extra judicial death sentence that was carried out by their executioners.

    However the farce goes on unabated and even the names of the “minor martyrs” in the hands of those nasty nasty Muslims are paraded and the said Muslims judicial systems are subjected to derision. Alas never mentioned is that the 2089 dead Palestinian children never went to court and they had no judge and jury system applying the due process. Hence the rigour of five years old logic dictates; there are no “minor martyrs” among the bally lot of their corpses of dead Palestinian children strewed across their god given homelands. Their homelands that is under the occupation of a vile zionist regime that has only one policy; total extermination of the Palestinians and the extirpation of any Arabs from the said Arabs god given homelands. This is because Abraham had promised the lands of Palestinians to the zionists whom evidently find the bible to be a land register and not the words of god who created the said lands.

    Which one of the so called international watch dogs has mentioned this carnage?

  • Neil Anderson

    All of this was dealt with, in great depth, in the documentary film “The UK Gold” (which I have tried to locate but am having great difficulty doing). Here’s the publicity clip on Youtube. If you get the chance to see it, it’s well worth the effort.

    Hope you can load this folks.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    wtf is going on…The Tories are Crucifying Cameron in The Torygraph….

    The article wasn’t there for very long – there is an Internal Battle going on..

    I did read it about 10-15 minutes ago…and now it is gone.

    I never expected to read that in The Daily Telegraph…who is working the nightshift…

    That was very naughty…you are almost certain to get fired.


      • lysias

        Significant sentence in the Torygraph piece:

        And with a growing list of critics now calling for his resignation, Mr Cameron’s ability to weather the storm is open to interpretation.

        I wonder if his prime ministership will survive the weekend.

      • lysias

        The knives are really out for Cameron. Here’s something else in that Torygraph piece:

        Obama’s ‘S*** Show’, March 10

        Once the warmest of partnerships, the relationship between Mr Cameron and Barack Obama appears to have frosted over after the President allegedly described the Prime Minister’s handling of the Libyan crisis as a “s*** show”.

        Still seething from Boris Johnson’s unexpected pledge of support for the Brexit campaign, Mr Obama’s comments left the Prime Minister open to criticism at home and abroad.

      • lysias

        Interesting comment to an FT piece that tries to whitewash the matter: Cameron’s investments are no misdemeanour:

        Sigmund Fraud 3 hours ago

        The lid is being lifted on the gang culture of the elite. Born to the right parents, sent to the right schools and universities and then into the right occupations: Stockbroking, insurance, banking, law and accounting. You can make a pretty penny advising the wealthy (who’s only qualification needed is to be rich and desirous of saving tax) how to mitigate their liabilities to the exchequer. If you save them £5m, they’ll be happy to share £2m with you, which can be distributed between you and your fellow gang members.

        No wealth has been ‘made’, simply saved from disappearing into the taxation pot for foolish politicians to squander. It still gets spent though, so the economy doesn’t really suffer. Indeed it’s needed for the gang members to send their kids to the right schools, universities etc. etc.

        Meanwhile the gullible plebs can stump up through PAYE (what they never have they won’t miss) and VAT, which they can’t reclaim or offset. It’s a beautiful system, but if this pleb can see it for what it is, how long before all the other plebs can as well and what will be the consequences of that? Cameron’s principle fault is that he obviously wasn’t bright enough – if you’re not good enough for a proper job you get sent into politics. Osborne is another good example.

      • Hieroglyph

        If JC has overtaken our dumbass PC in a poll, that is interesting. Whilst supporting JC, I’ve never been wholly convinced he could win. To me, winning isnt the most important aspect of JC’s tenure anyway. But, it’s looking increasingly likely that he can, in fact, win, because the Tories are a rabble. How then do we think this affects the strategy of the treacherous Blairites? I suspect that rather than giving him time and space, they will instead up their efforts to remove him, because they are much more scared of a JC victory than a humiliating defeat. We shall see.

        I’ve posted elsewhere, I think Cameron will survive this. I say it with less confidence now though, as it appears the knives are out. He survived the hacking scandal because ‘they’ – whoever they are – continued to protect him. Maybe he’s run out of lives. Personally I think he should have resigned long ago, with Libya being the final straw, so tax-dodging seems a little small beer. But, a win’s a win, and Cameron is a prick, so maybe good news soon …

        • John Spencer-Davis

          I really can’t see that it matters much, He’ll only be replaced by some clone, even if he is forced out. What difference does it make?

          • lysias

            It brings us closer to a new election that Corbyn could win. Especially if the Tory Party splits, as Tariq Ali anticipated in that interview on Democracy Now! a couple of weeks ago.

      • lysias

        Another snippet from the Torygraph piece:

        1,600 confirm invite to Downing Street protest

        More than 1,600 people have already confirmed that they will attend a protest outside Downing Street tomorrow at 11am calling for David Cameron to quit.

        A Facebook event created for the protest shows a further 3,800 people are interested in attending.

        • fred

          I do hope they filed all the paperwork with the local police giving them at least two weeks notice.

          Otherwise there will be a lot of people breaking the law to protest against someone not breaking the law.

          • lysias

            If the authorities try to shut the demo down, that will look extremely bad. That sort of action is the kind of thing that can provoke a revolution.

          • fred

            But I would have thought the holier than thou brigade would be condemning such blatant law breaking. It costs money to police demonstrations, leave cancelled at short notice, overtime paid, men drafted from other areas. Costs a small fortune which could be spent on the poor and needy.

      • lysias

        Another extremely significant snippet from that Torygraph piece:

        New approval ratings poll conducted BEFORE Cameron’s admission

        Interestingly, the YouGov approval ratings poll which has placed Jeremy Corbyn ahead of David Cameron was carried out just before the Prime Minister’s admission that he had an undeclared stake in an offshore trust. What would they look like now if the same question was asked again?

        The question that was asked: “How do you think David Cameron is performing in his job?”, and the answers offered were “Well” and “Badly”.

        Presumably the same question was asked about Corbyn.

      • lysias

        That Torygraph piece actually reports that the SNP has come close to calling for Cameron’s resignation:

        David Cameron ‘has played the public’

        The SNP have come close to calling for the Prime Minister to resign with this latest statement from Angus MacNeil MP, a foreign affairs spokesman for the party.

        “If David Cameron was in Iceland he would be finished as prime minister. How do British standards compare?

        David Cameron has played the public, first saying the issue was a private family matter before finally admitting he has personally benefited from a off-shore tax haven, taking in £30 000 from shares just before he became prime minister.

        Arguably, Icelanders have tolerated less than the hypocrisy we have seen from the prime minister, who has presented himself as a champion against off-shore tax havens having personally pocketed from them.

        Have David Cameron’s interests influenced his actions in parliament? They should have been declared before now.

        The prime minister is in a dire situation- he has led us down the garden path and the public will find it very difficult to ever trust him again.”

      • lysias

        More news in the Torygraph piece about the SNP:

        SNP’s Angus Robertson to demand statement to Parliament

        Mr Robertson, the party’s Westminster leader, has tweeted he will be asking for the PM to make a statement about his tax affairs.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        No not that one – i read that hours ago..the one I read was only up for about 15 minutes about 9 pm.. . then it was deleted…I Did post for about 5 years on The Telegraph..I even survived Brendan Brogan banning me..they fired him instead – and I was allowed to post again. I bet he remembers – I really got under his skin..but I suspect he is a very nice man..I didn’t want to be banned, and I certainly didn’t want him fired. He was getting paid for what he wrote. I wrote it for free. I think they liked me a bit…though sometimes I was very critical.

        Now no one like me can write anything on The Daily Telegraph..which kind of proves my point.


    • lysias

      That was very naughty…you are almost certain to get fired.

      Or they may be promoted after Cameron resigns, which is looking increasingly likely before the weekend is out and he has to account for himself in Parliament on Monday.

  • IntegrityIsNotForSale

    Having worked offshore for many years, I found there were only two circumstances that offshore trusts or companies legitimately and transparently operated. Those families with fear from kidnapping, particularly with children, who found over the years that the only way to minimise such threat was to place wealth offshore and into trusts whereby the beneficiaries would be transparent and pay tax when they receive distributions. The second were also families, whose tax residency status was complicated as they not only travelled, but were resident in several countries within a fiscal year. Offshore structures would allow them to address their complex financial arrangements year on year. Although for most clients, tax transparency was evident and part of the financial arrangement, I do admit there were some which were not due to the corruption within all government services, including tax collection. While I would not condone, I could understand…..

  • IntegrityIsNotForSale

    …and I would add that I am no longer working in offshore finance, having been subsequently fired for trying to do the right thing….that is, alerting financial intelligence authorities to suspicious activity….which management did not want exposed.

  • BrianFujisan


    Some more on The Carnage we assist in The Yemen

    ” The AP also quantified the tragedy (although these figures may drastically underestimate the magnitude of the calamity):

    “The impoverished nation of 26 million, which imports 90 percent of its food, already had one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world, but in the past year the statistics have leaped.
    “The number of people considered ‘severely food insecure’  —  unable to put food on the table without outside aid  —  went from 4.3 million to more than 7 million, according to the World Food Program. Ten of the country’s 22 provinces are classified as one step away from famine.
    “Where before the war around 690,000 children under five suffered moderate malnutrition, now the number is 1.3 million. Even more alarming are the rates of severe acute malnutrition among children  —  the worst cases where the body starts to waste away  —  doubling from around 160,000 a year ago to 320,000 now, according to UNICEF estimates.”

    Try to imagine a child you love starved to emaciation. Now realize that our government is complicit in causing 160,000 additional children to suffer that….

    ” So there you have it. The U.S. enabled the Yemen war as a reassuring gesture for the Saudis and a “tough message” for the Iranians. Thousands killed and hundreds of thousands of children being starved, all to send various signals to allies and adversaries: war as a geopolitical messaging app.
    President Barack Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, couldn’t negotiate a partial detente with Iran without offering up a mass human sacrifice in Yemen to propitiate the Saudis. Such are the dismal prospects for peace through politics.

    • Republicofscotland

      Thank you Brian for that info.

      It would appear that there’s a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Yemen, yet recent press coverage bar one or two (possibly more) is sporadic to say the least.

      Apart from the Saudi onslaught, a blockade supposedly aimed at stopping arms entering into Yemen, has been going on for quite a while now. Which in my opinion has only exacerbated the humanitarian crisis with regards to food shortages.

      “Aid agencies say embargo imposed by US and UK-backed Arab coalition has had dramatic effect, with almost 80% of population in urgent need of food, water and medical supplies”

  • John Goss

    Scanning through this page of comments I note that the rights and wrongs of killing journalists has been a topic, especially with regard to Nadezhda Savchenko, Ukrainian pilot on trial for such an act. There have been many journalists killed in Ukraine and there does seem to have been a deliberate policy of targeting journalists, something which may have been learnt from their Yankee advisors. You may recall that NATO forces involved in the Iraq war – which like the Ukrainian war is still not over – would only try to protect embedded journalists who they could feed with propaganda.

    There is some uncomfortable footage in this excellent article by Dr Nozomi Hayaze. Nevertheless it should be watched. Some have talked about whether individuals would receive a fair trial in Russia. That I don’t know, but what I do know is individuals do not receive a fair trial in the west. It is why Julian Assange has had to seek refuge in the Ecuador embassy, why Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning is in a US military prison, and why the United States is a cesspit of aggression and torture. Force yourself to watch it! And please read the article.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I think I have banned even from Chris Spivey’s website…

    If the catts hack my mobile phone, or my computer…they will obviously recognise her…but they won’t be able to tell…whether I took the photo of my wife in 1985 or 2015.

    She still looks the same.


    Come on lets have a competition you catts…

    Lancashire VS The World

    Wipe the floor with you – even the Scousers can’t compete – and as far as you Fat American Girls..Jesus – you like your Pork Chops..

    My wife is also a heart of gold….and she will naturally be interested in you..and find everything about you in her lovely Lancashire accent – in a very nice friendly way, and you have just made a new friend.


  • Tom Hunsdale

    Well said. Partially leaked data is worse than worthless, it is disingenuous.

  • C17 fwl


    Zero Hedge has posted curious piece commenting on your Panama analysis, but then somewhat surprisingly, to my mind anyway, posits Putin &Co as the force and strategy behind leak, but who gains. The commercial consequence appears to be money to US asset protection trusts. It was happening anyway, but this story really sells the US product. Which offshore is onshore and (relatively) untainted? The US.

    • C17 fwl

      But if the focus was to undermine Cameron and force a resignation going into referendum ie to engineer greater instability and increased risk of Brexit well then presumably who benefits from that – maybe America commercially but not geopolitically (on any conventional understanding). On a simple geopolitical understanding if Britain out of EU and EU weakened then that helps Russia.

      Who (if anyone because maybe no one) strategically facilitated migrant crisis?

      Is the Panama leak an ethical leak, a commercial leak, or a strategic geopolitical leak?

      Sorry, I don’t have answers only questions.

    • jake

      I hear there is some vacant office space available at Gitmo and what with Cuba being rehabilitated an’ all, the place looks ideal for some enterprising outfit to establish a swanky call centre/ data centre.

  • twathater

    It is sickening how sycophantic the BBC continues to be, with any debacle committed by the shower of greed infested tory parasites reluctantly given air time, and only because other media outlets like this one has informed and exposed the corruption to the public. If it were not for the independent media and people like Craig and others, most if not all of these reprehensible actions would be buried and we would forever be looking at squirrels. The BBC is not fit for purpose, it is supposed to conduct investigative journalism , it is supposed to unearth corruption , it is supposed to protect the citizens of Britain it’s paymasters, from lying ,cheating , unscrupulous arsewipes, instead it collaborates with them to hide and obfuscate their misdeeds. An example, I unfortunately watched QT the other night and the odious woman Soubry was allowed to continuously interrupt and talk over any dissenting voices , she repeatedly insisted that the moron had neither committed an illegal or immoral act and had been totally open and honest with the electorate. The fact that Dimbleby allowed these ramblings to continue speaks volumes

    • John Goss

      I hardly ever watch the BBC but confess that sometimes, just before the hour, I put it on to try and catch the local weather before Russia Today comes on. This morning, Saturday, the local news was not on. Instead there was a question-answer session with some stiff upper-lip twat called Sam Taylor, who has been news editor of the BBC since 2012. He had the gall to praise the channel for which he is responsible as being the most watched (which might be true unfortunately) and most reliable news channel. He mentioned how when a real news story like Brussels or Paris comes along they even reschedule other programmes to make sure it is covered. I laughed. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

      The questioner asked him no hard questions. I would have asked him why under his watch the Maidan protests were covered almost daily, but when the civil-war started in Ukraine it was hardly covered at all. That is the news we want to see – real news, not the stuff manufactured in a studio and funded by neocon-Zionists. And such are the questions he should be answering. While he’s there there is no chance of the BBC winning back viewers like me. I continue to try and convince others to change their viewing habits too.

      • John Goss

        I tweeted this comment to Sam Taylor. I don’t expect a response. But I want him to know that we BBC licence-fee payers are not happy with the lies trumped up and presented as news.

        Having said that I notice the Masters is on BBC2 today and tomorrow with Rory Mcllroy breathing down the neck of Jordan Speith after two rounds. I have a sneaky feeling for Bryson DeChambeau (a 22 year-old amateur) who blew up with a disastrous 7 on the par 4 18th in yesterday’s round. He is already US amateur champion and clearly someone to be watched. His triple bogey shows how punishing Augusta can be with a simple misjudgment. I hope Rory wins though.

  • /lasse

    The only online based platforms given access are the billionaire owned Huffington Post and Craigslist.

    And both Arianna Huffington and Craig Newmark is on the Board of Directors on Center for Public Integrity (CPI).

  • John Spencer-Davis

    You know, it’s no wonder neither Conservative nor Labour elites have any time for Jeremy Corbyn. Look at footage of where he lives, which can be seen by clicking the link “Corbyn brusk [sic] with reporter outside his home” in the page I append.

    It is a small point: but can you imagine Cameron or Osborne or Miliband or Umunna or Blair being perfectly happy living somewhere like that? There is a reason everybody in a glitzy house with a glitzy salary sneers at him for being a sandal-wearing weirdo. His very lifestyle is a reproach to them.

  • fedup

    Empire Strikes back, you are not kidding.

    As agent Dave’s financial wizardries are the headline news, suddenly the archbishop of Enterprise oil is found to be a bastard with the implications of the Antichrist managing to getting to be the head of the CE.

    Cue the music and the shot of the dark clouds over the Westminster Abbey! Although which doddering old age pensioner appointed the Antichrist as the head of her church won’t be much debated? After all the same doddering OAP has been letting the zionist scum to get away with their shit for years.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      I suppose the Archbishop can’t help who his father is, Fedup. And I have to admire someone with such a chaotic upbringing – if he is telling the truth – for getting so far, no matter what his opinions are like.

      • fedup

        John I know you mean well, but what kind of a chaotic upbringing could he have in the upper crust? That is when his mother is playing hid the comrade Charlie’s helmet with the private secretary of Winston the melancholic boozer?

        Clearly his family were well connected and part of the establishment. Although probably poor Welby the elder went about doing his bit for the king and the country by brining up the bastard of another, without flinching from his fatherly duties. That is whilst the old dowager Welby was busy boosting the moral of the dear leaders of the country and supporting the king and country in her own “unique” way!

        The archbishop of the Enterprise Oil most certainly could not be classed in the same category as the council estate sprog, fighting up his way to become to be the Antichrist. Although as the statistics show 35 percent of the children born in the wedlock (in the good old days) were in fact sired by some other dude than the husband.

        However I will agree with you on the notion of discovering the truth is really a bitter pill. I have seen it it first hand the poor chap was devastated to find out that his biological dad was their old neighbour and he was furious with his mother when he found out. He was bitterly recollecting the incident in which his mother had left their dad and was gone for some while, while his father was working and caring for him and his siblings.

        He also recollected tearfully that around the same period he found his father locking himself in a room and after a while coming out with puffy bloodshot eyes. He was regretting that he was too young to understand and tell his father that his mother was not worth the angst and that he should move on and find a decent woman worthy of him!! In a sense I fell sorry for Justin at a personal level. But having witnessed the shenanigans of our dear leaders, it is evident that Justine’s parentage is outed to deflect attention form Dodgy Dave.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          I understand what you are saying, and I do agree that it could have been a lot worse for him. A chaotic upbringing with money and privilege in the family is undoubtedly preferable to a chaotic upbringing without it. However, he could easily have turned out a feckless alcoholic like his mum and dad, since that was what he saw. He didn’t. He deserves credit for that.

          I’m sorry to hear about your friend.

          It is without question interesting that, although Archbishop Welby discovered his personal circumstances “in recent weeks”, the story has broken now, today, just when Cameron is fighting for his political life. Funny coincidence, is it not so?

          • fedup

            OK now that you have qualified your original statement I agree, he has come to be who he is despite the lack of any decent role models. True he could have been one of the many feckless indolent parasites that seem to believe the world owes them a living because of their connections.

            Thanks for your sympathy for my friend, the only regret that I have, I had not an iota of an idea how much pain he was in? Therefore I did not support him as best as I could have.

            Most certainly invoking the Antichrist angle is just too convenient for dodgy Dave.

  • Ian

    Far more important than naming and shaming individuals involved in financial deception, imho, is the connection for the public of the City and the financial institutions to this web of corruption. The very same people and institutions which caused the biggest recession since the 1930’s, and who we have bailed out with billions of pounds, are central to the instigation and maintenance of these regimes. When people connect the dots, or some decent journalists do it for them, they will suddenly realise how the deregulation of the Clinton and Thatcher years have created a monster which threatens to consume us all. Far from the UK being laughably ‘in the front’ of legislation against tax havens, we are central to their creation and maintenance – the UK is in many ways a tax haven itself, thanks to the weirdly medieval City of London corporation. UK banks are leaders in the field of the transit and concealment of money. If we had an effective opposition, or even fifth estate, the dots would start to be joined, and the reason for the financial disaster of the last ten years laid bare – tax evasion is only the symptom of a culture of financial engineering which has impoverished the country and its services, allowed to let rip by governments of the last twenty or more years.
    Britain is the Heart and Soul of Global Tax Evasion

    • Rose

      fed up and John SD – I agree that no one should be castigated for their parentage and of course Justin Welby must be given credit for the way he coped with a difficult childhood.

      My beef though ties in with John G’s point earlier about the BBC’s selective coverage. I did get a laugh though from the po-voiced announcer handing over to “our religious affairs corespondent for further details” on the 8 am news on Radio 4. Perhaps a better title would be Religious Shenanigans – never mind affairs!

      This was followed by 10 or 15 minutes worth of guff from a pair of stuffed shirts telling us what we’re supposed to make of it all. It was truly nauseating crap. It is insulting to be treated to this trivia dressed up as news from a publicly funded organisation which makes such claims to impartiality and integrity. Was there really nothing more important to report this morning on its “flagship” programme?

      I don’t think you need to be a conspiracy theorist to sniff the stench of rotting Denmark over the timing of this. They’re all falling out amongst themselves. Time to break open the pop-corn – if it wasn’t so serious for the rest of us.

  • fedup

    O/T Silly Saturday News presents;

    Michael Banks wanted to be a hero and make an internet proposal to his intended! So he climbed up a mountain and made the proposal and the intended answered YES! All good and well, so Micheal deciding to climb down; proceeds and gets stuck and needs rescuing from the ledge !!!!

    Whilst getting rescued by the helicopter he is then found to be high on “speed”* and gets arrested for possession.

    Moral of the story, don’t get high and then come up with hair brain ideas of climbing mountains to make a proposal. Failing that find a mountain that is not high enough to get stuck on. Failing that cut the middleman out and walk into a police station and get arrested saving a lot of hassle for yourself and the rest of humanity.

    * methamphetamine

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