2016: The Year the Media Broke 223


Rupert Murdoch’s bid for a full takeover of Sky TV demonstrates graphically that the extreme concentration of media ownership has not yet run its course. It also yet again underlines the extent to which the Leveson Inquiry was barking entirely up the wrong tree. There is no question to which the correct answer is increased government control over free speech. Any inquiry into the media should look first and foremost at its highly concentrated ownership and how to instil more pluralism. It is probably now too late to expect that a vibrant, diverse traditional media is achievable. We can however be cheered by the continuing decline of the political influence of the mainstream media, as illustrated by its “Fake News” panic.

Even five years ago, if the mainstream media carried a meme that was fundamentally untrue, the chances of persuading public opinion of its untruth were almost minimal. Similarly if they wished to ignore an inconvenient truth, it would be very hard indeed to get it out to a significant number.

Four years ago, when the official version of the Adam Werritty affair was front page news for days, causing the resignation of the Defence Secretary, I discovered that in fact the real scandal ran much deeper. Werritty – who had an official pass but no official position – had held at least eight meetings with Matthew Gould, now Cabinet Office anti-WikiLeaks supremo. Gould had at the time of some of the meetings been ambassador to Israel, at the time of others Private Secretary to two different Foreign Secretaries, David Miliband and William Hague. On at least one occasion it was acknowledged by the FCO that Mossad were also present. For the three meetings which occurred while Gould was Private Secretary, I requested the diary entries under the Freedom of Information Act. The meetings were held on 8 Sept 2009, 27 Sept 2010 and 6 Feb 2011. The FCO sent me, in reply to my Freedom of Information request, the diary entries for those three days with only the dates – the rest was 100% redacted, in the interests of national security.

The Cabinet Secretary, Gus O’Donnell, in presenting his report to parliament into Werritty’s activities, blatantly lied and listed only three of Werritty’s eight meetings with Gould. Yet, even though the Werritty scandal was a front page story, I could not interest the mainstream media in publishing the truth. I believe that was because it touched on security links with Israel. To be plain, I was offering officially verified information at no charge to all the mainstream newspapers and broadcasters, and the only outlet which would touch it was the Independent. Tellingly, this paper, not controlled by the big news corporations, has since gone bust.

The reason I revisit this all now is to point out that when I published the true facts about Werritty on this blog, it was read here by tens of thousands. But four years later, when similarly I wrote about the story behind the mainstream media version of the Panama Papers, it was read by hundreds of thousands on this site alone. I had simply pointed out that the leaker had erred in giving the Panama Papers to the mainstream media and not to WikiLeaks, and therefore we were not getting the full picture. Media attention was focused on extremely tenuous links to Russia (ring any bells lately?), and remarkably no major British or American corporations or prominent individuals were named. In the event the full papers never were published by their mainstream media guardians, only a redacted “database”. No major British or US corporations ever were named. Unlike on Fox/Werritty, I was able to reach many millions of people with my writings on the Panama papers through the increasing power of social media.

These are homely examples from my own blog. But the real effect was seen in the WikiLeaks releases of the Podesta and DNC emails. The mainstream media contrived to ignore the damning content of those emails almost completely, but they were shared by many, many millions through social media. We now have the hilarious situation where the mainstream media is still hiding the content and denying the influence, while at the same time promoting a meme that the leaks were crucial and all the fault of Putin. What the mainstream media cannot squarely face is that 2016 became the tipping point, the year when they no longer control the narrative, the year the traditional means of population control by the 1% stopped working properly.

2017 will see the Establishment reaction to this. Control of “Fake” news by social media, and “ghost banning” are two of the weapons which will be used. The obvious weakness of the people’s social media revolution is its heavy reliance on the corporations Twitter and Facebook. There is every evidence that their fellow billionaires are working hard and with success to ensure that the new billionaire controllers of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Wikipedia become properly committed to the corporate news management agenda. We have already seen governments move across the Western world to increase powers of internet censorship “to counter radicalisation”, and expect these to be both strengthened and deployed against non-official news.

The 1% have all the money and we don’t because they are powerful, unscrupulous, sociopathic and very resilient. 2017 I suspect will be the year it becomes plain that new social networking media beyond corporate control are required, but I am confident the internet will work that one out by its collective genius. 2016 will be seen as a turning point. But there are still a great many hard battles ahead.


223 thoughts on “2016: The Year the Media Broke

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  • lwtc247

    One problem is, it’s the economic system where ‘media’ can be bought and sold, ultimately allowing monopolies.
    The MMC (Monopolies and Mergers Commission) is really just there to ensure a monopoly doesn’t come to be IN THE ‘WRONG’ HANDS.
    An truly independent media watchdog with teeth would never be allowed to continue as the govt taps well into the symbiosis.
    There’s nothing for it really other than for people to decide to reject the official corporate liars/media and switch to real channels like Information Clearing House, The Real News(?), etc, keeping a watch (and financial support towards) on excellent scrutinisers of media like MediaLens.

    • Salford Lad

      The most pernicious form of Propaganda is the suppression of the truth.
      The MSM practises this daily and treats us like the proverbial mushrooms.

  • JJohn

    “– the rest was 100% redacted, in the interests of national security”.

    Israel’s, not ours. :o)

    • Shatnersrug

      One to not right now is google’s launching of AMP for mobile – it is now very difficult to access a news site without going through google’s AMP, making link copying difficult and I’m sure ultimately to exclude excellent news Sources such a Counterpunch and Craig’s site. There are plans a foot to tag non mainstream media news sites with a red sticker claiming them to be “contested news site”

      Empire is built on propaganda and the news papers have broken it – all governments will agree that the control of news must be of primary concern – Dark days ahead.

      • Shatnersrug

        Actually, as I side note to that, can I recommend everyone switch to another search engine such as Bing the place to hit google is in its profits – not that Bong are any better but google needs a kick in the nuts.

        I’d use duck duck go but their searches are limited.

        • Phil the ex-frog

          Shatnersrug

          I’m struggling to understand how using microsoft rather than google in any way curbs corporate censorship and power.

          [And FYI, duckduckgo merely repackages google results.]

          • Shatnersrug

            Phil, I don’t. This is a specific problem that needs to be dealt with
            In a specific manner. Google have now added control over all news sites including Reddit and other forum based social media for their mobile browser client.

            This means it is no longer possible to search for a news site without having google’s hands curled around it – at best it’s another corporate money gab – at worst it’s a first attempt to filter out people like Craig and other independent news sites.

            The only power we have in a corporate market is to change provider, if google discover that signicant users have abandoned them then this particular land grab may be cancelled.

            These companies only understand market logic and yet they’re quite prepared to undermine their commercial appeal – it’s our duty to demonstrate that.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Shatnersrug

            So, you and all your friends spend months, probably years, organising an effective boycott of google (ys we’re dreaming here). Only to find that microsoft are equally controlling your newsfeed and, double curses, thanking you for having helped trash the competition, they have doubled their prices. You then spend another year organising everyone to re-embrace google…etc, etc.

            Consumer activism cannot challenge the underlying processes. All that time wasted.

            The tendency towards monopoly is considered by many as a feature of capitalism (the inevitable conclusion of long term accumulation and competition). Marx write about this. Looking at the trajectory of business it seems to be true. I understand Adam Smith hoped government would intervene to curb this tendency. Presumably, Smith failed to foresee the capture of the state (including all regulators) by capital. Perhaps one of the resident economists might comment.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Clark

            Certainly years ago DMOZ had that reputation. Marketeers moaned about the power of the editors. However, that was another age, I don’t imagine it retains much, if any, influence. If it ever had any in the first place.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Shatnersrug

            Come on. That’s poor. You think retaining a position you seem unable to defend is something other than eeyore like dismal gloom?

            Aaaaanyways, as it your ‘duty’ not doubt you are already busy organising the boycott of google. Don’t forget to post a link to your petition here.

  • fred

    News is a commodity same as any other, it is worth money and while it is worth money unscrupulous people will exploit it,.

    Fake news is counterfeit goods same as any other. They are news stories not based on any facts, invented solely to get the maximum number of people to click on them and hence earn the maximum advertising revenue. Click bait and no more, pure fabrications intended to con the gullible.

    Sites such as http://abcnews.com.co/ tell deliberate lies knowing they will be believed and go viral on social media. That is fraud the same as any other kind of fraud.

      • fred

        We have regulators to ensure they don’t. We have the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

        • MJ

          We don’t need regulators to tell us that the news story about Russia hacking the DNC e-mails is fake, all the necessary information is already in the public domain. Putting all your trust in regulators is no substitute using your own brain.

        • Republicofscotland

          The press are free to publish any opinion they desire, unless under restraint, with regards to certain stories, or if they libel someone, they can be held to account. Otherwise, they can push their angle on any given story.

        • fred

          The news story about Russia hacking the DNC isn’t fake. The CIA gave a press conference and the papers reported what they said. If the CIA are telling the truth or not is a matter of opinion but the newspapers reported the facts, what the CIA said may or may not be fact but the fact they said it certainly is a fact.

        • Republicofscotland

          ” but the newspapers reported the facts”

          _________

          Fred.

          Whose facts? The CIA’s? Who are desperate to discredit Russia.

          The CIA give a press conference, wave about a document that they claim is full of facts, the nodding dogs in the seats (the press) then report the CIA’s facts as real facts.

          Very few if any so called journalists, will step out of line, they fear losing their jobs, paying their mortgage and bills, comes way ahead of truthful and investigative journalism.

          Add to that, that I’d wager half the journalists in NY are on the CIA’s payroll.

          You really do possess a verdant approach to these matters Fred.

        • lysias

          It was worse than the CIA giving a press conference. Unnamed CIA official(s) — if we can believe the Washington Post‘s report — leaked a summary of a CIA document to the Washington Post, and the Washington Post published an article based on that leaked summary. It does not appear that WaPo saw the actual document, and they certainly did not name the CIA official or officials who leaked.

        • Republicofscotland

          Lysais.

          In my opinion, the Washington Post is linked to the CIA, in the same way the Telegraph newspaper is to Whitehall.

        • lysias

          It’s well established as a matter of history that Phil Graham, publisher of the Washington Post at the time, was the first newspaper person recruited to manage the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird project to manage the news. Graham eventually committed suicide, but there is every reason to believe that the association continued after his death.

          Which has interesting implications regarding the Washington Post‘s prominent role in bringing down Nixon over the Watergate affair.

          As well as implications for current events.

  • David

    The internet is a living thing…. life will always find a way to prevail.

    Its already possible and within the reach and skill of everyone to be anonymous on the internet, tor browser is just a start. The more governments try and control the internet, the less control they will have over it. The 1% is living in denial currently, they just cant understand that everything has changed, none of their models work anymore, economic or social; and they have lost the ability to predict any sort of result. As such it must be a scary world for them to live in right now.

    Once the UK finds a new political party that works for the people the game is truly up. Labour, conservative, Lib dems, SNP and all the rest are now political dinosaurs, they are already dead, they just don’t realise it yet !

  • michael norton

    2016 is the year of BREXIT – Dave Cameron did a runner and Frau May took the helm in the U.K.
    after a little delaying tactic, she signed up to the FRENCH Hinkley Point C for Somersetshire
    Also in 2016 it has been pointed out that 20 of the FRENCH 58 reactors have been closed down on the grounds that safety certificates have been forged/wrongly filled in
    and concentrations of carbon have turned up ( if you look for them) in among other places the end-caps of the reactor pressure vessels.
    AREVA is essentially bankrupt and the FRENCH government have “asked” EDF to purchase AREVA, EDF are putting the cost of electricity up in the U.K. by 8.9% to pay for their troubles.
    It is also the year that the new rollable sarcophagus has moved over the site of Chernobyl.

    now this

    Japan cancels failed $9bn Monju nuclear reactor
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-38390504

    So far 2016 is not a good year for the Nuclear Industries.

  • giyane

    I came across this on my way here:
    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/brexit-secretary-david-davis-has-won-a-court-case-against-theresa-may/ar-BBxoQNk?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=UE01DHP
    This was a case of weevils in the parliamentary flour, as opposed to dissent in the MSM or web.

    The Tory party has had a much longer reign than the family of Assad, partly because it contains independently minded rebels who break it up from time as with Maggie’s poll tax. The obvious conclusion to the problem of retaining power must therefore be to be susceptible to democratic influence.
    By definition, if MSM or government seek absolute power, they will automatically lose it.
    It’s not rocket science, just common sense.

    • Habbabkuk

      “100% market share equates with 100% of profits to be taken in tax.”
      ________________________

      In which case why should the company bother to operate?

      Writings like that make any sensible person despair.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        Habbabkuk
        “In which case why should the company bother to operate?”

        Well it wouldn’t. Which is the point. To prevent monopolies.

        I actually think the suggestion tosh but for actual reasons rather than just not understanding.

      • Dave Price

        Habbs,

        Don’t despair!

        There may indeed be other economic factors that mean Clark’s suggestion, at least in its simple form here, would not work. Nonetheless the answer to your question in this simple scenario is that companies would have incentive to expand up to 50% of market share, but no more.

      • bevin

        Many companies operate quite happily without making “profits’. They do so by distributing revenues, amongst the favoured. before they can become profits. Monopolies can exist for very long periods pursuing this strategy. Their managers, contractors, employees and others is receipt of their largesse do well and grow rich. The East India Company went though long periods in which it made no profits, in fact, in which it accumulated enormous losses, while those controlling it did very well, retiring at young ages to their homelands with vast estates.

          • Herbie

            Yes.

            The whole point of the Monopoly board game was to teach people that capitalism tends towards monopoly.

            Govt used to intervene, but now they don’t.

            Hence monopoly.

            That’s why it’s the desired outcome.

            In other news, Austerity is a means of further enriching the rich, at the expense of both ordinary people and ordinary economies.

            That’s why all over the world these filthy scum are being overturned.

            By those who make their money in the domestic economy for the most part.

    • David

      Profit is an easily manipulated number, I could quite easily have 100% market share, pay myself 8 billion pounds a year and never ever make a profit ! Meaning your taxing 100% of nothing.

      Well I could if I knew how to start a monopoly !

    • Shatnersrug

      Well if you applied the old Means, motive and Mens Rea than the CIA would be about the number one suspect here. They’re desperate to get this war with Russia far enough down the line that Trump can’t back out. He’s going to have a good old clear out on the 21st of Jan.

      I’m no trump fan but Obama conceded all executive power to various departments and this is the end product a rouge bickering shadow government.

    • lysias

      The RT report, as anyone who bothered to follow the link could see, has a link to the State Department press briefing as reported on the official U.S. State Department Web site: Daily Press Briefing – December 20, 2016:

      QUESTION: Okay. The Turkish foreign ministry is saying that the foreign minister in his phone call today with Secretary Kerry said that Turkey and Russia knew that Gulenists were behind the assassination of the Russian ambassador. Do you have a readout on that particular aspect and what is the U.S. response to those —

      MR KIRBY: We’ll be issuing a readout of the phone call a little bit more detailed later. I don’t have anything specific with respect to that issue. I will tell you, though, that the Secretary in his conversation with the foreign minister did raise his concerns about some of the rhetoric coming out of Turkey with respect to American involvement/support, tacit or otherwise, for this unspeakable assassination yesterday because of the presence of Mr. Gulen here in the United States. And it is a – it’s a ludicrous claim, absolutely false, there’s no basis of truth in it whatsoever, and the Secretary made that very clear in his discussions today with the foreign minister.

      Note that, although the question was only about the Turkish government’s claim that Gulenists were behind the assassination, State Department Kirby immediately proceeded to attack the idea that the U.S. was somehow involved in the assassination. Is that a guilty conscience speaking here?

      It would really help if people actually read the articles and followed the links before reacting, within minutes.

      • Habbabkuk

        Yes, I reacted as quickly to the article as you reacted to my post :).

        *************************

        “Note that, although the question was only about the Turkish government’s claim that Gulenists were behind the assassination, State Department Kirby immediately proceeded to attack the idea that the U.S. was somehow involved in the assassination. Is that a guilty conscience speaking here?”
        _______________

        No, I don’t think so. It seems to me to be a reaction to those – including your good self by the way – who assert close cooperation between the Gülenists and the CIA as a way of claoming that the US govt was implicated in the murder.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        “It would really help if people actually read the articles and followed the links before reacting, within minutes.”
        ______________________

        I always read your links carefully, Lysias, because you have a certain way (let us say) with them. As you have found out to your cost on occasion….

    • Habbabkuk

      I continue to suspect Russian involvement. Let’s face it, apart from the loss of one diplomat (and there are plenty more where he came from), Russian policy can only stand to gain from the event in several ways.

      • Shatnersrug

        So good to see Hans gone round the bend and spinning his own conspiracy theories – that’s why he’s so critical of other nutters – takes one to know one eh?

  • lysias

    Even five years ago, if the mainstream media carried a meme that was fundamentally untrue, the chances of persuading public opinion of its untruth were almost minimal.

    Over 50 years ago, the mainstream media uniformly supported the official narrative of JFK having been killed by the lone nut Oswald, and they suppressed any dissenting narratives. Initially, they persuaded most Americans, but, within a few years, a majority of Americans no longer believed it. That, despite the blackout in the mainstream media. Books like Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment and articles in alternative magazines were enough to discredit the official narrative.

    • Habbabkuk

      A swift look at his entry in Wikipedia reveals plainly Mark Lane’s nut-and-fruitcase nature, despite having presumably been written by someone in sympathy with the fellow.

      But hey, so what, his “work” brought him notoriety and a very healthy bank balance and generations of ConspiraLoons have a lot to thank him for 🙂

    • lysias

      My posting only listed Lane’s book as one of the things that changed American public opinion. That is true, whatever the merits of the book. Although I have read it, and was impressed by the knowledge of the details of the case that it showed at the time, very shortly after the assassination.

      A new third edition of Peter Janney’s Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace has been published. Janney, the son of a high-ranking CIA official and a friend of Mary Pinchot Meyer, makes a very persuasive case that the CIA was behind the murders of both JFK and Mary Pinchot Meyer. (I have read an earlier edition of the book.) He was interviewed on RT yesterday.

      • Habbabkuk

        Sounds as if you’re reverse-ferreting to me .

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

        Anyway, if JFK was assassinated by the CIA as a way of preventing “World Peace” then their work was in vain I’d say, insofar as I don’t recall any World War having broken out since 1963. But perhaps I’m just getting forgetful…? 🙂

        Advice : give it a rest, you’ve had your 10 minutes of attention for today.

        • bevin

          Not forgetful-ignorant. Large numbers of wars have been fought since 1963, tens of millions have been killed in them. And most of them can be traced back to the machinations of the US and its agencies.

          • SA

            It is interesting that this argument about absence of war (meaning world war only) has also been used as an achievement of the common market even though the military arm of the EU aka NATO has been involved in many wars including some in Europe.

      • lysias

        As Janney shows (and also James Douglass in JFK and the Unspeakable), JFK wanted to end the Cold War as well as the Vietnam War. His assassination prevented that. We had decades of Cold War and the bloodiest years of the Vietnam War after he died.

        And now there are strenuous attempts to revive the Cold War.

  • Republicofscotland

    The assassination of Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov, thankfully hasn’t impacted on a Turkish/Russian relations.

    Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said after a meeting with Turkish and Iranian officials, that all three countries are ready to act as guarantors, in a peace deal involving the Syrian government.

    We can speculate as to who put forward the assassination of Mr Karlov, more importantly who had the means and the contacts in Turkey to pull off such a audacious act, Fethullah Gulen, certainly falls with that category.

    • Habbabkuk

      Sounds as if you’re absolving the US and Israel, RoS. Sanity breaks out again.

      ***************************

      Here’s a kind of “deal” which might make sense: the US sends Gülen back to Turkey and Russia sends Snowden back to the US. Waddya think?

      • Republicofscotland

        Habb.

        I’m not absolving anyone, its an opinion, I’m pretty sure the US would like to see a frosty relationship between Russia and Turkey. Gùlen resides in the US, I’d wager he has contacts in Turkey, capable of pulling off such an act.

        As for your proposal, the rest of have learned from Snowden so Id say no to that one I’m sure there’s more info to come.

        As for Gulen, well, he may be useful to the US one day, when Turks tire of Erdogans coming dictatorship. Failing that Gulen, has a string of madrassas, across the world, that will provide useful patsies in the future.

  • fred

    “General and indiscriminate retention” of emails and electronic communications by governments is illegal, the EU’s highest court has ruled, in a judgment that could trigger challenges against the UK’s new Investigatory Powers Act – the so-called snooper’s charter.

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/dec/21/eus-highest-court-delivers-blow-to-uk-snoopers-charter

    Only targeted interception of traffic and location data in order to combat serious crime – including terrorism – is justified, according to a long-awaited decision by the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg.

    • Habbabkuk

      But is the govt attempting to retain actual emails and electronic communications (the contents) or merely keeping a record of traffic (who communicates with whom when)?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Habb – over the last few years, the UK has introduced a raft of ever-more intrusive legislation aimed specifically at ‘terrorism’ – even though it would be beyond the wit of a terrorist to commit any crime not previously covered by our existing criminal law. A question for you. Who’s winning? The UK, or those who wish to destroy its liberty by inciting terror ( largely, terror in the authorities)?

        • Habbabkuk

          Ba’al

          As you are one of the few rational commenters on here (well, mostly) I shall comment on elements of your post, in the order you chose.

          1/. You have of course widened the field beyond surveillance powers when you speak of a ” raft…of legislation”.

          2/. It has often been said that previous criminal law was sufficient to cover terrorist activity. I would dispute that. But let us note, firstly, that laws on terrorism are part of criminal law and that terrorism is criminal activity. More specific criminal law relating to terrorism is merely a response to a crime with its own specific characteristics which, inter alia, avails itself of tools which were unknown (often because unavailable) previously.

          3/. Who is winning? Well, as you know, it is difficult to answer that question. You could argue that in the UK, the terrorists are not winning because there have not been any events such as in France and Germany for a good number of years. Now, there are of course those who say that this is not due to the existence of anti-terror legislation and methods because there is no threat of this nature to the UK, ie, the terrorists are simply not there. These people discount – with the same argument – govt claims that “x” terrorist plots have been foiled over the past period of “y”.

          Neither side of that particular discussion can conclusively prove its point. It does however seem reasonable to adopt the precaution principle so beloved of environmental: terrorism exists as a phenomenon (only RobG and a few others on here appear to disbelieve that) and it would therefore be remiss of a govt to forego various means which might help prevent it. It is surely better to have tools – imperfect as they may be – in place than to forego the use of those tools.

          Finally, I find your thought that terror is inspired in the authorities and (by implication) less so among the general population rather surprising….and tasteless. As it happens, I do not believe that the local populations or the authorities are terrified by terror; if they were, nobody would be using the Tube or assembling at crowded events. But at the time of the London attacks themselves I imagine that there were few terrified “authorities” but quite a few terrified members of the general public in the trains that blew up….

          • Herbie

            The current terrorism in Europe is termed Gladio B.

            That’s a NATO project.

            NATO are terrorists.

            These Atlanticist terrorists are hoping to ensure France and Germany, Germany in particular, remain distant to Russia.

          • Habbabkuk

            Yes, yes, ‘Erbie, and the ministers of this Conservative govt are blood-drenched fascist, racist, bigotted beasts 🙂

          • Herbie

            If you say so.

            Generally the murders and atrocities are enacted by military people.

            But yes, those who authorise these terrorist acts are themselves guilty of the crimes committed.

            Britain has a long history of such activities.

            The US much less so.

            Thankfully the Americans have such a macho culture, they actually boast of their terrorism, and threats of.

            They even do it on the telly.

            Which is kind of curious.

            Or perhaps just a sign of how depraved the US has become under the rule of these people.

          • Habbabkuk

            No, ‘Erbie – it’s what you’ve said. When you’re not prosing on about “the big picture”, that is.

          • Herbie

            Did’t say that at all.

            I said this:

            “The current terrorism in Europe is termed Gladio B.

            That’s a NATO project.

            NATO are terrorists.

            These Atlanticist terrorists are hoping to ensure France and Germany, Germany in particular, remain distant to Russia.”

            But sure.

            I agree that those who order these terrorist acts are as guilty as those who carry them out.

            Much more so, in fact.

          • Herbie

            Where?

            Dates.

            Times.

            Quotes.

            Otherwise it’d not be unreasonable to assume you’re the liar you’re often found to be, in such circumstances.

            I mean, that’s your business isn’t it. You’re certainly not here to uncover truth.

            Anyway.

            I realise that the Tories aren’t quite what they were. No need to be.

            The EU was making 80% of the law and the US was directing international operations, strategy and tactics.

            So the B team was enough to keep things churning over, the dosh rolling in.

            Now things are different.

            They’re having to find their own way in the world.

            I’d suggest they employ someone with at least half a brain, and dump the hangers on and wasters like yourself who can’t think when things change.

            That’s reasonable, isn’t it.

            I mean, don’t want the country going down the plughole, do we.

            Like the EU.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            1/ Without apology. The new surveillance legislation is no different in kind or intention from any other laws intended only for terrorist offences (and then routinely misapplied to non-terrorist offences, widening their scope and immunising public perception against the next encroachment, in the process).

            2/ Circular argument and obfuscation. Murder is murder. Terrorism laws simply aggravate the penalties and arrest procedures on the basis of intention. In what way does making the procedures different help to abolish the possibility of these crimes’ being committed? Further, in what way is, say. murder in pursuit of a religious or political objective worse than any other premeditated murder for whatever motive? Conspiracy is conspiracy, inciting racial or religious hatred is simply that, whoever does it and to whom.

            3/ I think you are intentionally missing my point. Which is that if a formerly (for the sake of argument) fair-minded and democratic liberal democracy can only respond to acts specifically intended to force curtailment of its freedoms by curtailing those freedoms, the terrorists are winning. Not much further down that road lies a police state: with the terrorists cheering from the sidelines as their insane cause begins to look liberal by comparison.

            Finally, if the authorities were not terrified by the terrorists, they would not be undermining our – infinitely preferable – freedoms, surely?
            Yes, well done, obviously terrorism impacts its victims directly – as do traffic accidents in much greater numbers, with an already extensive traffic surveillance network and checks on every driver. But it is not the victims who determine that our historical freedom not to be overlooked by the State has to be sacrificed indefinitely or for ever. Is it?

            Still, nice to talk to you, for a change.

          • Habbabkuk

            Baal

            And good to talk to you too. I can’t respond in detail to your interesting post right now because I’ll be travelling in an hour or so but I’ll try to come back to you soonest, there are a couple of points that need further comment.

          • Habbabkuk

            Herbie

            You write of me as follows : “You’re certainly not here to uncover truth.”

            The implication of that is that I am here to cover up the truth.

            Tell me what you’re on here for.

            Do you have a mission statement you’d like to share with readers?

      • Dave Price

        Habbs,

        ?? ?????? ??????? ? ?????? ?? ??????? (?ℎ? ???????????? ???ℎ ?ℎ?? ?ℎ??)?

        I trust your ‘merely’ doesn’t imply blanket recording activity of this kind is normal and acceptable?

        • Habbabkuk

          You are mistaken – I do believe it is normal in these abnormal times and perfectly acceptable in the light of present circumstances as revealed in several parts of Europe.

          • Alan

            “I do believe it is normal in these abnormal times”

            Were you asleep during the “abnormal times” when certain Catholics were placing bombs all over the place?

            In short, what’s really “abnormal” about the present time is that no “terrorists” seem to be achieving any kind of “successes” at all, except in Europe, of course.

          • Alan

            Craig, I really don’t like this ugly green icon. Can you please ensure that I get the cool black one back?

          • Herbie

            Yeah.

            Funny that, innit.

            The IRA running all over the place murdering people, military and civilians, with bombs and whatnot.

            With very little impact on the British way of life.

            Mustn’t have thought it much a threat, eh.

            But now’s different.

            I wonder why.

    • Habbabkuk

      Plus, I don’t think the EU – or its highest court – has jurisdiction over matters of national security.

      That would be a typical example of what opponents of the EU would call “creeping jurisdiction” ( in the same way as legislation on various matters not strictly within the EU’s remit is smuggled through, for example, as health and safety legislation).

      • Dave Price

        Habbs,

        ? ???’? ?ℎ??? ?ℎ? ?? – ?? ??? ℎ??ℎ??? ????? – ℎ?? ???????????? ???? ??????? ?? ???????? ????????.

        From the Guardian article:

        “Davis and Watson, who were supported by Liberty, the Law Society, the Open Rights Group and Privacy International, had already won a high court victory on the issue, but the government appealed and the case was referred by appeal judges to the ECJ.”

        I guess the appeal judges know some things that you don’t know.

        • Habbabkuk

          I should have thought that this referral to the ECJ demonstrates rather well the existence of “creeping EU jurisdiction” and its unfortunate consequences.

          *********************

          But it is good to see you appear to find some virtue in EU membership – I had put you down as a hardline Brexiteer.

          • Dave Price

            I have not commented at all on Brexit.

            Craig, could we have a feature to enable everyone to see in one place a commenter’s history of comments, like the Guardian site? The Guardian site also has another useful feature which is a tab that shows replies.

            I think it would be useful to prevent both simple misunderstanding and mischievous tactics. It would also encourage commenters to be consistent and take responsibility for their comments.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    You know, I don;t think it really matters any more who runs, staffs and subsidises the MSM any more. All the news they get comes from the same agency sources and official/selfserving press handouts anyway. Reportage has given way to cut-and-paste. Journalism is history except in a very few cases, and they not, I submit, to be found in the UK’s video outlets. Prolefeed rules, aimed at the lowest common denominator, and with the sole purpose of selling it stuff it doesn’t need.

    Yes, the masses will subliminally be absorbing more predigested right-wing pap from Fox-Sky. But the same masses already have a prejudice in favour of the Sun – what they see on the box will simply confirm their implanted opinions.

    You and I would like to see an educated public, capable of blocking the bullshit and making balanced decisions – which it can then translate into democratic action – on the basis of accurate information. Trouble is, no-one close to the levers of power wants anything like that.

    Nothing will happen until the bourgeois start bleeding. FACT.

    • MJ

      “Nothing will happen until the bourgeois start bleeding. FACT”

      Yes, historically the true revolutionary class.

  • Kempe

    Small point but The (Not Very) Independent hasn’t gone bust. They stopped producing their newsprint edition, which is probably the future for the other papers, but the online version is still produced even if you do have re-boot your browser to get off it.

  • Sharp Ears

    10/56 so far.

    But no comment on the previous post or about the previous post being taken down and comments being wiped.

    • MJ

      I think Craig must have taken the page down because it was about the deadline for ordering his book and the date passed. He did not want people trying to order the book after that date.

      • michael norton

        Twaddle,

        somebody took it down because they did not like some comments.
        That is censorship.

        • MJ

          Comments can be deleted without removing the whole thread. The page disappeared around midnight last night, just as Craig’s deadline expired.

        • RobG

          Craig’s book is available in digital format (and I would guess that most of his sales come from this) which can be downloaded instantly. Hence the ‘deadline reason’ for the paperback version doesn’t make an awful lot of sense.

          I get the ever increasing sense that I’m back in the Soviet Union during the 1970s.

          And in another space and time, no, I don’t mind having my comments re-produced.

          I post under my own name, and I wish others would do that. It’s the anonymity of the internet that makes it so easy for the trolls and the psychos who are behind them.

          Whatever anonymous name you post under, believe me ‘they’ know who you are.

          • Squonk

            Erm the deadline was for ordering signed hardback copies for delivery before Christmas and that was what the post was about. Nothing to do with digital downloads.

          • RobG

            Well, if that’s the case then perhaps Craig could have made this explicit in his post, thus saving us the time and effort of making hundreds of comments.

            A la 1970s Soviet Union, the post is no longer available for anyone to make a judgement.

            I wonder what your real name is ‘Squonk’?

            Why are you afraid to post under your real name?

          • Squonk

            Perhaps the clue was in the post title “Last Chance for Signed First Editions of Sikunder Burnes as Christmas Present“…

          • Alan

            “Hence the ‘deadline reason’ for the paperback version”

            That’s strange! Craig sent me a beautiful hard-backed copy. Are you sitting in the cheap seats, or something?

          • Habbabkuk

            “I get the ever increasing sense that I’m back in the Soviet Union during the 1970s”
            _________________________

            The above gives the impression that you lived in the Soviet Union during the 1970s or at least spent some considerable time there.

            You didn’t – so stop fabulating.

      • Macky

        Seems I have to repeat my Post here as people don’t bother reading older but still open threads;

        “Craig really is a most vain & unpleasant man; nevermind that the thread that he has just deleted contained over one hundred comments spread over two pages, of some very thoughtful posts that commenters had obviously taken time to compose, not to mention the many interesting links contained, all that matters was that the cut-off date for ordering his book had past, so all that can go into the cyber bin. I suspect that the fact that his interjectory comments were countered, and that his favourite troll was taking a beating, also were a strong factor in his decision to pull the Thread.

        It’s not that he doesn’t have form for this, as I recall the occasion two or three years ago, when he pulled two whole multi-paged threads, of over one thousand comments in total, on the pretext that one of the pro-Israeli trolls, notorious for smearing people as anti-Semites at the drop of a hat, had alleged that someone had made a comment that could be considered as “Holocaust Denial”, and believe it or not, Craig actually stated that he could not be bothered to check the comment itself, so he deleted two whole threads instead !! The fact that on both these threads his povs on which he had blogged about, where being taken to pieces by many of his commentators, is just a coincidence, so he would like us to believe.

        That he treats his commentators with such contempt, is just another reason why Craig Murray has such a bad reputation with those long acquainted with his views & how he operates his blog.”

        Craig can try to justify it as he likes, but Michael Norton is right, it’s censorship.

    • Habbabkuk

      There you go, Mrs SharpEars , you have your explanation.

      Now be gracious and say thank you to MJ, there’s a good girl.

      • Sharp Ears

        Your disingenuousness continues.

        I was referring to you as you well know.

        ’10/56 so far.
        But no comment on the previous post or about the previous post being taken down and comments being wiped.’

        The t***l comment count is now 17/78

        • Habbabkuk

          And Sharp Ears today (so far) : 5 on this and the previous thread, 9 on The Lifeboat Board 🙂

          • Habbabkuk

            And now 6 + well into double figures;

            The latest being about Mr Aaronovich “not winning Celebrity Mastermind”. YCMIU ! 🙂

          • Sharp Ears

            The percentage is rising, 25/107 so far. Some content within would be a first.

            What I post on another site where the t***l is not registered to comment is nobody’s business but mine. Parrots should keep their beaks out.

  • Geoffrey

    Are you sure people want the truth ? would they want to know that their T shirts are made by slaves in Uzbekistan or Haiti.? That we have killed a million people in Iraq, ? That we are in debt up to our eye balls etc ?
    Newspapers print what people want they want to read don’t they if they want to survive ?
    Who would advertise in them ? charities ?

    • Habbabkuk

      “we have killed a million people in Iraq, ”
      ___________________

      Wrong iro both the pronoun and the number!

        • Habbabkuk

          I would use the passive voice (“have been killed”) in order to encompass all the actors and factors involved in the killing (eg, Muslim on Muslim killing). As to the numbers, you know very well that estimates vary widely, with the highest numbers usually advanced by those with an anti-Western take.

    • Alan

      “That we are in debt up to our eye balls etc”

      But the system depends upon us being in debt and paying interest on that debt. Haven’t you worked that out yet?

      • Geoffrey

        I have. Do you think people want to know what debt they are in ? Would it not upset them a tinsy bit and make them think ” I don’t want to read that article “.

  • Martin

    Dear Craig and readers,

    I really don’t like this 1% talk.
    I am in this band, i am doing ok but cannot retire anytime soom (42 y.o.)
    The 1% of the 1% is a more accurate depiction of power methinks.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Herbie

      “The 1%” is just an easy way of expressing the idea.

      “The 0.001%” don’t work so well as a slogan.

      Everyone knows we’re not talking about the Missus Miggins of this world who’ve laboured hard and toiled to build a chain of pie shops.

      We’re largely talking about lazy cunts who’ve never done a tap in their lives, who’ve inherited everything and live off the profits of that capital alone.

      They’re unbearably selfish fucks, and useless too.

      The Kakistocracy.

  • nevermind

    Boy am I glad the EU has thrown a spanner into the snoppers charter, all this care for our personal data when we are running away from it, well its all show sofar and the CBI seems to think they can get their very own private little deal with the EU,
    meaning that the City of London Corporation should get a free ride…..

    Well lovies. ever heard of the financial transaction/Tobin tax?Accept it and you might be in with a chance.
    personally speaking I think that a regulation of offshore tax havens should be part of that deal as well, nothing a Royal decree couldn’t solve, it solved the pesky issue of those people from Diego Garcia who dared to want to return to their ancestors graves/land, and more than once.

    You want to destroy the rag merchants,? don’t buy newspapers anymore, trees will rejoice.

    • Alan

      “Boy am I glad the EU has thrown a spanner into the snoppers charter”

      It saved you opening an email account at Startmail, and installing Tor, in order to protect yourself, eh? Good thing you have somebody willing to actually do something on your behalf, eh?

    • Sharp Ears

      Did you know that it was Davis who instigated it when he was a back bencher. Now Treeza’s Brexit minister! LOL.

  • michael norton

    Le Pen soars in France

    ‘Appalling!’ Decision to let shamed IMF boss Lagarde off the hook ‘will help Le Pen bid’
    FRENCH politicians and commentators have expressed dismay at the “appalling” decision to let shamed IMF boss Christine Lagarde off the hook and have warned it could help propel Marine Le Pen to the presidency.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/746099/Marine-Le-Pen-French-court-IMF-Christine-Lagarde-Front-National
    Critics of the disgraced financier, who was found guilty of negligence over a controversial multi-million pound payment to a businessman but escaped any punishment, branded the verdict shameful.

    And they said it was yet another example of the out of touch elite serving their own interests rather than the public good which would only feed the anger driving voters into the arms of anti-establishment parties.

    Agree

    • Habbabkuk

      Norton

      “And they said it was yet another example of the out of touch elite serving their own interests…”
      ______________________

      Is that the same elite which found Mme Le Pen’s father guilty of Holocaust denial a couple of times?

    • Alan

      “Le Pen soars in France”

      And this is the same poster who keeps talking about “Frau May”.

      Do show some consistency Norton.

      • michael norton

        Well, now two FRENCH people who have been involved in finance ministries in French government, both heading the IMF

        neither gone to prison?

        The French voters are sick of the Elite money people,
        always lording over the proles, sticking two fingers up to the working class, who they despise, yet
        NEVER TAKING RESPONSIBILITY when they are caught, at it.

        That is Y Le Pen is soaring, she is like a breath of fresh air in France, uncorupted, like most of the others.

    • Laguerre

      “Le Pen soars in France”

      If you actually read French sources, rather than the notoriously Little-Englander Express, you would discover that Macron has just been voted Political Personality of the Year on 48%, second Fillon on 44%, with LePen way back third equal with Valls on 24%, admittedly ahead of Hollande and Sarkozy.

  • lysias

    Here’s what the Wikipedia entry for Sibel Edmonds has to say about Operation Gladio B:

    According to Edmonds, “Operation Gladio B” is an FBI codename adopted in 1997 for ongoing relations between US intelligence, the Pentagon, and Al Qaeda.[36] The name refers to the original Operation Gladio, in which US intelligence had established groups (stay-behind forces) in Europe in preparation for a Soviet invasion.

    According to Edmonds, Gladio B identified, among other things, regular meetings between senior US intelligence and current leader of Al Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri at the U.S. embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan between 1997 and 2001, with al-Zawahiri and other mujahideen being transported by NATO aircraft to Central Asia and the Balkans to participate in Pentagon-backed destabilisation operations. She added that in 1997, NATO asked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to release from prison Islamist militants affiliated with Ayman al-Zawahiri. They were flown by U.S. intelligence orders to Turkey for training and use in operations by the Pentagon. Additionally, she reported that an Al-Qaeda leader had been training some of the 9-11 hijackers at a base in Turkey. These and related allegations were seemingly confirmed by Sunday Times journalists in 2008 who spoke to Pentagon and MI6 sources.[citation needed] However, according to several sources,[citation needed] the journalists were prevented from publishing many of these allegations when the second half of their four-part series was dropped, possibly due to pressure from the U.S. State Department. She suggests that the objectives of Gladio B are “projecting U.S. power in the former Soviet sphere of influence to access previously untapped strategic energy and mineral reserves for U.S. and European companies; pushing back Russian and Chinese power; and expanding the scope of lucrative criminal activities, particularly illegal arms and drugs trafficking.” Former FBI special agent Dennis Saccher states Edmonds’s story “should have been front page news” because it is “a scandal bigger than Watergate”.[37]

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig,

    Stop worrying, and yes I know you are in The Ambassador Class…

    Can someone provide an alternative explanation, to the analysis given here.

    “Berlin Truck Hoax – False Flag Staged Event (Proof)”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MMAInv1UFU

    The murder of the Russian Ambassador is even more puzzling. Now I can almost believe that if there was a crazed gunman right in front of me pumping a large number of bullets almost directly towards me, then out of a spirit of wanting to capture this historic moment, I would continue videoing him, and even pan out to capture him on my last frame. I think it more likely, that I would drop to the ground as fast as The Ambassador and probably make a mess of the floor too (just in the hope that I might survive) I must admit the quality of both the still and video photography was exceptionally good, but this may simply be down to the skills and courage of Turkish photographers.

    I would also like to point out that the room where the Ambassador was assassinated – both walls and flooring were completely white – and didn’t reveal even one spec of red blood. I have never been in this situation before, but a few years ago, my cats had caught a magpie – and brought it into our front room, the walls of which had been white. They were no longer – but that’s cats and one magpie for you. Incidentally the magpie survived, but had obviously lost a lot of blood – as it was all over my walls as if we had a visit from the guy who does the chainsaw massacre.

    I can see no political motivation for this whatsoever, but suggest the Russian authorities make a full check of the coffin. I am not suggesting the Ambassador is still alive but am very impressed that he didn’t leak.

    Merry Christmas, and lets hope 2017 is less insane than 2016.

    “Cream – White Room”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkae0-TgrRU

    Tony

  • Kief

    I think the Media have been autopsied some 40 years ago. The problem emerged when news divisions, formerly exempted from the bean-counter scrutiny, did not have budgetary requirements. They saw News as a public service which did not require profitability.

    It’s not a new phenomenon, but it did reach public consciousness this year so that’s all good.

  • Anon1

    Looks like a standard truck jihad from the RoP. Merkel should be arrested for destabilising Europe with her one-million migrant insanity. She has invited mass-rape and jihad to Europe.

    Berlin, Paris, Nice, Rouen, Molenbeek, Cologne. Where next? The left will continue pressing their open borders agenda upon us without even a thought as to the consequences.

    If you have even the slightest concern about it, you are a racist. In Craig’s own words.

    • bevin

      You can’t blame Merkel for the refugees: they were brought into existence by those who initisated the invasions of Iraq and Syria. Syria having taken in about a million Iraqi refugees from the “surge” was especially vulnerable,. Those responsible include the NATO puppets of the US, Jordan and the GCC countries. Germany is just one of them.
      People like yourself, who have been cheering the imperialist cause on, are as much to blame as Merkel.

      • Loony

        You absolutely can blame Merkel – her record goes beyond abject failure.

        Firstly she is the leader of one of the largest and most important economies in the world and she could have objected to US/UK actions. But she did not because she has cravenly surrendered German foreign policy to the US.

        She has compounded her problems by declaring economic warfare on substantially all of Southern Europe – leaving these front line states manifestly unable to cope with the influx of refugees.

        Some time later she decided to allow substantially anyone and everyone to enter Germany – no questions asked. No-one knows who these people are, because no-one has bothered to find out. ISIS are deranged, but not so deranged that they have not worked out that they can smuggle their fighters into Europe under cover of the refugee influx.

        It is a racing certainty that a lot of the countries in the MENA area have emptied their jails and told the convicts off you go to Europe – exactly the same trick as Castro pulled on the US. It is not really that difficult either in conception or in execution.

        The to cap it all Merkel instructs the captured and neutered press to simply lie about actual conditions and actual events experienced in Germany as a sole and direct consequence of her policies.

        This will not end well. If you are really interested in understanding the end game read some Enoch Powell. Of course you will not do this as your mind is too pure to be infected with such naked racism. This guarantees that you will be surprised and horrified by events, Now just think about the human condition and how it responds to unwanted and unexpected adverse surprises.

        • bevin

          I was reading Enoch Powell when you were listening to Mum reading Enid Blyton. You live in a dream world, and a very simple one too.

          • Loony

            Perhaps you have been consuming too much fake news as it would explain your confusion in distinguishing dreams from reality.

            Maybe you remember the meme that “Saddam is evil” used to support the mass slaughter in Iraq. One oft quoted example was that Saddam had gassed Kurds. Less often quoted was the fact that the gas was manufactured in Germany and supplied by Germany.

            Only a fool, a bigot, or a zealot would deny that German inspired EU economic policy has resulted in anything other than the economic devastation of Southern Europe. Take the example of Greece – the lack of medicines, the cuts to pensions, the escalating suicide epidemic and then compare this with German insistence that Greece fulfill its contractual obligations to purchase German manufactured submarines. Look further – look at the promised technology transfer from Germany to Greece as part of the submarine deal and and ask why that never took place.

            Look at the law and how it applies to refugees. Look at how Germany decided that laws laws did not apply to it and no law could limit German freedom of action. German contempt for the law does not end with immigration. Check out the number of fines paid by large German corporations for fraud, bribery etc. Try to recall how VW systematically manipulated emissions figures for its vehicles. Ask why contempt for the law is so prevalent in Germany. Maybe you have read of another time in history when Germany decided that the rule of law was oh so outdated. Do you think it possible that any conclusions could be drawn regarding the ultimate consequences of such policies?

            Look at the background of the main suspect in the Berlin lorry attack. First he goes to Italy where he burns down a school and is imprisoned. He gets out of prison and moves to Germany, where he is believed to be plotting terrorist attacks and is questioned by the police. He is recommended for deportation from Germany, but can’t be deported because he has destroyed his Tunisian identity documents and Tunisia denies that he is a Tunisian national. This kind of example is wholly analogous to the claim that MENA states are busy exporting their criminals to Europe.

            Finally look at how the press reports all of this. Why was there no call to hold Germany to account for arming Saddam, why is there no outrage over the German imposed submarine deal. Why is any attempt at understanding routinely smeared as racist and why is ignorance regarded as the highest of all virtues?

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Loony

            Thats quite a rant about Germany there. Of course many other coutries do the same things.

            Sure, it was fucking idiotic to invite mass immigration but the reason is clear. Germany needs workers. Merkel may have miscalculated but then like many EU leaders she is in denial. They economically desire immigration to keep aging populations cheaply, but have to manage this within the context of long histories maintaining power by fermenting nationalism, which has always required blaming the immigrants. That’s why the Tories here repeatedly ‘fail’ to hit their targets. This is their contradiction that you seem to not recognise. So you buy into the blame the immigrants horse shit.

          • Loony

            Phil – Given that everything I wrote was factually accurate I am unable to see how that constitutes a rant.

            Many other countries do indeed do the same things – I am not aware that that constitutes a defense. Imagine a man on trial for murder who mounts a defense that other people have also murdered people.

            It is not obvious that Germany needs more workers. The world stands on the threshold of a trans formative revolution in robotics and AI, Vast swathes of jobs ranging from burger flipping to shop assistants to all kinds of drivers are about to see their jobs replaced by machines.

            The demographics in Japan are far worse than those in Germany and yet Japan does not import vast swathes of people.

            My post did not blame immigrants it blamed Germany and the Germans for their idiocy and corruption and for their irredeemable arrogance which means they fail to appreciate either their idiocy or their corruption.

            This post blames you for your short sighted knee jerk response. Consider that the population of Africa is increasing by 80 million people per year. Consider that most Africans are living in poverty and that substantially everyone in Africa would see a material increase in their economic well being if they could relocate to Europe. Now ask yourself whether it is possible for Europe to take 80 million people per year every year. At something well below 80 million people Europe would rapidly come to replicate Africa. If you think this is a good idea then your solution is obvious: You should relocate to Africa.

            If you have difficulty in accepting the magnitude of the numbers involved then may I suggest a quick revision of the exponential function. The thing about the exponential function is that it does not cater for peoples feelings, it does not bend to their preferred outcomes, it does not care about random targets, and it does not care as to the consequences of its answers.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Loony
            “Given that everything I wrote was factually accurate I am unable to see how that constitutes a rant.”

            Well for someone who was only days ago hectoring others to consult a dictionary you play fast and lose with the meaning of rant.

  • bjsalba

    I have to say that I began to distrust the BBC when I came back to the UK in retirement and noticed what I thought at the time were “inaccuracies” about the country I had worked in for many years – the USA.

    For a period of more than 24 hours they reported that “Obama had recalled Congress”. It really got to me as I knew that was just plain wrong.

    After that I began to notice more “inaccuracies” in BBC reporting about the USA and then began to question the rest of what they reported. Now I listen, but with a 5 kilo bag of salt handy. When Murdoch gains full control of Skye I will be doubling the bag size to 10 kilo.

    • lysias

      The U.S. Constitution gives the President the power to call the Congress into special session, but the last one to do it was Harry Truman in 1948 (so that he could call the Republican Congress a “do-nothing Congress”.

      I wonder why presidents no longer make use of that provision.

      • Herbie

        Wasn’t Truman the US Pres who wanted the limiting of CIA power, after creating them. Gore Vidal always said he was given a bung of $2 million.

        And Eisenhower the US Pres who warned about the Military/Industrial complex.

        And JFK the US Pres who warned about secret societies being incompatible with democratic values.

        And Nixon the US Pres who again wanted to limit their powers.

        And Carter the US Pres who sacked around 1500 of them, putting his own friend Admiral Stansfield Turner in charge, whilst they set up an illegal outfit called The Safari Club to continue their crimes.

        And Reagan the US Pres who promised to drain the Washington swamp.

        They gave up on chancing to democracy after that.

        Next US Presidents:

        Bush pere – CIA man and scion of the Bush famiglia.

        Clinton, Bill – associate of the Bush famiglia.

        Obama, Barak – creation of the CIA.

        So here we are.

        The CIA is of course not, as many people think, an agency of US govt, no more than is the Federal Reserve. It’s the Bankers and Big Corporates terrorist gang. It has no loyalty to the US at all. Only to corporate interest and multinational corporate interest at that.

        That’s why it’s happy to destroy the US as it has destroyed so many many countries and peoples around the world.

        Let’s hope President Trump and Flynn can get rid of them, once and for all.

        I mean, the US has around 42 Intel agencies.

        • lysias

          The DIA, the agency Gen. Flynn was the head of, was created by JFK with the intention of having it replace the CIA. He didn’t succeed in carrying out his declared intention to smash the CIA into a thousand pieces before they got to him first.

          I hope that Flynn’s having been made National Security Adviser by Trump is an indicator that Trump intends to do what JFK did not succeed in doing.

          Thin-skinned Trump has certainly been given lots of reason to disestablish the CIA.

          • Herbie

            I think Flynn was trying to curb the CIA, when in post.

            Media said lots of not very nice things about him for that.

            A clue.

            But yes, it’s certainly Flynn’s intention to sort out the intel chain of command.

            I wish him well.

            Himself and his fellows have at least as much muscle behind them as the Banker boys.

            A great deal more perhaps.

          • lysias

            Especially since Trump and Flynn are backed by people with at least as much money as the Banksters.

  • Chris

    “There is no question to which the correct answer is increased government control over free speech.”

    And there is no part of the Leveson recommendations that entails “government control over free speech”. That is clearly what the tabloids want you to think Leveson proposed, but it quite simply isn’t.
    The press themselves currently recognize the need for an “independent regulator” to curb what has often been appalling behaviour. But their fake regulator is merely a poodle of the press barons. The Leveson recommendation is that a proper regulatory body be certified to meet certain obvious standards that will guarantee its independence. It is also that there should be a cheap and simple process for grievance resolution where a member of the public has been traduced by powerful media operators. That isn’t government regulation of the press, it is genuine independent regulation of the press.

    • Sharp Ears

      The DCMS Minister, Karen Bradley, repeatedly used the phrase ‘quasi judicial’ in the short debate yesterday on the 21st Century Fox (Murdoch) takeover of Sky (Murdoch).

      eg ‘It is very important I make it clear that the role I will play in this process is a quasi-judicial one’.

      Edward Miliband (Doncaster North) (Lab)
      (Urgent Question): To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to make a statement on the timetable of, and the approach of the Government to, 21st Century Fox’s bid to take over Sky now that the bid has been agreed, and whether the Government plan to refer the bid to the competition authorities.
      https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-12-20/debates/4B1F7497-A486-4361-9E1E-023C32303F31/Sky21StCenturyFoxTakeoverBid

      She would not express an opinion or and said she would not comment until the bid was made. She was accused by the Opposition of evasion and think it possible the bid will be made within the 3 week recess.

    • Habbabkuk

      Very sensibly, Fox News is doing less “imagining” than our excitable friend Lysias :

      “Just hours after a Russian ambassador was gunned down Monday by a Turkish assassin, another high-ranking Russian diplomat was found shot in the head at his Moscow home, The Mirror reported, citing local media.

      Peter Polshikov, 56, was a senior figure in the Latin American department of the Russian foreign ministry, The Sun reported. Some local reports suggest Polshikov may have left the Foreign Ministry and it’s unclear if he worked for the Russian government at the time of his death.

      It’s unclear when exactly Polshikov died.

      Polshikov’s wife was reportedly inside the home at the time of the shooting, but she was said to be safe.

      Investigators discovered two bullet shells and a gun under the bathroom sink.

      Authorities have yet to offer a theory on how Polshikov died.”

      ********************

      If the Russian authorities need help, they should obviously contact Lysias, whose “imaginings” might set them on the right path .

      • RobG

        Very sensibly, Fox News does not mention the laws that have been passed through Congress just recently.

        If I say much more this will probably be another thread that gets deleted; because we ain’t like China, are we.

        And we most definitely are coming for you.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Could just as plausibly have been a domestic. The gun was found under the sink, and the wife was unharmed and in the house. Most murders are by family or close acquaintances. Not that you, I or anyone else outside Russia will ever have enough access to the details to form a valid opinion. So a complete waste of time speculating.

  • michael norton

    IS conflict: 14 Turkish soldiers dead in worst day’s loss yet
    Ministry of Truth
    Fourteen Turkish soldiers have been killed in fierce fighting against so-called Islamic State in Syria, the Turkish army said.

    Wednesday’s clashes happened in the town of al-Bab, which Turkey is helping rebels take from IS control.

    A further 33 Turkish soldiers were reported wounded.

    It is the Turkish military’s biggest loss in a single day since launching its military operation in Syria in August.

    The army said IS used multiple suicide bombs, with 138 IS fighters killed in the fighting. This toll could not be verified independently.

    As another key Syrian battleground – Aleppo – appears close to coming fully under Syrian government control, the fight for al-Bab has intensified.

    The strategic town – which is about 20km (12 miles) from the Turkish border – has been the focus of the four-month Turkish offensive, aimed at pushing back IS and Kurdish forces.

    Turkey is most heavily involved in attempting to steal Syria, to recreate the caliphate,
    they are getting what is coming to them

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It’s just a shame we non-subscribers can only read the introductory paragraph there, Nguyen. Which is entirely about the Cambrian metazoan explosion. No doubt it goes on to draw a laboured comparison between Parker’s idea that the oceans suddenly (in geological terms) cleared and permitted the evolution of eyes, which in turn led to all the other innovations of the Cambrian, and the rise of digital information today. Unfortunately, there’s a lot wrong with Parker’s idea – summarised here –

      http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/on-the-first-day-god-said—

      which rather puts the kybosh on that particular analogy. Although I’d take issue in turn with the statement that trilobites only appeared relatively late in the Cambrian. There’s some evidence that soft-bodies precursors were current in the late Precambrian. Still, fascinating stuff.

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