Chelsea Manning Adds a Glow to the Day 279


I cannot tell you how delighted I am that Chelsea Manning is going to be released. Having done so much to reveal the truly sordid nature on the ground of the USA’s neo-Imperial aggression, Manning is a true hero. It is a shame that Obama is forcing her to undergo another five months of a truly hellish prison sentence, but still there is now an end in sight.

All of which adds to the mystery of Obama. He launched the most vicious War on Whistleblowers ever in American history. Obama’s people even went for whistleblowers like Bill Binney and Tom Drake of the NSA, whose whistleblowing happened pre-Obama but who Bush had not sought to persecute. So freeing a whistleblower is the least likely act of clemency to be expected.

Of course this all feeds in to the question of whether Obama is a good man frustrated or a charlatan all along, as a tick in the good man frustrated column. I still tend to the man with decent instincts who at the end of the day didn’t care enough to really fight for them.

The other good news is that Abdel Hakim Belhadj has been granted permission by the Supreme Court to sue Jack Straw and Mark Allen for his extraordinary rendition and torture. The unanimous dismissal of the argument of sovereign immunity is extremely important, as it rolls back the assertion that we have no protection from the state.

It is worth recalling Jack Straw lying through his teeth to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on 24 October 2005. Every single statement on the substantive issues which Straw makes here is now known to be an outright lie:

Q105 Sandra Osborne: I would like to ask you about the issue of extraordinary rendition. In response to this Committee’s report of last year on the war against terrorism, the government said that it was not aware of the use of its territory or air space for the purposes of extraordinary rendition. However, it appears that there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the UK air space is indeed being utilised for this purpose, albeit mainly in the media. Some of the suggestions seem to be extremely detailed. For example, the Guardian has reported that aircraft involved in operations have flown into the UK at least 210 times since 9/11, an average of one flight a week. It appears that the favourite destination is Prestwick Airport, which is next to my constituency, as it happens. Can you comment on that? What role is the UK playing in extraordinary rendition?

Mr Straw: The position in respect of extraordinary rendition was set out in the letter that the head of our parliamentary team wrote to Mr Priestly, your Clerk, on 11 March; and the position has not changed. We are not aware of the use of our territory or air space for the purpose of extraordinary rendition. We have not received any requests or granted any permissions for use of UK territory or air space for such purposes. It is perfectly possible that there have been two hundred movements of United States aircraft in and out of the United Kingdom and I would have thought it was many more; but that is because we have a number of UN air force bases here, which, under the Visiting Forces Act and other arrangements they are entitled to use under certain conditions. I do not see for a second how the conclusion could be drawn from the fact that there have been some scores of movements of US military aircraft – well, so what – that that therefore means they have been used for rendition. That is a very long chain!

Q106 Sandra Osborne: The UN Commission on Human Rights has started an inquiry into the British Government’s role in this. Is the Government co-operating fully with that inquiry? Why would they start an inquiry if there were no reason to believe that this was actually happening?

Mr Straw: People start inquiries for all sorts of reasons. I assume we are co-operating with it. I am not aware of any requests, but we always co-operate with such requests.

Q107 Mr Keetch: They are not flying under US military flags; these are Gulfstream aircraft used by the CIA. They have a 26-strong fleet of Gulfstream aircraft that are used for this purpose. These aircraft are not coming into British spaces; they are coming into airports. Some are into bases like Northolt, and some into bases like Prestwick. Whilst it is always good to have the head of your parliamentary staff respond to our Clerk, Mr Priestley, could you give us an assurance that you will investigate these specific flights; and, if it is the case that these flights are being used for the process of extraordinary rendition, which is contrary to international law and indeed contrary to the stated policy of Her Majesty’s Government, would you attempt to see if they should stop?

Mr Straw: I would like to see what it is that is being talked about here. I am very happy to endorse, as you would expect, and I did endorse, the letter sent by our parliamentary team to your Clerk on 11 March. I am happy, for the avoidance of any doubt, to say that I specifically endorse its contents. If there is evidence, we will look at it, but a suggestion in a newspaper that there have been flights by unspecified foreign aircraft in and out of the United Kingdom cannot possibly add up to evidence that our air space or our facilities have been used for the purpose of unlawful rendition. It just does not.

Q108 Mr Keetch: I accept that, but if there were evidence of that, you would join with us, presumably, in condemning —–
Mr Straw: I am not going to pre-judge an inquiry. If there were evidence, we would look at it. So far there we have not seen any evidence.
Q109 Richard Younger-Ross: Our former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has stated in a document to us: “I can confirm it is a positive policy decision by the US and UK to use Uzbek torture material.” He states that the evidence is that the aircraft that my colleague referred to earlier, the Gulfstreams, are taking detainees back to Uzbekistan who are then being tortured. Is that not some indication that these detainees are being transferred through the UK?

Mr Straw: It is Mr Murray’s opinion. Mr Murray, as you may know, stood in my constituency. He got fewer votes than the British National Party, and notwithstanding the fact that he assured the widest possible audience within the constituency to his views about use of torture. I set out the British Government’s position on this issue on a number of occasions, including in evidence both here and to the Intelligence and Security Committee. I wrote a pretty detailed letter to a constituent of mine back in June, setting out our position. As I said there, there are no circumstances in which British officials use torture, nor any question of the British Government seeking to justify the use of torture. Again, the British Government, including the terrorist and security agencies, has never used torture for any purpose including for information, nor would we instigate or connive with others in doing so. People have to make their own judgment whether they think I am being accurate or not.

Q110 Mr Illsley: Foreign Secretary, the letter which you supplied to the Committee in March which gave the conclusion that the British Government is not aware of the use of its territory or air space for the purpose of extraordinary rendition was taken at face value by most members of the Committee at that time, before the election. We took that to mean that we were not aware of any extraordinary rendition, and that it was not happening. The press reports were therefore something of a surprise. Would our Government be contacted by any country using our airspace, taking suspects to other countries? Would we be asked for permission or would there be any circumstances where we would be contacted; or is it the case that it could well be happening but that our Government is not aware of it simply because we have not been informed, or our permission is not necessary?

Mr Straw: Mr Illsley, on the precise circumstances in which foreign governments apply for permission to use British air space, I have to write to you, because it is important that I make that accurate. What Mr Stanton on my behalf said in the letter is exactly the same: why would I, for a second, knowingly provide this Committee with false information, if I had had information about rendition? We do not practise rendition, full-stop. I ought to say that whether rendition is contrary to international law depends on the particular circumstances of the case; it depends on each case, but we do not practise it. I would have to come back to you on that question.

Chairman: We will expect a letter. Thank you very much

Yesterday, we had Theresa May’s unremitting hard Brexit speech, which made plain that pandering to racism on immigration was going to be the priority over every possible interest in her approach to negotiations on leaving the EU. The pound stirred slightly on hopes that her announcement that Parliament would be given a vote on the final deal, could give hope that the whole thing might be avoided. However it is plain that she meant that Parliament could vote on a leaving with a deal or just leaving with no deal.

I feel pleased with May’s speech on two grounds. The first is that its contemptuous dismissal of the views of the 2 to 1 majority in Scotland which wishes to remain in the EU, brings Scottish Independence palpably closer. Even after three centuries of subservience, at some stage a natural reaction to having your face ground into the dog food must set in. A second Independence referendum is now inevitable.

Secondly, the EU is actually an extremely successful union and the euro an extremely successful currency, perceptions which a rabid nationalist UK media have successfully distorted. It is impossible that the UK will find replacement relationships in fields from trade to external relations to security to education and scientific research, which are anything like as economically beneficial. It is not just internal EU trade – the EU’s external market access will never be bettered by the UK, and the common external tariff is much more liberal than commonly realised. For example there are effectively no tariffs on manufactured goods from Africa. I confidently predict a Brexit Britain will both impose and face higher external tariffs than the EU.

My optimism arises from the fact that the May thesis is so barmy – that all of this should be sacrificed to pander to the daft xenophobia of the English and Welsh who don’t like “foreigners coming in” – that I still cannot believe that the political system will allow it to happen. The idea that the basis of the country’s economy can be destroyed on the basis of the sloganizing of the semi-educated, will meet institutional resistance. I want Scotland independent, but I also want England to avoid the self-harm of leaving the EU. I am farily confident both options are simultaneously achievable.


279 thoughts on “Chelsea Manning Adds a Glow to the Day

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  • fwl

    On tax powers for Scotland Wales & NI (excuse my rambling on) whilst it will be gt if any can out smart Philip Hammond with quick intelligent taxes changes which divert tax revenue I can’t help worry that it’s just a wheeze to force poorer parts of the country to self fund thereby allowing England (or parts thereof) to relax in Singaporean style laissez-faire prosperity.

  • bevin

    “..If you choose to sign the Official Secrets Act, or another country’s version then you must know that there are going to be some unpleasant facts coming your way and some of them are not necessarily going to appear in a coherent context. If you don’t like those facts and you blow the whistle you should expect a judicial process.”

    In this case what Manning revealed was the commission of war crimes, regarding which his duty was quite clear. He ought to have reported them and he did. He insisted that the facts should be known. Trials were held in Nuremberg to establish the rectitude of Manning’s behaviour and the culpability of those who have not reported war crimes, have committed such crimes or have covered up the crimes.
    Manning ought to have been rewarded for what he did, instead he was not even given a fair trial. Indeed he was punished, viciously, with months of solitary confinement and humiliating treatment before, after the President had declared him to be guilty, he was run through the sort of Court Martial that gives kangaroos a bad name.
    In summary: here was a man doing his duty, who proved to be unafraid that he would suffer for doing so. Anyone who is not on Manning’s side in this matter is on the same side as Goering was.

    • lysias

      From the U.S. Executive Order on Classified Information, Executive Order 13526- Classified National Security Information (Dec. 29, 2009), signed by Obama:

      Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations.
      (a) In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to:
      (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

    • fwl

      I have difficulty with the scale of his disclosures. I also have difficulty with war crime trials. They are for losers. Are you saying there is an ethical way to fight a war? Maybe, but it’s mostly bullshit. Talk of ethical war. The ethical war is the defensive war. If you join the military (and I’m not talking about conscription) you are stupid if you do not expect to see war crimes. Most people shoot to miss. You have to train people if you want them to kill. You do that and obviously you get war crimes.

      • fwl

        I should have said her disclosures not his. Stupid of me. I wish her well and all whistle blowers. I am just saying that it’s not always ok to disclose if you have agreed otherwise with the state. If you exhaust internal reports and your conscience calls out. Answer it, but accept your going to have to argue a case and that there may be consequences.

        • Shatnersrug

          Yes fwl, but the law lysia states has noting to do with Nuremberg – it’s USAs own law and that is that the US official secrets act does not cover violations of US law. Chelsea manning was always innocent. Which it’s a deliberate miscarriage of justice. It has nothing to do with war crimes and everything to do with poor military discipline.

          • fwl

            I’m not well enough informed about her case to state an opinion, but I hear what you say and so will read up on it.

          • lysias

            It’s an executive order, a sort of presidential decree, not an Act of Congress. But the whole U.S. system of security classification has always rested solely on executive orders, not Acts of Congress.

            Classified Information in the United States:

            The United States government classification system is established under Executive Order 13526, the latest in a long series of executive orders on the topic.[1] Issued by President Barack Obama in 2009, Executive Order 13526 replaced earlier executive orders on the topic and modified the regulations codified to 32 C.F.R. 2001. It lays out the system of classification, declassification, and handling of national security information generated by the U.S. government and its employees and contractors, as well as information received from other governments.[2]

          • fwl

            Fair to say the prosecution over egged the charge sheet unnecessarily. There would have been ample to go on. You can’t release that volume of data when in military service and expect all to be hunky dory. Also fair to say that the sentence was over the top and she has had a terrible ordeal. Thirdly, fair to say that some of the disclosure was in the public interest. Hence my suggestion that could be considered as a defence to certain offences. I appreciate much of what WikiLeaks has done. I am just saying its not so simple as saying everyone should be entitled or encouraged to disclose.

          • lysias

            The governments of the U.S. and of its satellites and allies have become criminal enterprises. Any revelation of their secrets will weaken them, and is therefore all to the good.

            If and when their criminality is cured, then they will once more have the moral right to keep secrets.

        • bevin

          You ought to look up the most dramatic document he released of an unarmed crowd being killed by a helicopter crew in Iraq. Everyone knew about this incident except the general public, including the American people, who not only pay the financial costs of such actions but absorb the cost of the terrorist revenge attacks that they inevitably lead to.
          But I guess that you are still troubled that Daniel Ellsberg wasn’t jailed after he released the Pentagon Papers. Some people would have been happy to put him in jail for life, but those were more enlightened times.

          • fwl

            I saw that. I was shocked at the time. Tho now looking back I realise I shouldn’t have been. That is war.

        • SteveMol

          You have no need to beat yourself up (no pun intended). There was no lack of respect for diversity in your 22:15 post as, at the time of the disclosures, Ms Manning was Mr Manning.

  • bevin

    Good news fans of imperialism: another victory for the US, NATO and Daesh/ISIS is imminent:

    “The city of Deir Ezzor (Deir ez-Zur) in east-Syria is on the verge of falling into the hands of the Takfiris of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). More than 100,000 civilian inhabitants of Deir Ezzor and thousands of soldiers defending them are in immediate danger of being murdered by the savage ISIS forces. The current situation is a direct consequence of U.S. military action against the SAA and non-action against ISIS.

    “Deir Ezzor is besieged by ISIS since September 2015. But the city was well defended by its garrison of Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and all further attacks by ISIS were repelled. Supply to the city was hauled in by air through the Deir Ezzor airport and through air drops by the Syrian and Russian airforces. Relief by ground forces and ground supplies are not possible as Deir Ezzor is more than 100 km away from the nearest SAA positions west of Palmyra and as the desert in between is under the control of ISIS….
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  • michael norton

    Scotland dragging its heals under the SNP jackboot

    Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “It is very disappointing that Scotland’s economic growth slowed in the third quarter of 2016 and continues to trail the UK as a whole, where growth remained steady during the same period.

    “Scottish government actions must be aimed squarely at increasing this rate of growth and utilising the powers at its disposal to support businesses, giving them the edge over businesses in other parts of the UK and enabling them to grow.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-38662517
    The Scottish growth rate for the year to September was only 0.7% higher than the previous four quarters.

    During the same period, the UK economy grew at a more typical rate of 2.2%, the figures showed.

    • kailyard rules

      “…under the SNP jackboot”
      You and Boris. Birds of a feather with your idiotic “nazi” allusions. Mendacious muck.

      • michael norton

        Cornwall, England, looks set for a £50billion mining revolution after plans were revealed to make Poldark country Europe’s sole producer of lithium. So once we have left the Hated E.U. they will not be able to steal it off us.

        Lithium – known as ‘white petroleum’ – is used in the rapidly growing market for electric cars and rechargeable batteries in everything from mobile phones to cordless vacuums.

        Most lithium is produced in South America, Australia and China but there are vast quantities locked inside its large granite stores up to 1,000 metres below the Cornish soil.

        But with no European source the UK Government has earmarked lithium as a metal of strategic importance to the country

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4136600/50bn-mines-Europe-s-sole-source-lithium.html#ixzz4WFpLzk8x

  • mauisurfer

    The Ugly Specter of Torture and Lies
    January 18, 2017

    Exclusive: President Obama refused to hold “war on terror” torturers to account but punished truth-tellers severely, a bleak legacy not erased by Chelsea Manning’s belated commutation, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

    By Jonathan Marshall

    Evidence of official British complicity in the kidnapping of Belhaj was discovered by Human Rights Watch in Gaddafi’s intelligence files after the Libyan dictator was overthrown in 2011. A 2004 fax by the chief of counterterrorism at MI6 to his Libyan counterpart said of Belhaj’s capture, “This was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built in recent years.”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/18/the-ugly-specter-of-torture-and-lies/

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Now, I am not the fastest at putting two and two together – I leave that to people like John Ward of the Slog…but how come C/Hunt’s Hotcrosses is doing so well that some Aussie is going to give him absolutely loads of money for it whilst another British company doing more or less the same thing – but maybe on a larger scale – reports a massive drop of business and profits in the education market – and a resultant share price crash??

    Does John Ward smell something here?

    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/hunts-hotcourses-the-full-grubby-history/

    Tony

  • Zebedee

    OK Craig, so why is George Galloway poking fun at Mrs Sturgeon’s repeated calls for a second vote north of the border?

    He’s asking ” “You feel lucky, Nicola?”

    Well, do you feel lucky Craig?

      • xAnonx

        Sorry what? Assange said he would give himself up only if Obama released Manning. Stop spreading lies.

          • xAnonx

            Clemency means pardon Manning, please stop commenting on things you obviously dont know anything about.

          • xAnonx

            Kempe
            Jesus, no Assange would surely book that flight if he said commuted, which he didnt. He said clemency which meant pardoning according to Assange.
            Go ahead and hate Assange but dont make up your own facts

          • fred

            I’m not seeing where it says “released immediately” in the wikileaks tweet and my dictionary doesn’t say “clemency” means “pardon”.

          • Kempe

            ” He said clemency which meant pardoning according to Assange. ”

            It doesn’t matter what Assange thinks clemency means my dictionary says the same as fred’s. Manning has been granted clemency as Assange asked (“If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition”) so he has to submit to extradition to the US; or will he renege on a promise again?

          • xAnonx

            Kempe

            Assange didnt say “commuted” he said clemency – clemency doesnt mean “commuted” its not two interchangeable terms. Taking your argument, Assange would give himself up if so Obama only reduced 1 week of Manning’s multiple decade long sentence.
            My work is done, if you cant accept reality even when I quote Assange’s OWN team I can’t help and nor can anyone else.

            Have a nice day!

    • Phil Ex-Frog

      No one here going to cry the popular cliché “virtue signalling”? Oh look I just did.

      • xAnonx

        Kempe

        Jesus, no Assange would surely book that flight if he said commuted, which he didnt. He said clemency which meant pardoning according to Assange.
        Go ahead and hate Assange but dont make up your own facts.

        • Phil Ex-Frog

          Getting tricksy over misinterpretations of “clemency” and whatnot are undoubtably the weasel words of someone who is not going to do as they promised. I can see why he wouldn’t go but you have to wonder why the fuck he said such a stupid thing in the first place.

          A practised speculator could probably come up with multiple reasons. I can see 2 possibilities. One far more likely than the other.

          1) He was tricked into saying it. Possibly by the Trump camp.

          2) He’s a unstoppable attention seeking narcissist who spunked his flunk where he now regrets.

          • fred

            3) He was trying to reinforce the belief that America actually wants to extradite him.

            There is no evidence they do, they never made a request, he was available here in Britain for long enough if they had wanted to make the request.

    • Juan M. Gonzalez

      “White House officials insisted on Tuesday that a tweet from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had no bearing on President Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning.”
      White House: Assange tweet didn’t influence Manning decision | Washington Examiner
      http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-says-assange-tweet-didnt-influence-manning-decision/article/2612111

      “He [President Obama] said he wasn’t motivated by WikiLeaks’ recent pledge on Twitter that founder Julian Assange would agree to extradition to the US if Obama commuted Manning’s sentence.”
      Obama defends cutting Manning’s jail sentence | Sky News
      http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/01/19/julian-assange–happy–to-go-to-the-us.html

      Which means no extradition.

  • Dave

    The Scots voted to remain part of UK and the UK voted to leave the EU and so its speculative to think the Scots prefer membership of the EU to UK, particularly as they were voting for the UK establishment line to remain members of EU. If the UK government said vote Leave and the Scots voted Remain that would be a more telling result.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Craig
    ‘…Of course this all feeds in to the question of whether Obama is a good man frustrated or a charlatan all along, as a tick in the good man frustrated column. I still tend to the man with decent instincts who at the end of the day didn’t care enough to really fight for them….’

    Yes, it is a very welcome and unexpected act to order the release of ‘Chelsea’ Manning; but ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer’.
    Obama boasted he was ‘good at killing people’ (‘good man frustrated’?); he broke just about every election pledge (and had intended to break a number of them – again he told a Canadian audience not to worry about what he had pledged whilst running for President; he was a protege of that arch-fiend, Zbigniew Brzezinski ( http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/obama_secret_ties.html ‘…Obama’s participation in this shadowy confab with Mrs. Clinton should raise eyebrows because we’ve all been told ad nauseum that the presumptive Democratic nominee represents “change.” But is this statement necessarily true?
    For starters, the Beltway mansion where he supposedly hunkered down with Mrs. Clinton is owned by Mrs. Feinstein—a member of the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, and frequent Bilderberg attendee in the past. There is also strong evidence brought out in the latest issue of American Free Press that she has profited handsomely from the Iraq War.
    But this serendipitous late-night session is only one of many links tying Obama to the New World Order. Suspicions that he was being groomed for a run at the White House became apparent in August 2007—before most Americans even knew who Obama was—when Zbigniew Brzezinski endorsed Obama for president. It should be noted that Obama hadn’t even declared that he was running for the Oval Office yet, let alone assembled any type of formal committee.
    Brzezinski, of course, is a longtime globalist luminary whose mentor is none other than David Rockefeller…..’).
    Just as an aside, I would be extremely surprised if Obama had really had a meeting with Clinton at Feinstein’s house; I suspect that was cover for both to go to the Bilderberg meeting a few miles away – but I would think that, wouldn’t I?

    Good riddance to the only ‘President’ of the US to have been at war every day of his Presidency – so much for the Nobel Peace Prize – but then they also ‘honoured’ Kissinger with it, didn’t they? They do like having a laugh!

  • Dave

    Yes but not really for a laugh, but due to a psychological flaw/need, part of an ancestral madness, to claim the moral high ground when committing evil! For example the Bolsheviks/neo-cons tortured and murdered thousands of innocent people, but not before extracting a confession they were guilty! And they profess a humanitarian impulse when destroying defenceless countries and explains their ability to denounce Trump as a monster for opposing WWIII with Russia!

  • Peter Gee

    “…the daft xenophobia of the English and Welsh…”

    I would just like to point out that the Welsh speaking part of Wales (i.e. the small part that has not yet been fully colonised by the Anglo-Saxon hoards) voted to remain in the EU. The vote more illustrated how much Anglo-Saxon colonisation has influenced Wales.

    • michael norton

      So what, Peter Gee are you suggesting.
      Are you imagining that only pure blood Celts should be given the vote.
      The proportion of people in the United kingdom, who could prove their ancestry back 500 years is slim .
      2,000 years would be rather small.

      • michael norton

        The United Kingdom came to be a unified state. 1707

        so hands up
        who can trace there ancestry further back, then you get a vote.

        • Iain Stewart

          Actually, Michael, the 1998 devolution settlement recognized the diversity of the UK as a state of nations rather than a uniform nation state, by giving formal constitutional recognition to the distinctive historical and cultural identities of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within the union state.

    • Chris Rogers

      Peter,

      Perhaps it would help if you visited Welsh towns like Pontypool to understand the desolation deindustrialisation has caused, and when combined with neoliberal economic prescriptions, the absolute barbarity of existence. Would you also acknowledge that EU relief funds distributed to stricken places across the UK was actually UK money to begin with, we being a net contributor to the EU coffers. Now, if you had stated, and quite correctly, that the EU was more competent in dishing out aid than Westminster, I’d have agreed wholeheartedly. Given you have not stated this fact, I can only disagree I’m afraid!

    • Dave Lawton

      Peter
      “…the daft xenophobia of the English and Welsh…”
      Your rather arrogant statement is Static and gathers dust.
      I suggest you visit Grimsby and Hull it may shift your awareness,if not you could
      always take up meditation and and discover how to let go.

  • Tom

    I think Obama was just a very weak president – and it’s irrelevent whether he is good or bad. Hir role was to smile sweetly and utter platitudes while the CIA did their worst.
    George W Bush made the opposite noises but he was also basically a CIA stooge. Whatever one thinks of Trump, it appears he will chart his own course.
    As to the EU – I agree. I think this will be a short-lived few years of folly, before the nations of the UK embrace the EU more strongly than before. Despite the worst efforts of the government’s poodle media, there are simply too many areas of tension for May’s Brexit plan to be workable – whether it is Scotland and NI, or expats denied free medical coverage, banks moving out, small businesses unable to trade easily, a sterling crisis, farm subsidies… the list goes on and any one of these could derail Brexit.

  • Arby

    I’m thrilled with Chelsea Manning’s light at the end of the tunnel as well. I completely disagree with Murray’s take on Obama’s intentions. I rather liked the view expressed by Kim Peterson on the Dissident Voice website. Here’s a brief excerpt:

    “Chelsea Manning’s friend and free speech activist Evan Greer, when asked why Obama released Manning, said on CBC Radio’s As It Happens that because of a groundswell of international pressure against the “inhumane” and “egregious” treatment of Manning Obama had no choice if wanted to avoid a “permanent stain on his legacy.” If Greer’s assessment is correct, then does Obama deserve any accolades for doing the right thing? Or was it actually a selfish act?

    “And just what is justice to Obama, a president who plays judge, jury, and executioner when he orders drone attacks on persons designated enemies, and with minimal concern for the safety of people nearby? One must not forget that the Nobel Peace laureate Obama has been perpetually at war during his presidency.” – http://bit.ly/2jMyKog

    I didn’t realize Craig Murray supported the bosses position on Brexit. (As for the idea that it’s ‘good for the economy’, We the people are not the economy. That’s awfully vague and if you can’t demonsrate how ‘the economy’, under neoliberalism, is good for working people [who aren’t living in Greece], then just what does ‘good for the economy’ mean? I commented on the Mother Jones website that John Oliver’s precious bleating in favor of anti Brexit forces for the sake of the economy was rubbish and had all my comments disappeared on that ‘progressive’ org’s website. Meanwhile, I wasn’t the only one saying what I was saying. Canadian leftie Rick Salutin had the same reaction to John’s show. – http://bit.ly/29KURYX) There were those on the Left – Tariq Ali, Neil Davidson – who saw it as a positive and they give their reasons. I’m not smart enough to penetrate it all, to be honest. I only note that it was not only anti immigrants who wanted Brexit. Neil Davidson seems to do a good job, in my view, of dealing with many of the anti Brexit positions, showing how they were exaggerations.

    With all that European leadership (with many followers) has done recently, I don’t know how anyone could possibly support wanting to be a part of the EU. It’s barbaric and has been for a long time. Yugolslavia and Serbia weren’t sufficiently owned by capitalists and weren’t sufficiently allied with the center of capitalism in the universe, namely the United States, and so had to be destroyed, with much bloodshed. Craig might be familiar with Michael Parenti. Parenti’s article titled “The Nobel Peace Prize For War” (about the prize being awarded to the EU!) is very pointed. He notes that “Those who own the wealth of nations take care to downplay the immensity of their holdings while emphasizing the supposedly benign features of the socio-economic order over which they preside” and how the Nobel Peace Prize plays a role in that sham. Consider:

    “The Nobel Committee, the EU recipients, and the western media all overlooked the 1999 full-scale air war launched on the European continent against Yugoslavia, a socialist democracy that for the most part had offered a good life to people of various Slavic nationalities—as many of them still testify today.

    “The EU did not oppose that aggression. In fact, a number of EU member states, including Germany and France, joined in the 1999 war on European soil led largely by the United States. For 78 days, U.S. and other NATO forces bombed Yugoslavian factories, utilities, power stations, rail systems, bridges, hotels, apartment buildings, schools and hospitals, killing thousands of civilians, all in the name of a humanitarian rescue operation, all fueled by unsubstantiated stories of Serbian “genocide.” All this warfare took place on European soil.” – http://bit.ly/2dOfwLu

    Others, much better to say than I, have pointed out that you can’t reform the barbaric, neoliberal, undemocratic EU. I’m still waiting for the next ‘peripheral’ country (following Greece) to get devoured by the risen (from Hitler’s standpoint) Germany, with France playing a supporting role.

    Did Craig Murray meet the ‘leaker’ or a courier for the leaker?

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