Tag Archive: Democratic

Embarrassment or Dirty Dealing Discovery – the Real Reason for Secret Trials

Cameron, Blair, Brown and Straw – The Real Reason for Secret Trials

Embarrassing Smiles Cover Up Secrets and Lies

Tony Blair and Jack Straw

Tony Blair and Jack Straw

Jack Straw may have been “embarrassed” when he abolished his plans to abolish secret inquests which would have covered up his and Blair’s secret dealings over the euphemistically named extraordinary renditions (a.k.a. kidnappings and torture) that he initially claimed not to have done.

He may have been embarrassed about his son getting done in a tabloid sting for dope selling although his continued usage of the substance seems to have passed him by.

He may also have been embarrassed about being caught out for hiding the truth about using fake reasons to start the illegal war in Iraq.

Discovery and Personal Guilt

Embarrassment is not it though.  The real reason is our discovery of Straw & Blair’s hypocritical dealings over wars and torture, kidnap and illegal detention without trial, things that Straw’s government, and now our own coalition one, seek to hide.  That’s a deep guilt.

Was it guilt over the knowledge that as he was the head of an unaccountable web of spies, they were doing everything that any free democratic nation would naturally think abhorrent?

Or was it guilt over authorising these abhorrences to civilised behaviour?  Perhaps he knew that in 2005 the US was training already designated terrorists, in terrorism, on their own soil?

Extraordinary rendition, U.S. style

Extraordinary rendition, U.S. (and U.K!!) style

That’s the special relationship for ya!   Straw brought in the US-UK one-sided extradition agreement in 2003.  The following yearhe and Blair were found out to have started the war in Iraq on false pretences.  There then followed the endless investigations that dragged on for so long that folks forgot what they were about.

A collusion between the military, the law and politics from the establishment, designed to legally obfuscate by the dreary analysis of the minutiae of the webs of illegality they’d hatched?

We now find out, in the same year, 2004, that Straw and Blair were (supposedly) in government, Fatima Bouchar and her husband, Abdel Hakim Belhaj were captured, bound in gaffa tape (her eyelid bound open for 17 hours during this process), kidnapped and transported to a foreign power (Libya) where they were tortured and imprisoned for seven years.

Straw said he knew nothing, so what exactly was he paid for?  Was he a stooge, a calm reassuring personae, quietly acquiescing to misdeeds on the grandest of scales in exchange for lifelong protection and a nice pension?

Abdel is now in the ruling government of Libya, having fought and beaten Gaddhafi, with The West’s help, let’s not forget….

See: Special report: Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials.  This is the story of their imprisonment, and the trail of evidence that reveals the involvement of the British government.  It’s all there.  Detailed.  How Straw and Blair either instigated or permitted this to happen.

Cover Up Illegal Government Work by Invoking Secret Trials, “in the national interest”!

Killer Drone Aircraft

Killer Drone Aircraft

It’s all true.  Our own (and the US) secret services kidnapped and transported innocents from our own and foreign soils to foreign powers.  This was all done without the intervention of a judge, without court orders and in many cases (those in Guantanamo Bay for instance), without any immediate or subsequent trial.  They’re still doing it!

Bush, Cheney, Obama, Blair - their handiwork

Bush, Cheney, Obama, Blair – their handiwork – it is estimated that >3ooo civilians have been killed by drones

The only difference between the recent actions of Jack Straw, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Blunket, Teresa May, Ken Clarke & David Cameron, and the historical actions of Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao and Adolf Hitler are that in the former, there’s been no trial and the people are still alive, and in the latter there were usually show or peremptory trials usually followed by immediate execution.

Stalins Handiwork

Stalins Handiwork

Though life is precious, today’s innocents (innocent unless proven guilty, remember) may have at times wished they were dead.

One man’s been locked up since just after Jack Straw brought in the extradition deal with the US…! He’s now destined for transport to the USA and has been in solitary confinement here, without trial, for 8 years!  Murderers get less than that!  His crime was to host an anti-American website using a US-based host.

Killer Drone Pilots

Killer Drone Pilots

This is a bit like me.

  • I hate much of what the USA & UK does in the name of freedom, because plainly, it’s not.
  • I hate the undemocratic, illegal processes that the US and UK have done in the past (and now it appears are continuing to do) with a passion.
  • This website is hosted in the USA (Dallas, Texas, to be exact).

Can I expect a knock on the door and to be gaffa-taped off to solitary soon?  Probably not, because I don’t promote war, in fact, it’s an abhorrence.

Meanwhile, thousands of civilians die in US drone attacks while a lawyer for the victims is mysteriously prevented from gaining a visa because of “technical difficulties”!

Terrorist Distractions

Haditha Killings - US marines get away with murder

Haditha Killings – US marines get away with murder

Let’s not get distracted by today’s news that the European Court of Human Rights has allowed the extradition of a few “terror suspects” to be extradited to the USA though.

Killer Drone Pilot Control - the hand of death.

The targets have no chance to surrender, and the Afghan government has raised concerns. The drone strikes are dubbed ”Kill TV” or ”Taliban TV” because soldiers watch live video feeds of bombs and missiles detonating, with one source admitting it is uncomfortable viewing: ”You can see everything.”

Because the real devilish forces, whereby a supposedly civilised country like the United Kingdom can kidnap and torture with impunity, still exist.  Pregnant Fatima Bouchar was not a terrorist and nor was her husband.  Their terrifying ordeal at the hands of our secret service stands testament to that.

The Real Targets - our own freedoms

The Real Targets – our own freedoms

Even worse, our own dear whiter-than-white freedom-loving governments have now been found to have colluded in the kidnap, lied about having knowledge of the kidnap, and now seek to cover up any further public knowledge of this and other kidnaps (and worse, perhaps?) under the guise of “national security”.

These are the real devils in our midst.  They are the real terrorists.  Under false pretexts they continue to bomb civilians with drones and kidnap and torture those they can’t kill.  Though from different political persuasions, successive governments draft laws cover up the previous one’s actions.

What an evil nasty bunch they are.     Cameron and his crowing cohorts are just the latest in a long line.

 

Meanwhile,

  • MPs and judges can retire to fully indexed-linked pensions,   unlike the rest of the public sector workers who have been recently brutalised and scape-goated in the press for the thieving behaviour of gambling banker-politicians.
  • MPs and judges are protected from harm by the very secret services they’ve steered and governed while the rest of us are made
  •  to feel fear at home, where none exists
  • to feel loathed abroad, when we have done nothing

All due to the evil machinations of these few folk.

The Real Reason for Secret Trials and Internet Censorship

At least we can all now see the real reason for last week’s push for secret trials by Cameron and the ConDems – to cover up our government’s hypocritical, illegal, criminal, actions.

In future, all reporting of these actions will naturally be curtailed when the internet is thoroughly locked down and all we’ll be able to see will be tits, bums and football interspersed with Simon Cowell same-songs and holiday-home recipes of the day.  Everything will be like the front page of the Daily Mail website.  Some freedom, eh?

Question:  Why Pictures of Drones and Dead Innocents, Yet not many Kidnaps?

A. Simple.    It’s the same mentality of person that sends in the drones to kill innocents as kidnaps innocents.  In fact, it’s the same people.  They stand there smiling on our TVs, in suits, with the appropriate amount of gravitas dependant on the situation.

The real devils in our midst.  The real terrorists.

 

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Weird World of Secrecy and Freedom

Introduction

Yesterday’s News

The use of intercept evidence in courts in England and Wales is not “legally viable”,

…the Home Office has said.  This is reported on the BBC here, Using intercept evidence in court ‘not yet viable’

Security

From the earliest days of the British (English) Secret Service, back in Elizabeth I’s time, all manner of devices and methods have been used to “secure the nation”, initially for the sovereign, and latterly, to maintain the structures of our notionally democratic government system.

I’ve commented many times about the draconian laws implemented in this country by successive Home Secretaries – upwardly-mobile Blunkett, Mr Fixit Reid & Two Homes Smith.  And how they’ve been implemented, yet hardly used, and yet could still be used to snatch all our hard-won freedoms away in a jiffy.

We also had the illegal shooting of the Brazilian Menendez at a tube station, which was a catalogue of human errors from initial data acquisition to the panicky police with pistols to the botched cover-ups from higher command.

And without any use of the draconian laws we’ve seen several sets of murderous people stopped in their tracks and locked away for good.  The shoe-bomber and the Glasgow airport bombers come to mind.

Wasted Time

So now, in light of yesterday’s news, why are we still wasting time with these crap laws that do nothing for our freedom except curtail it, and have now been found to be largely ineffectual because much of the evidence gained by our Secret Services has been found to be “inadmissible in court”.

Q. How So?

A. Well, a very small bit of our English Law still remains that Wacky Backy Jacqui Smith et al have been unable to squash.

Defence of an Accused Person

This is that anyone charged with an offence must have access to all the information that the prosecution has to throw at them!  It’s a hard-won pillar of our justice system.

Time and time again, when it’s been found that the police or others have with-held information from the defence, the case is thrown out of court.  Nearly all the famous miscarriages of justice, like the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four etc, nearly all have been found wanting because of this.  (There’s also issues of doctored evidence, but like any criminal activity, one sort of illegality is usually accompanied by others).

So let us make sure that this right is not done away with!

Because current Home Secretary Johnson is full-on in his determination to “make the system workable” – his words.

What he wants is a way to make intercept information available to a court without the defence knowing how or why the information is derived or sourced.

And without that, there are no checks on the veracity of the information.  All it would need is a member of the security services to say (probably hidden in court);

“yep.  Data is okay.  The defendant said that”

….and we are straight back to 1974 and the Birmingham Six where the copper’s word was deemed truthful and above reproach, when it patently was not.

Now is the time when we need a new, youthful Ludovic Kennedy.  Where are they now?

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Technical Xenophobic BBC Air Crash Reports

Introduction

You may not have noticed the co-incidence yesterday, but an Iranian aircraft crashed and the US Space Shuttle took off.  the co-incidence was in  the strange reporting that envelops such events.

Iranian Crash

Fly home, AF447

Fly home, AF447

This, as air crashes go, was pretty ordinary – something went wrong, it crashed, everyone died.  You’d expect some reasoned discussion, bearing in mind that one of the most modern and newest planes in the sky plummeted into the South Atlantic little over a month ago.

This is what the BBC said about it near the end of the piece:

The plane was built in Russia in 1987.

It was the third deadly crash of a Tupolev Tu-154 in Iran since 2002.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne says Iran’s civil and military air fleets are made up of elderly aircraft, in poor condition due to their age and lack of maintenance.

Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, trade embargoes by Western nations have forced Iran to buy mainly Russian-built planes to supplement an existing fleet of Boeings and other American and European models.

West v East technology

This is all well and good, but the deadly tone with an emphasis on old and/or Russian aircraft makes a bad taste in the mouth, does it not?…  Why?

A.  Because there’s very little technical difference between the Russian and Western aircraft.

challenger

Challenger

Indeed, on the very day that the Shuttle takes off, I’m reminded of the technical superiority of Russian astronautics and space exploration.  While not putting a man on the moon,  they pragmatically put a robot there instead, paving the way for the robots we now have placed on Mars & Venus, etc.

They have a long and distinguished history of space “firsts”…  But the ultimate irony is that the much vaunted Space Shuttle has had very public catastrophic failures in the past and is soon to be retired.  And until the US gets a new launch vehicle, for the next 4-6 years they will be relying on the Russians to put men in space!

Actual Crashes

So much for balance!  The BBC article then continues in a box-out,

IRANIAN PLANE CRASHES

Feb 2006: Tupolev crashes in Tehran, kills 29 people – E
Dec 2005: C-130 military transport plane crashes near Tehran, kills 110 – W
Feb 2003: Iranian military transport plane crashes in south of country, kills all 276 on board – E
Dec 2002: Antonov 140 commuter plane crashes in central Iran, kills all 46 people on board – E
Feb 2002: Tupolev crashes in west Iran, kills all 199 on board – E

Looks bad doesn’t it?

A Russian airliner that crashed near a city in the Urals, killing all 88 people on board, caught fire in mid-air, reports say.  The Boeing-737-500, belonging to a branch of the national airline Aeroflot, was on a flight from Moscow to Perm, near the Ural mountains.   One witness said the blaze lit up the whole sky

A Russian airliner that crashed near a city in the Urals, killing all 88 people on board, caught fire in mid-air, reports say. The Boeing-737-500, belonging to a branch of the national airline Aeroflot, was on a flight from Moscow to Perm, near the Ural mountains. One witness said the blaze lit up the whole sky

Compare and contrast this to this little list of large plane crashes (from the BBC article, but as a link), and count the relative abundance of Eastern versus Western manufactured planes…..

2009

15 July: A Caspian Airlines Tupolev plane crashes in the north of Iran en route to Armenia. All 168 passengers and crew are reported dead. – E

30 June: A Yemeni passenger plane, an Airbus 310, crashes in the Indian Ocean near the Comoros archipelago. Only one of the 153 people on board survives. – W

1 June: An Air France Airbus 330 travelling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashes into the Atlantic with 228 people on board. Search teams later recover some 50 bodies in the ocean. – W

20 May: An Indonesian army C-130 Hercules transport plane crashes into a village on eastern Java, killing at least 97 people. – W

6 April: An Indonesian army Fokker-27 crashes on landing near Bandung, West Java, killing 24 people. – W

25 February: A flight from Istanbul to Amsterdam crashes short of the runway at Schiphol international airport. Of the 135 people on board, nine are killed and at least 50 injured. – W

Forty-nine people were killed when a flight from Newark to Buffalo crashed in Clarence Center, a suburb of Buffalo, in New York state. One person was also killed on the ground.

Forty-nine people were killed when a flight from Newark to Buffalo crashed in Clarence Center, a suburb of Buffalo, in New York state. One person was also killed on the ground.

12 February: A passenger plane crashes into a house in Buffalo, New York, killing all 49 people on board and one person on the ground. – W

8 February: A passenger plane crashes into a river in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, killing 24 people, most of whom were from the same family. – W

2008

14 September: A Boeing-737 crashes on landing near the central Russian city of Perm, killing all 88 passengers and crew members on board. – W

24 August: A passenger plane crashes shortly after take-off from Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, killing 68 people.- W

20 August: A Spanair plane veers off the runway on take-off at Madrid’s Barajas airport, killing 154 people and injuring 18.- W

Wreckage of the Spanair MD82, 21 August 2008 [Pic: EFE]

Three days of mourning was declared after the Madrid air disaster

2 May: South Sudan’s defence minister is among 22 people killed after engine trouble causes a plane carrying a military delegation to crash about 400km (250 miles) west of Juba. -N/A

15 April: Some 40 people die when a DC-9 skids off the runway while attempting to take off in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma during heavy rain, smashing through a wall and into a busy residential area.- W

24 January: Nineteen people die when a Polish Casa C-295M military transport plane crashes in the country’s north-west, carrying officials who had attended an air safety conference.- W

Conclusion

For 2008 to 2009, I make the totals, as reported by the BBC, 1 unknown, 12 (W)estern manufacture, 1 (E)astern manufacture.

Now do you see the technological xenophobia that I’m talking about?

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UK Judges See Terror Sense

Freedom and the Law

In stark contrast to the US which still insists on draconian measures against people thought to be bad (the lowest of the low Rumsfeld called them), the UK has had a landmark ruling for common sense in a democratic, freedom-loving country.

Nine Law Lords have unanimously ruled it was unfair for any individual to be kept in ignorance of a legal case against them.(see news item here)

_45894333_006677211_1_1_

Terror suspects win legal battle

I won’t bother labouring the point, so here’s what the nine judges said about imprisonment without trial or any knowledge of the case or evidence against one.  This law was progressively implemented by out nice Labour government under Blair-Brown, finally being nailed down by wacky backy Jacqui Smith.  If ever there were a bigger bunch of folk blind to the realities of democratic freedom and liberty, then they don’t exist except in the USA.

A trial procedure can never be considered fair if a party to it is kept in ignorance of the case against him (…) If the wider public are to have confidence in the justice system, they need to be able to see that justice is done rather than being asked to take it on trust.
The best way of producing a fair trial is to ensure that a party to it has the fullest information of both the allegations that are made against him and the evidence relied upon in support of those allegations  (…)  the slow creep of complacency must be resisted.    If the rule of law is to mean anything, it is in cases such as these that the court must stand by [legal] principle.   It must insist that the person affected be told what is alleged against him.

The last highlighted bit has been part of English (and most other) Law for millenia.  It’s only this Labour lot who forgot it.  Oh!  And Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot etc…  I didn’t though, see here.

Torture

In another piece of news today, we see that six London coppers have been suspended, accused of torture.  This is good, the application of law to everyone no matter their status.  It’s the mark of a free society, certainly more open and freer for many a month.  Now investigations and justice must plough their furrows.  It’s what we do, but at least it’s being done!  Similarly with the MP expenses ferago.  No-one should be above the law.

Well?

I await the outcomes of all this with bated breath.  Has there been a real change or will it be another Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction whitewash?  I’m 52% positive actually.

The two main protagonists, Blair and Brown, are now withered grapes on a vine.  I sense new shoots of egalitarian pragmatism in the country.  Blair seems to be doing religious cartoons and Brown’s finest hour approaches as he locks down MPs into a solid framework of pay that the public will hopefully trust.

A secondary hope would be for the citizens of the USA to turn on Cheney, still pushing the ‘torture – good!’ message from his millionaire’s mansion, steeped in the blood and money of Iraq.  I doubt it, but there’s always hope that the reality of his evil actions will make themselves plain.  Maybe, ‘keep him talking – he’ll hang himself eventually’ is a good mantra for now.

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Obama’s Been Got

@AmazonHigh Hopes Replaced by Low Expectations

It’s the torture, see?

UK

In the UK, when Blair was first elected Prime Minister, the people in the country had such high hopes.  There were promises of an ‘end to sleaze’ and an ‘ethical foreign policy’.

@AmazonSince those heady few weeks in the UK;

  • We’ve had years of subterfuge and an erosion of freedoms on an unprecedented scale except perhaps following the Norman Conquest or during the purges of the Tudor period.
  • We’ve had the mysterious deaths of civil servants and the accession to kidnap and torture at the behest of our allies.
  • We have had an endless catalogue of tales of personal aggrandisement by our elected representatives gorging at the trough of the public purse.
  • We’ve had financial waste and mis-management on a staggering scale.

So much for an end to sleaze.  So much for an ethical foreign policy.  John Smith and Robin Cook will be turning in their graves.

USA

And now in the USA, Obama has been suckered into the establishment line.  It’s only taken 100 days – wow, 3 and a half years left!  We had two stories about torture in rapid succession and various recent commentaries, notably from the biggest winner of the Iraq war, Dick Cheney.  Talk about personal gain…?

  • Firstly, torture was supposed to have been small scale, but effective.  It got the results, apparently.
  • Secondly, torture on some individuals was used hundreds of times. This also got results, apparently.

Now call me thick, but if someone ‘needs’ to be tortured hundreds of times, it’s not very effective, is it?

This means the victims were tortured for pleasure, because the two statements above are mutually exclusive – they can’t both be right!

Now, I’d like to say ‘bizarrely’,  but given past history from our democratic elected representatives into a society awash with vested interests, it’s got to be ‘not unexpectedly’, Obama isn’t doing anything about the perpetrators or instigators of these crimes against humanity.  It’s all being swept under the nice new carpet.

Obama has been suckered into the corporate establishment….  So;

  • Torture?  OK!
  • Personal and Corporate governance and financial accountability?  No way!
  • Greenhouse gases?  Love ’em!
  • Same old car companies?  Of course!
  • Surely the people won’t have to pay for corporate greed and mismanagement will they?   Of course they will!

It’s downhill all the way now.

@AmazonLets not forget that the whole Vietnam war fiasco was started and expanded under the Democratic administrations of Kennedy and Johnson?  Carpet bombing?  Napalm?   Democrats!

So welcome to the brave new world of flying drones in their thousands bombing civilians far away (death by computer game, anyone?).  Where government psychopaths are allowed to roam unchecked, stuffing their pockets with cash all the while.

I hope all the US voters who each chipped in their 100 dollar bills for Obama’s campaign think that it was all worthwhile.  For me, it looks like same old story, different cover.

Maybe Now is the Time to Move the UN?

Yes!  It’s a golden opportunity for the freedom loving nations of the world to pull up their roots and move the United Nations to somewhere safe – like Cuba or Norway.  Why?

Take a look at Article 5 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948 and signed by the USA.  It reads:

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

When it says no-one, it means no-one. It doesn’t say ‘except really really bad people, in our opinion’ in tiny letters afterwards.  It’s simply hypocritical that the UN seat should be in such a country that because of it’s might, can pick and choose which bits to uphold for itself and which bits to sling at others.

Please Note, Mr President;

  • The Declaration is an all-or-nothing thing.
  • It’s not to be picked about and simpered over.
  • It’s not about comparative behaviour with the evil people of the world.
  • It’s an absolute statement made by people in 1948 who had plenty of time to think about evil and plenty of first hand experience to back it up.

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