Tag Archive: Secret Service

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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Terror State Chickens Return to Phone Hacking Roost

Introduction

Greenpeace Action

Greenpeace Action

Many years ago when I was living in France and during a prolonged period of French atomic weapon testing on the Moruroa atoll, the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, was blown up in a New Zealand harbour. Initially, it was thought to be an accident.

Now, as soon as this happened, I thought “who has most to gain from the sinking of this protest ship?”

I immediately said, “The French” to my partner.  It’s in their interest to get that pesky ship put of their test zone.

Many years passed until finally some French Secret Service agents were collared for the dastardly deed.   President Mitterand, it turns out, authorised the bombing and thus the death of the Portuguese Dutch photographer, Fernando Pereira.

Phone Hacking

  1. The news this week is that the sleaze-paper, News of the World (NOTW), part of the nationality-challenged Rupert Murdoch’s empire, hacked many prominent people’s phones in order to gather information.  (News of the World ‘bugging’ claim – Wednesday 8th)

    E60

    Phone Hacking

  2. Later, the news was that there was going to be a huge investigation by the police into the allegations. (Police to probe phone hack claims – Thursday 9th).  In fact, PM Brown said, “This raises questions that are serious and will obviously have to be answered.”
  3. A few hours later, and the massive investigation was finished!  (New phone hack inquiry ruled out – Thursday 8th)  Second top Met Cop John Yates said, “No additional evidence has come to light since this case has concluded. I therefore consider that no further investigation is required.”  He also said, “This investigation has not uncovered any evidence to suggest that John Prescott’s phone had been tapped.”

Astonishing Speed

Warning: sarcasm alert! I think it’s amazing that Yates & Co. has managed to sift through all of this evidence in less than half a day!  It’s fantastic!  If only all enquiries were this fast!  Arms to Iraq!  Iraq War!  Cash for Questions!  G20 Tomkinson Death and Kettling tactics!  You know, things would be so much better.

Who Has Most to Gain?

Rupert Murdoch - will he gain?

Rupert Murdoch - will he gain?

Going back to my Rainbow Warrior experience, this is the thought that now crosses my mind.  In situations like this, forget the morals and any issues of integrity, personal or national, that arise.  Just look at the question in it’s starkness.  Who has most to gain?

Well this question really has several parts, or vantage points, if you like, that all supply an answer to the above question.

  • Obviously, The Guardian now gains from extra publicity, their oxygen of business.
  • NOTW originally gained by getting stories, the same oxygen of their business.
  • Robert Preston here (News of the World bugged Sun editor), reveals that all papers were (and still are?) using such tricks.  It’s all their oxygen.

Police Gain.

A key sentence in Robert Preston’s piece (News of the World bugged Sun editor) is near the bottom.  See if you can find it!

This is the relevant chunk, showing the information source as Richard Thomas, recently retired Information Commissioner and quoted verbatim from Preston’s blog.  Thomas did a huge investigation into phone hacking which were presented before our Parliament, our representatives, in 2007.  This is the chunk below (remember, see if you can see the key bit!!):

Richard Thomas, 'a champion of civil liberties'. Photo: Michael Stephens/ PA

Richard Thomas, 'a champion of civil liberties'. Photo: Michael Stephens/ PA

A good deal of this trade in personal confidential information has already been exposed by Richard Thomas, who has just retired as information commissioner.

In a series of reports and in evidence to the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee, he made a series of disclosures about newspaper activities that he regarded as “prima facie” illegal.

Here’s a statement from him to MPs that he gave in March 2007, which refers to the results of an investigation he carried out into the business relationship between the press and a firm of private investigators (the investigation was given the codename Operation Motorman):

“The first thing I would need to share is that the 3,000 or 4,000 transactions identified… came from a total of 13,000 transactions in this one operation alone. We were careful only to put forward those where there was some sort of hard evidence of the transaction being positively identified as involving a journalist for a newspaper”.

And this is what he cited as the evidence of payments being made by journalists for the information:

“We did have, and we do have still, the statements, the bank statements, the invoices – some of these well-known proprietors were including information such as ‘payment for confidential information’, payment for ‘blagging’ [obtaining information by deception] in some cases – so there was what I might call hard ‘prima facie’ evidence.”

soclose

Law Enforcement

However the degree of detail obtained by him about this trade was startling.

Where did the money end up? Well, a flow-chart produced by the office of the information commissioner shows the press employing private detectives who in turn deal with phone companies, call centres, the DVLA and what’s described as “police source”.

Did you spot the last bit of the sentence?  I’ll paraphrase now for emphasis…

Where did the money (paid for hacked information) end up? The information commissioner shows the press employing private detectives who deal with (…) a “police source“.

And there we have it!

Conclusion

Now we know why Yates’ “investigation” finished so quickly.  The former information commisioner tells us in words presented to parliament – to protect the police!

Just remember, this current government has ramped up the “fear factor” over terrorism so much, that the police and other services have unparalled access to all sorts of electronic information.  In fact, by law, telecoms companies are required to keep it….

In this week’s events we’ve seen the Police investigate an event of which they were one of the prime information sources (according to Thomas) and declared “no case to answer”.  They are investigator, judge, jury and imprisoner.

As I’ve predicted many times in these pages, (and I’m only using history as a guide here, remember – I’m not a fortune teller), when the police are given unbridled power, that power will be abused either by an individual or the organisation as a whole.

The police now have power of arrest for virtually anything – e.g. by law, I’m not allowed to take their photo!  I can be arrested and searched without reason and imprisoned for the same reasons indefinitely.  Just look.  It’s all there, all passed in the last few years.

But if this case and previous ones are anything to go by, it appears that if an “investigator” can’t get the information they want, they pay the police for it!

What have we got here – the Rockford Files!

And afterwards, the Police say “no case”.  “Case closed”. “No further information”.

Our chickens have come home to roost, and no-one’s noticing!

PostScript

Actually, someone’s noticing.

 Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer launches 'urgent' review of phone tap inquiry  Photo: PA

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer launches 'urgent' review of phone tap inquiry Photo: PA

The police have decided to do nothing because, as they say no NEW information is about  (this is now being mis-quoted as in “There is no information that John Prescott’s phone was tapped” instead of “There is no NEW information that John Prescott’s phone was tapped” – which is a different thing altogether and those saying it, know it!)

  • However, it’s now emerging that many “stars” and “personalities” are planning to sue the NOTW and other papers.  See Stars ‘may sue’ over phone claims
  • Also, the DPP has launched an inquiry.
  • The PCC likewise.
  • Parliament too.
  • And calls for the police to do the right thing and investigate properly are mounting.

I watch with anticipation from my little tank.  I’ve a feeling, and I hope, that this one will run and run and that hopefully, some proper rein will be put on our law enforcement folk.  Unlike most people, I don’t consider this a press freedom issue – I consider it a key part of all our freedoms.

See these links:

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Banks Withdraw Tracker Mortgages, What an Odd Job?

Happenstance, Circumstance or Co-incidence?

In Ian Fleming’s “Goldfinger”, the villain, Auric Goldfinger uses part of the above phrase after bumping into James Bond several times.  The second time he actually says to Mister Bond;

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action

In this article (Warning signs that may force committee to think big) from yesterday, Larry Elliott of the Guardian lists his probabilities for the next possible Bank of England interest rate change, later in the day.

Oddjob, Enemy ActionThe Base Lending Rate, since Labour gave the responsibility to the Bank of England shortly after the 1997 landslide election, is set by a bunch of folk called the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).  They meet every month and almost without exception, by definition, are career economists to some degree.  This means, by definition, that they’ve had close ties to all the financial shenanigans that have brought us the global chaos we now are enduring.

Mysteriously, the day before yesterday, virtually all banks withdrew their tracker mortgages.  The rest followed suit late yesterday.  The Abbey even put up tracker rates!

Lenders pull tracker ranges ahead of likely cut in rates

Co-incidentally, the rate shot down a virtually unprecedented 1.5% straight afterwards!

BANK RATE CUT CAUSES CHAOS,  Banks under pressure to cut rates

So apart from some initial speculation like here, the only people who knew about this big rate cut were the MPC and maybe the Chancellor Alistair Darling, the Prime Minister Brown and any secret service folk listening in on private conversations….

Lloyds TSB & Northern Rock were some that withdrew tracker rates ahead of the MPC meeting.  Many others have made them unattainable by the kind of folk that currently have them (~90% of mortgages!)  BTW, I’m one of the 10% that have a SVR mortgage   :roll:  Trackers are unobtainable to the many because of pecunious LTV ratios which, because of the property slump, many people cannot achieve.

Now get your crystal ball out, and look forward a few years and see where these people, (who had a good chance of real knowledge about the rate changes), are working.  Check them through here, and then later decide, that if now, there has been a conflict of interest.  

Don’t decide now, the waters are too muddy.  But they will clear with the passage of time.  Adam Smith‘s “Wealth of Nations” makes this clear when he says that even though all people act through personal greed, the free market self regulates this for the common good.  In this process, motives, quite often, are only recognised well after an event.

It’s Adam Smith’s creed that we’ve been operating under for some years now.

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What it means to be Anonymous in Palin’s America

Relevant Links:

and finally:

  • https://www.hide-my-ip.com/

The recent furore in America over VP candidate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! email account being cracked has missed a few points…

Briefly, here’s a recap on the events above:

  1. Palin is from Alaska and is current Governor there.
  2. Palin falls out with brother-in-law and lawsuit starts
  3. Palin refuses to release emails as part of investigation
  4. Palin uses her Yahoo! email account for government business (proved by later screenshots).
  5. All US government business must be transacted over secure US Gov email system for “Freedom of Information” purposes – to stop corruption basically, and allow “the people” to see what “their representatives” get up to.  So…
  6. Palin is using her Yahoo account for illegal activities.
  7. Palin’s Yahoo! account is cracked and details posted on the web
  8. The crack is through a “anonymous proxy service” run by cTunnel.com
  9. US Secret Service ask Associated Press(AP) for copies of emails, who refuse.
  10. Yahoo, all this time still has all emails on it’s servers as required by various laws (Patriot Act etc).  (Same in GB Inc.)
  11. cTunnel says he’s willing to check or hand over his logs to US Secret Service to determine the hacker (more correctly, a cracker – it’s called password cracking, not hacking)
  12. cTunnel is run by a guy called Gabriel Ramuglia who has over 100 other domains, mostly anonymous proxies.
  13. cTunnel opens with the tagline: Ctunnel is here to protect your anonymity online!
  14. Gabriel Ramuglia lives in Fairbanks, Alaska!

So now the circle is complete.  Proxy.org has this to say (copied verbatim):

Proxy.org is the pragmatic Web surfer’s guide to online privacy and anonymous web surfing. We give you the information and tools you need to be confident and in command of your Web surfing experience. Here you’ll find information on the latest privacy issues facing Web consumers and links to relevant privacy technology. Proxy.org has the most comprehensive list of working proxies in the most convienient form.
Your right to anonymity
Amendments 4 and 5 of The United States Bill Of Rights protect the right to be free of unwarranted and unwanted government intrusion into one’s personal and private affairs, papers, and possessions. Article 12 of The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

Despite some charges to the contrary, anonymous Web surfing is not the sole province of criminals. Anonymity also serves whistle blowers, free speech advocates, and people just looking for personal privacy online. Privacy is not a crime and anonymity is not morally ambiguous or wrong, they are your right.

I’ve laboured at length on the US and UK and their loose interpretation of our rights as seen in the links above.  I’ve hammered on about ID Cards and data loss, privacy and freedom.  The US, in it’s current incarnation, seems intent on chasing the password cracker and not Palin who is doing the string of corrupt actions.

Fortunately, Jonathan Swift has come to our rescue from across time.  In his satire on corruption and stupidity in government and society Gulliver’s Travels, there are a bunch of allegorical beings representing the distasteful materialism and ignorant elitism Swift encountered in Britain at that time.  He described them like so:

[…] are primitive creatures obsessed with pretty stones they find by digging in mud […]and[…] are vile and savage creatures, filthy and with unpleasant habits, resembling human beings far too closely […]

The book has been in continuous print since 1726, fifty years older than the United States’ Constitution.!!!

The creatures Swift called Yahoos, from where we derive the term “illiterate yahoo” and in a roundabout fashion, where the email account that Sarah Palin used illegally and in a corrupt fashion, gets it’s name.

It says it all, doesn’t it?

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