Hint, it’s not the lead story.
Hint, it’s not the lead story.
Craig Murray (h/t Lenin) has some interesting thoughts on the incidents in London. Cui Bono- To whose benefit he asks. (also read his post on Lockerbie which ties in with the investigations in Private Eye that point to Syria, Libya was blamed out of political expediancy).
While these incidents will be played for all they are worth by the war on terrorism industry I hope most people are made of more sense and see this as a price of an iniquitous foreign policy and demand change. Otherwise it is ID cards, cameras, authoritarianism and endless fucking war.
Quite cheap too, so Chiquita pay Colombian AUC (right wing paramilitaries funded by the US and coordinating their killings with President Uribe and the Colombian military) terrorists to keep their banana plantations safe and productive and to keep workers under the gun.
Chiquita finally gets taken to court, they are found guilty, no one goes to prison, instead they pay $25 million to the US Govt. hush money.
Profits from their operations are at least $49 million, so overall they get away with murder and make $24 million in profit and their shares go up (ain’t Wall Street grand?).
So do not under any circumstances buy their shitty bananas.
“Chiquita gives a lot of money to both political parties in the United States, has huge political influence, and the administration is petrified by the spectacle of this company,”
Which ranting lefty said that? erm UK Conservative politician Leon Brittan actually. Noreena Hertz used the influence Chiquita wields as an example of how our democracies have been replaced with corporatocracies-
“the ability of big business and its representatives to sidestep the controls imposed by governments is already apparent, as evidenced by the growing dominance of free trade interests in international decision making…In Geneva nations more or less owned by corporations are pitted against each other in the WTO arena, unable to decide for themselves how they and their citizens would like to live and trade. This is not good because the businesses will be thinking about what is in the best interest for them rather than the country and the citizens. The example she gave to describe had to do with Chiquita. The EW was trying to protect small producers of bananas; Chiquita persuaded US trade representatives that the policy was unfair and harmful to the interests of the US. The US administration then began to support Chiquita which also had to do with the fact the corporation donated so much money to both the major political parties in the US.
Now hearings are revealing the extent of the financial and moral corruption
The United States shares the blame for Colombia’s suffering, a top Democrat said Thursday at a congressional hearing focusing on allegations that U.S. companies funded illegal right-wing militias that have killed hundreds of union activists in the Andean nation. “We are complicit in the devastation of that society,” said Rep. Bill Delahunt, a Democrat. “So it is a moral imperative that requires us to help Colombia end that cycle of violence”
Delahunt, who chairs the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, spoke during a hearing in which Chiquita Brands International Inc. and the Alabama coal company Drummond Co. Inc. were singled as having close ties to Colombia’s paramilitaries. Chiquita has acknowledged having paid paramilitaries $1.7 million (€1.3 million) in protection money over six years.
The president of Colombia’s national mining union, Francisco Ramirez, claimed not just Chiquita and Drummond but also Coca-Cola, Occidental Petroleum, BP Amoco and Exxon Mobil were complicit in the killing of union activists in Colombia — either by paying paramilitaries or indirectly through the U.S. military aid for Colombian army units that he said committed the murders.
Korova reported recently on a lawsuit by families of murder victims of AUC paid by Chiquita on Chiquita plantations-
The Florida lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for families of 22 AUC victims, who lived on Chiquita plantations or in nearby villages in Colombia, plaintiffs’ attorney William Wichmann said. The victims died between 1997 and 2004 in the banana-growing region of Uraba in northwestern Colombia.
“They were all murdered, including a teacher, a student and an 8-year-old child who was hit by a stray bullet, but nonetheless was murdered,” Wichmann said.
Some have called for the executives to be extradited and tried in Colombia, but Uribe is part of the mechanism of business and death squads with US and corporate slush funds that runs the client state of Colombia. Terrorism used to maintain and protect trade and profits for US corporations does not get treated as such in the ‘war on terror’, so justice might be a while coming yet.
h/t to Kyle at Immigration Orange
A foreign military air strike in southern Afghanistan killed 30 civilians, including women and children, a district mayor said Saturday, citing initial investigations.
“Our initial investigations show that 30 civilians, including women, children and men, have been killed,” said Dur Alisha, the mayor of Girishk district in the southern province of Helmand.
Detectives hunted Saturday for suspects who abandoned two explosives-packed cars in the heart of London’s nightlife district, reviewing closed circuit television footage and scouring the vehicles for clues.
Counterterrorism officers at Scotland Yard briefed Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday, and the British leader later chaired a meeting of top spies, police and senior officials in COBRA, the government’s emergency committee, his office said.
Detectives said they were keeping an open mind about the suspects, but terrorism experts said the signs pointed to a cell linked to or inspired by al-Qaida. Police would not comment on an ABC News report saying police had a “crystal clear” picture of one suspect from CCTV footage.
Now I’m sure the flight logs will also give a crystal clear identification of the pilots and the chain of command will show who ordered the strike, so will detectives be swooping on these perpetrators? I mean this mob actually succeeded unlike the moron and his car bomb. Now then if only someone could find out why people are driven to attack us in any way they can…clearly I’m nowhere near intelligent enough to work that one out. Hey wait a minute I just read those reports again, you don’t think…nah couldn’t be.
On the down side it is the Daily Mail, but anyways-
The music industry has reacted angrily at a decision to give away the new album by US musician Prince with a tabloid newspaper. Planet Earth will be given free with a future edition of the Mail on Sunday. The 10-track CD from Prince – whose hits include Purple Rain, Sign O’ The Times and Cream – is not due to be released until 24 July.
Now look at the attitude of corporate bully boys, they have absolutely no comprehension of an artist creating and distributing their work on their terms, the sheer sense of entitlement by the music industry to own and control all rights of an artist’s work is psychotic-
Paul Quirk, co-chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association, said the decision “beggars belief”.
“The Artist formerly known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores,”
The deal has also led to the UK arm of Sony BMG pulling out of the distribution agreement. “Given the sheer number of copies we are talking about here it seemed the right thing to do for retailers to become exempt from the deal in the UK,”
And to show what authoritarians they are, the BPI have our police working for them:
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is investigating allegations of an extensive illegal music filesharing ring at a Honeywell plant in Scotland.
Investigators from the BPI raided the plant in Motherwell with police officers at 0840 BST yesterday morning. The investigators made copies of the contents of computers for detailed forensic analysis.
This is the first time that the BPI has raided a business in pursuit of illegal music filesharing. Previous such raids have concentrated on domestic filesharing.
Check that last part, ‘the BPI has raided’ it was with police but I think that tells more truth than it meant, here is a private industry body using our tax funded police to pursue it’s commercial objectives. Ever see the Police raid Downing street based on a million people’s charge they are lying us into war? Government for and by the corporations. Meanwhile Rolling Stone magazine has a two part series that declares these corporate dinosaurs and their idea of the music ‘industry’ dead, and by their own hand. They are like an abusive parent desperately trying to control a grown child who has woken up to the abuse and is moving out. They pretend they are there to protect the artist from exploitation while actually being the main exploiters themselves, now technology has bypassed them they can find nothing better to do than be belligerent. Much as our govts resort to authoritarianism then admit their responsibility for our dissatisfaction. Because they do not serve us, they are an occupation force for the rich -and their crap music. Prince fucking rocks!
Off the second album Second Toughest in the Infants, its full title there in three parts: Juanita/Kiteless/To Dream Of Love.
This is a live clip from the Everything Everything DVD. It forms some of the parameters of my soul.
On the day before it is due to be shut down, the U.N. unit that found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but failed to stop the U.S.-led invasion said on Thursday time had justified its methods and work.
In a voluminous report detailing the history of Iraq’s banned weapons programs and U.N. efforts to dismantle them, it said the episode had shown that on-the-ground inspections were better than intelligence assessments by individual countries.
The report by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC, did not name its targets but several of its conclusions appeared aimed at the United States and Britain, which invaded Iraq in March 2003. Washington and London said despite UNMOVIC’s inability to find evidence, they were acting in the belief that Iraq was pursuing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs begun in the 1970s. No such weapons have been found.
“The UN’s verification experience in Iraq also illustrates that in-country verification, especially on-site inspections, generate more timely and accurate information than other outside sources such as national assessments.” UNMOVIC was in Iraq only from November 2002 until it was pulled out on the eve of the invasion, but its predecessor, UNSCOM, spent seven years there scrapping Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and facilities after the first Gulf War of 1991.
It said that during its brief stay in Iraq, UNMOVIC carried out 731 inspections covering 411 sites, but it implied that U.S. and British anxiety to invade Iraq had hampered its work. “Had UNMOVIC not been under such a stringent time constraint, the inspections could have been more detailed and thorough and many issues which emerged could have been pursued to a conclusion allowing greater confidence in the inspection process,” it said.
Not exactly news, and I question how many of the agitators really believed their own propaganda about WMD. That is the lie we must always contend with, the mistaken belief framing, the myth of good faith. Various paranoiac ideologues may have, but for the most part the ‘dark actors’ in the invasion coolly and deliberately lied to achieve their desired objectives. The people who chose this war go unpunished and that is news of our civilisation failing every day until they face trial.
On each breast, one of Poland’s governing Kaczynski twins is affixed — Prime Minister Jaroslaw is suckling on the left, President Lech has attached himself to the right. One of them is holding up the “victory” sign right in Merkel’s cleavage.
The image is on the cover of this week’s Wprost, a conservative Polish newsmagazine that has not shied away from firing barbs at Germany in the past. The headline reads: “Europe’s Step-Mother.” As current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, Merkel, the magazine seems to be saying, is treating the rest of Europe like her step-children. And during last week’s EU summit in Brussels, the article inside makes clear, she has been particularly condescending to the Poles. The magazine writes of Germany’s “post-colonial reflexes” and says that six decades after the end of World War II, “the Germans still aren’t able to treat Poles like partners.”
Well that’s nice for the Poles, unfortunately we can’t put pictures of what Blair has been doing for George & Dick on public display. Apparently he winces if you say ‘spit roast’.
The Empire is trying with it’s corporate chums to silence internet radio by imposing prohibitive fees:
The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). To protest these rates and encourage the millions of net radio listeners to take action and contact their Congressional representatives, today is a national Day of Silence.
Straight from Jadi:
Yesterday they just announced that “Each car will have a 100 litre per month limitation and the prices are arises too. And if you are going to use more than your coupon, the price is 50 Euro cents per litre!” this means about 5 times more!!! People were mad. At first they went into the long ques to get petrol and after waiting hours and hours there, the riot started. Fire+Petrol+Angry people resulted to armed police and then guards standing in front of each pump!
I can not understand this government. They have to guard pumps, they have to use armed police against women, they have to use secret police against students and the prisons are full of dissidents; even dissident mullas. They should be ashamed. They can not kill everybody. They can not force anybody to believe what they believe.
One friend from a newspaper told me that they’ve got an order which says “you may nor write anything about oil prices or last nights uncalms in the newspapers”. But we have weblogs, we have internet and we have mobile phones. Here are some photos.
Click here for photos and the full post.
The two bills in question on restoring habeas are H.R. 1416 and S. 185. Encourage your representatives not just to vote for these bills, but also to sign on as co-sponsors. Details here.
Our attorney general who is one of the Blair rats jumping ship this week strenuously denies his role in approving torture of Iraqis who were not deemed covered by human rights laws (untermensch , I suppose), read his petulant denials here, or try the allegations here (and btw Rachel Quick helped in this, she got an OBE for smoothing the torture way, decent people say “of course all POW’s are to be treated within the Geneva conventions and with full human rights”, see how easy that was Rach? War Criminal OBE, has a ring to it I guess, the gals at the club will just die!):-
The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, is facing accusations that he told the Army its soldiers were not bound by the Human Rights Act when arresting, detaining and interrogating Iraqi prisoners.
Previously confidential emails, seen by The Independent, between London and British military head-quarters in Iraq soon after the start of the war suggest Lord Goldsmith’s advice was to adopt a “pragmatic” approach when handling prisoners and it was not necessary to follow the ” higher standards” of the protection of the Human Rights Act.
That, according to human rights lawyers, was tantamount to the Attorney General advising the military to ignore the Human Rights Act and to simply observe the Geneva Conventions. It was also contrary to advice given by the Army’s senior lawyer in Iraq, who urged higher standards to be met.
Last month, the first British soldier convicted of a war crime was jailed for a year and dismissed from the Army after being convicted of mistreating Iraqi civilians, including the hotel worker Baha Mousa, who died of his injuries at the hands of British soldiers. In 2005, three British soldiers were jailed by a court martial in Germany after “trophy” photographs emerged, showing Iraqi detainees being abused at an aid centre called Camp Bread Basket. There are about 60 more allegations of abuse being prepared for legal claims by rights groups.
Last week, Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights wrote to the Government to ask for an “explanation” about the evidence of torture in the Baha Mousa court martial.
Andrew Dismore MP, chair of the committee, said: “We have asked the Ministry of Defence to explain what appear to be stark inconsistencies in the evidence presented to our committee about the use of inhuman and degrading interrogation techniques prohibited as long ago as 1972.”
But emails sent just after the invasion indicate Lord Goldsmith’s belief that British soldiers in Iraq were not bound by the Human Rights Act. The documents also show a wide differing of opinion between him and Lieutenant-Colonel Nicholas Mercer, the Army’s most senior legal adviser on the ground, who wrote to say he felt “the ECHR would apply” to troops in Iraq.
On one occasion, Rachel Quick, the legal adviser to Permanent Joint Headquarters who had regularly sought and been given guidance from Lord Goldsmith on the treatment of Iraqi prisoners, wrote to Colonel Mercer giving her interpretation of the Attorney General’s advice. His view, she said, “was that the HRA was only intended to protect rights conferred by the Convention and must look to international law to determine the scope of those rights”.
Ms Quick went on say that the advice of the Attorney General, supported by Professor Christopher Greenwood [the barrister who advised Lord Goldsmith on the legality of the war], was that, in the circumstances, the HRA did not apply. “For your purposes,” she wrote, “I would suggest this means no requirement for you to provide guidance on the application of the HRA. I hope this is clear.”
Ms Quick, who in November 2003, was appointed OBE, added: “With regard to the detention of civilians – I will look at your documents in more detail and discuss with FCO, MoD legal advisers. Although my initial thoughts are you are trying to introduce UK procedures to a Geneva Convention IV context. Whilst this may be the perfect solution it may not be the pragmatic solution. Again we raised this issue with the AG and got a helpful steer on the procedures. I’ll aim to try to produce guidance, taking into account their advice on the detention of civilians.”
Such were the concerns of legal advisers on the ground over the Attorney General’s views that the MoD arranged for the senior legal adviser at the Foreign Office, Gavin Hood, to visit Permanent Joint Headquarters to settle any worries. Crucially, the emails make clear Lord Goldsmith’s legal opinion was not shared by Colonel Mercer, who contacted his superiors in London to ask for guidance after he had witnessed the hooding of 40 Iraqis at a British PoW camp in March. The men were all forced to kneel in the sun and had their hands cuffed behind their backs. Worried this could leave the soldiers vulnerable to prosecutions, he told the MoD that in his view soldiers should behave in accordance with the “higher standard” of the Human Rights Act.
But the response from the military’s Permanent Joint Headquarters in Qatar was that Lord Goldsmith had told the MoD the human rights law did not apply and soldiers should simply observe the Geneva Conventions.
When Colonel Mercer said he disagreed with the Government’s most senior law officer he was told that “perhaps you should put yourself up as the next Attorney General”. Colonel Mercer also asked for a British judge to be flown out to oversee the procedures for the detention of Iraqi prisoners, but this also was blocked at a high level.
Colonel Mercer’s interpretation of the law has since proved correct. Thirty months after he first raised his concerns during the Iraq conflict, the Court of Appeal ruled that British soldiers were bound by the Human Rights Act, which bans torture or degrading of prisoners.
The emails, part of court documents being prepared to support a judicial review in the High Court this year, reveal considerable disquiet among the military about the Attorney General’s advice.
The documents show that as early as March 2003, the International Committee of the Red Cross had begun investigating complaints of possible war crimes by British soldiers at the same PoW camp in south-east Iraq that had prompted Colonel Mercer’s original intervention. The Government was so worried about this that it flew out a political adviser from London to address the Red Cross’s concerns about hooding and other practices.
Jadi at Inside Iran is finding blogger.com where a lot of Iranians have their persian weblogs is being blocked by the govt. after trouble logging onto his account he looked around and confirmed from other bloggers they are having the same problem:
Today ITNA | Iranian Technology News Agency published (in Persian) : ….
“One of the managers of the filtering system confirms that they’ve got the request of the “beta.blogger.com”s blocking from the authorities and as it’s IP shares with the whole blogger.com, we blocked both“
Blogger.com was the host of many Iranian bloggers who wanted to be safe. We also have domestic blogging system but they are strictly controlled by the government and your blog might be DELETED for a political sentence or a criticism. This way – by blocking Blogger.com – I think the authorities are going to restrict the blogging community to the domestic servers and have a full control on what people publish in their weblogs.
Dammit, quite apart from issues of censorship does this mean the IRI are not fans of Iran Blogapalooza? This does seem to tie in with some stories of a more than usually strict crackdown by a paranoid govt. fully aware the US are breathing down their necks. Not good.