Beslan Massacre- New Evidence Casts More Doubt On The Official Version

Previously unseen film proves that the bloody end to the 2004 Beslan siege was caused by security forces firing on a school crammed with hostages, not by blasts from within, a victim support group says. The Beslan Mothers’ Committee says the footage disproves the official version that the detonation of a boobytrap device planted by Chechen separatists inside the building caused the carnage at School No.1, in the southern Russian town of Beslan.

Some 333 victims, half of them children, were killed in the siege, which ended in chaos when security forces stormed the school gymnasium to free more than 1,000 children and parents held captive for three days. Committee head Susanna Dudiyeva said the video supports her conviction that security forces fired two grenade launcher rounds on the sports hall, igniting a fire that quickly engulfed the building.

The official version puts all the blame on the separatists but this supports the contention that the security forces also hold a good amount of blame for the huge death toll, the article has more detail that shows a top down cover up wants to control the narrative to hide the mistakes made. A sad and familiar story.

EU Passenger Data Spins In The US, A Lie Travels Around The World

As part of the deal, which was reached after extensive negotiations (more…) that finished in late June, the US agreed to keep the data active for seven years, and then in a “dormant” file for specific uses for an additional eight years. And US officials will not be able to access airlines’ records directly, instead relying on the airlines to send them data — or face fines.Much of the treaty relies on the US to follow the rules and notify Europe later. Sensitive data on race or religion is supposed to be filtered out, for instance, but could be retained in special cases. “This is like Swiss cheese — for every rule, there is an exception or escape clause,” Dutch Member of the European Parliament Sophie in ‘t Veld told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “This fails completely, despite all the statements to the contrary.”Treaty critics say the new version actually represents a much more modest revision than claimed, and that most of the reductions are simply reorganizations and rephrasings of the original categories. Only four of the 34 original data points requested by the US have been eliminated entirely.

“The Americans basically declare on their word of honor that they will be very careful with our personal data,” in ‘t Veld says. “Based on our experiences in the past, that’s not good enough.”

The deal is a huge fake sop to give the US mostly what it wants but allow it to be spun as some kind of victory for the EU, Crooks & Liars (a great resource for video clips) fell for it highlighting an official quote from a press release in a UPI report as evidence. They don’t fall for that schtick in their US blogging, would a Bush administration press release be quoted as believable evidence on any subject? No, consider this constructive criticism, I like the blog, I hope they correct their mistake and eye news from outside of the ‘homeland’ with more scepticism and apply the same standards they use domestically.

Why Is The British Govt. Protecting Burma?

Ministers are coming under increasing pressure to reveal which British companies import goods from Burma amid a growing clamour of protest at the appalling human rights abuses carried out by the country’s military dictatorship.

Campaigners, trade unionists and MPs demanded that the Treasury release details of imports from the south-east Asian state, insisting that consumers have a right to know whether goods, from gems to clothing, come from the troubled country.

Leaders of the UK-based Burma Campaign, which presses for the restoration of democracy in the country, said yesterday that requests for a breakdown of Britain’s imports from Burma had been rebuffed after HM Revenue and Customs said releasing the information was not in the national interest.

British imports from Burma totalled £34.5m in 2005, a fall on 2004’s total of £73.8m. But campaigners said that consumers had a right to know whether they were buying goods that might help prop up the military regime.

They have targeted the trade in gems – most of the world’s high-quality rubies originate in Burma – teak imports and clothing as key areas where the Burmese regime generates vital foreign exchange.

Michael Moore, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said: “The ruling junta in Burma is one of the most barbaric regimes in the world. Given the heinous crimes and human rights abuses that it continues to commit, it is indefensible for companies to do business with it. Those that do should be named and shamed.”

And the answer to that question? Money. Customs make the mob seem low rent.

More Stormtrooper Testimony

 “This unit sets up this traffic control point and this 18 year old kid is on top of an armored Humvee with a .50 caliber machine gun,” remembered Geoffrey Millard who served in Tikrit with the 42nd Infantry Division. “And this car speeds at him pretty quick and he makes a split second decision that that’s a suicide bomber, and he presses the butterfly trigger and puts 200 rounds in less than a minute into this vehicle. It killed the mother, a father and two kids. The boy was aged four and the daughter was aged three.”

“And they briefed this to the general,” Millard said, “and they briefed it gruesome. I mean, they had pictures. They briefed it to him. And this colonel turns around to this full division staff and says, ‘if these fucking Hadjis learned to drive, this shit wouldn’t happen.'”

And they sit you into this little briefing room and you get this briefing about how, you know, you can’t trust any of these fucking Hadjis, because all these fucking Hadjis are going to kill you. And Hadji is always used as a term of disrespect and usually, with the ‘f’ word in front of it. 

“A lot of guys really supported that whole concept that, you know, if they don’t speak English and they have darker skin, they’re not as human as us, so we can do what we want,” said Josh Middleton, who served in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq. “And you know, when 20 year old kids are yelled at back and forth at Bragg and we’re picking up cigarette butts and getting yelled at every day to find a dirty weapon. But over here, it’s like life and death. And 40-year-old Iraqi men look at us with fear and we can — do you know what I mean? — we have this power that you can’t have. That’s really liberating.

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Friday! Julian Clary & Grant Lee Buffalo

It’s a double bill because of the intertubes problems that wiped out last Friday, first up a clip from an Australian chat show. I was looking for some specific sketches from an Oz comedy show called Fast Forward, the ones I wanted weren’t to be had but on the way I found this clip of one of the performers presenting his own chat show. Now what is great about this is- Julian Clary when he was all but banned from UK TV because of a great gag about fisting the conservative chancellor live on TV toured Oz a fair bit and so he is a guest (in his full early 90’s stage costume regalia, sequins ahoy!) on Steve Vizard’s show. Then Vizard has on an old time football star (the ‘Moose’ oh yeah, you better believe it) who has retired and is plugging his crappy book. The guy is quite literally paralysed by homophobia, at first he won’t even sit next to Clary, or discuss him, the audience does laugh too much at a rubbish joke the old player makes but mostly Clary keeps them on his side with his sheer bravura and wit. (the beginning is a bit dodgy as it is videoed off TV with a camcorder, but stick with it) Enjoy!

Second is Grant Lee Buffalo’s Lone Star Song, a corker with this great phrase- ‘disciples with artillery’ off their Mighty Joe Moon album. Have a Rockin’ good Friday!

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Dr Haneef Freed From Australian Goon Squad

From Frolix at War Within a Breath, I learn that all charges against Dr Mohamed Haneef have been dropped, I said it was fishy, I said it was bullshit, why don’t the Oz police just pay me and they’ll make fewer idiot mistakes, except this wasn’t really a mistake, this was racism and authoritarianism from that slap headed gobshite exponent of both- John ‘yes George your anus does taste lovely’ Howard.

An Indian doctor has been freed from custody in Australia after charges linked to the failed bomb attacks in the UK were dropped. Dr Mohamed Haneef was released into home detention while he awaits a decision on his immigration status.

The 27-year-old had his visa revoked after he was charged with giving “reckless support” to terrorism. The charge was withdrawn on Friday after Australia’s chief prosecutor admitted “a mistake has been made”. The case – which also threw new anti-terror laws under the spotlight – triggered concern from both legal and civil rights groups.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said that Dr Haneef would be granted home detention while he awaits a final decision on his immigration status. “He is free to move about in the community, but as a matter of legal principle… he is formally in detention,” he said. Mr Andrews had caused controversy earlier this month after revoking Dr Haneef’s visa on character grounds, based on the charges against him.

Kevin Andrews you drongo, as the charges, which were the reason to cancel the visa, were all a huge fuck up on your govts behalf, you now reinstate the visa and say sorry. As you fucking haven’t may I sincerely wish you much public ridicule as Doc Haneef sues your motherfuckin’ arses off.

And all those wingnuts promulgating the absolutely insane theory that nationalised medicine bred terrorism, how’s that theory going? And as Frolix points out how does this make Brown’s plan to bring in 56 day detention without charge look? Enough already, put down the copy of 1984, move away from the book and stop copying bits straight into policy documents. We are not scared, of you or terrorism, we are not falling for this police state in waiting so you can fuck right off, right now.

Bush Family Values

Document uncovers details of a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing American businessmen. The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression. Mike Thomson investigates why so little is known about this biggest ever peacetime threat to American democracy.

This was the coup Smedley Butler (of War is a a Racket fame) refused to lead and blew the whistle on. Rumours persisted of Prescott Bush’s involvement (he did launder money to support the Nazis), now a BBC documentary is saying it, the Bush dynasty, a fucking human cancer. The Bush Crime Family indeed.

UPDATE: I was just reading an unrelated story and noticed this Google ad, and yes it really does say- George W. Bush, Naked, Sexy, Photos- in the title bar in Safari. But thankfully it’s just a pointless revenue making site with no such pics.

ad.jpg

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