Police Taser Use In North Wales

The first person in Gwynedd to be tasered by North Wales Police was a 15-year-old youth, a court has heard. A youth court in Dolgellau was told [by the prosecutor] police were left with no alternative as the youth smashed furniture at his Blaenau Ffestiniog home.

Overall as of last month-

TASER guns have been fired six times in North Wales since more police officers were authorised to use them in September last year. The North Wales force is one of 10 taking part in a pilot Home Office scheme in which non-firearms officers are permitted to use the electronic stun guns. Twenty-nine police officers have now been trained in the use of the weapons, which deliver a 50,000-volt shock.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Shannon told members of the North Wales Police Authority’s professional standards committee that in the three months since the trial began the Tasers had been drawn and aimed in what are called “red dot incidents”, five times by firearms officers and 16 times by others. The guns were actually fired four times by specialist officers and twice by others.

Other than this Police source there is no other information on these incidents, so we’ll just take their word for it….. hmmmm.

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Lies Deployed In Under 45 Minutes, Truth- Not So Much

Chris Ames in The New Statesman-

The government has been forced to publish the secret first draft of the Iraq WMD dossier written by a Foreign Office spin doctor…The secret first draft of the Iraq WMD dossier written by Foreign Office spin doctor John Williams has finally been published after a ruling back in January under the Freedom of Information Act. The document contains an early version of the executive summary of the next draft, which was attributed to Intelligence chief John Scarlett. The document places a spin doctor at the heart of the process of drafting the dossier and blows a hole in the government’s evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.

Last month the Foreign Office was ordered by the Information Tribunal to hand over the Williams draft, which I first requested under the Freedom of Information Act in February 2005. From the time that the row first erupted over Andrew Gilligan’s allegations that the dossier had been sexed-up, the government has claimed that Scarlett’s draft, produced on 10 September 2002, was the first full draft and produced without interference from spin doctors. But the Williams draft, dated a day earlier, shows that spin doctors were sexing up the dossier at the time the notorious 45 minutes claim was included.

Initially the government withheld the draft from the Hutton Inquiry. Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s director of communications, denied its existence. But when Scarlett admitted that Williams had done some early drafting, the BBC asked to see it. The government then supplied a copy of the draft to Lord Hutton but told him that it was “not taken forward” because a “fresh start” was made with Scarlett’s draft. Confirmation that Scarlett took up elements of Williams’s drafting shows that the government misled Hutton…

The draft also shows that Williams was responsible for a number of key changes that strengthened the dossier’s claims. His executive summary claimed that Iraq had “acquired” uranium. Previous versions only alleged the material had been “sought”. Scarlett’s draft also alleged that Iraq had got hold of uranium, stating that it had “purchased” it. Williams appears largely to have been working on a version of the dossier that was produced during the summer of 2002, before Tony Blair announced in September of that year that a dossier would be published.

So Gilligan was right, Hutton was a wash and in other reporting David Kelly is referred to as a suicide, which apparently must be the sexed up version of assassination these days. The uranium claim we know was part of a grift cooked up by neo-cons, co-ordinated by Michael Ledeen and perpetrated in Italy. It was laundered by them into UK intelligence so the Bush could then say the source was British intelligence. At no point was this ‘faulty’ intel, or a ‘mistake’ this was cold, calculated, malice aforethought, deliberate fraud to enable an illegal & immoral war of aggression. So when do we take these crooks down? When?

Greed Is A Constant

Shares, investments can increase or decrease in value, that’s the risk. So when a bank that by its own mismanagement and greed is saved from utter collapse by the government any money investors may get back is fucking gravy. Left to the mercy of your almighty sacred deity ‘The Market’ you would be looking at what is technically known as -and I don’t want to confuse you with jargon so look this up if it is too arcane a term- FUCK ALL. I mean you wouldn’t want it to seem all you ‘big swinging dicks’ (oh the hilarious macho City suits) are just whiny little babies who want zero regulation to get in the way of your greed but when it all goes wrong -because of your greed- you expect to be profitably bailed out by the government ie. the tax payer (who you spend the rest of your time stealing from, y’know the ‘dumb money’ as you laughingly call it).

Meanwhile across the world the wealthy/faithful demand and are rewarded with media editorials about the dire threat of this encroaching Bolshevism!!! This isn’t even Labour being left wing, they are just helping a lot of savers (-voters- Gordon & Darling can understand this because it’s money, people- not so sure of) from ending up with nothing which is what the Holy Market would have done to them while also ensuring the Holy Market not get more of a drubbing than in unintervened reality it should, a stop gap measure to try and put the falling dominoes in stasis. So maybe that is the source of the besuited world’s angst, their ego and faith cannot withstand being wrong, cannot stand needing help, so roll on the hysteria and avoid responsibility at all costs. After all they need to be in good practice for when the recession really bites and they can say what we really need is even fewer regulations, close the welfare programs and flat tax, more billionaires!

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Water Still Wet

Grass still green, sky still blue-

Economic growth does not necessarily translate into improvements in child mortality, major new research suggests. 

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The Surge Doctrine

Read thisIraq’s broken pieces don’t fit together By Michael Schwartz. Some excerpts, but really read it, almost a potted history of the utter disaster of Iraq, one that was chosen and…planned?

The orgy of failure and corruption in 2007 was an unmitigated disaster for Iraqi society, as well as an embarrassment for the American occupation. From the point of view of long-term American goals in Iraq, however, this storm cloud, like so many others, had a silver lining. The Iraqi government’s incapacity to perform at almost any level became but further justification for the claims first made by Bremer at the very beginning of the occupation: that the country’s reconstruction would be best handled by private enterprise.

Moreover, the mass flight of Iraqi professionals, managers and technicians has meant that expertise for reconstruction has simply been unavailable inside the country. This has, in turn, validated a second set of claims made by Bremer: that reconstruction could only be managed by large outside contractors.

This neo-liberal reality was brought into focus in late 2007, as the last of the money allocated by the U.S. Congress for Iraqi reconstruction was being spent. A “petroleum exodus” (first identified by the Wall Street Journal) had long ago meant that most of the engineers needed for maintaining the decrepit oil business were already foreigners, mostly “imported from Texas and Oklahoma”.

In every other key infrastructural area, a similar dependence was developing: electrical power, the water system, medicine, and food were, de facto, being “integrated” into the global system, leaving oil-rich Iraq dependent on outside investment and largesse for the foreseeable future. 

During the year of the “surge”, all but 25 or so of the approximately 200 mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad became ethnically homogenous. A similar process took place in the city’s southern suburbs.

The United States, which had accepted about 20,000 Iraqi refugees during Saddam’s years, admitted 463 additional ones between the start of the war and mid-2007.

Syria, the only country that initially placed no restrictions on Iraqi immigration, had (according to UN statistics) taken in about 1.25 million displaced Iraqis by early 2007. In addition, the UN estimated that more than 500,000 Iraqi refugees were in Jordan, as many as 70,000 in Egypt, approaching 60,000 in Iran, about 30,000 in Lebanon, approximately 200,000 spread across the Gulf States, and another 100,000 in Europe, with a final 50,000 spread around the globe.

Food was a major issue for many families; according to the United Nations, nearly half needed “urgent food assistance”, substantial proportion of adults reported skipping at least one meal a day in order to feed their children. Many others endured foodless days “in order to keep up with rent and utilities”. One refugee mother told McClatchy reporter Hannah Allam, “We buy just enough meat to flavor the food – we buy it with pennies … I can’t even buy a kilo of sweets for Eid [a major annual celebration].”

Under this kind of pressure, increasing numbers were reduced to sex work or other exploitative (or black market) sources of income.

In Iraq, approximately 10% of adults had attended college; more than one-third of the refugees in Syria were university educated. Whereas less than 1% of Iraqis had a postgraduate education, nearly 10% of refugees in Syria had advanced degrees, including 4.5% with doctorates. 

The degradation of Iraq under the American occupation regime was what initially set in motion the forces that led to the exile of much of the country’s most precious human resources

The reasons for this remarkable brain drain are not hard to find. Even the desperate process of fleeing your home turns out to require resources, and so refugees from most disasters who travel great distances tend to be disproportionately prosperous, as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans so painfully illustrated.

(ht2 Stan Goff @ Feral Scholar also see this about the Dem leaderships co-option/betrayal of the antiwar movement)

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Poking The Eagle

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran established its first oil products bourse Sunday in a free trade zone on the Persian Gulf Island of Kish, the country’s oil ministry said. A statement posted on the ministry’s Web site said 100 tons of polyethylene consignment was traded at the market’s opening on the island, which houses the offices of about 100 Iranian and foreign oil companies.

Oil and petrochemical products will be traded in Iranian Rials, as well as all other hard currencies, the statement quoted Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari as saying. About 20 brokers are already active in the market, it said. “The bourse provides an economic opportunity for Iranians, other countries and foreign customers,” Nozari was quoted as saying.

Iran produces more than 20 million tons of petrochemical products per year. Iran has already registered for another oil bourse, in which it has said it hopes to trade oil in Euros instead of dollars, to reduce any American influence over the Islamic Republic’s economy.

Well I haven’t got any Rials, so I might wait until the Euro bourse starts to become fabulously well to do in petro-euros. And I’m sure the destabilising effect on the petro-dollar at a time of recession won’t create any negative impressions on US oil executives, not that any hold any positions of power…or anything.

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