Robots Of Projection

Killer robots could become the weapon of choice for militants, a British expert said on Wednesday.Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield said he believed falling costs would soon make robots a realistic option for extremist groups.

Several countries and companies are developing the technology for robot weapons, with the U.S. Department of Defense leading the way. More than 4,000 robots are deployed in Iraq.

Funny how ‘extremist’ groups is followed by ‘U.S. Department of Defense‘. But no, their deathbots are goodies, it’s those other deathbots that are fear inculcatingly evil. Oh yes

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Cover Ups

New generation anti-depressants have little clinical benefit for most patients, research suggests.

Publication bias? Never! This is maybe not news to those of us who have used these drugs, the only thing guaranteed to come from them are side effects, health left to capitalism ain’t so healthy.

At a press conference, Senator Syvret brandished a report commissioned by Jersey’s Education Committee into an incident of child abuse at an island school in the 1990s. He said: “This shows we can’t rely on prosecutions to happen when necessary. “The overriding concern of the establishment is the image of Jersey – to prosecute people would be apocalyptically bad for the Jersey establishment.”

It seems to me that once you look into this stuff there isn’t a council who haven’t covered up child abuse, particularly within the homes they run. In some cases it has appeared that sexual predators and corporal punishment fanatics gravitate towards these services and pretty well much ran the kid’s homes as virtual brothels for themselves and those with such tastes. Such arrangements were also used as capital in corrupt dealings (building, land, contracts) where useful. The cases where this comes to light are like the number of rape cases that ever make it to court and end in a conviction, a tiny tip of a nasty iceberg that tells some unwelcome truths about the human condition, the vulnerable will never be short of predators. Speaking of which-

The government has been told to release the minutes of two cabinet meetings in the days before the Iraq war. The demand came from Information Commissioner Richard Thomas after a Freedom of Information request was rejected by the Cabinet Office.

In his ruling, Mr Thomas says the minutes had to be released to help “transparency and public understanding of the relevant issues”. He also says that accountability for the decisions made is “paramount”.

The person making the request said that not releasing the information created “a public impression that something not entirely truthful has been uttered”. But the Cabinet Office refused to release minutes on the grounds that the papers were exempt from disclosure as they related to the formulation of government policy and ministerial communications. However, Mr Thomas ruled that, in this particular case, the public interest in disclosing the minutes outweighed the public interest in withholding the information.

The ruling is set to reopen controversy over the then attorney general Lord Goldsmith’s legal advice on the war. On the eve of war, 17 March, his opinion unequivocally saying military action was legal was presented to cabinet, MPs and the military and published.

However, after long-running reports that he had changed his mind into the lead up to war, his initial lengthy advice given to Tony Blair on 7 March was leaked and then published in 2005. This advice raised a number of questions and concerns about the possible legality of military action against Iraq without a second UN resolution and was never shown to the cabinet.

The then prime minister Tony Blair defended his decision not to show the cabinet the full advice, saying that Lord Goldsmith had attended the cabinet in person and was able to answer any legal questions and explain his view.

Now the political case is clear, you keep everything secret because any information could hurt you in the political arena. But the party politics and Machiavellian principles of the powerful are of no concern to proper government or the people whom it supposedly serves in a democracy. There is no reasonable case not to release the full minutes of a meeting that was instrumental to over a million people being killed. Our nation went to war, that must be an open process, it is of too great an import to be the playthings of politics, it is life and death. If it was an honest decision made in good faith then these minutes will reflect that (the non-redacted bits…) but we all know what they do show, cold dishonest calculation and coordination with the Whitehouse to commit war crimes. Publish, and be damned, I say.

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NeoCon AEI Advance Iranian Influence Meme

A new report (“Iranian Influence in the Levant, Iraq, and Afghanistan”) published by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) think-tank purports to show the reach and scope of Iranian influence across the Middle East…Co-written by AEI fellows Fred Kagan and Danielle Pletka, and Kagan’s wife, Kimberly, who heads the Institute for the Study of War…… it warns: “Much as America might desire to avoid war with Iran, continued Iranian interventions… might ultimately make that option less repulsive than the alternatives.” The report relies entirely on open-source material, international and domestic media, non-governmental and government reports, as well as interviews conducted by Fred and Kimberly Kagan, who respectively visited Afghanistan and Iraq.

While President Bush may share AEI’s view on Iranian malfeasance, his influence is waning. In a National Public Radio interview this month, Defence Secretary Bob Gates appeared to contradict his boss’s view that Iran posed a “threat”, instead saying that Tehran posed “significant challenges”.

“When I think of a threat I think of a direct military threat, and while the jury’s out in terms of whether they have eased up on their support to those opposing us in Iraq, I don’t see the Iranians in the near term as a direct military threat,” he said.

It seems the scholars at AEI have caught on, as they have attempted to shift the focus of the debate from Iranian motivations and intentions towards an “empirical study” of Iran’s influence. In the final analysis, it reflects a tactical shift away from openly beating the war drums as do scholars like Ledeen, whose most recent book is entitled, “The Iranian Time Bomb: The Mullah Zealots’ Quest for Destruction”, and towards an attempt to highlight the extent of Iranian influence in the region. The conclusion to be drawn is that, even without the nuclear issue at the forefront, Iran continues to exert a negative impact on U.S. interests.

But perhaps the authors should do some fact-checking of their own. On page three, the incorrectly identify the former President of Syria as “Hafez al-Hassad,” who died in 2006. Assad died in 2000.

Well they never were the brightest, or the most honest, or…ok they are just scumbags. Obviously angling for that sweet spot of the bipartisan imperial ego that cannot bear any power other than its own to dominate and the arrogant presumption that America has any business (interests)thousands of miles from ‘der Homeland’. Give them enough time and they will cook up a report saying Iran causes restless leg syndrome & wrinkles. Keeps them wealthy and after all isn’t that the most important function of war and ‘think’ tanks for the neocon organism?

Gitmo- Torturer’s Blues

The guards at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp are the “overlooked victims” of America’s controversial detention facility in Cuba, according to a psychiatrist who has treated some of them.Professor John Smith, a retired US Air Force captain, treated a patient who was a guard at the camp. “I think the guards of Guantánamo are an overlooked group of victims,” Smith told the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Washington DC on Saturday. “They do not complain a lot. You do not hear about them.”

The patient (‘Mr H’) is a national guardsman in his early 40s who was sent to Guantánamo in the first months of its operation, when prisoners captured in Afghanistan were beginning to flood into the camp. Mr H reported that he found conditions at the camp extremely disturbing. For example, in the first month two detainees and two prison guards committed suicide.

The taunts of prisoners and the things his superiors required him to do to them had a severe psychological impact on Mr H. “He was called upon to bring detainees, enemy combatants, to certain places and to see that they were handcuffed in particularly painful and difficult positions, usually naked, in anticipation of their interrogation,” said Smith.

On occasion he was told to make prisoners kneel, naked and handcuffed, on sharp stones. To avoid interrogation the prisoners would often rub their wounds afterwards to make them worse so that they would be taken to hospital. Some of the techniques used by interrogators resulted in detainees defecating, urinating, vomiting and screaming.

Mr H told Smith he felt profoundly guilty about his participation. “It was wrong what we did,” he said.

Well it’s good he now realises that and it is good he is getting treatment, but he did as he was told and followed orders, such is the effectiveness of military psychological conditioning, such was the lack of character and independent moral activism of the people they selected to staff the camp. It also is a function of the worship of militarism found in all empires, it is a cultural phenomenon, it is not good to make people into order following objects. Sometimes that might be necessary in self defence (cf. suicide bombers perhaps) but that certainly is not the case with any western state, blind obedience and authoritarianism are not desirable in a person or a culture. The correct and admirable and honourable action is to refuse such orders and to support organisations that help legal and moral personnel think critically and resist a corrupt military & political establishment.

Iraq Veterans Against the War

War Resistors UK

The IVAW are have organised new winter soldier hearings in March as the 5th anniversary of the Iraq invasion arrives, GodlessLiberal Homo went to a fund raiser and reported-

– The US has 731 military bases throughout the world.

– In the attacks on Fallujah in 2004, over 12,000 Iraqis were killed and ID’d as “insurgents.”

– Although we usually hear the term “enemy combatant” in the context of the Gulag at Guantanamo, the phrase is commonly used by the military in Iraq to describe insurgents and people who get killed who may not be insurgents.

– Returning veterans from the Iraq War reported seeing no rebuilding of the country and that construction by contractors was limited to US military installations.

– National Guard members at Fort Dix in New Jersey have been trained to run over little children in the middle of the road on the grounds that they may have explosives strapped to their bodies.

– Soldiers in Vietnam were given no training regarding the treatments of civilians and prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.

– Throwing Vietnamese people out of helicopters was so common that soldiers were ordered to do prisoner counts after the helicopters had landed, not before.

Over 150 people attended the event in Manhattan and saw a truly disturbing video from the Winter Soldier project. It started with horrific house and business destruction in Iraq by the US military, and then went on to the horribly mutilated bodies of people killed in bombing attacks ordered by the Bush regime. The video footage was shot by veterans when they were in Iraq.

One of the speakers at the event said, “We went easy with the video.” Yet, the images in the video were so repulsive and frightening that I had to keep forcing my eyes open. Psychological services were offered for veterans who might be traumatized by reliving what they saw in Iraq. I just don’t know how our troops cope with the terrible things they see and are ordered to do in Iraq.

There was a group of chickenhawks protesting outside, misappropriating American flags for their pandering to Big Oil, corrupt mercenary companies, and defense contractors. They attempted to look intimidating, but they didn’t harass me as I went in. (Being male and over 6 feet tall does have its advantages.) However, they did harass and try to intimidate an Iraqi woman who went in anyway. The vets running the fundraiser pointed out that none of the people outside were veterans.

Join the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq War

Also Dave @ Complex System of Pipes has an in depth review of Nick Broomfield’s The Battle For Haditha-

Watching the Haditha massacre after a feature-length introduction to the victims and perpetrators made me feel so rotten inside that I wanted to vomit and, in that sense, this was far and away the worst film I’ve ever seen. But then that’s the only correct reaction to war. It’s been said that it’s impossible to make a truly antiwar movie, because any cinematic depiction of war is fundamentally pretty exciting. TBFH tears that conceit to shreds like so much Iraqi flesh; it captures horror and confusion and serves them up on a cold, documentarian plate.

Occupied Haditha is no more exciting a place than occupied Warsaw, and if we’d all seen this in school it would have taken a bit more than implausible hyperbole to sell the invasion. In that sense, it’s among the best and most important films I’ve ever seen; little golden statues or no, everyone should go and see this.

Gitmo Torture Tapes Not Wiped

The claim they were wiped was a deliberate misdirection, the tapes wiped were standard CCTV security tapes not the recordings of interrogations, but the Admiral they wheeled out deliberately blurred the distinction to give the impression the torture tapes were wiped.

Cernig @ Atlargely:-

Just over a week ago, the Seton Hall Law’s Center for Policy and Research published a report that said military records and statements showed over 24,000 tapes had been made of interrogations carried out at Guantánamo Bay. The same day, a Washington Post article following up on that report said that many of those recordings might have been taped over, destroying valuable evidence. That article was based upon a court filing “by Guantanamo’s commander, Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, who said video surveillance recordings in several areas of the facility have been automatically overwritten and no longer exist”.

However, in an email and a comment to my posts on the subject, Michael Ricciardelli – one of the co-authors of the Seton Hall Law report – wrote –

There seems to be some confusion stemming from the Military (there’s a surprise) and the press concerning the “automatic over-writes” on the video recorders in hallways and common areas in Guantanamo. These cameras (think in terms of the video cameras in convenience stores– but more sophisticated) were said to have recorded “day-to-day” “mundane” life at Guantanamo. According to the Military, every certain number of days these “hallway” and “common area” monitor recording systems automatically taped over themselves( i.e., were “overwritten”).

These statements came from a declaration of Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, United States Navy on February 8, 2008 (case 1:05-cv-00023-RWR Document84-4; Washington Post, February 14, 2008). Importantly, these “hallway” and “common area” monitor recordings are specifically NOT video recordings of interrogations– And the Rear Admiral is exceedingly careful to NOT say that they are in his declaration; though, perhaps, it could be anticipated that because of the way the declaration was made the media would confuse the two separate and distinct issues. Which is to say, that the responsive statement’s by Rear Admiral Buzby have misdirected and now obfuscate the issue. As such, some of the media reporting has failed to make clear this distinction between the “day-to-day” video recording and the video recording of interrogations. This distinction, however, is readily apparent if one looks to the partially redacted text of Rear Admiral Buzby’s declaration.

So copious evidence of war crimes exists in the possession of the perpetrators, if they are not seized soon and investigated (and impeachment of the Commander in Chief and the co-conspirators in creating the legal ‘gray ‘ framework for torture and the medical professionals who also took part) then they get away with war crimes previously the United States has convicted people for. And the journey into the abyss continues.

There are key stages in a descent into this depravity, points at which the correct action, pressure applied, leverage utilised can turn course, points that once you go beyond it becomes much harder to change course. Iraq was a key one, a tipping point of the project and let’s forget the 911 excuses, it was planned before that, the warrantless wiretap program began before that, American torture manuals were written before that. All the tools were available, the empire was already far reaching and corrupt when the Bush project took power through his brother’s state Florida and a biased packed Supreme Court. And with the means, the motive & the opportunity, they got to work. Time to make some choices people. Time for action.

Communists Take Cyprus & Declare…Peace Talks

Demetris Christofias, the leader of the Communist Party, has defeated Ioannis Kasoulides, a former foreign minister, in Sunday’s presidential election in Cyprus. According to final results, Christofias won 53.36 per cent of the vote against Kasoulides with 46.64 per cent. Kasoulides conceded defeat and called Christofias to congratulate him. Christofias is the European Union’s only communist head of state, and Cyprus the only European country with a communist president besides ex-Soviet Moldova.

Both candidates have said they would attempt to broker a deal with Turkish Cypriots to end the conflict keeping Cyprus divided. Christofias said: “We have a vision, we have a history of struggle and contact with the people in our efforts to reunify our country without  foreign troops. At this time I want to send a message of friendship to ordinary Turkish Cypriots, a message of a common fight to reunite our  homeland so we are in charge of our own affairs without foreign intervention.”

Damn those evil power crazed, (class) warmongering Reds and their…talk of peace and self-determination. There is an important British (& a spooky US) military base/presence on Cyprus, I wonder how they will take to the Red Menace™ ?

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Air Strikes

Pick your flavour-

Now guess which is the only one being presented as a beastly evil humanitarian disaster. While the other two are precisely targeted precision operations against deserving enemies, honest.

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Jadi Reviews Persepolis

Maybe if some enterprising publicist wants me to review it they could send me a copy, {hint}. An excerpt from Jadi-

But is Marjan Satrapi defending the Islamic Regime or hiding the truth? I don’t think so because she talks about one of most kept secrets in Iran: Mass executions of 1988 (also check the RSFs report: Pour-Mohammadi and the 1988 Prison Massacres). This shows that she is not defending anyone or hiding anything. She is just telling her story which is sad but not a shocking, anti-regime one.

I watched this movie with 4 friend and all of us were telling “wow.. very realistic.”, And it was. It showed many of our concerns during our childhood; the war, the anti-party police, the shortages on imported goods, the death of relatives in war or executions, etc. .

Go to his site Inside Iran for full post with included links.

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Exploited Migrant Workers Left Homeless

Llanelli’s Polish centre says help must be available for migrant workers who come to Wales but end up homeless. It, along with the British Red Cross, is paying for temporary shelter for three Poles who were found living rough in the town after losing their jobs.The centre’s chairman Jeff Hopkins said the men, two brothers in their late 20s and another man in his 40s, had been brought to Wales by a recruitment agency. All initially had work but were laid off and ended up homeless.They lived in a “shanty” hut near the town centre and then moved on to sleeping in a makeshift den in woodland near the Jack Nicklaus golf course development.

Mr Hopkins said: “They are all keen to work but lost their jobs. We are attempting to find work for them but the problem is we don’t have the funding to keep paying for the accommodation and they have got no means of support. They don’t fall into any of the categories of support under the British system.”

The hut they were initially living in close to Avis Terrace has been burnt out but police said they were not treating it as suspicious.

There is more-

WE were sacked on Christmas Eve and have been living rough, far from home, ever since.”That is the claim of three East European migrant workers discovered living in bushes near Llanelli’s plush Pentre Nicklaus Village this week. Speaking through an interpreter, brothers Mario and Thomas and their friend Mark told the Post how they were brought to West Wales from Warsaw last October on a one-way ticket by a UK-based recruitment agency.

The three worked long hours in various jobs within the meat trade before being thrown on the scrapheap and left to fend for themselves the day before Christmas Day. Thomas, the younger of the brothers, said: “We were promised jobs in Wales, and wanted to come to earn money for our families back home.”

Thomas told how he and his brother Mario worked in “conditions no human should witness” in a slaughterhouse in West Wales, for £180 a week minus £50 accommodation, before being transferred to a meat packing company near Llanelli. Following a mix-up over starting dates, caused by the language barrier, the two turned up a day late, on Christmas Eve, only to be sacked on the spot.

Thomas said: “After we were sacked, we were told to leave our lodgings. It was either the bushes or a park bench. We had no money for anything else.” When asked how they felt about their situation, a dejected-looking Thomas said: “You can’t imagine how we feel.”

Now the three are faced with the difficult task of earning enough money to return to Poland. Thomas said: “We have been to the JobCentre and walked around every firm in Llanelli asking for work but have found nothing. I had to borrow a lot of money to come here. I cannot return to a load of debt. I have to make enough money to clear it before I go back.”

Despite their ordeal, the three men still had a kind word for the majority of people in Llanelli.

Maybe the people are nice but the businesses…bunch of capitalist bastards. And apparently land and money for a Jack Nicklaus golf course (just like the one in Burma, wankers) but human beings? Nah. Still, turns out those rumours the council denied were true.

Update: And Immigration & Police raided some restaurants in Caernarfon and took away eight Malaysian and Chinese nationals after ‘intelligence’ tipped them off, they are being imprisoned pending being deported. Look what the ghastly BIA robot said-

Jane Farleigh, regional director of the Border and Immigration Agency in Wales and the South West said: “This successful operation shows that we will find and arrest illegal workers wherever they are in Wales.” She added: “Illegal working hurts good business, undercuts legal workers and law-abiding businesses, creates illegal profits and puts those employed at risk.”

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To Be Or Not B-2

A B-2 stealth bomber aircraft has crashed in a US air force base on the island of Guam in the Pacific. The two pilots operating the aircraft escaped unhurt, the US media reported. The aircraft was deployed to Andersen air force base in Guam from Whiteman air force base in the US state of Missouri, where a fleet of stealth bombers are based.Thomas Czerwinski, of the Pacific air forces public affairs office, said the pilots and the bomber had been in Guam since October 5. He said: “We can’t say anything about the specific mission they were on or why they are flying.”

He said that four B-2 bombers have been stationed at Andersen as part of a continuous defence presence in Guam since March 2004, connected with the US-led “war on terror”.

Guam is owned by the US, therefore the country would not need the permission of host nations to launch military operation from the island.

Ok, first, sorry about that title. I have included that last line about Guam being owned by the US, well if you consider centuries of colonial theft, sweatshop labour & sex slave trafficking…”owns”. Then yeah, it owns Guam. Now this bomber crash tells us some interesting things about this ‘glorified refuelling base’ becoming a far more important satellite of the Empire’s war machine as previously mentioned here.

The build-up in Guam is expected to cost $15 bn, with almost two-thirds of it going towards relocating 8,000 marines from the US base in Okinawa, Japan. But the base in Guam, the United State’s most western territory, is not reliant on support from a foreign country, like those in Japan and South Korea.

The US outpost will see a whole array of the latest military hardware including nuclear-powered Trident submarines which can fire Tomahawk cruise missiles and unmanned Global Hawk spy aircraft. By next year, the base will receive the latest state-of-the-art F-22 fighter jets, reflecting Guam’s strategic defence position in a volatile part of the world. Analysts say the Guam build-up was all about a “message of deterrent through strength” directed at North Korea and China, which has been almost doubling its military spending in recent years.

It is also part of the Northern Mariana Islands (120 miles north of Guam), the GOP’s favourite kiddie prostitute & lobbying holiday destination-

The Northern Mariana Islands have also come into the news recently due to their connection to the scandals involving Jack Abramoff and allegedly former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. As a direct result of lobbying by Abramoff and associates, the Northern Mariana Islands received special federal subsidies. As well, Congressman Bob Ney allegedly received free trips to the Northern Mariana Islands from Abramoff, in violation of federal law. The Northern Marianas Islands are also the site of another controversy involving Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), Jack Abramoff, and Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) and the alleged links to the Saipan Garment Manufacturers Association and the Northern Mariana Islands, role in stopping legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops” on the islands in 2001.

The Northern Marianas Islands allegedly harbor the most abusive labor practices of anywhere in the United States. According to the progressive think tank American Progress Action Fund, “Human ‘brokers’ bring thousands there to work as sex slaves and in cramped sweatshop garment factories where clothes (complete with ‘Made in U.S.A.’ tag) have been produced for all the major brands.

Freedom & Democrcay™! Of course ones thoughts do immediately turn to what would stealthy B2 bombers be needed for, the Iraq resistance don’t have particularly good Anti-Aircraft weapons, who might the Empire be threatening? Who has numerous facilities that a unipolar sphere of influence in the Middle East desiring hyperpower would want to target? And they have numerous AA batteries protecting them? Who is being set up for an attack by sanctions (to weaken the target) and -yellow cake is to Iraq as the laptop of death is to…

To be honest given the belligerence and bloodthirsty desires of the Bush imperium and there was no loss of life this represents some good news. A first strike weapon of aggression has been totalled and has cost the military industrial thingamabobs at least $1.2 billion to replace. Result!

PS. News of the new Kuwait base and more at Mahatma X Files.

PPS. The best ejector seats come from the Russian K 36D by Zvezda Research I am told, which aren’t in B2’s (ACES II apparently) but were being adopted for future use until the US picked UK’s Martin Baker which are arguably not as good but politically more ‘comfortable’. We used to have an old ejector seat at home (Martin Baker) but sadly it was deactivated so no chance of shooting ourselves into the air for spine compressing fun, talk about overprotective parents! (Strangely there was a Martin Baker at school but he was not connected to aerial egress technology, his dad was an organist, make up your own jokes).

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Direct Action Guatemala Style

Guatemalan villagers holding a group of 29 police officers hostage have freed the men after government officials agreed to talks on legalising their disputed land, officials say. The crowd had earlier threatened to kill their captives, whom they seized from a police station in the Caribbean coastal town of Livingston on Thursday night.

Almost half of Guatemala’s population are indigenous, many landless peasants who often invade land for farming. Members of the group told Yoc that they had occupied the disputed land for more than a decade and that a powerful person had been trying to kick them out, he told AP.

Yoc also said that the government may drop charges filed against a jailed indigenous Maya farm leader, Ramiro Choc, who was arrested last week on charges of illegal land invasion, robbery and holding people against their will. Authorities say Choc leads land seizures in the region and has encouraged locals to take over protected nature reserves.

However the villagers had earlier called for his release. Choc had urged the villagers to release the officers in a telephone call from prison, Ricardo Gatica, a spokesman for the interior ministry, told AP. Five members of a local farmers union and community representatives will also be flown to Guatemala City, the capital, to negotiate with the government over the land.

Now let’s hope the new Colom government will negotiate openly and justly and not return to old methods.

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Hot Fuzzy

It’s not surprising that a policeman reacts to this-

A pub chef with a long history of sexual violence was sentenced to life yesterday for the murder of 18-year-old aspiring model Sally Anne Bowman and must serve a minimum of 34 years.

…by calling for a national DNA register. He is thinking like a police, not about protecting people, but catching perpetrators, the killer here had a long history of violence and sexual crime, what about intervening with someone who has shown such propensity before they start killing? Because as exhilarating as catching a bad guy may be, it still requires someone to be raped and murdered first (in this case) with better healthcare and removing that British aversion to mental health issues & equal rights this girl might be alive, in fact many women would not have had to be attacked by this man. We keep leaving the failures of our ludicrous capitalist society to be swept up under the catch all category of ‘crime’ and the police end up doing crisis work and social care that they are totally unsuitable for and by that time other people have had to suffer violence. From this man’s long history it is clear yet again prison does not effectively treat sexual predators, until we get that into our thick heads people will be attacked and police will feel self righteous when they finally catch them, but it will never end or improve, ever. I don’t think cross your legs, think of England and keep watching the Bill while our human rights disappear into the memory hole are an effective strategy.

Thankfully though we have the Independent Police Complaints Commission to sort out naughty coppers, except, well they aren’t and they don’t, they keep taking mistakes and good faith as reasonable excuses while corruption and infiltration by criminals is politely, discreetly lost in officialese and dissembling-

The chief constable of Nottinghamshire, Steve Green, accepted the report in full yesterday, but said no officers would be disciplined because the force at the time was “under pressure that most citizens would never experience”. The struggle with the Gunn gang was compounded by fears about information leaking out from the force itself and a detective, Charles Fletcher, was subsequently jailed for seven years for supplying tip-offs.

The Stirlands were ultimately betrayed by two BT staff misusing computer records at the request of the gang, without knowing or asking why they were wanted.

Green said yesterday: “Every one of the officers involved with the Stirlands wanted to save their lives.” He added that seven of the officers had been found to have breached the police code of conduct. Two had now retired.

Every one!..Except…er…. all the ones who erm…’breached the police code of conduct’, shall we say?

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Friday! Fist Of Fun- Fake Messiah

Jesus is behind you!

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Friday Nooz Dumped!

Knowing the IAEA report would be an overwhelminlgy positive one on Iran’s nuclear program the US threw a spanner in the works, at the last minute (last Friday) they dumped a load of ‘intelligence’ from a laptop they claim contains plans of Iranian weapon programs. However the provenance of this laptop is a bit…how shall we say…yellow cakey? So the IAEA report includes some mention of these accusations which the Iranians have for now angrily dismissed. This has now been used to help the six sanctions crazed western powers to bolster their plans for a package of measures to be announced next week. See how that works?

The empire’s occupation forces in Iraq breathed a sigh of relief- Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his Mahdi army militia to extend its cease-fire for another six months. While the damage form a previous war is still being denied in the imperial courtroom-

A federal appeals court upheld on Friday the dismissal of a civil lawsuit against major U.S. chemical companies brought by Vietnamese plaintiffs over the use of the defoliant “agent orange” during the Vietnam War. The ruling, handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, concluded the plaintiffs could not pursue their claims against Dow Chemical Co, Monsanto Co and nearly 30 other companies. The lawsuit contended agent orange caused ailments, including birth defects and cancer.

Uzbekistan is a country our government tries to deport people to saying it is a safe place, it now claims to have abolished the death penalty-

SURAT IKRAMOV– In the past, death penalty verdicts were handed down on the basis of two articles in the criminal code — murder with intent, article 97, and terrorism, article 155. Between 2002 and 2007, we have monitored trails on both these counts. We have demonstrated that in almost half the cases the charges were fabricated and the defendants subjected to torture. Guilt was not proven in the trails.

But despite this, the courts sentenced innocent people to death under pressure from the executive branch of power. At the same time, the real criminals were allowed to go free. So, with the abolition of the death penalty those illegally sentenced to death could gradually have the chance of being exonerated — that is if the real killers or terrorists are actually arrested. 

Once again the free market fails and begs the government to help protect their profits-

The government has said it will review the future of broadband internet in the UK amid calls that it should help firms pay for installing new infrastructure.

And will MI5 own up to it’s dirty war in Ireland? Whadya reckon?

MI5 operated in Northern Ireland throughout the Troubles – running large numbers of agents and informers.There have been allegations that it was involved in collusion with republican and loyalist paramilitaries. Lord Eames and Mr Bradley want all groups involved in the Troubles to tell the truth about their role. They met the Director General of MI5 in London on Friday afternoon to discuss how much it is prepared to reveal.

And the dirty drone war in Pakistan-

In the weeks before the election Monday, a series of meetings among President George W. Bush’s national security advisers resulted in a significant relaxation of the rules under which U.S. forces could aim attacks at suspected Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the areas near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. The change, described by senior U.S. and Pakistani officials who would not speak for attribution because the program is classified, allows American military commanders greater leeway to choose from what one official who participated in the debate called “a Chinese menu” of attack options.

Instead of having to confirm the identity of a suspected militant leader before attacking, this shift allows American operators to strike convoys that bear the characteristics of Qaeda or Taliban leaders on the run, for instance, so long as the risk of civilian casualties is judged to be low.

Yeah that’s right, if they look a bit…terroristy, flying robots of death away! But after the elections Bush minions are pre-empting the new rulers by saying they are worried they might curtail this aerial automata slaughter, hint hint, don’t you fucking dare.

Eritrea is making preparations for a US approved Ethiopian attack by kicking out UN forces enforcing a dodgy US brokered border agreement-

The [UN] mission started work in 2000 after a two-year border war between the Horn of Africa neighbors that killed an estimated 70,000 people. It has been stationed in a 15.5-mile (25-km) buffer zone inside Eritrea. But Asmara turned against the mission because of U.N. inability to enforce rulings by an independent boundary commission awarding chunks of Ethiopian-held territory, including the town of Badme, to Eritrea.

And apparently the police state has decided they can bug MP’s conversations, oh yes, say hello to the telescreen Winston-

The report says the recording was not covered by the Wilson doctrine, which forbids the security services bugging MPs. Rose reaches this conclusion by deciding that only bugging requiring the approval of the home secretary is covered by the doctrine, while the recording in Khan’s case only needed to be authorised by a senior police officer.

Get that? Because a cop did it the Wilson doctrine doesn’t apply now, if MP’s don’t come down on this like a ton of bricks, we are in deep trouble.

The Presidential soap opera continues and as this points out, McCain betraying himself and backing torture, not so big a story as the good old politician shags lobbying bint standby. Also this disturbing nugget-

Security details at Barack Obama’s rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena. The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.

The question as yet unanswered is was this form the campaign, in which case no big conspiracy, or was it something else? Can the demonstrably institutionally racist & politically compromised secret service be trusted.

And the British war crime kept covered up is now getting some media presence-

British troops may have executed up to 20 captives in southern Iraq in 2004, human rights lawyers claimed today. A dossier of evidence from men taken captive after a gun battle near the Iraqi town of Majat-al-Kabir in May 2004 also suggested soldiers tortured and mutilated captives. Lawyers for five Iraqis today issued detailed witness statements, photographs of corpses and death certificates of the men who died. The allegations first emerged within weeks of the incident and have since been investigated by the Royal Military Police.

Only took lot’s of hard legal work and almost four years.

Kashmir’s Custody Deaths

More than 330 people have died in police custody in the Indian portion of Kashmir since the outbreak of an Islamic insurgency 18 years ago, according to official police figures released for the first time. In a report released Wednesday, the police said in addition to 332 who have died, another 111 people have disappeared from police custody with no information on whether they are dead or alive.

The Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a local human rights group, said the police figures were just the tip of the iceberg.

Pervez Imroz, the group’s leader, said 178 Kashmiris died in police custody in the past five years alone, and 239 more disappeared after being taken by government forces. “It’s anybody’s guess how brutal a security apparatus with a sweeping policy of catch and kill would have been in early ’90s,” he said.

Imroz’s group said that since 1989 up to 10,000 people have disappeared after being detained by government forces in the Indian portion of Kashmir.

His group said that the police kill innocent people on the suspicion they are Islamic militants or support the militants’ fight for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with a Muslim-majority Pakistan.

Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society site here.

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