Extraordinary Rendition on BBC1 23:30 Tonight

Good on the beeb, the terrestrial première of the UK film Extraordinary Rendition (23:35 in some regions). From the filmmaker’s site

Today’s leader column in the Guardian also highlights the film and places it in the context of the wider debate about torture in the war on terror. There’s also an interview with Jim over on the Future Movies website and the Director’s Notes film site have a podcast interview you can listen to as well as clips from the film to view.

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Aribert Heim, the ‘lucky’ Nazi

Not quite a paperclip, but maybe he helped develop those ‘enhanced interrogations‘.

It was 1941, and an 18-year-old Jew had been sent to the clinic with a foot inflammation. Heim asked him about himself and why he was so fit. The young man said he had been a soccer player and swimmer.

Then, instead of treating the prisoner’s foot, Heim anesthetized him, cut him open, castrated him, took apart one kidney and removed the second, Lotter said. The victim’s head was removed and the flesh boiled off so that Heim could keep it on display.

Born June 28, 1914 in Radkersburg, Austria, Heim joined the local Nazi party in 1935, three years before Austria was bloodlessly annexed by Germany.

He later joined the Waffen SS and was assigned to Mauthausen, a concentration camp near Linz, Austria, as a camp doctor in October and November 1941.

While there, witnesses told investigators, he worked closely with SS pharmacist Erich Wasicky on such gruesome experiments as injecting various solutions into Jewish prisoners’ hearts to see which killed them the fastest.

But while Wasicky was brought to trial by an American Military Tribunal in 1946 and sentenced to death, along with other camp medical personnel and commanders, Heim, who was a POW in American custody, was not among them.

Heim’s file in the Berlin Document Center, the then-U.S.-run depot for Nazi-era papers, was apparently altered to obliterate any mention of Mauthausen, according to his 1979 German indictment, obtained by the AP. Instead, for the period he was known to be at the concentration camp, he was listed as having a different SS assignment.

This “cannot be correct,” the indictment says. “It is possible that through data manipulation the short assignment at the same time to the (concentration camp) was concealed.”

There is no indication who might have been responsible.

The U.S. Army Intelligence file on Heim could shed light on his wartime and postwar activities, and is among hundreds of thousands transferred to the U.S. National Archives. But the Army’s electronic format is such that staff have so far only been able to access about half of them, and these don’t include the file requested by the AP.

Eli Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations, declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

“I don’t believe there is anything appropriate for Mr. Rosenbaum to add,” said Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney in an e-mail. Read the rest of this entry »

Somalia Iraq Style

“The ICRC is deeply concerned about the plight of civilians caught up in the fighting and calls on all warring parties to comply with international humanitarian law, and to take precautions while conducting military operations to safeguard the lives and dignity of civilians,” Pascal Hundt, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Somalia, said.

Someone tell the Ethiopian forces who just pulled a Haditha, their US support and training really shows-

At least 12 Somali civilians have been killed after Ethiopian troops opened fire on them in the southwestern town of Baidoa, witnesses say. The incident came shortly after a roadside bomb blast hit a water tanker, killing an Ethiopian soldier and prompting other soldiers to open fire, according to one witness. Abdurahman Takow said: “At least 12 people were killed and nine others wounded by fire from Ethiopian soldiers.”

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Syria Video ‘pixel mismatch’

Via Atlargely

The Washington Note:-

Chris Nelson – the uber insider political newsletter scribe behind The Nelson Report and whose contacts in the national security establishment are stellar – reports the rumor that the video showed by the CIA to Capitol Hill lawmakers may have been “doctored.”

The Nelson Report – 28 April 2008
N. KOREA. . .since our Reports of Thursday and Friday last week, possibly debilitating rumors, but little “fact” has been added to the deconstruction of the CIA’s controversial “Syria briefing”.

In the sexy rumor department, there are those claiming that the Israeli-supplied photos used in the “video” shown on Capitol Hill “came from a photo-shop”, specifically, “the pixels don’t match” on the alleged N. Korean nuclear expert and his Syrian compatriots.

This strikes us as amazingly easy to confirm, one way or the other, but we cite it as emblematic of the fundamental destruction of trust in nuclear-related “intelligence” since the Colin Powell “Iraq WMD” debacle at the UN, oh so many long years ago.

On the photo allegedly of a DPRK nuclear expert, Administration sources confirm that the video ID is inaccurate, but our sources say the S. Korean newspaper identification of the man as a senior political official from the Foreign Ministry is also incorrect.

On the briefing itself, we can report that Capitol Hill “customers” are not at all happy that less than an hour after professional staff with the appropriate clearances were barred from the room, the whole video was handed over to the world.

“You have to think the Administration didn’t want to have experts in the room who might dare to ask tough questions”, notes one disgruntled bar-ee, whom, we should note, said he did not believe the “pixel” mismatch rumor “because it would be so unbelievably stupid…”

The majority of our expert sources do say they feel that the video briefing can be accepted as conclusive that…assuming the photos are not a complete fabrication…the Syrian plant can now be said to definitely be a Yongbyon-type of nuclear facility.

But after that, consensus breaks down completely on whether it was a nascent bomb facility, a power station of some kind, or what.

One Congressional expert, after watching the video, comments “the very first line in the briefing is false…there’s no way the plant was ‘ready to be switched on’, so you have to question the entire premise for the raid…”

Also atlargely

Yesterday in Mexico City, secDef Gates told reporters that a second U.S. aircraft carrier and it’s escorting fleet steaming into the Gulf was a “reminder” to Iran.

The Chair of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, has already indicated that the U.S. has “reserve capability” to attack Iran and now CBS is reporting a deliberate leak from the Pentagon that says it is developing strike options for an attack that would involve limited strikes on “plants where weapons are made” and the Qods Force Headquarters (in Tehran).

Over at VetVoice, though, diariest “DM” points out that there’s no such thing as a limited strike package against a nation like Iran.

I think the media needs to wake up to what an attack on Iran would really look like.  Even assuming that the objective of the attack is limited to reducing Iranian exportation of weapons and training to Iraq, the attack itself would not be limited.  Remember, Iran possesses a fairly substantial defensive and retaliatory capability.

Jim Haynes Employs Torture, Chevron Employs Jim Haynes

Philipe Sands recent articles and interviews preceding his book- Torture Team have revealed the large group of Whitehouse operators who proposed, drew up and instigated torture including Bush and Cheney, one leading advocate of torture is Jim Haynes. Chevron has now employed Jim Haynes. Draw your own conclusions.

Jim Haynes emerges as a central player in The Torture Team. He was involved throughout, at each stage of the decision-making. I have come to appreciate that he has–at best–a semi-detached relationship with truth. His propensity to mislead was evident from his first public intervention on the issues I have addressed, in June 2004, when the administration relied on him and Alberto Gonzales to spin a false narrative on the beginnings of the abuse at Guantánamo, and its relationship to Abu Ghraib. The catalogue of untruths was added to during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in July 2006, when he was still trying to get himself nominated to a federal Court of Appeals.

Korova @ Mask of Anarchy has been posting about Chevron’s activities in Ecuador and their recruitment of Haynes and he has enjoyed visits from both the Pentagon and Chevron.

It seems to me that employing a man who drew up and implemented a torture program that has led to over a hundred people being tortured to death may…how can I put this…reflect badly on a corporation. I’m sure the huge profits help but when these war criminals are brought to justice those institutions who choose to associate with them will come under a great deal of scrutiny too. In the UK Chevron is Texaco, maybe they like alliteration Torture Texaco, Texaco Torture. A lot of people need to buy fuel, but they do not want buy fuel from an organisation that employs torturers and is aggressively attacking attempts to find redress for massive environmental damage in Ecuador. Now of course it is awfully hard to find an ethical oil corporation but make an informed decision and steer your custom elsewhere.


At least 28 militants have been killed during battles in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, the US military has said. The deaths come during intensified fighting in the Iraqi capital between militants loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr and US and Iraqi forces. The US military said a number of its soldiers had been wounded during Tuesday’s fighting.

At least 28 killed while the occupation forces suffer just injured is not ‘fighting’, it’s harvesting, ‘cleansing’

The Iraqi police, army, interior ministry forces, and other US backed forces are nothing more than nice titles for militias that happened to be called “governmental”. The Sunnis and Shiites allied with the US get to have their militias treated as “good militias” with governmental titles, but the other Sunnis and Shiites who represent the majority of Iraqis and oppose the occupation are the ones with “bad militias” that are described as terrorists and extremists.

The U.S. role in training Iraqi armed forces is doing is very similar to the U.S. role in the school of the Americas training Latin American forces to go back home and kill their own people.

If you disapprove the U.S. role in training, funding, arming, and protecting Iraqi puppet armed forces contact your congress person today and ask them to stop funding this disaster. The congress has approved billions of dollars of US-taxpayers money to fund these sectarian militias who are directly responsible of the ethnic and sectarian cleansing that has been taking place in Iraq during the last 5 years.

War Pimps Progress- Alton Gets The Independent

Shit. Medialens make the point-

Roger Alton, formerly editor of the Observer, will become editor of the Independent in June. Alton resigned from the Observer last year after rumours of a ’civil war’ with the Guardian. There were also allegations that, in 2002, the Observer had suppressed important testimony on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction (see below) even as it was publishing false stories from intelligence sources. It was claimed that Alton’s political editor, Kamal Ahmed, had helped Blair’s aides with one of their infamous “dodgy dossiers” on Iraq’s WMD – Ahmed also resigned.

It is a bitter irony that Alton will soon be editing the Independent, which opposed the Iraq war.

Full alert to be archived here- http://www.medialens.org/alerts/08/080429_flexible_friends_the.php

It’s great, you can be a warmongering crook who is wrong about everything, but have the right elite background-

Alton’s father was a distinguished Oxford don and that Alton was privately educated at Clifton College before attending Exeter College, Oxford.

…and suddenly your shit don’t stink, So the Indy’s correct antagonism towards the Iraq war is now to be under the control of this bloodthirsty ignorant toff. Fuck balls of hell fire!

Go to the media alert or below and tell The Independent what a colossal fucking mistake they are about to make and that it is not too late to reject Alton and get someone not implicit in war crime propaganda to run it.

Write to Simon Kelner
Email: s.kelner@independent.co.uk

Please send a copy of your emails to
Email: editor@medialens.org

Posted in Class War, Corporatism, Hacks, Imperialism, Media, War Criminals, War Pimps. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on War Pimps Progress- Alton Gets The Independent

The British Torture Gulag

Officers of the Security Service, MI5, are being accused of “outsourcing” the torture of British citizens to a notorious Pakistani intelligence agency in an attempt to obtain information about terrorist plots and to secure convictions against al-Qaida suspects.

A number of British terrorism suspects who have been arrested in Pakistan at the request of UK authorities say their interrogation by Security Service officers, shortly after brutal torture at the hands of agents of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), has convinced them that MI5 colluded in the mistreatment.

The accusation that MI5 is at the very least turning a blind eye to the torture of British citizens – and may have actually colluded in their torture – is to surface in a number of forthcoming court cases, including the trial of the man who lost his fingernails, an appeal lodged by the man from Luton after he was convicted of terrorism offences, and a separate civil action being pursued on his behalf.

MI5 is thought to be considering a defence based on its officers’ insistence that they had no reason to know that the ISI might have been torturing the men – a position that Pakistani lawyers and human rights activists in Pakistan and the UK say beggars belief. Even a high-ranking Scotland Yard counter-terrorism detective has conceded privately that there is little doubt that the Luton man was tortured.

The Guardian is aware of claims by a number of other British citizens that they were tortured after being detained as terrorism suspects in Pakistan.

Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 it is an offence for British officials to instigate or consent to the inflicting of “severe pain or suffering” on any person, anywhere in the world, or even to acquiesce in such treatment. Any such offence could be punished by life imprisonment.

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A Culture of War

Going from a BoingBoing post to the linked Radar piece about a guy posing as a ten year old boy writing to serial killers, he also wrote to leading right wing figures, one was Dick Cheney and through this I now learn how Desert Storm- the first gulf war (again the US lied to get the war going, Saddam Hussein was misled to think Washington had no problem with him invading Kuwait) was accompanied by kids trading cards. Topps cards (like baseball cards, or Star Wars cards) of a very real war so even children become propagandised imperial citizen’s backing war. This was one picture never to make it onto the cards-

The Highway of Death.

Children who collected the cards would be adults with votes when Iraq ll came along, from a small acorn of propaganda a great oak of belligerent entitled bloodlust shall grow. Mission Accomplished. This time though the already desensitised and propagandised imperial stormtroopers were in a contemporaneous feedback loop with the wonderful military loving imperial media-

Jack Bauer [24] had many friends at Guantánamo Bay, Beaver said, “he gave people lots of ideas.” She believed the series contributed to an environment in which those at Guantánamo were encouraged to see themselves as being on the frontline – and to go further than they otherwise might.

In a culture inextricably compromised by war for profit, hey kids shiny robots!-

Last year, the film Transformers was a big summer blockbuster, really popular with kids. It received a tremendous amount of military support. In fact, the film’s producers said it would have been a totally different film had they not received military support. But it would seem that it wouldn’t be necessary to have the military involved in that project. It’s a film about giant robots. It’s not a war film.

Rinse and repeat.


A man with a £3.3 billion personal fortune drives past workers his corporation has taken £40 million from and bemoans how a strike is endangering a £750 million refit. Well here’s an idea, pay for it yourself and you’d still have Two and a Half Billion left. But somehow it is considered acceptable such a thing as a multi-billionaire exists. But going on strike, now that gets headlines.

Ineos founder Jim Ratcliffe was booed by picketers during a visit to the site on Monday.

The class war is a cold one at present, not dealing with this will bring the heat.

The 1,000 Richest People in Britain

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The Presidential race/soap opera is a gaudy distraction, not much talk of impeachment anymore, Bush admits to torture on tv *crickets*, an election has more importance if you do not perceive the true state of your nation, when your nation is an Empire.

The notions that within the body of empire lurks the heart of an egalitarian, constitutional republic, or a libertarian minarchy, or a parliamentary social democracy are the purest forms of political self-flattery.

The media have helped to turn the race into a millionaires playground where the currency seems to be who has the greatest capacity for genocide and noticing the underclass is pejoratively labelled Marxism by people who daily call for slaughter as a solution to any imperial problem. In the meantime the Bush Whitehouse has been pushing even further into its realm of Royal decree and manifest legal exceptionalism, in the meantime it has continued its secret torture gulag and enacting the steps necessary to attack Iran, while the electoral show filled the mediasphere, while you were sleeping the relentless death machine has continued its plotting, killing and torturing. And now grows the fear again it is close to having all its pieces in position, its ducks in a row for the assault on Iran.

Is it the fact that the largest economy of the world, which is driven by the military industrial complex and uses 25% of the planets oil, has concluded that only Iran stands in its way to controlling 60% of the globe’s known petrochemical reserves?

The imperial logic of the politician’s will be weighing- if the attack is under Bush and in time for the election that will favour a continuation of the neocon dominated GOP war party, if it is firmly resisted by the establishment , but the signs are key figures of antipathy towards the plan have and are being removed. Even with resistance the Bush cabal have the chance in the dying weeks of their administration to launch a series of strikes and leave the incomer to clean up the political mess while they profit via their corporate ties in the clean up, disaster capitalism is so very versatile. And then there is the dark reasoning, attacking demonised Middle East states is by and large good for the President who does it, such is the conditioning of an imperial populace, such is patriotism. So an attack is political currency, so why give an opponent the chance to use it? If Clinton steals the nomination this calculation would become more acute, while his rhetoric and charisma may represent a wild card, Obama’s stated policies are not anti-imperial. So both could use that currency, although Clinton may enjoy it more.

The corporatist elite then largely would favour attacking, timing dependent on political calculations once logistical issues are resolved, these issues now look suspiciously as if they are close to operational readiness, ByTheWay– none of this would even happening if impeachment had been used as framers of the constitution intended, not rejected by a political class comfortable in their imperial senate. Ducks in a row?-

  • The March 11 resignation of CENTCOM Commander Admiral William Fallon
  • The recent removal of Vice Admiral John Stufflebeem, Commander of the 6th Fleet (Mediterranean Sea), also known to be a critic of the administration’s war plans.
  • Two U.S. warships took up positions off Lebanon last month. According to US News & World Report, “The United States would want its warships in the eastern Mediterranean in the event of a military action against Iran.”
  • The Israeli air strike against Syria last September was advertised as an attack on a nuclear facility. Current speculation is that the real purpose of the raid was to “force Syria to switch on the targeting electronics for newly received Russian anti-aircraft defenses.” Knowing the electronic signatures of these systems would reduce the risks for U.S. and Israeli warplanes heading to Iranian targets.
  • Israel conducted its largest military exercises ever beginning the week of April 6. This exercise simulated missile strikes from Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.
    One day after a March visit from Vice President Cheney, the Saudi government announced “national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom.”
  • According to former U.N. chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the Pentagon has contracted for additional bunker-buster bombs and planes that carry them. Delivery is due this month.
  • As you might observe in our latest Order of Battle, the US Navy is currently operating two Carrier Strike Groups in the Middle East. Additionally, we are observing two Expeditionary Strike Groups and a British Carrier Strike Group in the region as well. As we read the events as they are disclosed in public sources, we believe the United States is on the verge of major offensive operations in the Middle East.

War pimps remain in lucrative employment and spewing forth propaganda-

There are two stories in the London Times which have rightwing “War party” pundits frothed up today. One alledges that British hostages taken in Iraq are being held in Iran by the Revolutionary Guard. The other says that North Korea has built a James-Bond-Villain supersecret base under a mountain as protection against US airstrikes which might be launched in the aftermath of the White House’s allegations about Nork co-operation on a reactor in Syria. The main body of the story, oddly, is more about Syria’s alleged perfidy than the alleged Nork’s base.

Both stories come from the typewriter of Uzi Mahnaimiin, a yellow journalism reporter who always relies – as these stories do – on anonymous “leaks” as his authority. The trouble is that Mahnaimiin is a “serial liar”, as Pajamas Media’s Meryl Yourish has described him. In a race crowded with Mike Ledeens and Amir Taheris, he may be the biggest war-shill in Middle east journalism.

And let’s be straight about Israel’s motivations-

Israel’s military leaders and their political yes-men don’t believe, and never have believed, that Iran, if it possessed nuclear weapons, would unleash them in a first strike against the Zionist state. The real problem for its leaders is that the moment Israel ceased to be the only nuclear-armed power in the region, would be the moment it lost its ability to impose its will on the region. And actually the world.

Understanding of the power games of our ruling elites neutralises their use of propaganda to whip up ‘righteous’ anger against countries on simple right and wrong patrio-porn set ups that enable our corporatist elites to achieve greater private profit via our labour and our publicly financed wars. Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands and tortured people in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison!!!!! All that changed were the names in charge. Of course there is a proportion of people who do not care about that, they are filled with fear and hate and bigotry and any chance to kill and dominate ‘others’ is good news. They are the pro-war right & left, the left ones often engage in fantastical imaginings of how this time contrary to all human history, this time western military action really is about humane goals, what was that you said about oil reserves and spheer of influence? Bah cynic!

At this point awareness of the real venal motives behind the pro-occupation pro-attack bloc is unlikely to be achieved via corporate owned media, people will as before -maybe grumbling- but they will not oppose the warfare state enough to make this violent manner of pursuing business untenable. Most work too hard just to get by to have time to search for better information sources in order to make informed judgements, assuming they have that instinct in the first place. Our politician’s supposedly do a lot of that work for us…stop laughing.

Our ruling classes tend towards war not peace, when the exploitation of the domestic populace no longer provides enough profit for their growing debauched tastes they jump in boats, planes and find new ‘markets’. Waiting for the moment some war pimping news story explodes- innocent soldiers (oxy meet moron), western women and children and kittens and puppies tortured and killed by eveel Iranians or some such it will be too late to derail the plans being worked on right now.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a “limited” nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan would result in three million people killed by radiation within two weeks and 35 million people exposed to dangerous levels of radiation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Militarism in the Valleys

Campaigners have been voicing their opposition to a new £11bn military training facility in the Vale of Glamorgan. Building on the centre at St Athan is due to get under way in 2009, under a public-private finance deal.

Plaid Cymru Euro MP, Jill Evans, said she was concerned that the development was being placed in the hands of a private consortium. “We are opposed to the privatisation of military training and to making Wales the base for that training for Britain and other countries,” she said ahead of the demonstration. We have the skills and the potential to be a real driving force for peace in the world. Instead the British government is making us the centre of training for war, putting that training in the hands of multinational arms companies.”

And of course what does Labour say? Yay military!

But First Minister Rhodri Morgan has strongly defended the project.We have worked very hard to win this project for Wales against severe competition from the West Midlands and elsewhere,” he insisted. The Defence Training Academy will involve activities which are far less military in character, since the academy will involve teaching skills such as engineering, electronics, and IT – all equally as valuable in civilian life after they have left the armed forces as they will be for maintaining military equipment.”

Cool, with so much debt involved in going to university instead dedicate your labour to war and in return get some training for a job, not to mention being psychologically conditioned into martial hierarchy, such a civilising influence. And the tories attacked Evans (as did libdems) because they never met a uniform they didn’t like. And of course private money in warfare, it’s the future doncha know?

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Friday! Orbital- Belfast/Wasted

An important track to me, this is the single edit with odd and not helpful ventriloquist dummy video, longer album version is here, the best version is the full length of this single edit mix which resides on a CD single mere metres from this very keyboard. The intro is ‘O Euchari’ composed by Hildegard von Bingen (1098 – 17 September 1179) who was quite a remarkable woman and visionary (as evidenced by the fact she invented the sampler in the twelfth century…).

When They Killed The Noise

“…under [the BBC’s policy] Producer Choice, the workshop could not compete on price and its demise was inevitable.”

Oh the BBC radiophonic workshop! It’s 50 years since it began and ten since neoliberal management killed it. Some video clips and memories at the BBC here. Including the Dalek voice! (Which you could now recreate with this toy.)

Anyway it was a truly ground breaking nest of experimental sound that should be considered along with other pioneers, no accident this kind of experimentation being heard by mass audiences was via a subsidised organisation where innovation was allowed to flourish not murdered in the name of short term profits.

Ten years ago the workshop was disbanded due to costs but its reputation as a Heath Robinson-style, pioneering force in sound is as strong as ever, acknowledged by ambient DJs like Aphex Twin. Although much of its equipment has long been sold off, every sound and musical theme it created has been preserved. To mark its 50 years, there are plans for a CD box-set. Here Dick Mills and Mark Ayres, who both worked there, use the surviving equipment to revive four sounds from the past.

One pluck of a guitar string became the famous Dr Who bass line. Derbyshire and Mills sped it up and slowed it down to get the different notes, and these were cut to give it an extra twang on the front of every note.

“It slides up to the note every time if you listen carefully,” says Mills. “Delia fabricated the baseline out of two or three lines of tape. You’d be scrabbling around the floor saying ‘Where’s that half-inch of tape I wanted to play on the front of that note?'” Every sound generated by the workshop and used in radio or television is preserved, partly in thanks to archivist Mark Ayres, who worked there while a student.