Atlanta…Is In Britain?

Yep! We have retaken a small part of ‘the colonies‘ apparently-

But thanks to Phil “nation of whiners” Gramm—the former Texas senator who was until recently John McCain’s top economic adviser (see “Foreclosure Phil”)—futures market regulation went to hell. Under the “Enron loophole” pushed through by Gramm in 2000, energy futures were allowed to escape all federal and state regulation. Gramm embedded that loophole in a surprise 262-page rider, drafted at the behest of Wall Street and Enron, in an 11,000-page appropriations bill on a Friday evening two days after the Supreme Court handed down its Bush v. Gore ruling and as Congress was rushing home for Christmas. In a separate bit of absurdity, in January 2006, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) of Atlanta, which trades benchmark US oil futures (West Texas Intermediate or WTI), came to be treated by the CFTC as a British market (the “London loophole”) so that US regulators do not even track what is going on. (Even more surreal, the CFTC was going to allow trades of US oil futures on terminals located in America to be “regulated” in Dubai; political pressure put an end to that idea in July.) (ht2 Danny Schechter)

So that means the London Olympics will be the second games the UK have hosted and it may contribute to explaining the infamous geographical confusion of Georgia’s residents. Who knew?

And in a McCain related piece of hilarity, apparently he owns so many homes he doesn’t actually know… how many. That often happens to me, except with CD’s and socks, but really it’s the same thing, man of the people (and the Trojan horse for the British re-conquest of America? We’re not saying, but Mel Gibson won’t save you! It’ll be like Red Dawn except with bad dentistry and more tea & scones).

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Free Gaza Boats- This is it

LARNACA, Cyprus – Cyprus will allow two boats carrying members of a U.S.-based activist group to sail for Gaza in defiance of Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory, authorities here said Wednesday. The two wooden sailboats have passed a safety inspection, Cyprus’ Merchant Shipping Director Serghios Serghiou said.

He said the boats have also been given safety certificates from Greece, where the vessels are registered. We have not prohibited the departure of the boat, Serghiou told The Associated Press.

Protest organizer Paul Larudee said the boats – the 21-meter Free Gaza and 18-meter Liberty – will set sail around midnight tonight from Larnaca port for the estimated 30-hour trip.  Members of the Free Gaza protest group said some 40 activists from 16 countries, including 81-year-old Catholic nun Anne Montgomery, will attempt to break the blockade Israel imposed on Gaza last year in a bid to set a precedent for others to follow. They plan to deliver 200 hearing aids to a Palestinian charity for children and hand out 5,000 balloons.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said the ministry had told activists in a letter that all humanitarian aid should be delivered through Israeli-controlled border crossings. But Mekel refused to say how Israel would respond if the activists tried to break the blockade.

Thomas Nelson, 64, said the group expects the Israeli navy to intercept the boats and arrest those onboard. The Portland, Oregon-based attorney said activists plan to resist any attempts to arrest them in a non-violent way. Nelson said there is no security threat to Israel here, except the truth and Israel is afraid of the truth. Nelson said lawyers from the U.S.-based National Lawyers’ Guild would file legal action against Israel in an appropriate legal forum if Israeli authorities kidnap activists in international waters.

Also-

Dr Bill Wilson, SNP MSP for the West of Scotland, today announced that he had written to the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, and to the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, on behalf of human rights activists seeking to take two ships to Gaza.  The activists want to deliver hearing aids for children whose hearing has been damaged by explosions and sonic booms and to highlight the human rights violations associated with Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory.

SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty number amongst their passengers and crew (who represent 15 nationalities) an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor and Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of Middle East peace Envoy, Tony Blair.  Ms Booth’s husband reportedly received an anonymous phone call advising that the ships would be blown up.  Israel, which effectively operates a blockade of Gaza despite claiming not to be occupying it, has refused to let the ships dock — the Israeli navy has been ordered to repel them.

Dr Wilson’s letters urge Mr Miliband and Ambassador Prosor to condemn the threats the ships and their crew have reportedly received and to do whatever they can to facilitate their safe passage to Gaza.

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War is Peace, Occupation is Withdrawal

Rice is in Iraq, (so expect within weeks some massive amounts of violence which they will be plotting causing right now, oh sorry- she’s there talking peace and withdrawal, there there fluffy bunnikins) and-

Iraq’s foreign minister has said Iraq and the US are “very close” to a deal on the future of US forces in Iraq. Hoshyar Zebari says both sides were redoubling efforts to bring 10 months of tough negotiations to a conclusion.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice – on an unannounced trip to Baghdad – said the final deal would be in line with Iraqi laws and sovereignty. US troops’ immunity from prosecution and the timing of a US pull-out remain to be resolved, correspondents say.

The draft deal being discussed includes a commitment that US troops will start to pull out of Iraq’s cities from next summer, moving to large bases out of public view, says the BBC’s Crispin Thorold in Baghdad.

Well as long as you can’t see them then it’s just like they aren’t there. Yeah that works, from the manual -Imperialism for 3 year olds.

PS. Of course it’s unannounced, occupiers tend not to be so popular. Yes there was the regulation ‘situation on the ground.’ get out of any agreements clause, and yes they mention 147,000 US troops but not the similar number of mercenaries.

Fucking The Corpse of the NPT

The US is set to push a consortium of nations into dropping a ban on nuclear trade with India, a move that will help finalise a US-India nuclear deal. The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group meets in Vienna on Thursday for two-days and will discuss the US-proposed waiver that would help give India access to legal imports of nuclear materials.

The India-specific exemption would give New Delhi access to technology and fuel normally reserved only for those who have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and allow the full inspection of their nuclear facilities.

India has not signed the NPT. Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency agreed a similar waiver.

“Like a number of countries we do have reservations about aspects of the content of the draft exemption recently circulated,” Phil Goff, New Zealand’s defence minister, said in an interview, published on Wednesday, with The Times of India newspaper. “We would like to see these reservations given full and effective consideration so that we could have added confidence in the nonproliferation benefits an exemption might bring.” He said his country was considering whether the waiver should be made conditional on wider UN inspections of Indian nuclear sites and what would be necessary to prevent the transfer of technologies with possible military use.

Iran, which is locked in a disagreement with Washington and its allies over its own nuclear programme, is likely to argue that India, which developed nuclear arms in secret, is now being rewarded with access to atomic technology. Iran is under UN sanctions for refusing calls to freeze its nuclear activities, which the US argues could produce a nuclear weapon but which Iran says are for peaceful purposes.

No only is this the end of the NPT it makes negotitions with Iran impossible to hold in good faith. So another victory for the Bush doctrine.

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Cat Exits Bag

Our government conspired with the US in rendition and torture and now…the High Court just ordered them to release the evidence-

British security services colluded in the unlawful detention and facilitated the interrogation of a British resident detained in Afghanistan six years ago, the high court ruled today.

Two judges ordered the foreign secretary to hand over to Binyam Mohamed’s legal team secret information that could support his case that he was tortured in Pakistan and Morocco before being sent to Guantánamo Bay.

The judges said the court had established that the British secret service facilitated the questioning of Mohamed. “By seeking to interview BM in the circumstances found [in Pakistan] and supplying information and questions for his interviews, the relationship between the United Kingdom government and the United States authorities was far beyond that of bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing.”

During the hearing of the case, Dinah Rose QC, for Mohamed, said he was tortured after his detention in Pakistan. He was rendered to Morocco where he was subjected to more prolonged and brutal torture after being made to “disappear”, she said.

The former Kensington caretaker alleges he was repeatedly slashed in the genitals with a razor blade while being held in Morocco. Finally, he was rendered to Guantánamo, where he has spent the past four years.

The lawyer told the judges the US authorities denied that Mohamed had been subjected to extraordinary rendition or torture. But there were strong grounds for believing that MI6 and MI5 held independent evidence supporting his story of torture.

Lawyers for the Foreign Office argued at the hearing that the government had acted within its powers and was not legally obliged to make the disclosures sought. The foreign secretary was entitled to proceed on the basis that the US legal system would safeguard Mohamed’s rights, they said.

To disclose the documents sought would cause serious damage to national security, it was submitted. A significant part of the case took place in closed session due to the sensitivity of much of the material before the court.

The Government has repeatedly lied, dragged it’s heels, denied and again has been ordered to ‘fess up, what will they do? Binyam Mohamed has been an ‘unperson’ for six years, his health both mental and physical are catastrophically compromised and while some are swooning over Miliband he is personally culpable in covering up the kidnapping and torture of Mohamed. Which makes him  a crook as far as I am concerned, sorry boy wonder fans. This is what our government and the Bush regime have conspired together to do to Binyam Mohamed-

Mr Stafford Smith said: “The urgency is underlined today because Mr Mohamed has been repeatedly smearing his cell walls with faeces. This is not because Mr Mohamed is trying to violate the rules (as the US military apparently believes), but because of his mental instability. The military’s response is to cut the water to his cell off, compounding an obvious health hazard.”

A preliminary medical opinion, commissioned by Reprieve, has found Mr Mohamed to be suffering from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Daniel Creson, a respected psychiatrist from Texas who has extensive experience in the treatment of the victims of torture, warns that the deterioration in Mr Mohamed’s health suggests that he “is reaching the end of his psychological tether”.

Craig Murray famously was forced out of the Foreign Office & harassed because he made a stand, he did not go along with covering up torture and the government’s use of information gained under it [and in this pathetic world where morons support torture –well Jack Bauer does it and he’s kewl– I sadly need to point out: Information gained under torture, apart from it being absolutely immoral to do so, is largely worthless, any good professional interrogator will tell you that. What would you say -kidnapped for years in a foreign dungeon, disappeared by the most powerful military empire on earth- not to have the razor cut into your genitals again? Torture is about realising and validating the perpetrators reality through the medium of others suffering, it’s also a basic tactic of control through terrorism].

The government has for years covered up its cooperation with the Bush regime in the worst behaviour any malevolent tyranny can summon. Every single utterance from this government’s mouth about rights, responsibilities, fairness and justice fall as ash from their criminal lips. They are lying snivelling cowards, a mockery of civilisation. Admit your crimes and take the consequences and unlike you victims you will not be disappeared & tortured and you will be afforded a full & open trial under the law. Because that’s how decent people on planet Earth do things, their governments may fight against that, but from Burma to Iran to Colombia to China to everywhere, people know right from wrong and they stand up for it. Pity you didn’t have the spine to defend our country in the most important and profound way a leadership can by supporting liberty & open democracy and preventing, not helping, the pre-planned criminal attack on Iraq. Instead you did what all the other corrupt elites do, entrench your power with paranoia, nationalism, terror and lies.