Police State Plc

I think things might be quite bad when the former head of Britain’s domestic spooks/secret police says the UK is a police state, in an interview published outside the country in another language!-

Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has accused the Government of exploiting people’s fear of terrorism to restrict civil rights.

Ministers risked handing a victory to terrorists who want people to “live in fear and under a police state”, said the former spy, who retired as Director General of the Security Service in 1996.

Dame Stella, 73, has been a harsh critic of the Government’s policies, including attempts to extend pre-charge detention for terror suspects to 42 days and its controversial ID cards plan.

“Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with people’s privacy,” said Dame Stella, in an interview with the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

“It would be better that the Government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, which is precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state.”

Dame Stella said that America was even more to blame and had acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists, through harsh anti-terror measures that have been accused of breaching human rights law.

“The US has gone too far with Guantanamo and the tortures. MI5 does not do that,” she said. [erm, yes it does, nice try Stella]

“Furthermore, it has achieved the opposite effect: there are more and more suicide terrorists finding a greater justification.”

A report by a panel of leading judges and lawyers, published yesterday, appeared to confirm Dame Stella’s view, warning that measures to tackle terrorism have undermined international human rights laws.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) found that “many states have fallen into a trap set by terrorists”, by introducing anti-terrorism measures which undermined the very values they sought to protect. Many such measures were imposed on a temporary basis but ended up becoming permanent features of law and practice, it said. It condemned the use of torture, disappearances, and arbitrary and secret detention.

The criminalisation of photography is becoming total and coverage of police misdeeds might become impossible, ACPO is a private company outside of public scrutiny and …well look the things is with the crisis of neoliberalism destroying jobs people have a hard enough time just keeping a roof over their heads let alone be active in political protest against a police state so…the crisis is the vehicle for pushing through these measures because even fewer people are able to resist them for purely financial reasons. If however it gets so bad people have nothing to lose the battle against state security forces will be even harder now we have so many laws that police can always find a way of detaining you if they are so ordered or inclined to do so. They are now allowed to hack into your computer without a warrant, not to mention lethal weapons/mobile electrical torture devices called Tasers are now being issued to most police under the veil of them being ‘non-lethal’, the order boosting Taser Inc’s stock price. So there’s some good news eh?

Blair War Crimes Foundation

Go have a look @ BlairFoundation

It is necessary to make leaders hesitate before indulging in “the paramount war crime” to quote the judges of Nuremberg, of “unprovoked aggression against a defenceless country”. Unless leaders fear that they might be tried for their war crimes, we will live in an increasingly violent world, where The Geneva Conventions are treated as a joke, the UN is of no account, and death, destruction, torture, and repressive policing are commonplace. At the moment such leaders enjoy more and more trappings of power, and retire with vast sums of money, houses, medals and lucrative contracts. A group of UK Citizens have therefore set up an organisation, “The Blair War Crimes Foundation”, to initially bring one such leader to justice as an example.

Read their Letter of charges and Join the signatories (ht2 Craig Murray). Signatories already include- John Pilger, David Halpin, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Lindsey German, Ben Griffin, Dr Nawal Saadawi, Haifa Zangana, Dr Kamil Mahdi, Bruce Kent.

PS. A good answer to Blair’s $1 million ‘Leadership Award‘ from…well Israel for all intents & purposes, a rather obvious bribe.

Well, Duh!

Anti-terror measures worldwide have seriously undermined international human rights law, a report by legal experts says. After a three-year global study, the International Commission of Jurists said many states used the public’s fear of terrorism to introduce measures.

These included detention without trial, illegal disappearance and torture. It also said that the UK and the US have “actively undermined” international law by their actions. It concluded that many measures introduced to fight terrorism were illegal and counter-productive. It called for justice systems to be strengthened and warned that temporary measures should not become permanent.

We Told Them So

A policy governing the interrogation of terrorism suspects in Pakistan that led to British citizens and residents being tortured was devised by MI5 lawyers and figures in government, according to evidence heard in court.

And Dear Readers the coward of the week- MI5 officer ‘Witness B’, and coward’s the real polite term for this Piece of Shit*-

Witness B, admitted that although Mohamed had been in Pakistani custody for five weeks, and he knew the country to have a poor human rights record, he did not ask whether he had been tortured or mistreated, did not inquire why he had lost weight, and did not consider whether his detention without trial was illegal…The MI5 officer admitted telling him that “he would get more lenient treatment if he cooperated”, and said that he knew he was to be transferred to US custody….Witness B was asked by Dinah Rose QC, for Mohamed: “Was it your understanding that it was lawful for Mr Mohamed to be transferred to the US authorities in this way?” Witness B replied: “I consider that to be a matter for the security service top management and for government.”

*Official policy of this blog- any and all people who participate in or enable torture (enable includes not doing your utmost to stop it) are Pieces of Shit (PoS). How many ever see open trial will indicate our health as a society, guess what, I’m not expecting much of a prognosis, enjoy your 24 boxsets fuckos!

I Told You So

The Foreign Office (FCO) solicited the letter from the US State Department that forced British judges to block the disclosure of CIA files documenting the torture of a British resident held in Guantánamo Bay, the Observer can reveal.

The letter said that the release of papers relating to Binyam Mohamed would damage future intelligence sharing between the two countries.

A former senior State Department official said that it was the Foreign Office that initiated the “cover-up” by asking the State Department to send the letter so that it could be introduced into the court proceedings.

Indeed.

“rape by instrumentality”

Scott Horton:- Third, the Nelly account shows that health professionals are right in the thick of the torture and abuse of the prisoners—suggesting a systematic collapse of professional ethics driven by the Pentagon itself. He describes body searches undertaken for no legitimate security purpose, simply to sexually invade and humiliate the prisoners. This was a standardized Bush Administration tactic–the importance of which became apparent to me when I participated in some Capitol Hill negotiations with White House representatives relating to legislation creating criminal law accountability for contractors. The Bush White House vehemently objected to provisions of the law dealing with rape by instrumentality. When House negotiators pressed to know why, they were met first with silence and then an embarrassed acknowledgement that a key part of the Bush program included invasion of the bodies of prisoners in a way that might be deemed rape by instrumentality under existing federal and state criminal statutes. While these techniques have long been known, the role of health care professionals in implementing them is shocking.

As Larisa Alexandrovna observes, she wants to know the names of these medical ‘professionals’ who violated their oaths and committed torture-

Do you want to take your child to a doctor who has spent the last several years engaged in the torture of other children? Would you take your elderly mother to see a doctor who was involved in torturing people to death, as we now know? I don’t want these people in our community and in a position to abuse the most weak among us: the sick, the elderly, and children.

That is the reality of the Obama regime not pursuing prosecutions, torturers, rapist and paedophiles remain in well paid positions of power, free to abuse again, even as they are praised ‘for their service’. This is the moment when you decide to face the truth or bury it and go further into Hell. I quite like Dave Dubya’s suggestion-

The Republicans can impeach Pelosi, Hoyer, Harmon, Nelson, Reid, and Rockefeller for aiding and abetting torture and illegal wiretaps. I bet they’d like that.

Let’s even allow that to proceed first, in the spirit of bipartisanship. After that gets under way, we’ll have Obama’s Department of Justice live up to its name and indict Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Gonzales, etc. for torture, war crimes, and illegal surveillance.

Posted in American Torture, Human Rights. Tags: . Comments Off on “rape by instrumentality”

Journalist Who Exposed Monterrico Metals Majaz Mine Torture Receiving Death Threats

A bit late with this, but the journalist Julio Vásquez Calle who brought the kidnapping, sexual assault and torture of himself and 28 others to light is now receiving disturbingly credible death threats [for background and details of the involvement of corrupt UK Ambassador Richard Ralph and his subsequent chairmanship of Moterrico Metals, then owner of Majaz Mine (MNA.L) now re-named Rio Blanco click here]. Otto @ Inca Kola News reported it some days ago, now Amnesty International have issued a statement (ht2 Memory in Latin America)-

Journalist Julio César Vásquez Calle is pursuing a complaint to the Piura region prosecutor’s office against police officers and mining company security guards he claims tortured him while he was reporting on a protest in March 2005. On 5 February he received a phone call from a man who told him he would be killed unless he dropped his complaint. Amnesty International believes that he and the 28 members of peasant communities pursuing the same complaint are in grave danger.

The threatening caller said, “Since when is your job to help terrorists? We are going to make sure that you rot in prison if you don’t withdraw your complaint, if you don’t drop your complaint you will go to prison in pieces.” (¿Desde cuando tu trabajo es ayudar a terroristas? Nosotros nos vamos a encargar de que te pudras en la cárcel si no te retractas, si no te retractas vas a llegar a la cárcel en pedazos). Julio Vásquez said he had received several phone calls that week, but no one spoke when he answered.

Julio Vásquez and local human rights organizations had held a press conference on 6 January in the capital, Lima: they made public a series of photographs that had been delivered to them by hand, which had been taken during the torture he and 28 members of peasant communities in Piura had endured in August 2005.

Julio Vásquez works for a local radio station, Cutivalú, in the north-western Piura Region. On 1 August 2005, he had been reporting on a peaceful march by people from the Piura Region peasant communities of Segunda y Cajas and Yanta, in Piura, to the Majaz mining company staff encampment in the Río Blanco region, north of Piura, near the border with Ecuador. They had taken days to walk from their villages to the camp. While the protestors demonstrated outside the camp, Julio Vázques and 28 others say they were were stopped by police and taken into the camp, where they said they were held for three days, and tortured, by the police and security guards working for the mining company. They said they were kept blindfolded and had sacks put over their heads which contained a powder that made them vomit and made it difficult to breathe, and beaten. The two women in the group have said they were sexually assaulted.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Minera Majaz was a subsidiary of the British company Monterrico Metals. Minera Majaz was responsible for running the copper mining project Río Blanco, until February 2007, when Monterrico Metals was bought by the Chinese Consortium Zijin. Zijin now owns 89 per cent of Monterrico shares. Minera Majaz has been mining for copper since 2003 in the land of the peasant communities of Segunda y Cajas and Yanta. According to the communities, they have not obtained the two-thirds majority vote of approval by the community assembly required by law. The communities’ main objections are the pollution of their fields and water supply, the impact on the wildlife and the fact that they were not properly informed and consulted before the mining began.

Since 2006, Amnesty International has documented several cases of activists working to protect the rights of communities affected by mining projects, who have been charged with offences including terrorism, and have received death threats. None of the threats has been properly investigated and no one has been brought to justice.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO ARRIVE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, IN SPANISH OR YOUR OWN LANGUAGE:

– expressing concern for the safety of Julio César Vásquez Calle, who was threatened on 5 February;
– urging the authorities to do everything possible to guarantee his safety, and that of the others pursuing a complaint that they were tortured by police and security guards working for the Majaz mining project;
– calling on them to order a prompt and impartial investigation into the death threat and bring those responsible to justice;
– calling on the authorities to order an independent and impartial investigation into the allegations against the police and security guards, and bring those responsible to justice;
– urging them to guarantee the right of local communities affected by mining projects to information and to participate in an open, transparent and fair consultation process before any mining activities take place.

APPEALS TO:

Minister of the Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Ministro del Interior
Sr. Remigio Hernaní Meloni
Plaza 30 de agosto s/n Urb. Corpac
San Isidro
Lima, PERU
Fax: + 51 1 225 7234
Salutation: Dear Minister/Sr. Ministro

Attorney General
Ministerio Público
Fiscalía de la Nación
Fiscal de la Nación
Dra. Gladys Echaíz Ramos
Av. Abancay Cuadra 5 s/n
Lima 1, PERU
Fax: + 51 1 426 2800
Salutation: Dear Attorney General/Sra. Fiscal de la Nación

COPIES TO:

Human rights organization
Fundación Ecuménica para el Desarrollo y la Paz (FEDEPAZ)
Jr. Trinidad Morán 286
Lince
Lima 14, PERU
Fax: +511 421 4747
+511 421 4730

and to diplomatic representatives of Peru accredited to your country.

I’m Laughin’ Just To Keep From Cryin’

Hahahahahahaha Privatisation and reducing entitlement, hahahahahahaha one party-consensus-bipartisan- bullsheet baby! Hahahahahahahahah Neoliberalism rather than wither under the crisis it caused will cement its fundamentalism with further shocks. Hahahahahahaha and your choice is have it done by New Labour or the Tories. Hahahahaha, democracy! Hahahahahahahahaha y’know choice, as in do you want to get stabbed in the face or guts first. C’mon now tell me Nulabour shills how are you different from the Tories, apart from a few minor points here and there, like srsly dudes- I will implement these proposals with slightly less enthusiasm than the tories- does not actually constitute a fucking difference, just going further to betray your base is not something to get excited about, speaking of which, Trade Unions, take the fucking money and give it to actual, y’know, leftists! There are even a tiny few in Labour, give them the dosh instead of the conservatives that run the ‘party’.

And here’s the kicker, name three groups who caused the crisis- Politicians, economists, bankers.

Now guess who’s privatising welfare- Politicians, economists, bankers. Hahahahahahahaha! And even better, it’s the same guy in both parties!!!!! Suckers!

Shock Doctrine, The Movie!

Whitecross, who traveled to South America with Klein to shoot some of the film, says that those who were part of the military dictatorships there agree wholeheartedly with its premise. “I spoke with one of Pinochet’s ex-ministers and he said everything in the book pertaining to Chile is true and it was good what we did because people need to be told what to do. He said people needed the free market and they weren’t ready for it.”

Winterbottom -“The first reaction to the financial crisis was that the banks were saying: OK we’ve been making huge profits, now here are several hundred billions of dollars of debts, and they’re yours, ” he says. “That is very typical of them trying to use the crisis for their own advantage.”

[more @ Spiegel Online]

Bon Voyage Viva Palestina!

They leave today, the establishment have already moved against them, not surprising, there are numerous borders and checkpoints to negotiate and everyone a chance for governments to sabotage them. More @

Posted in Israel-Palestine. Tags: . Comments Off on Bon Voyage Viva Palestina!

Naked Realpolitik

(Reuters) – The United States will review “the pace of development” of its missile defense shield in Europe if Russia agrees to help stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. The official was speaking as U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns was in Moscow to push ahead with Washington’s vow to hit the “reset button” on U.S.-Russian relations and halt a drift in relations. “If we are able to work together to dissuade Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, we would be able to moderate the pace of development of missile defenses in Europe,” a senior U.S. administration official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Friday! Stevie Wonder- Superstition

Posted in Culture(!), Music. Tags: , . Comments Off on Friday! Stevie Wonder- Superstition

Crown Prosecution Service Refuses To Pursue Jean Charles De Menezes’ Killers

You’ll never guess, the Crown Prosecution Service, the government agency which works closely with the police in constructing prosecutions has found no reason to prosecute any Police involved in the killing of Jean Charles De Menezes. Apparently next week they plan on donning bear costumes and going for a shit in the woods. In response the Justice 4 Jean campaign have expressed their disgust and note how the family were not informed about the media release that came coincidentally just as they prepared detailed representations to the CPS of reasons why a prosecution of certain officers should be considered. Funny that, eh?

Vivian Figuierdo

“Today’s decision is deeply upsetting to my family. The CPS have not met with us or our lawyers about this, we have been totally shut out of the process again. We are all in shock and simply cannot understand how the deliberate killing of an innocent man and an attempt by the Metropolitan police to cover it up does not result in a criminal offence. We condemn the CPS decision and reject the logic of their argument.

The inquest put the truth out there for all the public to see, but the authorities want us to forget the truth to stop us getting justice. But we will never forget.

After almost four years of tireless campaigning by my family and a struggle which has disrupted all of our lives in unimaginable ways, it is clear to us that the state will continue to block any of our attempts to achieve justice through the legal system. We have therefore decided not to continue with our legal challenges. We now turn our efforts to parliament. Justice for Jean will be done one day and we are determined to follow any route to get it”

A spokesperson for the Justice 4 Jean Campaign said

“The decision by the Crown Prosecution Service today marks another low point in appalling way the British legal system has dealt with the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. Last year, the jury at the inquest found that Jean was not lawfully killed; rejected the police’s versions of events and found that the police lied. How can the public have faith in the police service if they know officers can literally get away with murder? The Menezes family, their lawyers and supporters now call on parliamentarians to act on repairing the failing legislative framework around deaths in custody and police accountability and we will be stepping up their campaign in this area.

Almost exactly 10 years from the publication of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry today’s decision makes it clear that there has been no progress in achieving any sense of a decent system of police accountability in the UK and while the shoot to kill policy remains in place, another family could go through the same horrendous ordeal as the Menezes family “

Yasmin Khan of the Justice 4 Jean campaign described the CPS decision as “morally reprehensible and legally wrong”.
She said: “It’s unbelievable that the CPS had taken this decision without talking to the family or their representatives.” The de Menezes family said they would now turn their energy to lobbying parliament on the laws surrounding police accountability.

The family’s lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, said the legal action would not continue because of the significant cost to the taxpayer. She said if they were successful it would lead to a fresh inquest which they believed would have little benefit.
But she said they have made fresh representations to the CPS about the possibility of bringing a prosecution against officers and were seeking a meeting with the Director of Public Prosecutions. The family will also be asking the Independent Police Complaints Commission to reconsider disciplinary action against the officers involved, she said. An application has already been lodged with the European Court of Human Rights about the issue of prosecutions in cases where someone is killed at the hands of the state.

22 Bahman

The inestimable Naj offers her personal insights on the Islamic Revolution in Iran of 30 Years Ago, excerpt-

Those who fought for this revolution were the first to be killed or exiled from Iran. They were killed either in the prisons of the Islamic Republic; or in the war fields. The rest went on self exile. Those who were rich, managed to build happy Western lives. Those who were not, those who hung to their idealism, continued to live in a bubble, in a nostalgia for a great democracy to come, someday, to this land of Iran, which we all love and take pride in, no matter how much we hate its Monarchist or Mullahrcist governments.

Feeding The War Machine

At the strip mall in Hot Springs where Daren Stewart worked, however, most of the recruiters were on antidepressants or antianxiety medication. They worked 12- to 14-hour shifts, six or seven days a week, Stewart said. Commanders cursed, humiliated and screamed at soldiers who fell short of monthly quotas, threatening to ruin their careers or withhold time off with loved ones, he said. Stewart turned to alcohol to cope with stress so severe it destroyed his marriage and made his hair fall out.

Sgt. 1st Class Henry Patrick said fellow recruiters in the Hot Springs station were told to shift conversations with potential recruits away from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That didn’t sit right with him. “I’d tell them they had a 50-50 chance,” said Patrick, 43. “For the few people I did put in, they liked the fact that I was honest with them.”

Staff Sgt. Wade Bozeman, another Hot Springs recruiter, said he also hated the tacit expectation that he should compromise his ethics to meet recruiting goals, whether it meant falsifying records or lying to recruits. Deeply depressed, the 37-year-old gained 50 pounds and started suffering from insomnia, blackouts and panic attacks. His wife, Jill Bozeman, asked his commanders for help, to no avail.

The Courage to Resist National Week of Letter Writing to Show Support for War Resisters is March 16-23, 2009

We are asking allies of the G.I. resistance movement to gather together to write:

  • Letters of support to war resisters in prison, awaiting court martial, or seeking refuge in Canada
  • Letters to the Canadian government asking that war resisters be allowed to stay
  • Letters to our own government demanding amnesty for war resisters

[More @ Courage to Resist]