Friday! David Bowie- Dead Man Walking

Also a splendid acoustic version here.

I’m still ill, in fact I have new drugs and apparently as the doc put it ‘a touch of pleurisy’ to go with the exhaustion and utter despondency, woohoo! So enjoy your Friday, someone should.

Posted in Music. Tags: , . 8 Comments »

Po Po UK

Hurray, the police state marches on as the Grauniad reports what sites like Fitwatch have been saying for ages-

Police are targeting thousands of political campaigners in surveillance operations and storing their details on a database for at least seven years, an investigation by the Guardian can reveal.

Photographs, names and video footage of people attending protests are routinely obtained by surveillance units and stored on an “intelligence system”. The ­Metropolitan police, which has pioneered surveillance at demonstrations and advises other forces on the tactic, stores details of protesters on Crimint, the general database used daily by all police staff to catalogue criminal intelligence. It lists campaigners by name, allowing police to search which demonstrations or political meetings individuals have attended.

• Activists “seen on a regular basis” as well as those deemed on the “periphery” of demonstrations are included on the police databases, regardless of whether they have been convicted or arrested.

• Names, political associations and photographs of protesters from across the political spectrum – from campaigners against the third runway at Heathrow to anti-war activists – are catalogued.

• Police forces are exchanging information about pro testers stored on their intelligence systems, enabling officers from different forces to search which political events an individual has attended.

The National Union of Journalists has been assured that members of the press were not being targeted after it took concerns to the Home Office and senior police officers. The union documented at least eight protests since last March where its members were “routinely” photographed and filmed by police. Several journalists said police officers they had never met knew their names. “We have put this to police and the Home Office several times but they have always denied the practice or sought to avoid answering the question,” said Jeremy Dear, the union’s general secretary. “With this evidence there is no credibility in doing so any longer.”

Police have not disclosed the number of activists on the database. But court testimony by surveillance officers has confirmed the existence of a large intelligence system which, according to one officer, contains “thousands” of campaigners.

Overt surveillance by police forward intelligence teams (Fits) or evidence gatherers (EGs) is designed to record potential criminal activity and gather useful intelligence. Pioneered by the Met’s public order branch in the late 1990s, the technique is used regularly across the country. Surveillance officers use “spotter cards” to identify activists. Police have always denied surveillance is conducted for the purposes of storing information on a database.

Evil Empire

So opening the (already open) stable door after the horse has bolted while presenting a media friendly -Stable door closing –charade. Or in other words-

CIA Director Leon Panetta says agency employees who took part in harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects are not in danger of being punished.

Panetta delivered that message to CIA employees in an e-mail Thursday, reiterating what he told Congress last month. He said then that he would oppose prosecutions of any CIA employee who adhered to their legal guidance on interrogations.

He sent the message after the Senate Intelligence Committee announced its review of the CIA’s interrogation and detention program under President George W. Bush.

The committee will look at how the CIA decided whom to interrogate, whether it told Congress the truth about the program and whether it was legal. It will also try to determine whether the harsher methods the CIA used elicited valuable intelligence. (ht2 Chris Floyd)

And what goes with state torture and unaccountable and uncontrollable forces? Disappearances!

“We can make a person disappear,” a high-level ICE official told the audience at the 2008 Police Foundation conference. Jaws dropped. ICE is the Homeland Security agency in charge of deporting immigrants from the nation’s interior. The spokesman was alluding to ICE’s extraordinary powers under civil immigration law. Although “civil” sounds less serious than “criminal,” civil immigration law has fewer constitutional protections than criminal law. Civil immigtion arrests can happen without probable cause of a crime; the arrestee facraes trial without a public defender; and there’s no statute of limitations. (ht2 Otto)

But the empire is large and has client states, states where black lists of left wing activists are traded in order to victimise them-

‘Do not touch’ – the covert database that kept union activists out of work
• Ian Kerr built blacklist from Droitwich base
• Business ordered to close after files seized in raid

It appears that Kerr has spent many years compiling databases on workers. He did not wish to comment on a report in the Guardian 15 years ago which said he had been working for the Economic League, a controversial vetting agency which accumulated files on thousands of people it considered subversive between 1919 and 1993.

Will the numerous companies listed (see below) who used his expensive blacklist services be prosecuted?

Read the rest of this entry »