War Pimp Of The Week- Michael Hayden

Yes come on down you Nazi scientist/Dick Cheney’s uglier little brother looking motherfucker, the Air Force General who heads the CIA Michael Hayden is this weeks War Pimp Supreme™.

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Yes this loyal and bloodthirsty Imperial General is taking no ‘enemy combatants’ with his ‘fear up’ appearance on teevee. First he sets those nationalist militarist hearts a pumping with his sexy uniform (the CIA symbolically now the fourth armed service, yet hey, no accountability, kerching!). Then he pours fourth his cloak & dagger ‘I don’t have to source any claim I make cos it’s like all secret ‘n’ shit, thou shalt not question me, why do you hate the troops/America/freedom so much. Believe my words of fearwar!’. And he hits all the main pimps du jour, take it away Mikey you bald pig eyed war criminal you-

The situation in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan where al-Qaida has established a safe haven presents a “clear and present danger” to the West.

Michael Hayden cited the belief by intelligence agencies that Osama bin Laden is hiding there in arguing that the U.S. has an interest in targeting the border region. If there were another terrorist attack against Americans, Hayden said, it would most certainly originate from that region

Hayden added that that those operatives “wouldn’t attract your attention if they were going through the customs line at Dulles (airport, outside Washington) with you when you’re coming back from overseas — who look Western.”

ZOMG!!!! They are amongst us, Pod People Turrists!!!!AAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Good job this vital intelligence hasn’t been blabbedy blabbed on nationwide TV thus alerting the turrists to change their plans! You don’t think he’s making this shit up to gain authority through fear do you? Pinko scum!

Scaredy ‘turrist’ paranoia and fear incitement while subtly justifying a police state- ✓Check. 

On Iraq, Hayden said it could be “years” before the central government might be able to function on its own without the aid of U.S. combat forces. Hayden said he would defer to the specific assessments of Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, top U.S. diplomat in Baghdad, who return to Washington next month to report to Congress.

Permanent occupation based on criteria from other hand picked Bush appointees, lucky no one in the media ever says ‘Imperialism’ ain’t it?- ✓Check! 

CIA chief Michael Hayden expressed his personal belief Sunday that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, but also stood by the agency’s assessment that the program was suspended in 2003. “Personal belief, yes. It’s hard for me to explain. This is not court of law stuff,” the Central Intelligence Agency director said on NBC television.

Faith based approach to intelligence (or fraud as some filthy pinkos call it) to promote the next attack, its Q-2-N time! –✓Check!

Well in the fading months of the Bush regime he’s certainly set a high bar of achievement in pimping bloody imperialist aggression. I’ll warrant(less wiretapping!) he’ll be a tough one to beat although thankfully given the depth of hate, stupidity, arrogance and avarice among the imperial ruling class there’s never any shortage of contenders!

War is Peace! Goodnight!

British Government Goes Ahead With Deportations To Iraq

In an email from National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns

today’s charter flight did go ahead. 140 people were scheduled to be on the flight, but 11 were taken off at the last moment because they became too ill to fly.

As far as we know the 11 were taken back to detention. In at least one case the solicitor has applied for bail because the individual cannot now be removed before his removal directions expire on Sunday.

Context-

More than 1,400 rejected Iraqi asylum seekers are to be told they must go home or face destitution in Britain as the government considers Iraq safe enough to return them, according to leaked Home Office correspondence seen by the Guardian.

The Iraqis involved are to be told that unless they sign up for a voluntary return programme to Iraq within three weeks, they face being made homeless and losing state support. They will also be asked to sign a waiver agreeing the government will take no responsibility for what happens to them or their families once they return to Iraqi territory.

The decision by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, to declare that it is safe to send asylum seekers back to Iraq comes after more than 78 people have been killed in incidents across Iraq since last Sunday.

Well it’s more than 78 now, I don’t care what piece of paper they were harangued into signing, the government has responsibility for any harm that befalls them. Although all the cogs in the mechanism that did this, shame on you too. Shame on you.

The Border and Immigration Agency In Denial

Today-

The most comprehensive examination of the UK’s asylum system ever conducted has found it “marred by inhumanity” and “not yet fit for purpose”.

The report, published by the Independent Asylum Commission, is a damning indictment of the Home Office’s failure to deal fairly with those applying for sanctuary in this country.

The commission found that Britain’s treatment of asylum-seekers “falls seriously below the standards to be expected of a humane and civilised society“. Its interim report will be delivered to the Home Office today by a delegation of asylum-seekers.

The report details how the “adversarial” system is failing applicants from the very first point of interview, with officials accused of stacking the odds against genuine claimants. “A ‘culture of disbelief’ persists among decision-makers,” it said. “Along with lack of access to legal advice for applicants this is leading to perverse and unjust decisions.

The findings are the result of the most thorough look at the system in history, with testimonies from every sphere of society, including three former home secretaries, more than 100 NGOs, 90 asylum-seekers, the police, local authorities, and hundreds of citizens.

All-day hearings were held in seven major cities, where hundreds of people gave evidence, from those who brand the system too lenient to those who think it is a blot on the country’s human rights record.

As well as this current information, an independent academic body was tasked to gather all documents already published on the issue in the past five years, from both sides of the political spectrum.

But the Border and Immigration Agency has rejected the report, claiming it operates a “firm but humane” system.

Cognitive dissonance much BIA? To say the least the BIA’s response is totally unacceptable (I’m being awfully fucking polite here). It’s nice of the Independent Asylum Commission to catch up though, below are two previous posts that detail that the Border and Immigration Agency is a big stinking pile of arrogant, cruel, racist shit (in that way one might reflect it is the perfect institutional embodiment of the ignorant spiteful racism of the gutter press and their imbecilic fucking readers)-

Buried Alive, The Migrant Gulag

Chief Exec Lin Homer (more of whom in those links) says-

“I totally refute any suggestion that we treat asylum applicants without care and compassion. We have a proud tradition in Britain of offering sanctuary to those who truly need our protection. We operate a firm but humane system, supporting those who are vulnerable with accommodation and assistance. But we expect those that a court says have no genuine need for asylum to return home voluntarily, saving taxpayers the expense of enforcing their return. We will enforce the removal of those who refuse to comply, always ensuring first that it is safe to do so.”

Well here are your choices Lin, you are either-
a/. a big fat liar…or
b/. mentally ill.
I’m sorry but those are your only choices here in reality. Either way you should not be holding your current position (something Birmingham people can appreciate after her NuLabour vote rigging exploits there, ahem. Oh look, we just found the reason she keeps failing upwards). This would be the agency that recently deported a cancer patient who then died, I would call that corporate manslaughter and is now trying to deport people to…Iraq (you honestly can’t make this shit up). So Lin, you should be fired and prosecuted. But in the post Blair -hey what’s so wrong with being a war criminal- Britain we have no such standards of ethical behaviour, that is another consequence of this war, an epidemic corruption at the heart of the state with no end in sight.

Fight the scum in the BIA- National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns

Misspelling ‘Israel’ Now Deemed Anti-Semitic

Anti-Semitism, including government-promoted hatred toward Jews and prejudice couched as criticism of Israel, has risen globally over the last decade, the State Department said on Thursday.

The report, titled “Contemporary Global Anti-Semitism,” did not give comprehensive statistics, and said that in any case such statistics were skewed against Western democratic countries more likely to report the incidents. But it said other governments and institutions had documented similar trends.

While traditional anti-Jewish prejudice, a centuries-old phenomenon, persists, new forms have evolved, the report said.

“The distinguishing feature of the new anti-Semitism is criticism of Zionism or Israeli policy that — whether intentionally or unintentionally — has the effect of promoting prejudice against all Jews by demonizing Israel and Israelis and attributing Israel’s perceived faults to its Jewish character,” it said.

So this meme is pushed again, to crush dissent and enable policy to proceed unchallenged, politicians are trying to make criticism of Israel and Zionism synonymous with a long history of rancid genocidal bigotry. Whereas just such a cynical political manoeuvre is the thing most likely to cause and mask real anti-Semitism. I mean I have no doubt anti-Semites criticise Israel and/or Zionism but the attempt to push this logical fallacy that therefore all criticism is anti-Semitic is, well insulting and dishonest, and they know that but hey, why not give it a whirl, it’ll help distract from…the current President’s family history of working for the Nazis… for example. Or that well known white supremacist Archbishop Desmond Tutu finding Israel reminds him of apartheid era South Africa.

New Inmate At Gitmo

Every so often vague platitudes from the Bush administration and its familiars in other governments waft across the media that Gitmo is going to be closed down, that it is- a necessary but hopefully soon to be ended- chapter in the war on of terror. But they have just transferred a new inmate into the gulag, not the action of an administration acknowledging it’s errors and listening the chorus of global disaproval.

Bryan Whitman, Pentagon spokesman, said on Friday that Muhammed Rahim was turned over to the US military by the CIA and then transferred to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The Pentagon spokesman would not say when or where Rahim was captured or how long he had been held by the CIA, but said he was  transferred to Cuba earlier this week. 

And towards the end we find Michael Mukasey has been speechifying at the LSE, so that’s fine with the LSE is it?  A man who refuses to admit waterboarding is torture and is actively blocking investigations of the Bush administration who placed him in the office of attorney general for just such a purpose. To protect them and to continue to torture people? Although should I really expect anything more than collaborating with war criminals from a cathedral of the Church of the Free Market. I trust he was nice and expensive, he’ll be right at home with all the other high price LSE whores.

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Tesco Pulls An Enron

Your friendly (every) neighbourhood Tesco supermarket hates you, when you need the police, or a hospital, or safe roads, or schools they most assuredly wish to deny them by not paying their way. Good job they come across so friendly in their teevee adverts, because really they just want your money and then for you to fuck off and die (and their custard slices taste like shit).

Tesco has created an elaborate corporate structure involving offshore tax havens which enables it to avoid paying what could be up to £1bn of tax on profits from the sale of its UK properties.

The complex new structures uncovered by a six-month Guardian investigation include a string of Cayman Island companies, each named after a different colour, from aqua to violet. These are being used by the supermarket giant as it proceeds with its announced programme to sell and lease back £6bn worth of its UK stores.

The Guardian’s analysis of Tesco’s accounts over the past five years also shows that the company has paid an effective tax rate of just over 20% on the rest of its profits, at a time when the UK corporation tax rate is 30%.

· New company structures set up by Tesco to own stores that are being sold and leased back mean that 99.9% of the company that owns the stores could end up being held offshore. Tesco would be liable to pay UK tax on only the 0.1% of its profit on the sale of the stores held in the UK. Tesco’s first two property deals, worth about £1bn, have used this structure and will avoid tax on £500m of profits.

· Although its accounts for the past five years report an average rate of corporation tax of 29%, the actual rate of tax Tesco paid, according to its cash flow statement, is closer to 20%. This is on profits separate from the property deals. UK corporation tax is 30%.

· Tesco has sold its 37 stores in the first two sale and leaseback deals at twice the book value that is included in its accounts, making a profit of about £500m on the £1bn of stores sold. If it achieves the same rate of return on all its disposals as expected, its share of profits from property sales would come to about £3bn. The UK corporation tax due on this would be as high as £1bn, but the retailer could avoid paying this because of its offshore structure.

· A string of other company structures leading to the Cayman Islands have been set up and more of Tesco’s properties have already been transferred to them so that they could be quickly activated for the next tranche of store sales.

So weirdly if you went shoplifting in one of their stores and absolutely crammed your coat with stuff you’d still be nothing like the thief that the shop around you is. Not that I’m suggesting you go shoplifting in Tescos, after all why mix with such lowlife corporate crooks?

See also Korova’s posts at Mask of Anarchy on Tesco.

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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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.

Radio Waving Afghanistan’s Imperial Function

I can’t find this online anywhere (must be connected to this) [found the audio, audiohijacked the report and now included below] but as I was cooking a delicious meal for my recovering mother I heard Radio Four Six O’Clock News (iplayer link) on in the background that George Robertson (former nulab and Nato sec gen) was giving a speech and rallying support for more warring down Afghanistan way and he said (transcribed from audio clip)-

Britain & Nato he said were in Afghanistan first & foremost to protect our own security.

Yep, not freedom, democracy, nation building but simple selfish ‘our security’, because he made the play that if we leave the Taliban in their caves (hey wait aren’t we doing deals with them now?) they will ‘reach out’ again like in ‘911’ and attack us. So he was regurgitating standard Bushco talking points and admitting- yeah fuck them Afghani bastards we are there to make us secure and all that crap about bringing them ‘freedom’ is a cover for our bombing runs. Obviously politician’s speeches are written to their audience, to selfish war-loving security fetishist he angles it this way, to voters he tries to make them feel good by invoking freedom & democracy™ but which do you think is the more truthful?

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Stop Lying To Me

“Torture is against our laws and our values. And, given our mission, CIA could have no interest in a process destined to produce bad intelligence.”

He said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shared his “deep regret” about the mistaken assurances.

He said he was “very sorry” to have to say that previous denials made in “good faith” were now having to be corrected.

Just fuck off. Continual lying is continual disrespect and I’m sick of it. It’s sad we still live in such a way that the truth of our history (in terms of widely accepted public consensus) will not be known until all the key players are beyond sanction and by then the false version of events often remains in place from force of habit. Life in the simulacrum is fucking killing me!

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Bastard Dead

Thanks to Chicken Backup I learned Suharto is dead, I hope there’s room for a big dancefloor over his grave. John Pilger-

 In 1965, in Indonesia, the American embassy furnished General Suharto with roughly 5,000 names. These were people for assassination, and a senior American diplomat checked off the names as they were killed or captured. Most were members of the PKI, the Indonesian Communist Party. Having already armed and equipped Suharto’s army, Washington secretly flew in state-of-the-art communication equipment whose high frequencies were known to the CIA and the National Security Council advising the president, Lyndon B Johnson. Not only did this allow Suharto’s generals to co-ordinate the massacres, it meant that the highest echelons of the US administration were listening in.

The Americans worked closely with the British. The British ambassador in Jakarta, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, cabled the Foreign Office: “I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change.” The “little shooting” saw off between half a million and a million people.However, it was in the field of propaganda, of “managing” the media and eradicating the victims from people’s memory in the west, that the British shone. British intelligence officers outlined how the British press and the BBC could be manipulated. “Treatment will need to be subtle,” they wrote, “eg, a) all activities should be strictly unattributable, b) British [government] participation or co-operation should be carefully concealed.”

Judging from the BBC obit, the whitewash is still going strong. Via Chicken Mark Curtis-

In early October 1965, a group of army officers in Indonesia led by Suharto took advantage of political instability to launch a terror campaign against the powerful Indonesian Communist party (PKI). Much of the killing was carried out by Islamist-led mobs promoted by the military to counter communist and democratic forces. Within a few months, nearly a million people lay dead, while Suharto removed President Ahmed Sukarno and emerged as ruler of a brutal regime that lasted until 1998.

 The declassified files show that Britain wanted the Indonesian army to act and encouraged it to do so.

British policy was “to encourage the emergence of a general’s regime”, one intelligence official explained. Another noted that “it seems pretty clear that the generals are going to need all the help they can get and accept without being tagged as hopelessly pro-western, if they are going to be able to gain ascendancy over the communists”. Therefore, “we can hardly go wrong by tacitly backing the generals”.

What does the beeb say-

In 1965, a botched coup attempt eventually propelled him to power.

Exact details are sketchy, but on the morning of 1 October, six senior right-wing generals were captured and murdered. Suharto himself was not at home at the time, and was not caught up in the sweep.

As one of the few surviving top generals, Suharto played a key role in the political turmoil that followed.

Communist sympathisers were blamed for the killings. In a wave of retribution that swept across Indonesia, hundreds of thousands of apparent communists and leftists – as well as members of the envied Chinese community – were massacred.

Back to Pilger-

  the Foreign Office opened a branch of its Information Research Department (IRD) in Singapore.

The IRD was a top-secret, cold war propaganda unit headed by Norman Reddaway, one of Her Majesty’s most experienced liars. Reddaway and his colleagues manipulated the “embedded” press and the BBC so expertly that he boasted to Gilchrist in a secret message that the fake story he had promoted – that a communist takeover was imminent in Indonesia – “went all over the world and back again”. He described how an experienced Sunday newspaper journalist agreed “to give exactly your angle on events in his article . . . ie, that this was a kid-glove coup without butchery”.

These lies, bragged Reddaway, could be “put almost instantly back to Indonesia via the BBC”.

With British-supplied Hawk jets and machine-guns, Suharto’s army went on to crush the life out of a quarter of the population of East Timor: 200,000 people. Using the same Hawk jets and machine-guns, the same genocidal army is now attempting to crush the life out of the resistance movement in West Papua and protect the Freeport company, which is mining a mountain of copper in the province. (Henry Kissinger is “director emeritus”.) Some 100,000 Papuans, 18 per cent of the population, have been killed; yet this British-backed “project”, as new Labour likes to say, is almost never reported. 

Yeah, sketchy huh?

Torture Event Horizon

I’m trying to get back into the swing of being an info freako and getting back up to speed on all that stuff happening on this earth planet-y thing. Certainly the Siege of Gaza is looming large in my thoughts and I think that will dominate the rest of the week for me, but… Just quickly something very, very fucking sick is happening. Reality TV began it, where sadistic voyeurism was encouraged and rewarded in viewers, now the once good BBC science program ‘Horizon’ is indulging the death penalty and torture. I saw a piece in the Radio Times with former Tory proto-fascist Michael Portoillo talking about his edition which sought to see if there was humane way to execute people, bearing in mind this is a person in favour of the death penalty. Korova rightly called this out-

Besides, as I said above, the terms ‘humane’ and ‘execution’ do not even belong in the same breath. Quite frankly, I find it deeply offensive to find a programme on the BBC that suggests that execution is acceptable and we just need to seek out a ‘humane’ way of doing it.
The BBC – supporting the executioner.

Now Horizon is doing a show on sensory deprivation (with a celebrity comedian!), a well researched torture technique, they innocently claim it to be about- what does it do to a person? There is no shortage of literature on the subject (will they quote from the CIA’s torture manuals I wonder?) and even if they suppose this program demonstrates what an effective ‘interrogation’ technique it is for making people say what you want them to say and acts as a warning, to ask the question is to presuppose there is real debate about this method of torture. There is none, only war criminals are pretending it’s an open question (and the American Psychological Association, which I guess makes them liable too), this is realtime education in exactly how societies perpetrate great evils, hope the producers are proud. It is also no coincidence that the series is increasingly funded in conjunction with an American broadcaster, this has been going a while and it has lead to lighter weight less demanding programs paced to take advantage of commercial breaks. In short Horizon has been going downhill for a while and now it is playing the Alan Dershowitz game of saying how awful something is, but if you wanted to do it, here’s how. A nadir if you will of ratings grabbing stunts replacing serious scientific documentary making and now more sinisterly it is part of the false debate on torture, marked by its newspeak use of the term ‘interrogation’. In fact what it most reminds me of is intelligent design advocates claiming there is huge debate (or as they say ‘controversial’ to connote any issue where the facts are known but they conflict with powerful groups intentions), which is ironic for a science program, oh except, is that going to be their next show?

Play the fucking music-

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Keystone Tonkin Mash-Up & Other Damn Lies

Thanks to a comment from Naj, indeed this is hilarious, now the NYT reports the Pentagon itself is sniffing a wrong un, looks like the pro- Iran attack neo-con cabal are a: hugely incompetent (I mean come on, you could do a better job in iMovie, which might explain it, maybe they are stuck on pc’s those poor war pimping bastards) and b: the establishment are really not keen on the whole thing.

The list of those who are less than fully confident in the Pentagon’s video/audio mashup of aggressive maneuvers by Iranian boats near American warships in the Strait of Hormuz now includes the Pentagon itself. Unnamed Pentagon officials said on Wednesday that the threatening voice heard in the audio clip, which was released on Monday night with a disclaimer that it was recorded separately from the video images and merged with them later, is not directly traceable to the Iranian military.

All ships at sea use a common UHF frequency, Channel 16, also known as “bridge-to bridge” radio. Over here, near the U.S., and throughout the Mediterranean, Ch. 16 is used pretty professionally, i.e., chatter is limited to shiphandling issues, identifying yourself, telling other ships what your intentions are to avoid mishaps, etc.

But over in the Gulf, Ch. 16 is like a bad CB radio. Everybody and their brother is on it; chattering away; hurling racial slurs, usually involving Filipinos (lots of Filipinos work in the area); curses involving your mother; 1970’s music broadcast in the wee hours (nothing odder than hearing The Carpenters 50 miles off the coast of Iran at 4 a.m.)

On Ch. 16, esp. in that section of the Gulf, slurs/threats/chatter/etc. is commonplace. So my first thought was that the “explode” comment might not have even come from one of the Iranian craft, but some loser monitoring the events at a shore facility.

The commenter, who signed his posting “SWO officer,” went on to say, “I hope everybody exercises great caution here and doesn’t jump to conclusions.”

So added to the questions of geography the dodgy story coincides with Bush’s trip to the mid-east where Israel further briefs him on plans to attack Iran and he has meetings to broaden support for sanctions and other ‘actions’ against the only blot in the empire’s sphere of influence over the region. The visit is also a mini imperial invasion-

Hundreds of hotel rooms across Jerusalem have been booked for Bush’s group, as well as for the media and even Israeli officials, who fear they might not be able to make it home in the evenings.

Bush, who arrives on Wednesday for his first visit as president, will stay at the King David hotel. Eight truckloads of equipment have already arrived in advance of his two-night stay. All the hotel’s rooms will be taken by his entourage – tourists have had their bookings cancelled.

The security precautions, dubbed Operation Clear Skies by the Israeli security services, are immense. Roads around the hotel will be blocked, despite the huge traffic jams that will entail. A force of 10,500 police and security staff will be deployed and Bush will be flown in to the hotel by helicopter from the airport near Tel Aviv. “There will be so much security nobody will be able to get anywhere near the president,” said Micky Rosenfield, Israel’s police spokesman.

That would be the man often called by American chauvinists ‘the leader of the free world’, he is just so popular. And a real wit. The Gaza Siege continues-

Gaza Strip (AP) — With winter deepening, Gazans will be forced to live without lights and electric heaters for eight hours a day because Israel has cut fuel supplies to the territory’s only electric plant in half, Gaza’s top energy official warned Sunday.

Gaza Strip (AP) — The Israeli army stepped up a broad offensive in the Gaza Strip starting Thursday and killed at least 11 Palestinians in a 24-hour period after militants fired a rocket that struck deep into Israel.

And the air war in Iraq breaks cover-

US warplanes have dropped more than 18,000kg of bombs on more than 40 targets in the southern outskirts of the capital, Baghdad. The US military said in a statement on Thursday that the intensive bombing by B-1 bombers and F-16 fighter jets on the village of Arab Jabour was aimed at al-Qaeda targets. However, a local Sunni tribal leader told Al Jazeera that many civilians were feared dead and 300 families had fled after the offensive began earlier in the week.

And even with a WHO death estimate much lower (but larger than Iraq Body Count, ahem) than the John Hopkins University/Lancet figures, the empire says ‘not us guv, it woz the Eye-Racks wot dun it’-

The White House said it had not seen the study but blamed “extremist” elements for the deaths. Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said: “The unmistakable fact is that the vast majority of these deaths are caused by the wilful, murderous intentions of extremists committed to taking innocent life. It is also beyond dispute that more Iraqi citizens would be condemned to death and oppression if they were abandoned by America and our coalition partners.”

‘Beyond dispute’ erm, wow with only two words he went from annoying bullshitting coward and war criminal to cruising for a bruising. Hey Tony! Wanna dispute how painful being repeatedly kicked in the balls is? Cos I heard you kind of assume total falsehoods as facts so maybe it doesn’t hurt at all in your universe of lies, you can call it a great step forward for faith base science if you like, I’ll call it a chance to borrow some steel plated rigger boots. Deal?

PS. The BBC take Bush’s criticism of the Lancet study as a definitive condemning word on it and do not mention it was accepted by the UK government internally even as they publicly trashed it and the methodology is accepted and used in many other conflict zones where…not coincidentally the figures suit elite interests.

eg.

Curiously, Aaronovitch wrote in 2006 of how “up to three million might have died in the Congo over the past decade”. (Aaronovitch, ‘A debate of the deaf poisoning young minds,’ The Times, November 21, 2006)

The figure of 3 million dead was provided by the leading epidemiologist, Les Roberts, who also conducted the 2004 and 2006 Lancet studies on Iraq using the same methods, producing the figures that Aaronovitch described as “absurd”.

Update: Lenin has all the relevant links here. 

Home Office- Sudan Refugee Camps Are ‘Safe’

Britain’s highest court on Wednesday overturned a ruling that the government was acting unlawfully by sending Darfuri asylum seekers back to squatter camps in Sudan. Three Law Lords rejected the Court of Appeal’s judgment in April that sending refugees back to camps was “unduly harsh”, saying such action was not unreasonable and there was insufficient evidence they could face torture.

Except…

The charity [The Aegis Trust] helped two Darfuris escape from Sudan after they were removed from Britain, he said. They gave accounts of being detained and tortured by Sudan’s security services but their testimony came too late to be included in the Court of Appeal case and was therefore inadmissable in the Law Lords hearing, he added.

Oh erm, so the basis of that ruling is erm…utterly wrong-

The president of the umbrella group for Darfuris in Britain, the Darfur Union, said survivors of the conflict who were now in Britain would be “very frightened” by the Law Lords’ ruling. “They’ve seen their families killed and their villages destroyed by the current regime. They know that removal to Khartoum means torture or death — not just a hard life,” said Abdul Jabar Adam.

Then some minion of the Home Office put on their shit eating grin and released this prayer of cognitive dissonance-

Britain’s Home Office (interior ministry) said in a statement: “We will continue to uphold Britain’s proud tradition of providing humanitarian protection. We agree with today’s decision by the House of Lords that people facing persecution in Darfur can safely and reasonably relocate to Khartoum. We will do everything we can do to help those who do not need our protection to go home voluntarily,” it said.

First ‘we agree’ as if they were not fighting tooth and nail for this and their advocacy is somehow independent of the ruling. Second, yeah this is very much is in our ‘proud tradition’ of noble words hiding criminal deeds. Third, the only person saying they do not need ‘our’ protection is you motherfucker, they are begging to stay. So fourth, whoever drafted that statement do not under any circumstance ever find yourself within the vicinity of me and a dark alley in case I enact my proud tradition of protecting my mind from persecution by newpseak spouting careerist wankers who throw themselves voluntarily onto my fists.

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Airline Safety Study Hushed Up Because Things Ain’t So Safe

I don’t want to worry you and I know that air travel is quite an ordeal for many, but erm, this is sort of worth knowing, y’know, in that -commerce trumps truth and life every-fucking-time- kind of way:

NASA is withholding 24,000 responses to safety questionnaires supplied by airline pilots and others to avoid shaking public confidence in the air transport system, over the objections of the survey’s designers.

The questionnaires ask about bird strikes, near misses in the air or on runways, last-second changes in landing instructions from air traffic controllers and other problems. Two people involved in the data gathering said that the answers showed far higher rates of problems than data collected by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The questionnaires were called for in 1997 by a White House commission on aviation safety, known as the Gore Commission. The interviews, conducted by phone, were completed in early 2005.

So it took ten years to reach this reporting stage and then it gets spiked, oh dearie me-

Two people involved in the survey, called the National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service, said that they had been ordered by NASA not to talk about what it found but they said that it indicated that the aviation administration had underestimated the rate of safety events.

BTW ‘safety events’ means accidents & potentials, see how fuct we are here? The article is full of counter spin and rubbishing of the survey, ok fine, publish and peer review it. I mean you wouldn’t want to have people think you’ve got something to hide, would you?