Spanish Attorney General Protects The Empire’s Torturers

Law as a tool of the powerful against the less powerful was never so obvious as of late (and the tools in the police). Spain’s AG covers for the Empire’s torture lawyers, now the US must (under law!ha!) charge or let them be tried elsewhere. Obama wants to look forward. However this does not stop Garzon, but let’s him know he has zero support in the establishment and the Obama admin is against following the law. And closing down black sites also probably means destroying evidence (and who knows, bodies. D’ya think a CIA front company owns a crematorium? Renditon Airways only carries live ‘cargo’?)

Again Latin America shows the world a way forward with the sentencing Fujimori, meanwhile Britain and the US won’t even investigate mid level operatives of the torture programs, never mind former leaders. I guess we’re all civilised ‘n’ shit. And if you say we’re not, we’ll mutilale your genital’s until you do, see how our truth works?

(Reuters) – Spain’s attorney general said on Thursday he would not recommend a criminal investigation into six former Bush administration officials over torture at Guantanamo Bay, reducing the chances the probe will go ahead.

High Court Judge Baltasar Garzon, who came to world prominence when he issued an arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, had requested the attorney general’s advice on whether to probe former officials including former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales over the U.S. base in Cuba.

“We cannot support that action,” Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido told reporters.

“If you investigate the crime of abuse of prisoners, the people probed have to be those who were materially responsible.”

A group of Spanish human rights lawyers had lodged a request in Garzon’s court for an investigation to determine whether the former U.S. officials had provided legal arguments allowing torture to proceed at the prison camp.

Asked about the case, U.S. President Barack Obama told CNN en Espanol: “I’m a strong believer that it’s important to look forward and not backwards, and to remind ourselves that we do have very real security threats out there.”

Obama stressed that since taking office in January he had ordered the closing of the Guantanamo camp and halted interrogation methods used on terrorism suspects under his predecessor George W. Bush.

Obama said he had not had direct contact with the Spanish government about the case but “my team has been in communications with them.”

While the recommendation of Conde-Pumpido, one of Spain’s most senior legal voices, reduces the chances Garzon will push ahead with the investigation, he could still do so anyway.

The attorney general’s office had advised him not to try to extradite Pinochet, but that did not stop him going ahead and almost succeeding.

Under Spanish law, jurisdiction can be claimed in the case because five Spanish citizens or residents who were prisoners at Guantanamo Bay say they were tortured there.

“The attorney general (Conde-Pumpido) is taking a political stance on a subject which is absolutely a legal matter,” human rights lawyer Gonzalo Boye told Reuters.

A member of the Association for the Dignity of Prisoners which lodged the investigation request, Boye said he hoped Garzon would proceed and the case might even lead U.S. courts to take action themselves.

“According to the (United Nations) Convention Against Torture, the United States will have to take a position on this. Either hand these people over or put them on trial themselves,” said Boye.

BBC Threaten Police PR Flacks Jobs

When many important questions remain unresolved about Hillsborough, the BBC offer-

Ninety-six people died in the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989, and Liverpool fan David Gillooley believes he would have been among them if not for one woman – police officer Fiona Nichol.

Now tell me that wasn’t set up by the police public relations office with a pliable BBC hack looking for an angle that isn’t too controversial. The police will wonder what they pay their flacks for. Meanwhile HarpyMarx

And now Maria Eagle, junior justice minister, has said that South Yorkshire police should ‘come clean’ about what she described as a “conspiracy to cover up” the force’s culpability for the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters died at an FA Cup semi-final, 20 years ago this week.

Margaret Aspinall, of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said this was still “a big issue” for the families. “It is quite obvious the police wanted to cover up and accuse everybody else. If they gave us the whole truth now, and are accountable for what they did, it might alleviate some of the pain and hurt we have gone through for 20 years.”
<…>
I think the quote from Phil Scraton below in the introduction to his excellent book, Hillsborough, can equally be applied to any death(s) at the hands of the state:

It is a story of those in authority seek to cover their tracks to avoid blame and responsibility. It is a story of how the ‘law’ fails to provide appropriate means of discovery and redress for those who suffer through institutionalised neglect and personal negligence. It is a story of how ordinary people can be subjected to the insensitivity and hostility of agencies which place their professional priorities ahead of the personal needs and collective rights of the bereaved and survivors. (Hillsborough – Phil Scraton, 1999)

Posted in BBC, Lockdown. Tags: , , . Comments Off on BBC Threaten Police PR Flacks Jobs

Torture Boys

Mohamed said he was determined that the officer, known only as Officer B, should not be scapegoated. “It’s very important that we get to the truth, for everyone in the future,” he said

So the government in the guise of Baroness Scotland (oh, Labour!) has referred the case of Binyam Mohamed to be investigated by the Met. What exactly is there to investigate? Because we know MI5 was involved, so the govt must know and we know Jack Straw has covered up UK use of information obtained by torture (now tacitly admitted to). So here we are again, a government that has engaged in criminal actions gets another institution to ‘investigate’ the externalities of its criminal policies. Hoping to give the appearance of some naughtiness that no one knew about and a government deeply concerned at getting to the truth.

To the extent this investigation reveals anything prosecutable about senior figures it will be down to the professional pride of detectives willing to buck the institution that employs them, or in other words- don’t hold your breath. Not to mention the Met is acting on behalf of a tortured kidnapped Muslim man, things they are not averse to doing themselves and covering it up for years.

Police officers involved in a “serious, gratuitous and prolonged” attack on a British Muslim man that led the Metropolitan police to pay £60,000 in damages this week have been accused of dozens of previous assaults against black or Asian men.

But the Guardian can reveal that the Met was aware for years that the six officers involved were the subject of repeated complaints. According to documents submitted to the court, four of the officers who carried out the raid on Ahmad’s home had 60 allegations of assault against them – of which at least 37 were made by black or Asian men. One of the officers had 26 separate allegations of assault against him – 17 against black or Asian men.

The Met has confirmed that since 1992 all six officers involved in the Ahmad assault had been subject to at least 77 complaints. When lawyers for Ahmad asked for details of these allegations it emerged that the police had “lost” several large mail sacks detailing at least 30 of the complaints.

A full public judicial inquiry was wanted, this is what the government has done instead so we can also assume this is their tactic for having the appearance of an investigation but one they expect to be able to control by fair means or foul.

Much of the evidence is still being suppressed following gagging orders demanded by David Miliband, the foreign secretary, and the US authorities. Leading politicians and campaigners yesterday said that the issue went far beyond the particular case of Officer B, and that a broader inquiry was needed.

Clearly they hope the Met will not put any of the guilty in jeopardy, other than maybe a sacrificial goat or two. A public enquiry with full subpoena power is the least that is needed to really investigate this. We really need outside investigators from a country not in thrall to us or the US and reporting to the International Criminal Court. Yeah I know.

However- Dear Plod tasked with this, please prove me wrong, go on you’ll enjoy showing a whiny lefty with a blog just how wrong they are. Just one tip though, Tony Blair often has armed bodyguards so when you pull him- full armed response unit. And hey, why not get those officers that offed Jean Charles deMenezes, that Blair is dangerous, he’s heavily implicated in the deaths of over a million people, no point in taking any chances (the rest of the cabinet and Campbell should be easier, they’ll just whine and do the- Don’t you know who I am?- routine).

Meanwhile the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón who went after Pinochet has the six US torture lawyers/weasely cowards in his sights, not quite the top men but pretty close to the top-

  • University of California law professor John Yoo
  • former Department of Defense general counsel William J. Haynes II (now a lawyer working for Chevron)
  • former vice presidential chief-of-staff David Addington
  • former attorney general and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales
  • former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, now a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith

Notice all the eminent positions they now occupy, ain’t the establishment grand? Of course pressure on Spain may derail this, but I think they should welcome proper judicial process, the alternative can be a lot more…summary. If courts fail because they are in thrall to the powerful, then Natural Law has a place. You feel me torture boys?

PS. Update

A claim letter sent to Government lawyers alleges: “UK intelligence services officers were present whilst Mr Aamer was beaten. They provided information and encouragement to his US torturers. They made no attempt to stop his ill-treatment or any enquiries into his well-being.” 

Abusive Relationship

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, lavishly praised the “special relationship” between the US and Britain after discussions in Washington yesterday with David Miliband, the first foreign minister to meet her in the new job.

How nice…

Evidence of how a British resident held in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp was tortured, and what MI5 knew about it, must remain secret because of serious threats the US has made against the UK, the high court ruled today. The judges made clear they were deeply unhappy with their decision, but said they had no alternative as a result of a statement by David Miliband, the foreign secretary, that if the evidence was disclosed the US would stop sharing intelligence with Britain. That would directly threaten the UK’s national security, Miliband had told the court.

[Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones]– “Indeed we did not consider that a democracy governed by the rule of law would expect a court in another democracy to suppress a summary of the evidence contained in reports by its own officials … relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be.

“We had no reason … to anticipate there would be made a threat of the gravity of the kind made by the United States Government that it would reconsider its intelligence sharing relationship, when all the considerations in relation to open justice pointed to us providing a limited but important summary of the reports.”

Seems a tad fraught this ‘relationship’. But again like the Saudi BAE pulaver it’s not really smart to take the nationalist bait here, rather recognise ruling classes colluding. Both the US and the UK are guilty of using torture, so such threats help both sets of elites and their agencies (to such an extent that I am sure they concocted them in concert). After all this investigation Jacqui Smith ordered did sound too good to be true. I think I now recognise Miliband, someone who thinks they are a good person but never has the courage to actually do the right thing against prevailing pressure to conform, the sacrifice is always just that bit too much for him to bear. So he builds a bit more denial into his ego and wonders when he’ll get the PM gig. When you’re not willing to end your ascent on principle the only route left is careerism, to believe in the establishment that now holds you ever tighter in its poisonous embrace. A common trait in the technocrats & Atlanticists who dominate the UK establishment.

-Ok, you make a really scary sounding threat and I’ll be all like ‘Oh noes!!!! We must do what they say!!!’ Kewl.

-And we’ll both do our utmost to make sure no one from current or former administrations ever see the inside of a jail cell yeah?

-Yeah.

-Awesome.

-Fancy another scone?

Previously on what was done to Binyam Mohamed-

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.

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”.

Ironically this government recently outlawed ‘extreme pornography’ whereby images of people engaged in [eg.] consensual blood play (among other consensual kinks) are now illegal, yet the government, involved in non-consensual genital torture, is reluctant to let justice be done here. Even though there is clear evidence of extremely violent sexual abuse. Which perhaps explains the ‘special relationship’, one where consent plays no part, just a competition of rapists and torturers all of which naturally is entirely proper and moral when the magic safe word ‘terrorist’ is played.

Government Moves To Stifle The Democracy Of The Jury

This is very sinister when you also think about the activities of NETCU, the use of hacks to disseminate security force black propaganda and the bare faced lies of ministers (police injuries attributed to protesters were actually insect bites & heat exhaustion). No doubt the arms industry is also lobbying for this especially after the acquittal of the Raytheon 9. They are trying to limit juries ability to judge ‘lawful excuse’ in cases of the greater good-

The attorney general is considering asking the courts to clamp down on high-profile, direct-action protests on issues such as climate change, the Guardian can exclusively reveal.

Six Greenpeace protesters, who were acquitted in September of criminal damage for their demonstration at the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station in Kent, now face having their case referred to the court of appeal in what is believed to be an attempt to increase convictions for direct-action protests.

The six were acquitted after they successfully persuaded a jury that the demonstration, in which they scaled a 200 metre chimney in an attempt to paint Gordon Bin It , was intended to prevent greater damage to property from the imminent threat of global warming.

The defence centred particularly on plans for the new-generation station – Kingsnorth II – planned for the site.

The jury accepted the defence of lawful excuse after an eight-day trial which included evidence from the ecologist Zac Goldsmith and Professor Jim Hansen, the Nasa scientist regarded as one of the world’s leading climate change experts.

Jurors were shown maps of the Kent region depicting coastal areas where property and land would be at risk of being submerged by rising sea levels and heard from a representative of Greenland’s Inuit community who described watching their villages “eroding into the sea”.

Although the verdict received international acclaim, described in the New York Times this week as one of 2008’s “ideas of the year” and endorsed by former US vice-president Al Gore, prosecutors are believed to have been angered at the acquittal. According to a letter seen by the Guardian, the attorney general is considering using her power to refer cases to the court of appeal to “clarify a point of law”. It is believed to be an attempt to limit the circumstances in which protesters could rely on “lawful excuse”.

If successful, the referral could prevent juries finding in favour of such “lawful excuse” arguments. Prosecutions of protesters against GM crops, incinerators, new roads and nuclear, chemical and arms trade companies have all collapsed after defendants argued that they had acted according to their consciences and that they were trying to protect property or prevent a greater crime.

Should the “lawful excuse” defence prove to be unusable by protesters, Britain can expect many more environmental and peace activists to be convicted – something which could backfire against a government accused of drastically curtailing the right to protest in the last five years.

Prosecutors were understood to be furious that the jury acquitted the Kingsnorth protesters, arguing that allowance for demonstrations did not extend to breaking the law.

But a lawyer familiar with the case told the Guardian: “Juries are a reflection of the public. In this case the jury spent two days carefully thinking about more than a week’s evidence and they came to a conclusion. This is a … sinister effort to undermine their decision”.

The attorney general’s action is also being criticised as at odds with government rhetoric on tackling climate change. “Ed Milliband wanted a social movement on climate change but this government doesn’t seem to trust members of the public such as jurors to actually decide what’s right and wrong on climate change,” said Ben Stewart, one of the acquitted protesters. “The verdict was a damning indictment on government policy – after reading it the government should be dismantling plans for Kingsnorth II not trying to dismantle the jury system.”

Another lawyer familiar with the case told the Guardian: “If the government think it is wrong for protesters to rely on lawful excuse they should pass an amendment to the law through parliament. They don’t have courage to do that – instead they are making a very significant attempt to interfere with the jury’s decision.”

DeMenezes Inquest- Judge Opens The Whitewash, Family Walk Out

The jury at the inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes will not be permitted to consider returning a verdict of unlawful killing, the coroner conducting the hearing said today.

The coroner, former high court judge Sir Michael Wright, began summing up seven weeks of evidence by telling jurors they would be allowed to return only a verdict of lawful killing or an open verdict.

With all the evidence considered, a verdict of unlawful killing could not be supported, he said.

After consideration and submissions, he told the 11-strong jury, “I so direct you that the evidence in this case, taken at its highest, would not justify my leaving verdicts of unlawful killing to you.”

Wright explained: “I’m not saying that nothing went wrong in a police operation which resulted in the killing of an innocent man.

“All interested persons agree that a verdict of unlawful killing could only be left to you if you could be sure that a specific officer had committed a very serious crime: murder or manslaughter,” Reuters reported him as saying.

The firearms officer testified that after the warning had been shouted, De Menezes’s actions had made him fear the electrician was carrying a bomb. Several passengers on the same carriage contradicted this account, saying they had heard no warnings, and that De Menezes gave no significant reaction to the police’s arrival.

However, Wright added, even if the jury found the officers had lied, they would not be able to blame them for the death. “Many people tell lies for a variety of reasons … [including] to mitigate the impact of what might be a … tragic mistake,” he said.

One law for us and another for them, how clear do you want it? Via HarpyMarx– The family are appealing to the High Court against the unlawful killing verdict being disallowed by the coroner. He has taken away the jury’s freedom to judge and return a verdict of their choice.

And the Justice4Jean campaign say: Lawyers for the Menezes family are going to the High Court today to apply for a judicial review of the Coroner’s decision on the verdict options being left for the jury. Earlier today, members of the Menezes family and their supporters walked out of court at the beginning of the Coroner’s summing up to express their dissatisfaction with the turn of events at the inquest.

As Harpy says show support and solidarity to the Justice4jean campaign.

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Petition Against State Funeral For Thatcher

I think the No. 10 petitions are a waste of time, having signed many and had nothing but bullshit brush offs from the government, but for the embarrassment value this is fun, via Stroppyblog– sign a petition against Thatcher having a state funeral (and it is estimated the cost of this will be £3million -USD $6mill and this is a Labour government assenting to this), an honour she is wholly undeserving of and the last time one was granted to an ex PM was for Winston Churchill and he saw us through WWII so that’s understandable, but Thatcher? She destroyed unions, whole industries, privatised our utilities which has left our infrastructure in a much worse state, she openly supported Pinochet and pushed though homophobic and discriminatory legislation against LGBTQ people. She was against sanctions on apartheid South Africa and caused massive homelessness among 16-18 years olds (and others) by stopping their entitlement to welfare, and many other terrible and predictable right wing extremist hate filled crap, feel free to add in comments. In short- imagine Dick Cheney in a dress but twice as spiteful. Sign here.

Britain’s Colonial Torture Program

First the reason why it is so important our spooks and the government deny this to their graves-

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.

And what John McDonnell and others are finding, more cases of our agents being at Pakistani torture centres-

MPs are calling for an investigation into allegations that British intelligence has “outsourced” the torture of British citizens to Pakistani security agencies after hearing accounts of people being abducted and subjected to mistreatment and, in some cases, released without charge.

John McDonnell, the Labour member for Hayes and Harlington, and Andrew Tyrie, Conservative member for Chichester, say the allegations should be examined by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), the Westminster body that oversees the Security Service, MI5, and the Intelligence Service, MI6.

In a statement to the Guardian, released via the Home Office, the Security Service insisted it did “not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture”. However, details of three new cases have raised concerns among MPs.

McDonnell says he wants to know whether British officials colluded in the abuse of one of his constituents.

The man, a medical student, said he was abducted at gunpoint in August 2005 and held for two months at the offices of Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau opposite the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi. The student, who has not spoken out before, has described how he was whipped, beaten, deprived of sleep, threatened with execution and witnessed other inmates being tortured. He was questioned about the suicide attacks on London’s transport network in July of that year, and says that after being tortured by Pakistani agents he was questioned by British intelligence officers. He was released to his father, who says he received a personal apology from the director of the Intelligence Bureau.

The student returned to his London teaching hospital, qualified last year, and is now working in a hospital in the south-east of England. He remains terrified of both Pakistani and British intelligence agencies, however, and has asked not to be identified. A second Briton, Tariq Mahmood, 35, a taxi driver from Sparkhill, Birmingham, has said he was abducted in Rawalpindi in October 2003 and released without charge about five months later.

He is thought to have been held in a prison run by a different agency, Inter-Service Intelligence, where a number of other Britons have also been held and allegedly tortured before being flown to the UK to stand trial. Mahmood’s family say he was tortured, and that MI5 officers and American intelligence officers had a hand in his mistreatment. They have declined to issue any detailed allegation, however, apparently fearing for the safety of relatives in Pakistan.

A third Briton, Tahir Shah, 41, an author from London, was held for 16 days in 2005. He says he was interrogated about the July 7 bombings in what he describes as “a fully-equipped torture chamber”, with mangles, whips and electrical equipment.

He says he was hooded and shackled for long periods and deprived of sleep. He does not allege that British officials were involved, but believes it is unlikely they would not have been informed. He was eventually bundled aboard a scheduled flight to Heathrow, where his passport was returned by an unnamed official whom he believes to have been from MI5.

Allegations of collusion in torture could be examined by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, established eight years ago with a remit to investigate complaints against MI5 and MI6. Another possibility is that the ISC could look into the claims.

McDonnell said of his constituent: “I believe that there is now sufficient evidence from this and other cases to demonstrate that British officials outsourced the torture of British nationals to a Pakistani intelligence agency.

“This warrants the fullest investigation by the ISC, which is best placed initially to undertake such an inquiry. I would expect the government to cooperate fully with such an investigation and eventually for the prime minister to make a statement to parliament on how this practice has been allowed to develop and what action is to be taken.”

Earlier this year representatives of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch told another Commons body, the Foreign Affairs Committee, they believed British intelligence officers were colluding in torture.

Tom Porteous, London director of Human Rights Watch, told MPs: “It is pretty clear the US and the UK are relying rather heavily on the well-known abusive Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, in the counter-terrorism operations. It is one of the most brutal intelligence agencies in the world.” He added that British interrogations of people being held by this agency “seem to amount to complicity and collusion in the mistreatment”.

In April the Guardian reported that four other British men, who had been detained in Pakistan during British-led counter-terrorism operations and held illegally for several months without access to a lawyer or court, had each alleged that British officials colluded in their torture. (ht2 Stephen Soldz @ Psyche, Science, and Society)

Posted in Human Rights, War Criminals. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Britain’s Colonial Torture Program

Mixed Messages

The government has agreed to pay almost £3m to the family of Baha Mousa and nine other Iraqis tortured by British troops and issued a full apology for the “appalling abuse” they suffered.

The MoD said in a statement: “The settlement is with an admission of liability by the Ministry of Defence which follows on from a statement on 27 March 2008 by the Secretary of State for Defence when substantive breaches of Article 2 (right to life) and 3 (prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights were admitted.”

“The settlement was accompanied by an apology from the Ministry of Defence.”

A spokesman added: “All but a handful of the more than 120,000 British troops who have served in Iraq have conducted themselves to the highest standards of behaviour, displaying integrity and selfless commitment.

“But this does not excuse that, during 2003 and 2004, a very small minority there committed acts of abuse and we condemn their actions.”

Yet-

At a court martial, six soldiers from the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, including Colonel Jorge Mendonca, the commanding officer, were acquitted of negligence and abuse over Mousa ‘s death and the ill-treatment of the other Iraqis. A corporal admitted inhumane treatment, but no one was convicted of killing Mousa.

Also bear in mind Ben Griffin is still gagged from revealing UK involvement with the US torture program. I’m just not feeling the sincerity here…

Met To Be Revealed Again As Institutionally Racist

And this time by …their own Assistant Commissioner-

The UK’s most senior Muslim police officer is in the final stages of preparing a racial discrimination case against Scotland Yard. Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur has had legal documents drawn up accusing colleagues of a catalogue of victimisation, bullying and harassment.

Some of the allegations refer directly to the actions of Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and Police Authority chair Len Duvall, sources said. One senior colleague said relations between Mr Ghaffur and Sir Ian were so bad that the two men will not speak to each other.

Mr Ghaffur, who is responsible for security at the 2012 Olympics, has employed a senior barrister to draw up legal papers. He is now in the final stages of considering whether to formally submit them to the force and commence an employment tribunal. Mr Ghaffur also claimed he was discriminated against when his contract was extended for only one year, unlike senior colleagues.

Ali Dizaei, president of the National Black Police Association, said he was aware of Mr Ghaffur’s concerns. He said: “It will be a sad day for the police service if one of the UK’s most respected senior ethnic minority police officers is forced to challenge his treatment in court. The negative effect of such an action on recruitment and on trust and confidence in policing, in particular with minority ethnic communities, will be significant and cannot be under-estimated.”

Mr Ghaffur, who was speaking at the Association of Chief Police Officers annual conference in Liverpool today, refused to comment. “I’m not able to say a word. I can’t comment,” he said.

The news came as Sir Ian was accused of excluding black and Asian detectives in favour of a “golden circle” of white officers. Commander Shabir Hussain, 45, claimed he was passed over for promotion by Sir Ian, who used his influence to earmark others.

Speaking at a London employment tribunal yesterday, he said: “My face did not fit and did not fit because I am not white.” The senior officer claimed he was rejected an “unprecedented” four times for promotion to Deputy Assistant Commissioner while others succeeded.

Earlier this month, Sergeant Gurpal Virdi, a Sikh detective, was awarded £70,400 in damages. A tribunal ruled that he had been passed over for promotion because he had brought race discrimination claims against the force.

The claims are the latest controversy to hit Sir Ian, following the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Forest Gate raid and a number of ill-judged comments. They threaten to engulf the Metropolitan Police in its biggest race row since the Stephen Lawrence murder.

Stephen, 18, was stabbed to death near his home in Eltham, south east London, by a gang of racist thugs in 1993. No-one has ever been convicted of his murder. The McPherson inquiry into the investigation of the death labelled the force “institutionally racist” in 1999.

The BBC report has this nugget from Ghaffur’s early life-

…aged 16, he began his police career as a Pc with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in Salford. At the time Mr Ghaffur was one of only two officers from an ethnic minority in a force of more than 6,000. He has recalled that on his first day the desk sergeant refused to believe he was a police officer and initially would not let him enter the station.

He’s been putting up with it his whole life, now he’s had enough apparently, maybe Blair’s ‘Golden (shower) Circle’ of Aryan Purity was the final straw, that and his force keeps shooting brown people. I’m sure the Met PR lot don’t relish this, but do they really think the public doesn’t know how they are treated by the police day in and day out, this is not a disaster, just an affirmation of minorities experience, this time from a senior insider. If they want better relations with people, stop dressing and acting like an occupying paramilitary force eager to misuse every dumb ‘terror’ law the government dreams up.

Government Won’t Do Anything About The Commercialisation Of Slavery Records

This was the Number 10 petition

“A UK company is currently placing online colonial records of 3.000.000 Africans, relating to their enslavement. This is a corporate attempt to cash in on the increased interest during the bicentenary year. African people and descendants of slaves should not have to pay for such a service. This should be a free to view document, with all records being made public so the history can be known by all. Please sign this petition to get all govenment records made available free of charge to everyone.”

This was the UK Government’s pathetic response-

The original versions of these records are available for anyone to go and see, free of charge, at The National Archives’ reading rooms in Kew.

These records have been open to the public in the United Kingdom since 1821, initially at the Colonial Office in London where colonial governors were instructed to send copies for public inspection and, since 1862, at The National Archives (and formerly the Public Record Office).

Additionally, The National Archives have also produced a number of published resources to help Caribbean people to trace their roots. They have published, for example, two editions of its popular guidebook, Tracing your West Indian Ancestors, as well as six free research guides on the history of Britain’s involvement in slavery, the slave trade and its abolition.

The Government believes that organisation and individuals should have access to information, on non-exclusive terms, so that they can provide enhanced information-based products. The documents were therefore provided in response to an application from a commercial organisation who wanted to re-use the information as part of a service it wished to provide which included a searchable index of the names of enslaved people and slaveholders. Any such services provided are additional and complement the free service already offered by The National Archives. They are not a service provided by The National Archives.

We hope this response is helpful.

Well it is in so much as it shows what disingenuous corporate whores you are, making the records freely available in one office in London is not making them as available as putting them on the web. Something in this day and age that should be a standard procedure for democratising information. Allowing this to done by a profit making concern is to allow the freedom of the information to be put behind a pay wall on the web. You have pretended not fighting to keep this information freely available is to keep it…freely available. You have privatised wider access to these records. You mealy mouthed lawyerly parsing cowardly motherfuckers.

Judge Backs Security Services & Arms Trade Against Citizen’s

A legal challenge over the power of the police to photograph peaceful protesters has failed at the High Court. Andrew Wood, from Oxford, claimed he was harassed by the Metropolitan Police for campaigning against the arms trade. But on Thursday, the force was cleared of breaching Mr Wood’s human rights by photographing him and other activists who had committed no crime. The Met had said its actions were “justified and proportionate”.

Mr Wood had complained that the policy of openly taking pictures of demonstrators, on the basis that they might become involved in future protests, was an illegal interference with the right to take part in political activity both lawfully and peacefully. Mr Wood, media co-ordinator for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), said retaining the photos of him at the annual meeting of Reed Elsevier, was oppressive. Mr Wood had bought a share in the company, which entitled him to attend the meeting in Grosvenor Square, central London, in September 2005.

But Mr Justice McCombe said Mr Wood was photographed in a public street in circumstances in which the presence of the police – and the press – must have been expected. He said that if there was any interference with Mr Wood’s rights, it was “in accordance with the law and proportionate”. The police insisted that the photos, which they said were taken in a non-intimidatory way, would have been destroyed shortly after the event.

Meanwhile Raytheon 9 second day-

The second day of the Raytheon 9 trial went reasonably well. The evidence came from PSNI officers, who mainly gave a fairly flat and factual account of what they’d seen on the morning of the occupation.  Importantly, none said that he’d seen violence from any of the 9.

There were exchanges between the prosecutor and defence lawyers about what it is that the prosecution will have to show to establish “affray”—putting people in fear of the lives or safety—and criminal damage: if the defendants can show that they genuinely believed they were helping to stop or hamper a bigger crime, will that be enough for acquittal on the criminal damage count? It sounds very abstract, but this could be the point on which the case turns.

The indications are that it will be Friday before Raytheon witnesses take the stand and can be cross-examined about the nature of the business and the links between Raytheon and defence forces, including the Israeli defence forces.

The case did get some coverage in the mainstream media today. This concentrated on a prosecution suggestion that the 9 had indulged in “an orgy of wanton destruction” and the defence riposte that the 9 had been trying to stop war crimes. Just headline stuff really, but at least the issues may be beginning to leak out into wider society—which is what we need.

Those who are in the dock are all in good spirits, and encouraged by messages of support coming into the DAWC from various parts of the globe.

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Get Smart: Updated

Toby Kendall

A spy who infiltrated a direct action anti-aviation group has been exposed after making a series of elementary errors that aroused the suspicions of genuine activists.

Toby Kendall joined Plane Stupid, the group that occupied the roof of the Houses of Parliament last month, after graduating from Oxford last year. He told the activists that his name was “Ken Tobias” and said that he was deeply concerned by the impact of the aviation industry on climate change and that he wanted to help to organise protests.

But his habit of wearing a Palestinian scarf with his Armani jeans and designer shirt made some members question his identity. He was also the only member to turn up early to every meeting but had no friends in the activist community. He took part in protests, dressing as a penguin in one stunt, but always tried to remain in the background.

Plane Stupid began a mole hunt and, after feeding him false information that found its way within two days to the aviation industry, discovered his real name and employer.

Mr Kendall, 24, works for C2i International, a counter-intelligence company run by former special forces officers. It claims that its agents are “hand-picked from Special Operations at New Scotland Yard”. Its website puts “aerospace” at the top of a list of industries for which it works.

BAA deny any relationship with C2i other than saying they rejected a pitch from them, hmmm. Anyway, designer gear and did Oxford but appears not so bright we could perhaps assume public school, rich-but-dim for this espionage genius (and yes, I did reject the Plain Stupid headline).

PS. The google! Is this the same Toby Kendall mentioned in this Telegraph article on a courses for imperialist tourists ‘travellers’ run by two SAS types on how to be safe on gap year travel -bless- (you know what would make things safer? Stop ripping off poorer countries to enrich the wealthier ones). Incidentally one of the guys running that is now ‘part-time Private Secretary‘ to Princes Harry & William. Aren’t posh people and their militarism great? Why is the world such a dangerous place, such a mystery…

Update: From The Independent-

Pandora learns that Kendall, dressed as a Jolly Roger-waving pirate, also tried to infiltrate Hands Off Iraqi Oil, which targets Shell and BP. His boss at C2i, Justin King, will not return calls. King told the BBC in 2004 that many organisations face espionage: “These people are easy to find… I’m told the going rate to get a cleaner to steal something is £20.”

Justin King is also a former special forces reactionary. The Indy piece also mentions Kendall was doing Chinese at Oxford (hey he could get paid by the Chinese authoritarian capitalist government to rat on democratic activists, kerching!) that would seem to confirm it is the same guy from the Telegraph article, unless that is the Indies source for that statement too. Anyway, what a lovely bunch of establishment bounders C2i appear, an absolute shower!

Remember: The Ruling Class Murdered Martin Luther King

Even Auntie Beeb is daring to politely question the official line of the ‘lone assassin’ a modus operandi so very common in that era when figures who threatened the hegemony of the establishment kept being murdered, funny that. And if the truth ever gets out, it will be once all those responsible have died after lives enriched from their crimes, mission accomplished. Yet people are convinced their enemies are over there, where the oil is coincidentally, terrorists will steal our resources. Our real enemies are really no more than a quick drive away, if you live in a capital city you could probably just walk it.

In January 1968, King launched an inter-racial Poor People’s Campaign. The idea was to bring black, white and brown poor people to Washington, where they would establish a tent city and camp out in front of Congress until either a job or a living income was guaranteed for all.

Increasingly, King identified the war in Vietnam as part of a global struggle against colonialism, and black inequality as a function of class inequalities that also affected many whites. Though he opposed the separatism espoused by black nationalists, he had his own view of what “integration” meant: “We are not interested in being integrated into this value structure.” A “radical redistribution of economic power” was needed. “So often in America,” he observed, “we have socialism for the rich and ragged free enterprise capitalism for the poor.”

[On April 4th 1968] he was shot dead on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. He was 39 years old.

The civil disorder that ensued was the most widespread in US history. Riots erupted in 125 cities; 70,000 national guard and US troops were called in to quell them, with 50,000 on stand-by – the largest domestic deployment of military forces since the Civil War. Curfews were imposed and martial was declared. In the end 24,000 were arrested; 3000 injured; 46 killed, all but five black.

In Washington DC, crowds 20,000 strong overwhelmed local police. Marines mounted machine guns on the steps of the Capitol. At one point, rioting reached within two blocks of the White House, which was guarded by the Third Infantry.

In 1999, the King family brought a civil suit in Memphis for wrongful death; after reviewing the evidence in more detail than had ever been done before, the jury ruled that government agencies had indeed been involved in a conspiracy to kill Martin Luther King. 

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Q2N: Who are these unnamed ‘Diplomats’?

Three unnamed ‘diplomats’ are the source of this AP report-Diplomats: Iran assembling centrifuges– of Iranian nuclear activity. In the broadly misinformed public framing of the debate ideas of a sovereign nation pursuing nuclear technology as others have & do, or the stated aim of nuclear power are not the currency propagandists have to deal in. The dynamic is simply if they can get enough people (not many, a majority is not needed) to be scared by a bogeyman of nuclear warmongering Iranian Islamists!!!! then an attack will be easily achieved. So once again the media is presenting unnamed sources as the sole basis of stories that promote the attack enabling fear. The few mea culpas were insincere and they are doing it again. The writer previously used the same unnamed ‘diplomats’ to report China had given information to the IAEA regarding Iranian nuclear technology.

So who are these ‘diplomats’ and for whom do they work? And after Iraq the media show little sincere  regret, still featuring articles reprinted around the world based on no more than anonymous establishment sources when that procedure has been exposed as hugely flawed and liable to repeating falsehoods planted by governments looking to incite conflict. Or does an Empire get the journalism it deserves?

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