Britain’s Secret Terror Deals: ‘Truly disturbing’ BBC Panorama allegations of collusion must be fully investigated, says Amnesty International

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Britain’s Secret Terror Deals: Darragh MacIntyre investigates allegations that the state colluded with paramilitary killers and covered up their crimes

Courtesy of The Belfast Telegraph:

‘Truly disturbing’ allegations, revealed in a new BBC Panorama investigation, that UK security forces colluded with paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland on a vast scale leading directly to the deaths of hundreds of people must be fully investigated, Amnesty International has said.

In the documentary Britain’s Secret Terror Deals, screened on Thursday, investigative reporter Darragh MacIntyre investigates allegations that the state colluded with paramilitary killers and covered up their crimes.

MacIntyre meets the families who have been fighting for decades to uncover the government’s darkest secrets and confronts some of those believed to be complicit.

The murder of Sunday World reporter Martin O’Hagan in 2001 and two massacres, at Sean Graham bookmaker’s in 1992 where five people died, and the killings of nine Protestant men returning from work in Kingsmill village in 1976, are among the cases where state and paramilitary collusion is alleged to have been covered up.

Panorama also revealed an assault rifle used in the Sean Graham massacre in 1992, which police said had been disposed of, ended up on display in the Imperial War Museum.

The weapon was used in the UDA killing of five Catholics in a betting shop on the Lower Ormeau Road in Belfast. The police ombudsman has confirmed that the rifle has now removed from the museum for forensic examination. It is linked to other UDA murders during the Troubles. Continue reading

Destroying Online Freedom in the Name of Counter-Terrorism Will make the World a More Dangerous Place

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Photo: Reuters

Courtesy of Carly Nyst @ The Telegraph:

Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ, announced his arrival this week with a call for “greater co-operation” with security forces by tech companies. Hannigan’s article in the Financial Times illustrated vividly the destructive ideology that has driven the infiltration by the British and American intelligence agencies into every aspects of the digital realm – an unquestioning faith in the righteous purpose of intelligence agencies, a complete mischaracterisation of the nature of the internet and its value, and a frightening belief that companies stand only on the side of the State, rather than in the interests of the privacy and security of their users.

Hannigan’s decision to enter the debate in this way is extraordinary. In a parliamentary democracy based on the Rule of Law, it is not appropriate for civil servants to speak for government or set policy.

His rhetoric is all the more disappointing for being the first public response by GCHQ to the serious challenges to the lawfulness of its activities since the first of the Snowden revelations in summer 2013.
Such activities include, of course, mass surveillance of all communications in and out of the British Isles, warrantless access to the NSA’s databases, the hacking of user devices and even the infiltration of Yahoo webcam chats.

Over the past year, in courts and inquiries and the media, GCHQ has refused to confirm or deny any of its wrongdoings, and the Government has refused to engage in any constructive conversation on how to prevent the overreach of intelligence agencies in the digital age.

Rather than acknowledge the very real misgivings that the British people have in the accountability of the services charged with protecting their security, Hannigan has used his public platform as an exercise in ex-post justification, and to launch the case for expanded powers. The audacity of such an attack, even as GCHQ is under the review of the Intelligence Services Committee, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation and the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, is astounding. Continue reading

E.U. Officially Adopts the Bank Depositors Bail-In

Almost a year ago to the day I wrote a piece called Derivatives and the Real World Implications, citing that bail-ins would be coming to the UK. This issue has been picked up by Andy Sutton @ Market Oracle.com, well here’s the proof but not all hope is lost. You can still exchange your worthless pieces of paper and digital 1’s and 0’s for gold and silver. People have foolishly put their faith in government and their ability to manage ‘money’, they have failed us but it is all by design and agenda. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail:

It has now been more than a year since that fateful weekend in the Mediterranean when everything changed. However, like most of the big changes we’ve seen lately, there is a subtlety afoot that somehow results in few noticing. This should surprise no one really. How the world can change in such dramatic ways without any type of mass awakening is a topic more for the psychologists who help pull the strings and the evil they represent than for anyone involved in the analysis of economics and events, but I say the above so that you know you’re not kidding anyone.

Even a year later, the subtlety continues and ignorance abounds. Most still don’t know the ramifications of the passage of the Dodd-Frank bill back in 2010. They take it at its word that it is a consumer protection act, but is nothing of the sort. They’ll reap what they sow. The evidence has been plentiful, the analysis outstanding. There have been countless opportunities for people to learn of the truth. Ours is not to concern ourselves with those who refuse to have their eyes opened, but for those who are seeking knowledge. After all, nobody can fault someone who doesn’t know, but wants to. There are plenty who do, especially in light of the EU’s passage of a new set of bail-in ‘rules’ this week. Much of this was already known and previously agreed to, but there are some more interesting spin-offs and it is definitely worth revisiting. The mere fact that they’re spending so much time prepping for another bank blowup essentially guarantees that one is coming at some point. These things tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies in and of themselves, and when there is so much potential looting and pillaging to be done, all the more so!

We want to state up front that this is an extensive subject and that it is impossible to provide a comprehensive look at all the facets of the emerging truth regarding the bail-in mechanism and the entire associated minutia in a single essay. Our commitment is to dedicate our remaining articles to this topic alone in the hopes of providing a singular source of information on the topic. Continue reading

Britain Needs a New Model for Energy

Courtesy of The Morning Star Online:

There was understandable fury around Britain on Saturday morning at the continuing problems in restoring power to more than 1,000 homes — and the offer from UK Power Networks to up compensation from £27 to £75 has understandably provoked further ire.

For those forced to live on takeaways or eat out, to move across the country to stay with relatives who do have power or otherwise fork out cash to deal with their situation, that’s hardly going to recompense them fairly.

And they were asking, rightly, why it is taking so long.

First, we have to offer them our sympathy and best wishes and hope that the further forecast rough weather isn’t going to cause them and others further hardship.

And we need to recognise that many workers, for the companies and the emergency services, also had their Christmas plans interrupted and have been working hard to repair the damage.

But Britons simply don’t trust our privatised energy companies any more, and with good reason.

They know that they are profit-making companies which operate with the aim of maximising shareholder return, not ensuring a secure, affordable energy supply for the public. Continue reading

George Orwell….Letters

To Noel Willmett

18 May 1944
10a Mortimer Crescent NW 6

Dear Mr Willmett,

Many thanks for your letter. You ask whether totalitarianism, leader-worship etc. are really on the up-grade and instance the fact that they are not apparently growing in this country and the USA.

I must say I believe, or fear, that taking the world as a whole these things are on the increase. Hitler, no doubt, will soon disappear, but only at the expense of strengthening (a) Stalin, (b) the Anglo-American millionaires and (c) all sorts of petty fuhrers° of the type of de Gaulle. All the national movements everywhere, even those that originate in resistance to German domination, seem to take non-democratic forms, to group themselves round some superhuman fuhrer (Hitler, Stalin, Salazar, Franco, Gandhi, De Valera are all varying examples) and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means. Everywhere the world movement seems to be in the direction of centralised economies which can be made to ‘work’ in an economic sense but which are not democratically organised and which tend to establish a caste system. With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer. Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark. Hitler can say that the Jews started the war, and if he survives that will become official history. He can’t say that two and two are five, because for the purposes of, say, ballistics they have to make four. But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it.1 That, so far as I can see, is the direction in which we are actually moving, though, of course, the process is reversible.

As to the comparative immunity of Britain and the USA. Whatever the pacifists etc. may say, we have not gone totalitarian yet and this is a very hopeful symptom. I believe very deeply, as I explained in my book The Lion and the Unicorn, in the English people and in their capacity to centralise their economy without destroying freedom in doing so. But one must remember that Britain and the USA haven’t been really tried, they haven’t known defeat or severe suffering, and there are some bad symptoms to balance the good ones. To begin with there is the general indifference to the decay of democracy. Do you realise, for instance, that no one in England under 26 now has a vote and that so far as one can see the great mass of people of that age don’t give a damn for this? Secondly there is the fact that the intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. On the whole the English intelligentsia have opposed Hitler, but only at the price of accepting Stalin. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history2 etc. so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side. Indeed the statement that we haven’t a Fascist movement in England largely means that the young, at this moment, look for their fuhrer elsewhere. One can’t be sure that that won’t change, nor can one be sure that the common people won’t think ten years hence as the intellectuals do now. I hope 3 they won’t, I even trust they won’t, but if so it will be at the cost of a struggle. If one simply proclaims that all is for the best and doesn’t point to the sinister symptoms, one is merely helping to bring totalitarianism nearer.

Two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it.

You also ask, if I think the world tendency is towards Fascism, why do I support the war. It is a choice of evils—I fancy nearly every war is that. I know enough of British imperialism not to like it, but I would support it against Nazism or Japanese imperialism, as the lesser evil. Similarly I would support the USSR against Germany because I think the USSR cannot altogether escape its past and retains enough of the original ideas of the Revolution to make it a more hopeful phenomenon than Nazi Germany. I think, and have thought ever since the war began, in 1936 or thereabouts, that our cause is the better, but we have to keep on making it the better, which involves constant criticism.

Yours sincerely,
Geo. Orwell

[XVI, 2471, pp. 190—2; typewritten]

1. and 2. Foreshadowings of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

3. Compare Nineteen Eighty-Four, p. 72, ‘If there is hope, wrote Winston, it lies in the proles.’

Reprinted from George Orwell: A Life in Letters, selected and annotated by Peter Davison. Copyright © George Orwell. First American Edition 2013. This selection may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.