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US Freedom Act a ‘surveillance act in disguise’ – ex-MI5 agent

RT | August 30, 2015

The US is playing games with public trust by passing different versions of the same intrusive surveillance system, a modern day Panopticon. Any alleged changes to the bulk collection program are purely cosmetic, according to ex-MI5 agent Annie Machon.

The recently passed USA Freedom Act was hailed as a stepping stone on the way to renewed public trust after the highly controversial Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which expired in May. Under the new law, the practice of bulk data collection on US citizens will be entrusted to telecom companies, and the NSA will be able to obtain the records through seeking a warrant from the FISA court.

So what does this recent decision mean with regards to the NSA’s bulk collection program, and can Americans feel more at ease about the security of their phone data with the introduction of the new Freedom Act? RT asked the former MI5 agent-turned-whistleblower for her take.

RT: Firstly, what’s your take on this? It’s an isolated court case, you could say, but does it have any big impact, do you think, on the NSA spying program.

Annie Machon: It’s business as usual for them. I’m sure they’re very happy to be told what they’re doing is legal, now. I mean, there have been a number of challenges, where different levels of courts in the US have said bulk metadata collection is legal; it’s illegal; it’s legal again. But, actually, what they’ve been doing is just business as usual under the 215 Section of the Patriot Act, which I think Congress was due to re-ratify at the beginning of June, but it became a bit gridlocked in the whole system. So, you know, they will be very happy with this result.

RT: Certainly, President Obama seems very happy. You know, the White House has hailed the ruling. But earlier in the year, we did hear Obama saying “We’re promising to reform things, too.” Do you think there’s been a significant change in attitude in the White House?

AM: I think they’ve passed the buck, basically, to the judiciary to take the hard decisions. So, now they’ve got this ruling, they don’t need to make the hard political decisions. They’ll just say, “Well, the judge just said its constitutional; that’s fine,” which is bad enough for the American citizens, within America, who will continue to be spied on extensively in the face of this nebulous and ever-changing terrorist threat. However, of course, none of this, whatsoever, had any relevance to the rest of us around the world, where the NSA could merrily go on spying on us all, to every degree they want to, because we’re not American citizens. So, it’s a bit of a back step for privacy advocates in America, but it’s no change for the rest of us.

RT: Yeah, you say no change, Annie, but you know, we’ve got the new Freedom Act to look forward to, too. You know, the one that will replace the Patriot Act. Surely, that’s a step forward, though, isn’t it?

AM: That’s one for Orwellian Newsspeak, I think. “You’re free.” No you’re not. It’s not a freedom act; it’s a surveillance act. They’re trying to recast it to make it sound good, but it’s not. And even if that’s the case in America, even if the NSA were reigned in, and they were not allowed to spy on American citizens, all they have to do is ask their buddies in the Five Eyes group, which would be Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or the UK, to do the spying for them, which would be perfectly legal under any of those countries’ oversight systems, and then just pass the information to the Americans. So, it is, as I said, very much business as usual. They will always find a way to subvert any notional political oversight within their own countries by sharing this information between themselves, and spying on everyone else’s systems. So, we are all still, very much, living under a global Panopticon.

And none of this has any real impact on protecting us from terrorism. We’ve seen this time, and time again. An NSA whistleblower, Thomas Drake, senior staff, said that, actually, there was a lot of information the NSA had in the run up to 9/11, and yet it was not communicated or acted upon appropriately, so the attack occurred. And then we see current and very recent intelligence chiefs in America saying, for example, you know, “Well it stopped all these terrorism attacks.” And they’ve been caught lying under oath to Congress about this. This bulk metadata creates a huge haystack from which no needles have, effectively, been found.

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August 31, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Reasons Armed Domestic Drones Are a Terrible Idea

By Jay Stanley – ACLU – August 27, 2015

The Daily Beast has reported that North Dakota has enacted a drone bill that permits law enforcement drones to be equipped with weapons such as Tasers, rubber bullets, tear gas, and sound cannons. This is a terrible idea.

Having attended numerous drone meetings and conferences in the past several years attended by a broad array of industry, law enforcement, and other government representatives, I can confidently say that there is a broad consensus that armed domestic drones are beyond the pale. With the exception of one sheriff in Texas who mused about arming drones several years ago, the concept is never even seriously discussed in the drone community. Several states have already enacted flat bans on weaponized drones (examples include Oregon , Virginia, and Wisconsin).

Although there are plenty of states that have not passed drone legislation at all, and some states have enacted legislation that makes no mention of the arming of drones (such as Florida, Tennessee, and Utah), the North Dakota bill is different. While it does explicitly ban the arming of police drones with “lethal weapons,” it remains silent on so-called “less-than-lethal weapons.”

Here’s why arming drones, even with less-frequently-lethal weapons, is a such a bad idea:

  1. Drones make it too easy to use force. When domestic law enforcement officers can use force from a distance, it may become too easy for them to do so, and the inevitable result will be that these weapons are over-used—just as surveillance tools, having become so cheap and easy, are widely overused. Tasers were originally sold as an alternative to guns—and who could dispute that getting an electric shock is better than getting a bullet? Yet we know that Tasers are routinely used by police officers not as a last-resort use of force, as guns are supposed to be, but as a torture device to get truculent suspects to comply with police commands through the application of pain—and all-too-often, as a way of punishing citizens for the crime of “dissing a cop.”
  2. “Nonlethal” weapons aren’t actually nonlethal. So-called “nonlethal” or “less-than-lethal” weapons should be called “less lethal” weapons because they do kill. Tasers regularly kill Americans—39 people so far in 2015, according to the Guardian, and comparable numbers each year going back to 2001 according to an Amnesty International report on the technology, which also found that 90% of those killed with Tasers were unarmed.
  3. Distance=inaccuracy. Even when officers are physically present, fully immersed in a situation—with 360-degree vision and all of their other senses in play—we know that force is often over-used. When officers are not physically present, their perception of a situation and their judgment about when to apply force is more likely to be flawed, non-targets are more likely to be injured, and excessive amounts of force are more likely to be applied. And the drones themselves may be inaccurate due to wind, communications and control problems, or other factors.
  4. This will open the door to increasing weaponization. If we allow less-lethal weapons to be deployed on drones, how long will it be before the door is opened to fully lethal weapons. Already the Pentagon has developed a small (under 6-pound) lethal “kamikaze” drone called the “Switchblade,” which functions as a pint-sized guided missile. The Army is reportedly considering spending $100 million on such drones under a program called the Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System.
  5. It will only increase the militarization of police. The heavily militarized response to the protests in Ferguson and so many other places around the country have been bad enough; imagine if the police there were permitted to fill the skies with drones raining beanbag bullets, Tasers, tear gas, and sound cannons down on protesters.

This bill does impose restrictions on police use of drones for surveillance, which is a good thing, and initially, it banned all weapons on drones. The ACLU supported the initial version of the bill. But the weaponization provision was altered through last-minute lobbying by the state’s police association.

Just because police departments in North Dakota have been given permission by their legislature to fly armed drones does not mean that they need to do so, or will. Indeed the strong national consensus against doing so may hold them back until hopefully this anomalous legislation can be reversed.

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle

By Evan Jones | CounterPunch | August 28, 2015

By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good,
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.

Macbeth

Jeremy Corbyn is a longtime British Labour MP, hitherto little known outside Britain. Following the resignation of Labour leader Ed Miliband, Corbyn is one of four MPs nominated in the leadership contest, currently subject to ballot amongst Party members and supporters until 10 September.

Corbyn has been subject to a tsunami of criticism and abuse since his nomination, providing abundant evidence on the odious character of the current British political establishment and on the farce that is curiously labeled the democratic process.

Moreover, Corbyn, supporter of the Palestinian cause, has experienced full guns blazing from official British Jewry. On 12 August, the Jewish Chronicle broadsided with ‘The key questions that Jeremy Corbyn must answer’. With the emphasis on ‘must’.

Soon after, Jewish Labour MP Ivan Lewis becomes ‘the first senior Labour politician to attack Corbyn’s credentials on anti-Semitism’. And there will be more to come. How could anyone who finds Israel’s actions unacceptable imagine that they had the right to become leader of a major British political Party?

* * *

The treatment of Corbyn by the British Zionist mafia is not novel but redolent of the behavior of the British Zionist machine since its inception. Some insight into this machine can be had from a forgotten book, which a correspondent has alerted me to. The book is Publish It Not: The Middle East Cover-Up, written by Michael Adams and Christopher Mayhew, published in 1975 (Longman).

Adams (died 2005) was a journalist, Mayhew (died 1997) a Labour MP (later a Liberal) and broadcaster. Both came to be critics of Israel from a position of innocence, product of firsthand experience in their professional capacities. The hostility that they and other critics of Israel experienced on British soil led them to write the book.

The authors draw comfort from Nahum Goldmann, then President of the World Jewish Congress, reported (Jewish Chronicle, 7 June 1974) as claiming:

  “… by blindly supporting the mistaken course of Israeli policy and by telling the Israelis only what they wanted to hear, Diaspora Jews had done Israel a disservice.”

Ill-informed (Adams was teaching in cut-off Finland in the late 1940s) and inexperienced, Adams found himself hired as Middle East correspondent for the Manchester Guardian in 1956. He was to remain employed until 1962, but continued to be published there until 1968. With respect to Israel:

“What I saw, in brief, was the fact of injustice; of an injustice which, it seemed, had been knowingly committed and was still being deliberately prolonged; an injustice – worst shock of all – which could be directly traced to a decision taken by a British government. I am speaking, of course, of the injustice done to the Palestinians …”

Adams notes that he could have accepted the past as spilt milk, but for two factors.

“The first of these was the realisation that the world’s ignorance of what had happened and was still happening in Palestine was not accidental: that there were plenty of people about whose primary concern it was to distort and suppress the truth about Palestine without bothering their heads with any concerns about freedom of speech. And the second factor … was the Suez crisis, which it became my duty to observe and report for The Manchester Guardian. It was a decisive experience.”

Then came the Israeli takeover of what was to become the ‘occupied territories’ following the Six Day War of June 1967. For Adams:

“There was a kind of Watergate in action … to protect those who made it their business to defend Israel and to subject to an insidious form of discrimination those who sought to expose the true aims of Israeli policy. Such non-conformists were subtly made aware that their jobs might be at risk, their books unpublishable, their preferment out of the question, their pubic reputations vulnerable, if they did not renounce the heresy of anti-Zionism. And for the most part, the merest flourish of such secret weapons was enough to reduce them to silence.”

The handful of dissenters learned that:

“… the imbalance of public opinion, in this deeply contentious area of foreign politics, was deliberately contrived and painstakingly maintained; and that those who were intent on maintaining it were not above resorting to some very dirty tricks against those who tried, as we were trying, to disturb it. I was to learn this lesson myself the hard way …”

In 1967, Adams, Mayhew and others formed the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding and the Labour Middle East Council. CAABU membership comprised well-credentialled professionals with Middle Eastern experience, but it was derided as an Arab propaganda front. The Labour Middle East Council was denied affiliation with the Labour Party. Mayhew notes:

“… we were startled by the vehemence with which … we were attacked and exposed to insult, and by the extraordinary anonymous letters which we became accustomed to receiving. In some respects these attacks were so bitter and unrestrained as to appear pathological.”

Christopher Mayhew’s first personal brush with Zionism was upon receipt of a letter dated 5 December 1946:

“We are determined this time to squash you British sons of a bitch and we declare war to the finish against the British. For every Jew you stinking British pigs kill in Palestine you will pay a thousandfold in fetid English blood. The [Lahome Herut Israel] has passed sentence of death on the British pig Mayhew. The execution will soon take place by silent and new means.”

At that time, letter bombs were received by several people. One such package was sent to an avowed anti-Zionist Roy Farran, which killed his brother.

Mayhew’s first professional exposure was as Undersecretary for Labour Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin. The Commons, 11 July 1948. It is 8 a.m., after an all night sitting. Mayhew is alone on the Government front bench. The Commons is empty. Save for:

“… behind me, wide awake, well-informed, passionate, articulate and aggressive, would be a group of twenty or thirty pro-Israeli Labour members. Most of them would be Jewish … and also Israel’s most brilliant non-Jewish supporter, Dick Crossman.”

At this ridiculous time, a debate on the recognition of Israel was initiated by a young Labour backbencher. Mayhew replied:

“Has my Honourable Friend ever heard that there is an Arab point of view? … The trouble with my Honourable Friend, as the whole of his speech shows, is that he is not sufficiently in touch with the Arab point of view on the Palestine problem.”

And thus it would be for Mayhew’s entire time in the Commons, harangued, abused, then marginalized. But the early target was Bevin himself, labelled successfully as an anti-Semite. Mayhew again:

“I remember clearly [Bevin’s] dislike of Zionist methods and tactics, and, indeed, of the Zionist philosophy itself. He was passionately and unshakably anti-Zionist. He held that Zionism was basically racialist, that it was inevitably wedded to violence and terror, that it demanded far more from the Arabs than they could or should be expected to accept peacefully, that its success would condemn the Middle East to decades of hatred and violence, and above all … that by turning the Arabs against Britain and the Western countries, it would open a highroad for Stalin into the Middle East. On all these points events proved him right …

“In 1947 and 1948 it was the political pressure on the Labour Cabinet from American Zionists, exerted through the United States government, which angered Bevin the most …. At that time, Britain was dependent on American goodwill for her economic survival [and Truman equally dependent on Zionist goodwill for his campaign funds]. As a consequence, the British government was subject to ruthless pressure from Washington to get the Arabs to accept the Zionists’ demands. It was a disgraceful abuse of power.”

By chance, Mayhew had to meet the US Ambassador, Lou Douglas, by himself. Douglas wanted British assent to admitting a hundred thousand Jewish refugees into Palestine immediately. Mayhew reiterated the government’s position – it was a prescription for war. Douglas then claimed that the President wanted it known that agreement on the intake would help him get the Marshall Aid appropriation through Congress.

“In other words, we must do as the Zionists wished – or starve. Bevin surrendered – he had to – but he was understandably bitter and angry. He felt it outrageous that the United States, which had no responsibility for law and order in Palestine (and no intention of permitting massive Jewish immigration into the United States), should, from very questionable motives, impose an impossibly burdensome and dangerous task on Britain.”

Mayhew’s first visit to the Middle East was in 1953 – as member of a Parliamentary delegation he went to a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. There he saw ‘… the refugee camps not merely as relics of a past war, but as seedbeds of future vengeance’.

Other priorities intervened, but in 1963 Mayhew was a member of an official Labour Party delegation which toured Middle Eastern countries. On that tour, the delegation met then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and other Israeli leaders. He was disgusted by Meir’s mocking and patronizing attitude towards the Palestinians.

“I remembered now where I had heard it before: at parties given by British settlers in Kenya and Tanganyika before those countries gained their independence. It was the tone in which it would be explained to visitors like myself that the African was scatterbrained but essentially a ‘good chap’, loyal (meaning loyal to his white masters) but easily led astray by trouble makers (meaning those of his fellow-Africans who aspired to self-rule).”

Thus did Mayhew develop a commitment to the Palestinian cause. But Mayhew’s answering back to the Israelis had immediate consequences. When Harold Wilson, a zealous Zionist, formed a government the next year in 1964, Mayhew was excluded from the Cabinet after the lobbying against him.

* * *

For Mayhew:

“The secret of the Zionists’ success has lain in the existence of a large, lively and influential Jewish community in Britain. [In the context of deliberations regarding the Balfour Declaration in 1917, s]upporters of Zionism, whether Jewish or non-Jewish … if they were not in positions of power themselves, they usually had easy access to those who were.”

Mayhew drew on Doreen Ingrams’ Palestine Papers 1917-1922, which highlights that the first drafts of the Balfour Declaration were written under the direction of Zionists (Lord Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann) on Balfour’s invitation. Weizmann had ready access to Balfour. Thus Weizmann to Balfour, 30 May 1918 (from Ingrams):

“The Arabs, who are superficially clever and quick-witted, worship one thing, and one thing only – power and success … The British authorities … knowing as they do the treacherous nature of the Arab, they have to watch carefully and constantly that nothing should happen which might give the Arabs the slightest grievance or ground of complaint. In other words, the Arabs have to be ‘nursed’ lest they should stab the army in the back. … So the English are ‘run’ by the Arabs.”

After the Balfour Declaration’s publication, the government established a special branch for Jewish propaganda in the Foreign office under a Zionist, Albert Hyamson, and a Zionist commission (led by Weizmann) was dispatched to Palestine to facilitate the Zionist agenda.

Mayhew notes the instructiveness of the diaries of Mrs Blanche Dugdale (Balfour’s niece), on ‘the intimacy of the Zionist lobby’s contracts with the Cabinet’, citing a September 1936 entry (p.32). Mayhew concludes:

“What is extraordinary about this extract – and many others in Mrs Dugdale’s revealing diaries – is that she is describing without apology (quite the contrary) a pattern of behaviour which would normally be considered scandalous, if not positively treasonable. A member of the British government was communicating Cabinet secrets to a private individual acting on behalf of a group of foreign nationals [etc] …”

Mayhew notes that the capture of the British Labour Party, even by comparison with the Liberals and Conservatives, has been a remarkable phenomenon.

“By tradition and principle the party was strongly opposed to territorial expansion, colonialism, racialism and military government; yet the Zionist lobby succeeded in committing it to a uniquely close friendship with a foreign government which [failed all these criteria].”

The Labour Party ‘welcomed Zionists most warmly to its ranks and gave the most consistent support to their aims’. Soon after Labour was elected in August 1929, riots broke out in Palestine, driven by the scale and character of Jewish immigration. A subsequent White Paper noted that Britain’s support for Jewish immigration was not formally unconditional. The lobby forced a retreat from Prime Minister MacDonald, following which Jewish immigration into Palestine escalated dramatically.

“In the 1930s and ‘40s the Zionists consolidated their grip on the Labour Party and came completely to control its policy on the Middle East.”

The Party’s National Executive Committee’s 1944 report proposed ‘Let the Arabs be encouraged to move out, as the Jews move in’, and that Jewish migration prospects might be enhanced by ‘extending the present Palestinian boundaries by agreement with Egypt, Syria or Transjordan’. Mayhew notes that the Labour Party thus ‘took on itself the role of a kind of Zionist fifth column’.

Then to the Attlee government. Professor Harold Laski, ardent Zionist, was chairman of the Party’s National Executive Committee during 1945-46, declaring that he was attempting to organize ‘an internal opposition to fight the Attlee-Bevin betrayal of the Jews’. Add the (much cited) Crossman-Strachey incident. Mayhew reproduces the fragment in Hugh Thomas’ biography of John Strachey. Strachey, Under-Secretary of State for Air and member of the government’s Defence Committee, gave Crossman tacit approval for the Haganah to engage in sabotage. Thus did Haganah blow up the bridges over the Jordan (June 1946?), cutting off the British army from its supply lines. As Mayhew notes:

“Such behaviour by supposedly responsible members of the Labour Party and Government would be inconceivable in any context other than that of Zionism.”

Mayhew neglects to add Thomas’ postscript:

“A few days later, the Foreign Office broke the Jewish Agency code. Crossman was for several days alarmed lest he and Strachey might be discovered.”

And on to the Wilson government, the Prime Minister’s contribution to the Zionist cause being unstinting. On 8 December 1972, the UN General Assembly re-affirmed the UN’s November 1967 Resolution 242 (demanding Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories, respect of Palestinian rights, etc). Wilson, in Israel over Christmas, in turn reaffirmed his carte blanche support for Israel’s freedom of action.

As a Jewish newspaper reported on the 29th: ‘Tidings of comfort and joy were brought to Israel’s political leaders this week by Harold Wilson’. Mayhew’s contrary response was:

“Today it is widely recognised that the policies to whose support Mr Wilson committed himself and the British Labour Party were gravely mistaken and that they were the principal cause of the fresh outbreak of war in the Middle East in October 1973.”

The fiftieth anniversary of the affiliation of the organization Paole Zion to the Labour Party was held in September 1970. After the 1920 affiliation, Mayhew notes, ‘a steady stream of pro-Zionist questions began’, involving fraudulent propaganda that ‘greatly influenced generations of credulous Labour Party members’.

The 1970 dinner was presided over by the acting chairman of the Party, the Zionist Ian Mikardo. Mikardo attacked Ernest Bevin (an anti-Zionist and anti-Semite), the British Diplomatic Service, and the Arabs. Said Mikardo, Foreign Office officials were ‘public school boys who share with the Arabs a common tendency towards homosexuality, romanticism and enthusiasm for horses’.

Mayhew claims that the dinner probably marks the zenith of the Zionist influence. Yet the general account of Adams and Mayhew up to the time of the book’s publication highlights that nothing had changed within the Labour Party. Dissenters within the ranks were perennially howled down and abused by the Zionist chorus.

* * *

Adams and Mayhew note that the British media bore a heavy responsibility, through its partisanry and its silences, for the public’s impoverished understanding of the Middle East. Most British media Middle East correspondents were Jewish, and some outlets lazily employed Jewish Israeli residents who doubled as ‘reporters’.

In early 1968 Adams, in visiting the Middle East on invitation by the BBC, arranged with the Guardian that he would write some articles on the state of affairs in the occupied territories – then little known in Britain. Adams was appalled by what he found.

The Guardian published the initial articles, but its editor baulked at the last. It referred to the destruction of three villages (Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba) not far from Jerusalem, after the access road from Ramallah was cut, the rubble carted away and the remains ploughed over. Adams confirmed the details with the Israeli military. Not least because none of the rest of the media’s patsies had reported on the affair, the Guardian’s editor found Adams’ account unpalatable. That was the end of Adams’ 12-year relationship with the Guardian.

Some outlets were worse than others. The New Statesman was notable in its partisanry under ‘a succession of vehemently pro-Israeli editors (Kingsley Martin, Paul Johnson, Richard Crossman)’, until 1972; and The Economist under Alastair Burnet. Johnson was subsequently appointed by Harold Wilson to be a member of the 1974 Royal Commission on the Press.

The most influential of the ‘gentile Zionists’ in the early days was the Manchester Guardian. On Adams’ first visit to Jerusalem in 1956 he was surprised to have a distinguished Palestinian refer to his employer as ‘Ah, the Zionist paper’. Adams then discovered that C. P. Scott had ‘launched’ Chaim Weizmann into British political society, introducing Weizmann to Lloyd George and putting ‘the authority of The Manchester Guardian at the disposal of the cause of Zionism’. No doubt Jonathan Freedland, keeping the acrid flame alive, has a photo of Scott on his desk.

The BBC (both television and radio) was consistently partisan through these years. According to Mayhew, the pro-Israel bias was for the most part inbuilt and unconscious. Although management would perennially consciously cave in under pressure from the lobby.

To the media’s bias, the authors add disgust at the silence of the British churches on Israeli abuses, not least because they had representatives on the ground in Jerusalem. The authors lament, in particular, the long silence of the Church of England on the issue.

“The years of acquiescence in the Israeli fait accompli had cost the church any moral standing it might have had in the matter …”

* * *

Adams and Mayhew started Publish It Not in 1974. The text is written in hindsight following the October 1973 war. They note the relative military strength of the combatant Arab states, ‘surprising’, given the seeming invincibility of the Israeli military apparatus. They also note the atypical unity of the Arab states (with Saudi Arabia a late adherent), embodied in the oil embargo and price hike. The western media belatedly started to report Arab opinion.

From this environment the authors conclude:

“Israel’s capacity to survive without making far-reaching concessions, concessions which would severely modify the nature and potential of the Jewish state, seems very doubtful. So far, Israel has established herself, and expanded her territories, on the basis of her dominant military power. But since October 1973 the balance of power has shifted significantly against Israel and the shift seems likely to continue in the same direction.”

What a dramatically flawed prognosis! Still, they weren’t alone. They cite a contemporary, longtime journalist at The Times, (Jewish) David Spanier, 15 January 1974:

“All of a sudden it seems blindingly clear, not to all, but to many, who had somehow looked the other way, that the permanent relegation of large numbers of people as second-class citizens will bring the Zionist mission to an end and may threaten the state itself. According to some religious thinkers, far from the political arena, a policy based on occupation will ultimately corrupt the essential value of Judaism itself.”

And the aftermath? Some time ago, I unearthed a cache of Guardian Weeklys stretching over the years. Product of a hoarding mentality, their existence product of a pre-internet compulsory subscription by an antipodean colonial seeking non-provincial media exposure.

For example, late 2003, with respect to Israel. Well what do you know? Some representative headlines.

‘100,000 [Israelis remembering Yitzhak Rabin] gathered last weekend under banners denouncing occupation and demanding peace

‘A European Commission opinion poll that claims 60% of Europeans see Israel as the greatest threat to world peace has drawn outraged denunciations of anti-semitism

‘Israeli planes kill 10 people in wave of attacks on Gaza

‘The Israeli military has ordered thousands of Palestinians living near the steel and concrete ‘security fence’ that cuts through the West Bank to obtain special permits to live in their own homes

‘Rafah braced for more misery: Eight Palestinians dead and 1,500 homeless – but Israeli raids go on

‘Iran threat must be eliminated – US hawk

‘3,000 dead – yet peace remains elusive; three years of intifada

‘Bitter harvest in West Bank’s olive groves: Jewish settlers destroy fruit of centuries of toil to force out Palestinian villagers

‘Deep anxiety unsettles the Jewish community in France

Add countless letters to the Editor fueled by passion and disgust, emanating from both anti-Zionist and Zionist camps. You couldn’t make it up. Plus ça change!

That interpretative failure of Adams and Mayhew provides a significant lesson. One is forced to ask – why did their prediction so dramatically miss the trend of ensuing decades? Literally, many things have changed. But plus c’est la même chose. The more things have stayed the same. The dialectical evolution of thrust and counter thrust that produced a form of status quo has been inadequately documented and analyzed.

In culminating with the status quo, there has been non-stop turbulence. What? We have witnessed the annexation of the Golan, two invasions of Lebanon, the repression of two intifadas, the creeping appropriations of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the perennial ravaging of Gaza, the perennial murder of Palestinians and long term incarceration of Palestinians, the wilful repulsion of Gaza-bound maritime traffic, etc. The entrenchment of an apartheid state.

Israel has never fulfilled the conditions on which it was admitted into UN membership; it has ignored myriad UN resolutions, it has attacked UN infrastructure and personnel, and has just sent a racist extremist to the UN as ambassador. Israel retains privileged access to the crucial markets of the European Union. And, of course, this state with the reputed strength of Solomon sucks voraciously on the American taxpayer teat.

Israel continues to operate with complete impunity for its crimes.

* * *

Serendipitously, a second edition of Publish It Not was published in 2006 (Signal Books). It is a desirable read, both for the insight, courage, commitment yet sobriety of the prose of Michael Adams and Christopher Mayhew, but also for the latter day complements. Jeremy Corbyn might profitably read it (for his sanity), if he has not already done so. The 2006 edition has three additions.

One. There is a 2005 sympathetic review by Shelby Tucker of John Rose’s 2004 The Myths of Zionism and of Jacqueline Rose’s 2005 The Question of Zion. Notes Tucker:

“It was only when I read Publish It Not … that I learned just how pervasive Zionist control of our media was and recognized the extent and effectiveness of its indoctrinating power. That was the moment that I changed my allegiance in this cause. It was the simple response of a man who awakened to the fact that he had been lied to.”

The Times Literary Supplement commissioned Tucker’s review, and the copy editor approved it. But the TLS editor pulled the plug (‘He doesn’t feel that the review is right for [us]’), instead publishing a dishonest Zionist review of the books. Exhibit A for the Adams/Mayhew narrative.

Two. There is an extended ‘testimony’ by Marion Woolfson of her experience as an honest reporter of Middle Eastern affairs. Woolfson’s experience is mentioned briefly by Mayhew in the 1975 text. But Woolfson’s account is harrowing.

Jewish, Woolfson moves to London following her husband’s death and visits her in-laws. She was informed over dinner that then Labour MP Christopher Mayhew was ‘evil, murderous, a Nazi and a terrible Jew-hater’. It was all downhill from then on.

Her media reports and letters lead to her being subject to (literally) non-stop harassment, brutalization, physical attacks. Endless letters and telephone calls calling her ‘a treacherous lying bitch’, receiving money from or sleeping with ‘filthy Arabs’, etc. She changes her number, made silent, but that number is readily made available to the harassers (!). The nature of the beast (in lieu of a local chapter of the vicious Jewish Defense League) deserves reproduction:

“Each evening … salesmen from a number of double-glazing firms would call and then throughout the night there would be a procession of taxis ‘to take me to the airport’. … Then lorries began arriving from early morning, laden with cement mixers, sand or gravel so that the narrow mews in which I lived was totally jammed and the lorry drivers … would be cursing. … Eventually I had to move out of my house until the harassment stopped. Not long after my return, I found a large swastika painted on my front gate. …

“Then, a huge rock was thrown through my large, plate-glass dining-room window with such force that it broke the wall opposite. … (There was a similar incident last year when the missile crashed through my bedroom window, at my present home, at 2 a.m. I tell myself that this was merely the action of a local hooligan.) Soon afterwards, a man called at my house. … A few days later … a man, who … had what looked like a metal cosh in his hand hit me on the forehead … [etc.]”

She is shut out of the media, prevented from plying her profession. She is ex-communicated from the bulk of the Jewish community. At least she should take heart from the experience of the valiant Spinoza.

Three. There is an extended foreword by longtime BBC journalist Tim Llewellyn. It is addressed specifically to the mis-judgment of Adams and Mayhew.

Llewellyn notes the changes. The Labour MP Zionist bully boys have gone. The public is far better informed, courtesy of considerable critical scholarly literature and daily internet exposés. The lies have been exposed as lies. The media acquired slightly more balance.

But the Parliamentary bully boys have been replaced by the trans-party ‘Friends of Israel’ cabals. Thus, for example, in September 2011, the Tory-Liberal Government moved to facilitate ready access of Israeli war criminals to British soil. And the public, no matter how better-informed, is ignored (witness the zero impact of the anti-Iraq invasion demonstrations). Since 2000, the BBC has backtracked, following 9/11, the second intifada, and Blair Labour’s relentless pressure for conformity. Add the organically pro-Israel Murdoch media (including The Times since 1981) and the Daily Telegraph.

More, the Zionist lobby is now better resourced, as powerful as ever. So-called representative national Jewish organizations, as in other countries, are first and foremost, pro-Israel lobby groups (have I missed a low-lying exception?). Claims Llewellyn:

“Since 1975, when the authors went into print, the official and institutional ranks of the Zionists in Britain have mounted and continue to mount campaigns of disinformation that dwarf their efforts of thirty and forty years ago. … the work goes on … not just in selling the Israeli package to the ordinary British people but also in changing the nature of British Jews’ perception of themselves and their relationship to Israel. Or, to put it another way, Israel’s alleged centrality to the life of a British Jew.”

As above, David Spanier was concerned that ‘a policy based on occupation will ultimately corrupt the essential value of Judaism itself’. Quite. The culturally unifying role of Judaism, in many families reduced to the conventionalized ritual of the Judaic calendar, has been displaced by the culturally unifying role of Israel. If less spiritual, a decidedly more muscular apparatus to be proud of (save for the hostility to this ersatz substitution by some Orthodox communities). And this even given that the majority of Jewry would never contemplate living there.

But the more does Israel perpetrate unsavory actions, the more does Israel need an effective propaganda machine. Llewelyn again, noting that the Americans arrived after 2000 to advise the British Israel Communications and Research Centre:

“The message was clear: be aggressive; pester and menace the media and the politicians in all their forms; go to court; never let up; let no adverse image or mention of Israel go unchallenged, however true, however perceived. In a word, the only story is our story: make sure everyone knows that.

“If Adams and Mayhew had been appalled at the Zionist intrusions they suffered in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, they would have been paralysed by the sheer aggression of the Zionist movement here, especially concerning the media after 2000 and the success it achieved with its tactics …”

Thus the Zionist messiah, political version, is now made flesh. But in its nurturing of human nature at its worst, it requires a most unholy propaganda and lobbying edifice to keep its yet incomplete pursuit of purity of spirit on track. The exercise, with its inevitable criminality, is fundamentally dependent upon the ‘dual loyalty’ (singular?) of the so-called Diaspora. And woe to the ‘self-hating’ Jews who dissent from the rule, saying ‘not in my name’.

In short, tribalism trumps reason, humanity and moral integrity. Can the evidence allow any other inference? Reason, humanity and moral integrity aside, what a brilliant success story.

* * *

Of the propaganda armory, the very rusty ‘anti-Semitism’ sword is still being brandished, and still to good effect. Here is Adams and Mayhew on the long silence of the churches:

“Nor was the situation any better in other western countries: the damaging accusation of anti-Semitism was held like a sword over the head of anyone rash enough to criticise Israel, from a moral or a spiritual standpoint, as from a political one.”

And Llewellyn on the BBC as highly-exposed public broadcaster:

“In institutional broadcasting there is a climate of fear. Executives do not like to be accused of anti-Semitism, which is the ready-to-hand smear the Zionists and their friends have available if they think Israel is receiving a bad press.”

It’s staggering to think that this canard still carries leverage, not least because it shits on the substantive anti-Semitism that has been central to the Jewish experience for centuries.

Thus the pro-Palestinian Jeremy Corbyn is naturally a target of this trusty weapon. Frankly, I don’t like his chances. If he manages to transcend the slur and its baggage, it will be a new day.

On the subject of this crime by Zionism against Jewry itself, one is perennially drawn to the stance of the philosopher Michael Neumann, outlined in Cockburn and St. Clair’s 2003 The Politics of Anti-Semitism. Neumann notes that definitional inflation cheapens the currency. (One might add that, as in Gresham’s Law in economics, ‘bad money drives out good’.)

With respect to the growth of Arab anti-Semitism, Neumann notes:

“… its chief cause is not anti-Semitic propaganda but the decades’ old (sic), systematic and unrelenting efforts of Israel to implicate all Jews in its crimes.”

Is opposition to the settlements (the Jews’ claimed historic right to Eretz Israel?) anti-Semitic? Claims Neumann:

“… since we are obliged to oppose the settlements, we are obliged to be anti-Semitic. Through definitional inflation, some form of anti-Semitism becomes morally obligatory.

“… anti-Zionism is a moral obligation, so, if anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism is a moral obligation.”

The Zionist armory, if one can be excused a mixed metaphor, has no clothes. It is long overdue that Zionism and its incarnation in the state of Israel be subject to the supposedly universal standards of reason, humanity and moral integrity.

Evan Jones is a retired political economist from the University of Sydney. He can be reached at:evan.jones@sydney.edu.au

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bahrain: Crushing Dissent

Ongoing suppression of activists and political opposition in Bahrain

Tensions remain at all time high, with political leaders and activists behind bars, the situation in Bahrain shows no sign of abating.

Reports of ill treatment and police brutality continue to emerge from Jau, the country’s main prison, as the authorities crack down on detainees.

The recent sentencing of opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman has created a further political deadlock sparking mass protests across the country.

As demonstrations sweep across the country, and Western leaders continue their silence in this episode of Infocus we investigate how the authorities are continuing to suppress dissenting voices in the country.

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Aussie cop charged for leaking footage of fellow officers beating detainee

RT | August 24, 2015

Gold Coast police officer Sergeant Rick Flori may spend up to seven years behind bars for leaking CCTV footage showing his fellow officers brutalizing a young chef, Noa Begic, while he was handcuffed in the Surfers Paradise Police Station basement.

Flori, who leaked the footage of the dramatic incident to the Brisbane Courier-Mail, was formally charged with misconduct in public office after being summoned to police headquarters in Brisbane last week, the newspaper reported. The footage taken in 2012 shows police officers slamming Begic’s face into the concrete floor before the 21-year-old is shoved into the back of a van and brutally punched a number of times by one cop while another holds him.

The video then shows Begic’s blood being routinely washed away by a senior-sergeant who would later quit the force before any adverse findings were made by internal investigators. The senior-constable who threw the punches was only given a suspended dismissal, according to the Courier-Mail. The other two officers involved were reportedly not disciplined at all.

According to Sydney Criminal Lawyers, police allege that Flori, who had spent a quarter of a century in the Queensland Police Force until he was suspended earlier this year, committed the offence by ‘inappropriately obtain[ing]’ confidential surveillance footage from the police CCTV room.

Section 91A of the Queensland Criminal Code 1899 makes it an offence for a public officer, including a police officer, to release information gained as a result of their office. The prosecution must now prove that the act was done with the intention of dishonestly gaining a benefit for Flori or another person, or dishonestly causing a detriment to another person, Sydney Criminal Lawyers report.

The victim of the bashing, Begic, was arrested and charged with ‘public nuisance’ and ‘obstructing police’. The charges against him were later dropped and he won a confidential settlement from the Queensland Police Service, the newspaper reported. After his charges were dropped in June 2012, Begic said it would be “a disgrace” if the officer who leaked the video was punished.

A complaint has been made by Council of Civil Liberties (a voluntary organization concerned with the protection of individual rights and civil liberties) to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) which, according to Sydney Criminal Lawyers, is the same body that made the decision not to prosecute the officers involved in the bashing.

“How is it that the police who were shown on the video as belting the crap out of this particular person have not been charged and yet the person who has leaked it is now being charged with an offence which could put him in jail?” Deputy President Terry O’Gorman told the team of lawyers.

The acting chair of the CCC said she had asked staff involved in the incident to compile details about the matter.

“I accept that needs to be looked at and we agree that police excessive use of force is one of the top five problems with police and we will be looking at that,” she told ABC radio.

Last month supporters of Flori gathered outside the Southport Magistrates Court to praise the officer and show outrage over the four involved in the incident.

August 24, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | | Leave a comment

Aussie cop charged for leaking footage of fellow officers beating detainee

RT | August 24, 2015

Gold Coast police officer Sergeant Rick Flori may spend up to seven years behind bars for leaking CCTV footage showing his fellow officers brutalizing a young chef, Noa Begic, while he was handcuffed in the Surfers Paradise Police Station basement.

Flori, who leaked the footage of the dramatic incident to the Brisbane Courier-Mail, was formally charged with misconduct in public office after being summoned to police headquarters in Brisbane last week, the newspaper reported. The footage taken in 2012 shows police officers slamming Begic’s face into the concrete floor before the 21-year-old is shoved into the back of a van and brutally punched a number of times by one cop while another holds him.

The video then shows Begic’s blood being routinely washed away by a senior-sergeant who would later quit the force before any adverse findings were made by internal investigators. The senior-constable who threw the punches was only given a suspended dismissal, according to the Courier-Mail. The other two officers involved were reportedly not disciplined at all.

According to Sydney Criminal Lawyers, police allege that Flori, who had spent a quarter of a century in the Queensland Police Force until he was suspended earlier this year, committed the offence by ‘inappropriately obtain[ing]’ confidential surveillance footage from the police CCTV room.

Section 91A of the Queensland Criminal Code 1899 makes it an offence for a public officer, including a police officer, to release information gained as a result of their office. The prosecution must now prove that the act was done with the intention of dishonestly gaining a benefit for Flori or another person, or dishonestly causing a detriment to another person, Sydney Criminal Lawyers report.

The victim of the bashing, Begic, was arrested and charged with ‘public nuisance’ and ‘obstructing police’. The charges against him were later dropped and he won a confidential settlement from the Queensland Police Service, the newspaper reported. After his charges were dropped in June 2012, Begic said it would be “a disgrace” if the officer who leaked the video was punished.

A complaint has been made by Council of Civil Liberties (a voluntary organization concerned with the protection of individual rights and civil liberties) to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) which, according to Sydney Criminal Lawyers, is the same body that made the decision not to prosecute the officers involved in the bashing.

“How is it that the police who were shown on the video as belting the crap out of this particular person have not been charged and yet the person who has leaked it is now being charged with an offence which could put him in jail?” Deputy President Terry O’Gorman told the team of lawyers.

The acting chair of the CCC said she had asked staff involved in the incident to compile details about the matter.

“I accept that needs to be looked at and we agree that police excessive use of force is one of the top five problems with police and we will be looking at that,” she told ABC radio.

Last month supporters of Flori gathered outside the Southport Magistrates Court to praise the officer and show outrage over the four involved in the incident.

August 24, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | | Leave a comment

Another Egyptian prisoner dies, 3rd in 48 hours

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A file photo of Ahmed Hamed, an Egyptian political prisoner who died while in custody on August 21, 2015.
Press TV – August 22, 2015

Another Egyptian political prisoner has died while in custody, the third death in 48 hours and the 13th of the month of August.

Thirty-seven-year-old Ahmed Hamed, father of three children, was pronounced dead on Friday evening in a police station in the city of Faiyum, 100 kilometers southwest of the Egyptian capital Cairo.

Hamed, a supporter of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, lost his life just four days after being “kidnapped” by security forces in civilian clothes from the premises of his residence in Faiyum.

According to Hamed’s family and human rights activists in the city, he died of torture. No further details on his death have been released yet.

This is the third similar case in just 48 hours in Egypt. A 40-year-old man passed away in custody on Wednesday in a hospital in Matariya district in northeastern Cairo. He was detained 15 days before his death on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Human rights activists in the Egyptian capital had said the man was only transferred to hospital when he was already in a very critical condition also due to torture.

Also on Wednesday, a 72-year-old inmate, serving a three-year prison term on similar charges, died in the Borg El Arab prison in Egypt’s city of Alexandria in the north.

The victim, who was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, lost his life due to purported medical negligence upon his return from a court session a day earlier, where he had appeared in a wheelchair.

At least 13 political detainees are now known to have lost their lives inside detention facilities in August alone.

Human rights activists emphasize that “deliberate and systematic medical negligence” on the part of prison authorities, torture, overcrowded prisons, and overall “unhealthy and inhumane” conditions imposed on more than 40,000 political prisoners in Egypt’s detention facilities are the causes behind the deaths.

Nearly 300 political prisoners have died in Egyptian detention facilities since then army chief and current President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ousted Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013 in a coup.

Sisi then launched brutal crackdown on pro-Morsi protesters and brotherhood members, leading to the killing of hundreds and the arrest and imprisonment of tens of thousands, many of whom have been sentenced to death and long prison terms in mass trials.

August 23, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

The New “Steps Towards Democracy” in South Korea

By Konstantin Asmolov | New Eastern Outlook | August 22, 2015

On July 15 2015, the police of the Republic of Korea in Seoul raided the office and residence of members of the civil movement, “Korean Alliance”, (in Korea – the association for independent reunification and the development of democracy), who advocate the expansion of ties with the DPRK. This organization was created in November 2011 to implement the independent reunification of the two Koreas without external influence. It demands the withdrawal of foreign troops (read – the US, because there are no others) from the Korean peninsula and advocates the abolition of the National Security Law (NSL), which (among other things) prohibits citizens of the Republic of Korea, any unauthorized contact with North Koreans and actions to support the DPRK.

According to law enforcement officials, the movement is suspected of “promoting North Korean ideology and actions in support of Pyongyang.” About 100 police officers went to the movement’s offices in order to seize documents for the investigation.

According to investigators, members of the movement, which the authorities consider “anti-government“, repeatedly published messages indicating a positive attitude towards the North Korean regime on the Internet, as well as organizing public events against the NSL. Furthermore, in 2013 during a stay in Germany, one of the members of the movement allegedly attended a seminar organized by the pro-North Korean group and was in contact with officials from the DPRK.

In addition, the chairman of the organization was the late pastor, Pak Chan Kyung, who, according to secret service agents, was previously deputy chairman of the pro-North Korean, organization “Korean Association for the Reunification of the Motherland.”

Its members are holding protests, calling for a stop to the investigation, but the chances of getting away with this are very slim. After all, at the same time the law-enforcement system in South Korea has taken “an important step toward democracy.” This entails the decision by the Constitutional Court on the issue of whether possession of North Korean literature is a political offense subject to proceedings under the Law on National Security. In comparison to the ban on the United Progressive Party, against which only one judge out of nine spoke up, the number of those voting “against” has risen to three, yet the ruling has been passed.

The decision was made in connection with the appeal by Hon, who was accused by the court of Suwon of violating the National Security Law. He was counted as belonging to the “anti-state organization” on the grounds that memoirs of Kim Il Sung were found on the hard drive of his computer, but he filed a protest, claiming that he held such materials to “better know the enemy.”

The court judgement confirmed that the NSL is vital in curbing social unrest, and necessary to ensure public safety and freedom by preventing actions that could lead to a violent regime change. Moreover, according to the Court, these restrictions did not violate freedom of speech. Of course, they could be used to suppress political opposition, but this should be separated from pro-North Korean activities. Such bans are precautions against possible social instability achieved by means of illegal protests.

As stated by the judges in their verdict, “given the current circumstances in the country, national security is critically dependent on the law which is being proposed for review. We recognize that, currently, there is no clear and direct threat, but it is in the public’s interest to restrain these violent ideas before they gain impetus.” Therefore, the storage of materials was sufficient for prosecution. “Given the level of modern scientific and technological progress, the rapid dissemination of materials via the Internet is very likely. The law prohibits the storage of individual anti-state literature without legal authorization.” In other words, anything that is not permitted is prohibited. Even if you’re just interested in North Korea without being a patented fighter with the Communists, this poses the threat of sedition.

It is curious that such an interpretation is, in fact, the assumption that a person that stores such information is, a priori, a supporter of North Korea.

Three of the judges, however, did not agree with this interpretation: the punishment for possession alone without proof of proliferation creates a great potential for errors or violations of the law. Too much depends on the personal opinion of the investigator. It requires additional evidence that the accused distributed these materials or kept them because they held similar views.

Let’s translate this law into the language of reality. Just the mere fact that you keep a copy of “Mein Kampf” at home automatically makes you a fascist and a suspect in a series of other crimes motivated by ethnic hatred, why else would a person keep this at home? And silly talk such as “how can you study Hitler, without reading Hitler?” are just flimsy excuses; if you are not registered as an official opponent of Hitler, then you must be one of his secret supporters, and so, face criminal prosecution. In general, if we compare this case with Russian practice, we have to ask ourselves who is catching up with the Russian Federation – North Korea, or even the Republic of Korea?

In this context, one cannot but recall the textbook for North Korea’s lawyers, issued by the Ministry of Public Security (i.e. by the ordinary, detective police) of North Korea in 2009. The book contains a great number of examples of various offenses, including an example very similar to the aforementioned, right up to the prescribed punishment.

Finally, here’s more recent news from July 31, 2015. The Constitutional Court has recognized the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea’s Law on the election of officials, which requires Internet users to use their real names during the electoral period. This relates to paragraph 6 of Article 82 and paragraph 1 of Article 261, which requires the user to specify their real names if they want to express opinions about political parties or candidates for leadership positions. For violation of these requirements, fines of up to 10 million Won, or 8.5 thousand Dollars are enforced. This requirement is effective only during the election period, because, according to the decision of the Constitutional Court dated August 23, 2010, the collection of users’ personal information when working with the Internet violates the constitutional rights of citizens. Thus, the 2007 requirement of the identification of Internet users was lifted, so as to prevent the interference with freedom of expression on the Internet.

Today’s decision by the Constitutional Court came in response to a complaint filed in 2013 by Daum, the web-portal whose headquarters are on the island of Jeju. The Jeju Provincial Electoral Commission fined the portal for breach of compliance with the requirement to indicate the real names of users during the 2012 presidential election. The Portal administration felt that this requirement was contrary to the decision of the Constitutional Court from 2010. Meanwhile, five of the nine judges found no violation of the law requiring users to indicate their real names. Especially, since it does not reveal the individual’s full personal information and is valid only during the election period. The other four judges considered that the requirement was unconstitutional because it required online-voters to disclose personal data, even if only for a limited period.

Here we should note the following: the Internet in South Korea is already only provided with passport identification. To register on a forum or to perform any transaction, it is necessary to submit a unique identification number. But here we are talking about the compulsory disclosure of personal data in any attempt to discuss politicized issues. Obviously, it’s not just for the sake of combating Internet trolling (which is usually cited to justify abolishing anonymity), but, so the state security organs could easily identify anyone whose thinking does not coincide with “the party line.”

This is an obvious crackdown. How it interfaces with the internal policies and whether it is possible, in this context, to say that conservative circles are regaining their former influence in the Republic of Korea will be in one of our forthcoming articles.

Konstantin Asmolov, PhD (History) is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

August 22, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 5 Comments

US ‘shamefully’ refuse to release Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo despite UK pressure

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Shaker Aamer © Wikipedia
RT | August 20, 2015

American authorities are “shamefully” refusing to release Shaker Aamer, the last British resident detained at Guantanamo Bay, despite calls from Prime Minister David Cameron for the prisoner to be freed, a lawyer has claimed.

Aamer’s legal counsel Ramzi Kassem called on the British government to pressure the White House further after President Barack Obama promised to “prioritize” his case in January.

Kassem also blasted the US government for refusing to allow Aamer access to independent doctors, despite concerns over the neutrality of army medical personnel.

The New York-based lawyer said the physical condition of Aamer, who has been imprisoned without trial for 14 years, “deteriorates with each passing day.”

Kassem filed a 26-page motion at a court in Washington calling for the British resident to be examined by two independent doctors and an army doctor to gauge how Aamer is coping with post-traumatic stress.

The Department of Defense has rejected the request, claiming it is too “difficult.”

Aamer’s last independent assessment took place in October 2013, when Californian psychiatrist Dr. Emily Keram described he had been mentally “destroyed” by interrogators, who allegedly subjected him to sleep deprivation and beatings.

Law professor Kassem expressed dismay at the reluctance of US authorities to release Aamer.

“It is truly shameful that we have to litigate every step of the way despite the prime minister’s demand and the president’s pledge to prioritize Shaker’s case,” he said.

“The UK government must press the White House to make good on its promise. The only thing more shameful are the arguments the US government is making in court to prevent Shaker’s examination.”

Cameron raised the issue with Obama on his official visit to the US earlier this year.

Obama promised to “prioritize” the case in January, but Aamer’s legal team claim nothing has been done to progress his case.

Writing in the Guardian last Friday, Aamer’s UK lawyer Clive Stafford Smith claimed the US military has deliberately ignored Obama’s order in breach of the constitution.

“President Obama, it seems, has personally ordered Aamer’s release, and his subordinates have ignored and thwarted his order,” Smith wrote.

“The contravention of the president’s orders indicates that there is a profound problem with the state of democracy in America.”

Kassem slammed the US government for not taking Aamer’s physical and mental health seriously.

He condemned the United States’ “self-servingly attempts to dismiss Mr. Aamer’s reliably-diagnosed and grave ailments as only ‘minor long-term impairments.’”

Aamer has never been charged with a crime or faced trial since he arrived at the high security prison in Cuba.

In describing his treatment at Guantanamo Bay, Aamer said he was stripped of his pride.

“I was not a human being any more. I meant nothing to them. I lost my dignity, my pride,” he said.

“I had to take off my underwear and hand it to them. I had sleep deprivation for 11 days. That made me crazy. They poured cold water over me. They kept me standing for 20 hours a day. I had to hold my hands and arms out.

“All of the statements I made at Bagram were during the sleep deprivation. I would have said anything. I told them, ‘I will tell you I am Bin Laden if you want me to,’” he said.

Aamer was arrested in 2001 in Afghanistan and subsequently moved to Guantanamo Bay, where in 2007 the US military claimed he was a “close associate” of Osama Bin Laden and a “recruiter, financier, and facilitator” for Al-Qaeda.

The Saudi citizen has always insisted he was only in the country to perform charitable work and said he confessed to being a jihadist while being tortured at the hands of the CIA.

August 20, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Civil Liberties, False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Administration Supports Privacy-Invasive “Cybersecurity” Bill

By Mark Jaycox | EFF | August 20, 2015

Right before Congress left for its annual summer vacation the Obama Administration endorsed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). EFF opposes the bill because its vague definitions, broad legal immunity, and new spying powers allow for a tremendous amount of unnecessary damage to users’ privacy. Just last week the Department of Homeland Security agreed and criticized CISPA for its lack of privacy protections. More importantly, CISA fails to address the causes of the recent highly publicized data breaches.

The Obama administration’s endorsement is a complete reversal from its previous stance on privacy-invasive cybersecurity bills. In 2012, the White House published a detailed two-page veto threat against CISA’s antecedent, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). In the letter the Administration noted CISPA:

lacks sufficient limitations on the sharing of personally identifiable information between private entities

and that it would

inappropriately shield companies from any suits where a company’s actions are based on cyber threat information identified, obtained, or shared under this bill, regardless of whether that action otherwise violated Federal criminal law or results in damage or loss of life.

The same is true of CISA, which is why the Administration should’ve vetoed the bill. Like CISPA, CISA

  • Adds a new authority for companies to monitor information systems to protect an entity’s hardware or software.
  • Fails to mandate companies and the government remove unrelated personal information before sharing it with government agencies like the NSA.
  • Grants broad legal immunity to companies for sharing more private information with the government than they’re currently permitted to do.

Lastly, CISA, like CISPA, doesn’t address problems identified by recent data breaches like unencrypted filespoor computer architecture, un-updated servers, and employees (or contractors) clicking malware links.

The administration has invested immense capital into looking strong on cybersecurity since January. And instead of publishing another veto threat, the White House Press Secretary urged the Senate to pass CISA. There was no deep analysis as in 2012. There was no explanation about CISA’s own privacy problems. And there was no acknowledgement about the White House’s sudden change in position.

Even though the President wants to sign the bill, the Senate must pass CISA first. Privacy advocates have defeated these “cybersecurity bills” five times in the past five years. In July, users and privacy advocates postponed a vote on CISA after sending over 6 million faxes opposing CISA to Senators during a Week of Action. Unfortunately, the vote was only postponed to mid-September when Congress gets back from vacation.

We must continue the pressure on the Senate to stop this bill. Please join us in continuing to tell our Senators to say no to CISA.

August 20, 2015 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Rights group: 2,799 deaths by Egyptian authority in two years

MEMO | August 15, 2015

Some 2,799 Egyptians have been killed since the Egyptian authorities forcefully dispersed mass rallies in Cairo on August 14, 2013. The rallies were held as protest against the military coup which ousted the first every freely elected Egyptian president, an Egyptian rights group said on Friday.

Anadolu News Agency reported that the Egyptian Coordination of Rights and Freedoms stated that since June 30, 2013 until today, the Egyptian authorities’ varied methods of killing resulted in a large number of deaths.

According to the National Egyptian Council for Human Rights, on August 14, 2013, the Egyptian army and police dispersed the demonstrations against the military coup, killing 632 Egyptians. Meanwhile, national and international rights groups said the number of deaths was over 1,000.

Following the violent dispersal of the rallies, the Egyptian authorities adopted systematic killing, including torturing prisoners to death, liquidations and assassinations.

In June of this year, the Egyptian security forces assassinated nine unarmed Muslim Brotherhood leaders, claiming they were planning to make chaos in the country. The Muslim Brotherhood denied the accusations and stressed that the individuals were a team following up the families of Egyptians killed or wounded by the army and the police.

According to the report, which was divided into three stages, the first stage covered the period from June 30, 2013 until August 13, 2013, where 316 Egyptians were killed. The second stage covered August 14, 2013 until August 16, where 2007 Egyptians were killed. The third stage details the events from August 17, 2013 until August 12, 2015, where 476 Egyptians were killed.

Since the military coup against Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian authorities have been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, accusing it of “inciting violence and terror” in the country.

In December 2013, an Egyptian court designated the group as a “terrorist organisation” and ordered all of its leaders and members to be arrested and their property confiscated.

Hundreds of its leaders and members have been sentenced to death or life in prison since the announcement of that ruling.

August 16, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

When the NSA tells journalists things, those things are not necessarily true

PrivacySOS | August 15, 2015

If you find yourself reading a story about US war or spying that contains a variation on the phrase “according to US officials” in the top paragraph, you are likely biting into a whopper of state propaganda and lies. Today’s NYT reporting on Snowden documents provides just the latest example.

Back in February 2014, the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal published big time stories under the bylines of two of those newspapers’ most respected ‘national security’ and surveillance journalists. The Post story started like this:

The National Security Agency is collecting less than 30 percent of all Americans’ call records because of an inability to keep pace with the explosion in cellphone use, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Here’s the first paragraph of the Wall Street Journal story, reporting the same official claims:

The National Security Agency’s collection of phone data, at the center of the controversy over U.S. surveillance operations, gathers information from about 20% or less of all U.S. calls—much less than previously thought, according to people familiar with the NSA program.

AP’s Phillip Bump ran a story based on the Post’s version. Troublingly, his first paragraph dispensed entirely with the origin of the information. In Bump’s retelling, the information appears to have come from God—or at least is as good as The Word.

The NSA’s vaunted cell phone metadata collection program, often defended on the grounds that its comprehensive sweep of information allows the government to uncover unseen connections, only collected about 30 percent of all such information as of last summer.

The problem with these stories? Actual NSA documents (read: not NSA employee claims to journalists) show they are false.

The New York Times reports on documents disclosed by former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden:

In 2011, AT&T began handing over 1.1 billion domestic cellphone calling records a day to the N.S.A. after “a push to get this flow operational prior to the 10th anniversary of 9/11,” according to an internal agency newsletter. This revelation is striking because after Mr. Snowden disclosed the program of collecting the records of Americans’ phone calls, intelligence officials told reporters that, for technical reasons, it consisted mostly of landline phone records.

I must quibble a bit with the New York Times excellent reporting here, only to suggest that what’s “striking” about the discrepancy between what journalists reported and the truth isn’t the fact that the NSA would lie to journalists. What’s striking is that journalists continue to print official, often anonymous, claims about government surveillance programs without a shred of evidence that those claims are true.

In February 2014, the NSA must have decided—perhaps in consultation with other parts of the US security state establishment—to lie to a few key journalists in order to propagate the myth that the all powerful intelligence agency couldn’t figure out how to obtain cell phone call records. At the time, not everyone believed it (myself included). But two powerful US newspapers were credulous, and printed the NSA’s claims as if they were fact—in the apparent absence of any documentation or other confirmation.

Everyone, including media consumers, needs to remember a very simple thing about intelligence agencies: they are professionals in deceit and manipulation. A good spy must be able to lie and connive in order to achieve their goals.

You wouldn’t expect a car mechanic to be a good oral surgeon. You also shouldn’t expect spies to tell the truth. Remember that the next time you read a newspaper article based off of undocumented, unproven “official” claims.

August 16, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

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