British secret policemen not prosecuted for sexually abusing women activists


This video from Britain is called UK ‘Special Demonstrations Squad’ Undercover Police Used Identities of Dead Children For 30 Years.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

‘State rape’ undercover police escape charges

Friday 22nd august 2014

Women ‘dismayed’ after CPS says there’s not enough evidence

WOMEN duped into sleeping with undercover cops posing as campaigners were left “dismayed” yesterday after prosecutors decided not to charge the men.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge four members of the Met’s now-disbanded Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) with sexual offences.

Solicitors representing the women suing the Met said they were angered by the decision.

One women, known as “Laura,” is considering challenging the CPS decision after providing a detailed statement about her relationship with one officer three years ago, the lawyers added.

Prosecutors considered statements from the women who say they were tricked into having long-term intimate relationships — some allegedly lasting as long as nine years — with undercover officers.

The CPS said it had considered whether there was sufficient evidence to allow charges of rape, indecent assault, procuring a woman to have sexual intercourse by false pretences, misconduct in public office and breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

But following a “thorough investigation” it decided that there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any offences against any of the officers.”

London Assembly member Jenny Jones said the decision would deny justice to the victims.

“I find this decision by the CPS quite staggering and it will damage trust in both the CPS and the police,” said the Green AM.

“The CPS appears not to have looked at the use of sexual relationships as a systematic tactic used by a group of undercover officers during their deployment and that concerns me.

“We have heard time and again from senior officers that such relationships are completely unacceptable and yet today’s decision by the CPS means these officers have escaped being held to account.

“One of the victims of these officers said she felt as if she had been ‘raped by the state.’ Unfortunately today’s decision by the CPS means she, and the other victims of undercover police, will be denied justice. I hope the CPS will reconsider its decision and puts these cases before a jury.”

Members of the clandestine SDS unit, which was axed in 2008, have also faced claims of fathering children with women they spied on after infiltrating environmental campaign groups.

Two of the men were confirmed in court to be Jim Boyling and Bob Lambert, while John Dines, Mark Cassidy and Mark Kennedy have also previously been named as their colleagues.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the Met is now considering if misconduct proceedings are appropriate.

A civil suit brought by eight women continues in the High Court.

In 1997, Sukhdev Reel’s son Ricky died in what she believes was a racist attack. Last month, she discovered that while she was campaigning for justice, she was being spied on by undercover police. As she petitions for a public apology, she talks about how those dark days have returned: here.

Iraq, from 2003 war to 2014 ISIS


This video from the USA says about itself:

Journalists: U.S. Failures in Iraq Helped Fuel Current Sectarian Crisis

12 June 2014

http://www.democracynow.org -Iraq is on the brink of disintegration as Sunni militants seize more towns and now set their sights on the capital Baghdad. In the past few days Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have seized control of Mosul, Iraq‘s second largest city, as well as Tikrit and Dhuluiya. Meanwhile Iraqi Kurds have seized control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk. The Sunni militants now control a territory that stretches from the eastern edge of Aleppo, Syria, to Falluja in western Iraq and now the northern city of Mosul. Their advance has caused a humanitarian catastrophe, displacing some 500,000 people in Mosul alone. Mosul fell in part because U.S.-trained Iraqi forces abandoned their posts. …

We are joined by two guests: Ned Parker, Reuters Bureau Chief in Baghdad; and Mohammed al Dulaimy, an Iraqi journalist with McClatchy Newspapers who reported from Iraq for years and is now seeking U.S. asylum out of fear for his safety if he returns. This is Dulaimy’s first TV interview after years of maintaining a low-profile to protect his safety.

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

The Iraq crisis: The lies of the media and political elite

Wednesday 20th August 2014

The Establishment is resolutely in denial about the truth over the rise of Isis, says IAN SINCLAIR

By authorising airstrikes against the Islamic State (Isis) President Barack Obama became the fourth US commander-in-chief since Ronald Reagan to initiate a bombing campaign on Iraq.

As always, the BBC quickly fell in line. Reporting on the announcement for the Today Programme, the BBC’s Tom Esslemont stated: “Doing nothing here was not an option.”

Like much BBC output it was unclear whether Esslemont was telling us the US government’s view or his own.

There was no confusion about his concluding remark.

“To critics it is too limited an operation that will do little to diminish the power of the Islamic State jihadists.”

BBC diplomatic editor Mark Urban was also far from objective and neutral when he tweeted: “France is considering joining humanitarian intervention in northern Iraq. (US Secretary of State John) Kerry is talking ab[ou]t ‘genocide.’ Time for Downing St to rethink?”

In addition, the Guardian has come out in support of the air strikes — “The Americans have a special responsibility here” — as has the Labour Party.

Often missing from the depressingly narrow debate in the media and political mainstream is expert opinion.

Noting that the rise of the Islamic State is a symptom of the failure of the Iraqi and Western political elites, Jane Kinninmont, deputy head of Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, argues: “The air strikes could propagate rather than solve the problem.”

Institute for Policy Studies fellow Phyllis Bennis says: “It should be eminently clear that we cannot bomb Islamist extremists into submission or disappearance. Every bomb recruits more supporters.”

Robert Pape, professor of political science at the University of Chicago and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, agrees.

Writing in June, he argued: “Far from hurting the terrorists, re-engaging Iraq (and/or engaging Syria) would put us back on the path of a rising terrorist threat that has taken us over a decade to escape,” before concluding: “US military involvement can only hurt, not help.”

Even former Obama administration insiders have been critical of the bombing.

Writing for Foreign Affairs magazine, Steven Simon, who served as senior director for Middle Eastern and north African affairs at the White House from 2011-12, argues that US air strikes “will almost certainly unite Sunnis against other sects and boost support for Isis while fuelling disdain for the United States.”

So if US military attacks are not the solution, what is?

With the Islamic State feeding off the support given to it by significant sections of the Sunni community in Iraq, there is a broad consensus among Middle East observers that the answer lies in Baghdad.

In short, the threat from the Islamic State will only be solved when there is a broad-based, non-sectarian Iraqi government that Sunnis feel they have a stake in.

Nouri al-Maliki’s decision to step down as Iraq’s prime minister is therefore an important step towards this goal, although questions remain over whether his replacement, Haidar al-Abadi — from the same political party as Maliki — will make the changes that are necessary for national reconciliation.

Second, pressure needs to be applied to those, mainly in the Gulf, who support the Islamic State.

The recently announced United Nations resolution threatening sanctions against those who finance, recruit or supply weapons to the jihadist group is therefore welcome.

More broadly, rather than external states arming one side or another, all arms deliveries to the region need to be stopped.

It is common knowledge the Islamic State has captured large amounts of the US-supplied Iraqi army’s armoury.

Less well known is the fact the Islamic State has been seen using Croatian-made weapons — which the CIA helped to send in to Syria, according to the New York Times.

These are medium and long-term solutions. However, contrary to the media’s framing of the crisis, the US is not the only global actor who is able to respond quickly to an immediate crisis.

As Diane Abbott MP noted on BBC Newsnight, if there is to be external intervention in Iraq, it should be conducted by the United Nations — exactly what it was set up to do.

“We’ve forgotten the role of international institutions,” she noted.

Media commentators unable to comprehend anyone but the US acting should take note.

They would do well to also take note of the recent New York Times report about the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: “At every turn, Mr Baghdadi’s rise has been shaped by the United States’s involvement in Iraq.”

Quoting the research of Iraqi scholar Hisham al-Hashimi, the article noted that Baghdadi had spent five years in a US prison “where, like many Isis fighters now on the battlefield, he became more radicalised.”

As Abbott sardonically noted on Newsnight about the West’s violent relationship with Iraq, the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.

Ian Sinclair is the author of The March that Shook Blair: An Oral History of 15 February 2003, published by Peace News Press.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ? “American fighter jets and drones continued to pound Islamic State militants in Iraq Wednesday, and military planners weighed the possibility of sending a small number of additional U.S. troops to Baghdad, U.S. officials said, even as the insurgents threatened to kill a second American captive in retribution for any continued attacks.” [AP]

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are: here.

The barbaric murder of American journalist James Foley, who was abducted in Syria nearly two years ago, is being seized upon by Washington as a means of justifying its deepening military intervention in Iraq and its pursuit of the predatory interests of US imperialism throughout the region. … Foley, 40, had worked as a freelance journalist covering the wars in both Libya and Syria for news outlets such as the web site GlobalPost and the AFP news agency. In remarks delivered to journalism students in Chicago in 2011, weeks after he had been held captive for 44 days in Libya, he described himself as “basically a war protester” who at age 35 decided to become a journalist to tell the stories of people affected by war.: here.

Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem commemorates World War I dead


This classical music video is called Benjamin Britten – War Requiem.

By Gordon Parsons in Britain:

Britten masterpiece fitting reminder of WWI carnage

Tuesday 19th August 2014

War Requiem

Usher Hall

5/5

THERE could be no more fitting work to recognise the centenary of “the war to end wars” than this great pacifist statement by Benjamin Britten on the pity of global conflict. This must be one of the most dramatic of requiem masses.

There is throughout an angry ironic exchange between the words of the conventional Latin Mass for the Dead, with its religious message of damnation and prayerful appeals for salvation, and the interwoven anti-war poetry of the greatest of war poets, Wilfred Owen.

The opening aeternam, a plea for eternal rest, is followed by Owen’s bitterly sad sonnet Anthem For Doomed Youth, with the memorable opening line of: “What passing bells for those who die as cattle?”

Throughout, the poems puncture the complacent profundities of the religious scenario.

Britten’s music, which spine-chillingly captures the Armageddon of battle and the helpless and hapless lament of the senseless slaughter, progressively draws the two worlds together.

It climaxes when the enemies on the battlefield meet in death — “I was the enemy you killed my friend … let us sleep now” — meet with the ethereal voices of boys wishing these martyrs to rest in peace.

Andrew Davis conducts the massed musical ranks of the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, Scotland’s National Boys Choir and three international soloists in an ascent from a standing start to magnificent heights, while chorus master Christopher Bell induces some stunning choral singing.

German baritone Matthias Goerne and English tenor Toby Spence as the enemy soldiers truly are the voices of suffering humanity while Uzbek soprano Albina Shagimuratova thrills as the voice of the angel. Magnificent.

British journalism and conspiracy theories


This Bob Dylan music video from the USA is called John Birch Paranoid Blues {Live at Town Hall 1963} – Elston Gunn. The lyrics of the song are here.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Chapman Pincher: was he the Sixth Man?

Tuesday 19th August 2014

PETER FROST has a chuckle as he remembers a Grub Street journalist who thought just about everybody was a Soviet spy

IT WAS in the pages of the Daily Express in the late 1950s that I first came across Chapman Pincher.

The Express bylined Pincher as the world’s greatest reporter — and he certainly agreed.

He wasn’t, of course. But he did seem to have some interesting stories and he seemed immune to some of the D-notices and other techniques that the Establishment used in those days to keep so many scandals out of the papers.

Reaching my teenage years in the 1950s and early ’60s I got my ideas about the world and politics and what would be my lifelong love affair with print journalism from all kinds of newspapers.

At home we had the News Chronicle until it stopped publication in 1960, and the left-wing Daily Herald until 1964 when it tragically transmogrified into the Sun.

In 1961 I discovered a scrappy little magazine called Private Eye and also developed a soft spot for the Daily Mirror and its Labour politics.

I would buy an occasional copy of the Daily Worker. It changed its name to the Morning Star in 1966 and by then I was reading it regularly.

But alas I must admit most of the news and analysis in my youth came from some good right-wing Fleet Street Tory rags.

I loved the pre-Murdoch News of the World — then the biggest circulation newspaper in the whole globe.

Salacious stories of defrocked vicars, poltergeists, gangsters and dodgy spiritualists and their ectoplasm. What more could a young teenage boy want?

However, Pincher, in the Express, always seemed to get some of the best, most interesting stories.

Scoops they used to call them, and in Pincher’s scoops there was usually someone, often rich, posh or powerful, accused of being a Soviet spy.

Some were amazing speculations. He believed half the Labour Party and all of the trade union movement were in the pay of the Kremlin. No-one escaped his accusations, including prime minister Harold Wilson.

Most of his stories took him into the murky world of spies and double agents — almost always the world of communism and the Soviet Union, although it is true he wrote about the US atomic bomb before any US newspaper.

I read with amused fascination and a little chuckle when Pincher published stories about the Cambridge Four — or was it Five? — Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, all undercover communists who had infiltrated and embarrassed post-war British intelligence so comprehensively.

Then came speculation into the so-called “Fifth Man.” Was it John Cairncross, James Klugman, Victor Rothschild, Guy Liddell or some other suspect?

Pincher came down heavy on former MI5 director general Roger Hollis and seemed to make this search and speculation a full-time occupation. It sometimes seemed to me Pincher was obviously the Sixth Man.

He did some good. As early as 1967, he revealed that British intelligence was reading the cables and telegrams of private citizens. That story is, of course, still unfolding today.

As well as newspaper articles he wrote more than 30 books. Best known is Their Trade is Treachery in 1981.

His sources for this book were the criminal Tory minister Jonathan Aitkin (Eton, Oxford, prison) and Spycatcher author Peter Wright, who himself betrayed and so upset his British intelligence masters.

In his book, Pincher argued that Hollis was a Soviet spy. It was typical Pincher stuff and not unexpectedly several investigations, even one by prime minister Margaret Thatcher, never actually proved Hollis guilty.

What isn’t well known is that Pincher started his own career as a spy. He worked on secret rocket weapons while serving in the British army.

He sold some of this top secret information to an old mate on the Daily Express defence desk. In return the Express offered him a job.

His politics were obviously Establishment and Tory and anti-Labour but that didn’t stop Tory prime minister Harold Macmillan writing in 1959: “Can nothing be done to suppress or get rid of Pincher?”

A more balanced view on Pincher came from ex-communist and famed historian EP Thompson, who in the New Statesman in 1978 described Pincher as “a kind of official urinal where high officials of MI5 and MI6 stand side by side patiently leaking their secrets.”

Pincher loved this judgement from someone he considered a wily old enemy. He said it was his greatest professional compliment.

Pincher, when he died aged 100 earlier this month, turned his own death into a newspaper story.

Announcing his death, his son Michael passed on a last and typical quote from his father — “Tell them no more scoops.”

I guess we should all be grateful for that.

Peter Frost blogs at frostysramblings.wordpress.com.

ISIS, Iraq, Syria, David Cameron and hypocrisy


This video says about itself:

I’ll never forgive Tony BlairBianca Jagger on Iraq, human rights and gender equality

17 Febuary 2014

Bianca Jagger, Founder of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, speaks to the host of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi, about the war in Iraq, 11 years on. She says she will never forgive Tony Blair for taking the country to war, and people are still suffering from his poor choices. She explains why she campaigned against the war right from the start, and talks about the fact-finding mission she made to Iraq before the war started. Also, she wants to keep fighting to ensure women everywhere have the same rights as men, and the challenges people campaigning for gender equality still must overcome.

By Ben Chacko in Britain:

Tuesday 19th August 2014

DAVID CAMERON insisted yesterday he had a “fully worked through” strategy to deal with Islamic State (Isis) extremists as he prepared for his second holiday this month.

The Labour Party and senior Church of England figures have branded as “incoherent” the Prime Minister’s approach to the terrorist group, which has taken over vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

But he did not respond to calls from Anglican canon Andrew White of St George’s Church in Baghdad for the British government to offer asylum to up to 30,000 persecuted Iraqi Christians.

Mr Cameron failed to answer accusations of hypocrisy for having backed the insurgency in Syria which put Isis on the map.

The terror group’s equipment and funds come disproportionately from Western powers and regional allies such as Saudi Arabia.

Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths said the government’s “top priority should be to enforce the UN security council resolution preventing the flow of arms to Isis and its allies.

“It is a tragedy that US, British and Nato support for Syrian rebels has led to this catastrophe.”

TOP brass rounded on holidaying PM David Cameron yesterday, adding their voices to the clamour for clarity on his Iraq policy. General Sir Richard Dannatt said “the nation would expect” Parliament to be recalled for a full debate if there was a risk of British forces getting involved in the battle between Islamic State (Isis) militants and Iraqi and Kurdish troops: here.

UK joins US military offensive in Iraq: here.

Germany expands its intervention in Iraq: here.

Meanwhile, the number of anti-aircraft missiles in the hands of Syrian rebels poses a serious threat to commercial aircraft. [AP]