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Fly on the wall

United States of America v Babar Ahmad, United States District Court Statement of the Prosecutor, June 2006: …From in or about sometime in 1997…Specifically, AHMAD provided, through the creation and use of various internet websites, email communication, and other means, expert advice and assistance….designed to recruit and assist the Chechen Mujahideen and the Taliban, and…

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Extremists – what us?

Frances Stonor Saunders in the London Review of Books: “…What was the smell of Abteilung 1A/Gestapo files that found their way into the Central Registry at MI5’s Mayfair headquarters? The Reichstag fire? The book burnings? The crematoria? For what were these files, these endless lists and card indexes, if not the pennies for feeding the…

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Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers, monks and rabbis! Rev. Doggart, Tennessee ‘Have you heard about the Christian terrorist Robert Doggart, who was plotting a violent attack against a Muslim-American community in New York state? Probably not, because as opposed to when U.S. law enforcement officials arrest a Muslim for planning a violent assault, they didn’t send out…

WoT & the deeper malaise

Declassified memos show that on the day of the September 11 attacks, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld asked aides to evaluate a plan to “hit SH @ same time” as Osama bin Laden. By November 2001, Rumsfeld was producing page-long outlines on the Iraq invasion with bullet points including “How start?” Bush began meetings in December…

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Torture – a shared value?

                  “Gordon Brown today insisted that the UK did not support or condone torture” – in 2009. However Jamie Merrill and colleagues in the Independent (1st March 2015), now reveal: “According to a well-place intelligence source, the discovery of a printer cartridge bomb on a UPS cargo…

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Terrorism Laws – crows come home to roost?

The misuse of Britain’s hastily conceived anti-terrorism/counter-terrorism laws and security regimes is now affecting society as a whole…  Joshua Rozenberg in the Guardian, 5th February 2015: Police will be forced to seek the permission of a judge if they want to retrieve the phone and email records of journalists. The ruling comes after the prime…

immigration

Immigration – Britain cannot do without!

          Niki Chesworth in the Evening Standard, 24 November 2014: ‘…the London Ambulance Service (LAS) has been forced to look abroad to fill its vacancies as a result of the shortage of paramedics in the UK, hiring paramedics from Australia and New Zealand after a recruitment drive…However, nursing and midwifery has…

Revolving Doors

There seems to be a seamless progression of public servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa. “It is a curious coincidence that Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell, head of the entire UK domestic extremism spying operations between 2004 and 2010, is now head of security for engineering firm Laing O’Rourke…”. Dave Smith, the Guardian,…

That Special Relationship

    What is the nature of the special relationship between Britain and the US? “Britain’s special relationship with the US is so special only one side knows it exists” – Helmut Schmidt October 2014 Michael Clarke of RUSI: …the British took responsibility for Helmand in 2006. It was a move dictated as much by…

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Censorship is OK for some!

So there are limits to freedom of expression after all! But not if it applies to Muslims. If Muslims protest, then it becomes a battle to preserve artistic freedoms and the rights of expression, regardless of the insult caused. Catholic theologian banned A female Catholic theologian has been banned by the Archbishop of St Andrews…