Tuesday, 29 December 2009


On one of the Beeb's end-of-year gabfests the other day, Gavin Essler was chatting with some fellow but alien journalists, an Arab, a Kraut and a New York Timeser among them; one of those Reithian, Nation Shall Speak Shite Unto Nation events; I'll let you be on my programme, if I can be on yours.

On the subject of troughing MPs, the Yank, some hairy babyboomer, now metamorphosed into that which he once professed to hate, gluttonous and know-it-all bombastic, was of the opinion that it was all down to their salaries being so terribly low, only sixty-thousand pounds, who would work for that? Hang about, Effendi, said Ahmed, that's quite a lot of money. To most people. But the consensus among the assembled madeupnewsandfilthers was that it was peanuts and that it was no wonder that blah blah blah, the politico-media nexus which Col. von Fawkes of ThePizzaHouseOfBlood rails against and which we chide here for its filth and fiction, especially that of Mr Rupert Corpse and his merry band - Gove, Portillo, Clarkson, Jenkins, Aaronobitch and scores of other smiling fascists - and which operates a loyalty scheme open exclusively to journos and politicians, entirely to the detriment of the populace, there it was, on the telly, for all to see. Sixty thousand pounds, all expenses paid and free to work at any number of other jobs; not very much money.

Oh, yes, Polly Mascara was there, smug and pious and unlovely as ever, a hack, forever demanding her right to manage the poor on behalf of the rich, ie herself; despite her strident, blue-stocking, life-long support for thieving, warmongering filth like Brown, Blair and Mandelstein, despite her unfailing ability to misread the signs, misinform her readers and despite her couching her affection for Oxbridge patriarchy in the glib rhetoric of equal opportunities, none in the Street Of A Thousand Arseholes has yet outed this ghastly, pampered shrew for her towering hypocrisy, none save Richard Littlecock, the blustering plague dog of Murdoch's Fleet Street - once tabloid meant tablet-like, potent, quick-acting, remedial, now, thanks to shitbags like McKenzie and Morgan, Littlecock and that brawling baggage, wotsername, Wade, tabloid means shit, bad medicine, vicious, lying cruelty.

The tax-avoiding Guardian/CP Scott Charitable Trust, enables the editor, Alan Arsebridger to pay himself half a million a year and Polly about a hundred and fifty. It does make MPs look like second-raters but it makes most of us look like beggars. Fuck 'em, anyway. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and the Mail on fucking Sunday; not one of them could see Ruin marching down the Threadneedle Street. Waste of fucking paper in real life and a pollutant in cyberspace.

Here, although the author is unduly optimistic about Blair being nicked, is something from the States, fit to be called journalism. Business, American style.

American-Based Guantánamo

posted Monday, 28 December 2009

American-Based Guantánamo

Thomson Correctional Center, The New Guantánamo

Relocating Guantánamo

Obama’s dwindling band of true believers has taken heart that their man has finally delivered on one of his many promises--the closing of the Guantanamo prison.

But the prison is not being closed. It is being moved to Illinois, if the Republicans permit.

In truth, Obama has handed his supporters another defeat. Closing Guantanamo meant ceasing to hold people in violation of our legal principles of habeas corpus and due process and ceasing to torture them in violation of US and international laws.

All Obama would be doing would be moving 100 people, against whom the US government is unable to bring a case, from the prison in Guantanamo to a prison in Thomson, Illinois.

Are the residents of Thomson despondent that the US government has chosen their town as the site on which to continue its blatant violation of US legal principles? No, the residents are happy. It means jobs.

The hapless prisoners had a better chance of obtaining release from Guantanamo. Now the prisoners are up against two US senators, a US representative, a mayor, and a state governor who have a vested interest in the prisoners’ permanent detention in order to protect the new prison jobs in the hamlet devastated by unemployment.

Neither the public nor the media have ever shown any interest in how the detainees came to be incarcerated. Most of the detainees were unprotected people who were captured by Afghan war lords and sold to the Americans as “terrorists” in order to collect a proffered bounty.

It was enough for the public and the media that the Defense Secretary at the time, Donald Rumsfeld, declared the Guantanamo detainees to be the “780 most dangerous people on earth.”

The vast majority have been released after years of abuse. The 100 who are slated to be removed to Illinois have apparently been so badly abused that the US government is afraid to release them because of the testimony the prisoners could give to human rights organizations and foreign media about their mistreatment.

Our British allies are showing more moral conscience than Americans are able to muster. Former PM Tony Blair, who provided cover for President Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq, is being damned for his crimes by UK officialdom testifying before the Chilcot Inquiry.

The London Times on December 14 summed up the case against Blair in a headline: “Intoxicated by Power, Blair Tricked Us Into War.” Two days later the British First Post declared:

“War Crime Case Against Tony Blair Now Rock-solid.” In an unguarded moment Blair let it slip that he favored a conspiracy for war regardless of the validity of the excuse [weapons of mass destruction] used to justify the invasion.

The movement to bring Blair to trial as a war criminal is gathering steam. Writing in the First Post Neil Clark reported:

“There is widespread contempt for a man [Blair] who has made millions [his reward from the Bush regime] while Iraqis die in their hundreds of thousands due to the havoc unleashed by the illegal invasion, and who, with breathtaking arrogance, seems to regard himself as above the rules of international law.”

Clark notes that the West’s practice of shipping Serbian and African leaders off to the War Crimes Tribunal, while exempting itself, is wearing thin.

In the US, of course, there is no such attempt to hold to account Bush, Cheney, Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the large number of war criminals that comprised the Bush Regime. Indeed, Obama, whom Republicans love to hate, has gone out of his way to protect the Bush cohort from being held accountable.

Here in Great Moral America we only hold accountable celebrities and politicians for their sexual indiscretions. Tiger Woods is paying a bigger price for his girlfriends than Bush or Cheney will ever pay for the deaths and ruined lives of millions of people.

The consulting company, Accenture Plc, which based its marketing program on Tiger Woods, has removed Woods from its Web site. Gillette announced that the company is dropping Woods from its print and broadcast ads. AT&T says it is re-evaluating the company’s relationship with Woods.

Apparently, Americans regard sexual infidelity as far more serious than invading countries on the basis of false charges and deception, invasions that have caused the deaths and displacement of millions of innocent people. Remember, the House impeached President Clinton not for his war crimes in Serbia, but for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Americans are more upset by Tiger Woods’ sexual affairs than they are by the Bush and Obama administrations’ destruction of US civil liberty.

Americans don’t seem to mind that “their” government for the last 8 years has resorted to the detention practices of 1,000 years ago--simply grab a person and throw him into a dungeon forever without bringing charges and obtaining a conviction.

According to polls, Americans support torture, a violation of both US and international law, and Americans don’t mind that their government violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and spies on them without obtaining warrants from a court.

Apparently, the brave citizens of the “sole remaining superpower” are so afraid of terrorists that they are content to give up liberty for safety, an impossible feat.

With stunning insouciance, Americans have given up the rule of law that protected their liberty. The silence of law schools and bar associations indicates that the age of liberty has passed. In short, the American people support tyranny. And that’s where they are headed.



Brahan Seer said...

where the fuck have you been?

Anonymous said...

Nice post & nice blog. I love both.

call me ishmael said...

Dear Mr Brahan Seer

You should know, what with your talent for oracle-ising, as it were. Normal service has been interrupted due to circumstances within my orbit but beyond my control. I hope to be back in service, living the dream, validating the mission statement, just as soon as the surgeon is done with me. Thank you for your kind enquiry. although one might with equal legitimacy enquire where the fuck you have been. Happy New Year.

Like many who travel without name, you are, mr anonymous, too kind.

richard said...

great to see you back, it really is. Happy New Year!