Reid sends ill equipped troops to certain deaths in S Afghanistan wrote Lord Patel January 2006
"Defence Secretary "Dr" John Reid met some of the troops due to die (We expect to take casualties)in Afghanistan. In a nationwide 2 bases *Salisbury Plain , Dittingham Norfolk, and Otterburn) exercise 3 Para are part of the 3,300 army personnel are due to go to the lawless southern region of the country.
They will help provide a "stable environment for reconstruction and help the government gain control of the more troubled areas" it says on this press release here."
Some mother's son
19-year-old Private Chris Gray from Leicester was on a routine patrol in Helmand province with the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian regiment when he came under small arms fire and became the 53rd UK soldier to die in action in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Defence said it took place after troops challenged a Taleban team trying to set up an ambush. He was based near the town of Now Zad, in north-west Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.
Pte Gray joined the British Army just over a year ago.
"Jimmy", an 18 year old , a member of our pigeon racing club, with 9 months in Signals is off there in a few weeks. He is wildly excited at the prospect.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Reid sends ill equipped troops to certain deaths in S Afghanistan wrote Lord Patel January 2006
Osprey - The MV-22 Widowmaker to finally, finally, finally see active service in Iraq real soon now...well maybe September
Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway announced at the Pentagon this morning that the MV-22 Osprey aircraft (360 are ordered) will make its combat debut in Iraq this September, when Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, with 10 Ospreys and 171 personnel, deploys to Al Asad Air Base.The MV-22, can travel up to 900 miles before refueling, is set to phase out the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter introduced in the 1960s.
The Osprey provides much greater range and flexibility than other helicopter platforms and is capable of in-flight refueling from Marine KC-130 Hercules aircraft. It also has no means of defense..i.e. no armaments at all. [Awkward Fact: Most helicopters are shot-down in combat landing zones. ]
"This deployment directly supports our Corps' number one priority, the Marines and sailors in contact at the tip of the spear," Conway said. "This is a great day for our Corps and for my aviation folks in particular." It won't be however if special ops want to rappel down ropes on a hillside that the aircraft cannot land on, as the downwash beats them to death on the rocks.
One of the better things Dick Cheney has ever done was, when Secretary of Defense, he tried to kill it. In 1992, he said “You’ve [Congress] directed me to buy the V-22, a program I don’t need.…My problem with the program’s always been primarily one of affordability.” Lots more about this monument to the porkery here.
PS R.Merle Washington Post Feb 10th 2007 Page DO1 The Marine Corps said yesterday it was temporarily grounding its fleet of V-22 Osprey tilt rotors after discovering a glitch in a computer chip that could cause the aircraft to lose control....Testing showed that in below-freezing temperatures, the computers could lose their redundancy features -- a safety net if one of the computers is damaged by enemy fire, according to the Marine Corps. That could cause the pilot to lose control of the aircraft. [Awkward Fact : This plane has been in production for over 25 years, and costs more than $113 million each.]
As the G7 meet and Gordon Brown * meets the Great Satan face to face, (not the posture Tony normally adopts) there are increasing news reports that Iran is seeking (and receiving) payment for oil in Euros and that China is attempting to slow the accumulation of foreign exchange the US$ traded 0.3% lower again on Friday.(US$ 1.35290 = 1 Euro)....a 35% drop since the illegal invasion of Iraq.
The Australian dollar has continued its remorseless rise to a fresh 17-year high against the US dollar and a 10-year high against the Japanese yen.
The Pound Sterling showed new strength against the US$ finishing. US£ 1.98635 - £ Sterling. Even the Malaysian ringgit is showing ten year highs against the US$.
The US National Association of Realtors issues their Monthly Existing Home sales report on or about the 24th of April for the month of March. Good news is not expected as new housing available for sale is expected to climb from 6.7 months to over 7 months.
* Few of us will forget the visit of Dubya to London and Sedgefield for several days, in November 2003, when the street were full of folks bearing placards "Bush is a War Criminal" ... yet Gordon never got a chance to meet him ? Was he locked up for the duration by Tony ?... after all few will forget what he said at what Dubya disarmingly called the Queen's house...
" The third pillar of security is our commitment to the global expansion of democracy, and the hope and progress it brings, as the alternative to instability and to hatred and terror. We cannot rely exclusively on military power to assure our long-term security."
LATEST DEATH SCORES
Sunnis playing away from Home, exploded a car bomb in Kabala killing 40 and injuring 60. Back Home in Baghdad another cross Tigris bridge was damaged.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz:
“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”
[Source: House Committee on Appropriations Hearing on a Supplemental War Regulation, 3/27/03]
Smart guy though , he gets the World Bank to pay for his whore.... oops that was the "acting manager" of World Bank job of Manager of External Affairs and Outreach for the Middle East and North Africa .... with a tax free salary that exceeds Condi's and has a built in annual 8% pay rise. ... but then his predecessor Mr Wolfensohn did like to travel with a lot of VERY helpful ladies. Wolfie and his beautiful sidekick are a latter day Bonnie & Clyde, they don't blow the bank up, they just walk through the front door and take the money.
Update 21/4/07 Guradian
Rumour has it they say that she can suck the chrome off a fender ...Salon update here about how she also got a security pass.... " Wolfowitz's World Bank scandal over his girlfriend reveals many of the same qualities that created the wreckage he left in his wake in Iraq: grandiosity, cronyism, self-dealing and lying -- followed by an energetic campaign to deflect accountability."
"Riza was unhappy about leaving the sinecure at the World Bank. But in 2006 Wolfowitz made a series of calls to his friends that landed her a job at a new think tank called Foundation for the Future that is funded by the State Department. She was the sole employee, at least in the beginning. The World Bank continued to pay her salary, which was raised by $60,000 to $193,590 annually, more than the $183,500 paid to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and all of it tax-free. Moreover, Wolfowitz got the State Department to agree that the ratings of her performance would automatically be "outstanding." Wolfowitz insisted on these terms himself and then misled (he lied) the World Bank board about what he had done."
"Riza, who is not a U.S. citizen, had to receive a security clearance in order to work at the State Department. Who intervened? It is not unusual to have British or French midlevel officers at the department on exchange programs, but they receive security clearances based on the clearances they already have with their host governments. Granting a foreign national who is detailed from an international organization a security clearance, however, is extraordinary, even unprecedented. So how could this clearance have been granted?
"State Department officials familiar with the details of this matter confirmed to me that Shaha Ali Riza was detailed to the State Department and had unescorted access while working for Elizabeth Cheney. Access to the building requires a national security clearance or permanent escort by a person with such a clearance. But the State Department has no record of having issued a national security clearance to Riza."
"Surrounded by his Praetorian Guard, Wolfowitz insulated himself at the World Bank from the career staff. There, as at the Pentagon, Wolfowitz pushed aside the professionals and replaced them with a small band of politically reliable assistants. Wolfowitz rewarded them, too, on his own authority, with enormous tax-free salaries. Consider Kevin Kellems, his public affairs officer at the Pentagon, who had guided conservative media from that perch and is known as "keeper of the comb," for having been the person to hand Wolfowitz the infamous comb he licked before slicking down his hair in the Michael Moore film "Fahrenheit 9/11." Kellems was given a salary of $240,000, at least equal to what World Bank vice presidents with years of service earn."
Friday, April 13, 2007
Weber Shandwick's excellent website has issued their latest poll of polls with statistics on the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
For the constituency vote the poll puts Labour on 31%, SNP on 36%, Conservatives on 13%, and Liberal Democrats on 15%. For the regional vote Labour are on 29%, SNP on 35%, Conservative on 12%, Liberal Democrats on 14% and the Green Party on 4%.
Using Weber Shandwick’s election predictor, this poll of polls would see 44 Labour MSPs, 51 SNP, 14 Conservatives and 18 Liberal Democrats
UPDATE Monday - Hello to all the visitors here from Weber Shandwick.
The Channel 4 docu/drama The Mark of Cain finally got it's overdue showing last night.
The training activities at Deepcut has left no-one in any doubt about the systematic brutalisation of young men (and latterly women)in the Army. It was only the absence of lavish ornate tattoos which seemed to be missing to show the alienation that is built in and the replacement of older and personal loyalties to a supposed bond of a band of military brothers. "One for all, All for one"
The formation of the mind of the officer class was left unstated until the end when it weighed more on the Senior personnel of the regiment what they would lose by disciplining the NCO than by him being adequateley punished.
There are excellent reviews in the Times by Ian Johns and by Sam Wollaston in the Guradian
The failure of moral courage and the Army method of dealing with it, recalls Kipling's "Danny Deever"
They are hangin' Danny Deever, you must mark 'im to 'is place
For 'e shot a comrade sleepinn - you must look 'im in the face;
Nine hundred of 'is county an' the regiment's disgrace,
While they're hanging Danny Deever in the mornin'.
You can read the complete poem here.
No posting of it on You Tube
Robert Jackson reviews it also, it worked for us. The frightening thing is that this represents a tiny fraction of what modern imperialism is doing in Iraq / Afghanistan. Deep forebodings for this summer as a clearly organised, highly motivated muslims seek their revenge in the Mahgreb, the Sh'ite crescent and Newasian / old CSI states erupts.
The smart arse technical / accounts wanted to move ISP from BT to talktalk. Despite the honeyed words of the vendor's marketing department who assured us that the intital well publicised difficulties were behind them, transition is proving to have what a lot of people with halting English in India call technical problems.
Apologies until Normal Service is resumed - if you are in the UK and considering migrating to talktalk, based on the experience here. DON'T.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Ex Paris mayor, President Jacques Chirac generously gave Nicholas Sarkozy his official endorsement in his bid for the presidency last month, shortly after announcing that he would be stepping down after 12 years in office and would not be seeking a third term. Chirac's presidential immunity runs out a month after he steps down on May 16 and there are 3 outstanding matters that relate to his time as the mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.
Two cases deal with the illegal use of Paris city funds to pay his own staff and sympathisers of Chirac's Rally for the Republic (RPR) party, the predecessor of the governing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).
A third case surrounds a Paris printing firm which is suspected of rigging public tender contracts and of funding the RPR via the mayor's office.
Le Canard Enchaine reports that Sarkozy has agreed to protect Chirac in exchange for an endorsement of his candidacy ahead of the April 22 election. Predictably Sarkozy 52 said"It's grotesque, it's hurtful and it's untrue, I deny it in the firmest and fullest terms," as he campaigned through the north Paris suburb of Villepinte and attended a ceremony for new French citizens.
Sarkozy is battling against startling views he aired in a weekend interview for Philosophie magazineon a belief that their is a genetic component in paedophilia and has been quoted saying: "I'm inclined, personally, to think that you are born paedophile, and it's a problem that we don't know how to treat this pathology.
"There are 1,200 to 1,300 youths who kill themselves in France each year, and it's not because their parents took care of them badly.It's because, genetically, they had an underlying fragility and pain ... circumstances aren't everything, the share of the innate is immense."On Tuesday he sought to downplay his comments, rhetorically asking "Who can tell me it's normal to rape a three-year-old boy? In relation to that, what is nature and what is nurture? I would refrain from deciding one way or the other".
A remark if not calculated to, it certainly raised the political temperature. Right Wing demagogue Le Pen called Sarkozy's comments "absurd".
On the left, the Greens and the anti-globalisation candidate, Jose Bove, accused Mr Sarkozy of preaching "eugenics". Communist Party candidate, Marie-George Buffet, said the genetic argument was a "monstrosity" which had served as an ideological basis for Nazism.
The Catholic archbishop of Paris, Mgr André Vingt-Trois, said he was alarmed at the implication that the destiny of certain people was irrevocably written into their DNA.
Ségolène Royal, the beautiful, Socialist candidate (whose brother helped blow up the Rainbow Warrior) in 2nd in the polls, said it was the place of scientists and not politicians to pronounce on such matters.Latest opinion polls suggest Sarkozy will win the first round of voting on April 22 with 29% of the vote against 24% for Ms Royal.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
2 bombs exploded in Algiers today killing at least 23 people with 162 wounded.
A car bomb exploded 100 metres from the entrance to the Algerian prime minister's office (10.50 local time) in the center of Algiers while another bomb hit a suburban police station in the suburbs at Bab Ezzouar. GSPC, or Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, Algeria's largest remaining Islamic guerrilla group were initially blamed.
Al-Jazeera television said a man identifying himself as Abu Muhammad Salah called the station's Rabat bureau to say he's al- Qaeda's spokesman in North Africa and that the group carried out the attacks. Agence France Presse reported the 2 suicide bombers and their photos were later published on an al-Qaeda linked Internet site.(see pic)
Parliamentary elections are due on May 17
Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem spoke publicly about an hour after the attack. "This criminal attack is perpetrated at the time when the Algerian people are seeking national reconciliation,'' he said. It is certain that these events will be used by the Government to further restrict even non-violent Islamic candidates from running in the May 17 elections.
The GSPC was founded in the mid-1990s as a rival to the Armed Islamic Groups, or GIA, Algeria's main Islamic guerrilla group. The civil war began after the military-backed government banned 1992 elections that the now banned Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win. While both groups want to impose an Islamic state, the GSPC objected to the GIA slaughter of civilians during the conflict that killed an estimated 200,000 people in the 1990s.
Unlike the GIA, the GSPC didn't accept a 1999 amnesty offer that largely brought the civil war to an end. After virtually disappearing in the mid-1990s, foreign direct investment hit $1.1 billion a year in 2001, 2002 and 2005, the most recent year available, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development says.
UNCTAD reports growing foreign direct investment rising to $8.3 billion in 2005 from $3.1 billion in 1999, BP have huge developments in the interior for gas and oil development.
In 2003, the GSPC pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda. Ayman al- Zawahiri, who is said to be the top aide to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, reciprocated last September, announcing a "blessed union'' and saying the GSPC would be al-Qaeda's weapon to attack France and Algeria's military-dominated government, which cooperates closely with both France and the U.S.
The attacks follow the deaths of 4 alleged terrorists and a policeman yesterday in police raids in Morocco. Tunisian police and Islamic militants fought gun battles around Tunis last December
In a statement, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy expressed his 'horror and indignation' at the attacks and conveyed France's 'total solidarity' with the Algerian government's fight against terrorism.
Lord Patel posted recently about the Salafist / Al Quaeda link up and recent bombings of oil workers. Also the President's very low key visit last June to mee the Queen and buy arms.Plus the US$4Bn. worth of arms sold to Algeria in 2006 by Russia.
By the way, UK energy security is relying on LNG supplies from Algeria... and is a major investment zone for BP - the energy company.
In 1986, the late Dr. Joseph L. Lichten was named a knight commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II the first American Jew to receive such an award.
Now German born Pope Benedict XVI has and great admirer of the Muslim Faith has named Rabbi Leon Klenicki, Director Emeritus of Interfaith Affairs of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great for his historic contributions in improving the relationship between Catholics and Jews.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who will present a scroll from the Holy See as a formal recognition of Knighthood, and the medallion and sword which are the insignia of the Order, said, " Rabbi Klenicki has been a pioneer in Jewish-Catholic relations for decades."
Pic of Pope Benedict XVI having a chat with Rabbi Leon Klenicki.
Hans Michels, is the Professor of Safety Engineering at Imperial College London . He made a presentation to the court today in the case of the alleged 21/7 "bombers."
His presentation was entitled "Is there any conclusive scientific or technical evidence related to an intentional major explosive objective? None that I have been able to identify."
Stephen Kamlish QC, on behalf of Mr Ibrahim's co-accused Manfu Kwaku Asiedu, asked Prof Michels: "It's the main question in this case, do you understand?"
Prof Michels answered: "I do understand."
Mr Kamlish replied: "And you can't answer it."
During the events of 7th July 2005 and the following three weeks, Professor Michels gave over 25 live or recorded interviews in front of the cameras of the BBC, Channel 4, Sky News and ITV. He also wrote eight press releases, spoke to journalists from most UK broadsheets and gave radio interviews over the 'phone to a variety of stations around the world.
Could perfume have made the London bombs more dangerous? asked journalist Alok Jha in the Guradian Thursday July 21, 2005
He had also previously commented on the 21/7/2005 bombs in print suggesting that blasting caps had been used, and that the explosive had degraded so the "bombs" failed to detonate.
He told the Times " it was ''extremely improbable'' that all four devices would have failed to explode. ''It may be that the object this time was not to kill people but to cause chaos,''
Readers are reminded that one of the accused Ibrahim Said, was known to the Home Office and particpated in interviews with the authors of a Home Office report on the Qat drug trade in the UK prior to the 21/7 bombing.
Readers will remember that the activities of the "bombers" as described by witnesses were not inconsistent with the "bombers" having been under the influence of psychotropic drugs at the time.
Abdullah N'Jie (43), also known as Adam Michael Cole, of 9, Dolben Court, Willen, Milton Keynes. Abdullah N'Jie traded over a three year period, using three different business names Jainbi Seafoods Limited, a restaurant/takeaway formerly operating at 123 Midland Road, Bedford, Integration Innovators Limited, purporting to sell electrical goods at Glynn Square, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, and ANA Business Enterprises Limited, allegedly trading in a similar market together with consultancy work from his address at 1 Clarence Road, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes.
He made false VAT claims totalling £1,104,795 and was charged at Aylesbury Crown Court with 11 counts of Cheating the Revenue and one count of False Accounting under the Theft Act 1968. He pleaded 'not guilty' to all but one of the charges. The jury returned an unanimous 'guilty' verdict on all 11 counts.
He was sentenced today to 6 years for VAT fraud and a Confiscation Order is currently being pursed to reclaim the illegal profits N'Jie gained.
The Met Office have today issued their Forecast for Summer 2007 - this is it ...
"There is a high probability (at least 70%) that mean summer temperatures will be above the 1971-2000 long-term average over much of western Europe, including the UK. Indications for this year suggest the odds for a particularly hot summer, similar to those experienced in 2003 and 2006 across the UK, are around 1 in 8."
"Prospects for rainfall are uncertain. However, there are currently no indications of an increased risk of either a particularly dry or a particularly wet summer." ENDS
Apparently this garbage is "derived using global forecasting models and statistical methods."
It is employees of this outfit that can tell us what the climate will be in 50/100 years but boiled down there is a 12.5% chance of a hot summer (if you want the Bayesian analysis) and it probably won't be very dry or very wet.
They helpfully add that "The summer forecast will next be updated at 10 a.m. 1 May 2007." Peer reviewed scientists my arse.
The bulky but always entertaining Mr Kelvin MacKenzie, sometimes described as the ex Editor of the Sun, inventor of such great novelties as the news bunny and naked darts, was for a change being interviewed. He claimed at the weekend (presumably in his role as Jester in Chief at the Sun) that he would not have touched the accounts of the ex Prisoners of Zenda “with a barge pole” and accused the Government of a “catastrophic error". He defended the sailors and Marines, saying he laid the blame “exclusively and wholly at the bloody idiots currently running the Ministry of Defence”.
Mr McKenzie told the Today program
“My sense is that the Government... are very concerned that they have lost the propaganda battle with Iran and these 15 are simply pawns in this battle, They have opened up a can of worms. It is a catastrophic error by our Secretary of State for Defence.”
Bang goes the Knighthood of another Editor.
Big Mac is now telling anyone who will listen,
"I know that David Hill (Chief Clerk No 10 Press relations) was whistling round newspaper offices last week asking editors if they needed "Help with their editorials" in relation to the freeing of the 15 - ie that you must get over the sense that Tony Blair had had a major triumph,"
Anybody walking through Whitehall must have heard a low whizzing sound this week as they heard the endless whizzing known as "The Passing of the Buck". So far it rests, Des Browne admits, on his desk - he has now been persuaded to fall on his sword and accept responsibility.
Naturally members of the Press were pressing their shillings into the warm sticky palms of the Prisoners of Zenda because they were, in unprecedented fashion, allowed access to them - which could have quite simply been rejected. De-briefing, R&R in Cyprus and then back on duty. Compare and contrast the staff on "holiday" from Addis Abbaba recently.
Given the undenied stories of Mr Hill's urgency in providing editors,"Help with their editorials"(probably the very last thing any newspaper editor anywhere feels he needs) one must accept it as correct. So if this Truffle Hound for the Truth was on the case last week it is impossible to believe that like an obedient gun dog he sat waiting patiently for instructions for his next task.
Mr Hill only obeys one master, The Prime Minister. It is inconceivable that once protected by the liberty afforded by the sovereign and the warmth and love of their families, their Protector , groggy after 5 bruising rounds with the Middle Eastern Middleweight, and a final standing count, the Prime Minister did not seek some redress in the battle for the eye, ear and sympathy of the public. The colossus that bestrode the world had been laid low by the pygmy David from Teheran....
We are never going to be privy to how Mr Hill was instructed, nor how precisely he interceded between Mr MacKenzie's successor, Faye (distinguishable from the Big Mac only by the colour and length of her hair) and the bone headed Second Lord of the Admiralty.... who is perhaps as unlearnt in the ways of the Press as the rest of the Navy appears to be in organising boarding parties.
What is certain is that No 10 got exactly what they wanted, tears, sobs, near nakedness, knickers, fears of rape, not quite the full monty as Fleet Street revelations go but in the circumstances ...er ...adequate.
It was the ever pliant and heavily knighted Sir Trevor McDonald (bloody Scotsmen everywhere) who added the esential gravitas , as the bottom lip biting, pale, vulnerable Faye haltingly jerked the tears worldwide to complete the national humiliation.
Perfick! Simply Perfick!
The Senior Service will be resumed as soon as possible.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The euro has risen today to a record against the Japanese yen (Close London 159.95500) and another 2 year high against the US$ (CloseLondon 1.34335).
Traders expect the US$ to reach 1.35 and assume that the forthcoming ECB Governing Council is due to meet this week, on Thursday will put up rates from 3.75% to 4.0% is the only thing stopping a runaway.
The Australian $ was trading @ 82.31 U.S. cents a 19 yera high and is expected to move up to 82.40 - rise of 5.5% in the last month.
The Australian dollar reached 98.09 yen, the highest since May 1997 dealers are expecting it to reach 100 yen over the next six months suported by a increase in the carry trade wityh the opening of the new Financial year.
Australia will nearly double its military deployment in Afghanistan to about 1,000 soldiers by the middle of next year, the country's prime minister, John Howard, announced yesterday, a move supported by the Labour opposition. Special forces are expected in the dangerous Oruzgan province, he added, to beef up the area's security and disrupt Taliban command and supply routes.
Only 1 Australian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan , this year 151 foreign armed forces have died there. 6 Candians were killed when their vehicle was hit by an IED over the weekend.
China's trade surplus almost doubled in the first quarter, widening to US$46.4. billion from $23.3 billion in the first quarter of 2006. China's trade surplus swelled to a record US$177.5 billion last year, helping to fuel a 10.7 % annual growth rate.
Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi toured Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan last 28-30th August . This was the first ever visit by a Japanese Prime Minister, where his objectives were seen to be securing access to energy and through financial and other means establish a bulwark against Russia and China.
The world' s second largest economy receives some 90% of it's oil from the Middle East and problems in Iran will directly impact upon the Japanese / Iranian agreement to jointly explore the Iranian Azaegan oilfields. Kazakhstan is rich in oil, Uzbekistan is seen as a useful source for Uranium.
Subsequent to this initial visit Akira Amari the current Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry leads a trade delegation on April 20th -23rd of over a 100 to Kazakhstan with senior representatives from some 30 power utilities, trading houses and manufacturing companies and they seek to negotiate deals in the energy sector, including Japanese investment in Kazakh uranium mines, he said.
The mission seeks to improve reciprocal deals and the official announcement says,
"The mission will not only aim to secure uranium and other fuels but also seek wide-ranging cooperation, including Japan's assistance to Kazakhstan's acquisition of nuclear reactors.'"
The Japanese also have a long term in-depth political purpose in trying to win the support for Japan's desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The trip also demonstrates one element in a US agreed strategy of plural influence with
the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) reflected by a trip to Mongolia at around the time he visited Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Before this visit, Japan has through the overall New National Energy Strategy stressed the importance of “drastically strengthening the supply of risk money” , especially for natural gas and oil developments overseas by domestic development companies.
The government-affiliated Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) after Koizumi's visit, signed a loan agreement with APPAK, a subsidiary of Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom. This is the first time that JBIC has provided loans for an overseas uranium project. Kazakhstan has the world's second-largest uranium resources and Kazatomprom is the world’s fourth-largest uranium producer. Sumitomo Corp and Kansai Electric Power Co have stakes in APPAK of 25% and 10%, respectively. (Pic Koizumo meets his pal Karimov the Body Boiler)
The Government-funded Nippon Export and Investment Insurance NEXI has also underwritten insurance for the uranium project. JBIC also recently signed separate agreements with Kazatomprom and Uzbekistan’s Ministry for Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade on forging a comprehensive strategic partnership.
NEXI also underwrites Japanese companies’ insurance in 13 high-risk countries. This list, which became effective as of mid-August last year, includes Libya, Angola, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Cameroon, Gabon, Dominican Republic, Armenia, Macedonia, Senegal, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Niger and the Central African Republic.
There are of course competing interests in the region Sergei Kiriyenk CEO of Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) announced plans only 3 weeks ago for a joint venture to build a new nuclear power plant in Aktau, Kazakhstan, he is quoted as saying
"It will be a nuclear power plant equipped with a third-generation modular reactor using technologies characteristic of reactors installed in nuclear submarines,"
Russia and Kazakhstan are the 2 largest Uranium suppliers in the world, "Integration will help bolster our positions on the global market," said Kiriyenk, Kazatomprom has just announced plans to increase its annual uranium output to 18,000 tons by 2010.
Kazakhstan transported 43 million tons of oil and 24 billion cubic meters of gas to Russia last year and , Russia and Kazakhstan have a large joint venture offshore the Caspian Sea.
“Russia is using four military facilities in Kazakhstan including the Baikonur Cosmodrome and we are jointly carrying out a very large space project including Kazakhstan joining GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) ”said President Nursultan Nazarbaev 2 weeks ago when he announced that President Putin would be making an official visit early this summer.
Picture of children picking cotton in Uzbekistan, a fillum showing the conditions of children cotton pickers in Uzbekistan can be seen here.Green TV. Who are looking for male/female models for modelling ethical fashion.michelle or mia @green.tv or firstname.lastname@example.org
The first confusing reports are coming in of a US military helicopter having been either shot down or crashed on the centre of Baghdad.
The area is sealed off and heavy fighting is taking place at the scene.
A spokesman for the US military in Iraq said the reports were being checked, but could give no further information.
Other reports claim a rocket pod on a helicopter caught fire and was jettisoned. The US has lost more than 50 military helicopters in Iraq.
On the 4th anniversary of the "liberation" of Baghdad as traffic was banned from Central Baghdad and a curfew was imposed, 10 US soldiers died in Iraq bringing the April total so far to 35. 3 US soldiers died yesterday when a bomb was detonated nearby their patrol in Baghdad. Another was killed in an attack south of the capital; and 2 who died of combat wounds sustained north of the capital, in Diyala and Salahuddin provinces. On Saturday, 4 U.S. soldiers were killed in an explosion near their vehicle in Diyala.
Centre Michael Doleac (puc) of the Miami Heat heard that his bro, Blackhawk pilotArmy 2nd Lt. Kenneth Doleac, 25, was piloting a Black Hawk helicopter just south of Baghdad last Thursday and was shot down by small arms fire.''From what I've heard from him, it was he and another helicopter flying,'' Doleac said.
"They got hit, it was just small arms fire, and they ended up going down. He was able to put it down. A couple of his guys got hit, but no one was injured seriously. He was able to put the helicopter down. The other Black Hawk that was with him wound up coming back in a couple of minutes and picked them up."Elsewhere supporters of Moqtada al Sadra marched from Kufa to neighboring Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, with two cordons of Iraqi police lining the route.
Al Sadra did not appear but Nassar al-Rubaie, head of al-Sadr's bloc in parliament addressed the crowd demanding
"The enemy that is occupying our country is now targeting the dignity of the Iraqi people,After four years of occupation, we have hundreds of thousands of people dead and wounded."
Salah al-Obayd a Sadrist leader in Najaf called the rally a "call for liberation."
"We're hoping that by next year's anniversary, we will be an independent and liberated Iraq with full sovereignty."
Iraqi soldiers in uniform joined the crowd, which was led by at least a dozen turbaned clerics -- and a rare sight of episcopal solidarity, one Sunni.
All this failed to prevent the daily slaughter as a truck bomb exploded near the Mahmoudiya General Hospital yesterday, at least 18 were foiund dead and 23 were severely wounded. The pickup truck loaded with artillery shells blew apart several buildings in a warren of auto repair shops.
Violence in Iraq remained as relentless with at least 47 people killed or found dead in violence yesterday, including 17 execution victims dumped in the capital.
..and so it goes on
Monday, April 09, 2007
Voltaire satirised the scapegoating of Admiral Byng in Candide, whose prudence at the Battle of Minorca, in which the French escaped and the force at Fort St Philip were left in peril, led to the surrender of the garrison and eventually to the loss of the island to the French. This temerity in action led to his court martial and he was shot on board HMS Monarch ,14th March 250 years ago.
Candide's judgement as he watches an officer shot at Portsmouth .."Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autre " , is usually quoted as, "In England they shoot an admiral every now and then to encourage the others".
If this were the case then the widow of Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Adrian Johns would already be collecting his well upholstered widows pension entitlement.
Let us just recap the sitrep re the ongoing UN Shatt al Arab Interdiction and Anti Arms Smuggling Force or UNSAIAASF scenario.
1. A Corvette, the HMS Cornwall, with probably the most fearsome sea to air missile armoury of MRAAM and SRAAM (Medium and Short range Anti Aircraft Supersonic missiles - 60 miles plus range) with supporting targetting radar but low manouverability and deep draft unsuitable for the shallow waters of the Gulf is on station for traffic duty onnthe Shatt al Arab. They have two inflatable lightly armed assault craft and one Lynx helicopter.
2. The Royal Navy has destroyers and frigates and crews, mothballed in Portsmouth that are more suitable for such coastal patrolling. 21 of the 44 RN vessels are currently mothballed. When asked in December, Adam Ingram, Defence Minister refused to name the vessels that were out of action. (This is part of a grand money saving policy to save £1 Bn by April 1st 2008 in the "jam tommorrow" policy which will deliver Astute submarines (on which there are serious build problems through skill shortages), Type 25 Destroyers (behind schedule) and 2 aircraft carriers (increasingly looking like sparkles in daddies eye).
3. On January 11th ,in Erbil, US forces seize 6 Iranians, after a tense stand off with Kurd forces they release one and detain the remaining 5. The US claim the 5 are suspected of carrying out illegal operations in Iraq. The Iranians say they have diplomatic credentials and were there with the sanction of the regional and national Iraqi Government.
Mr. Jalal Sharafi, the second secretary of the Iranian Embassy is held by American forces / Iraqi / Police (?) in unexplained circumstances.
4. In March the RN report some 40 interdictions, none of which appear from public reports to have discovered anything of any consequence. Sky news does hoever film the indertiction in process in which Captain Air, soon to be captured explains how they are vusy also maintaining "intel" surveillance on the Iranians.
5. On March 23rd the 15 RN/Marines board an Indian (?) flagged vessel that is Indian / Iranian owned, apparently with no name, carrying cars. The Boarding party are left undefended by the top cover Lynx helicopter, (which is recalled for an as yet unexplained official reason) except for small arms (Assault rifles and side arms) the party have.
6. Iranian coastal vessels of unstated size, with unknown numbers of crew but reportedly with heavy machine guns approach and demand surrender.
7. 4 /5 (?) further vessels arrive, the boarding party decide not to resist, are arrested and hauled off to prison.Their Assault craft disappear never to be seen again.
8. They are (sans uniform) fillumed on Iranian TV, smoking chatting, eating wholesome food and explain on camera they were in Iranian waters with a modest attempt at dissimulation. Leading Seaman Faye Turney writes letters dictated to her which are sent to her family and displayed on world wide TV news.
9. In 2 separate events Jalal Sharafi is returned in some cofort from "house arrest" in Iraq and returned to Teheran and 5 Iranian National Guard officers previously arrested in Erbil by the US forces are allowed access by their consul. This is is explained has no connection with endles diplomatic visiting (FO Minister, Lord Treisman sees the Iranian Ambasssador 13 times).
9a. Tony Blair and Geroge Bush make sabre rattling speeches, Bush calls the prisoners "hostages".
10. IN a masterstoke of staged PR, the prisoners are unexpectedly released, flown to London, then to RN Chivenor in Devon treated to press adulation at a well scripted and satge managed Pres Conference. Unexpectedly and confidentially they and proceed with the support and help of the Royal Navy Press officers and it appears Celebrity PR guru Max Clifford to sell their stories to the world's press. (“The Ministry of Defence are very keen for them to do it ... The public are more likely to believe them than they are the Ministry of Defence or the politicians,” he told the BBC. ) The assistance also involves actually writing the stories because half those allowed to peddle their tales of derring do, cannot form a coherent thought, a decent sentence or a satisfactory vowel sound.
10a It appears that since March 23rd this UN mandated searching of vesels has stopped because ..er..well they have no more assault craft... they probably also accept it was pretty fucking worthless exercise anyway.
11. The ordure hits the air conditioning and Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Adrian Johns who is prosaically and insultingly described as the Royal Navy's Senior Personnel Officer appears non-plussed and incapable of telling the world whether the Minister of Defence (take your pick from several) knew of this decision to sell their stories or approved it when interviewed on BBC TV News.
12. General Dannatt the current hooligan in charge of the Army, deepens the depths of ordure of inter service rivalry , and says his men would never sell their stories to the press, although he has never succeeded in getting the Prime Minister to meet the families of his dead soldiers, attend any funerals or visit the wounded.
12. Finally this evening The Minister of Defence, Des Brown lets it be known that an urgent review of the rules governing sales of stories by serving personnel will be undertaken , by whom , under what arrangements, and when they start and when they will report is left unsaid and presumably unknown.
13. 8.00 ITB "Tonight" Sir Trevor McDonald talks to Faye Turney
This is a tale unbelievable incompetence. A wholly worthless long term defence strategy which leaves the Navy with less than half it's combat fleet at sea. Expenditure of effort on worthless traffic control and simultanesously hazarding manpower to seizure, even death.
In the middle of this the Government are eager to pre-commit to the extension of the US owned Trident MIRV nuclear missile systems for squillions of Pounds.
Not only have they failed militarily, a Government which prides itself on it's PR capabilities are ...er .. well all at sea.
£20MN has just been spent court martialling Royal Lancs Regiment officers and ranks who are all acquitted after tales of unspeakable and unjustifiable brutality and even murder of citizens. Inoffensive people whom they claim to have arrived to liberate and defend in the name of Freedom and Liberty. Their collective amnesia breached only by one ranker who pleaded guilty from the off leaving the others to sing a chorus of "Don't know", "can't remember" , 10 witnesses used the phrases 667 times - one told the court martial 201 times that he could not remember events during over 3 hours of cross-examination.
Of course the State chose Julian Bevan, that ornament of the Bar who made such a hash defending Sally Clark, they must have put a lame duck in to bat for them in the reasonable (and it proved to be fruitful) expectation that they would be acquitted.
Now the whole of this shabby and illegal enterprise in Iraq will focus on the absurd fantasies of a young woman who should be at home nurturing her child, not in the front line of defending her country. Already she has used the 'R' word the red tops have been slavering over , she admits to fearing rape. A recent case against 30 yr old Naval Petty Officer Philip Coates of raping a 24 yr old rating suggest she has no need to leave her ship to suffer that fate.
In the interview, the close ups concentrate on her unhealthy pallor, that the sunshine of Arabia has left untouched, lank hair and teeth that require serious and urgent attention. Reasonably, she has after all had a harrowing experience, Trevor McDonald handles her lightly (does he ever do anything else?).
We learn nothing, other than she describes her job as a boat driver whch must go down well as a jpb description in the seamn's Mission. For most viewers it will ony re-inforce the view that we should not send women to do a man's job in the military. .. and that this one should be at home looking after her child.
One thing is certain, it will swell the ranks of those who demand an answer to the question.. WTF are we doing in Iraq ? With it's afterburner kicking in fast, Why don't we get out NOW ?
Well informed, wry and entertaining ,Tony Karon puts the drive by diplomacy of our favourite piano playing expert on Russian cold war stratergery in context on his enjoyable blog.
Birthpangs of a Post-Bush Middle East
"I’ve marveled for some time now at the abundance of unmistakable evidence to the contrary, so much of the mainstream media in the U.S. appears to feel dutybound to parrot Condi Rice’s giddy fantasies about processes underway in the Middle East, and her Administration’s central role in shaping them. For months now we’ve been fed this pile of manure about the U.S. orchestrating a “realignment” in the region, with moderate Sunni Arab states joining with the U.S. and Israel to isolate and confront Iran, Hamas and others Washington dubs “extremists.” Then, last week, as she set out on her umpteenth “Looking Busy” tour of the region, we were served up grand accounts of how Condi was choreographing a complex diplomatic dance aimed at reving the “peace process” (a word that, like “gold standard”, has survived in the media’s lexicon despite the institutions and practises it describes having long passed from the scene)."
Condi's free ride in the Middle East Asia Times 5/4/07
Another detailed piece in which he unpick's the lady's pointless peripatetic wandering other than as a device to clock up her Air Miles. He quotes Gideon Levy ib Ha'aretz last Agust (2006)
"Rice has been here six times in the course of a year and a half, and what has come of it? Has anyone asked her about this? Does she ask herself? It is hard to understand how the secretary of state allows herself to be so humiliated. It is even harder to understand how the superpower she represents allows itself to act in such a hollow and useless way. The mystery of America remains unsolved: How is it that the United States is doing nothing to advance a solution to the most dangerous and lengthiest conflict in our world?"
Far call from those overnight stays in the Austin Gubernatorial Mansion and having tankers named after her.
Admirers of Arkady Gaydamak will be interested to watch this wonderful appreciation of his virtues - lovely music . More available here
This wondeerfully generous man will host an Independence Day BBQ May 13th in Tel Aviv’s Ha’Yarkon Park open to the entire country. Everybody. All 6.1 or so million. With free meat, top level entertainment, fireworks and arranged transport so the traffic won’t reach insane proportions.
Watch this space for more information about this new star on the Israeli political scene, with very long pockets and lots of interesting friends
who can be bought in the Labour Party. To confuse you more, Gaydamak only speaks His native Russian, French and American..when he speaks publicly he needs an interprter / translator
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Mark Thatcher's old chum and mercenary soldier of misfortune, and neighbour at one time in Cape Town, Simon Mann 53, is reported in the Sunday Express to be "close to death in a hell-hole prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, after being tortured by the henchmen of mad and ageing dictator Robert Mugabe. He is due for release in May and his lawyers are fighting to stop his extradition to Equatorial Guineau - where no doubt a great deal more unpleasantness awaits him.
Attorney-general Jose Olo Obono assured a court in Harare that Mann would not be executed or tortured if Zimbabwe agreed to extradite him to Equatorial Guinea. Obono said the former British army officer would get an "open and fair trial." The extradition hearing has been adjourned until March 23.
He is currently is serving a 7 year sentence for his part in an attempt to oust another dictator, Teodor Obiang Nguema, head of Zimbabwe’s neighbour, Equatorial Guinea.
Old Etonian, ex SAS Mann is reportedly almost blind, suffering multiple organ failure and has a life-threatening intestinal condition caused by poor diet.
One of his colleagues Sean Abdinor, who arranged the air transport for alleged plotters is currently appearing in Pretoria Regional Court and singing like a canary as he testifies against 8 men (Raymond Stanley Archer, Victor Dracula, Errol Harris, Mazanga Kashama, Neves Tomas Matias, and Hendrik Jacobus Hamman.) accused of contravening the South African Foreign Military Assistance Act and their part in the failed coup.
He claimed this week that South African president Thabo Mbeki was regularly informed of the progress of an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea which was also sanctioned by the United States, Britain and Spain.
Another songster in court earlier in the same case ,Crause Steyl detailed again how he dealt with the boy Mark. They met to arrange financing from him for a helicopter to be used in the plot, at Lanseria airport near Johannesburg in December 2003 and he said the ace rally driver and man about town Mark suffered from numerous "nervous twitches" .
Agreeing to finance the helicopter it was initially decided to buy it, then it was changed to a short term charter. Thatcher gave Steyl US$275,000 (£145,000 at the time) to pay for the chartering of the helicopter, he explained
"He was concerned once the helicopter was acquired on whose name it was going to be registered — anyone but his,"
Cross-examined by Margie Victor, Steyl said he said he was flying Severo Moto, an opposition leader from the Canary Islands to Equatorial Guinea, who was accompanied by David Tremain, a British businessman, Greg Wales, and by Karim Fallaha, an associate of Ely Calil, a London-based Lebanese oil millionaire and very close friend of Peter Mandelson whom he is allegedly informed about the coup.
En route they landed in Mali to refuel when they received a message that 60 men - who were on their way to Equatorial Guinea had been arrested in Zimbabwe. Steyl testified that they returned to the Canary Islands where they were arrested by immigration officials. After a conversation with a customs official, their passports were handed back to them and they were allowed to go (presumably to the UK).
Another name that continues to crop up in the failed "Wonga coup" is that of Simon Mann's ex buddy Tim Spicer - Tim was of course colleague of Mann's and it appears the MI5/6/Foreign Office told Tim to warn off Mann , but Spicer said he wasn't aware of any planned coup so didn't warn him. Let's hope that Crause Steyl doesn' t mention Tim Spicer before the Iraqi contract gets awarded.
Tom Griffin at the Green Ribbon reminds us that according to Jane's Defence Weekly, a decision on the contract for Aegis to provide contract security services, worth a potential $475 million, is due by 10 April.
The CEO and founder of Aegis, Tim Spicer, was commanding officer of the Scots Guards in Belfast in 1992 when 2 his soldiers murdered 19-year-old Peter Mc Bride. McBrides mother has asked through the Pat Finucane Centre , who wrote (text PDF!)to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Mrs McBride's behalf calling for Aegis to be excluded from any future contracts.
The FCO responded earlier this year after the Blessed Margaret had considered the case - they refused her request and wrote:
"Having given your correspondence very careful consideration, the FCO does not believe that the points that you have made on Mrs McBride’s behalf justify the FCO giving the assurances that she is seeking. Hence the FCO gives no guarantee that future expressions of interest in FCO contracts by Aegis will not result in their being invited to tender or indeed being awarded a contract. "On Iraq and the company activities and reputation there ;
"The FCO accepts that Aegis’s conduct in Iraq, and the manner in which it has discharged its responsibilities to the DoD may be relevant to the FCO’s consideration of any tender submitted by Aegis for future contracts. However, the FCO does not consider that that conduct justifies Aegis’s being excluded from tendering, as Mrs McBride suggests".Which is a polite way of telling her to fuck off and mind her own business
The Pat Finucane Centre are asking supporters in the US and around the world to lobby against the renewal of the Pentagon's contract with Aegis.
A prospect that pleased Mr Bruce Anderson in the Independent 18th December 2006. "Bold Tory thinking on the security of our nation"
Alan Gange at Royal Holloway, University of London and his dad, on the basis of studies on 315 naturally resident fungi around Sunny Salisbury by his dad, Edward Gange says many fungi appear to have doubled the length of their breeding season over 50 years from 33 to 74 days. As a consequence of higher temperatures many species now appear above ground in July, and due to scarcity of ground frosts can continue breeding into December, some fruiting twice a year.
Gange says lack of spring maintains allows the underground maintenance of the mycelium resulting in fruiting in March to May.For example in the 50's the February average was 3.5C and this last decade it has been 5.2C.
In many respects, this dramatic change may have positive ecological effects, says young Gange. "Mushrooms provide a huge food resource for insects, which themselves are food for birds," he says. Accelerate decomposition of wood and leaf matter, also provides for rapid release of soil nutrients for plants.
However Edward Gange , whilst convinced the climate is changing - at least within a 30km radius of Salisbury - he sensibly prefers to attribute the warming to natural cycles rather than humanity's production of greenhouse gases.(it won't stop others from drawing that inference however)
"When I was a lad, it was an absolutely categorical fact that Red Admirals would not survive the winter," he said.
"This year we saw them on 19 January. That's a heck of a change, and it's not the only one."
Here on Lord Patel's Northern Estates, no Red Admirals have been seen but Peacocks (see pic)(butterflies not birds) have been enjoying the spring sunshine for over a month.
As a stonemason Edward will have seen many cemeteries, they are a rich source of sightings of both fungi and orchids, because they both prefer undisturbed soil. Increasingly however they suffer from dog-walkers who thoughtlessly damage them and whose left over dog turds with high acid content have a dire long term soil sterilising effect.
You can read the same story in BBC Online which has a hugely patronising piece about how old, retired Edward (a retired stonemason) learnt how to set up Excel spreadsheets(Wow!) and type in mountains of his historical data (Oooooh!) - as if using a PC was some act of incredible talent and skill - the schools are full of 7 year olds who can do that.... panzer divisions of grey panthers lurk out there , having swapped Local radio phone ins for on line Forums about group sex and jam making.
The Scottish Opinion poll of 1,000 voters for The Scottish Mail on Sunday reveals the Nationalists have a 12 % lead over Labour.
On the basis of this poll they forecast 56 seats for SNP on Polling Day - 16 more than Labour.
Blair plans more trips North of the Border - that should really sink the New Labour Vote.
CENTCOM released their weekly airpower summary in Air Force Link. AS usual this provides interesting snippets of actual use of airpower in theatre. Something that never seems to filter through to the Press or in reports from reporters. In total,in Afghanistan 47 close air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.
Near Sangin, more F/A-18s released GBU-12s (500lb precision guided HE bomb) and GBU-38s (2,000 lb precision Guided HE bomb) on a desired target at the request of a ground commander and under the precise direction of a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC). The JTAC stated that the coordinates were good and that the weapons impacted the target. Royal Air Force GR-7A Harrier IIs released Enhanced Paveway II munitions on insurgents observed gathering within a compound where Coalition forces received fire near Sangin.
In total, Coalition aircraft flew 48 close air support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions provided support to Coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.
The F-16s were assigned counter improvised explosive device missions. (?)
Pic F-15E Strike Eagles used to provide infrastructure protection and support to coalition troops, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. close protection
Reuters and Sky report that the Ministry of Defence have decided to waive the rules for the 15 sailors and marines held by Iran for 13 days to allow them to sell their stories to the media,and would be able to keep the money they receive.
Serving personnel are forbidden from entering into financial agreements with media organisations and this rule was was being relaxed because of "exceptional" circumstances.
A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman explained : "In exceptional circumstances such as the awarding of a Victoria Cross or events such as those in recent days, permission can be granted by commanding officers and the Ministry of Defence.
"That's what has happened here."The ministry led by leaden footed, grey haired, and grey faced Scots solicitor, Des Browne decided to grant the 15 permission due to the huge media interest. A ministry spokeswoman is quoted .... "These are considered to be exceptional circumstances."
So far Rentagob Colonel Bob Stewart, a former commander of British peacekeeping forces in Bosnia,said on BBC TV "It's just unprecedented," saying that Iran's seizure of the 15 was "hardly one of the most glorious annals of royal naval history."
The BBC also were using a sound bite from another Scot, Craig Murray , on BBC World who described the decision the basis of a curious incentive scheme to encourage capture.
Nick Harvey, LibDem defence ..er ... spokesman , said the decision would "raise eyebrows".
There will no doubt be a succession of ex - military blow hards sounding off in the Sunday television studios..meanwhile Lord Patel is negotiating to speak to the pilot and crew of the Missing Lynx to find out why (as the senior officer of the Boarding Party and star of Sky TV, Capt Air revealed in the Press Conference) they were called back to their mother ship leaving the boarding party without armed aerial cover and area surveillance.
According to reports in the the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph, Leading Seaman Faye Turney has now sold her story to ITV1's Tonight with Trevor McDonald and a newspaper for a sum in excess of £100,000.
The Sunday Times also reports that the Marines had decided to pool their money, giving 10% to their service benevolent fund, while the sailors were expected to keep theirs individually.
They also say the decision was to ensure that the release of information could be handled in a "controlled way", with the help and support of MoD advisers.... just in case anyone blurts out the truth. No doubt every word will require prior checking with the Ministry.It's fairly certain that clearance will happen rather quicker than Craig Murray's for his "Murder In Samarkand" (order now in paperback) - which curiously was published without full formal clearance.