Gerry (R) and Kate McCann, parents of the missing girl Madeleine McCann, listen to the family spokesman Clarence Mitchell during a walk near the beach resort of Lagos May 24, 2007. REUTERS/Hugo Correia (PORTUGAL)
The McCann’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Today has been profoundly moving for them. The support has been overwhelming and they wanted some quiet contemplation. They know the days ahead will be hard. Kate now is keen to get back to Praia da Luz. She doesn’t like leaving there.
“She believes that is where the heart of the campaign is and feels close to Maddie there.”
He added: “Every single prayer is important to them. They draw strength from every prayer in their search for Madeleine. They want everybody to continue praying.”
The Sun Online
Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the parents, said: "Their faith is very important to them. This was a profoundly moving and spiritual visit. Every single prayer is important to them - they draw strength from each one."
Foreign Office spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: ``(Mr McCann) is here for a number of reasons - to attend to a few personal matters, to meet police and of course to thank everybody once again for the overwhelming support they have had from around the world.
``Gerry will be establishing where the police investigation is going and talk to people with the fund.
``He will not be making any statements while in the UK. That's because he will talk to his wife about this when he gets to Portugal and they could make a statement there.''
Lexis Nexis AP News Story
Today was extremely busy and tiring. We met with our press officer Clarence Mitchell, to discuss strategy for the fortcoming interviews. Kate attended a luncheon in aid of International Missing Child day and John, my brother, attended a similar event in London. After this John and Brian Kennedy, Kate’s uncle, who are both directors of Madeleine’s fund appointed an interim fund manager. .....
Gerry's Blog/Diary 25-26 May 2007
Fund website http://www.findmadeleine.com/
UPDATE 27th May 8.30 pm
The BBC1 News has a report in which it is stated that the McCanns (who are Roman Catholics) are about to depart this week for Italy for an audience with the Pope and have support at the "highest political level" .. the Prime Minister ? (Unconfirmed Web gossip claims PM in-waiting Gordon Brown, has had telephone conversations with the McCanns in recent days and has been instrumental in putting pressure on the Portuguese Police to release information) .Pictures of the Pope are used to familiarise those in the TV audience who may be unacquainted with him or his role or indeed his range of exceptional headgear. There are also pictures ofthe local Church and the McCans, she with her 2 tone green/yellow dangling hair ribbons and clutching a cuddly toy, which are fast becoming the icons/image of the Mc Cann brand.
Clarence Mitchell is interviewed and the screen caption describes him as Family Liason Manager . he explains that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has been active in arranging the papal audience due on Wednesday. Apparently the UK Ambassador to the Holy See has also been involved in making arrangements with with Pope Benedict XVI's staff.
Nowhere (except in the alert blogosphere) is Clarence Mitchell correctly described as a Civil Servant who is also the director of the Media Monitoring Unit within the Central Office of Information(COI) and is based in Downing Street.
The current Account balance of the Fund displayed on the official website stays stubbornly at £313,091.17.
If you are at all interested a barmy woman has composed an Astrological Birth Chart for Madeleine and an immense essay explaining Love, Truth, Beauty etc., and what happened to Madeleine and why. Click here. Scoff not, it probably works as well as a visit to the Holy City.
For cheap laughs consult ...Here
Saturday, May 26, 2007
"More and more women are said to be troubled by the shape, size, or proportions of their vulvas, so that elective genitoplasty is apparently a "booming business." Advertisements for cosmetic genitoplasty are common, often including before and after images and life changing narratives. Google produced around 490 000 results when we entered "labial reduction". Forty seven of the first 50 results were advertisements from clinics in the United Kingdom and United States offering cosmetic genital surgery. Television programmes and articles in women's magazines on "designer vaginas" may also fuel desire for ..... "
Requests for cosmetic genitoplasty: how should healthcare providers respond?
Lih Mei Liao, consultant clinical psychologist, Sarah M Creighton, consultant gynaecologist
Middlesex Centre, UCL Institute for Women's Health, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Obstetric Hospital, London WC1E 6DH
British Medical Journal 2007;334:1090-1092 (26 May), doi:10.1136/bmj.39206.422269.BE
The U.K.'s National Health Service in 2004 and 2005 paid for elective surgery on 800 women who had the size of their labia reduced. That's more than double the number of procedures funded by the government 6 years earlier.... who says that doubling the expenditure on the NHS isn't producing results ?
UPDATE - Toni Fabuloso calls (she gets weekends off) to tell us that in the business it's called an "Aussie makeover " ... y'know it's "Downunder".
For the diabetics amongst you the issue also contains the following ..
Study indicates diabetes drug linked to cardiovascular death
Janice Hopkins Tanne
Do you approve or disapprove of the way the prime minister, Tony Blair, is handling the current situation with Iraq?
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 961 British adults, conducted from May 11 to May 13, 2007. No margin of error was provided.
Chance and digging into the Blair / Clinton / Kosovo / Belgrade / Danubian bombfest brought me to the very entertaining and highly recommended website of Brian Barder - wartime Brixton, wood engravers and the concerns of a disappointed socialist .... and this wonderful photograph .... if only
Friday, May 25, 2007
Shortly before midnight, December 3rd 2003, young Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Luna , vanishes from his desk in the federal courthouse in downtown Baltimore.
Without explanation he mysteriously drives away from his office in the courthouse, away from his life, embarking on a wildly improbable midnight ride.
In his office he leaves behind oddly important, personal items. His laptop. His cell phone. His eyeglasses.
And a bad plea agreement he was unable or unwilling to complete.
The next morning, shortly before dawn, Luna’s body is found face down in a cold stream outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He’s been stabbed thirty-six times, once for every thousand dollars missing from a courthouse safe.
His car idles beside him at the side of the murmuring creek. He’s seventy miles from his office, at the far end of a midnight ride that carried him across four states.
In The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna, writer William Keisling reconstructs the last hours in the life of an American public servant.
Wayne Madsen reports that the DOJ gave US Attorney Thomas DiBiagi the DC Madam Palfrey case who succeeded in getting a crooked cop Ed Norris (a pal of NYC Police Commisioner Bernard Kerik and now a talk show host) to squeal on the escort service in May 2004 It seems they admitted Madam Palfrey's escort service had received illicit payouts from official (charity) police funds.
Norris and Kerik also figured in the work of one of DiBagio's assistants on the DC Madam case who had foundRepublican Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich and lobbyist Jack Abramoff were DC Madam clients. (Ehrlich will be remebered no only for re-introducing the death sentence in Maryland (he refused clemency for the two who died during his term) but also for being the only sitting Governor in the 2006 elections to lose office ,whilst sitting )
Then, DiBiagio became the first U.S. Attorney fired by the Justice Department after Bush's re-election in 2004 - but that was after the Maryland Governor's Chief of Staff called up DiBagio and essentially threatened him. DiBagio indicated that he viewed the contact as a personal threat to him and immediately reported it to the DOJ. You know the rest. The threat was ignored and DiBagio was forced out, the investigation was kiilled.
Vastly underreported, DiBagio's probe had linked Republican governor Ehrlich to Bob Ney, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and others but the investigation died when he was fired. On November 28th 2005 "Randy" Cunningham pleaded guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud - he gets out of prison on June 4th 2013.
..and who was the Attorney who was working with DiBagio that discovered the nocturnal comings and goings of Republican Governor Ehrlich and the now imprisoned Duke Cunningham, and their pals Jack Abramoff et al......
The now very dead Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Luna
More, lots more here >>>>>
The pic shows Baltimore NAACP president Marvin Cheatam, and two others -- York, PA city councilwoman Toni Smith and Baltimore's Darren Muhammad -- speak on the third anniversary of Jonathan Luna's disappearance from the federal courthouse in Baltimore. They speak outside the same courthouse where Luna vanished, in front of a statue of U.S Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. December 4, 2006.
Baltimore NAACP Marvin Cheatam told those gathered, "We would say justice delayed is justice denied. And it is quite clear that there are enough questions about Mr. Luna's death that this issue must be brought back up again. A full investigation must take place. Another autopsy must take place because not only were there multiple stabbings but stabbings in the back."
This has been a good week for the Argentinian Economics Minister Felisa Miceli 54 , trained economist and the country's first female Economics Minister - in a country where macho has a special meaning. Argentina is undergoing a massive influx of US dollars spurred by strong international prices for the country’s export commodities, tourism and the issuing of severeign bonds.
Argentina’s international reserves reached a record US$40 Bn. this week according to the latest release from the Central Bank . The Brazilian real has risen 9.1 % this year against the US dollar , making it the best performer among the 16 most-actively traded currencies that Bloomberg tracks.
The government also reported on Tuesday that Argentina`s unemployment remained below double-digits in the first quarter, falling to 9.8% from 11.4% in the same period a year ago.
Felisa Miceli has taken this opportunity to announce that Argentina and Brazil, the 2 major economies in Mercosur , will drop the U.S. dollar in favor of a regional currency in their bilateral trade starting in October 2007 - which is when President Kirchner, 57, or his wife Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, 54, both leaders of the ruling Peronist party, will face former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna (who Kirchner fired) in October's presidential election.
Paradoxically Argentina's economy (2nd largest in South America) has grown more than 8.5% annually in the past 4 years after a $95 billion debt default in late 2001 and subsequent currency devaluation. Lavagna, a former Ambassador to the European Union, headed the restructuring effort. Miseli worked in Lavagna's consultantcy Ecolatina, in the beginning of the 1990s. In May 2002, she became part of Lavagna's team as a representative of the Ministry of Economy before the Central Bank during the presidency of Eduardo Duhalde and at the height of the Argentine economic crisis.
Miseli is generally seen as a follower of Lavagna, and his policies which have broadly been followed by her.
Since its foundation in 1991,South American continent's major trade alliance Mercosur has had the stated primary objective to remove obstacles to internal trade.
The transition to a (as yet unnamed) new currency, is part of a pilot project of Mercosur - whose Finance Ministers met in Paraguy this week - she said the new currency should eventually spread throughout the bloc, which also includes Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have associate member status of Mercosur.
Meanwhile Chavez has said Venezuela is withdrawing from the IMF as he rides the petrodollar wave - don't bet the mortgage on that as the bond market will collapse if he does exits the Washington-based organization as by "gaining economic sovereignty.'' he would trigger a so- called technical default. A clause inserted in most bonds in emerging markets stipulates that there is a default if Venezuela ``ceases to be a member of the IMF or ceases to be eligible to use the general resources of the IMF.''
Mind you he has enough in the piggy bank to pay them off if needed.
Steve Davis, (Phone (01) 571-218-4949, Fax (01)703-807-4952, Email Stephen.C.Davis@darpa.mil) at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to hear from you if you have any good notions to , "deliver and maintain an airborne payload on station for an uninterrupted period exceeding 5 years using a heavier-than-air platform system" ... but just check first because he is not interested in any such system that , " uses either radioactive energy sources or employs any form of buoyant flight for this application."
Steve's Air Vehicle Program has been given the stunning and unforgettable title of VULTURE and the goal of providing the Military (DARPA is part of the Pentagon) with a 1000 lb, 5 kW airborne payload for an uninterrupted period exceeding 5 years with a 99+% on station probability. We look forward to the Project's logo. "VULTURE guys keep it up for 5 Years" ?
This platform will / may be involved in environmental energy collection, high specific energy storage, extremely efficient propulsion systems, precision robotic refueling, autonomous materiel transfer, extremely efficient vehicle structural design, and mitigation of environmentally-induced loads.
Steve considers there will be three phases to VULTURE
1) conceptual system definition with a supporting formal reliability and mission success analysis, exiting with a System Readiness Review and an option for continuation task;
2) risk reduction development and testing phase to include a Preliminary and Critical Design of a prototype ending with the flight test of a scaled version of the system;
3) fabrication, assembly and flight test evaluation encompassing an operational demonstration using the design payload.
If this has got you all excited then get on down to the VULTURE Program Industry Day on June 7, 2007 to be held at The Westin Arlington Gateway, Fitzgerald Ballroom (2nd Floor), 801 N. Glebe Road Arlington, VA US 22203
If you fancy sharing the DARPA VULTURE Program vision and philosophy, objectives and goals send an e-mail, with the Subject line "VULTURE Industry Day Request for Information", to Jake Decoto at Decotoj@centratechnology.com. (You won't send many e-mails with that title this year)
Pre-registration is required NO LATER THAN 3:00 PM EDST on May 31, 2007 for attendance - but remeber registration is limited to US citizens and Permanent Residents representing US companies only.
Admin enquiries :Jake at Decotoj@centratechnology.com. ( 01 703-276-7702x146)
Technical enquiries : Dr. Wade Pulliam, DARPA Program Manager, email: Wade.firstname.lastname@example.org
Top contenders will include The electric powered option makes AeroEnvironment Inc., based in Monrovia, Calif., a likely candidate for the job. The company developed its “Helios” fuel and solar-cell powered flying wing for NASA, which in 2001 set an unofficial altitude record for a non-rocket powered aircraft of 96,863 feet. The Helios (see pic)developed structural problems on a test flight off the Hawaiian island of Kauai and crashed on a test flight in 2003.
Scaled Composites who made Steve Fossetts Global Flyer (Sponsors :Richard Bransons Virgin Atlantic) are another strong contender. Steve endured 76 hours and 45 minutes in a cramped cabin while circumnavigating the globe and establishing a new aviation long-distance record at
Burt Rutan, President of SC and Richard Branson formed a new aerospace production company to build a fleet of commercial sub-orbital spaceships and launch aircraft. The new company will own the designs of the new SpaceShipTwo (SS2) and White Knight Two (WK2) launch systems that are now in development at Scaled Composites. The SS2/WK2 system will use the 'Care-free reentry' and the 'cantilevered-hybrid' rocket motor technology developed for the Ansari X prize-winning SpaceShipOne (SS1), and will license that technology from Paul Allen's Mojave Aerospace company. The Spaceship Company will manufacture the new launch aircraft, spaceships and support equipment and market them to spaceline operators, including the launch customer, Virgin Galactic.
It is not unlikely that UAV designers in Israel will be following this development very closely - and probably already have something in the works.
SAFETY concerns have arisen over a low fence next to a Southampton school in light of the abduction of Madeleine McCann in Portugal.
Bishop of the Algarve - D. Manuel Neto Quintas appealed to Madeleine's abductor to phone him to arrange Madeleine's return - but he failed to supply a phone number.
"Madeleine McCann and the Psychic Tracker"
One of the UK’s most talented pyschic trackers, Amanda Hart, travelled to Portugal in an attempt to use her powers to help locate the missing toddler.
"Maddy has had her hair changed to look more like a young boy.There is a blonde woman and 2 men involved. There is a dog around them - like a rotweiler because of the teeth. Keep getting the guard dog coming up. It is used as a warning to alert people are approaching the property she’s at.There is arguing amongst the adults....blah..blah"Clarence Mitchell was a BBC Reporter left the Beeb for an important job with HM Government. According to this, he is now the director of the Media Monitoring Unit ***within the Central Office of Information(COI). Tony Hatfield has a snap of him (see pic) with an official looking tag round his neck in the company of Dr. McCann and is evidently getting involved .....?
Madeleine's Picture Lights Up Marble Arch
An image of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann has been projected onto London's Marble Arch ahead of today's International Missing Children's Day. (With a Video from Sky)
Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading developed an implantable RF chip that could tell a computer where he or she was at any time - after the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman he was swamped with people who wanted to chip their children. Now he has (it says here) been bombarded with e-mails over the past few days from parents desperate to keep tabs on their children. As we talk, another e-mail drops into his inbox from a mother of two young children who says that she is deeply anxious about Madeleine’s disappearance and wants to know more about the chip technology.
From 666 Mark of the Beast - A website dedicated to the study of the End Times, the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Prophecies in Revelation.
"All Aboard the Gravy Train" - Angry Harry has a rant about it all.
"Based in the Cabinet Office in Whitehall, our team of professionals monitor regional, national and international media, covering the main media outlets. These include print, terrestrial TV news bulletins, news channels, radio, websites, wire services and a selection of foreign language media.
The information gathered is then analysed, distilled and delivered to our clients in a format that is easy to understand and access – giving them a comprehensive view of how their stories fit into the wider government agenda." read more of the work of this fascinating Government unit.
Tony Hatfield in his Retired Ramblings has done some digging and uncovered some fascinating information about the "Find Madeleine" fund (The Official Website to find Madeleine McCann). Although the website gives a companyname "Madeleine's Fund :leaving No Stone Unturned Limited, Registration number (6248215 ) a search against that number at Companies House returns
Name & Registered Office:
MADELEINE'S FUND: LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED LIMITED
2/6 CANNON STREET
Company No. 06248215
It appears the Fund is a Company Limited by Guarantee and that an application for charitable status has been refused. The Company objectives are listed at length on Tony's site.
The website stated that the current balance of the fund at mid day 25th May 2007 was £313,091.17. which doesn't include money taken over the counters of NatWest Bank & Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), along with the donations made by cheque, which have not yet hit the account and that the site had received over 125 Million hits.
The company running the website are Infohost which appears to be run by Calum and Cameron McRae and is Ullapool based (?) . They list 40 odd clients but their website returns "Still in development " for New Projects and News tabs.
Clicking a banner on the Home Page of Infohost for Find Madeleine with the URL www.bringmadeleinehome.com re-directs you to the Find Madeleine website.
Whois on www.bringmadeleinehome.com returns
Madeleine's Fund Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited
2-6 Cannon Street
London, London EC4M 6YH
Domain name: BRINGMADELEINEHOME.COM
MacRae, Cameron email@example.com
27 Pulteney Street
Ullapool, Highland IV1 1UP
Whois on www.findmadeleine.com returns
Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: FINDMADELEINE.COM
Created on: 10-May-07
Expires on: 10-May-08
Last Updated on:
Private, Registration FINDMADELEINE.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
(480) 624-2599 Fax -- (480) 624-2599
Thursday, May 24, 2007
This week we went up on the moors north of Rochdale between the villages of Syke and Whitworth and were stunned to see a Corncrake. Ill equipped. we didn't manage a decent photograph so we have been returning to hopefully see it again.
It would probably be migrating from Central Europe and stopped off on the way to the Hebrides or Northern ireland where it still hangs on and farmers receive subsidies to leave hay making until the end of August.
Corncrakes were familiar in our youth, their distinctive cry, said to resemble the flicking of a comb, and reflected in the Latin name Crex crex. They still survive in large numbers in Poland where the hay meadows are cut by hand with scythes and their striking cry there is quite common.
Today we stopped near the Manstone which is a huge Millstone Grit Boulder, the subject of much historical fantasy and folklore. It marks the boundary of the old Hundreds of Spodden and Hondresfield which is continued in 19th Century boundary stones with elegantly carved 'S' and 'H' on opposing faces which continue up to the top of the flat topped Brown Wardle.
Both landscapes are taken from locations probably 1 1/2 miles from Rochdale Town Hall.
If you are curious to know what it looks like from the air, Cryptome has some remarkable images of the NSA headquarters, in Maryland AKA "The Puzzle Palace". They were taken in 2005 as part of a project by Anne Arundel County to develop and maintain a seamless county wide GIS base data set. EarthData is providing a county wide imagery base layer which will enable the county to extract valuable information from in order to accomodate their resource planning and GIS efforts. Ultimately there is a need for having geospatial data immediately available and easily accessible in order to provide geographic reference for Federal, State, and local emergency responders, as well as for homeland security efforts. (We guess the 2 planes top left are static displays at the gates)
"digital natural-color orthophotography was collected during April 2005 leaf-off conditions at a resolution of 20 centimeters to obtain a pixel resolution of 6 inches for all final orthos. The imagery was flown at approximately 6,300 ft AMT with a 30% sidelap. " "Accuracy is better than ASPRS Class 1 standards for 1 inch equals 100 ft scale orthophotography with a horizontal accuracy of plus or minus 1 foot."
Micrososft Virtual Earth will give you birds Eye views on "Local Live" of the same site here which you can virtually fly around - at much lower resolution. (The car park is full as well)
The NSA employs mathematicians, linguists, engineers, and computer scientists focus on two core missions: Information Assurance-codemaking, and Signals Intelligence-codebreaking. NSA's missions depend on the expertise of a joint military and civilian workforce. These codemakers and codebreakers have been inventing new technology, preventing conflict, shortening wars, and saving lives since 1952.
NSA have a handy Kids Page "CryptoKids™ America's Future Codemakers & Codebreaker" ..."learn all about codes and ciphers, play lots of games and activities, and get to know each of us - Crypto Cat™, Decipher Dog™, Rosetta Stone, Slate, Joules, T.Top, and, of course, our leader CSS Sam."
Without NSA/CSS, they wouldn’t be able to talk to one another without the bad guys listening and they wouldn’t be able to figure out what the bad guys were planning.C'mon kids and help us beat the BAD GUYS y'know, by illegal * warrantless surveillance with wire taps on John Doe's phone lines.
* President Bush authorised the NSA to eavesdrop on US domestic electronic communications in early 2002 under the so called Terrorist Surveillance Program. By doing this he acted illegally by deliberately circumventing the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) , requiring the government to seek a warrant from an intelligence court before it can spy on Americans.
Here is an interesting YouTube fillum from xxseanyboyxx (his website is http://www.illuminaticonfessions.webfriend.it/)(!!) , based on the proposition that the fabled 4 "suicide bombers" CCTV film still image of them were entering Luton Railway Station on 7/7/05 is a palimpsest - a melange of images. We know of course that it was impossible for anyone to catch a train at this station after this time to be in Kings Cross in time to catch the tubes that were bombed.
Despite this massive event not one single person is known to have come forward from the travelling public, railway staff, car park staff, overflying jackdaws ... to identify any of these four on any train from Luton that day - or their presence in the station car park.
Make your own mind up -
1. Why no moving images available ?
2. The guy wrestling through the railings is certainly odd.
3. 4 guys on an outing together, not TOGETHER ? .. and yet no acting singly ?
One thing is for certain, that the next time this happens ...and it will .... the Sphincter of the Yard has told us... there will be a lot more mobile cameras , observant spectators.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Families expelled from the Chagos Islands by the British Government have had their right to return to their homes upheld today by the High Court in a damning judgement against the heartless bitch who we have to call the Foreign Secretary. It is a tribute to the patience and skill of their leaders and lawyers that finally the obdurate, illegal, dishonest, actions of Her Majesty's Government have been finally exposed.
Lord Justice Waller said the decision to expel the Chagos Islanders had been taken by a Government minister "acting without any constraint".
Lord Justice Hooper and Mr Justice Cresswell ruled that the islanders' interests had been ignored and that orders to prevent their return "were irrational and unlawful."
But it is a long and tangled tale and today's Appeal by Margaret Beckett (said by some to be the Foreign Secretary - she resides in an office adjacent to Lord Levy, Personal Ambassador for The Dear Leader to the Land Of Israel and responsible for illegally selling honours in return for subsidies to the New Labour Party by rich vain businessmen)
You can usefully start the legal tale (which is beginning to rival Jarndyce & Jarndyce) here....
England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions - Neutral Citation Number:  EWHC 1038 (Admin) Case No: CO/4093/2004
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE HOOPER
MR JUSTICE CRESSWELL
THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF LOUIS OLIVIER BANCOULT
- and -
THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS
This was the judgment brought in the High Court November 2006 in which Mr Bancoult sought the rejection of the Order in Council which prevented him from returning to his homeland - the Chagos Isands.
The whole judgement is available here and provides a fascinating and illuminating history not only of the post war trials of the islanders but the attitude of the Foreign Office staff in negotiations about their fate ..
" A note dated 24 August 1966 to an official, Mr D A Greenhill, quotes a minute from the Permanent Under Secretary (presumably at the Colonial Office). The Permanent Under Secretary unburdened himself thus:
We must surely be very tough about this. The object of the exercise was to get some rocks which will remain ours; there will be no indigenous population except seagulls who have not yet got a committee (the Status of Women Committee does not cover the rights of birds).'
This attracted a comment from Mr D A Greenhill, who spoke the same language:
'Unfortunately along with the birds go some few Tarzans or Men Fridays whose origins are obscure, and who are being hopefully wished on to Mauritius etc. When this has been done I agree we must be very tough and a submission is being done accordingly.'
A document headed "Presentation of British Indian Ocean Territory in the United Nations" which bears no date, but whose context shows it was written after 12 August 1966, contains a section headed "Objectives". This is of particular importance in relation to Sir Sydney Kentridge's (Mr Bancoult's brief) contention that the Ordinance was made for an improper purpose. Here are the material passages:
'10. The primary objective in acquiring these islands from Mauritius and the Seychelles to form the new 'British Indian Ocean Territory' was to ensure that Her Majesty's Government had full title to, and control over, these islands so that they could be used for the construction of defence facilities without hindrance or political agitation and so that when a particular island would be needed for the construction of British or United States defence facilities Britain or the United States should be able to clear it of its current population. The Americans in particular attached great importance to this freedom of manoeuvre, divorced from the normal considerations applying to a populated dependent territory.
Well when LORD JUSTICE HOOPER and LORD JUSTICE HOOPER concluded..."For these reasons the claimant succeeds." Mrs Beckett (Gawd Bless her) appealed and today she was told in a damning verdict, by LORD JUSTICE HOOPER AND MR JUSTICE CRESSWELL (again) that they condemned as "repugnant" the British Government's decision to "exile a whole population" from the Indian Ocean on the basis that it was necessary for "peace, order and good government".
Whilst they could not prevent an appeal to the House of Lords, they suggested that the House of Lords should consider if any Appeal could be accepted. A spokeman for the Foreign Office said to Sky News today , "The Foreign Secretary will consider the judgement, then decide if an appeal to the House of Lords will be made."
Diego Garcia is the largest of the Chagos Islands and had been effectively exchanged (what we lawyers call "sold") to the US for an Air Base by Labour Peer Lord Chalfont and Lord Callaghan who was a bit behind on the HP for the "Chevalining" or secret upgrading of the Polaris Missiles - which he forgot to tell his Party members about at the time. The islanders were shipped off to Mauritius, mony that went to the Mauritius Government as a sort of blood money never saw them and so they were consigned to poverty. Overall there are 2000 of them and 200 live in the UK after a change in the law by Jack Straw over their status.
The US turned the islands into a massive air base so they could readily bomb the living shit out of Iraq and anywhere it took and takes their fancy. Lady Amos always equivocated whenever asked if the Americans had one of their Ghost Prisons there, as did Jack Straw so that is a fair indication that they do.
Naturally the Chagos Islanders (The Ilois - The Islanders) were a bit shirty and through a great deal of effort over many years managed to get the House of Lords to agree that the Islands should be returned to them.Which the High Court agreed with in a famous decision in November 2000.
Justice Ousely in October 2003 then ruled against them (in a very questionable judgement much prized by the guys in pin stripes of a judicial cock-up) so they appealed and won in the House of Lords in 2004.
The Queens Dirty Tricks department came in under the heady presence of Lady Amos, (see pic)one of Blair's ennobled unelected chicks who was also Leader of Her Majesty's Privy Council and produced an Order in Council - a Mediaeval instrument that says effectively I am the Monarch, this is what I am doing and no one can stop me.On 10 June 2005 , election day for local authorities and the European Parliament, Bill Rammell, then a junior Foreign Office minister, slipped a written statement in to the Commons announcing that the Queen had approved an "order in council" banning the Chagos islanders from ever going home.
(See Written Ministerial Statement of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 422 Parl. Deb. (Hansard), H.C. (2004) 32-34WS, )
By virtue of the British Indian Ocean Territory (Immigration) Order 2004 ("the Immigration Order"), also made by Her Majesty in Council, presence within the Territory without a permit became an offence punishable by 3 years' imprisonment. It is clear that no permit will be granted to allow Chagossians to resume living in any of the islands.
In a sense this is not unlike a US Presidential Directive - of course the US president has the other trick up his sleeve he can just veto legislation and refuse to sign it. (Which in constituional theory the Queen can as she signs off all Parliamentary legislation - but if she did the whole of the Saxe - Coburg Gotha von Battenburg family would be hanging from theb lamposts on Pall Mall by teatime)
On 7 October, however, the High Court agreed to a judicial review of Rammell's royal decree at the request of Richard Gifford of Sheridans their lawyer.... who one must say has been a tower of strength throughout this to the Ilois. Well Done Dick.
Well her Maj got stopped in her tracks.
In the High Court the Order in Council was overturned.
Sir Sydney Kentridge QC had described the treatment of the Chagossians as "outrageous, unlawful and a breach of accepted moral standards".
He said there was no known precedent "for the lawful use of prerogative powers to remove or exclude an entire population of British subjects from their homes and place of birth".
But John Howell QC, appearing for the Foreign Office, argued the government acted within its powers, and did not accept that any residents of the territory were unlawfully removed or excluded in the period 1965-1973.
The local Ilois people, he said, who left the islands and re-settled in Mauritius, received compensation that eminent English lawyers described as fair.
Essentially this now means that Lady Amos's order in Council is null. It is void.They are free to return
The US says it opposes any return on security grounds. See Postscriptum.
Recently, Jack Straw - then Foreign Secretary - said that a return was not "practical".
Naturally the government was given permission to appeal, which they did. Tony Balir. although a lawyer , hates the independence of the Judiciary so like Hitler he, with his fat flatmate Lord Falconer of the enormous wattles and Fat belly are stitching up the selection of the Judges etc, etc,You can be sure that there is no way TB is going until he has that sorted out, he doesn't like confusing the Law with Justice.
Yet again the Judges have told Tony Blair and his Government to fuck off and right a long standing wrong. They will certainly appeal as to allow the Chagossians return would run counter to the desire of George Bush and Tony cannot accept anything that gets in the way of ramming his tongue between his gluteals. His successor may show some Christian Charity, but it is unlikely and an Appeal can be expected - of for no other reason that they hope that the Chagossians will die off, go away and stop pstering them.
United States Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit Decided on April 21st 2006
Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge BROWN.
BROWN, Circuit Judge: In this case, we confront serious allegations involving events occurring forty years ago on the far side of the world. Appellants claim the United States government forcibly removed them from their homes on islands in the Indian Ocean in order to construct a military base. The district court dismissed all of Appellants’ claims against the United States and the individual defendants. We affirm the district court’s decision, finding that Appellants’ claims present nonjusticiable political questions.
This is well worth reading as a VERY useful history of the way the Churchillian "Special relationship" that he invoked at the time of his "Iron Curtain" speech at Funton.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Made a statement from the floor of the House on Monday (21/5/07) "About the safety of Avandia"
" ....today, Dr. Steven Nissen, the Chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic and the immediate past president of the American College of Cardiology, and his colleague Ms. Kathy Wolski reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that there is a serious problem with Avandia. Avandia, according to Dr. Nissen and Ms. Wolski is increasing the likelihood that a diabetic will have a heart attack and maybe even die. I want everyone to pay attention to the fact that the New England Journal of Medicine accepted this analysis of Avandia on a “fast track” review. The New England Journal of Medicine did that because it was requested by the authors and because in its opinion, the analysis of adverse effects related to Avandia suggests serious patient health risks. "
"Around 1pm today, the FDA told the American people that they intend to call for an advisory board meeting to discuss Avandia and that they could not yet reach a “firm conclusion” on what to recommend to people taking Avandia. It was interesting to listen to the call because Dr. Dal Pan, who is the head of the Office of Surveillance and Epidemeology, didn't say a word, although he is in charge of post-marketing surveillance. I guess the FDA thinks that
the decision to go to an advisory committee meeting takes the heat off what looks like another failed decision-making process. We'll see. "
"There have been many clinical trials involving Avandia over the years and there have
been numerous post-marketing changes to Avandia's label. I also understand that FDA has known about the possibility of problems with this drug since about October 2005.
That's about 19 months ago.
"The article appearing today in the New England Journal of Medicine raises a lot of serious questions for me about the real story behind the safety of Avandia. When I couple that article with the FDA conference call that ducked lots of questions I become very suspicious."
"My question today is: do we have another Vioxx on our hands with Avandia? I am not sure, but I intend to find out. In fact, today Senator Baucus and I sent out several ocument requests including one to the FDA and one to the drug sponsor. We want to understand what did FDA know about this drug, when did it know it, and what did it do about it? "
"The authors of The New England Journal of Medicine article report a 43 percent increase in the risk of myocardial infarction/heart attack and potentially a 64 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular death. I need the FDA to tell me why a diabetic would take a drug that may increase the risk of the very thing they are trying to avoid-a heart attack. I also want to know why the FDA did not require the drug sponsor to conduct long-term safety studies instead of small, short-term trials that resulted in few adverse cardiovascular events or death. I want to know what the FDA has been doing for the last 18 months. We want to know the same from the drug sponsor."
"Interestingly, in an editorial that accompanied the study, two other veterans of the Vioxx controversy-Dr. Bruce Psaty of the University of Washington and Dr. Furberg of Wake Forest University-write: “…the rationale for prescribing rosiglitazone at this time is unclear.”
"Additionally they call for the FDA to take regulatory action and note that bigger and better long-term studies of long-term treatments for conditions such as diabetes should be completed as soon as possible after a drug is approved."
"Drs. Psaty and Furberg also said in their editorial, “On May 10, 2007, the Senate passed the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act. Although the Senate bill has many strengths, including the allocation of new authority to the FDA, none of its provisions would necessarily have identified the cardiovascular risks of rofecoxib or rosiglitazone in a timely fashion.”
"The drug industry has brought us miracle drugs. These drugs have vastly improved the lives of millions throughout the world. At the same time, we all know that drugs have risks and benefits. Each of us tries to consider those risks and benefits when we consult with our doctors to make the best decision for ourselves or our family members as to whether or not we will take a particular drug. But we can't do what is best for ourselves or our family members if we don't know all the relevant information in a timely manner."
Lord Patel is neither a lawyer or a physician , but he has diabetes and he takes Avandia 3 mgm tablets daily. Anyone with the similiar habit should consult their physician pronto - me, I've stopped taking them. Period.
Tumeric has kindly commented (blowing sky high our mutual and illicit transatlantic chocaholic attractions - in which Trader Joe's has a rather important role) and she has posted on the topic of NPSD 51 - she points us all to a discussion on Kos that started simultaneously with the Lord Patel's original post about NPSD -51 here
Most interesting comment (of 526 and counting) is this ..
The Miami Herald's Alfonso Chardy wrote a story on July 5, 1987 that linked Oliver North to FEMA planning from 1982-1984 to suspend the Constitution in the event of a national crisis. Jack Brooks (D-TX) tried to ask North about this in front of the cameras, but Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) cut him off by saying that the question dealt with classified matters. Which you can now watch - the interesting bit starts at about 1 minute.
... it does all make you wonder about those camps that Halliburton was building.
Marks & Spencer is to start charging customers at 14 of the company's stores in Northern Ireland 5p for every carrier bag they use in a trial starting this summer as part of a £200m scheme to encourage shoppers to go green. The scheme will take place in 2 stages
1 ) From June 4, it will offer customers the sturdy, reusable 'bags for life' free of charge with a promise to replace them once they wear out.
2) From July 1, it will introduce the 5p charge on the lighweght, standard plastic bags currently provided without charge.
If successful, (Now how do we measure that ?) the scheme could be rolled out across the UK later in the year.
To burnish their totally erstaz "organic / green" image they have already banned some artificial additives, GM ingredients and battery eggs in all its shops. They also changed their packaging for Lord Patel's favourite treat "Summer fruit compote" from bio-degradeable cardboard to super, non bio degradeable plastic carton, aluminium foil top and PVC (half Life 1 Mn years) top for fridge storage.
An astonishing 13 BILLION carrier bags each are handed out each year in the UK by major supermarkets - most of which end up in landfill sites where they can take up to 500 years to break down.
The Irish Government introduced a plastic bag tax in March 2002, which saw store issued plastic bag use fall by 90% and raised 60m euros (£ 41m) for eco-charities. They also saw a hefty rise in plastic waste sacks... Tesco have to particiate through their Wellworthy stores but for some reason say it would be "impractical" in the UK mainland.
Environment ministers have repeatedly rejected moves to introduce similar measures in the UK for fear of upsetting voters.
Last month, Sainsbury's caused a publicity raising frenzy in their stores when their Chinese made £5 cotton and rope bag by the alleged designer Anya Hindmarch bearing the slogan 'I'm Not a Plastic Bag' was released as an incentive for shoppers to switch away from carrier bags - it was supplied in a plastic bag.
IKEA has introduced a 10p charge for its bio-degradable plastic bags. On May 14th Waitrose has removed all free bags from all checkouts in 14 outlets during a 2 trial having offered In the two weeks before the trial begins, Waitrose provide Bags for Life free of charge for their transaction, to notify customers of the forthcoming initiative.. Not to be outdone in the "greener than thee" publicity stakes, Tesco has also promised to cut its use of plastic bags by a quarter over the next two years.
In 1997, Waitrose were the first retailer to introduce reusable, long-life carrier bags. Waitrose Bags for Life are initially bought for ten pence and then replaced free of charge when worn out. The returned bags are recycled and made into Plaswood furniture for branches and local good causes.
In November 2004 Waitrose introduced a 100 per cent biodegradable Jute based wine carrier bag. The Jute bag can be used for wine or for general shopping. Money from the sale of each bag is donated to the Spiti project in India, (uo to £8,000 so far) going towards such projects as installing water pumps and maintaining hospitals.
Over 3000 UK businesses are members of the Valpak compliance scheme, their website is full of guff and links to how help you become a born again re-cycling bore (www.recyclemore.co.uk).
- On average every person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks (source: WasteWatch).
- Packaging accounts for 18 per cent of household waste which represents about 3 per cent by weight and volume of landfill waste (source: Defra).
- Almost 60 per cent of packaging was recycled in 2005 (source: Defra).
- Packaging is a significant part of the municipal (domestic) solid waste that must be reduced.
The Iraqi Parliament will soon vote on a US-backed law that will hand too much oil revenue and control to foreign corporations.
Sunni, Shia and Kurd Parliamentarians are planning to stand together and present this petition to the Iraqi Parliament. Avaaz.org (The name means "Voice" or "Song" in several languages including Hindi, Urdu, Farsi, Nepalese, Dari, Turkish, and Bosnian) is a community of global citizens who take action on the major issues facing the world today - we want to help them.
They want us to show that the world supports Iraq's right to its own oil and its own future. Sign below to help us reach 100,000 signatures before they present it.
This is their petition which you can sign by clicking here.
A message to Iraqis from Citizens around the World:
We support the Iraqi people's sovereign right to the country's oil. We reject the pressure campaign led by the Bush Administration and multi-national oil companies to force Iraqis to adopt this draft Oil Law, which risks conceding extraordinary rights over revenue and production to foreign corporations.
Iraq's oil wealth should be shared fairly among all Iraqis to help them rebuild their country. We affirm the right and responsibility of Iraq's national parliament to take the final decisions on this matter, and call on the US President and Congress to respect Iraq's sovereignty. We stand in solidarity with Iraqi leaders who oppose this unwarranted foreign interference.
Wolfowitz is out. A success for accountability, for global democracy, and for the right of the world's people to have a voice in international decisions... Let's do it. Sign up now
A million marched against the illegal war - let that voice be heard again.
The first Boeing 787Dreamliner will roll out of the Everett. Wash. factory on July 8, 2007.
Scott Strode, 787 vice president of Airplane Definition and Production excitedly called to tell us that assembly of the first airplane began yesterday using what he calls, " a new way of building airplanes." (He sent a couple of snaps as well)
The 787 is the fastest-selling new airplane ever with 568 firm orders from 44 airlines, now all they have to do is make them.
Steve Westby who has the nerve wracking job , is 787 vice president of Manufacturing and Quality "The 787 production system is the culmination of the lessons we've learned building previous airplanes." Looking happily over the sleek, smooth lines of the first one on the blocks he might well swell with pride and say ... "Using composites on the 787 airframe has a number of manufacturing advantages. We are able to build huge structure in just one piece, which means we essentially have six major end items coming together in final assembly -- the forward, center and aft fuselage sections, the wings, the horizontal stabilizer and the vertical fin. "
Remarkably no overhead cranes are used to move airplane structure with portable tools, moving the assemblies into place like a giant Lego kit.
This first airplane will take about 7 weeks to assemble, the 787 team has to continuously improve flow time as production ramps up.
Ultimately, a 787 will roll out of the factory every 3 days.
Boeing have bet the factory on this - so far it's looking good. Now everybody is waiting for it to roll out and fly...it certainly looks good so far.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Gonzo is a fucking liar, Impeach the bastard ... GO here for more http://impeachgonzales.org/
see the Video , sign the Petition . Do it NOW !
"I know that I did not -- and would not -- ask for the resignation of any U.S. attorney for an improper reason. Furthermore, I have no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process sought the removal of a U.S. attorney for an improper reason."
-- Alberto Gonzales, Washington Post Op-Ed, April 15, 2007
Complete history of the lying fucker detailed in WaPo here
There are rallies all this week (May 21-25) outside the Justice Dept in Washington, D.C. at 11:30am EST.
UK Road deaths (Thousands) - National Statistical Office. (Footnote 4)
Speed Cameras are hated - GATSOS the traffuc camera manufacturers announce they will shortly be introducing digital cameras rather than "wet film" thus prolonging their activity to 24/7. Yet there is solid believable evidence that they are effective in reducing speeding and accidents and consequently fatal or serious collisions. There is much irrational, nonsenical resistance to their use which is not supported by the results.
For example Doncaster Council Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley Councils, The Highways Agency, South Yorkshire Magistrates Court Committee and South Yorkshire Police all belong to the South Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership. They have produced the following information today.
The primary objective of the partnership is, (reasonably enough) to reduce the number of people injured or killed on the area's roads by the deployment of cameras. These are placed to conform to strict Government criteria at sites with a history of speed related fatal or serious collisions. As they have secured 'Netting Off' status, the income raised by the partnership from safety camera enforcement is recovered (netted off) to support the cost of installing and running the cameras. (Footnote 1)
Within the region covered there are ;
1 ) 6759 collisions per annum in South Yorkshire
2 ) 724 (killed and seriously injured (KSI) casualties per annum
The Aim of the Camera Partnership is to reduce collisionsand so reduce and/or avoid:
* Injury or death
* Impact on family / friends
* Hospital and Ambulance resource usage
* Insurance premiums rise
* Economic impacts of lost working time
* Collision delay to other road users
Collisions have reduced by 32-37% at existing camera sites in South Yorkshire. The Transport Research Laboratory claim that every 1 mph reduction in speed = 5% fewer accidents. (Footnote 3) Overall, Netting off pilot schemes achieved a 5% reduction in total collisions in their areas - they have also reduced excess speeding dramatically and reduced speed overall. (Footnote 2)
Extrapolated to the whole of Yorkshire this initiative should:
1 ) Save 340 collisions per annum
2 ) Prevent 55 KSI's per annum
3 ) At £62,000 per collision ( source DTLR) £21.0m in the cost of collisions in South Yorkshire. (340 X £62,000)
eg : @ £62K per collision total cost of collisions = £420 Mn. so a 5% saving is £21.0Mn.
It might be worth pointing out that 3,200 people died on UK roads in 2005, and between 25% and 30% of those accidents involved people driving for work. This means there are four times more work-related road fatalities than on non-vehicle related work fatalities in the UK.
In December 1998, the then DETR, Home Office and Treasury agreed that fine income from speed and red light cameras could be used to fund additional camera enforcement - a recommendation from the original 1996 report. This process was termed hypothecation, although 'netting off' is a more technically correct term. No organisation is allowed to make a 'profit' out of the scheme. This has changed and all fines revert to the Treasury - income currently is about £60Mn per annum. The Partnerships will receive grants for installing and running cameras - a change instituted to remove the idea that the Police authorities were "making a profit".
DTLR Cost Recovery System for Traffic Safety Cameras
First Year Report October 2001
Data was collected at over 100 of the camera sites and involving over 800 separate speed surveys throughout the year.
These demonstrate that cameras do reduce speed and a consequential reduction in casualties should be expected.
On average the percentage of drivers exceeding the speed limit at pilot camera sites reduced from 55% to 16%.
Excess speed (more than 15mph over the speed limit) at camera sites has virtually been eliminated. The percentage of drivers exceeding the speed limit by more than 15mph at camera sites has reduced from an average of 5% before enforcement to just 1% afterwards.
The increase in enforcement is reducing the average speed at these sites. Average speed at the camera sites has reduced on average by 5.6mph. We would, therefore, expect to see a reduction in collisions in these high-risk sites of around 30% (based on 1mph reduction in speed = 5% reduction in
Finch D J, Kompfner P, Lockwood C R and Maycock G (1994). Speed, Speed Limits and Accidents. Project Report 58, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), Crowthorne. (Note this calculation is 23yrs old but was validated by further research.
Taylor MC, Lynam DA and Baruya A (2000). The effects of drivers' speed on the frequency of road accidents. Report 421, TRL, Crowthorne.
In 2005, 671 pedestrians were killed in road accidents in Great Britain, this was 21 per cent of all deaths from road accidents, the lowest total for over 40 years. (Source National Statistics Office)
The total number of deaths in road accidents fell slightly by 1 per cent to 3,201 in 2005 from 3,221 in 2004. However, the number of fatalities has remained fairly constant over the last ten years.
Just over half (52 %) of people killed in road accidents in 2005 were car users. Pedal cyclists and two-wheeled motor vehicle users represented 5 and 18 % of those killed respectively. Occupants of buses, coaches, goods and other vehicles accounted for the remaining 4 % of road deaths.
The total number of road casualties of all severities fell by 3 % between 2004 and 2005 to approximately 271,000 in Great Britain. This compares with an annual average of approximately 320,000 for the years 1994-98 and 324,000 in 1984.
The decline in the casualty rate, which takes into account the volume of traffic on the roads, has been much steeper. In 1964 there were 240 casualties per 100 million vehicle kilometres. By 2005 this had declined to 55 per 100 million vehicle kilometres.
The United Kingdom has a very good record for road safety compared with most other EU countries. In 2004 it had one of the lowest road death rates in the EU, at 5.6 per 100,000 population. The UK rate was also lower than the rates for other industrialised nations such as Japan (6.96 per 100,000 population), and substantially lower than that of Australia (8.15) and the United States (14.66).
Military studies in the Jihad against the Tyrants - get your copy and join Kalid Khaliq in the slammer
Khalid Khaliq, 34 from Beeston, Leeds, who has been in custody for over a week and was charged late on Sunday and will appear today at City of Westminster Magistrates, central London, charged under the Terrorism Act 2000with possessing "a document or record namely the al-Qaeda training manual containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".
Well Lord Patel has a copy as well, see title page here - and you can get your own copy in translation from here as an html file - it is also available on many websites as document in Arabic. It was produced in evidence during a Federal trial of four men accused of involvement in the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The Arabic Script on the title page reads Military studies in the Jihad against the Tyrants
How valuable this manual is to the Jihadist you may judge by examining what it has to say on Explosives by clicking here
Toni Fabuloso has a copy of Moriaty's Police Law (which is a bit out of date and has been replaced by Butterworth's Police Law, - but she isn't a WPC.
As you can see she doesn't fit the uniform. (Click to enlarge)
UPDATE : Kaled Khaliq has been released on bail - leaving TERROR to stalk the streets of Britain !! (believed to be a Tupperware salesman - pretending to be a policeman)
This quote provides an interesting insight into the uses the US Authorities claim for the above document .
On Sunday12 March 2006 Andrew Marr BBC TV interviewed Colleen Graffy, US State Department
COLLEEN GRAFFY: Yes. So why not go down, meet with the doctors, with the guards, with the interrogators, and still put in the report but we would have liked to have spoken with the detainees. But frankly what would we have learned from that? If the detainee said we're being tortured, you'd say well there's OK there's the Al Queda manual, chapter 18 that the British police discovered in Manchester saying if you're detained claim you were tortured. Or if they're not told they're tortured then they'll say well you detainees were specially chosen.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier .... just as long as I'm the dictator.
Dubya (The President Elect speakig to Congressional leaders) Washington, DC, Dec 18, 2000
Very few US citizens will be aware of the Presidential Decision Directive 67 (PDD 67), issued 21 October 1998, which relates to enduring constitutional government, continuity of operations (COOP) planning, and continuity of government (COG) operations.
Principally because " The text of PDD-67 has not been released, and there is no White House Factsheet summarizing its provisions."
Anyway from last week that is history according to Section 22
22. (22) Revocation. Presidential Decision Directive 67 of October 21, 1998 ("Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations"), including all Annexes thereto, is hereby revoked.
...of the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive / NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51/HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20 which President Bush issued on May 7th 2007.
The stated purpose of this Directive is to "establish a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes "National Essential Functions," prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency. "
Definitions follow -
(2) In this directive:
(a) "Category" refers to the categories of executive departments and agencies listed in Annex A to this directive;
Which is fine and dandy but when you turn to the penultimate paragraph No 23 and final para 24 -
(23) Annex A and the classified Continuity Annexes, attached hereto, are hereby incorporated into and made a part of this directive.
(24) Security. This directive and the information contained herein shall be protected from unauthorized disclosure, provided that, except for Annex A, the Annexes attached to this directive are classified and shall be accorded appropriate handling, consistent with applicable Executive Orders
You also find that Annexe A is not published with the Directive.
If you care and are concerned with the powers the President has Directed himself to have in the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency" - which means according to the defintions ..."any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions; ..." you are best reading the whole 24 paragraphs etc.,
So ... this covers anything from Katrina to 9/11 and is also "regardless of location" - the Panama Canal ? Iraq ? Taiwan ?
Para 6 states that in the event of such a"Catastrophic Emergency", The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination. ...whilst the preceding Para lists all the "National Essential Functions," or "NEFs," (lettered a to h )which means that subset of Government Functions that are necessary to lead and sustain the Nation during a catastrophic emergency.
(a) Ensuring the continued functioning of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government;
(b) Providing leadership visible to the Nation and the world and maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people;
(c) Defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and preventing or interdicting attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests;
(d) Maintaining and fostering effective relationships with foreign nations;
(e) Protecting against threats to the homeland and bringing to justice perpetrators of crimes or attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests;
(f) Providing rapid and effective response to and recovery from the domestic consequences of an attack or other incident;
(g) Protecting and stabilizing the Nation's economy and ensuring public confidence in its financial systems; ???? and
(h) Providing for critical Federal Government services that address the national health, safety, and welfare needs of the United States.
This all may be read in one of two ways ..
1. It is merely a sensible , preparatory clear set of guidelines for planning the heirarchy of a new form of Government required to lead the nation in which National Continuity Coordinator (NCC) will be responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. The NCC will be the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator.
2. The President (Para 6) "shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government" .....Heading (a) "Ensuring the continued functioning of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government;"
Which can be seen that the President will when the "Catastrophic Emergency" happens - (which can be anywhere and it's defintion is suitably loose for Alberto Gonzalez to take it to mean any goddam thing he wants) the President will quite Unconstutionally seize and control the powers of the three branches of Government enshrined in the Constitution, the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature.
Which to some people sounds like a recipe for a military dictatorship.
Let's recall, On August 2, 1934, at 9 a.m., the 87 year old Hindenburg died. Within hours, Hitler and the NSDAP announced the following law, dated August 1...
On August 19, about 95 percent of registered voters in Germany went to the polls in a hastily called plebiscite and gave Hitler 38 million votes of approval (90 % of the vote). Difficult to believe George could get a vote like that.
"The Reich Government has enacted the following law which is hereby promulgated.
Section 1. The office of Reich President will be combined with that of Reich Chancellor. The existing authority of the Reich President will consequently be transferred to the Führer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He will select his deputy.
Section 2. This law is effective as of the time of the death of Reich President von Hindenburg."
NSPD 51 .. now what was that outfit that Hitler ran ... NSDAP - National Socialist German Workers Party ?