Aangirfan brings to our attention the suggestion made by Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in a speech yesterday at Imperial College, London organised by the the Muslim group the Ramadhan Foundation that an international tribunal should be set up to try US President Bush and Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Howard.
If this eminently sensible suggestion is taken up Lord Patel would like to nominate, as head of the list of military war criminals this cunt.
General Sir Michael "Janus" Jackson, who took over the leadership of the British Army one month before the ilegal invasion of Iraq .
If only because of the way he happily accepted the deaths of UK soldiers in aid of prosecuting an illegal war .. "There is no such thing as a casualty-free military campaign," he growls. "Perhaps we understand that better now. The harsh reality is that there is risk, sooner or later tragically personified in soldiers being killed and wounded." Daily Telegraph
See also - Thursday, December 07, 2006 - General "Mike" Jackson is a fucking, lying 2 faced hypocrite. ..Let us not forget the family of Capt. Ken Masters who seen by General Jackson when he was in Basra to discuss the matter events leading up to the retreival from an Iraqi jail of the 2 SAS "heroes" by a platoon of 10 tanks and helicopetr gunships leaving many dead. 2 days later Masters committed suicide by strangling himself with a bootlace, as General Mike was whooping it up at Margaret Thatchers 80th Birthday Party and telling the Times and the world that ..." The Army looks after it's own".
An inquest at Swindon Coroner's Court, which was heard on 27th June 2006, found that Capt Ken Masters, a senior military police investigator in Iraq, took his own life. At the time he was suffering from depression brought on by increasing workload and stress.
Warrant Officer Philip Floyd told the court: “He was very conscientious. He had a sense of frustration in that the procedures we had to conduct in the inquiries were hindered by forces outside of our control.”
See also Friday, January 27 2006 Reid sends ill equipped troops to certain deaths in S Afghanistan ... ... the ultimate choking nastiness is that General Jackson , knew the hoplessness of the Afghan task, the lack of equipment, training, air support, the poor pay , the imprecise objectives, the havering of his NATO allies, the formidable foe, the devious political control , the duplicitous drug barons and war lords, the terrain, the sapping heat, searing dust, the cold, difficult supply lines .. and still he sent them... to please the politicians.
This latter day Hannibal, told the Today program.. "Mr Reid had been optimistic to hope troops might spend three years in southern Afghanistan without firing a shot", he said, "adding that it was obvious the Taliban would be resistant to Britain's increased military presence in the region earlier this year.""He was entitled to his hope and he did express it as a hope, but I think the reality came as absolutely no surprise at all," General Jackson said.
This hand wringing is no good. It is the job of Generals to tell politicians what is possible and what is not. He didn't and the dead troopers, pilots, airmen, drivers, blindly followed .. and leave behind, parents. wives, sweethearts, children and communities bereaved and distraught and the remaining troops in a hopeless, hapless desert mired by ignorant politicians in Death Alley.Many more will die because of this stupid, ignorant , arrogant, vain , pompous martinet who says, " The Army looks after it's own".
We won't even start on his role in Bloody Sunday. More links
Top of the UK civilan's list after Blair would be that cunt Jack Straw.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
The way the Metropolitan Police communicate with the greater unwashed is at times puzzling - this (if genuine) is another one to puzzle over.
This is a comment on a post at Rachel from North London
Thank you for your positive comments regarding Operation Mista (Blackstock Road )and for those made by your contributors. I am pleased that we are winning the support of the local community following Phase 1 (Home address raids) and Phase 2 (Blackstock Road raids deploying over 600 uniformed police plus many undercover police / Immigration / HMRC ) on 27th March. We are now engaged in Phase 3, which is the long-term policing solution to eradicate organised crime and anti-social behaviour in your community.
I manage a pro-active team of undercover police and immigration officers (OP Swale) with the sole aim to remove foreign nationals from the UK who cause harm to our communities because of their criminal activity. If we cannot remove them (some nationalities are extremely difficult to deport) we will do our best to put them in prison for their crimes whilst working on a deportation solution.
OP Mista was 18 months in planning and 12 months was spent gathering evidence against 52 of the most harmful criminals. During the operation I have witnessed the harassment of females by these local youths, seen the blatant robbery of people going about their daily business, dealt with the aftermath of the stabbings and been amazed at the volume of stolen property that has passed through Blackstock Road. For each item of stolen property from a burglary, robbery or theft there was a story of loss, fear and violation of somebody’s life.
Nothing has pleased me more in my 21 years in the Metropolitan Police than to see a grown man cry for joy when he re-united with his stolen laptop containing all his family photos, emails, downloads, bank accounts and work all intact (none of it backed up!). The arrested suspect who decided to deprive this man of his memories is in custody awaiting trial.
OP Mista continues, only yesterday we executed search warrants at two more Cafes in Seven Sisters Road (3 arrests made, now a total of 97) as we spread the net to improve the quality of life for residents in the community. I can assure you that more raids will happen as and when we get the intelligence to justify them.
This is where we need your support. If you are not happy with what you see in your community just get in touch with us, you can always contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact my team directly. No doubt other criminals will try to fill the gap, so it is important we identify and remove them before they get a chance to embed themselves again.
I also acknowledge from the postings there are legitimate Cafes and businesses in the area who have welcomed the police action. We have done our best to target the premises who gave the criminal gangs refuge to operate within the area, but I am getting to know the good guys too as we sweep through the area. I do not want to upset the decent folk who just want to make an honest living, but in my experience some of the more overtly friendly café owners have turned out to be the worst offenders! I welcome your views on who you think we could work with in the future.
I assume you don’t get many posts direct from the police but I came across your blog by chance today whilst searching for a newspaper article. I think it is important to feedback what we are doing and what we want to achieve on your behalf.
Perhaps a policy of inaction and "surveillance" for over 12 months followed by a military style purge is an appropriate method of policing.
Perhaps the medical equivalent of,say, "Well Mrs Jones, we'll just let that cancer grow into a handy grapefruit size for deep invasive surgery, then follow up with intense radiotherapy and a good dose of chemotherapy. Meanwhile we' ll just keep an eye on it for you."
Tumerica brings to our attention the role of the Pentagon in our lives outlined by Nick Turse in The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (Amazon)
"From iPods to Starbucks to Oakley sunglasses, historian Nick Turse demonstrates the Pentagon’s little-noticed contacts (and contracts) with the products and companies that now form the fabric of America. Turse investigates the remarkable range of military incursions into the civilian world: the Pentagon’s collaborations with Hollywood filmmakers; its outlandish schemes to weaponize the wild kingdom; its joint ventures with the World Wrestling Federation and NASCAR."
He shows the inventive ways the military, desperate for new recruits, now targets children and young adults, tapping into the “culture of cool” by making “friends” on MySpace.
Is this as Tumerica asks...Surprising that this spying-cyborg information is allowed to escape ? Or, is it purposefully allowed to escape. Another case of fear-mongering or is it for real?
On Jan.17, 1961,President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell Presidential address warned .... "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
C2i is the operating name. Berners Street in the pricier end of London W1 is their base and "Command+Control+Intelligence=Security" is their strap line.
EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE
C2i’s specialists are drawn from commerce, the military and government agencies. They include internationally recognised authorities on special risk management, industrial espionage and law enforcement, and senior personnel from Special Forces and Special Operations, London Metropolitan Police.
Find out more about our key personnel:..invites their website.
Well viation activists at Plane Stupid got to know one quite well. After last year's Camp for Climate Action new activists began turning up to London Plane Stupid meetings. Most were perfectly normal people angry at the expansion of Heathrow airport. One newbie didn't fit in with the rest - Ken Tobias, an Oxford graduate who claimed to have just got back from China. Tamsin Omond thought something about him just wasn't right. It wasn't
Piecing together evidence including photographs, reports from fellow students at Oxford and bebo website profiles, Plane Stupid discovered the kefaliyah wearing, baseball capped, jeans wearing punctual attender at meetings agent who used the name 'Ken Tobias' is in fact Toby Kendall who was captain of the athletics team at Wadham College, Oxford.
Kendall - who lists Top Gun as his favourite film on his Bebo social networking profile - made elementary errors as his career as a secret agent faltered at the first hurdle - due to his poorly constructed back-story and appalling acting skills. When Plane Stupid fed Kendall false information it was just 48 hours before sources in the aviation industry confirmed that the plans had been reported back to them. They discovered that he wasn’t on the electoral register for Fulham , the area in which he claimed to live. The rugby club which he said he played for held no record of a ‘Ken Tobias’ either.
After his outing he sent Tamsin an e-mail .Tamsin who graced our TV screens from the top of the Houses of Parliament outed him in the pages of the Mail on Sunday.Plane Stupid have a nice video of the superspy here.
Curiously a Toby Kendall featured in an article in the Daily Telegraph April 29th 2003 about gap year travel about a company Objective Gap Safety, tag lined "Cutting loose, staying safe", is run by two soldiers - Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, MVO MBE who served in the SAS, and Charlie McGrath, MBE who has travelled the world with the Irish Guards.
Oddly enough there was a US outfit called Beckett Brown International who infiltrated Grenpeace in the late 1990's - full story here at Mother Jones 11th April 2008. Even odder they later changed their name ...to S2i
Toby Kendall attended a course recently in preparation for a four-month trip to South-East Asia and Australia. He admits that he had been sceptical, but found it "very worthwhile". "A lot of it is common sense, like knowing your
blood group, but you wouldn't necessarily think of these things," he says.
"I also found it very helpful for packing. I know now what to take, what not to take and where to store it." One piece of equipment that Toby, who will read Chinese at Oxford when he returns, is taking abroad is a toothbrush cover. "Without the course, I'd never have thought of it," he says.
Even odder ... one of BBI's bosses, Richard Beckett is now CEO of Maryland-based Global Security Services, which, apparently provides bodyguard services to Senator Barack Obama.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Euan Mearns has a post at the Oil Drum about the vitally important role that INEOS Grangemouth plant plays in UK energy supplies. Ineos, the company which owns Grangemouth, has already begun shutting down the refinery, which is being run on a care and maintenance basis. Once completely shut, it will at least a month to bring back into full operation, Ineos says. (Daily Telegraph)
This chart provides background to the current (and rapidly rising) gas price - at the end of the winter, when demand and prices should be falling. You can check the APX day ahead gas price here
Grangemouth lies at the end of the Forties oil pipeline system that gathers oil (and liquids) from oil and gas fields throughout a large area of the Central North Sea.
Phased closure of the refinery is proceeding and on Saturday this will include shutting down the refinery's power generation plant that is shared with the neighboring Kinneil pipeline terminal operated by BP. (Reuters)
Around 700,000 bpd oil production and some 70 million cubic meters per day associated gas production may be lost. That is about 25% of UK daily gas consumption. It seems likely that the UK can meet this gas shortfall for a few days from gas storage....
Impact of Grangemouth closure on gas supplies
In spring gas storage is run down. Currently the UK has Medium range storage to provide about 27 MCM / day for around 9 days and long range storage (Rough storage facility now 27% full) around 42 MCM / day for about 18 days from current known stock levels. Short range storage is full and can provide 18 MCM per day for 5 days - LNG and short range storage.
Currently the UK has 50 MCM/day import capacity through the Zeebrugge/Bacton interconnector - assuming zero exports. It is currently running at 40MCM/day so little room for any extra.
Impact of Grangemouth closure on liquid fuel supplies
Grangemouth is the only oil refinery in Scotland producing gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and jet fuel for the whole of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England. In theory the UK has ample stocks of refined fuel and so the real issue for Scotland is the distribution of these stocks.
Chris Hunt, director general of the UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA), aid to the BBC that "Planned strike action at a Scottish oil refinery should not be used to increase in the price of fuel at the pumps" ... naturally however many operators are taking the opportunity to restrict supplies and raise retail prices.
Barges of diesel fuel in Europe's Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp refining hub traded at premiums of at least $51 per tonne to benchmark London ICE gas oil, an $11 gain from the previous evening. Reuters today 2.00pm BST
UPDATE : Thursday 2.00pm BST Statoil Hydro has increased flows through the Langeled pipelone into Easington from 35 MCM/day to 46 MCM/day and could, in theory, increase to 70 MCM/day if prices warrant it.
Interesting factoid. Gordon Brown cannot drive... which is, surprisingly, not a surprise. Probably failed numerous tests having failed to use the rear view mirror.
Paul Whitehouse and the Courts. Good News and very Bad news - the net closes a little bit more. James Ashley's family get a result
Paul Whitehouse, Ex Chief Constable of the Sussex Police will be a happy man. The Gangmaster Licensing Authority which he chairs ,is bringing two gangmasters to court in the Sheriff Court of Tayside, Central and Fife at Forfar at 10am on Tuesday April 29. They are charged with the unlicensed supply of temporary labour in the agricultural sector following the requirement for all labour providers (gangmasters) to be licensed by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to provide such labour after 1 October 2006.
This is the first prosecution the GLA has brought in it's 2 1/2 year life.
Paul Whitehouse won't be happy that in the House of Lords , Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell and Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury considered interlocutory appeal to decide whether a civil case of assault and battery brought by the relatives (father and son) of James Ashley should be permitted to progress to a trial.
James Ashley 39 was in bed , naked, asleep, with his girlfriend and during an armed raid by Sussex Police on his flat at 4.20 am at Flat 6 Western Road, St Leonards, Hastings, on January 15 1998 PC Chris Sherwood of the Sussex Police Special Operations Unit (“SOU”) shot him dead. No arms or drugs were found on the premises, contrary to the information on which authorisation for the raid rested.
Sherwood, was later tried for murder and after 10 days hearig the prosecution case, Judge Rafferty directed the jury that Ashley should be acquitted of murder and manslaughter. She told the jury that “there is not evidence to negative the assertion of self-defence in all the circumstances...” . Sherwood claimed that he had, mistakenly, believed that James Ashley was pointing a gun at him and was about to shoot him.
Barbara Wilding, then assistant chief constable of Kent constabulary, was asked to investigate, and the late Sir John Hoddinott, then the chief constable of Hampshire police, was asked to produce a report into the chief constable's involvement in what happened. Neither report has ever been published but they have been leaked - which the Guradian published and was later read into the record of the House of Commons by James Ashley's MP Louise Ellman. inter alia the raid was "authorised on intelligence that was not merely exaggerated, it was determinably false . . . there was a plan to deceive and the evidence concocted." ....Paul Whitehouse, the then chief constable, "wilfully failed to tell the truth as he knew it, he did so without reasonable excuse or justification and what he published and said was misleading."
Sir John found evidence against Deputy Chief Constable Mark Jordan. That included criminal misfeasance and neglect of duty, discreditable conduct and aiding and abetting the chief constable's false statements.
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Jordan was suspended on full pay for nearly three years before being retired permanently on ill-health grounds with a full retirement pension at the age of 43. That enabled him to escape disciplinary procedures.
The Chief Constable of Sussex, (now) Martin Richards, who is the nominal defendant in the case, has admitted negligence and agreed to pay damages, but strongly denies misconduct by the force and took the case to the Law Lords specifically to block the assault and battery allegation.
The background to the Ashley family's claims is best laid out by Lord Neuberger (Para 122) ..." There has been a criminal trial, where the prosecution case, with full argument and evidence, was aired in public over more than 10 days, and a verdict obtained, although, as the prosecution did not make out a prima facie case, PC Sherwood and other defence witnesses have never given evidence in public about Mr Ashleys death. The coroner decided not to proceed with the inquest after the acquittal of PC Sherwood, pursuant to section 16(3) of the Coroners Act 1989. The Ashleys’ request for a public inquiry was refused by the Home Office in 2001 and in 2004, and an application by the Ashleys for leave to challenge the 2004 decision by way of judicial review has been refused." and at Para 125 "The Ashleys’ reason for proceeding with the battery claim is simply to establish that Mr Ashley was unlawfully shot by PC Sherwood. ".
Lords Scott and Rodger agreed with Lord Bingham that "the claimants have an arguable claim for battery of the deceased " and Lords Carswell and Nueburger dissented.
Lord Scott notes in his judgement (Para 27) ..."The deceased Mr Ashley, while naked and unarmed, was shot by PC Sherwood within seconds of the latter’s entry at 4.20am or thereabouts into the bedroom. The question whether in all the circumstances it was reasonable for PC Sherwood to have believed that the figure facing him was armed and was presenting a deadly danger is, to me at least, an open one on the facts."
As Lord Carswell outlines (Para 74) "His death was a tragic error which should not have happened, as the appellant Chief Constable has explicitly admitted. He has accepted responsibility for the deficiencies in the planning of the operation and the briefing of the police personnel, which led up to the fatal shooting and without which the raid would probably have taken place without incident. He has agreed to pay damages for the admitted negligence of his force, and if it is adjudged that aggravated damages should be payable, to pay them on that basis."
He then gets to the nub of the claims of the father and son ..."It is patent that the respondents’ wish to pursue the cause of action in assault and battery stems from a desire to publicise Mr Ashley’s death and to attempt to obtain a finding which will hold PC Sherwood at fault in civil law."
Lord Bingham (Para 4 ) said ,"The claimants’ reasons for wishing to pursue their claim in battery are readily understandable, as are the Chief Constable’s reasons for wishing to resist it, but it is not the business of the court to monitor the motives of the parties in bringing and resisting what is, on the face of it, a well-recognised claim in tort."
Jane Deighton, solicitor for the family, said: "It is a defeat for the [now retired] chief constable of Sussex who spent the last 10 years trying to manoeuvre the Ashleys out of court." BBC
One has also to take note of Lord Neuberger who makes the forcible point (Para 133) that .."The immediate perpetrator (PC Sherwood) was prosecuted and acquitted seven years ago, and his reasonable interest, as an acquitted person whose actions 10 years ago would again be challenged in court, militates against the claim proceeding merely for the purpose of establishing in a civil court that he had committed the wrong of which he had been acquitted. Further, substantial costs and court time, as well as police effort, might very well have to be devoted to the claim if it proceeds, and a reliable assessment of a split second decision and action in very fraught circumstances would be difficult, especially more than 10 years after the event "
In a sense therefore PC Sherwood is yet another victim of the resolute determination of the Sussex Police (and others) to obstruct at every stage a public examination of exactly what happened at 4.20 am in Flat 6 Western Road, St Leonards, Hastings, on January 15 1998 and why an armed policem was there to shoot him.
As Lord Neuberger says (Para 132) "..there is an obvious and substantial public interest in any death for which the police are responsible being publicly investigated, especially where there is an arguable case that the killing was unlawful".
Let's hope it isn't another ten years before we get the answers that the Ashley family demand and deserve.
FOOTNOTE : Another dead Chief Constable: Sir John Hoddinott 56 had travelled to Middlesbrough with DS Keith Ackerman late on Sunday night 12th August 2001 for preliminary meetings on Monday in Operation Lancet relating to enquiries into "supercop" Ray Mallon who had resigned on the Friday before Sir John was found dead in his bed.
Sir John had been appointed in May 2001 to investigate the £7m Operation Lancet inquiry.
Police say there are no suspicious circumstances. BBC A post-mortem confirmed he died from natural causes.
Israel fighters bombed some buildings in Syria on September 6, 2007, and satellite images show that little was left of whatever was there.
Word is out that in a media briefing today, Members of Congress may (or may not) see a video (*** see update) supplied by Mossad said to have been shot inside the facility before the bombing. They will also be told that North Korea was helping Syria build a nuclear reactor.
Imad Moustafa , Syria's Ambassador in the US told CNN that "This will be a ridiculous and pathetic charade," stressing that Syria has never had any nuclear project.
"All the accusations are absurd and preposterous," he said.
Meanwhile in Harare sightings of "Chinese" Army officers are probably North Koreans still maintained by Mugabe since he used them in the 80's to direct his Shona speaking 5th Brigade in the highly organised "Gukurahundi" slaughter the Matabele.
UPDATE Thursday 18.30 EDT Wudja bleeve it ? There ain't no video ? A US official, requesting anonymity, told AFP: "There are still photographs of the facility as part of the video, but it's a video presentation, like a Powerpoint presentation. It's not a video of the facility."
UPDATE 2 Thursday 11.15 pm BST . Urban Myth on BBC Newsnight shows still photos apparently embargoed until 11.00 BST of a building unders construction (remarkably without cranes, workers, JCB's, dumper trucks, lorries, cement mixing plant or any workers ) and a picture of a Korean lady and a Syrian nuclear scientist.
Screen grabs from Newsnight ..
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
UPDATE 24th April 2008 - the CCTV "Terror walk" video has been removed from the Met media website as have the stills from it and pic of "ausmann" bedsit. @6.30 BST they have the 2 "Terror" videos of Mohammed S Kahn shown to the Jury today.The BBC have one here with stills and a narrative.
Court sees footage of 7/7 bombers
A jury has seen previously unreleased surveillance footage of the 7 July suicide bomber Mohammed Siddique Khan. See the video amd story here BBC Online
The police footage from March 2004, 16 months before the bombings, shows Khan with fellow bomber Shehzad Tanweer, outside a London kebab shop.
One of the men in the pictures is Waheed Ali. He and two others deny helping the 7 July bombers.......
Mr Ali and the bombers were on Green Street, Upton Park, with another man described in court as a terrorist.
You can if you wish also access the image WITHOUT a Time and Date stamp.
In response to the suggestion of Anon in comments here is the nearest frame from the video cropped... Mysteriously it is impossible to re-create the frame as the frames show a greater amount of the shop sign at the top of the frame.. curiouser and curiouser
Notoriously the CCTV pictures at Luton Railway Station of the 4 "suicide bombers" on 7/7/05 is /was available both with and without the Time / Date stamp.
Anyone out there got an explanation ?
UPDATE : Wednesday 11.30 BST
A far better quality video than the BBC version is available is available at Court News UK co.uk - called "terrorwalk!".http://www.courtnewsuk.co.uk/home_page/ This can also be accessed and down loaded here http://www.courtnewsuk.co.uk/site/video/terrorwalk.flv Enlarged images are available on the J7 Forum pages http://z13.invisionfree.com/julyseventh/index.php?showtopic=2655&st=168
a mirror to the enemy points out that Green Street was also the site of Al-Muhajiroun gatherings in 2000.
16 September 2000 (ALM) 'The United Nations - Promoters of Kufr'56 Green Street, Upton Park, E7. 0956124278 . firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaker: Anjem Choudrey
2000, every saturday (September 2 2000 posting) (ALM) 'The Green Street Circles' Public Circle for Brothers56 Green Street, Upton Park, E7 8BZ. Iftikhar Ali (0956124278). email@example.com
The kebab shop in the background is Lahori Baba takeaway - 78, Green Street, London, E7 8JG which is just down from Upton Park Tube Station.
As Al Muhajiroun was heavily infiltrated if not actually run by MI5/6 spooky spooks it is easy to imagine that the area was under constant CCTV / sound surveillance - evidently this camera (s?) was under power control , presumably remote.
Here is a little bit of interesting History printed the following day 24th March 2005
Daily Mail Met chief warns of election terror attack
Last updated at 16:22pm on 24th March 2005 Britain faces a threat more significant than anything since the Cold War and the Nazi tyranny, Sir Ian Blair, the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner warned today.
And potential terrorists would see the forthcoming general election as "a real opportunity to launch an attack on the United Kingdom", he said.
Sir Ian spoke out in an interview with Whitehall and Westminster World, a newspaper which circulates among civil servants.
He said the terrorist threat facing the UK was as dangerous as ever.
"We must be aware that al Qaeda will see the opportunity this year for a world wide statement - terrorists might just remember the bombings in Madrid.
"We are facing a threat more significant than anything we have faced since the cold war and the Nazi tyranny before it.
"Of course the IRA was a credible threat, but it was not capable of or willing to carry out mass-casualty attacks without warning."
Sir Ian also defended his stance on the controversial ID card scheme.
He said: "If you are looking for co-conspirators of al Qaeda the chances are you are looking for someone of Asian appearance - but this is not a World War II 'show me your papers' procedure."
"If you are looking for co-conspirators of al Qaeda the chances are you are looking for someone of Asian appearance " ... well they were certainly looking at people of Asian appearance. This remark was picked up and discussed by the Metropolitan Police Authority at their meeting on 31st March 2005. They also mentioned Home Office minister Hazel Blears who had said it was the "reality" that Muslims were more likely to be stopped and searched by police.
Randy Scheunemann , McCain's top foreign policy adviser, is a key figure in the NATO expansion campaign: he has been a top lobbyist for British Petroleum, several major defense contractors, and various Baltic and Central European governments.
He worked with Bruce Jackson, a former vice president in charge of planning for Lockheed-Martin and Pentagon official, on the U.S. Committee for NATO.
Scheunemann has been an American adviser to the Georgian government and a registered lobbyist for Macedonia, Romania, and Latvia, as well as a corporate lobbyist for BP America and Lockheed-Martin.
Scheunemann was a founding member of the Project for a New American Century and a co-founder and director of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. He is, in short, the embodiment of all the pressure groups and special interests who profit, materially and ideologically, from the renewal of the Cold War.
Scheunemann is also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Republican Institute, which McCain chairs.
Scheunemann's experience working on the Hill dates back to the mid-1980s, when he began working for a number of congressional committees. According to his biography on the PNAC website, between 1986 and 1993 Scheunemann "served on the staffs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Republican Policy Committee." He then went on to become a senior adviser to Republican presidential candidate Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) in 1996, served on the 1996 Republican Platform Committee, and between 1993 and 1999 was national security adviser for Dole and Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS).
Scheunemann's PNAC biography states that during his time working on the Hill, he "was involved in Senate deliberations concerning the use of American military power in Somalia, the Korean Peninsula, Iraq, Haiti, and Bosnia. He also served as coordinator for Senate Republican policy on UN reform, congressional-executive war powers, NATO enlargement, global climate change, economic sanctions, ballistic missile defense, and technology transfers to China."
Also during this period, Scheunemann helped draft what would later become one of his claims to fame—the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, which made the toppling of Saddam Hussein an official U.S. policy goal and authorized $98 million for the Iraqi National Congress, a loose grouping of Iraqi dissidents led by Ahmed Chalabi that has been widely blamed for channeling false intelligence about Iraq (see Jim Lobe, "New Champions of the War Cause," Asia Times, November 6, 2002).
In 2001, Scheunemann moved from congressional work to the Pentagon, serving for a short time as a consultant to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Scheunemann has worked closely with Bruce Jackson on NATO expansion issues. He has served as a board member for Jackson's U.S. Committee on NATO and as a registered lobbyist and/or consultant for a number of former Soviet and Eastern-bloc countries, including Latvia, Macedonia, and Romania (American Prospect, May 1, 2003).
Scheunemann's lobbying firm, Scheunemann & Associates, has for several years represented the National Rifle Association. In 2005, the firm also represented the Caspian Alliance, a consortium of oil- and gas-producing nations from the Caspian region. According to Opensecrets.com, Scheunemann's "client list" since 1998 has included BP, Cuba Libertad, the Air Force Memorial Foundation, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Scheunemann has also led the lobbying firms Orion Strategies and the Mercury Group. The Mercury Group, for which Scheunemann served as president, has lobbied on behalf of Swiftships Shipbuilders, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing ( who made the sniper rifles given by the CIA to the mujahadeen which have turned up inNorthern Ireland and Iraq) , BP America, Lockheed Martin, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunitions Manufacturers.
At a Council on Foreign Relations event in D.C. on 7th March, as a Hillary adviser touted Clinton's foreign policy experience, Randy reportedly chimed in with: "Please keep running those 3:00 a.m. ads about who you want to answer the phone, because we like those."
Jim Ratcliffe - Who he ?
Described as the chemical industry’s “answer to Lakshmi Mittal (qv)”, the low-profile Southampton based Ratcliffe (Sunday Times 10th richest Briton?) is on track with his ambition to create a world-beating chemicals company.
His Ineos Group, which employs 15,500 people in 14 countries, beat private equity rivals in its £5 billion acquisition of BP’s Innovene division in 2005 and now plans to construct a £125m plant in China by the end of 2009. Ineos, based in the New Forest, has become the world’s third-largest chemicals company and the largest producer of chemicals such as acetone, phenol and car air-conditioning fluids. Ratcliffe, 54, spent 15 years at Esso Petroleum and Courtaulds before joining venture capital firm Advent International.
In 1992 he left Advent and led the management buyout of an earlier offshoot of BP, its speciality chemicals division, which became Inspec. It floated in 1994 and four years later was taken over for £611m by Laporte. Armed with his £28m windfall, Ratcliffe headed a buyout team that acquired Ineos from Inspec in a £90.5m deal in 1998. A series of bold takeovers followed and he bought chunks of ICI, Dow and Degussa. The combined Ineos and Innovene operation made more than £414m profit on £15.2 billion sales in 2005. The net assets of the combined group stand at about £6.5 billion.
He has a £100m stake in the separate Ineos Chlor operation.
He also owns the Grangemeouth refinery where a strike is threatened over pension arrangements. BP has confirmed (CNN yesterday) that the Forties pipeline system may have to close if the Grangemouth strike goes ahead. 700,000 bpd UK North Sea production may be lost.
In addition to lost oil production, many gas fields may also have to be shut down as liquids produced with the gas will have no export route.
Ineos have said it could take up to one month to get the refinery back to full production if it is completely shut-down, sparking some panic buying of petrol in parts of Scotland.Global crude supply fears ysterday saw oil contracts trade to a fresh record high of US$119.74 in New York. Brent crude contracts in London hit an all time high of US$116.33.
Times Google Finance
George Smith is a senior fellow at GlobalSecurity.org, a defense affairs think tank and public information group. At Dick Destiny, he blogs his way through chemical, biological, and nuclear terror hysteria, often by way of the contents of neighbourhood hardware stores.
He has done a round up of the suprisingly numerous kooks, freaks, retards and losers who have been deluded into thinking that by pounding some castor oils seeds up in acetone you have death and destruction in the palm of your hand... and ended up doing some very impressive terms in prison.
Well worth reading for a good chortle at The Register - essential reading (for those who can) on the Met Terrorist Squad.
Favourites have to be ...
Lesbians Astrid Tepatti and Ebony Woods (both 21) of Imperial County, California, who in 2004 engaged in a plot to kill the former's husband an ex Marine. They hired a hit man for $10,000 to stab him to death. The attempt failed. Tepatti also attempted to shoot her ex-husband while he slept on the sofa with a gun equipped with homemade silencer made from a potato. She missed. Both drugged him with Valium and tranquilizers. He was made sleepy. And they were found with a recipe for ricin, downloaded from a white supremacist site, and a bag of powder which was allegedly the toxin. They lodged a plea agreement of guilty to attempted murder in 2004 but were not charged on possession of ricin.
More fascinating details at the San Diego Press and NBC San Diego - they pleaded not guilty first time in court.
Readers are advised to go to J7: July 7th Truth Campaign Blog - the blog of the indefatigable and painstaking truth seekers of the July 7th Truth Campaign . This latest post concerns the release of CCTV evidence at the continuing trials of Waheed Ali (aka Shipon Ullah), Sadeer Saleem & Mohammed Shakil at Kingston Crown Court
Tuesday, 22 April 2008 Mind (Plug?) the Gaps
In response to their FOI request (which so far is refused) they report .... "Note the acknowledgement from Detective Inspector Neil Smith of Counter Terrorism Command that J7's scrutiny of the official account, and our ongoing Freedom of Information requests endeavouring to establish the facts about what happened on 7th July 2005, are "drawing attention to some issues in the official account which require clarification" and such queries are "seen as helpful rather than inconvenient".
Which means that there are some straight Plods ... or they are taking the piss.
We have had since the J7 initial request the release (unconnected) of covert photos which have appeared both in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph which detail contact with a man called "Ausman" whom it appears is AKA Omar Khyam who was sent down after the "Ministry of Sound" bombing. The Times also has a report but no photographs.
Later editions of the Daily Telegraph say the date of the meeting photographed was February 21 2004, and changed the caption to read ..."Waheed Ali [left] photographed at another meeting with Shehzad Tanweer, Ausman and Mohammed Sidique Khan in a McDonald's car park". They also provide a much edited description of a conversation with Ausmann AKA Omar Khyam and Sidique Khan from his bugged Suzuki (date unknown).
Khan is told by Ausman if he goes to Afghanistan to take a breathable jacket and a good pair of boots, which is sound advice.Plus the usual sensible advice before going on a trip abroad, about fraudulently raising money, credit card scams etc.,
Why the prosecution introduce the name of Ausman instead of the name Omar Khyam , the name under which he was prosecuted is unknown, a mystery, and one suspects simply an aid to confusing the jury.
An example of the confusion which reigns - if only in newspaper offices) is this pic of Khan , a still from his earlier"suicide video" which "emerged" and its new misleading caption in the Daily Mail 11th April 2008 in a story by "ace" reporter pouting, glamrous Lucy Ballinger.
In text almost adjacent the correct information is provided that the video of Khan saying goodbye to his child was made " made shortly before Khan and fellow bomber Shezhad Tanweer travelled to Pakistan in November 2004"Deliberate ? Inoccent mistake ?
As Lucy's story is entitled "7/7 ringleader prepared for suicide attacks by filming 'martyr' video for his daughter" and opens ...
"He has emerged as the ringleader in the London bombings, and today it became clear just how extensively Mohammad Sidique Khan had prepared for his death - even filming a message for his baby daughter. "
Let's hope J7's FOI request is met so we can see the fillum, and see if we agree with Lucy's tear jerking story of martyrdom in a breathable jacket and sensible walking shoes.
Lucy Ballinger ..?? One is not amused by Prince Harry's smokebomb prank , Embarrassed city girl apologies as party email goes around the globe, The teen party where 50 yobs trashed the house and even drugged the family puppy
No wonder she gets confused.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Western forces 'in Basra raids' reports BBC Online - US and UK special forces are carrying out operations in Basra in southern Iraq against Shia militiamen, a Western military source has told the BBC.
Before the Friendship of Peoples Palace in Tashkent is the the International Friendship monument, This was erected in memory of the Shamakhmudov family who adopted 15 orphans in the Great Patriotic War and became a symbol of the generosity and humanism of the Uzbek people.
When Tashkent women appealed to the women of Uzbekistan to adopt children evacuated from all over the Soviet Union in the first months of the Great Patriotic War, blacksmith Shaakhmed Shamakhmudov and his wife Bakhri Akhmedova adopted 15 orphans - Russians, Belarussians, a Moldovan, Ukrainian, Latvian, Kazakh, Tatar, and others.
The Shamakhmudovs gave the children what they lacked - a genuine home and family. They became prototypes of the main characters of Rakhmat Faizi's novel "His Majesty, Man" and movie "You Are Not An Orphan".
In the evening of April 12 night workmen with rock-drills and hammers and JCB's dismantled the statue to replace it with a flower bed. The author of this story of vandalism asked the civvy wearing boss where it was to go, and was told it was being moved to Chilanzar (one of the city blocks in the outskirts).
This news which was re-posted (By Oleg Panfilov)has elicited a fascinating story related to Mr Shamakhmudov who was evidently a blacksmith . The story is lengthy and is related here at Global Voices.Diana Makarova, a Kiev-based journalist - read about the dismantling of the Tashkent monument related the story of one of the children he saved , Fyodor Kulchanovsky, and the role her own father played in helping the war orphan find his biological family. (Full story in Rusian here)
The 4 years old Fyodor arrived from the Ukraine in Tashkent with a notebook that stored his personal info, entered in someone's handwriting. At the orphanage, the contents of the notebook were copied when they created [Fyodor's] personal file. But they misread the handwriting. Fyodor was Kulchanovsky - but was turned into Kulchakovsky. And then blacksmith Shamakhmudov came to the orphanage and took Fyodor in. There were 16 adopted kids living in the blacksmith's house, I guess. Though they now say there were 15 of them.
This simple transliteration of his name provided a major obstacle which her father finally resolved and Fyodor was able to meet his 104 year old granny just before she died .. and then the rest of his family and he moved finally from Tashkent to Rostov.
EU suspends travel restrictions on Uzbek Ministers
In October The European Union agreed to suspend travel restrictions on four members of the Uzbek regime and since then the USAF have been allowed to use Termez airbase for NATO operations in Afghanistan. Tonight Channel 4 report that next Tuesday they will vote again - and Channel 4 News has learned they will confirm that suspension, despite Uzbekistan's failure to comply with many of the EU's demands on Human rights. However pressure , especially from Germany (who maintain an airbase ) who want access to minerals and gas overrides any concern about the Andijan massacre and human rights concerns.
Body boiler Karimov appointed his daughter Gulnara Karimova deputy Finance Minister on Feb 1st ...days later Saidjahon Zainabiddinov, Umida Niazova, Karim Bazarbaev and Ikhtior Hamroev were freed , (between February 2 and 4), under a general prison amnesty announced at the end of November.
Human Rights Watch suspects , that the releases were timed to coincide with a February 5th meeting between officials from Uzbekistan and the European Union, with which Tashkent is gradually trying to win favour. Zainabiddinov, the longest-serving of those released, is a leading human rights activist who was sentenced to seven years in jail in January 2006.
Zainabbiddinov spoke out to foreign media after Andijan . Not only did he witness the shootings he also saw the corpses being taken away in trucks the following day. He appeared on the Moscow-based NTV channel holding up massive cartridge casings from large-calibre shells gathered from the square where most of the killings took place – hard evidence that armoured vehicles had turned their guns on civilians.
Unlike other eyewitnesses and alleged participants, Zainabiddinov did not go on trial until early in 2006. His family did not see him for several months beforehand, and it was several days before anyone knew the trial had started. It was clear the government regarded his case as particularly embarrassing and wanted it shielded from publicity.
This amnesty included the well-known human rights activist and journalist Umida Niazova. She was given a seven-year jail sentence last May, after being convicted of illegally crossing the Uzbek border and of smuggling and distributing "dangerous material".
Once again, this apparently illicit material related to Andijan, in the shape of a published human rights report on the tragedy.Following an international outcry, Niazova’s sentence was changed to a suspended one a week later, and she was conditionally released.
Ikhtior Hamroev, sentenced to three years for “hooliganism” in September 2006, and Karim Bazarbaev, a member of the Ezgulik human rights group who was three months into a six-year sentence for slander, a criminal offence in Uzbekistan. Hamroev’s case is revealing – human rights groups believed he was jailed to punish his father Bakhtior for his work with the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan.
The amnesty followed a high-profile visit to Tashkent of the EU’s special representative for Central Asia, Pierre Morel, who conveyed congratulations to Karimov for his triumph in the December presidential election. See Thursday, January 31, 2008 US launches 2 pronged diplomatic assault on Central Asian republics - Afghanistan poppies and pipelines
Royal Bank of Scotland - Rights issue for all the wrong reasons. Shareholders expected to pay for Board's follies
Breaking News 1.45 EDT - Fitch Ratings downgrade RBOS from AA+ to AA
On Feb. 28th , the Royal Bank of Scotland (preferred bank of MI5/6) reported a net profit for 2007 of £7.7 billion on revenue of £28.9 billion, today they have made some of the details of their intended Rights issue available (PDF 22 pages) which Shareholders will be asked to approve at a meeting in mid-May.
They say they need to act fast to improve their finances because of the , "severe and increasing deterioration in credit market conditions, the worsening economic outlook and the increased likelihood that credit markets could remain difficult for some time."
The rights issue has been fully underwritten by Goldman Sachs International, Merrill Lynch International and UBS Limited. Investors can obtain 11 new shares for every 18 shares they now own at 200 pence a share, a 46 % discount from the bank's closing share price Monday 21st April 2008 of 372 pence a share (358 at the close). The precise terms the underwriters have squeezed from their distressed customer have not been published but will necessarily be extremely demanding as it constitutes the biggest raising of shareholder capital ever on the London market. To date we know RBS will pay the banks a fee of £180m, plus a £30m bonus if all goes to plan.
Coincident with this announcement they have provided details of write downs totalling £5.9 billion in assets in this financial year. This includes ;
1 . £1.9 billion on collateralized debt obligations
2. £1.75 billion on exposure to monoline bond insurers
3. £1.3 billion on leveraged loans.
This is on top of the £2.4bn write downs unveiled in February.
... and you can bet your fluffy cotton socks is a wild underestimate and it is plainly evident that the balance sheet accompanying last years results only 5 weks ago was plainly fraudulent. (Note that leveragd loans have bloome to £1.25Bn. as they have been left warehousing Alliance Boots, Brake Brothers and BUPA Hospitals and total loans stand at £12.3 Bn. and it's average write down is 12p in the £.
On top of this the bank has made clear that 2 cash cows, Direct Line and Churchill Insurance are up for sale which could raise up to £4 Bn. (non-core ?)
In a fit of pious banking correctness the bank wish to claim it wants to raise it's current Target ratios of 7.5% to 8.5% for Tier 1 capital and in excess of 6% for core Tier 1 capital on a proportional consolidated (“look through”) basis.
They claim this cash raising exercise will increase its Tier 1 capital ratio to in excess of 8% and its core Tier 1 capital ratio to in excess of 6% on a proportional consolidated basis by the end of 2008.
Furthermore they say that all this well intentioned capital restructuring was ".. the Board’s declared intention to rebuild our Tier 1 capital to the middle to upper end of our historic range of 7% to 8% over a three year period, but in light of the current market environment, this level and timing are considered no longer appropriate."
"In discussions with shareholders it was clear that many of them had reached a similar conclusion, hence today’s announcement that we are launching a rights issue to re-position our capital ratios and strengthen our capital base."
So farsighted are your Board dear Shareholders that , "the Board has concluded that it is now appropriate for RBS to accelerate its plans to increase its capital ratios and to move to a higher target range to reflect the generally weakened business environment."
So what have they been doing whilst they neglected maintaining thier Teir 1 capital ...well they provide a handy list of the "assets" they have been busily buying and pissing away the shareholders funds.
However this does not tell the whole tale for example Monolines. You can see have been written down but reference to Note 4 to this table provides a little more background "Monoline exposures relate to credit protection purchased on credit assets, including CDOs. As the value of the instruments underlying the hedges has fallen, the mark-to-market value of the hedges, and hence of the Group’s exposure, has increased. A credit valuation adjustment of £1,752 million has been estimated reflecting the monolines’ weakening credit profile. Further information relating to exposures to monolines is set out in Appendix II - which tells you the "notional value of these "assets" is £25 Bn. and is now writtten down to £3.2 Bn. of which some £20Bn was intitially graded AAA/AA. That's 3 years record profits pissed away.
Tom McKillop, the bank chairman, presenting this woeful picture tried to suppress the idea that the wankers who got you into this dire position should collect their lunch pails.
"The board unanimously believe that our executive team has all the ability to steer the bank successfully through this tricky period in financial markets," McKillop told reporters. So unanimous that the Directors will be taking uptheir full entitlement (they can do no less) which will cost the spendthrift Fred £856,000. Ouch!!
The bank is already in the final stages of negotiations to sell its stock leasing business Angel Trains to Babcock & Brown for £3.5bn including debt.
RBOS shares closed down 3.9% / 14.5 pence down at 358.00 p RBOS shares are down 47 % over the last 12 months. (Which gives a market Cap. of £35.87 Bn)
Now we have Barclays, HBOS, HSBC and Lloyds to queue up for shareholders (read your pension fund) to throw even more money away. Will it work ? Nobody knows and there will be a lot of crossed fingers in Threadneedle Street tonight - but how low do the shares have to drop before the sovereign funds, the botto feeders see their opportunity ?
What would Mervyn, Alastair and Gordy do if a gang of Sheiks, Chinese money jugglers, dubious Dubai creek traders , Kuwaitis with money burning a hole in their dish dashes, decide to buy themselves one of our Fair City's banks and parcel it out amongst their friends ? Perish the thought.
Oh by the way! , if you are unwise enough to be a shareholder- and you can bet there will be a lot less of them by the time the opportunity to take up this once in a lifetime chance , this years divvy will be in cash , next years interim will be in shares (Ho.Ho.Ho.) and as for the final divvy ...let's wait and see if something turns up.
DECLARING AN INTEREST : Lord and Lady Patel have some of their millions lodged with this bunch of wankers
UPDATE Wednesday RBOS shares plunge a further 5.24% , 18.75 down at 11.00 BST at 339.25
Food and Drug Administration underesourced to monitor overseas drug manufacture - heparin problems become global.
The worldwide effects of Chinese heparin blood thinner products deliberately contaminated with low cost over sulphated Chondoitin Sulphate becames more apparent every day.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Food and Drug Administration's drug center, has announced that German regulators have uncovered a cluster of illnesses among dialysis patients who took contaminated heparin.To date the contaminated product is directly related to 81 deaths and a large number of severe reactions in many patients.
Woodcock also claimed that Chinese officials had conceded that heparin produced in their country contained a contaminant, though they deny its connection to the reported problems and insist that Chinese inspectors be allowed to inspect the American plant where the finished heparin vials were made.
"We don't have a strong evidence to show that it is heparin or its contaminant that caused the problem," said the official, Ning Chen, second secretary at the Chinese Embassy.
This dispute, resulting in human fatalaties comes on top of poisonous toothpaste, lead-painted toys, toxic pet food laced with melamine, and tainted fish.
The FDA sent a warning letter on Monday to Changzhou SPL, the Chinese plant identified as the source of contaminated heparin made by Baxter International in the United States. It warned that the plant used unclean tanks to make heparin, that it accepted raw materials from an unacceptable vendor and that it had no adequate way to remove impurities.
The FDA has identified 12 Chinese companies that have supplied contaminated heparin to 11 countries — Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States. Deborah Autor, director of compliance at the FDA's drug center, said the agency did not know the original source of all the contamination or the points in the supply chain at which it was added.
Lots of heparin going back to 2006 have been found to be contaminated. The current spike in illness and death first became apparent in November 2007 and continued for several months as the product was withdrawn and substituted.The severe reactions seem to be related to patients who were given high doses of the drug, Woodcock said.
She said she would not detail the suspected problems with the contaminant in heparin until the information is published in scientific literature and other researchers have had a chance to contribute to the results.
"We are not able to rule out the fact that there could be other problems leading to these adverse events," Woodcock said.She did tell Reuters that "We have data in vitro, in test tube ... as well as animal data that shows that this contaminant can trigger events that would lead to these type of reactions. That doesn't tell us everything or the whole story but it establishes a link."
The Government Accountability Office (GAO)is to release a report showing that the FDA will need to spend at least US$56 million more in 2009 to begin full inspections of foreign plants. It would need to spend at least $15 million annually to inspect China's drug plants every two years, which is the required minimum standard for drug manufacturers in the US.
The FDA could spend the next 27 years at the current rate inspecting every foreign medical device plant that exports to the United States, 13 years to check every foreign drug plant and 1,900 years to examine every foreign food plant, GAO say.
PNAC dancing in the streets - Shrillary adds Pearl Harbour and Osama together - tells Obama to get out of her kitchen
It had to happen ...Shrillary mentions Pearl Harbour and Osama bin laden in the same breath ..
Could Philly be her Waterloo?
UPDATE 11.00 EDT : No.
b at http://www.moonofalabama.org/ has a wonderful take on torture lady's problems on her second fly by of Baghdad this year.
On Sadr she commented: "It's been very difficult to get a read of what his motivations are and what his intentions are."
Well, let me help you here.
Sadr wants the attacks on his people to be stopped immediately. He wants a timetable for the occupiers to leave his country and he wants a united, independent Iraq. If he will not get these majority demands fullfilled through a fair political environment, he will ask the people to fight for it. ...er....That's it. As he said in a written statement , "I will declare it open war until liberation."
Princess Sparkle Pony - the expert on a country that no longer exists.
When the Coalition of the barely willing illegally invaded Iraq just over 5 years ago 1 Euro bought you one US dollar.
Today just less than 5 years after President George Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" one Euro will buy you one US dollar and 59 cents.
Oil was US$20 a barrel and closed today at US$117.48.
A gallon of regular unleaded gas cost about 90 cents US and today the average price for regular gasoline across the USA was a record $3.508 a gallon - U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Tanzania - radar - bribery - BAe- Blair & Hewitt - stealing aid money - and Barclays Bank's African re-birth
We had a little story on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - Aiding Africa - Tony, Barclays and BAE - a curious tale of President Kikwete and kickbacks which has erupted yet again. "BAE in new corruption probe as Tanzanian minister resigns over £500,000 bribery claim"
Andrew Chenge, who was attorney general at the time of the crooked £28Mn. deal (Now ex Minister of Infrastructure) has been found to have 1/2 Million pounds in an Jersey offshore account related to the 2002 radar deal which was un anted , over priced and the result of bribery ochestrated by Tony Blair and Patricia Hewitt who overruled Gordon Brown and Clare Short to grant BAE a government export licence for a military air traffic control system to Tanzania. Clare said the deals was was corrupt and "stank".
Commissions on the sale were made to a local agent in Tanzania to promote the radar sale, through an elaborate chain of offshore companies and a Swiss bank. The agent has now (apparently) left the country and is wanted by Interpol.
Apparently Barclays - who of course are rowing back in Africa from contempt for their support for South Africa's apartheid regime - provided in 1999 a £40 million loan - which subsequently was paid from aid given to Tanzania by Britain to assist sustainable development, including primary education.
Cosily and coincidentally Barclays were granted in October 2000 Barclays a banking licence to open branches in Tanzania. Their website baldly states ...
Barclays opened a new business in Tanzania in October 2000.
A lengthy SFO and painfully slow investigation in the UK has discovered that 31% of the deal's contract price had been diverted via Switzerland.
BAE transferred the money to a subsidiary, Red Diamond Trading, registered anonymously in the British Virgin Islands in February 1998 with accounts in banks London, Switzerland and New York who made payments to " agents" in South America, Tanzania, Romania, South Africa, Qatar, Chile and the Czech Republic.Red Diamond was also used to make payments to UK citizens who were working as consultants for BAE. These included the mysterious David Hart, who advised Thatcher during the miners' strike of the 1980s.
BAE have never exlained how or why this company , never revealed in the company accounts was set up and why. "Poseidon Trading Investments Ltd" was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands on June 25 1999 hich handled payments on the Saudi contracts.
Red Diamond then moved the cash to a Swiss account in the name of a Panama company, Envers Trading Corporation.
This outfit sported the 2 required Panamanian nominee directors but was under the control of a Tanzanian middleman, Shailesh Vithlani,(who had at the time a British passport) according to Dar es Salaam court papers
Sir Richard Evans, who lives at Freckleton in Lancashire was MD and later chairman of BAE and was responsible for the al Yamamah deal. He now works for the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Sir Richard is chairman of Samruk, the oil and gas-rich central Asian country's state holding company. It was formed earlier this year to control a collection of state / Nazarbayev family enterprises. They include KazMunaiGas; Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (railways); Kazakhtelekom; KEGOC (Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company), and Kazpost (postal services).
Daily Mail today
"A council enforcement officer took photos of the bin in January and issued an on the spot fine shortly afterwards. Mr Wilson-Corkhill was offered the chance to pay a fixed penalty of £110 rather than a court appearance.
When he did not pay up he was fined £110, plus £100 prosecution costs and £15 surcharge. "
One of Lord Patel's forbears was William Stroudley, the Chief Engineer of the London & Brighton and South Coast railway. His Class B (0-4-2)engine No 217 , "Gladstone" was the first railway engine ever saved as a museum exhibit and is now the centrepiece of the York Railway Museum.
He introduced electric lighting on railways, the American made Westinghouse brakes (which Victorian engineers considered, because American, were inferior)the Brighton Belle and snow ploughs on the Highland Railway. He would not allow steam hammers to be used for riveting his boilers. He claimed excessive pressure led to plate cracking and fracturing - this was decades before non-destructive testing.
As a result his boilers lasted longer and expensive refits required less often and some even survived until nationalisation (he died in 1899).
Now a new book "What Really Sank the Titanic -New Forensic Discoveries " claims that the builders were under immense pressure, building 3 huge liners sumultaneously and they were forced to buy poor quality mterials including rivets. This they claim was a contributory factor in the ship sundering.(Amazon)
Timothy Foecke a metallurgist at the U.S. government's National Institute of Standards and Technology has been studying the Titanic for a decade and his co-author Jennifer Hooper McCarty, started researching the Titanic's rivets while working on her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in 1999.
refuting earlier and popular theries of brittle plates and using modern microscopic examination of recovered materials they provide a case that many of the rivets used in the Titanic's construction were of inferior material and many probably not optimally installed. The result was that, under stress from the glancing blow against the iceberg, too many rivets failed and allowed the seams between some of the hull plates to open, admitting water and causing the ship to sink before any help could arrive.
This coincides with yet another Titanic memorabilia sale (364 lots) this time by auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son of Devizes, Wiltshire, UK this weekend. Lots included a shoe box of items from Miss Lillan Asplund who was 5 years old when she boarded the White Star liner with her parents and four siblings in 1912, to emigrate from Sweden to Worcester, Massachusetts.
Lillian, her mother Selma and one of her brothers survived , but her father Carl and her other three brothers died.
She was one of the last remaining survivors of the disaster and died on 6 May 2006, aged 99, and left the collection to her second cousin from Massachusetts, US, who sent the items for sale which raised £100,000 (US$200,000) in total.
One item in the collection which sold for £31,000 (US$62,000) was a gold pocket watch said to be Carl's that stopped at the exact moment the great liner sank (?) . One of their (3rd class) tickets went for £33,000(U$66,000).
As the few remaining Chinooks available for training RAF crew have been reduced to royal taxis it is worth briefly considering how strapped the MOD has been for cash ...
Throwing money at helicopters
In 1995 the UK MOD ordered 8 Chinook HC3 helicopters from Boeing, especially equipped for Special Services (SAS / SBS) SAS and Special Boat Service, with satellite communications technology, extra fuel tanks and in-flight refuelling probes for long flights at a cost of £260 (£32.5Mn each).
As a cost saving measure the MInistry decided not to have them equipped with a fully digital display.
Since they were delivered in 2001 they ahve sat in a warehouse in St. Asaph, North wales. "Because" as Edward Leigh Chairman of the Public Accouts Committee explained , "of a massively botched job, they cannot be flown when there is a cloud in the sky. The MoD might as well have bought eight turkeys.''
Viz … Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence 25 OCTOBER 2004 -
Q133 Chairman: Thank you very much. But the fact remains, Air Vice Marshal, that for safety reasons you cannot fly this helicopter when it is cloudy; is that correct?
Air Vice Marshal Luker: That is also correct.
Des Browne the part time Minister of Defence announced last year (2007) that the MOD had at last found (or squeezed from the Treasury AKA Gordon Brown) £60-70 Mn to retrofit the machines which might see action in late 2009. In fact he is so delighted to have found the money he has announced it three times.
Throwing money out of helicopters
Now today the Bank of England has been rummaging in the drawers and found £50 Bn. (at least) because ... " banks have on their balance sheets an ‘overhang’ of these assets, which they cannot sell or pledge as security to raise funds. " ... these assets which they cannot sell or
pledge are mysteriously also " high quality mortgage-backed and other securities" (elsewhere
in the statement described as " illiquid assets ") which the BOE are going to swap for UK Treasury Bills.
The fundamental pinciple of preparing financial accounts in the UK is that they present a "true and fair view " (The US GAAP standard is "present fairly"). If the mortgage backed securities held by these banks cannot be traded or cannot be accepted as a pledge they have no value.
The Bank of England in accepting them as security (even with a "haircut" , the bankers quaint description of a discount) is accepting what no-one else will. They are doing it on behalf of the issuers of the bonds which they are swapping them for - the UK Treasury.
1.The banks have shown they can produce fraudulent balance sheets (Northern Rock - on which the Directors colluded to offer dividends in a criminal conspiracy. Ther is every reason to believe that other balance sheets have not similarly included such dishonest valuations of MBS and SIV's derived from them - which have boosted profits, dividends and bonuses. The Big "5" UK banks declared proffits of £37 Billion last year.
2. It has just been shown that in calculating LIBOR, the figures have been manipulated, altered, adjusted, fudged , deliberately to conceal the unwillingness of lenders / borrowers to undertake normal business - because, simply they cannot trust each other as they know the mutual and agreed frauds they have all jointly and severally committed.
3. The parties to these common frauds are still in place , the taxpayer through the BOE / Treasury are now willing to find £50Bn now and as far as can be ascertained unlimited funds in the future - which is at least of 3 years duration. ("Usage of the scheme will depend on market conditions. Discussions with banks suggest that use of the scheme is initially likely to be around £50bn. )
That the Treasury, which could not find £60 Mn for absolutely essential work on Chinooks for over 5 years could find £57 Bn (at the lasta ccounting ) for Northern Rock alone and now £50Bn is a fraud of immense proportions.
Literally worthless bits of paper are being offered by the same crooks that got us into this hole and accepted by the fools and incompetents in the Treasury / BOE and FSI who sat and watched it happen.
Finally today the 2 appealing Royal funsters have been meeting the victims of the ill judged, badly trained and badly supplied forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. They will shortly be sponsoring a fun charity event to raise money for a swimming pool to aid their recovery - many as a result forecast here Friday, January 27, 2006 Reid sends ill equipped troops to certain deaths in S Afghanistan
Regardless of the futilityor the illegality of any actions UK trooops may be involved in, we have, as a society a moral responsibility to equip and train our troops in the best way possible.
Instead we have been saving candle ends, de-pauperating the poorest with ill designed and heartless tax demands. Why ? So we can throw our money at the bankers.
21.04.08 BOE News Release Special Liquidity Scheme
21.04.08 BOE Special Liquidity Scheme: Information (22k) PDF
21.04.08 BOE Special Liquidity Scheme: Market Notice (31k) PDF
RBOS's CEO Fred Goodwin , 49 (£8Mn plus a year) issues his accounts for 2007 on Wednesday - Churchill and Direct Line are on the block £4-6Bn write offs are due to be disclosed, and a £10 Bn cash call on shareholders is expected, plus a savage cut in the divvy. The wunderkind's days are over.
Barclays is next ... do you want to lend them any money ?
PS to put £50Bn into perspective - Exxon Mobil last year posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company -- $40.6 billion. = £20.3 Bn.
Radar online provides an alternative explanation of the story set running about Putin marrying his mistress Alina Kabaeva in Moskovsky Korrespondent which is owned by Putin foe billionaire oligarch Alexander Lebedev (ranked the 194th richest person in the world by Forbes).He also owns a third of Aeroflot, and is part owner of Novaya Gazeta , a constant source of criticism of Putin whose journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered, allegedly by state officials.
Now along with fellow dwarf Berlusconi, Putin denies every word of the allegations "There is not a single word of truth... In other publications of the same type, the names of other successful, beautiful young women from Russia are mentioned. I think it won't be unexpected if I say that I like them all—just as I like all Russian women." Pausing to reflect for a moment, Putin added, "Kazan girls really knock me out. They leave the West behind. And Moscow girls make me sing and shout. That Izhevsk's always on my mind."
However if you are looking for fun, and flexibility ...