"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, May 24, 2008

US department of Justice distributing terrorist literature - Go to Jail, Do not stop do not collect your degree

The Times Higher Education this week has a most extraordinary tale of lack of academic freedom and how the University authorities at Nottingham mean to keep it that way.

Rizwaan Sabir, a 22-year-old Mastesr student studying for a Phd the politics department of Nottingham University downloaded (date not known) an edited version of the al-Qaeda handbook from a US government website. http://usdoj.gov/ag/manualpart1_1.pdf

As he had no printer he sent the file to another staff member Hisham Yezza (date not known) who had access to a printer to print the 1,500 pages off free (or at the Uni's expense anyway).

On the morning of Wednesday 14 May, 2008 Sabir and Hisham Yezza were arrested by the Police under the Terrorism Act under suspicion of possessing extremist material. They were held for six days whilst a thorough investigation involving their families and friends was carried out.

The Muslim News reports a a uniformed Plod presence was in place at the University’s main Trent building during the time Sabir and Yezza were held . 'The police regularly attempted to collate information about student activism and peaceful campaigning. They asked numerous questions about the student peace magazine ‘Ceasefire’, and other political student activities.

Indy news reports Police cars rushed onto campus at high speed in the middle of the exam period. Eyewitnesses have reported hearing loud sirens. Several security and police vehicles, including a scientific support team, parked outside the main Trent building in the middle of campus. Students passing by had their bags searched at random. The homes of the arrestees’ friends and family were thoroughly searched.

Mr Sabir’s lawyer, Tayab Ali of McCormacks solicitors in London is quoted .." “The two members of the university were treated as though they were part of an al-Qaeda cell. They were detained for 48 hours, and a warrant for further detention was granted on the basis that the police had mobile phones and evidence taken from computers to justify this.”

The THS report says a spokesman for Nottingham University confirmed that the police had been called after material was found on the computer used by a junior clerical member of staff. “There was no reasonable rationale for this person to have that information,” he said. “The police were called in on the basis of reasonable anxiety and concern. In response to that, the police made a connection with a student who, we understand, was impeding the investigation and arrested that person.” They added," ...the edited version of the al-Qaeda handbook was “not legitimate research material” in the university’s view."

Jonathan Ray, spokesman for the university, said: "He had forwarded the information on to someone else who was a 30-year-old member of clerical staff, who was not connected with the research."

A Nottinghamshire police spokesman said the police had applied for a warrant to extend the detention. “The judge was satisfied with the evidence presented and granted the extension,” he said.

A statement has been made by students and staff and a petition is being circulated . A commentator "Concerned" claims that the document is available on the official website of the US Department of Justice and the FBI and continues to be available on the RAND corporation website (a US-government sponsored think tank), the Federation of Atomic Scientists' website and other official and credible websites. e.g Cryptome the unedited version http://cryptome.org/alq-terr-man.htm

The 2 men were released without charge on Tuesday 20 May, 2008 in the afternoon. No terrorism charges have been bought against Hisham Yezza who was re-arrested and is currently being questioned over immigration matters. The Guradian report today that Yezza is Algerian , has been in the UK for 13 years and faces deportation. Yezza is being held at Colnbrook immigration removal centre, due to be deported on Tuesday.

On his release Sabir said, ""On Tuesday they read me a statement confirming it was an illegal document which shouldn't be used for research purposes. To this day no one has ever clarified that point. They released me. I was shaking violently, I fell against the wall, then on the floor and I just cried."

The Muslim News reports that In response to the wrongful detentions, academics from the University of Nottingham will be doing a public reading of the research material that led to arrests under the Terrorism Act on campus, outside the Hallward library, University Park Campus, at 2:00pm, on May 28. The reading will be followed by a silent protest where students and academics will symbolically gag themselves to object to the attack on academic freedom."

Contact: Musab Younis: 078901018073, musabz@gmail.com; or Sam Walton 07814683906, samdreddude@hotmail.com

Rizwaan Sabir, is a PalSoc committee member, and was arrested by police during a protest in February for breach of the peace. The Palestinian Society protest, at which he was arrested involved the erection of a six-foot wall was erected outside the Hallward Library, with the inention of raising awareness about the wall built by Israeli forces around sections of the West Bank. See Indymedia report at time

You Tube of wall being erected http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZLwtit8GXM This is a MUST see for Friends of Plod.

Nottingham is Gun Crime Central, it is awash in drugs and the problems that the dealers and squalif crew that this results in. It is encouraging that Plod can take the time out from their War on Drugs , having had an evidently stroppy, loud, student fingered by an evidently ruthless and stupid University to make an example of him.

Just another step into the darkness....
Lenin's Tomb comments today .

The Full text of the petition circulatin at Nottingham is (Indynews)

Protect Academic Freedom On Wednesday 14th May 2008 two innocent members of the university community were arrested by police, under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The arrests were in relation to alleged ‘radical material’, which the individuals were in possession of for research purposes. This material is widely available on the Internet, including on official US Government sites, which are used for reading lists in the School of Politics.

It has become clear from statements made by the police and university that the arrests took place after university authorities contacted the police.

There is widespread concern that the two individuals were targeted for investigation at least in part because of their ethnic backgrounds. The two were held for six days without charge whilst an intrusive investigation involving their families, friends and political affiliations was carried out. They were released without charge on Tuesday 20th May 2008. One was immediately re-arrested on immigration grounds.

We, the undersigned, believe that this incident constitutes a serious violation of academic freedom, and sets a worrying precedent.

We, the undersigned, demand that the University of Nottingham:

a) Acknowledges the unreserved innocence of the student and staff member in question
b) Apologises for the great distress caused to them, their families, and their friends
c) Acknowledges the disproportionate nature of the university’s response to the possession of legitimate research materials
d) Guarantees academic freedom on campus for all staff and students regardless of their ethnic background or political views
e) Takes steps to ensure freedom of speech and freedom of expression on campus

A Poster advertising the demo is downloadable here

Friday, May 23, 2008

Integrated Resource Technologies, Inc., a remarkable company led by a remarkable lady - Faye Fields

On May 3, 2006: Mark D. Lerner, Theodore N. Lerner (AKA Silent Ted) , Stan Kasten, Robert K. Tanenbaum, Faye Fields and Rodney E. Slater, members of the Lerner Group the biggest property developer in the District with a portfolio of more than 20 million square feet of commercial and retail space, as well as more than 22,000 private homes and 6,000 apartment homes , held a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel , Washington DC to announce the purchase of the Washington Nationals baseball team franchise for the US$450 million price set by Major League Baseball's member teams.

Here is a picture of the happy franchise owners

Bottom right is Faye Fields, who was described in reports at the time as President and CEO of Integrated Resource Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of management support services and information management services to government agencies:

"She has 30 years of corporate organization development and management experience with 20 years experience managing Federal Government contracts from start-up to completion for military and civilian organizations. She formed IRT in 1986 growing from $200,000 in 1998 to over $10 million in revenue in 2004. The company grew over 40%per year from 2000-2004. She holds a BS and MS from the University of Cincinnati, and completed all of the course work for a PhD in Business . "

Earlier in 2004 at the ninth annual Black Enterprise/General Motors Entrepreneurs Conference held in May at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel in Dallas, The winners of the 2004 BLACK ENTERPRISE for EMERGING COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD was Faye Fields of Integrated Resource Technologies Inc.,

If you visit their website IRT describe themselves as ..."provides operation support/security services; IT and management support for a range of Federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies. IRT is a small woman-owned business, with several federal government contracting vehicles including MOBIS, schedule 084, and DIESCON 3. "

A look at their list of clients and the work undertaken is ..er... well .. eye-popping..

Defense Intelligence Agency
IRT maintains a staff of approximately 41 personnel, located at 11 government facilities dispersed throughout the US. ...

Defense Intelligence Agency
IRT was responsible for providing operational support and technical assistance to Defense Human Intelligence (HUMINT) operational detachments....

Defense Intelligence Agency
IRT's staff provided FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) processing and declassification support.....

Defense Threat Reduction Agency
IRT provides cleared security technicians, located at four separate facilities, for 24-hour continuous coverage of the day-to-day functions of the Access Control Center (ACC). ...

U.S. Department of Energy
Approximately 52 employees, located at the Golden Field Office (GFO) and four of the DOE Regional offices, provide a wide range of technical, program, and administrative support that is critical to the mission of the GFO....

Office of the Secretary of Defense, Missile Defense Agency
IRT provided facilities management and security management for the Phase One Engineering Team (POET), a group of approximately 37 scientists and engineers who were loaned to the government by commercial and academic organizations.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
IRT staff assisted the Bureau of Justice Assistance in providing technical assistance to states and municipal governments by tracking and analyzing money-laundering programs established by state and local laws, analyzing required threat assessments in connection with future strategies, and analyzing results of established programs to determine how to develop and enhance future programs.

Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection
IRT supports the Office of Procurement in managing and closing-out contracts and disposing of contract files according to the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation), U.S. Customs, and GSA.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
IRT provides unarmed guard services for the USDA.

Headquarters, Marine Corps
IRT staff, as a subcontractor, supported the Marine Corps in scheduling, planning, managing, and conducting approximately 48 five-day training programs per year at various military locations throughout the United States, Japan and England.

A remarkable a far flung empire evidently with immaculate connections and considerable influence. Here is a description about their work at The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) now the Missile Defence Agency.

IRT was awarded an 8(a) contract to provide facilities and administrative support to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) Phase One Engineering Team (POET).
This contract typifies the kind of management and technical support that IRT offers. Supported by a subcontractor, McNeil Technologies, Inc. (McNeil), IRT assigns staff on-site at the government facility who are responsible for managing all aspects of
facility operations, performing security management and access control and providing administrative support.

Facility operations include maintenance of a facility lease, installation and maintenance of telecommunications equipment, management of compliance to workplace standards and regulations.

Security management involves maintenance of a fully-compliant Industrial Security Program that addresses personnel, information, communications, automated information
systems, and physical security concerns. Administrative services include word processing and graphics support, office supplies management, document production, and conference planning.

In addition to teaming for the BMDO POET Facility Services contract, McNeil and IRT have a mentor-protégé partnership that was formally approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in March 1999. This alliance serves to augment
the technical capabilities, management expertise, and personnel and financial resources available to IRT. Together, IRT and McNeil are Meeting the Challenge… Making a Difference at BMDO POET by providing Innovative Solutions… Excellent Results.

If you want to know what the Missile Defence Agency are up to read about "The Air Force test, called Glory Trip 197, which was part of a continuing program to evaluate and demonstrate the operational readiness of our ground-based strategic deterrent force." this was undertaken this week and reported here by Air Force Lieutenant General Henry "Trey" Obering, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) director today.

Coroner grounds entire RAF Nimrod Fleet Des Browne another Scots politician , part time Defence Minister ready for a lonely walk in the countryside ?

We brought attention of our readers on Wednesday, May 07, 2008 to the start of the inquest into the deaths of 14 servicemen, who were killed when their RAF Nimrod MR2 XV230 crashed in Afghanistan on 2nd September 2006 is being presided over by Oxfordshire assistant deputy coroner Andrew Walker - RAF Nimrod MR2 XV230 crash Inquest opens today.

This provided the reader with a brief introduction to the principal problems highlighted in the official RAF crash enquiry. It is worth noting that immediately after the crash all air-to-air refuelling on the Nimrod fleet was suspended and that suspension remains in force. Nimrod was named for the 'mighty hunter' described in the Bible (Genesis X, 8-12) . Nimrods in Afghanistan operate in their Intelligence Surveillance Targeting Acquisition Reconnaissance (ISTAR) role. This will have a crew of 12 or 13 depending on the role and the RAF claim fly for around 9 hours without air-to-air refuelling. The plane is based in the Gulf States and does not operate FROM Afghanistan so much of the time in air is flying to and from work.

This week the BBC reports that a senior engineer from BAE Systems told the inquest that his predecessors, who made the Nimrod some 40 years ago, failed to fit a fire protection system on a key area of risk on the aircraft.

Subsequently BAE's Head of airworthiness Tom McMichael when giving evidence claimed that if the evidence heard was correct, the Nimrod fleet were at the time of the crash and for 37 years been flying in an unairworthy state . The fact that the dry bay was not fitted with a fire-suppressant system meant it should never have been passed fit to fly, he said.

At an "acceptance conference" in August 1968 it had been decided the Nimrod was airworthy.On the 2nd October 1969 the RAF took delivery of its first aircraft, the Maritime Operational Conversion Unit (MOCU - later 236 OCU) at St Mawgan in Cornwall .

As a consequence, yesterday Mr Walker, Assistant Deputy Coroner for Oxfordshire, (whose writ does not extend to the skies over Afghanistan) said he was considering a number of safety recommendations, including the grounding of the entire Nimrod fleet.

Thirty recommendations were made after the 2006 crash report and Des Browne in a letter to Westminster SNP leader Angus Robertson, who represents the Nimrod home base of RAF Kinloss, said that said 21 were being implemented, three considered and six put "on hold" "because they were related to air-to-air refuelling. "

Angus Robinson is quoted by the BBC saying ""The secretary of state has assured MPs that Nimrods are safe, however as he makes clear in his letter not all the necessary changes have been made.

"It must be concluded from Des Browne's letter that current risks to the Nimrod aircraft are not 'as low as is reasonably practicable', and this is not acceptable."

Coroner determines that entire RAF Nimrod fleet should be grounded

Coroner Andrew Walker today , recorded narrative verdicts on the deaths of the airmen .

In summing up he stated that the Nimrod fleet had "never been airworthy". Mr Walker said that opportunities to spot inherent dangers on the 37-year-old plane were missed and that a design fault which led to it exploding went unnoticed.

Mr Walker said in his view the entire Nimrod fleet had "never been airworthy from the first time it was released to service" nearly 40 years ago. The men could not have known this on the day of the crash, he added.

The BBC's Rob Watson said the ruling was "quite extraordinary" and would clearly be embarrassing for the government.

"Clearly his judgement creates a huge problem and embarrassment for the Ministry of Defence, which has declared the aircraft safe and which sees the surveillance plane as vital to the mission in Afghanistan," our defence and security correspondent said.

On BBC4 World at One News , Retired Air Vice Marshal Tony Mason , now a professor at Birmingham University said the coroner's remarks were "well founded" .. and pointed to the unique role of the Nimrod in Afghanistan which can only be partially replaced by unmanned craft (now deployed) , and space satellite observations.

It is worth remembering what Ian Liddell-Grainger MP (Con. Bridhewater) said on Tuesday 17th April 2007 after a visit to Afghanistan .

" .....the wreckage of the RAF Nimrod that came down last September was still in the desert. The plan was to lay a wreath there for those killed in the accident, but the last resting place of this huge aircraft was slap bang in the middle of an effective Taliban firing range. So I had the great honour of laying a wreath at the memorial in the Kandahar base on behalf of the Knight family...."

Replacing Nimrod

Lord Patel discussed at length the problems facing the replacement of Nimrod. Wednesday, January 30, 2008 AirTankers - MOD PFI financing suffers from Ambac credit rating downgrade - will / can the banks agree a financing deal ?

No 1 . Nimrods need re-fuelling - which has had different problems.

In 1996 the RAF were told that they could have 24 converted Airbus A310s re-fuelling tankers. This has now been whittled down to 14 owned by PFI partners - 14 available at any time and the rest with a notice period. The aircraft are to be owned by the private sector partners, who are meant to be able to charter them out whenever available.(See MOD Press release 6/6/07)

Now the Government / PFI funding of a desperately needed new fleet of Airbus tankers for the Royal Air Force - a 27 year 13 Bn projecty has hit the buffers. The AirTanker consortium (Cobham EADS, Rolls-Royce, VT and Thales) - will supply the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) based on the supply of A330-200 aircraft with banks led by Deutsche Bank, the initial £2.5bn expected to raise a combination of bank debt and a bond issue supported by guarantees provided by Ambac.

In January Fitch's Ratings credit re-rating of Ambac below AAA - and maybe followed by further downgradings has made those guarantees unattractive to bond buyers. Spreads on monoline-wrapped bonds have suddenly shot up with market concerns about the ability of the insurers to stand behind their commitments.

That suggests the Government and the AirTanker consortium are likely to revert to the original plan to finance the deal solely through bank debt - involving a higher (and probably variable) interest rate.Discussions continue unresolved.

The Nimrod (MRA.4 ) replacement program is now 8 years overdue and 800Mn over budget and introduction has been delayed delayed until 2010 (at least) . It is worth remembering that these originated in the 1993 ASR420 issued calling for a Replacement Maritime Patrol Aircraft (RPMA) for the RAF, the initial name of Nimrod 2000 was quietly dropped as production delays set in.

A fixed-price contract was awarded in December 1996, under which existing MR Mk 2 aircraft fuselage and empennage structure would be re-lifed and reassembled, with redesigned wings and current technology BR710 turbofan engines. The most controversial decision taken by BAe to reduce costs in their study to determine the design for the MRA4, was to refurbish and reuse the fuselages of a number of old Nimrods for the new aircraft. This contract was determined to have In-Service Date (ISD) of April 2003 in 1999 with "re-baselining talks with BAE a new ISD of March 2005 was agreed.

Fortunately under the Smart Procurement Initiative, the Nimrod MRA4 had been identified as one of the pilot Integrated Project Teams (IPTs) in November 1998, led by Air Commodore Barry Thornton. (It was the same Barry Thornton who was reported saying on BBC 4 news today at 3 pm saying the Nimrod fleet was "safe" to fly.)

It was 2003 when assembly of the first prototype MRA.4 (ZJ516) to be carried out. Unfortunately, when the second set of Airbus-build wings were offered up to the second prototype fuselage, it was found that they didn't fit.

The first prototype MRA.4 took to the air on 26 August 2004 . In September 2004 a round of politically inspired defence cuts sponsored by far sighted Gormless Gordon at the Treasury resulted in the planned order for MRA.4 being reduced from 18 to 'about 12'.

On March 27th the Times reported New maritime reconnaissance and attack aircraft, Nimrod, should be scrapped, MPs say. The Commons Defence Select Committee in their 10th report had just suggested that the new Minister for Defence Equipment and Support [Baroness Taylor of Bolton] needs to look closely at this programme to assess whether it is ever likely to deliver the capability that our Armed Forces require within the timescale needed.” If it doesn't , the MoD should withdraw from this programme, they add. The MPs are concerned that the MoD “does not appear very alarmed” by the rising cost of the programme.

For those who enjoy reading the deviousnes of public oficials put under the cosh to explain cost overruns we recommend the section where the Committee draw their attention to the Nimrod MR4A.

One fascinating bit is when DE&S Chief Operating Officer, Mr Gould explained that Regarding the age of the MRA4 aircraft, Mr Gould told us that most of the aircraft was new, such as the wings, engines and undercarriage. The fuselage was not new. - Indeed it wasn't. It finds it's origin in the original Comet (circa 1950's) upgraded by the brainy boys at (then AVRO) BAE Chadderton who sklapped on a lower fuselage bubble in the early 1980's.

Or enjoy Para 129. " At the end of 2006-07, the Nimrod MRA4 programme had experienced a forecast cost increase of some £687 million, almost 25% greater than the approved cost, and has experienced further cost growth in 2007-08 of some £100 million. Given the huge cost growth seen on this programme, we are concerned that the MoD does not appear very alarmed by the additional cost growth in 2007-08, referring to it as "just a little less than three per cent of the total programme cost". The programme has also experienced further slippage in 2007-08 which now totals 92 months, some 7.5 years. "

Finally ...

"This is a programme that has been beset by one problem after another and neither the MoD nor the contractor appears to be able to get a grip on it. We hope that the new Minister for Defence Equipment and Support will look closely at this programme and consider whether it is ever likely to deliver the capability our Armed Forces require in the timescale needed. If it is not the MoD should withdraw from the programme."

Watch this space.
When (if) the MR4 gets into service it should have a range of over 6000 miles, an endurance of over 15 hours, carry a much wider range of offensive weapons and have a significant ISTAR capability.In service it will add precisely the Network Enabled Capability sought by the MOD and considered essential for the type of conflicts that UK forces are likely to be involved in over the next 3 decades.

2 VAT fraudsters - took £16 Mn plus - get 10 years total = 5 years actual - assets recovered - ZERO

John Robert Donnan, DOB 13/2/1956, of 30 Watersfield Way, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 6RZ pleaded guilty to 8 counts of concealing or disguising the proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to section 93C (2) of the criminal justice act 1988, (money laundering totaling £4.86 million) committed between August 2001 and December 2002 yesterday, at Southwark Crown Court. He was sentenced to swell the chock full prison population for seven years imprisonment (AKA 3.5 years with good behaviour) and disqualified from being a company director for eight years.

Gerard Joseph Hyde, DOB 09/05/1952, formerly of 10 Lindfield Road, Ealing, London W5 1QR. He pleaded guilty to 7 counts (approximately £2 million) of concealing or disguising the proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to section 93C (2) of the criminal justice act 1988 committed between February 2002 and December 2002. He was jailed by Southwark Crown Court on 24 May 2007 for three years and six months for his part in the crime.

Donnan, is/was an Australian property developer and is alleged to be the Mr Big in a massive multi million pound money laundering operation that took place over 16 months and across several countries. He was the director of, or associated with, several companies in the UK, Ghana and the Channel Isles that were used to launder the criminal proceeds.

The scam exposed by HMRC used fraudulent companies who sold mobile phones to companies in the UK these companies sold the phones on, charging VAT and then disappeared without accounting for the millions of pounds in VAT. The tax payers money handed over by the HMRC in a period of 16 months amounted to almost £31 million.

Proceeds of the fraud of almost £16.5 million on the UK taxpayer were removed from a Hong Kong bank account and then laundered through accounts in Hungary, Dubai, Ghana, Isle of Man, Guernsey and the UK.

This sounds like a big bust . Missing trader fraud (MTIC) has resulted in losses by HMRC of up to £2 Billion per Quarter for several years and probably now totals over £20 Bn.... the cost say of Northern Wreck or a fleet of 6 massive new Aircraft carriers complete with their planes.

This sounds like a big bust . It is hardly scratching the surface of this massive fraud and recovery of funds in this case is (like most cases) zero.

Lord Patel's favourite, Chuck Grassley is letting the Sun Shine in on Big Pharma - Lesson for Nu Labour

Charles "Chuck" Grassley is a hard working Baptist Iowan Senator, 74 years young but much admired from afar by Lord Patel as an independent tough talking and acting, rooter out of graft and log rolling.

Last September he introduced a quaintly labelled piece of legislation - S. 2029: Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2007. This is a Bill that amends title XI of the Social Security Act to provide for transparency in the relationship between physicians and manufacturers of drugs, devices, or medical supplies for which payment (US$2.2 Trillion)is made under Medicare, Medicaid, or SCHIP.

Under this Bill, a searchable , online registry would be created to keep track of gifts, speaking fees, travel reimbursements and paid research agreements given to doctors. Any gifts or payments given to physicians that exceed $500 a year would have to be disclosed, as part of the bill. Penalties would range from $1000 to $50 000 per violation, with an annual limit of $250 000. The Bill also specifies that federal law would pre-empt state disclosure laws. The legislation requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a website and post payment information in a clear and understandable manner.

Chuck has sponsored has sponsored 431 bills in his time of which 327 never made it out of committee , but he has had 26 Bills enacted - probably his most significant efforts were in steering through Congress in 2003 , the first-ever, comprehensive, voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit legislation. The public health insurance program for seniors and disabled individuals now has 39 million beneficiaries who are enrolled in Part D.

US Pharma oozes US$19 Billion a year to prescribers ...

“Right now the public has no way to know whether a doctor’s been given money that might affect prescribing habits,” Chuck says. “This bill is about letting the sun shine in so that the public can know. Whether it’s dinner at a restaurant or tens of thousands of dollars or more in fees and travel, patients shouldn’t be in the dark about whether their doctors are getting money from drug and device makers.” Estimates indicate that the US drug industry spends US$19 billion annually on marketing to physicians in the form of gifts, travel, meals, and other ..er .... consulting fees.

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that industry spending on marketing to physicians increased from US$3.5 billion in 1996 to US$7.2 billion in 2005.

A study published last year by the New England Journal of Medicine found that more than three-quarters of doctors surveyed had taken free samples, free food or free tickets to sporting events from the drug industry. More than one-third had accepted free continuing education classes and another third had been paid speaking or consulting fees or for enrolling patients in clinical trials.

There has been a breaking of the log jam this week and it now looks as though the sun is shining on this Bill which is gettting some traction with support from Big Pharma .The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association have now announced their support and AstraZeneca, Merck & Co, Medtronic , AdvaMed, Zimmer Holdings Inc , Association of American Medical Colleges and Eli Lilly have provided supportive voices.

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) represents 1,600 medical technology innovators and manufacturers of medical devices, diagnostic products and medical information systems have also thrown their weight behind the Bill.

Tony Zook, CEO of AstraZeneca's US pharmaceutical operations said last week , this bill will ." create greater transparency around our relationships with physicians, while helping the public understand how we work with healthcare providers,"

In a letter sent to senators Richard Clark, PhRMA Chairman and Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc., yesterday they stated that their acceptance of the Bill which is conditioned on the continued inclusion of the provision that preempts state law and avoids a patchwork of State legislation. Already similar initiatives have been started in Minnesota, Vermont, Maine and West Virginia.

In June The American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs is expected to review new policies , currently AMA policy now discourages doctors from taking gifts or industry benefits of more than $100.

Big Pharma is getting the message companies may not need to change their practices, just to make them public.

AstraZeneca have made a commitment to enhancing our transparency and last year, decided to make public, medical education grants, contributions to non-profit organizations, political action committee contributions, and phase IV commitments. This will be posted to their website through 2008 alongside company policy positions, compliance program, and clinical trials more accessible on their external web site.

This month they have extended the scope of clinical trial disclosures to include information about the registration and results of all AstraZeneca sponsored clinical trials for all products in all phases, including marketed medicines, drugs in development, and drugs whose further development has been discontinued.

“The trust of our industry is deteriorating rapidly, and it undermines our business model,” said Eli Lilly spokesman Edward G. Sagebiel. “There are questions about our relationship with physicians. By being transparent, hopefully we can diminish some of those questions.”

Eli Lilly is caught up in its own allegations of marketing malfeasance over its drug Zyprexa, as it defends itself against a multi­million-dollar lawsuit by the Connecticut attorney general. The suit alleges “a complex series of illegal rackets and lies,” involving “payments to public officials, bogus educational events and ghostwritten promotional articles summarizing suspect studies.”

“Eli Lilly’s endorsement goes to show that transparency of the financial ties between doctors and drug makers is not only sensible but doable,” said Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chairman of the Special Committee on Aging and co-sponsor of the Bill . He said he hoped “the rest of the industry follows their lead.”

Eli Lilly is currrently mired in allegations of marketing malfeasance over its drug Zyprexa, as it defends itself against a multi­million-dollar lawsuit by the Connecticut attorney general. The suit alleges “a complex series of illegal rackets and lies,” involving “payments to public officials, bogus educational events and ghostwritten promotional articles summarizing suspect studies.”

Some observers say that Eli Lilly's support for Chuck's Bill may be the signal that the company (Now under new leadership with a chnaged managment structure) is moving away from traditional industry practices of promoting its products by developing close relationships with physicians.

The Tin Ear Tendency ...

Other companies — most prominently, Schering-Plough — are taking a more blinkered traditional stance against the legislation, arguing that "public disclosure of the payments would confuse patients and unfairly taint physicians who take industry money". They wrote a fascinating letter to Chuck which can be viewed here. .....“we do not publish or have plans at the moment to publish a list of charitable contributions or educational grants that medical organizations have received from us.”.. but they do list political contributions on their website ... hopefully that doesn't "confuse patients". see Shearlings get Plowed a website interested in the interesting affairs of SC

Ther should be a lesson here for Nu-Labour as UK General Practioners, spurred by extra salary entitlements engage in bogus "healthcare surveys" , which slide into drug industry programs.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Michigan Avenue - Boom.Boom.Boom.

You can watch the poorly paid CEO's of the the oilco's being grilled by Congress or PMQ's in the House of Commons.....or 4 minutes of fun from Chicago ... takes 4 minutes and lights up after 53 seconds ... the hoody nearest the camera is Barrack Obama.

From just outside the Wrigley Building on Michigan .. just down from Chess (2120 Michigan) where the Stones first recorded with legendary Ron Malo during their 1st US tour .. 10th and 11th June 1964. 1st US recording, 1st in stereo !.. and produced their first UK No 1 – ‘It’s All Over Now’.

Their thieving but gifted manager , Andrew Loog Oldham on June 11th held a press conference with the Stones on the traffic island in the middle of Michigan Avenue, holding up the traffic and the fuzz swooped. Chicago Daily News dutifully ran a story : ‘Those Rolling Stones Gather The Wrath Of A Cop’, and the Chicago Tribune with: ‘Barber Gives Scare To Five Fuzzy Singers’.

They made 2 more visits to Chess , on their 2nd US tour in the fall of 1964 and Spring 1965 recording early takes of ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, with a massively stoned Brian Jones playing (?) harmonica.

It was called Chess by the two Polish brothers Leonard and Phil Chess who bought the place in 1957 who set up the Chess label.

Amazing. All that happened before "You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows." was published by the group that became te Weathermen. Signed by (amongst 9 others Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers (Now Mr & Mrs Ayers) , who after a spell of mayhem , murder and chokey are now best friends with the Obama's.

Banks Rights Issue - Failure will give Mervyn the Moron a nasty jolt

Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS.L ), HBOS (LSE: HBOS.L) and Bradford and Bingley (LSE: BB.L ) have all announced major rights issues.

RBOS shares now trade at around 241.5 worryingly close to the 200p RBOS said it will charge for the newly issued shares when announced only 4 weeks ago on 22nd April.

Underwriters UBS , Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch , look increasingly likely to be left with a sizeable chunk of unsealeable shares if shareholders don't take up their rights, leaving a stock overhang for years.

Bradford and Bingley made a £300Mn cash call on share holders on 14th May when shares traded at 135 p. Today they opened at 100p and are up a few pennies against the 82p issue price it put on the new shares. Underwriters Citi and UBS must be feeling very edgy although even they are left holding all the shares - except the ones the Directors have bravely agreed to take up - it is not a mjaor disaster.

HBOS made a rights issue to to raise £4Bn at the end of April when shares were at 492 p and are today trading at 445.5p, against the 275 p rights issue. The issue is fully underwritten by Dresdner Kleinwort and Morgan Stanley

Shares in all three banks have lost more than half of their value in the past year.

What it does do is emphasise how tight money is for the merry bankers who were so happy until last May to lend to all and sundry whilst the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and Messrs Brown and Darling slumbered.

There are 35 issues in the pipeline in Europe for raising funds totalling some US$100Bn.

UPDATE : WED May 28th HBOS closed @431p , B&B @ 97.25p RBS @ 238p

Enlarge pic

Attacks in Zimbabwe "out of control" says fucking hypocritical US Ambassador


7th May, 2008.

On the day of the 6th May, 2008 at approximately 1300 hours I was visited by three men at our farm, Chigwell Extension Farm between Chegutu and Kadoma. (Google Earth photo of Farm here)

They told me that I had two minutes to vacate my property otherwise they will send the mob there and the house is not worth sacrificing my life for. Because we would lose our lives. They said they were like hungry lions.

My wife made a report to the Chegutu Police Station about this incident, naming the people involved. At that stage I asked them if they would react to any incident that my occur and they informed my wife that they would speak to the Assistant Inspector. My wife also saw him before making the report and informed him of the visit and he told her to go and make a report at the charge office.

At about 1700 hours on the same day a vehicle – a white Datsun 1800 pickup arrived at the gate with approximately 10-12 people. They demanded that I opened the gate because they wanted to talk to me. I refused and went into the house together with my wife. We locked ourselves into the house. They came to the house and wanted me to go outside to speak to them which I refused to do. They started smashing windows and the front door was smashed open. One of them pointed a single barrel shotgun inside the house at us – we were by then upstairs. He fired a shot directly at us which went just over my head and close to my wife's head. He obviously intended to kill us. After he fired the shot he went out and it went quiet for a while and then we heard three shots coming from the workers housing area. They returned with all the workers and fired another shot whilst outside.

I managed to get through to the Assistant Inspector and the Chegutu Police Station to ask for assistance before there were dead bodies in the house. He said that I must phone him back in half and hour. Throughout all of this, my wife was on the phone to numerous friends who were at the Chegutu Police Station trying to get assistance from them with absolutely no result whatsoever. My wife and I also made many phone calls to the Member in Charge on his cell phone and he refused to answer.

By this time it was dark and the power went off so we were left completely in darkness and unable to identify our own employees. They then used the workers as a shield so that they could all come inside the house and then were downstairs chanting and singing and making threats.

They sent one of the workers upstairs to demand the shotgun from me to take back to them. I refused and this employee stayed upstairs with us. They then grabbed the son of this employee who was downstairs and from what I could gather they threatened to either kill or injure him if he didn't go back downstairs with the weapon. He went back downstairs without the weapon. After about five minutes they told all the singing workers to go upstairs using them as a shield once more. We tried to identify the workers one by one as they came up the stairs, as my wife was standing at the top of the stairs with a can of mace. After about 15 workers came through, she could not identify a person and used the mace and sprayed them. After this they ran back downstairs and out of the house.

This incensed the thugs who then proceeded to break down the back door and started building a fire in the downstairs lounge directly below us. As we have a wooden floor upstairs this posed a great threat and we thought we would be burnt alive which is when I said that we would come out and asked if they would let us leave peacefully which they agreed to do. We asked the ring-leader to identify himself. We came downstairs and they demanded the shotgun from me which was loaded and off safety and I refused. They then insisted that I give it to them and I tried to start unloading it and they attacked me. They then grabbed my wife around the throat and she started screaming. While they were trying to take the shotgun from me three shots went off outside the house into the ground as it is a semi-automatic shotgun. They then took the shotgun from me and wrestled me to the ground and started beating me with what I assume was sticks, or pipes and kicking me with their boots. They dragged my wife outside and they were trying to strangle her. At this stage she managed to bite the hand of the man who was grabbing her round the throat. Whereupon he started to beat her. At one time there were at least four men beating and kicking her.

They then tied me up with rope and threw me into the back of their pickup. At this stage my wife was still being beaten. When they had finished beating her, one of them grabbed her by her feet and dragged her over to the vehicle. They then demanded that she stand up and get into the back of the truck which she was unable to do. One of them grabbed her by the hair, pulled her into a standing position and pushed her up against the back of the truck and told her to get in. She did climb in. They searched my wife and found the car-keys in her pocket and demanded she show them what vehicle the keys were for. They couldn't find the keys to the other truck. They drove my vehicle onto the lawn, parked near the truck where I was tied up. The immobiliser for the vehicle went off. They demanded that my wife show them where the immobiliser switch was situated which she did do. One of them drove off with the vehicle which we never saw again. They still had all the employees on the lawn around a fire that had been lit by the front door and they were still forced to sing.

There were about four or five of them around the vehicle watching the two of us, all the time they were shouting verbal abuse and racist comments and threatening to kill either one or both of us and also stating the manner in which they should kill us. This must have gone on for almost an hour. They were burning my feet with cigarettes and then we saw vehicle lights shining towards us and then my wife was told to get out of the vehicle and was dragged towards the headlights of the vehicle that had arrived. When she got to the vehicle she saw there were four armed policeman from Kadoma Police Station who asked what had happened. She told them briefly what had happened and demanded that they fetch me immediately from the vehicle as she feared for my life. One of the thugs came and untied me and told me to get out of the vehicle and made me walk towards the headlights of the parked vehicle. I noticed that they were armed policeman. The incident was described in more detail to them and they accompanied us into the house to get some warm clothing. Once we were in the house we saw that the gun cabinet had been opened and ransacked and that my weapons were missing. I informed the police that the weapons were missing. They then took us out of the house and told us to get in their vehicle as we were going to Chegutu Police Station to make a report.

We got to Chegutu Police Station and they had to call some superior officer to take a statement and he only arrived as were were leaving to go to Harare to get urgent medical attention. No police personal of any authority seemed to show any interest in taking our statement.

We were attended to by medical staff at the Avenues Clinic where numerous x-rays and CT scans were taken. My injuries are two cracked verterbrae in my lower back. Fractured cheekbone, fractured nose there was copious bleeding into my sinuses and extensive lacerations and deep-tissue bruising to my face and back and a bite to my right earlobe.

My wifes injuries are fractured cheekbones, fractures around her orbital socket round her eye, perforated eardrum, cracked ribs and extensive bruising to her face and back and throat.

This has been received from a correspondent in Zimbabwe. Please feel free to circulate, re-distribute, send to your MP.Also read - Friday, May 16, 2008 US Ambassador in Harare , James McGee is a fucking hypocrite. Hank Cohen revealed

News - “The US ambassador to Zimbabwe warned post-election violence is “spinning out of control”, as the government set a date for a second-round run-off.” BBC
Once again we say James McGee is a fucking hypocrite.

Lotfi Riassi - Home Office appeal against compensation thrown out by House of Lords - War criminal Jack Straw exposed as a despot and a fucking liar

Yesterday (See (Times) (PA) today) the House of Commons Appeal Committee refused the Home Office petition appeal against a claim for Compensation for wrongful imprisonment by Lotfi Raissi . It exposes scandalous , corrupt and dishonest activity by the Metropolitan Police, the Crown prosecution Service, the then Home Secratary war criminal Jack Straw, sucessor Home Secretaries and numberless and nameless Home Office officials. This involved the impronment without charge or trial of Lotfi Raissi for nearly 5 months in Belmarsh prison as a Category A prisoner on false, misleading, and concocted evidence and public claims of terrorism and mass murder were made without a scrap of evidence to support such claims.

Claims which were parroted by an unquestioning Press happy to retail these poisonous lies. Faced with clear evidence of the lies and dishonest claims made to keep Riassi in jail the Home Secretary then twice refused to omensate him for his loss of liberty, income and any psychological distress to himself and his family and the lingering slur on his reputation.

This is the story so far ...

Lotfi Raissi, 27, was alleged to have trained pilots involved in the US 9/11 terror attacks, including the hijackers who crashed a plane into the Pentagon . He was arrested in the UK on September 21, 2001 by the Metropolitan Police on the request of the US Authorities - directly by the FBI. He was hauled away naked by the Police after they arrested both he and his wife at gunpoint at 3.am (she was held for 5 days, his brother for 2 days) after smashing their way into his flat. The media (eg BBC) at the time hailed the arrest in Britain of the first suspects in the global hunt for the men who planned the worst terrorist attacks ever seen.

On September 28th he appeared at Bow Street Magistrates Court. The United States Government was represented by the CPS. The CPS sought a remand in custody for 60 days pending receipt of the formal extradition request.Various newspapers quote Ms Arvinda Sambir (Sambei in some press stories) (CPS lawyer) stating that Mr Raissi's job was to ensure that the 9/11 pilots were capable and trained. A Guardian Unlimited article quoted her as saying:

"It is no secret that we are looking at charges of conspiracy to murder, what we say is that Mr Raissi was in fact an instructor for four of the pilots responsible for the hijackings and the one we are particularly concerned about is the one that crashed into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour."

It was this advocate for the CPS who said that there were pages missing from his log book and that those pages related to the time that he was training the dead pilots, with whom he had conspired. This allegation relating to the missing pages was withdrawn in late November/early December 2001 when it was realised, that someone had taken the log book apart for copying and had reassembled it in the wrong order.

The Appeal Court Judges were later to note of these proceedings (para 52)" We have not been shown any contemporaneous document which supports the allegation made by the CPS that Raissi was involved in 9/11."

There was a further Court appearance by Raissi on October 5th which the Appeal Court Judges were later to says ,(para60) "Nothing that this court has seen could be said to justify the CPS statement that the appellant was 'shortly to be charged with conspiracy to murder'. "

On Tuesday 12th February having been held in Belmarsh prison for 5 months without having been charged with any offence, he was released on conditional bail as he only faced extradition on two counts of falsifying an application for a US pilot's licence by Judge Timothy Workman.

Mr Raissi was released on £10,000 bail, ordered to surrender his passport and told not to apply for international travel documents. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which was representing the US, had objected to bail.

The Appeal Cort Judges later noted Para 98 .."According to the clerk's notes DJ Workman said:

"Your client appeared before me on a number of occasions when allegations of terrorism made- the court has received no evidence at all to support that allegation. (Underlining added)"

They also later observed in Para 99 that "Since the dismissal of these extradition proceedings, the appellant has not been the subject of terrorism charges either in this country, in the United States or elsewhere. "

In 2005 the Home Secretary twice ruled he was not eligible for compensation and so in October 2006 he asked the High Court to overturn the Home Office's decision, claiming the detention "damaged his reputation, lost him his liberty and caused him distress and psychiatric injury".

As a consequence Court of Appeal Judges Lady Justice Smith and Lord Justice Hooper found minor charges unconnected with terrorism were used to keep Mr Raissi in custody and their judgement was highly critical of the Metropolitan Police and the CPS.

Yesterday the House of Commons Appeal Committee refused the Home Office petition appeal because the petition did not raise an "arguable point of law of general public importance".

Mr Raissi has called for a "long awaited apology" from Justice secretary Jack Straw and will be making claims for compensation which will run into many millions of pounds beacuse he has been able to obtain employment as an airline pilot.

In the submissions to the Home Secretary for compensation dated March 2004, it was said that there was a clear abuse of the process of the court because the proceedings were being used for an ulterior purpose. A number of factors indicating that the extradition proceedings were used for an ulterior purpose were then set out: the reference to holding charges, the nature of those charges and the deliberate 'talking-up' of the evidence by the CPS. The document gave a detailed account of how the terrorist allegations developed over the period that the appellant was in custody.

It is not a lengthy process but it is worth considering the summary of these abuses of process in detail ; (Para 101 of judgement)

i) In court on 28 September 2001 the CPS described Raissi as a 'lead instructor' of the five 9/11 pilots. Records available to the CPS at that time showed that in fact Raissi had flown separately from Hanjour and that Hanjour was taught by other instructors. This was confirmed by interviews of Raissi conducted by DC Stevenson. The CPS' description of Raissi was therefore not only unsupported by the available evidence, but was in fact contradicted by it;

ii) However, the CPS lawyer, Ms Arvinda Sambir, went further outside court and said that Raissi's job was to ensure that the pilots were capable and trained. Again, she had no evidence to support this statement;

iii) At the next hearing on 5 October 2001, the CPS modified the allegation, saying simply that Raissi had flown together with Hanjour between 1997 and 2000 on three unspecified occasions. This was also misleading. The flight records showed simply that Raissi and Hanjour may have flown on the same day, and even used the same aircraft, but not at the same time, and therefore not 'together';

iv) The statement of Ryan Plunkett asserted that Hanjour, Raissi and Mr Hassan trained together in a plane on the 8 March 2001. However, Richard Egan's statement explained that the 8 March 2001 entry in Raissi's log book was a mistake and that he in fact flew on 9 March 2001. He also observed that the log book showed that the flights undertaken by Hanjour and Raissi were for different durations and involved different manoeuvres;

v) At the hearing on 27 November 2001, the CPS asserted that Raissi trained Hanjour at least once. However, they admitted 'there were no flight records to support the allegation';

vi) Mr Plunkett said that Raissi trained Hanjour on a flight simulator, and that they had taken flight simulator training at Arizona Aviation on the same day on five occasions.

vii) At the High Court Bail application on 10th December 2001, the CPS conceded there was no flight simulator at Arizona Aviation. However, they stated that there was one at Sawyer Aviation and that Hanjour and Raissi may have undertaken simulator training together, although the records were unclear;

viii) In fact, the flight training schools records, which had been available to the CPS from the beginning of the extradition proceedings, not only did not support their case that Raissi trained Hanjour, but contradicted it by revealing Hanjour's other flight instructors. In saying the records were unclear, rather than accepting that the allegation was unsubstantiated, the CPS misled the court;

ix) Mr Pontin of SO13 misled Mr Egan in telling him that the FBI had not spoken to Mr Hassan, Mr. Hanjour's instructor. In fact, as Mr. Hassan informed Mr Egan shortly after his conversation with Mr Pontin, the FBI had interviewed him twice, and he had told them he had never flown a plane with Raissi and Hanjour. He had also said he did not even know if they knew each other;

x) The CPS never conceded that Hanjour and Raissi did not fly or train together. On 12 February 2002 they asserted that only one matter had changed in their reasons for opposing bail and that was the alleged link between Raissi and Mr Abu Doha. It was implicit in this that one of their grounds of opposition – that Raissi flew with or trained Hanjour – was maintained, despite there being no supporting evidence;

xi) The CPS also stated in unqualified terms (on 28 September and 5 October 2001) that there was video evidence of Raissi and Hanjour together. However, it was clear from only a cursory examination of the material that the man photographed with Raissi was not Hanjour. The CPS had produced no evidence of anyone saying that the other man was Hanjour. Mr Egan explained in his statement of 28 November 2001 that the man was Raissi's cousin. Nonetheless, the CPS continued to maintain at the High Court bail application that it was Hanjour.

xii) It is plain that the CPS neither produced nor possessed any evidence of any kind that showed that Raissi had trained Hanjour or any of the other hijackers.

xiii) The broader allegation made by the CPS on 28 September 2001 of a general link between Raissi and the hijackers was also unsupported by the evidence. On 5 and 26 October 2001, and at the High Court bail hearings, they said simply that Raissi regularly telephoned Hanjour and that they travelled together. In fact Raissi's telephone bills, which the CPS had in its possession, indicated no contact at all with Mr Hanjour. No other evidence was provided to support any of these assertions;

xiv) As for the alleged link between Raissi and Abu Doha, this was based on the misleading impression given by Mr Plunkett that an address book was found at a property in London belonging to Abu Doha, and contained a telephone number of a flatmate of Raissi. There was an implication in Mr. Plunkett's statement that the book belonged to Abu Doha. In fact, the tenant of the property in question was Mr Abdelaziz Kermani, who subsequently gave evidence that the address book was his, and that that would have been apparent to anyone recovering it. Among other things, it had his Home Office reference number on the front of it, was in a locked brief case in his bedroom, and was with his British and Algerian driving licences, his Algerian ID card and correspondence addressed to him;

xv) The Metropolitan Police and the CPS were aware of the evidence strongly suggesting the address book belonged to Kermani, not Abu Doha. The misrepresentation of the book as providing a link between Raissi and Abu Doha must have arisen from the actions of either or both of those authorities;

It is also worth remembering (para 24) that Raissi was interviewed by officers of the Metropolitan Police following his arrest and that an FBI agent observed the interviews from a remote location via a television link.

At Para 30 it shows that Raissi ... was "de-arrested" at 2.17 am on 28 September (6 days after his arrest) . At that time, therefore, it can be inferred that the police in this country had no reasonable cause to believe that he was a terrorist; otherwise he would have been charged. Nothing on the papers suggests that thereafter they had such reasonable cause. If they had reasonable cause, it is difficult to believe that they would not have re-arrested him when he was eventually released on bail or when he was later discharged on the extradition charges.

At Para 32 ...28 September 2001, following his 'de-arrest', Raissi was immediately re-arrested on a provisional warrant issued by District Judge (Magistrates' Court) ("DJ") Evans under paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 of the Extradition Act 1989 .. this was for extradition for ...(he) omitted to disclose previous surgery on a Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") Form.. and a second charge that .."alleged an omission to disclose "that you have been to a health care professional in the preceding three years" and at Para 40 .. The health professional whom the appellant had visited was apparently the surgeon who had operated on his knee.

Yesterday Mr Raissi said : “There can be no more appeals and no more excuses. The courts have held that I was the victim of a miscarriage of justice at the hands of the police and CPS. Jack Straw should accept the decision of the courts and offer me the long-awaited apology I have asked for.”

The Times and the PA gave very curt coverage today to this momentous decision. The above story should be read by anyone who is being asked to extend the need to imprison people for 42 days without charge.

It is worth noting that Raissi's case presents difficulties indiscussions with his country of birth, Algeria , whose government refuses to sign an agreement with Britain about extraditing hijackers until Britain acknowledges that its treatment of Raissi was flawed. British authorities continue to insist that British police and prosecutors acted properly, and it was American authorities who were at fault for supplying them with bad intelligence.

In its judgment the Appeal Court stated that the “primary responsibility for the falsity” over the notebook lay with the Met and the CPS. The judges also found that the false claim about the flight logs could be blamed on either carelessness or incompetence by Scotland Yard.

“We consider that the way in which extradition proceedings were conducted in this country, with opposition to bail based on allegations which appear unfounded in evidence, amounted to an abuse of process.

Cindy Williams, interesting lady and some interesting organisations and some interesting ideas and interesting connections

On December 3rd 2007, John Donnelly published an interesting and little remarked article in the Boston Globe - Military deep into civilian duties

This article was prompted by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaking in Kansas the previous week about the DOD doing work that he claimed should should be done by the State Department. (Note speaking on May 14th at the Academy of American Diplomats in Washington, Gates said that he's encouraged by moves to bolster the support agencies that can provide support to fight the war on terror. )

Gates pointed out that the entire US corps of foreign service officers - about 6,600 people - is smaller than the personnel in one aircraft-carrier strike group.

In November 2005, an internal Pentagon document, Directive 3000.05, called for reconstruction projects to become a core part of combat operations, extending the military's reach into areas of governance, rebuilding infrastructure, and restoring areas of commerce.

John Donnelly pointed out that as a consequence the Pentagon also has quietly approved internal policy changes that embrace nation-building tasks in fragile states and conflict areas, duties that were once scorned by President Bush and his top team of military advisers before the Sept. 11 attacks as going beyond the scope of US national security interests.

In November 2005, an internal Pentagon document, Directive 3000.05, called for reconstruction projects to become a core part of combat operations, extending the military's reach into areas of governance, rebuilding infrastructure, and restoring areas of commerce.

The rationale behind such an expansion, defense officials say, is that in the war on terrorism the military will often set up base in dangerous locations and should be able to offer a range of services to both military and the local community.

Bill Donnelly pointed out that in 2002, the military's share of US official development assistance was 5.6 %; In 3 years by 2005, it had quadrupled to 21.7 %, or $5.5 billion of which US$4 Bn was for Iraq based projects .(Source Center for Global Development, a Washington think-tank).

He also quoted critics of USAFRICOM which was launched in February 2007 - Defense officials say the initial focus will be to work with African militaries on building up noncombat evacuations, emergency food deliveries, and crisis management. Those outside the DOD query the long term goals of the military role in Africa and other parts of the developing world which remain undefined. (See post Monday, June 18, 2007 - USAFRICOM - Building the New Empire and the very,very odd folks at IASPS )

As a consequence of this article appearing Cindy Williams from Massachussets Institute of Techniology (MIT) wrote a letter to the Boston Globe.
"The military, and affairs of State - "

"What the article fails to mention is that much of the Pentagon's new foreign assistance money goes not to the humanitarian or civilian reconstruction projects Donnelly highlights, but to training and equipping military and police forces in countries such as Pakistan.

Before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the State Department played the lead role in shaping such security assistance programs. Today the State Department takes a back seat to the military.

This increasing detachment of international security assistance from the State Department's wider foreign policy framework is one more reason to be concerned about the increasingly military face of US assistance abroad

More can be learnt of Cindy Williams at her MIT website which lists several articles which can be read with profit about allocation of the military / Homeland budgets in the US.

Cindy is also a Director of (to Lord Patel) a hitherto unknown body ...

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) is a non-profit, independent coalition of top public management and organizational leaders who tackle the nation’s most critical and complex challenges. With a network of more than 600 distinguished Fellows and an experienced professional staff, the Academy is uniquely qualified and trusted across government to provide objective advice and practical solutions based on systematic research and expert analysis. Established in 1967 and chartered by Congress, (which presumably means where their $$$'s come from) the Academy continues to make a positive impact by helping federal, state and local governments respond effectively to current circumstances and changing conditions.

"Our society has reached a point where its progress and even its survival depend on our ability to organize the complex and to do the unusual."

--James Webb second NASA administrator and a principal founder of NAPA.

The brief biography of Cindy Williams provided by NAPA --Senior Fellow and Principal Research Scientist, Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Former Assistant Director, National Security Division, Congressional Budget Office. Former positions with The MITRE Corporation: Director, C2 Integration Environment; Associate Technical Director, Continental Command, Control, and Communications Division; Department Head, Strategic Air Command Systems Department; Associate Department Head, Strategic Defense Initiative. Former positions with U.S. Department of Defense: Director, Strategic Offensive Forces Division, Program Analysis and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary; Operations Analyst. Former positions with RAND Corporation: Mathematician, Strategic Forces Project; Project Leader, Force Operations Team, Automated Wargaming Center. (They fail to mention that she is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations who have many intersting expert Fellows)

For those interested in these sort of things they might find pursuing this interesting body and it's interesting people worth further interest.

Meanwhile here is a picture of Michelle Obama with her friend Ex Weatherwoman and Sidley Austin Partner Bernardine Dohrn at a political rally.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave you Pearl Harbour * Ver. II

Project for the New American Century website has entered Room 101 (http://www.newamericancentury.org/)

* From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbour Jerry Della Femina ISBN 0-671-78052-2 . Iconic title referring to famous Strapline suggested by JDF to their new client Japanese TV Manufacturer Panasonic.

Sichuan Basin Earthquake predicted last year in Tectonics Journal

The Journal TECTONICS, VOL. 26, TC4005, doi:10.1029/2006TC001987, 2007 in an article
Active tectonics of the Beichuan and Pengguan faults at the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau by Alexander L. Densmore of the Institute of Hazard and Risk Research and Department of Geography,Durham University, Durham, UK. and others -

The 17 page detailed article concluded that ..."These observations support models for the formation and maintenance of the eastern plateau margin that do not involve major upper crustal shortening. They also suggest that activity on the margin-parallel faults in eastern Tibet may represent a significant seismic hazard to the densely populated Sichuan Basin.

Page 16 ...

Finally, our observations of fault activity in the late Pleistocene and Holocene have important implications for seismic hazard, particularly in the densely populated Sichuan Basin. We have shown evidence for surface-rupturing earthquakes along the Beichuan fault since 12–13 ka, (ie 12 to 13, 000 years ago) along the northern Pengguan fault since about 4 ka, and along the outhern Pengguan fault since 930 ± 40 yr BP.

The timing of the last earthquake along the Dayi fault and associated structures at the mountain front is unknown, but these faults show some evidence for late Quaternary slip. An additional
seismic hazard, not discussed here, is the possibility of coseismic rupture on blind or partially blind faults underlying the active Xiong Po and Longquan anticlines in the western Sichuan Basin (Figure 1 - see above) [e.g., Burchfiel et al., 1995]. With the exception of the 1933 Diexi earthquake [Chen et al., 1994] and the 1976 Songpan earthquake series [Jones et al., 1984], the Longmen Shan region has had little historical seismicity [Chen et al., 1994]. This study shows
that this quiescence may not be representative of the longer timescales (104 yr) relevant to geomorphology.

Remarkably when Lord Patel was at school Wegeners hypothesis of Continental Drift was mentioned only as an example of a theory that was fanciful and could not be supported by geological evidence.

It was not until the 1960's that the ideas of Arthur Holmes' (Durham University Geological Lab is named after him) who elaborated on Wegener's idea of an African - Brazilian land bridge in his his book Principles of Physical Geology (1944) which concluded with a chapter about continental drift that his ideasstarted to receive serious attention. Greater understanding of the ocean floor and the discoveries of features like mid-oceanic ridges, geomagnetic anomalies parallel to the mid-oceanic ridges, and the association of island arcs and oceanic trenches occurring together and near the continental margins, suggested convection might indeed be at work.

These discoveries and more led Harry Hess (1962) and R.Deitz (1961) to publish similar hypotheses based on mantle convection currents, now known as "sea floor spreading". hess who was in the US Navy had used magnetic instruments (mangnetometers) adapted from airborne devices developed during WWII to detect submarines, began recognizing odd magnetic variations across the ocean floor which rsulted in his publishing in 1962 details of the Mid Atlantic Ridge.

Then in In 1967, W. Jason Morgan proposed that the Earth's surface consists of 12 rigid plates that move relative to each other. Two months later, in 1968, Xavier Le Pichon published a complete model based on 6 major plates with their relative motions.

This followed on the observations of a Tasmanaina oil geologist Samual Warren Carey, 1912-2oo2 whose field studies resulted in his publication of (1958) A Tectonic Approach to Continental Drift published in the Proceedings of the Continental Drift Symposium (Hobart 1956) - followed by a very influential lecture tour in USA and UK in 1960.

It is remarkable that in a brief lifetime what was considered an absurd hypothesis has proved to be so powerful that it can predict earthquakes.

Another example where the Laws of Nature are not determined by the popular vote and that a single or very few determined, honest and rigorous searchers for the truth can confound scientific orthodoxy.

A sobering thought after the gobshite spouted in support of the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill these last 2 days.

UPDATE Thursday 22nd May 2008 fashionista Rodney Fitch of trendy shop fitters Fitch & Co was on Peter Day's excellent "In Business" on BBC 4 and referred to " the tectonic plates of retailing are moving" ... by which he probably means things are changing. That or his designs for Terminal 5 shops look like they've just been struck by an earthquake.

AND ANOTHER : Just discovered a good site All of My Faults Are Stress-Related by Kim Hannula who gives a handy, clear and simple explanation of the "Tectonics of the May 12 Sichuan earthquake" dated Monday, May 12, 2008.

UK Air Travel costs to rise to pay for Extreme Airport Security - as oil prices sink Ryanair

Trawling through Gormless Gordon's Queen's Speech AKA he Government’s Daft Legislative Programme produces some fascinating little nuggets ;

On Pages 49/50 a proposed Transport Security Bill is outlined which contains some surprising items on the Gubment's wish list ...

The proposed Act will by putting into UK law the provisions of the 2005 Protocols to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (which was adopted by the General Assembly on 8 September 2006) will create new offences relating to committing acts of terrorism at sea, for example:

􀁵􀀀 using a ship to transport weapons of mass destruction or in any other manner that causes death or serious injury or damage;

􀁵􀀀 using a ship or fixed platform to discharge any explosive, radioactive material or Biological, Chemical or Nuclear weapon or any other hazardous substance to cause death or injury; or using any of those substances against a ship or fixed platform.

This latter case adopts the wonderfully entitled 2005 Protocol to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf - and Adapts the changes to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation to the context of fixed platforms located on the continental shelf.

It seems remarkable that such offences are not already covered by current legislation but Lord Patel is a tyro in the complex world of Maritime law and perhaps shipping "dirty" nuclear weapons, or setting them off on oil platforms has hitherto been a loophole cunningly exploited by the Bombers of Bora Bora.

Air Travel costs to rise to pay for Extreme Airport Security

Closer to home however there is however a small and (so far) unnoticed provision which Mr Ryanair will be delighted with ... after listing raft of measures for "improved inter-agency co-operation" ..."partners in the process" .... it details the need for ...

􀁵􀀀 a consistent funding process for dedicated, uniformed police activities at airports that treats all operators equally;

􀁵􀀀 police authorities will be reimbursed by airport operators for agreed policing costs, in turn benefiting local and national taxpayers.

Which will meet one of the principal objectives of the Bill..." allowing the policing element of this plan to be charged to the airport operator."

Which appears to overlook the fact that many of the " local and national taxpayers" who will supposedly benefit from this transfer of costs will actually be the passengers paying increased ticket costs to pay the airport operators increased costs.

It does of course re-inforce the "candle ends" Treasury mindset to off load all the extravagant costs for State terrorism elsewhere... no doubt to be followed by an imposition on other public transport operators , buses, train stations, trams, buses etc., etc.,

Consultation will be made available at www.dft.gov.uk/consultations In the meantime, any comments about these proposals can also be made at www.commonsleader.gov.uk/draftprogramme

This will be even more welcome news to Mr Ryanair who is quoted today saying "Oil is really hurting us now," and admits to "calling the oil market wrong" and would certainly resume hedging future fuel needs at below $100 a barrel, possibly even around $100-$110.

Investors have remained wary over the company's lack of protection against record oil prices.
O'Leary said the airline had hedged 2.5 % of its total fuel needs for the next 12 months, around the "mid 70s" in dollar terms.

He simultaneously announced that from 1 June passengers checking in online will have to pay €5 extra if they want to be among the first to get on a flight - this was previously free.

Ryanair now have at least 15 separate taxes and charges that now invariably cost more than the ticket itself. In February, Ryanair reported that it carried 12.4million passengers during the third quarter. They said "ancillary revenues "- money raised from extra charges - rose 30 % to €111million - 20% of Overall revenue @ €569million.

See Times "Priority boarding charges verge on 'fraud'"

Ryanair shares dropped 22 cents - 7.5% on the news today, to €2.66

Reds Square - World Exclusive : Amazing Pictures !!!

Lord Patel can exclusively reveal that Vladimir Putin has new signs ready to erect tonight, re-naming Reds Square (Квадрат красных цветов) in celebration of the victory of the world's best football team over a bunch of what he jokingly calls, " a bunch of southern jessies" (a rough translation of an old proverb referring to the State of Georgia) (2-1).

Lord Patel was awoken early by an urgent phone call from glamorous Alina Kabaeva, Vladimir's future wife and current bed companion to tell him this ... naturally she wanted him to be the first to know.

To reciprocate these feelong of international brotherhood Manchester City Council will also be simultaneously renaming Albert Square in Manchester as Reds Square.

Manchester has of course strong links with St Petersburg from the days when Vladimir was Mayor. Manchester / St Petersburg is one of the oldest "Friendship" cities (AKA twinned cities) in the world.

"The Authorities" to log every UK phone call, e-mail. fax, IP call, file download /transfer, for 12 months and keep what they want for ever

In Gormless Gordon's "Government Draft Legislatative Program" or the Alternative Queen's Speech ,Page 52 outlined a proposed Communications Data Bill.

The purpose was yet another measure for the Authorities ,"to extend to the whole of the UK" , to provide "the ability of authorities to carry out their counter-terror, crime prevention and public safety duties and to counter these threats ". which they claim would be undermined if "the legislative framework on access to communications data (was not brought up to date) with changes taking place in the telecommunications industry and the move to using Internet Protocol (IP) core networks".

The main elements of the Bill are:

􀁵􀀀 Modify the procedures for acquiring communications data and allow
this data to be retained;

􀁵􀀀 Transpose EU Directive 2006/24/EC (of 15th March 2006) on the retention of communications data into UK law. (see Para 10 - On 13 July 2005, the Council reaffirmed in its declaration condemning the terrorist attacks on London the need to adopt common measures on the retention of telecommunications data as soon as possible. )

In the Daily Mail Wednesday May 20th 2008 Daniel Bates writes that ,"Massive Big Brother database will track every phone call and email sent in Britain" (which Lord Patel assumed was already in operation) and says (without disclosing a source ) that "Internet service providers and telephone companies would be forced to hand over records to the Home Office, which would keep them on a computer system."

All forms of electronic communication face being monitored, including social networking sites and text messages.The database would also include details of how long individuals spend on the internet.The government would retain the data for 12 months and security services and police could seek court permission to access it in the fight against terrorism

This he explains means that obligation Telecoms firms have had since last October to keep records of phone calls and text messages for 12 months would be extended to all forms of electronic communications. This means incorporating all the Items detailed in Article 5 of the EU Directive 2006/24/EC (a 2 1/2 page detailed list) although the Directive allows for retention periods of from 6 months to 2 years (Article 6) .

A nameless (male) A Home Office spokesman is quoted who claimed that retaining communications information was essential for protecting national security and comically emphasised powers to hold information were subject to strict safeguards.

"Communications data - the who, how, when and where of a communication but not the what (content) of the communication (EU Directive 2006/24/EC Article 5 Para 2 "2. No data revealing the content of the communication may be retained pursuant to this Directive.") - is a crucial tool for protecting national security, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the public."

It is worth noting that Article 6 Para (d) states,"(d) the data, except those that have been accessed and preserved, shall be destroyed at the end of the period of retention." Which is virtually meaningless, the "Authorities " can keep what they want and destroy the rest - how would we ever know ?

Meanwhile Gormless Gorden's Queen's Bill explains ...The draft Bill will then be made available on www.homeoffice.gov.uk. In the meantime, any comments or questions about these proposals should be directed to CommsData@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

All that the Home Office website has currently, is ..."Communications Data Bill
The Communications Data Bill will ensure that public authorities can continue to gather and use communications data needed to help protect the country from terrorism and stop the violence caused by organised crime (?) ."

Political Quotes are provided by the Daily Mail ..

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "Given ministers' appalling record at maintaining the integrity of databases holding people's sensitive data, this could be more of a threat to our security, than a support."

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said the database was "an Orwellian step too far".

We will see who votes against it.

It is worthwhile noting that Assistant Information Commissioner Jonathan Bamford is quotes as having said : "We are not aware of any justification for the State to hold every UK citizen's phone and internet records.

"We have really doubts that such a measure can be justified, or is proportionate or desirable."

"We have warned before that we are sleepwalking into a surveillance society ... the more data that is collected and stored, the bigger the problem when that data is lost, traded or stolen."

Original images from which Johnny mobile telephone caller abstracted available here

PDATE : The Guradian covers the story and reminds readers that 3 Mn e-mails are sent every day and last year 57 Mn texts were sent.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish