Tag Archives: UK

Terrorist Trials End In UK Without Any Convictions

Since day one of the 9/11 bombing, the people of the United States and Western Europe have been subject to an amazing propaganda campaign concerning the presence of terrorists and their plans to destroy society. Three men who were close friends of those who bombed the London transit system in 2005 were cleared of any involvement in the bombings which means that after four years of investigation no one has ever been found who actually participated in the tragic events of those days. The three defendants hate the West and most probably would have participated in the actions of their friends, but believing is not the same as acting.

The verdicts represent a blow to Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command which devoted tens of thousands of police hours conducting an investigation that never found anyone. Most probably some who participated in planning the bombings are still alive and wandering the streets of England or some other locale. But, they are not in jail.

Western societies have to free themselves of the belief that every Muslim hides within his soul a desire to be suicide bomber or destroy Western nations. There are criminal groups in every society, so why should Muslims be any different than the rest of humankind?

Is Big Brother Watching Over Your Shoulder?

The European Commission will undertake an investigation into failure on the part of the United Kingdom to protect its citizens from secret surveillance. The actual legal action leading to this study is the use of controversial behavioral advertising services which are being tested on BT’s internet customers without their consent. The EU says internet users must provide “clear consent” before a commercial organization uses data related to their shopping habits. Phorm has developed technology that allows internet service providers to track what their users are doing online. That information can then be sold to media companies and advertisers. EU telecoms commissioner, Viviane Reding said: “I call on the UK authorities to change their national laws and ensure that national authorities are duly empowered and have proper sanctions at their disposal to enforce EU legislation.”

The world has yet to fully grasp changes in technology that allow government and private bodies to gain control of private data and engage in activities that intrude on the private lives of people. There is no question advertisers are trying to develop programs which provide them data concerning not merely the purchasing activities of individuals, but also about their everyday activities.

Terrorism In Great Britain?

The British government claims to have uncovered an organized effort by terrorists in the country to carry out some undisclosed attacks on undisclosed targets. Police discovered photographs of several sites in Manchester and other cities. Security forces say the 11 detained Pakistani nationals might have entered the country using student visas in order to create a sleeper cell. Prime Minister Gordon Brown says police have foiled a “very big terrorist plot.” The operation which included the men plus a Briton was to have originated in a tribal area. Bob Quick, head of specialist operations, resigned after he walked into 10 Downing Street carrying papers under his arms that could be seen by the media.

As usual, the entire operation was traced back to Pakistani roots. Surprise! The media asked if this would be another example of stories from the government of terrorist plots but no convictions due to lack of evidence. Government sources could only say they had evidence, but there is no indication it is sufficient to convict anyone.

Rwanda Genocide Accused Freed In UK

Four men accused of participating in the infamous 1994 Rwanda genocide were freed by a British court on grounds if they returned to Rwanda it would be impossible for them to be accorded a fair trial. The justices ruled to accept the extradition request from the Rwanda government would be in violation of Article 6 of the European convention on human rights which safeguards the right to a fair trial. The men are accused of killing or conspiring to kill members of the Tutu ethnic group. Lord Justice Laws and Lord Justice Sullivan ruled there was concern over the “impartiality and independence” of Rwandan courts. Some witnesses claimed they were afraid to testify in support of the four men because they would then face being placed on trial themselves.

This is certainly a complex issue, the men are accused of participation in the Rwanda genocide but they have a right to a fair trial. We have learned from the Bush administration that accusing someone does not mean the person is guilty. On the other hand, what if they were guilty and escaped punishment because their rights were being protected?

British Human Rights Group Charged With Violating Rights

Many years ago when I initially became involved in human rights activity, I soon learned there was no group more intolerant of human rights than those who were for it. The British Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is now embroiled in a controversy in which staff complain they are not allowed to speak freely about conditions for fear of being charged with being a racist. Kay Hampton, Chairwoman of the Commission for Racial Equality, recently resigned from EHRC because it has become intolerant of differing views. “There are a number of people who are unhappy and those who ask questions are not listened to… I believe people are being threatened and harassed. Some are scared that they will be labeled racists if they actually speak out.” Since 2007, at least 47 grievance cases have been filed.

All too frequently those who place themselves in leadership positions in human rights groups have decided what constitutes the right views to have. I recall a meeting at a college in which I referred to myself as an East European Jewish Socialist and was told by a black colleague, “you are a white man, that is who you are.” It is so nice when politically correct racial authorities decide who I am or am not. If you wish to silent any group of people who are gathered to discuss issues of human rights, trot out the racist label and it silences any who oppose politically correct positions. Some day each individual will be able to define him or herself without the need to place humans in categories.

New Torture Guidelines In UK?

At the beginning of the twentieth century there was extensive discussion and moves to mitigate the brutality of war. At the beginning of the twenty first century,so called leaders of democratic nations in the United States and Great Britain sanctioned torture in the name of “security.” The British government is now considering whether or not there is need for new guidelines in dealing with interrogation of prisoners and the manner in which any prisoner is kept. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was against torture “absolutely,” but apparently he was part of a government that allowed torture. He is now requesting British Intelligence agencies to develop new guidelines for dealing with treatment of prisoners. His comments came after the intelligence and security committee (ISC) has begun to explore the treatment of Binyam Mohamed, a British citizen, who was sent to be tortured in Pakistan.

British officials are now arguing they had to go along with the lower standards of the Bush administration and that’s how they wound up allowing people to be tortured. Of course, the United Kingdom is an independent nation and it could, at any time, have told Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld to go to hell.

Shame Of Great Britain Sending Asylum Seekers To Death

Great Britain historically was a land of refuge for those fleeing persecution. Karl Marx spent most of his adult life in the safety of the United Kingdom. Adam Osman Mohammed, a refugee from Darfur, came to England in 2005 having fled the horror that was Darfur for those who were not Arabs. He told British investigators for the Home Office that if he returned to Darfur there was a strong likelihood he would be killed. But, this is modern day England whose Socialist government has forgotten what happened to Socialists in the good old days. Mohammed returned to Khartoum where he spent a few weeks and being assured it was safe headed back to Darfur. His cousin, Mohammed Elzaki Obuseka, chair of the Darfur union in the UK, tells the rest of the story. “the government security forces had followed him to another village, Calgoo, where his wife and child had sought help. They came to the village and targeted him. They shot him in front of his wife and child.”

Despite overwhelming evidence that returning to Darfur is dangerous for non-Arabs who become targets of the notorious janjaweed, the Home Office insists there is nothing to fear– except death, we assume. At least, there is nothing to fear for the Home Office. Shame on Great Britain. I guess if Karl Marx were alive today, he would be classified as a “terrorist” and returned to Germany.

The Silence Of The British Foreign Office

The so called “war on terrorism” has produced a great deal of sound and fury concerning allegations, but the sounds of silence are more deafening when it comes to what has happened to individuals who were arrested and tortured. The British Foreign Office has admitted it failed to investigate or pursue complaints by British citizens about the torture they were subjected to while in the custody of foreign interrogators. The list could go on and on as men who were tortured in Pakistan or Egypt found their pleas for help from their native country go unheeded. Azhar Khan was arrested in 2004 and then released but where the war on “terrorism” is concerned if you are arrested that in itself is proof of your guilt. Last year the young man was flown to Cairo where he was brutalized but his government simply ignored what transpired.

The main problem with the “war on terrorism” is the lack of any clear guidelines as to how to separate the innocent from the guilty. Perhaps, it goes further than that because if the only way to secure information is through means of torture one is left with unanswered questions as to whether or not statements made under torture can withstand the glare of truth.

England historically was the bastion of protection for those seeking democracy. Modern day England is complicit in torture and brutality.

British Police Keep Files On Protestors!

Among the most sacred rights of Englishmen and women is the right to protest and complain about the government. Unknown to those protesting in the streets of the land is that police are taking photographs, and videos of those in the crowd. The Metropolitan police advises other groups on how to store data about those in protesting crowds. Its storage system indicates names of those in the protest as well as other information about these individuals. According to a recent investigation by the Guardian surveillance teams are targeting journalists who cover demonstrations. Christina Ferguson, notes, ” a searchable database containing photographs of people who are not even suspected of criminal activity may well violate privacy rights under article 8 of the Human Rights Act.” Why is anyone taking names of those in a crowd?

Many journalists are angry that police photograph them or take videos while they are covering a protest. In so doing, the police are somehow linking a journalist who is doing her job with the ideas or desires of the group that is protesting. I have often wondered what would happen if police cease doing such things and spent their time trying to capture criminals.

Geert Wilders Gains In Polls

If history is any guide we can expect to witness the rise of angry right wing groups as the economic crisis becomes even more severe. In times of financial worry, people seek to identify causes for their misfortune and it is always easier to blame the stranger who invariably is the recent group to arrive in a society. A recent opinion poll indicates if parliamentary elections were held next week in the Netherlands, right wing anti-Muslim fanatic Geert Wilders would emerge as leader of the largest party in parliament. He would win 27 seats in the 150 seat body as opposed to the nine his party currently holds. His popularity has risen since an Amsterdam court decided to try him for his anti-Muslim comments and he received even more exposure when Great Britain banned him from entry in the county.

Last week, the Dutch right winger winged his way to the United States to show his anti-Muslim film and few in Congress bothered to see it or him. The American media ignored his presence which only goes to show that ignoring people like Wilders is a more effective tool than giving him the stage on which to strut his nutty ideas before the world.