A ‘very British coup’ against Corbyn is being played out, and it’s been decades in the making [APPENDIX]

It’s a fact that the right-wing media has disproportionate influence on the outcome of Britain’s general elections. But that media doesn’t work in isolation. One key player who specialises in political smears is Paul Staines, better known as blogger Guido Fawkes. Indeed, he learnt his trade in the 1980s when working for a bulletin that was not only funded by Rupert Murdoch, but boasted a senior spy chief on its staff. This is the real story of a ‘very British coup’ and now taking place against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. And it’s been decades in the making.

To read the entire article, click here.

Then come back to read the Appendix (below).

Appendix

A. The Institute for the Study of Conflict

In 1970 Brian Crozier wrote to Sir Peter Wilkinson to ask his help in setting up the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC). Crozier provided advice to MI5, the Foreign Office and to the CIA. Notoriously, Crozier was identified as one of the cabal who promoted the idea of a mutiny by the British military of the government (then under Harold Wilson). According to an article by Nafeez Ahmed, the ISC was “created jointly by the British and American intelligence services, specifically the CIA and the Foreign Office”.

Wilkinson was a former officer with the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War (an agency that was later subsumed into MI6). He was later appointed Coordinator of Intelligence and Security in the British Cabinet Office and Cabinet Office intelligence chief. He eventually become a member of ISC’s Council of Management and edited an issue of ISC’s journal, Conflict Studies.

Among a tranche of documents leaked from the ISC to Time Out magazine in 1975 was a memo from John Whitehorn urging member companies of the CBI to increase their funding to five organisations working against “subversion” in British industry. ISC was one of these. The other organisations included the Economic League, Common Cause, Aims of Industry and Industrial Research and Information Services – all far-right organisations committed to countering trade unions.

B. Spying on the left

‘F2’ Division was the section of MI5 later shown to be responsible for the surveillance of ‘left wing’ radicals, some of whom went on to become Labour MPs and Ministers in Government. According to ex-F2 staffer (then whistleblower) Annie Machon, Charles Elwell’s ‘F Branch’ regarded the following well-known individuals worth monitoring:

“John Len­non, Jack Straw MP, Ted Heath MP, Tam Dalyell MP, Gareth Peirce (soli­citor), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Mike Mans­field (bar­ris­ter), Geof­frey Robertson (bar­ris­ter), Patri­cia Hewitt MP, Har­riet Har­man MP, Garry Bushell (journ­al­ist), Peter Man­del­son (European com­mis­sioner), Peter Hain MP, Clare Short MP, Mark Thomas (comedian), Mo Mow­lam (politi­cian), Arthur Scar­gill (NUM leader, who fam­ously had his own record­ing cat­egory: unaf­fili­ated sub­vers­ive), Neil Kin­nock (politi­cian), Bruce Kent (peace cam­paigner), Joan Rud­dock MP, Owen Oyston (busi­ness­man), Cherie Booth aka Blair, Tony Blair MP, David Steel (politi­cian), Teddy Taylor MP, Ron­nie Scott (jazz musi­cian), Robin Cook MP, John Prescott MP, Mark Steel (comedian), Jack Cun­ning­ham MP, Mohammed Al Fayed (busi­ness­man), Mick McGa­hey (former union leader), Ken Gill (former union leader), Michael Foot (politi­cian), Jack Jones (former union leader), Ray Bux­ton (former union leader), Hugh Scan­lon (former union leader), Har­old Wilson (politi­cian), James Callaghan (politi­cian), Richard Norton-Taylor (Guard­ian journalist)…. I also came across a file called: ‘Sub­ver­sion in con­tem­por­ary music’, which con­sisted of press clip­pings about Crass, then a well-known, self-styled ‘anarch­ist’ band; the Sex Pis­tols; and, rather sur­pris­ingly, UB40.”

C. ISC smear campaigns

Annie Machon also confirmed Elwell’s role in the ISC smear campaigns:

“The ‘sub­ver­sion’ of cab­inet min­is­ters Har­riet Har­man and Patri­cia Hewitt was to have been lead­ing mem­bers of the National Coun­cil for Civil Liber­ties (NCCL — now Liberty), the very organ­isa­tion designed to pro­tect us from such unwar­ran­ted abuses of our liber­ties. At one point David [Shayler, her MI5 colleague who was responsible for monitoring the left, including anarchists] came across a series of minutes on a file dat­ing from the early 1980s. They were writ­ten by Charles Elwell, a pub­licly named and notori­ously para­noid former head of F2 ,who saw a red under every bed, and who had suc­cess­fully argued that mem­bers of the exec­ut­ive of the NCCL were record­able as ‘sus­pec­ted sym­path­iser: Com­mun­ist’, simply for being mem­bers of the exec­ut­ive. He based this assump­tion on the fact that, as one or two lead­ing mem­bers of the NCCL had Com­mun­ist sym­path­ies, the organ­isa­tion was there­fore by defin­i­tion a Com­mun­ist front organisation.”

According to The Guardian journalist Richard Norton-Taylor, Elwell also targeted Harman’s husband, Jack Dromey:

“He opened a file on him during the late 1970s after the Grunwick dispute, in which Dromey, now Labour party treasurer, played a leading part. Other trade union leaders on whom Elwell and his MI5 team kept files included Jack Jones, the transport workers’ leader, and Hugh (later Lord) Scanlon, president of the engineers’ union, the AUEW. “Fact sheets” on the two trade union leaders were regularly distributed to 10 Downing Street and selected ministers. In 1977, Scanlon was prevented from becoming chairman of British Shipbuilding because MI5 advised that he should not see documents marked confidential or above.”

D. More spying

Elwell’s ‘F2’ branch undertook the sort of undercover work later associated with what are now dubbed ‘Spycops’. Anarchist groups were one target – these included the Direct Action Movement (later renamed Solidarity Federation) and Class War. Liaising with the undercover cop who was tasked with infiltrating Class War was the responsibility of former spook David Shayler.

According to Machon:

“Some years before David had joined F2, a Met­ro­pol­itan Police Spe­cial Duties Sec­tion (SDS) agent, code­ named M2589, had pen­et­rated Class War. Unlike the vast major­ity of agents recruited by MI5, he was not a mem­ber of an organ­isa­tion who had been ‘turned’ by the ser­vice. He was a full-time police­man from Spe­cial Branch under deep cover. For six days a week, he lived, ate and breathed the life of a class war­rior before return­ing to his nor­mal life with friends and fam­ily for a day. Whether Class War mer­ited this kind of resource intens­ive cov­er­age is open to debate. I quote David: “When I met M2589 in Feb­ru­ary 1992, at a safe house in Lon­don, it was quite obvi­ous that this pecu­liar arrange­ment had affected the agent psy­cho­lo­gic­ally. After around four years of pre­tend­ing to be an anarch­ist, he had clearly become one. To use the ser­vice jar­gon, he had gone nat­ive. He drank about six cans of Spe­cial Brew dur­ing the debrief, and regaled us with stor­ies about beat­ing up uni­formed officers as part of his ‘cover’. Partly as a res­ult, he was ‘ter­min­ated’ after the 1992 Gen­eral Elec­tion. Without his organ­isa­tional skills, Class War fell apart.”

There was also a direct link between the ISC and undercover policing. John Alderson, the director of the Bramshill Police College in 1972, asked ISC’s Peter Janke to help the college develop a course on terrorism and counter-subversion. This was signs of things to come re. think-tanks.

E. Links to present day campaigns

In 1977 the ISC published a report co-written by Caroline Cox on how leftwing “radical minorities” were subverting “capitalist, free market civilisation.” Cox went on to become Baroness Cox and a former deputy speaker of the House of Lords and also a special representative for the Foreign Office Freedom of Religion Panel. In 1987 she co-founded the Committee for a Free Britain.

According to Nafeez Ahmed, “In his book, Conservative Party Education Policies, 1976-1997, historian David Callaghan documents how in the 1980s, Cox and [Dr. John] Marks operated a network of neocon ideologues known as the Hillgate Group, which coordinated various publications to influence government policy. Their focus was hyping up the threat of Marxist, left wing or “radical” infiltration of British academia. Another Hillgate Group member, philosopher Roger Scruton, told Callaghan that these policy reports were in fact “quietly encouraged by 10 Downing Street to concoct an outside pressure group to influence policy.” Cox and Marks also campaigned against peace groups, which they labelled as “subversive” organisations exploiting their charitable status to promote pro-Soviet propaganda. “Key institutions, particularly educational institutions” were being “infected” by “institutionalised leftism,” they opined, especially in the media, schools,and universities, undermining the “moral legitimacy of British society”.

For a time the ISC shared offices with the Royal United Services Institute and later the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies. In late 1989 the ISC merged with Paul Wilkinson’s Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism to form the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism, which was dissolved in 2001.

Today

There is probably no exact equivalent to ISC today, though no doubt Dr Ahmed would nominate their ‘spiritual successors’ as the Henry Jackson Society or the Centre for Social Cohesion, or even the Quillam Foundation.

Intelligence specialists K2 recently addressed a Henry Jackson Society conference. Interestingly, Rob Moore, an employee of K2, is shown to have infiltrated asbestos awareness campaigners.

And so it goes on…

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Refugees on Australia’s offshore gulag shot at and attacked by navy/police; evacuation of 100s urged

Good Friday, and there are reports that hundreds of refugees detained illegally by the Australian Government on its offshore refugee detention centre on Manus Island (Papua New Guinea) are being attacked by PNG navy and police.

Update:

Reports of more than 100 bullets have been fired at the refugees, who are now in fear of their lives. Reports, too, that Australian employed security guards have fled the scene.

Bullet holes found in buildings in camp.

According to Iranian refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is held at Manus:

One refugee said:

Refugees were beaten by police, navy and locals. After that police and navy started firing in air, but after 10 minutes they started shooting at the detention centre.

One report says that the refugee camp was attacked at around 6.30 pm, not long after a fight broke out between locals and refugees at a football match. And live rounds were fired.

Via @BehrouzBoochani:

The Australian government meanwhile has issued no formal response. The Australian Government organises and pays for the detention of the refugees and funds the security arrangements. It is ultimately responsible – legally and morally – for the well being of all refugees held on Manus Island.

If any harm comes to any of the refugees, it is the Australian Government that is legally liable.

Peter Dutton, in charge of Australia’s offshore gulags

The most sensible action that can now be taken, is for all refugees and asylum seekers held on Manus Island, or onshore at PNG, to be immediately evacuated by the Australian RAAF and navy. To delay further could see a major tragedy unfold.

To see more on Manus Island, click here.

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New international brigade launched to defend Rojava (Kurdistan) against ISIS, Turkey and Syria

A new international brigade – the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF) – has been launched to defend the revolution in Rojava (Kurdistan). Its wider aim is to help “defend social revolutions around the world, to directly confront capital and the state, and advance the cause of anarchism”. A brief statement by the IRPGF is given below, followed by a full statement.

(Note: The original International Brigade was a defence organisation of anarchist and socialist volunteers from around the world, who travelled to Spain in 1936-39 to fight the fascists (Francosists). Famously included George Orwell.)

Announcement of the Creation of the IRPGF and Membership in the IFB

Today, the revolution is under attack. Like the Paris Commune and at so many other points in history, the revolutionary forces face the leviathan of capitalist hegemony which has come to devour the new world and enslave us all once again. This is our Stalingrad. The revolution must be defended! Therefore we announce the creation of the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF) to defend the revolution in Rojava.

The International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF) is a militant armed self-organized and horizontal collective working to defend social revolutions around the world, to directly confront capital and the state, and advance the cause of anarchism.

We are committed anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, anti-imperialists and against all forms of patriarchy and kyriarchy. We announce our membership in the International Freedom Battalion and declare our support and alliance with the YPJ, the YPG, the PKK, the Antifascist International Tabur (AIT) and the International Freedom Battalion’s member organizations. We declare our open struggle with all imperialist, fascist and counterrevolutionary forces.

VICTORY TO THE REVOLUTION IN ROJAVA!

VICTORY TO THE BARRICADES, THE SOCIAL INSURRECTION AND THE COMMUNUE!

MILITANT HORIZONTAL SELF-ORGANIZED COLLECTIVES & COMMUNITIES

FOR THE REVOLUTION AND ANARCHISM!

International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces

(A video by the IRPGF can be found here.)

Communique from the IRPGF

Today we announce the formation of the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces, an explicitly anarchist, militant group in Rojava seeking to defend the Revolution and advance the cause of anarchism.

The Role of the IRPGF

The International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF) is a militant armed self-organized and horizontal collective working to defend social revolutions around the world, to directly confront capital and the state, and advance the cause of anarchism. We recognize and affirm that principled action necessitates principled politics. We are not a political party or platform but rather an armed collective comprised of comrades with different anarchist positions. The IRPGF’s collective unity manifests itself in the praxis of militant action which we consider a prerequisite for achieving liberation. Our role is twofold; to be an armed force capable of defending liberatory social revolutions around the world while simultaneously being a force capable of insurrection and struggle against all kyriarchal forms of power wherever they exist.

We do not enter conflict zones with intent to command but rather, while retaining our autonomy as a collective, to fight alongside other armed groups in solidarity with those who are oppressed, exploited and facing annihilation. The IRPGF believes collective action, solidarity and unity are necessary for struggle. International solidarity is the most powerful weapon of the oppressed. At the same time we maintain the need for criticism when and where appropriate. (Self) Criticism is not something to be feared. It is to be embraced as the constant source of energy that drives individuals, communities and revolutionary movements towards realizing liberation.

The Need for Armed Struggle

Within movements for liberation an enormous chasm exists between those who deploy peaceful means to confront the enemy and those who defend both their communities and themselves through armed struggle. These dichotomous positions contain within them an inter-sectional network of social positions and identities that reveal their location, context and content. For the IRPGF, peaceful methods are unable to confront and destroy the state, capitalism and all forms of kyriarchal power. In fact, they do the reverse. They protect, embolden and strengthen the enemy, enhancing the forms of oppression against increasingly isolated individuals and divided societies. We believe that our liberation springs forth from the barrel of a gun.

Armed insurrections and rebellions around the world will be carried out to the end. We fight in defense of life and we struggle for total liberation. The nation-state, authority, capital and social hierarchy are the enemies of a liberated world and therefore enemies of us all. While we struggle through self-criticism and collective criticism of our personal and collective internalisations of these oppressive behaviors, attitudes and practices, the external enemies; the bosses, along with their armies and police, must be confronted with bullets, bombs and dynamite. The fires of justice and freedom are cleansing and all consuming. For us, there is no stepping back and no way to achieve liberation except through struggle. Our communities will only be liberated when we destroy those few whose wealth and power depend on the suffering and exploitation of many.

The master does not give the slave freedom simply out of an ethical act of pity, selflessness and love. The slave must achieve their liberation through insurrection, resistance and revolution, using every tool of the master to destroy both the master and their mechanisms and apparatuses of domination and oppression. The yoke of tyranny and its chains of repression cannot withstand the insurrection of the oppressed. We long for the day when swords will be turned into plough shares, but until that day arrives, if it ever does, we will hold on to our weapons. The IRPGF’s existence is predicated on the necessity of armed struggle. The moment this is no longer necessary, the IRPGF will cease to exist. Our position is against the notion of “standing armies” or ossified revolutionary groups that become insular states unto themselves.

The IRPGF’s International Position

We believe that the third world war has already started and that the conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and in other parts of the world are only the beginning. The capitalist system, nearing its end and having plundered the world and stripped it of its resources, faces its most acute crisis yet. With no surplus labor population to put in its dungeons and assembly lines, the antagonisms and contradictions of the system in crisis are unfolding. With imperialist powers fighting for the last scraps to safeguard their livelihoods and with fascism on the rise, a common struggle is developing against both the domination of capital and the state. The IRPGF will stand with all peoples looking to secure their futures free from ALL forms of oppression, domination and exploitation. We are cognizant and recognize the intersection of unique identities and the particularities that exist within individuals, in communities and between individuals and communities. We support and seek to fully realize the polymorphic nature of human identity and struggle. To this end we join with peoples around the world in their uniqueness, and in ours, to realize our collective liberation.

MILITANT HORIZONTAL SELF-ORGANIZED COLLECTIVES & COMMUNITIES

FOR THE REVOLUTION AND ANARCHISM!

IRPGF

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NSA denial of Trump surveillance is just “word games” (Edward Snowden)

Joint NSA/GCHQ intercept station, Menwith Hill

US president Donald Trump alleged that phones in Trump Tower had been ‘wiretapped’. The White House media spokesperson then named GCHQ as the culprit. But the British intelligence-gathering agency strongly denied this. However it did not elaborate on how the National Security Agency (NSA) can actually utilise GCHQ’s facilities to monitor any citizen it likes. Nor did the UK or US intelligence statements defend their vast surveillance mechanisms. Meanwhile, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had some interesting comments on the matter.

For more on this, click here.

UPDATE: Republican chairman Devin Nunes admitted that “We know there was not a physical wiretap at Trump Tower. However it is possible that other surveillance technology was used against President Trump and his associates”.

For a longer quote by Edward Snowden on the NSA, Trump and surveillance, see below.

“So the main thing that this boils down to are word games. When people in government assert that the NSA would never collect communications on an American, any American, whether they’re a president, or a congressman, or whatever, without a warrant, they are lying. In the plain use of language, right, what “collects” means to you and me, right, that something travels across the phone line, that something travels across an internet line. They pick it up, they save it, and they drop it in their database. That happens to everyone right now. It does not matter whether you’re the president. It doesn’t matter whether you’re congress, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a judge, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an accountant, a lawyer. It doesn’t matter whether it’s you sitting in the room right now. These things happen by default. That’s how, of course, the system of surveillance works.

Because when you pick up the phone, right, there’s not a little flag associated with it that says, oh, this person’s the president, this person’s a congressman. You can manually go in and set up filters that say, you know, don’t collect on this number, that number, or whatever. But that’s not really how it works. On the backend, there’s a little bit of things like that. But what’s happening is these intelligence agencies, these lawyers at the DOJ for the president, they’re saying something different. They’re saying, to them, “collect” doesn’t mean that we copied your communications, that we put it in the bucket, and that we saved it, in case we want to look at it. To them, “collect” means that they take it out of the bucket and actually look at it and read it.

Now, if you are an American citizen and they say, “I want to look at your communications. I want to listen to this person’s phone calls and everyone they contacted,” this in theory is supposed to require a warrant. But the actual reality here is that they can do something different, and they do do this without a warrant. But if you’re in that bucket and you don’t have a U.S. passport, you know, you’re not a U.S. citizen, no Social Security card. You don’t have a green card, so you’re not sort of legally privileged as a U.S. person, even if you’re not technically a U.S. citizen, they can’t, what they say, target you directly. But if they look at the other side of that communication, right? The communication that went overseas or involved a non-U.S. person in any way, that’s entirely legal. That happens without a warrant.

And they don’t even have to be targeting a person, right? They don’t have to be going, “Oh, I want to know who this person was talking to on the other side in Pakistan. I’m gonna pull all their phone calls.” And oh, in there, it happens to be Jeremy Scahill. Or, oh, you know, I’m calling the Moscow Escort Service, or whatever. Donald Trump is their prime customer. So we get his phone call from there. No, no, no. It doesn’t require that. They can be targeting a machine. They can be targeting a server. They can be targeting a system. They can be targeting the desktop machine. Anywhere in the world, a router — and all of those communications that it’s passing, right, that include your communications, include my communications, that include people from Congress and the president just the same. All of those are in there, and they get displayed in response to the query.”

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Supporters of Turkey’s president hack Twitter accounts, but the outcome is not what they wanted

Justin Bieber’s Japan Twitter account hijacked

In the latter stages of the election campaign in The Netherlands, hundreds of Twitter accounts were hijacked by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s supporters, accusing the governments of The Netherlands (and Germany) of being Nazis. Also Turkish government ministers threatened to break off the refugee deal with the EU. But far from encouraging a surge in support for the far-right Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, these measures saw the opposite happened. And the elections result in The Netherlands can be seen as a setback for far-right tendencies across Europe, including Le Pen’s party in France and UKIP in Britain.

Hacking exposed

On Wednesday, hundreds of Twitter accounts from media outlets were hacked purportedly via Twitter Counter. (Consequently, that facility was taken down ‘for maintenance’.) These accounts were branded with the Turkish flag and messages sent out in Turkish.

The following tweet in support of a video of Erdoğan shows hashtags (translated) #NaziGermany and #NaziHolland:

Threat to refugee deal

Also on Wednesday, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevliit Çavuşoğlu said in a televised interview that the Turkish government is considering cancelling the EU-Turkey refugee deal. Turkey’s EU minister Ömer Celik said that Turkey “should reconsider this issue [the refugee deal] especially in terms of land crossings”. And today Erdoğan’s chief aide Yiğit Buluthe reportedly said that Turks should finance a refugee exodus.

These threats follow the detention of  the Turkish chargé d’affaires in The Hague and its consul general in The Netherlands. Çavuşoğlu’s plane was also prevented from landing in The Netherlands. Turkey’s family and social afffairs minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya was stopped from entering the Turkish consulate general in Rotterdam and was deported.

And only today Çavuşoğlu escalated the inflammatory rhetoric, talking of a ‘holy war’ in Europe.

Erdoğan’s threats nothing new

The November 2015 Turkey-EU deal provided for 6 billion euros for Turkey, to care for the millions of refugees in the country. It also included an escalation of the process to allow visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area of the EU.

But behind the scenes it was reported [paywall] how Erdoğan had threatened the EU with ‘bus loads’ of refugees’ unless he got his way. (Undercoverinfo was one of the first to publish notes of the EU summit meeting between Erdoğan and Donald Tusk.) And in April 2016 Turkey threatened to end the deal again, if visa-free travel was not agreed.

Or as Paul Mason commented in his blog:

We should state, now, there is no possibility of Turkey joining the EU under the AK Party. In the leaked documents that’s what Erdogan says: put us out of our misery.  Europe should, as I suggest in the Guardian, signal to the secular, democratic forces in Turkey that it will re-start accession talks only when there has been a stable democracy for, say, five years, with full commitments to human rights, press freedom etc honoured.

(The visa-free travel arrangement is still not in place, but that is largely because of the collapse of human rights in Turkey since the post-coup purge, especially with regard to the Kurdish communities.)

Voters resist backlash

Far from encouraging a voter backlash against the Liberal Party, Turkey’s attempted intervention in The Netherlands had the opposite effect.

Wilders’ party acquired far less of the vote (winning just 19 seats) than anticipated. This could also be seen as a setback for other far-right parties in Europe, such as those led by Marine Le Pen, or of UKIP, both of which are characterised by largely xenophobic policies.

On the contrary, it has been reported, for example, how councils and charity organisations across the UK are more than ever happy to take in and house thousands more Syrian refugees.

Erdoğan’s real motives

On 16 April 2017, the Turkish people will vote in a referendum to see if President Erdoğan should be granted extended powers. Erdoğan desperately wants to win this vote, for it will seal his position since the crackdown he organised after the coup. This is the reason why he tried to attract support from Turkish ex-pats in Europe. And why, having failed to intervene in that way, his government launched a tirade of abuse at European countries.

In short, the battle ahead is all about democracy, asserting itself against tyranny in Turkey. But it’s also about people of compassion across Europe (and in the USA) asserting themselves against the xenophobic populists of the far-right and their imitators in government.

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Yazidis and Syrian Kurds and their allies under attack by Turkey and its proxies

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Yazidi civilian ready to defend her village

The last 36 hours have seen major developments in the Middle East in defiance of directives issued by British and US-led Coalition forces. Turkish militias are attacking anti-Daesh (Isis/Isil) units near the Syrian city of Manbij. And at the same time, Turkish-backed forces have launched an attack on the long-suffering Yazidi community.

To read more, click here.

Press release from Ezidi Council

URGENT CALL YAZIDI SINJAR COUNCIL AND ITS YBŞ SELF-DEFENSE FORCE
3 MARCH 2017

KDP PESHMERGA BARZANI ATTACK RIGHT NOW YAZIDI PEOPLE!

URGENT CALL TO CONDEMN ATTACKS AND FOR MEDIATION

THESE ATTACKS PUT ANTI ISIS CAMPAIGN IN JEOPARDY

Since the night of 2 March the KDP Peshmerga under leadership of President Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government attack the Yazidi YBŞ/YJE in the places Sinune and khanesor in Sinjar. Fights are ongoing as KDP sends reinforcements to continue the violence against the Yazidi’s.

This is a final attempt to break any independent will of the Yazidi’s. This attempt follows the visit of Barzani to Erdogan.

However after the genocide under ISIS the Yazidi people will not become again defenceless pawns dominated by another leader that the Yazidi’s of Sinjar did not elect at any moment. The YBŞ will defend until the last man and woman.

The YBŞ and Sinjar Council did put forward a proposal for negotiations with the KDP Peshmerga but these proposals for talks are ignored. The goal of Barzani is to subjugate the Yazidi’s at all costs. The YBŞ and Sinjar Council call the EU and US to help to start negotiations as necessary alternative to this violence.

The YBŞ and Sinjar Council call to all other Kurdish parties as well as the Iraqi Government to come forward and put serious public pressure at Barzani to stop this attack immediately.

The world has recognised that the Yazidi’s were victims of ISIS. Will the world stand up against this violence in time this time? The US and EU need to tell Barzani to stop immediately!

Contact information: +964 7724960323 & +964 7511753273

Posted in no category, Resistance, War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tories put ‘Britain first’ and tell hundreds of unaccompanied child refugees to get stuffed

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The Tory government has announced that all child refugees hoping to get into Britain should get stuffed. Well, not exactly those words. But that was the intent. The announcement was sneaked in between the Brexit vote and Prime Minister’s Questions.

What’s more, the announcement quoted a fictional figure, saying a meagre 350 unaccompanied child refugees had been brought in to Britain so far. The true number is 200. And even if the higher figure is correct, this is still pathetic.

Labour peer, Lord Alf Dub, commented:

But the 350… the extra 150 has come from God knows where, they’ve just cooked it up… It’s entirely new.

The original figure, as ‘promised’ by David Cameron, was 3000. This came about as a result of the ‘Dubs Amendment’ by Lord Dubs, who was a child refugees who escaped the Holocaust thanks to Sir Nicholas Winton and his KinderTransport.

The government is blaming local councils for not finding suitable accommodation for the children under the National Transfer Scheme. And councils are blaming central government for not providing the funding needed. In other words, the blame game.

The Tories’ announcement is contrary to British values – values about compassion and caring. According to one MP, the about-turn is more akin to the xenophobic racism of Trump’s ‘America First’.

Thousands of unaccompanied children

Around 90,000 unaccompanied child refugees are displaced across Europe. Britain’s ‘share’ in helping to alleviate this crisis equates to a mere 0.4%. For one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, that is unforgiveable.

In January 2017, one front line refugee support agency, Care4Calais, published a report on what is happening to the refugees after the clearance of the ‘Jungle’ at Calais.

A Care4Calais spokesperson said:

With the devastating news that the transfer of minors to the UK has halted, and the broken promise that those who willingly went to French welcome centres would not be deported under the ‘Dublin’ system, distraught refugees have nowhere left to turn but the cold streets of Paris or the lost hope of Calais. They are therefore returning to conditions that are now worse than the Jungle ever was, as sleeping rough means night after night in sub-zero temperatures with no running water, sanitation, cooking or washing facilities.

Meanwhile Lord Dubs is determined to challenge the May government on its decision and will be raising a Private Notice Question in the House of Lords.

Also, support Citizens UK and SupportRefugeesUK and Care4Calais.

Posted in no category, Refugees | 1 Comment

UPDATES: Sawari in custody; Amnesty report on persecution of ethnic Ahwazi Arabs by Iran

iran-refugee-two

Loghman Sawari is a young refugee who fled Iran after his cousin was executed by the regime and his brothers tortured and imprisoned. After being illegally renditioned by Australia to its offshore gulag on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Sawari suffered isolation and beatings. He also attempted suicide.

But he spectacularly fled to Fiji from PNG. On his arrival in Suwa, a local Fijian family sheltered him. His Fijian lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh, organised an agreement with the director of immigration that his client would lodge his asylum application paperwork on Friday. But on his way to see the director, Sawari was kidnapped.

To read a longer version, click here.

UPDATES:

  1. Sawari now in PNG jail and is charged with leaving country using false I/D. He could face 6 months jail. Sawari has tried to commit suicide before and likelihood he could try again.
  2. Sawari clearly should have lodged his formal applicarion for asylum with the Fijian authorities on arrival or soon after. Sawari’s Fijian lawyer, Aman Ravindra Singh, was told this could wait until Friday (3 February) when he and his client would meet with the Immigration minister. On the way to that meeting, Sawari was snatched by the Fijian authorities and taken straight to the airport and a waiting plane to Papua New Guinea. Clearly this had been planned in advance. Sawari’s lawyer admits he and his client may have been tricked into waiting until Friday. Singh said: “If I knew that this would have happened, I would never have agreed to the meeting”.
  3. Sawari is an Ahwazi Arab. Iran has executed scores of Ahwazi Arabs. In 2015 Amnesty International published a detailed report on the persecution (jailing, torture, execution) of Ahwazi Arabs. Sawari’s two brothers were arrested and tortured by the Iranian authorities; his cousin was executed. This is why Sawari sought asylum in Australia. Instead, Australia rendition Sawari and placed him in indefinite detention on Manus Island, where he was bullied and beaten.

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Malcolm Turnbull is ultimately accountable for Sawari’s fate. If Sawari is harmed in any way, Turnbull will be responsible.

The best solution now is for an appropriate agency (UN or Australian human rights lawyers) to intervene and organise a safe country for Sawari to go to.

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Millions rediscover their revolutionary soul as they throw down the gauntlet to Trump

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Women’s march, Austin (Texas)

Just under five million people, the vast majority of whom were women, marched in cities and towns, not just across America, but worldwide. Their demands were many but, in essence, that US President Donald Trump goes. The numbers – only one day after Trump’s inauguration’s speech, so full of deceits – were unprecedented.

In Washington, photos of the demonstrators showed they vastly outnumbered those who attended the inauguration ceremony. But this was no ordinary demonstration. It was the beginning of a worldwide revolt against the reactionary values that Trump exemplifies.

Continue reading

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After the JD Sports scandal, is it not time to organise a new post-capitalism model of unions?

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There are seven million temporary and casualised workers in Britain, many of whom are paid the pathetic minimum hourly wage. Just under a million are forced to accept zero hours contracts, offering no guarantee of work. They are ‘Generation Zero’, failed by everyone. This failure is a consequence of anti-union laws and legislation that favours business. And so as we seek to create a post-capitalist, fairer society, a new model by which workers can effectively organise to end injustices may also be needed.

The plight of ‘Generation Zero’ was dramatically illustrated when Channel 4 News broadcast secretly filmed footage, taken inside the massive, fortress-like JD Sports warehouse in Rochdale.

JD Sports warehouse operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with 12 hours shifts as normal. As the video shows, workers are treated like prisoners and even their fingerprints are scanned on arrival and exit for each shift.

Continue reading

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1000s of unaccompanied refugee children still in Europe, a new “KinderTransport” is needed

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Unaccompanied refugee Jewish children arriving London, February 1939

There are around 1500 unaccompanied refugee children still in Calais, due to what can only be drscribed as the bureaucratic incompetence of the French and British governments. Now the daughter of Sir Nicholas Winton, who died in 2015 and who organised the famous Kindertransport in 1939 to save hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazi concentration camps, has appealed for a similar initiative to rescue those children still stuck in the French port. But there are tens of thousands more unaccompanied refugee children scattered across Europe. Allowing this crisis to worsen is nothing else but a crime of mega proportions.

In an open letter sent to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Barbara Winton says:

Those who have travelled across Europe to Calais, to escape the life-threatening dangers of their home country, are hoping desperately to find the sanctuary their parents dared to believe Britain would once again offer… I believe that the most appropriate way of honouring his [Sir Nicholas’] memory would be to show the same concern and compassion he did then, for those in danger and in need now.

Accompanying the letter are two statements by Eve Leadbeater and Dr Lisa Midwinter, both of whom as children were rescued by Sir Nicholas Winton via the original Kindertransport. Ms. Leadbetter commented:

Today, the last-minute scramble to organise the transfer of some of the Calais children and the animosity against immigrants that has increased since the referendum have been shocking. In 2016, do we live in the same country that welcomed me in 1939?

Continue reading

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What have war-ravaged Arab children, Calais jungle kids & abused Aboriginal youths in common?

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The boy’s face says it all. Bewilderment, resignation – immune to the horror of what is happening. He has seen war as commonplace for years. His family – mother, father, siblings – are still to be rescued. He casually wipes the blood from his forehead: it is no big deal. Then he waits patiently for the ambulance crew to bring in more children to be taken to hospital.

The boy is only 5 years old. His name is Omran Dagneesh. The place: Aleppo, Syria.

We are all horrified, numbed by the image and even more so, the video (see below). Both went global.

Continue reading

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Greece: more and more anarchist refugee collectives displace state-run detention centres

While the world’s media is suitably distracted by the Olympic Games in Brazil, the war in Syria and beyond continues to see thousands of people – men, women and children – killed each week and many more atempting the perilous journey as refugees to seek safety. Meanwhile in the last two months there has been a deafening silience in the media about the plight of the thousands of refugees still stuck in Greece. Only 2500 refugees have so far been granted asylum status – the process is excruciatingly slow and most of those granted this status have yet to be relocated. A report by the Greek Centre for Disease Control recommended all 16 of the refugee detention centres it inspected be closed due to unsanitary conditions and poor water supply. But while the Greek authorities seem unable to move forward, grassroots activists – anarchists – have yet again taken matters into their own hands and are providing shelter and food to those in need. However, this is not charity, or the result of a philanthropic endeavour, but direct democracy in practice.

(The above video of the Shisto refugee camp was filmed by anarchists.)

Anarchists in Greece have been providing squatted accommodation – abandoned schools, hotels etc – for refugees – since the current conflicts in Syria began. And as soon as the Greek authorities organised evictions of these premises, more buildings have been squatted.

Continue reading

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‘Restricted’ testimony of military intel agent sheds light on N Ireland ‘killing fields’

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Force Research Unit agents

A month back families of 200 people murdered in the Troubles accused David Cameron’s government of censoring files that could explain more the circumstances of their deaths (see copy of advertisement, below, published in The Guardian). The British Government has so far refused to release, unredacted, these files on grounds of ‘national security’. But peace in Northern Ireland can never be realised as long as Government cover-ups continue or vital evidence concealed. It has long been known that one British military intelligence section, the Force Research Unit, colluded with the Protestant paramilitaries and infiltrated Republican paramilitaries: its mission, to disseminate disinformation, direct paramilitary operations and – ultimately – eliminate Republican activists as part of a ‘strategy of tension’. A ‘Restricted’ document that provides the unexpurgated testimony of a FRU operative is published below and, when examined in relation to other key documents, provides further evidence of what some have referred to as Britain’s own ‘Killing Fields’.

Note: this article forms part of a summary article in The Canary.

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A. The testimony Continue reading

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What Chilcot left out: over 1000 torture & unlawful killing legal claims in UK & ICC

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British soldier interrogating Iraqi prisoners at the Shaibah Logistics Base

Despite its size and the number of years it took to compile, the Chilcot Report, published last Wednesday, made only passing mention to the more than 1000 legal cases lodged by Iraqi civilians, alleging torture and unlawful killing by the British military. These cases are not only still being heard by the British authorities but also the International Criminal Court. Moreover, mllions of pounds in damages have already been awarded – an indication that the claims were/are valid. And the implication of course is that if the courts are agreeing that unlawful killing and/or torture took place by the British forces in Iraq, then responsibility for what happened should not merely limited to front-line troops, but to their commanders and, ultimately, those in government who authorised the operations. And that would include the ministers in charge of Defence and Foreign Affairs, as well as other relevant ministers, including the Prime Minister. An update on these legal claims is given below…

In the meantime it is interesting to note that there are moves afoot to seek prosecution of Tony Blair for misfeasance in office and, contrary to what has been stated so far, for war crimes.

Further, last week an ICC (International Criminal Court) prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, issued a statement making it clear that comments in the media on how Tony Blair could not be prosecuted for war crimes were, in fact, inaccurate. Bensouda explained:

Once a decision is made to open an investigation in any given situation, my Office may investigate and prosecute any individual suspected of committing crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.  We do this work without fear or favour and irrespective of the official capacity of the perpetrator(s).  In accordance with the scope of my Office’s policy, in fact, as a general rule, my Office will prosecute those most responsible for the commission of these serious crimes. The warrants of arrest issued to date by the Court have been line with this policy and principled approach.”

A. Introduction

The cases currently being examined have been brought by Iraqi civilians in both the British courts and at the International Criminal Court, alleging torture by British troops. The British Government has already settled 323 cases, with compensation totaling some £19.6 million. In the UK courts the Iraq Historic Allegations Team has fielded 3,363 cases since it was founded in 2010, including 325 that involved unlawful killings by British troops.

In late 2014 the Al-Sweady Inquiry cleared British soldiers of war crimes in Iraq and, instead, blamed lawyers – Leigh Day and PIL – who represented the victims of those alleged crimes. However, some of the cases investigated by that Inquiry – notably those associated with the Shaibah Logistics Base – are still being examined by the International Criminal Court as part of their wider investigation into more than 1200 cases of alleged UK war crimes in Iraq.

Two other investigations into alleged war crimes in Iraq by British military and intelligence – that of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) and the Service Prosecuting Authority (the UK miltary equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service) – are continuing.

Updates on all three inquiries/investigations are given below, as well as a summary of some of the more prominent cases. Continue reading

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EU referendum: real winner is radical right – and it’s about to get even nastier

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Just prior to the EU referendum Undercoverinfo published an article, “If Brexit is the answer, then the wrong question was asked by the wrong people“. The correct question would have been: “Do you want years of far-right Tory-governed austerity – yes or no?” But honesty was never the name of the game and many – not all – on both sides of the referendum debate excelled themselves in the retailing of half-truths and lies. The UK Referendum was a complete con – a mega distraction approved by a prime minister who misjudged the public mood and which has seen one of the biggest, if not the biggest, shifts to the right in modern-day British politics. Pulling out of the EU was merely a consequence of the referendum: a radical right takeover was the real goal.

Both remaining Tory candidates for PM – Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May – are of the radical-right. May portrays herself as ‘one nation Tory’, though that’s questionable given her determination over several years to introduce the Snoopers Charter via the Communications Data Bill and the Investigatory Powers Bill, – which together will see Britain become the most totalitarian society in terms of surveillance in the world (including the USA) – or the wide-ranging Counter Extremism bill. May also sent vans through Britain telling illegal immigrants to “go home”.

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Caricatured Leadsom supporter

Leadsom, however, is not only radical right, but extreme right and avowedly of a Conservative culture only found in darkened corners of the Shires – a throwback to the 1950s, where unrestricted fox hunting was not only legal but commonplace and where mono-culture (WASPs) was the norm.

Leadsom’s culture is the culture satirised by images of the upper-class twit – indeed, such creatures broke loose and were seen lomping around Parliament yesterday to show Leadsom their support. It was a truly shocking sight.

But more shocking is the possibility that Leadsom could be voted the next prime minister, regardless of her unsuitability. This is because the decision as to who will be the next PM is now down to the Tory membership. That membership of 150,000 is largely based in the Home Counties, is mostly male and is mostly people over aged 60. Voting in Leadsom would be their ultimate revenge on decades of political correctness, civil liberties and multiculturalism. Continue reading

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UK economy collapsing, but the pitchforks are already out as far right target scapegoats

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Hate-mongering Farage protected by besuited UKIP goons

Cameron’s hugely miscalculated EU Referendum saw a knife-edge result that merely succeeded, as Laurie Penny eloquently put it, in widening the divisions in society. As such, the referendum could be described as an abject failure in democracy: seriously flawed and based on lies, it should have been declared invalid. But, as has already been pointed out, Brexit is not legally binding and, if matters spiral completely out of control, there is nothing to stop MPs from refusing to trigger Article 50, or they could even refuse to agree to the election of a new Conservative leader (and, in the worst case scenario, a State of Emergency could be declared). For many on the Leave campaign their decision was simply a vote of protest against the  EU, which they were persuaded to identify by the Tory elite as the source of all their woes. As Paul Mason has commented, the Referendum outcome was not due to a rebellion, but of despair by the excluded. The consequence of the vote is now seeing the economy collapsing and so peoples’ finances and prospects will get even worse, with soaring inflation, job losses, rent rises, higher bills, cuts and more cuts. But with the EU on the outer, who will people blame next? The UK political order, of course – though there will be those – in UKIP and of the Far Right – who will endeavour to exploit the misery of the dispossessed by whipping up more fear – fear of the ‘foreigner’, the immigrant, the scroungers and, of course, ethnic minorities. Exaggeration? Well, on last night’s TV news, several vox pop Brexit supporters proudly gave dislike of immigrants and Muslims as the prime reason they voted Leave. And yesterday this writer personally witnessed a Portuguese woman – working in the UK for 10 years as a nurse and saving lives – screamed at by a man, euphoric at the Brexit victory. Examples of hate – but nothing compared to the death threats and assaults that some are experiencing. Seasoned commentator Nafeez Ahmed also argues cogently how Project Fear is not just a UK phenomena but has taken hold in many parts of Europe. When widespread discontent is corralled by the Tory and UKIP far right and the left remains in disarray – that is when fascism becomes mainstream. Make no mistake, Project Fear did not end with the vote: the pitchforks are out and the ‘mob’ is fired up.

“This Britain is not my Britain. I want my country back. I want my scrappy, tolerant, forward-thinking, creative country, the country of David Bowie, not Paul Daniels; the country of Sadiq Khan, not Boris Johnson; the country of  J K Rowling, not Enid Blyton; the country not of Nigel Farage, but Jo Cox” extract from article by Laurie Penny.

(Note: here’s one plan – by Paul Mason – to oust the Tories. No doubt there will be many more from others in weeks to come.)

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Day after Brexit victory The Sun features a Combat 18 (Nazis) member on front page

Cluj48sWIAAEe02Last week – only days after Jo Cox MP was murdered – Labour MP and shadow frontbencher Yvette Cooper revealed she had been threatened on Twitter. The message said “Hello, Yvette I have received your Stronger In propaganda e-mails 5 times please stop or I will kill your kids and grandkids.”

From Laurie Penny: “Nigel Farage, the rich, racist cartoon demagogue, boasts that this [Referendum] victory was won “without a single shot being fired”. Tell that to the grieving family of Jo Cox, the campaigning Labour MP gunned down last week. Farage promised that unless something was done to halt immigration, “violence will be the next step”. It looks like we’ve got a two-for-one deal on that one.”

Prominent Far Right groups that are active in Britain include Liberty GB – an anti-immigration political party, whose chairman is Paul Weston, the former UKIP parliamentary candidate – Britain First, the National Front, the British National Party, and the EDL. (Note that Liberty GB is fielding a candidate – Jack Buckby, a former BNP politician – at the upcoming byelection that will take place as a result of Jo Cox’s death.) See also ‘Appendix’, below, on the links between the BNP and Britain First. whose slogan, incidentally, is “Taking our country back” – virtually the same slogan the Brexiteers used during the Referendum campaign. Continue reading

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Were MI5 informed of Thomas Mair’s links to neo-Nazi organisations in 2000?

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Thomas Mair is portrayed by the right-wing tabloids as being ‘mentally ill’ – a label usually reserved for those perpetrators of a political assassination if they are white. But Mair’s far-right, neo-Nazi links not only span decades but countries: a network of hate and racism that knows no bounds. The network, both formally and informally, links fascist organisations and tendencies globally. In Mair’s case, his links extend to organisations that span at least three continents. Mair is charged with the murder of Jo Cox MP, who was a lifelong campaigner of human rights and spearheaded many humanitarian causes. She was just the sort of person Mair and his fascist associates detested. Some may believe his alleged, vile act was not premeditated, but his history proves otherwise. That Mair allegedly chose to carry out the act in the lead up to the EU Referendum speaks volumes.

Thomas Mair had a long history of links to racist and far right organisations and it is now well known that as far back as the late 1990s he planned to shoot and bomb (in that he purchased the instructions for making a gun and explosives). He was also fascinated by the Nazi ideology (he possessed a manual on Nazi practice authored by Adolf Hitler). His links to far right organisations included the Springbok Club (white supremacists) and via that organisation to similar supremacist organisations in the USA – notably the National Alliance.

A. The US link

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Alliance was for decades the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi formation in America. Explicitly genocidal in its ideology, NA materials called for the eradication of Jews and other races and the creation of an all-white homeland.

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National Alliance members displaying their Nazi interests

National Alliance produced assassins, bombers and bank robbers. William Pierce, the founder of NA, penned a novel, The Turner Diaries, which notoriously became the inspiration for Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City (that left 168 people, including 19 children, dead) and many other acts of terror. Pierce once described how he hoped to lock Jews, “race traitors” and other enemies of the “Aryan” race into cattle cars and send them to the bottom of abandoned coal mines. In all, NA members were connected to at least 14 violent crimes between 1984 and 2005, including bank robberies, shootouts with police and, in Florida, a plan to bomb the main approach to Disney World.

At its height, in the 1990s, the National Alliance had chapters in several European countries and 1400 members. In the years after the death of Pierce in 2003, after a series of embarrassing revelations, National Alliance disintegrated.

B. MI5 knew of Mair’s fascist connections

According to Hatewatch, in May 2000 Thomas Mair and several other fascists allegedly met in a private room at a pub near the Strand, as attested by Todd Blodgett, an American who was then a paid informant for the FBI and who also met up regularly with MI5.

Blodgett had helped arrange the meeting at the request of William Pierce, then head of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. According to Blodgett, Mair was loosely affiliated with the Leeds chapter of the National Alliance, “He talked about a book he read by [David] Irving,” an infamous British Holocaust denier.

Others who met at the London pub included Stephen Cartwright, who was affiliated with the Scottish branch of the BNP, and Richard Barnbrook, a BNP member who in 2008 won election to a seat on the London Assembly.

The meeting was organised by Mark Cotterill, a Briton who was in the United States as the head of the American Friends of the British National Party and working to raise funds for the BNP.  Days after the meeting, Blodgett met with John Tyndall, who had been deposed in 1999 as leader of the BNP and replaced by Nick Griffin.

Details of the meeting, including Mair’s attendance, would have been provided to MI5 (and the FBI).

C. The Swinton Circle

According to World Socialist Website, the Springbok Club was associated with the Swinton Circle, which was set up as a Conservative Party fringe group in the 1960s by admirers of Tory right-wing xenophobe Enoch Powell. The Swinton Circle publication Tough Talking from the Right “held a special readers’ meeting and buffet in the City of London only recently, where the guest speaker was Mr. Nigel Farage MEP, the co-president of the Independence and Democracy Group in the European Parliament.”.

In 2014, Liam Fox and Owen Paterson, two former Conservative government cabinet ministers and now prominent Leave supporters, addressed separate meetings of the London Swinton Circle. In 1998, then-Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, who later defected to UKIP, spoke at a meeting of the Springbok Club.

D. The Greek connection and the Euro-wide dimension

According to XYZ Contagion, during the last week in March 2012, southern California National Alliance member MP and Alliance supporter “TH” visited Greece and spent a week with members and officials of Golden Dawn. (Source: The website of Annex Sacramento California Alliance of National, ‘ The Rising Sun Heralds The Golden Dawn ‘, 05/05/2012.)

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5th International meeting of Nationalist and Social Forces, Greece

In October 1998 the ‘5th European Conference of Nationalist and Social Forces’ was held in Thessaloniki. Among the participants were Wiliam Pierce (head of National Alliance), Florentine S. Rost van Tonningen-Heubel (head of Danish Nazi Party) and Matt Koehln (leader of ‘National Socialist International’ WUNS). Others representatives from Portugal, Romania, Flanders, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and Austria. Hosted by fascist Golden Dawn.

 

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Racism, far-right ideology & hatred of refugees: the toxic mix that killed Jo Cox

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Jo Cox

Jo Cox MP was a humanitarian and a tireless campaigner for refugees and, in particular, the war refugees of Syria. She was more than a politician: she was passionate about her work and had been involved in many charities/NGOs that were spearheading humanitarian causes. Her alleged murderer, Thomas Mair, was a vunerable individual who had a documented history of mental health problems. But he also had a long history of association with the far-right. At least three witnesses claim that when allegedly carrying out this heinous crime, Mair shouted “Britain First!” (that could have been a reference to the far right organisation) or “Put Britain first”. Either way, his cause was that of nationalism; his alleged deed that of hate. Fuelling that hatred is the far right, but also the media and even certain political parties – all of which have been bombarding the British public over the last two years with lies and disinformation about refugees and in the lead up to the EU Referendum this campaign of hatred targetted against the ‘other’ reached fever pitch. Below, is the evidence of Mair’s far-right affilations and interests.

UPDATE 1: According to records obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mair was a dedicated supporter of the National Alliance (NA), the once premier neo-Nazi organization in the United States, for some decades. Mair purchased a manual from the NA in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol (the pistol used to kill Cox?). Mair sent just over $620 to the NA, according to invoices for goods purchased from National Vanguard Books, the NA’s printing imprint. Mair purchased subscriptions for periodicals published by the imprint and he bought works that instructed readers on the “Chemistry of Powder & Explosives,” “Incendiaries,” and a work called “Improvised Munitions Handbook.” Under “Section III, No. 9” (page 125) of that handbook, there are detailed instructions for constructing a “Pipe Pistol For .38 Caliber Ammunition” from components that can be purchased from nearly any hardware store. Notice, too, that Mair purched a copy of a handbook on Nazism by Hitler. For more on this, see Appendix at end of this article that shows receipts of purchases by Mair.

UPDATE 2: UKIP’er Neil Hamilton linked to Springbok Club, the same far-right organisation Mair associated with.

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Referendum campaign poster by UKIP (its true colours revealed)

A. Introduction

Perhaps the best tribute to Cox, to honour her legacy, would be for all political parties to agree, as per a suggestion by Peter Jukes, that 2000 refugee children from Syria immediately be brought to the UK to live in peace.

The media also share the guilt in Mair’s alleged crime – in particular the right-wing, jingoistic and xenophobic, refugee-hating press (The Sun, Daily Mail, etc). And the Leave campaign played its part too in fueling such hate. Continue reading

Posted in Government, no category, Refugees | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Destruction/witholding of spycops files symptomatic of decades of police/CPS cover-ups

QPE 66 1/8/5 identified as missing Special Demonstration Squad (spycops) files

Endemic police corruption and cover-ups of evidence are generally more associated with developing countries, or countries where there is a dictatorship, but in Britain such corruption is rife though handled far better, with the occasional public inquiry as a sop to satisfy a gullible or politically-weary populace. Some of these inquiries have been judge-led; others have been restricted and headed by senior police officers who are expert at hiding the truth. The litany of cover-ups is immense – Birmingham 6, Guildford 4, Hillsborough, Orgreave, the Stephen Lawrence murder, the VIP paedophile allegations, the Kincora/MI5/6 allegations, the Omagh bombing, the Finucane murder, and, of course, the”spycops” scandal. There were many, many more cover-ups. Put simply, it’s all about closing ranks, mutual protection (by police of police) and the ongoing political policing of those individuals and groups who are opposed to the ruling establishment. Multiple police constabularies colluded in cover-ups because multiple police constabularies were involved in the undercover operations – see for example evidence below that Thames Valley was core to Kennedy’s surveillance on the Ratcliffe op…

Firstly…

In January 2013, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patricia Gallan told MPs, sitting as part of a Home Affairs Committee (HAC):

“Operation Herne, as you will be aware, has been running for some time. Initially it quite properly concentrated on potentially criminal matters, whether there may be any miscarriages of justice or not, and indeed in criminal allegations. One of those allegations, as you will be aware, was made in Parliament by an MP, and that is being investigated. Since the Olympics we have been able to put additional resources into Operation Herne, but I must stress we are looking at the activities of a unit, the Special Demonstration Squad, which was initially funded by the Home Office and set up in 1968 and ran for 40 years. There is not a dusty file sitting somewhere within Scotland Yard that we can pull out that will provide all of the answers. There are more than 50,000 documents, paper and electronic, that we need to sift through. Many people have been long retired and need to be visited, and we need to look at all the records. What I should say is that if anybody has any information or evidence they can give to us, we do want to hear from them.”

She later added: “Many of them [documents] have been classified as secret, so we have had to put in a special IT system specifically to manage it. There has been a huge quantity of documentation, because it goes back over 40 years.”

These were astounding statements made by Gallan – the complete interrogation is here – who clearly slipped up. Continue reading

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Blacklisting: the leaked document(s) that opened the floodgates

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Phil Chamberlain’s excellent article, “Finding the blacklist“, reveals how the ‘Services Group’ blacklist of construction workers held by the Consulting Association was discovered, as well as the events that led up to that. A much larger blacklist – of workers, ‘extremists’ and political radicals – was held by the Economic League (the predecessor to the Consulting Association). Much of the EL list was leaked and the story of how that took place has been told, in part, both here and elsewhere – notably via Spies At Work. But the campaign to destroy the EL could be characterised, in retrospect, as ‘part one’ of a drama that eventually saw, some thirty years later, a £250 million payout to blacklisted construction workers, with the CA expose as the crucial ‘part two’. Though, in some ways, it could be argued that the first domino to fall was an own goal by the EL: what happened is described in detail in an internal EL document that was subsequently leaked, together with masses of other documents, to political activists going under the name of ‘League Watch’. A link to that document is published below, together with selected extracts and background commentaries that show, for example, that the notorious “Services Group” existed as far back as the early 1980s…

(Disclaimer: the author of this article was a co-founder of League Watch.)

Note: extensive appendices are given at the end of this article – lists of companies and EL organisers, derived mostly from the leaked documents.

A. Introduction

Earlier this week Open Democracy published a well written research paper on how political activists may have been forced to change tactics as a consequence of the extensive infiltration by #spycops on several political campaigns over several decades. The research, however, does not take into account other forms of direct action that have emerged since then – such as the Occupy movement, the student protests, and the London riots, etc. Nor does it examine some of the counter-intelligence operations that quietly but determinedly acted as a rearguard to protests over several decades.

One such operation took place some thirty years back and involved no more than a handful of individuals, deploying very unconventional methods (for activists) and which led, in time, to enormous repercussions – namely, the multi-million pound payout to blacklisted workers in recent settlements.

A. Background

The Economic League was created in 1919 by a small group of men, including Rear Admiral William Reginald Hall – who had retired as the Head of Naval intelligence to stand as a Conservative MP – and representatives from leading industries. Originally the EL was named the National Propaganda Committee and was itself part of an organisation known as the British Commonwealth Union. In 1925 the NPC was renamed the Central Council of the Economic League. Core to its work was blacklisting, intelligence-gathering and propaganda. The EL – as it eventually became known by – continued to expand in the years leading up to World War Two, during the war and in the post-war period. But by the 1980s its fortunes were on the wane.

In 1983 Peter Savill, the EL’s national director attempted to rationalise the organisation via amalgamations of regions. This did not go down well with EL stalwarts, who were very protective of their manors. That same year saw an attempted mutiny within the EL and the publication of the document, “The need for a change in direction”. This document was later leaked to League Watch by Richard Brett (by then the EL was run by Michael Noar, who was determined to rid the League of all the regions and discipline Brett in the process).

Based on the actual numbers known for certain regions, it is estimated that between 30,000 and 45,000 names of workers were blacklisted throughout the UK.

For a full history of the Economic League, read Spies At work.

B. The leaked document: “The need for a change in direction”

“Of course, the police and Special Branch are interested in some of the things we are interested in. They follow the activities of these groups in much the same way as we do and therefore they do get in touch with us from time to time and talk to us and say ‘were you at this demonstration or that’.. In the course of discussions, there is an exchange of information just in the ordinary course of talking.” Michael Noar, Economic League director-general.

Here is the full text (pdf) of that internal Economic League document (marked “Strictly Private & Confidential”) and authored by Sir Gerald Thorley, chairman of the EL. The document clearly shows that by 1983 the rot was setting in.

Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Intelligence, no category, Resistance, Surveillance | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Chelsea Manning’s legal appeal forces FBI to admit it’s concealing evidence against Wikileaks

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Images of war crimes exposed by Manning

Chelsea Manning’s legal team have lodged an appeal against their client’s conviction and sentencing. Her attorneys have asked a military court to dismiss her case or reduce her sentence to 10 years. It has taken the team three years to get all the documents together for the appeal and it may be another three years before the appeal is actually heard. Notwithstanding that there is still an ongoing campaign to seek a presidential pardon from Barack Obama. Meanwhile, the FBI has admitted that it will be restricting documents related to Manning’s appeal because to reveal these would jeopardise its investigations (and prosecution?) of Wikileaks.

UPDATE: See excellent article summarising Manning’s appeal case.

A. Persecution of Wikileaks

A few days ago a document released to Manning’s legal team showed that the US authorities – namely the FBI and the Department of Justice – would be limiting the availability of evidence needed for Manning’s appeal, so as not to jeopardise their ongoing investigations into Wikileaks – see extract below (note: “civilian involvement” is code for Wikileaks).

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However, in an article published in The Guardian last year, Manning observed:

“…when I was court-martialed for providing government documents and information that I felt were in the public interest to a media organization, the government charged me with “aiding the enemy” – a treason-related offense under the US constitution and military justice system that even civilians may be charged with. During one of my pre-trial hearings in January 2013, the military judge in my case, US Army Colonel Denise Lind, asked the government lawyers: “Does it make any difference – if we substituted Wikileaks for The New York Times: would the government still be charging this case in the manner that it has and proceeding as you’re doing?” An assistant trial counsel for the government answered a straightforward “Yes, Ma’am”…”

The point is that the New York Times was not prosecuted and Manning was. Thus the trial against Manning was a farce.

Manning continued..

“The government further argued that there was no distinction to be made between any media organizations that provided information to the public, if the government felt that would “aid” the enemy: whether such information was published by a small-time blog, a controversial website like Wikileaks, a national newspaper like the Washington Post, or an international one like the Guardian, to the government, they can all be “aiding the enemy”.”

In the end Manning was not convicted of the charge of “aiding the enemy”, which, ironically, was probably a relief to the Government as it was not only an absurd charge to make in the first place, but had Manning been found guilty of it then the USG would, logically, have to prosecute those media outlets that published the leaks too. That wasn’t going to happen. Continue reading

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Consulting Association: the destruction/concealment of documents – testimony of an insider

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Ian Kerr

One of the testimonies given at the Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation court hearings, earlier this year, was that of Mary Kerr, the wife of the late Ian Kerr, who was a leading figure in both the Economic League and, after its demise, the main organiser for the Consulting Association. That testimony – which is given in full below – offers an insight not only into the day-to-day operations of the Consultancy Association, but also what happened to the blacklisting files and other evidence. In section 10 of the testimony Mrs Kerr confirms that ‘back-up paper copy record cards’ were retained by her husband after the raid by the Information Commissioner’s Office and how the ICO failed to remove the (approx. 800) “green and pink record cards” of animal and environmental activists. She also confirms how the Consultancy Association files – together with those from Caprim Ltd – were all sourced from the Economic League trove (which is estimated as being around 30,000 names).

(Note… Ian Kerr was a former private investigator and had been involved in blacklisting for more than 30 years. Michael Noar, the Economic League’s director-general between 1986 and 1989, said Kerr had worked for the organisation for a long time, infiltrating “a lot” of trade union and political meetings, recording who had said what and taking away documents such as attendance lists. Here is a copy of Mr Kerr’s oral evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee: Blacklisting in Employment, shortly before he died. More on the Consulting Association – via a report by the Scottish Affairs Committee – is here.)

A. Introduction

Mary Kerr’s testimony details:

a) how Economic League files were transferred – “sold” – to the Consultancy Association and Caprim Ltd;
b) how David Cochrane retained copies of 500+ blue and orange cards (pertaining to Economic League records) prior to the ICO raid;
c) the background to the infamous Consultancy Association meeting at which Gordon Mills, the National Extremism Tactical Co-Ordination Unit officer, spoke;
d) the role of Callum McAlpine, the eminence gris and former Chair of the Consultancy Association and who represented the construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd;
e) confirmation that Consultancy Association client companies expected Mr Kerr to ‘play ball’ and take the blame for everything;
f) and how Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd secretly paid the fines and other costs levied against Mrs Kerr’s husband.

(See also Blacklister admits destroying Consulting Association evidence; now has own vetting service.)

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Cullum McAlpine

B. The testimony by Mary Kerr

1. Economic League

The Economic League operated on a much larger scale than the Services Group and the
Consulting Association and covered all industries, not just construction. There were six
regions in the Economic League, each with a definite hierarchy under a regional director.
From what Ian told me, references were held in the same way but the information for the
Economic League was generally sourced internally by the Economic League employees
themselves. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Intelligence | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Blacklister admits destroying Consulting Assoc evidence; now has own vetting service

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Court records show that in an unguarded moment a former chair of the blacklisting agency, the Consulting Association, admitted to destroying vital files belonging to that organisation in order to conceal evidence and, thus, contradicting all previous denials on this matter. Furthermore, it is now known that since the collapse of the Consulting Association this man is continuing his work in employment ‘consultancy’ – albeit on a smaller scale and on a self-employed basis. Evidence is presented below…

The demand for justice by blacklisted construction workers may now be entering a new phase. A week ago over 700 construction workers were awarded more than 75 million pounds compensation in an out-of-court settlement – the money coming from the coffers of the constructions firms who were at the heart of the blacklisting project. The firms concerned issued an apology, which was seen by the workers as hollow and meaningless. But if the construction firms thought by issuing that apology and paying out the £75 million, that would be the end of it, they were sadly mistaken. Now the blacklisted workers are seeking to prosecute Mr Cullum McAlpine – a director of Sir Robert McAlpine – who was chairman of the blacklisting organisation, known as the Consulting Association – and Mr David Cochrane – who was HR manager at Sir Robert McAlpine and, later, also chairman of the Consulting Association.

More than 3000 names were discovered on files held by the the Consulting Association during a raid in 2009 by the Information Commission Office (ICO). But it is known – as per ICO evidence (see below) – that many more files existed, containing thousands more blacklisted names.

Those files were believed to have been destroyed by Consulting Association chief executive, Ian Kerr (who died in 2012). Proof of this is in the form of a handwritten note, which is reproduced above. Mr Cochrane also made a disposition to the High Court – quoted below – that would appear to back this claim.

The infamous note, taken from Mr Kerr’s notebook, is from a meeting on 2 March 2009 and records Mr Cochrane instructing Kerr. It reads “Ring everyone – Cease trading – Close down. We don’t exist anymore – Destroy data – Stop processing of …” Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Intelligence | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Blacklisted: 600 UK companies yet to be sued by 30,000 workers on Economic League files

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Today it was announced that 256 construction workers would receive £10 million in compensation as a result of blacklisting. Earlier this month 420 trade unionists secured damages of around £50m and there have also been out-of-court settlements. Altogether 800 building workers have sought compensation: the unions calculate that the total paid out will amount to £75m (plus legal costs). However, The Consulting Association blacklisted more than 3000 workers – some on the TCA ‘green list’ (where there is little proof of defamation) – and it’s uncertain whether many of these cases will ever get to court. But there is a much bigger figure to ponder: namely, the list managed by The Consulting Associations’s predecessor, the Economic League (which had regional offices throughout the UK and which survived for more than 70 years). The EL list is believed to contain around 30,000 names. The current battles against blacklisting afford a glimpse into what, in reality, was class warfare on a sustained and massive scale over many decades: indeed, the Economic League list (names of the businesses and the key players are given below) shows that almost every major company in the UK was complicit.

UPDATE: Building firms have agreed to pay about £75m to 771 blacklisted workers, under out-of-court settlements to avoid a trial. Details here.

Notes: 1. See Appendix (end of article) on how the Economic League was ended. 2. For more on blacklisting – its history and how it works today, see: Blacklisting, a book by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain and the Spies At Work website.

A. Introduction

Blacklisting of trade unionists, political protesters, etc has been going on for decades (and is still rife). The main blacklisting agency, until its demise in 1993, was the Economic League. Much of the EL’s work was taken over by the The Consulting Association, led by Ian Kerr and which was closed down in 2009. Undercover police also infiltrated unions, according to testimony given earlier this year.

In 2009 the Information Commissioner’s Office seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists, used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. Talks between GMB and construction employers (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC) on a compensation scheme for 3,213 blacklisted workers broke down in June 2014 over the amount of money being put into the scheme by the employers. Employers unilaterally launched a cut price scheme (GMB estimated it would cost less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms). Claims for compensation were served by law firm Leigh Day for GMB members. GMB’s claims were joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties at the High Court. There was a directions hearing on all 571 cases, beginning 17th December 2014, 13th February, 14th May and 14 July 2015. Only 1,724 out of the 3,213 workers on the list knew they are on a blacklist. 467 of these were identified by themselves or by their unions. 571 cases were covered by claims in the High Court. The ICO contacted direct a further 1,257 and of these 776 were sent a copy of their files.  That still left 1,489 from the CA list still to trace.

But that’s just the TCA listing. What about the Economic League listing? The full details of the estimated 30,000 blacklisted workers on the EL listings are yet to be revealed.

In the meantime here is a breakdown of the 600 plus companies that were at the forefront of blacklisting industry over many decades.

The list shows that nearly every major company in the UK was complicit: it was class warfare. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Intelligence | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Erdogan jails journalists re banned video – shown here – on Turkey/ISIS arms pipeline

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Erdem Gulwere and Can Dundar

This week journalists Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of “Cumhuriyet”, and Erdem Gilwere, Ankara bureau chief, were jailed for more than five years for merely reporting in May 2015 on evidence that the Erdogan government had, via the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), been secretly ferrying arms from Turkey across the Syrian border. On the day Dundar arrived at court an attempt was made on the life (see video below). The journalists – who are appealing their convictions – were initially accused by Erdogan of being ‘terrorists’ under Turkey’s catch-all definition. The EU requires Erdogan to tighten that definition if the final go-head for Turks to get visa-free roaming across Europe is granted. But this week – the same week when Erdogan gave his prime minister the boot – the ever unpredictable Erdogan pointedly refused to comply to this condition and threatened to scupper the EU-Turkey deal on refugees (as he did on a previous occasion). Meanwhile the core evidence – a video – that the journalists originally referred to and which led to their successful prosecution for “leaking state secrets” is still officially banned in Turkey. This video is also reproduced below (section ‘B’) as well as other evidence (section ‘C’) that shows how Turkey has long been working with ISIS, not just in regards to the oil trade, but arms too.

UPDATE (22 May): Journalist Arzu Yıldız has been sentenced to 20 months in jail and stripped of legal rights over her children for publishing video (see second video below) and associated story regarding a search of trucks belonging to Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency as they travelled to Syria in 2014 with arms for jihadists.

See also: ISIS oil: the Erdogan family and UK business connections

(Video below shows gunman shooting at Mr Dundar.)

A. The arms smuggling incident

President Erdogan, who was a complainant in the trial of the two journalists, accepted that the trucks referred to in the trial belonged to MIT and were carrying arms into Syria, but claimed they were destined for Turkmen miitias, who are opposed to Assad. Erdogan argued that the video (see below) that showed security officers discovering the arms hidden underneath medicine supplies in the trucks was a ‘state secret’ and demanded it remain censored.

The video, which Cumhuriyet posted on its website, showed trucks of the MIT inspected by the security officers in January 2014. The officers then spotted cardboard boxes inside the metallic container with “fragile” marked on them. On opening the boxes they then found munitions hidden in crates below boxes of medicine. Cumhuriyet said the trucks were carrying around 1,000 mortar shells, hundreds of grenade launchers and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition for light and heavy weapons. Today’s Zaman (whose editors were replaced by Erdogan loyalists earlier this year) subsequently reported how the Government ordered a gagging order to prevent the video from being published.

The Turkish government also arrested four prosecutors who ordered the search of the vehicles near the Syrian border, as well as more than 30 security officers – all of whom faced charges of military espionage and attempting to overthrow the government.

Human Rights Watch commented at the time that the incident exposed “murky dimensions to Turkey’s involvement with the conflict in Syria and the Turkish government’s concern to prevent any legal scrutiny of Turkish intelligence operations”.

It’s likely the arms were destined for ISIS and affiliated gangs – see Section ‘B’ below.

Here is the banned video (recommend you download a copy before Google deletes it): Continue reading

Posted in Government, War | Tagged , | 6 Comments

It’s official! Australia in court re Crimes Against Humanity

A case has been lodged against the Australian Government for Crimes Against Humanity. No, not in the International Criminal Court – that’s still live, see Appendix below – but in the High Court in Australia and in relation to those hundreds of men detained illegally, as per the recent Supreme Court ruling in Papua New Guinea. The case has been raised by Russell Byrnes solicitors as a class action. It has been lodged successfully. but is yet to be formally listed. If the high court finds against the Australian Government it will be yet another blow to the credibilty of the so-called Pacific Solution. Furthermore, it may encourage similar action in the court on behalf of those illegally detained on Nauru.

The lawyers who lodged the case will be seeking an injunction to order the immediate release of 757 detainees. It is understood that the Australian high court action alleges that the PNG and Australian governments have committed gross human rights violations and international crimes, constituting “crimes against humanity”, including: forcible deportation; arbitrary and indefinite detention; and torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The asylum seekers at Manus specifically allege that following the Rudd government’s announcement in 2013 that no asylum seeker arriving by boat would be settled in Australia, they were forcibly deported to PNG by the Australian Government. They also allege their detention on Manus Island constitutes arbitrary and indefinite detention, which is illegal under international law. They further allege negligence re duty of care contributed to the death of Reza Berati, who was killed during a riot at the centre in February 2014.

The PNG supreme court stated in its judgment last week that it had been “the joint efforts of the Australian and PNG governments” that brought the asylum seekers to PNG and kept them at the Manus Island processing centre “against their will”, and that their detention had been illegal from its inception. Continue reading

Posted in Refugees | Tagged , | 27 Comments

Spycops impresario Lambert referred to as core influence on entryism in Quilliam report

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Bob Lambert as spycop activist and later as spycop godfather figure

The Government’s flagship ‘counter-extremism’ think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, extensively references the ideas and approach associated with discredited spycops impresario Bob Lambert, according to a document seen by UndercoverInfo. The document, published by Quilliam, refers to ‘Lambertism’ (or entryism into the Muslim community – specifically the ‘non-violent extemist’ element) to describe this approach. A detailed analysis of Lambertism and its application to current counter-extremism strategies is provided in the document. What is astounding, however, is that Quilliam Foundation document mentions nothing about how Lambert is a core player in the spycops scandal, currently under investigation via the Pitchford Inquiry.

(Notes: 1. See also role by Research, Information and Communications Unit (Ricu) overseen by the ISC, in the UK government’s Prevent strategy (see also Appendix below). 2. Lambert is currently under investigation by the police in relation to allegations he was involved, as part of a covert op, in the planting of an incendiary device at a Debenham’s store. 3. Lambert resigned from two university positions last year after a campaign to have him sacked because of his sypcops role. 4.Many thanks to Spied Upon Film for the heads up on the QF doc.).

A. First, the context…

Bob Lambert was one of the undercover police officers who had spied on environmental and animal rights activists (and who formed relationships with at least one woman – and fathered a son with one – to advance his intelligence activities). At some point Lambert attempted to associate himself with Jeremy Corbyn MP, who had been placed under surveillance by Peter Francis. The latter was an undercover police officer assigned to Special Branch between 1990 and 2001, and who was subsequently deployed at the Special Demonstration Squad – his manager being none other than Lambert. It is generally understood that Jeremy Corbyn and Bob Lambert had met up together in 2005, when the latter headed up the Metropolitan Police’s Muslim Contact Unit, which was set up by Lambert (and spycop Jim Boyling) in 2002 and was involved in helping turn Finsbury Park Mosque away from the radical cleric Abu Hamza.

Lambert retired from the police in 2008. Three years later, in September 2011, he gave a speech – “Partnering with the Muslim Community as an Effective Counter-Terrorist Strategy” – at Chatham House and in that speech references Mr Corbyn. (Here is the full transcript of the speech.) This, incidentally, neatly tied in with the Government’s much-criticised ‘Prevent Strategy’  that was launched in 2008. Continue reading

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How a far-right blogger, the media & Blairites tried to ambush Corbyn re #AntiSemiticGate [republished article]

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Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes)

AntiSemiticGate was ‘engineered’ by a loose alliance of tabloid media, Blairites and, primarily, a far-right blogger, who largely supports Tory extremism. Below is the timeline of what happened. As well as an expose of the main player who appeared to stage-managed the ‘crisis’.

(Note: given the recent – April 2017 – decision to suspend Ken Livingstone from the Labour Party for a further 12 months, I have decided to re-publish this April 2016 article.)

Intro to Mr Fawkes

Paul Staines is otherwise known as the blogger Guido Fawkes. He also has a fascinating history. Staines, worked as “foreign policy analyst” for the Committee for a Free Britain, a right-wing Conservative pressure group, alongside David Hart. Staines also acted as editor of British Briefing, a long-standing publication by the group that was a “monthly intelligence analysis of the activities of the extreme left” that sought to “smear Labour MPs and left-leaning lawyers and writers”. British Briefing was originally called The Background Briefing on Subversion , written by Charles Elwell (formerly of MI5’s F branch which targeted ‘subversives’) and was part of an intelligence operation conducted by Brian Crozier, who was prominent in the Institute for the Study of Conflict.

Paul Staines likes to boast. Yesterday he published details of the central role he believes he played in organising AntiSemiticGate.

Hoisted by his own petard? No. Because he also knows that the public read and believe a lot of tosh, particular the tosh retailed by the tabloids, which in this particular affair did not just come along for the ride, but smelt blood.

And while Livingstone was the initial target, it was Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who was the ultimate target – the end-game being to see his fall from grace.

Furthermore, Staines knew there were plenty of Brutuses waiting in the wings, their proverbial daggers at the ready. Chief among these was MP John Mann.

The media reaction

But what was not foreseen in this drama was the piss-weak reaction by the left of centre media, which made not the slightest attempt to analyse the real motives involved in this drama. Nor who the real players were. Never mind whether any of the accusations levelled were even remotely true. Journalists ceased being journalists, ignored history, and gave up all pretence of any investigative analysis.

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So let’s look at the timeline as to what happened, according to Staines… Continue reading

Posted in Government | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

ACPO guide advised spycops on online infiltration of political activists

A 2013 guide by ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) marked ‘Protected’ advised police on how to conduct undercover police operations online, including tips on forming (online) relationships with targets and how to best use fake I.Ds – all sounds very familiar. The guide also provides advice on when officers should not use police equipment for online surveillance (to avoid compromising the police). Extracts from the guide are discussed below. In addition, we also examine some of the associated training materials, provided by private industry to Britain’s police and government agencies, as well as an array of online investigation tools (available to anyone). An Appendix provides links to resources on how to avoid political police surveillance.

(Note: the ACPO guide complements the College of Policing Guide on Undercover Policing.)

First, an introduction…

Political policing has always been with us and takes many forms – from the Norman invasion onwards: the crushing of the Peasants Revolt, the decimation of the Levellers and the Diggers, the prosecution of the Chartists and their massacre at St Peter’s Fields, the transportation of early trade unionists, the blacklisting of workers from the General Strike onwards, the bloody world wars that saw hundreds of thousands of workers killed, Orgreave, Hillsborough, the framing of innocents for the Guildford and Birmingham pub bombings, the extra-judicial killings in the dirty war of Northern Ireland… And in more recent years, the physical infiltration of political protests organisations – Sizewell B, CND, Greenham Common, Faslane, Drax, Ratcliffe – and the exploitation of women whom undercover police used in long-term relationships as a means to gain information or merely to use as cover.

The Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing is supposed to look into all of this – well, the last 50 years or so – though it is absurdly clear that if it was not for the heroic actions of many of the victims in exposing what has happened, or the research work of bloggers and certain sections of the press, Pitchford would have little to inquire about. Indeed, each week, if not each day, more revelations about undercover political policing are produced – in some cases real or false names of UCOs; in other cases, further details of their activities.

But the Pitchford Inquiry is already severely truncated in its scope – many of the spycops worked all over the UK and in other countries too – yet the Inquiry is limited to just England and Wales. Moreover, the Inquiry is limited by the known unknowns (to paraphrase a former notorious US politician): those undercover police officers who have been ‘outed’ so far – not the ones who have not, nor their supervisors, nor the people at the top who authorised everything.

And it is unclear if the Inquiry will look beyond the specifics of traditional undercover political policing – for example, current internet-based methodologies – never mind the very nature and raison d’etre of political policing and its role in protecting the establishment.

But an ACPO guide, published two years prior to Pitchford and which still has relevance today, provides some insight into how undercover policing ops online work. Training courses provided by private industry to the police and private investigators alike also indicate the direction of undercover surveillance…

A. The ACPO guide on undercover online policing (2013)

The ACPO guide, marked ‘Protected’, states: “This document is intended to provide guidance to police officers or staff engaged in research and investigation across the internet”.

The guide’s authors are listed as follows: Chief Constable Steve Kavanagh (ACPO Open Source Lead), Commander Richard Martin (ACPO Undercover Lead) and ACC Jon Boutcher (ACPO RIPA Lead).

UPDATE: for the unredacted (Powerpoint into pdf) version of the guide, click here.

Continue reading

Posted in Intelligence, no category, Surveillance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Spycops (and their supervisors): the knowns, the unknowns and the disparities

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Spycops seeking anonymity

The Pitchford Inquiry is in imminent danger of turning into a farce. While almost all the victims of abuse (miscarriages of justice, relationship abuse, blacklisting etc) are disclosing their identity in the belief that the Inquiry should be as open and as transparent as possible, the perpetrators of this abuse – abuse of which the police and courts have already officially acknowledged – are employing the exact opposite approach, doing everything they can to keep their identities anonymous and ensure their evidence is given in closed sessions. If the Inquiry chair, Sir Christopher Pitchford, complies with the requests by police for anonymity, then that means a number of crucial questions (see below) are likely not to be answered fully, if at all, and that evidence will therefore be skewed and the inquiry rendered meaningless. Below is a list of known UCOs and some of their supervisors, as well as UCOs listed as Core Participants to the Inquiry (note the disparity).

(Note: if there are any corrections needed to the information below, or omissions identified, these will be dealt with.)

What is expected to happen at Tuesday’s Pitchford Inquiry hearing: click here – explanation by a lawyer.

Meanwhile, there are some important outstanding questions that should inform any decisions made by Justice Pitchford. Unless these questions are addressed and answers given, then the Inquiry will have failed the public.

Here are 10 starter questions…

  1. How many UCOs are not Core Participants (CPs)? Details needed.
  2. Of those UCOs that are not appearing at the Inquiry, how many will be compelled to give evidence? Details needed.
  3. How many UCOs (CPs or otherwise) are still functioning as UCOs? Details needed.
  4. How many supervisors of UCOs will be giving evidence re their own accountability? Details needed.
  5. How many UCOs (CPs or otherwise) have formed intimate relationships in order to provide cover? Details needed.
  6. How many UCOs are still in intimate relationships as patt of their cover? Details needed.
  7. What are the real names of all UCOs who formed intimate relationship abuse? Details needed.
  8. How many UCOs have worked or are still working undercover overseas? Details needed.
  9. What are the links between UCO ops in England & Wales and other parts of UK? Details needed.
  10. What are the links between UCO ops, MI5 and other state surveillance agencies over five decades of political policing? Details needed.

A. Known UCOs/Supervisors (list needs expanding/updating)

(The following links are mostly from Powerbase, which in turn compiles information from a variety of sources.) Continue reading

Posted in Intelligence, Surveillance | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Erdogan threatens to bus 1000s of refugees into Europe unless (accession/funds) demands met

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Refugees crossing to freedom?

A document – see four images below – suggests that Turkey threatened to bus into the European Union thousands more refugees from war zones unless the EU met Turkey’s demands for visa-free roaming (and accession) to the EU. The document demonstrates how politics is the main driver in the way Turkey ‘manages’ the refugee crisis, with the refugees mere pawns in a greater political chess-game. The document – a memorandum that purports to have been released by euro2day.gr – concerns a meeting between Turkey and EU officials, including the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, at which Turkish president Tayip Erdogan threatened that if the EU did not link the refugee issue with Turkey’s accession negotiations, Turkey would “open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria and put the refugees on buses”. Juncker tells Erdogan that ‘visa-free’ deal for Turks will not happen if Schengen collapses. (As for the 3 billion euros that, consequently, have been given to Turkey by the EU, Erdogan’s original demand – which could still be met – is for 3 billion euros per year.)

(Note: according to Reuters, the meeting referred to in the memo, reproduced below, took place in November last year; also that the EC would neither confirm nor deny the correctness of the memo – which probably means it is accurate at least in its substance. UPDATE: Peter Spiegel in the FT has since reported on a Tusk-Erdogan leak too.)

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Posted in Refugees, Resistance | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

The EU/NATO/Turkey pipeline that disappears refugees back to the war zones

Captured refugees on ship taken back to Turkey

In recent weeks evidence has emerged showing how the European Union may be complicit in the ‘disappearing’ of hundreds of displaced persons back to the Middle East war zones – an illegal practice known as refoulement – via EU-funded Turkish detention centres. And with the deployment of German-Turkish naval operations under the NATO umbrella in the Aegean, the final section of this refugee removal pipeline has been secured. EU and Turkish documentation regarding these detention centres is provided below, together with a report and commentary by Amnesty International on their true and very shocking role.

First, a recap… Two months ago Amnesty International published a damning report on civil rights abuses in Turkey. The report was called ‘Europe’s Gatekeeper’, a reference to Turkey’s role in deciding how many hundreds and thousands of refugees it will hold back or allow to enter Europe in its political bargaining stance with the EU. Indeed, Turkey appears to be winning: late last year the EU agreed to pay 3 billion euros to Turkey – which it designated as a ‘safe third country’ –  to keep back refugees from crossing to Greece. The European Commission also agreed that by late 2016 all Turkish citizens will be able to move about Europe, visa-free – giving them defacto EU membership.

Further, last week, after a summit meeting between Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and Turkey’s President Erdogan, it was revealed that the Turkish and German navies (as part of a NATO initiative) are to patrol the Aegean, seeking out refugees to return to Turkey.

A. The EU-Turkey pipeline (documents)

‘Project Fiche’ – an agreement between the EU and Turkey on the management of refugees – has its roots in the National Action Plan, which was largely about humanitarian aid to refugee camps in Turkey. Last November the EU and Turkey agreed on a subsidiary plan to Project Fiche – a Phase II – that would provide funding for several detention centres in Turkey (and paid from out of the $3 billion euros).

Altogether six, possibly seven, Reception and two ‘Removal’ Centres are covered by the funding. Reception/Removal centres named in the document include: Kırklareli, Van, Kayseri, Gaziantep, Izmir, Erzurum, and Ankara. Each centre is expected to hold up to 750 detainees (around 5000 in total). Continue reading

Posted in no category, Refugees | Tagged | 12 Comments

UK determined to arrest Assange and risk international condemnation; evidence of US indictment

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The UK authorities have stated unequivocally that should Mr Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, step outside of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London he will be arrested for skipping bail. The UK Government also stated that it will be contesting today’s announcement from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that Mr Assange has been detained arbitrarily. In a statement it said: ” We completely reject any claim that Julian Assange is a victim of arbitrary detention. The UK has already made clear to the UN that we will formally contest the working group’s opinion”. However, the UK and Sweden were provided the opportunity to appeal the UN ruling, but chose not to do so. The UK Government statement also added that the UK Government does not recognise diplomatic asylum (which means they may still opt to raid the Ecuadorean Embassy, even though that would mean breaking international conventions). The UK Government further stated that the UN ruling is not binding on English law. The Swedish Prosecution Authority released a statement that said that the ruling by the UN Working Group would have “no formal impact on the ongoing investigation, according to Swedish law”.

Updates:

  • International Criminal Court lawyer points out that arbitrary detention is “an international crime” – the implication that failure by UK & Swedish Govts to abide by UN ruling could see case examined by ICC or (more likely) the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Dinah PoKempner, General Counsel for Human Rights Watch, issued a statement that concluded: “And now the UK and Sweden are big losers as well. Their fatuous dismissal of the Working Group won’t impugn this necessary and neutral body that was established by the world’s governments to uphold rights. But both have severely damaged their own reputation for being so ready to dismiss upholding inconvenient human rights obligations and their credibility as global advocates for rights by refusing to respect the institution of asylum”.
  • Here’s a 32 page US counterintelligence investigation into Wikileaks (begun 2008):

(See articles on these matters by John Pilger Craig Murray, Human Rights Watch (comment), “Julian Assange, the UN and the meaning of ‘Arbitrary Detention”. WISE UP Action, “Assange’s stitch-up is a lesson for us all”, “Julian Assange Versus A Culture Of Arrogance”, “Intense satisfaction” de RSF à propos de la position de l’ONU sur Assange”.)

Mr Assange’s lawyers remain confident that a negotiated solution can still be arranged. But should the Swedish authorities decide at some point that they no longer wish to question Mr Assange (or that after questioning has taken place, that no charges would be raised) then Mr Assange will still need a guarantee from the UK Government of safe passage to a country of his choice – e.g. Ecuador – as the US authorities may well issue an arrest warrant against Assange for offences such as copyright infringement, computer fraud, or aiding a fugitive – Edward Snowden. The US authorities may also be inclined to hijack any plane conveying Mr Assange to another country (the US authorities previously organised the downing of the plane carrying Evo Morales, the Bolivian president, in the mistaken belief that Edward Snowden was on board).

And while the far-sighted Jeremy Corbyn – his tweet was in 2010, after the sex allegations had been made – clearly understood that Mr Assange might well be forced to seek refuge to avoid eventual extradition to USA, the Tory Government, which respects only laws it judges are in their favour, will happily disparage a respected UN body. (In any case, Tories are US led and given their blatant class war agenda are the natural enemy of transparency.)

Meanwhile, the Wikileaks Grand Jury has been in place for some years – see details below from journalist Alexa O’Brien…

Quote: ‘Tracy D. McCormick or Tracy Doherty-McCormick (Source: Original Twitter Secret Order sent to Twitter Dec 14, 2010, NOTICE of Entry of Appearance and Request for Notice of Electronic Filing (“NEF”) by Jacob Appelbaum & RESPONSE by USA as to Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp, Birgitta Jonsdottir, Twitter, Inc. re 58 MOTION for Hearing for Objection re 57 Order dated 5/4/11MOTION for Hearing for Objection re 57 Order dated 5/4/11 & Letter Informing David House he was supoena’d to WikiLeaks Grand Jury).’ 

(See also Unsealed indictment to Twitter as part of Wikileaks Grand Jury indictment.)

From Alexa O’Brien (February 2014):

Newly published documents, including sealed court orders from the secret Department of Justice grand jury investigating WikiLeaks, shed light on the manner and scope of the criminal and intelligence probes into Julian Assange and civilians associated with the online publisher of censored material.

Continue reading

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‘Dossier’ confirms RUC & MI5 were warned of Omagh bombing

Aftermath of Omagh bombing

Two documents – in the form of an undisclosed ‘dossier’ and testimony marked ‘Restricted’ – confirm what many have long known or suspected: that the security services were informed well in advance of the bombing that took place at Omagh in 1998 and could have prevented it. Indeed, the scenario resembles but to a greater degree the events that led up to the earlier 1993 Shankill Road bombing in which the IRA operative who planned it was, in fact, an informant and who had warned his Special Branch and MI5 handlers of what was to happen (but the bombing was allowed to proceed). An undisclosed statement made by a British undercover agent to the 2011 Smithwick Inquiry alleges that details of the Omagh bombing were provided to UK intelligence via the RUC in advance. This statement – running to 24 pages and known informally as the ‘Hurst Dossier’ – is published below. A second document – marked ‘Restricted’ and submitted to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry – is in the form of testimony by the same whistleblower: it expands upon these claims and also alleges that agents working to the Force Research Unit, a covert British Army unit, colluded with paramilitaries on all sides of the sectarian divide in order to direct and control the conflict. These matters are explored – de-constructed…

(Note: all documents referred to were sourced via deep web searching.)

First… A story was recently published about the 1993 Shankill Road bombing in Belfast. The bomb targeted a meeting of the UDA (Ulster Defence Association) leadership but because of a tip-off by a double-agent the meeting was abandoned. However, to protect the informer it is alleged that Special Branch decided to allow the bombing to go ahead. It transpired that the bomb was timed to go off once the area had been evacuated: as it was, the bomb went off too early and the IRA operative carrying the device together with nine civilians, including two children, were killed. According to documents stolen by the IRA from a break-in at the Castlereagh barracks in 2002 the informer was codenamed ‘AA’ and is believed to have been in charge of IRA intelligence for the Ardoyne district.

What this story illustrates is exactly how the security forces during ‘The Troubles’ operated: a ‘mole’ had to be protected at all costs, even if that meant the loss of civilian lives. More troubling, the story provides a glimpse into the darker world of ‘deep state’ collusion in which security forces infiltrate loyalist paramilitary organisations and republican paramilitary organisations alike to not only gain intelligence but to direct operations and even to arrange killings of insurgents and civilians. It was a time when the ‘strategy of tension’ formula was tried, tested and perfected

(Note: ‘Collusion’ – see video above – was a documentary commissioned and funded by RTÉ.)

And, so, the bodies of the ‘Disappeared’ lie long buried in the peat bogs – though questions as who actually carried out the killings or on whose orders remain unanswered. One shadowy group that is known to have infiltrated the paramilitary organisations is the FRU (Force Research Unit): an insight into some of its workings is provided by the documents published below.

But, first, let’s reprise what happened on that dreadful day in Omagh…

A. Background to the Omagh bombing

In 1998 the Omagh bombing killed 29 men, women and children of different religious backgrounds and injured about 220 others. It was carried out by the Real IRA, though evidence (see below) suggests that the bombing could have been avoided as details of it had been passed to the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) and via them to MI5. Three phone calls were made, warning of the bomb in Omagh, using the same codeword that had been used in the Real IRA’s bomb attack in Banbridge only two weeks earlier. Two of these warnings were to Ulster Television (15 and 30 minutes prior to the time the bomb was due to explode). The third warning was made to the Samaritans, who passed on the information to RUC. The police then tried to evacuate the area, but misinformation resulted in civilians being directed to where the car carrying the bomb was parked. Continue reading

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Turkey’s ‘deep state’ terror squads: the ‘spycops’ licensed to kill

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Reconstruction of interrogation by JITEM

Most people in the West are blissfully unaware of what is going on in Turkey, a NATO ally, though some are shocked when they see stories about Kurds – who are the frontline against ISIS – being attacked, jailed or killed by Turkish police and paramilitaries. But those who know Turkey’s history and its dark secrets are not surprised when these atrocities happen – they have been happening for decades – against Kurds, progressives and anyone who challenges the corrupt establishment that forms successive Turkish governments. One of Turkey’s darker secrets is what has been described as its ‘deep state’ – a clandestine, extra-legal network of, basically, assassins, whose origins go back to post World War Two, NATO-backed ‘Gladio’ days and whose aim, ultimately, is to see a revived Ottomon Empire, the decimation of Kurds and of anyone else who gets in the way. JITEM is the main strand of this ‘deep state’: a secret organisation of spycops – members of which were exposed in the wake of the Cizre trial (see below for names/codenames) – and which is now suspected of being behind the recent executions of Kurds and their leaders (politicians, lawyers, activists, etc). Then there is Ergenekon – another powerful network, with its own agenda and modus operandi (see below for more). But providing Turkey stems the flow of refugees and acts as a bulwark to ISIS (with which it is aligned) then NATO will turn a blind eye to this dirty war that much of the world’s media is equally ignoring.

Note… Nothing is quite what it seems in Turkey. JITEM, for example, is simultaneously a legal entity, though its activities are often criminalised (when its agents are caught, that is). Similarly, Ergenekon is made up of establishment figures, but attacks state and anti-state forces alike. To the outsider, this would seem confusing; to a Turk, this – like the corruption openly practised at all levels of government – is business as usual. The ‘rationale’ of the state is simple: nurture the conditions for instability so that government can be seen as a stabilising factor. Let’s examine this in more detail…

A. JITEM

JİTEM was made a legal entity through Article 5 of the Law 2803 on the Establishment, Duties and Jurisdiction of Gendarmerie and Article 4 of the Law Concerning the Transfer of Our Borders, Coasts and Territorial Waters’ Protection and Anti-Smuggling Activities to the Ministry of Internal Affairs No. 6815. The gendarmerie intelligence finally gained legal status with the Law Concerning Amendments to Some Laws No. 5397, accepted on 3 July 2005, effective since 23 July 2005, thus becoming the Gendarmerie Intelligence Department within the General Command of Gendarmerie.

But there is another view of JITEM – namely, that it is one – albeit the main – strand of the Turkish ‘deep state’. Its prime function is to execute Kurdish PKK members in particular and Kurdish activists in general.

In the past JITEM has made use of informers to kill PKK members, raid villages in guerilla dressing, detain, torture or make people “disappear”. The Human Rights Association estimates that between 1989 and 2008 JİTEM was involved in 5000 unsolved killings of journalists, human rights defenders, intellectuals and political activists and was responsible for 1,500 cases of “disappearances”. It has also been estimated that JİTEM is responsible for more than 1,500 disappearances in custody and more than 5,000 murders during the 1990s alone. In short, JITEM are the Turkish spycops licensed to kill.

JITEM is organised as cells, with each cell completely independent – just as terrorist cells are organised. JITEM cells are found in every city in Turkey. Its higher echelons – the order-givers – include senior officers of the military and the gendarmerie, politicians, government ministers, as well as former activists of the fascist Grey Wolves.

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Anatomy of JITEM cell

But JITEM cannot boast complete immunity and occasionally its agents get caught. Last year several members of JITEM were committed to trial, concerning the matter of 21 missing persons, who had been taken into custody, as well as victims of a number of unsolved murders. The murders and disappearances took place in the Kurdish town of Cizre, between 1993 and 1995. It was during the mid-1990s that an intelligence/assassination group – a JITEM cell – was formed by the Commander of the Police of the city of Cizre – Cemal Temizöz. This “counter-terrorist group”, as it styled itself, was basically responsible for the torture and killing of at least 20 people suspected of helping Kurdish PKK rebels or for other reasons. Continue reading

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The spycops experiment: from blacklisting agents to social pariahs – and next?

Recently it was revealed how the late Tory prime minister Edward Heath had not only been aware of but encouraged the broadcasting of a TV documentary critical of the Shrewsbury pickets. These were men who merely wanted better working conditions, including a minimum wage but jailed for doing so. It was an age when the intelligence services and the Tory press worked hand-in-glove to smear unions at every opportunity and disseminate disinformation to weaken them forever. But a decade or so on, despite the demise of the private blacklisting agency, The Economic League, attention switched to protest groups (and it didn’t take long before this new ‘enemy within’ was labelled ‘extremist’). Undercover ops were consigned to a new breed of James Bond wannabees – complete with licence to infiltrate – who would go on to portray themselves as ‘eco-warriors’ and ‘anarchists’, adopting libertarian guises (one spycop cheekily named himself after one of those jailed for Angry Brigade actions). Officially, the affiliations of the ‘spycops’ were to esoteric-sounding outfits like the NPOIU, NDET or the SDS, etc, though unofficially they were regarded as being nothing less than an arm of UK corporate-state intelligence. And it would be a mistake to think of these spycops as ‘lone wolves’ or an aberration: in truth, their orders and authorisation came from the highest levels of policing. But it didn’t take long for this phase of police-espionage to be brought to an undignified halt – partly due to the sheer cockiness of these ‘new kids on the block’, but also via the efforts of a handful of anarchists and the women victims the spycops had abused in the process. As for the next phase, spycop as ‘terrorism expert’ is still in the making. Let’s examine this trajectory further…

(Note: in case there are sound problems with videos shown in this article, here are the three transcipts: Episode 1; Episode 2: Episode 3.)

A. How Heath got his secret industrial relations briefings

Ned Walsh was a key conduit of intelligence from the blacklisting agency The Economic League to the Heath government and in 1988, as part of a series of exposes on The Economic League (see below), “World in Action” revealed that Walsh had been working undercover in the trades union ASTMS, now MSF, for more than twenty years. It was via Walsh and other EL officers that trade union intelligence was passed to (Lord) Victor Rothschild and from Rothschild to Ted Heath. The prime minister’s ‘interest’ in the Shrewsbury pickets case, however, was merely an instance of many, many briefings he had on ‘industrial relations’ from around the country – provided to him not just by the EL but also by MI5.

It was an age of unblinkered class war. And there were to be no prisoners. Continue reading

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The Mark Kennedy police files that CPS hid – part 2: ‘Operation Pegasus’

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Drax protesters occupy train

Mark Kennedy was a prolific spycop, working as an agent provocateur in numerous countries on behalf of UK intelligence (via the National Public Order Intelligence Unit) and, later, via private security firms. One of Kennedy’s more publicised operations saw him infiltrate a group of campaigners who were targetting a goods train carrying coal for the Drax power station in North Yorkshire. 29 of the campaigners involved were charged and convicted, but in 2014 these convictions were overturned after Kennedy’s role in the action and – a CPS cover-up – was exposed. Below, we publish and forensically examine extracts from a collection of police files that describes Kennedy’s undercover movements, the ‘orders’ he received and – more importantly – the names of the supervisors who authorised his actions. Overall, it is clear that knowledge of and approval of Kennedy’s operations (and, by implication, the operations of all ‘spycops’) was extensive. Also, the documents include a section that appears to provide authorisation to Kennedy to spy on French environmental activists (later dubbed the ‘Tarnac 9’).

Part 1 of The Kennedy Police Files (Operation Aeroscope) can be found here.

Police officers identified in the files below, or related documents, as being either aware of Kennedy’s role in Operation Aeroscope, or who provided authorisation to Kennedy, include:

  • Detective Inspector Hutcheson (now believed to work for the Met)
  • Detective Superintendent (?) Wilson
  • Assistant Chief Constable (?) Pavey
  • Superintendent Phil Trendle (British Transport Police)
  • Chief Inspector (?) Flood
  • Detective Sergeant (?) Trimble (believed assigned to Special Branch)
  • Assistant Chief Constable (Colin?) Sampson
  • Acting Assistant Chief Constable John Parkinson (West Yorkshire constabulary, then counter-terrorism etc)
  • Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell (National Coordinator, Domestic Extremism and who headed Kennedy’s and related undercover units)
  • Detective Superintendent Young

Notes:

  1. The bulk of the files are not published here in order to ensure the privacy of the activists is not intruded upon.
  2. The specific undercover intelligence operation involving Mark Kennedy and his ‘deep cover’ work with environmental activists targetting the Drax power station was referred to under the wider operation name of Operation Pegasus (which also covered an earlier action on the Drax facility in 2006 that involved Kennedy).
  3. The files – headed ‘West Yorkshire Police’ and referencing the ‘National Public Order Intelligence Unit’ – are marked ‘Confidential’.
  4. The files provide an insight into how the 2008 Drax operation was managed, with every move planned by the activists logged.
  5. The files also show how every aspect of the operation was approved, together with the names of the authorising and supervising officers, none of whom have been prosecuted.
  6. Mark Kennedy worked for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), which was part of the National Domestic Extremism Team.

A. First, a recap…

29 protesters were convicted of various offences in 2009 after they had blocked a train carrying coal heading for the Drax power station in North Yorkshire.

Kennedy had used £250 of state money to hire a van to ferry the protesters to the site where the train would be ‘hijacked’ (Kennedy was the sole driver). He then posed as a builder with another activist, awaiting information about the approaching coal train. Kennedy dropped off approximately 15 other people from the back of his van. Kennedy then drove off.

After it was shown that the role of spycop Mark Kennedy in infiltrating the protesters’ group had been excluded from evidence at the trial of the activists, the DPP, Keir Starmer, invited the 29 people who were convicted of stopping the coal train in June 2008 to appeal.  Subsequently the 29 convictions were overturned.

Here is the full judgement of the court hearing. The judgement stated: “The result of his investigation is that although it was beyond argument that the involvement of Mark Kennedy should have been disclosed, it was not. It appears that this was either the fault of the police or someone in the Crown Prosecution Service, or possibly counsel involved at that time. Each of those interviewed has given a different account. It is not the function of this court to enquire into the position, save for one matter with which we shall deal at the conclusion of our judgment. What is important, however, is that the applicants were all convicted without disclosure having been made of the role of Mr Kennedy”.

In June 2015 prosecutors were ordered to pay the legal bill of the 29 protesters unjustly convicted. In his jugement, Lord Thomas said that Kennnedy had kept a detailed record of what had happened and had made regular reports to his handler, who communicated them to senior West Yorkshire police officers. He added: “None of that was disclosed at the trial or at any time prior to it” and that either the prosecutors or the police were at fault for what eventuated.

B. The extracts from the Kennedy Files

Note: where it says ‘Intelligence states’ or ‘Source’, this is referring to Mark Kennedy (also known as UCO 113). Continue reading

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The Mark Kennedy police files that CPS hid – part 1: ‘Operation Aeroscope’

Mark Kennedy arrested and charged, Easter Monday 2009

Mark Kennedy was a prolific spycop, working as an agent provocateur in numerous countries on behalf of UK intelligence (via the National Public Order Intelligence Unit) and, later, via private security firms. One of Kennedy’s more publicised operations saw him infiltrate a group of campaigners targetting Ratcliffe-on-Soar, a coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire. The campaigners were arrested and prosecuted, but had their convictions overturned once Kennedy’s role was exposed, as also the concealment of vital evidence by the CPS. Below we publish and forensically examine extracts from a collection of police files – the CPS undisclosed evidence – that describes Kennedy’s undercover movements, the ‘orders’ he received and – more importantly – the names of those who authorised his actions. What these files show is that knowledge of and approval of Kennedy’s undercover operations (and, by implication, other undercover ops) was by no means limited to one or two handlers but involved a range of senior officers.

(Part 2 of The Mark Kennedy Police Files (Operation Pegasus) will be published next and includes evidence that links the operation to a covert op in France.)

Police officers identified in the files below (section ‘C’) or in related documents as being either aware of Kennedy’s role in Operation Aeroscope, or who provided authorisation to Kennedy, include:

  • Detective Inspector David Hutcheson (now believed to work for the Met)
  • Assistant Chief Constable Ian Ackerley (now retired)
  • Detective Inspector Bateman (assumed to be Nottinghamshire Constabulary)
  • Detective Chief Inspector Nightingale (assumed to be Nottinghamsire Constabulary)
  • Detective Chief Inspector Andy Robbins (currently head? of NDET)
  • Detective Inspector Hedley (NDET)
  • Detective Superintendent Adrian Pearson (Nottinghamshire Constabulary)
  • Detective Inspector Andrew Roberts (Nottinghamshire Constabulary)
  • Detective Constable Nigel Malik (Nottinghamshire Constabulary)
  • Manjeet Matharu (‘Civilian Investigator’, Nottinghamshire Constabulary)
  • Detective Constable Mark Zajac (Nottinghamshire Constabulary)
  • Detective Chief Superintendent Neil James (retired)
  • Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell (who headed Kennedy’s and related undercover units)

Reports – see section ‘E’ – also show close liaison between police officers Setchell, Pearson and Roberts with CPS prosecutors Ian Cunningham and Nick Paul.

(Note: the bulk of the files are not published here to ensure the privacy of the activists is not intruded upon.)

Firstly, here is a summary of Kennedy’s spycop roles…

A. The ubiquitous Mr Kennedy

Mark Kennedy spent seven years undercover, from 2003 until his exposure in October 2010. He worked with groups such as Dissent!, Rising Tide, Saving Iceland, Workers’ Solidarity Movement, Rossport Solidarity, Climate Camp, Climate Justice Action and many others. Kennedy is believed to have worked undercover in Scotland, in Ireland, in Germany, in Spain, in Denmark, in France, in the USA, in Italy, in Belgium, in Poland and in Iceland, amongst other places. His exposure led to demands in many of those countries for official information about his activities.

‘Lily’ was an activist mobilising for the 2005 G8 summit in Scotland, when she had a long term relationship with Kennedy (she co-wrote an article about the impact of this relationship for the Guardian). Jason Kirkpatrick was a Berlin-based anti-G8 activist, who Kennedy used as a springboard into German activism (more recently he has been researching Britain’s political secret police and is making a documentary, Spied Upon). Harry Halpin is a digital rights activist who was spied on by Kennedy in several countries. (See also Mark Kennedy: A mole in Tarnac (France & Euro-wide ops) and “Using false documents against ‘Euro-anarchists'”.)

In January 2010, before leaving the police, Kennedy set up a company called “Stanage Consulting” in Basingstoke and another called Tokra Ltd, which was linked to Global Open (run by former Animal Rights National Index and Special Branch cop-turned-private sector spymaster, Rod Leeming). In March 2010 Kennedy set up a second company, Black Star High Access Limited. In December 2011, Kennedy also applied for work with the US intelligence company, Stratfor (he didn’t get a job). Another company Kennedy worked for, from March 2012, was the Densus Group, for whom he was a consultant (Densus is a US surveillance company, specialising in spying on political activists, including those involved with Occupy).

For a summary of Kennedy’s undercover activities, click here.

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Kennedy on duty as an ‘environmental activist’

B. Ratcliffe on-Soar actions (summary)

In January 2009 activists met with Mark Kennedy and he agreed to drive them on a recce to the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power plant.

Some weeks later, after a sighting of police cars by the power station, Kennedy agreed to check the scene out again. He later returned to where some of the activists were preparing briefings and equipment for the raid and told them that the police cars had gone.

The next day Kennedy attended a day long briefing prior to the raid. Kennedy had originally agreed to drive the activists to the power plant and drop them off, but changed his mind and agreed to climb into the facility with them. As it was, the police pre-emptively raided the planning metting and arrested 114 of the climate activists, including Kennedy.

Charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass were subsequently brought against twenty-six of those arrested. Twenty of these admitted participation, but said their actions were justified (the other six said they had not participated in the plan). The trial of the 20 accused in December 2010 saw all convicted, though not jailed.

C. Extracts from the Kennedy Files

The specific undercover intelligence operation involving Mark Kennedy and his ‘deep cover’ work with environmental activists targetting the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station was known as Operation Aeroscope.

All of the files are marked ‘Secret’ and reference the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). In totality they consist of the following:

(i) The authorisation documentation in relation to Kennedy whereby he was authorised throughout to participate in “criminal damage, obstruction and aggravated trespass onto land” and to use audio-recording equipment.

(ii) Kennedy’s note book with entries between 10 January and 13 April 2009.

(iii) Intelligence reports by NPOIU officers between 12 January and 7 May 2009.

(iv) The audio recording made by Kennedy of the discussions at Iona School on 12 April.

(v) The draft transcript of that audio recording.

(vi) The corrected transcript.

vii) A draft statement by Kennedy.

(viii) A statement signed by Kennedy on 23 September 2009.

(ix) “A de-brief document”.

This first extract (below) outlines the risks faced by Kennedy (referred to as “UCO 133”), including the possibility of having the same solicitor as his fellow defendants (which would contaminate any trial proceedings). Indeed, the document clearly states that to avoid this any prosecutions may have to be halted. It was recommended that if Kennedy is arrested he should decline any offer of a solicitor; better still, that he should avoid arrest by not attending the action (though he could drive the activists to the power plant). Kennedy’s supervisor is named as David Hutcheson.

Screenshot from 2015-12-19 07:55:19

Continue reading

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MI5, “black ops” and the spycops continuum: a case study (and a murder)

Lord Justice Pitchford has opened up a can of worms – not because of what will be examined by the Undercover Policing Inquiry, but what will not. The Inquiry will investigate matters as far back as 1968a nominal cut-off date, presumably because prior to that, undercover policing was non-existent(!). There are also many ‘cold cases’, post-’68, that Lord Pitchford is anticipated to ignore. One such ‘cold case’ is that of the ‘black ops’ unit contracted by British intelligence to spy upon and intimidate environmental protesters who tried to halt the building of Sizewell ‘B’ nuclear reactor in Suffolk. Precisely how the secret backers – a peer of the realm and an internationally renown industrialist – of this ‘black ops’ unit were exposed is reported below. Interestingly, one of the backers of the ‘black ops’ unit also has links with a ‘spycop’ (his official status has never been clarified). Meantime, Michael Mansfield QC, who has maintained an interest in this case for the last 30 years, just happens to be a core participant in the Undercover Policing Inquiry. So, some interesting days ahead…

A. Introduction

On 30 January 1981 the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) applied to the Secretary of State for Energy for consent under Section 2 of the Electric Lighting Act 1909, as amended, for the construction of a Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) nuclear power station, Sizewell B, next to an existing nuclear power station near Sizewell, in Suffolk, and for a direction under Section 40 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 that planning permission for the development be deemed to be granted.

Following objections from the Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council and others, the Secretary of State appointed Sir Frank Layfield, QC, to conduct a public inquiry into the CEGB’s applications under Section 34(1) of the Electricity Act 1957. The Inquiry was opened by the Inspector, Sir Frank Layfield, QC on 11 January 1983 and sat for 340 days, mainly at the Maltings, Snape, Suffolk. It closed on 7 March 1985. The Inspector delivered the bulk of his report to the Secretary of State on 5 December 1986. The remaining sections were delivered by 13 January 1987.

B. The murder of a rose-grower

Hilda Murrell was a British rose grower, naturalist, diarist and campaigner against nuclear power and nuclear weapons. She had had a extraordinary life. During World War II she assisted in the care and resettlement of Jewish refugee children in Shropshire’s foster homes and schools. There is also some evidence that she assisted in the Bletchley Park code-breaking operations. She was a founder-member of the national Soil Association, promoting organic horticulture. She was also a passionate anti-nuclear campaigner and a prominent opponent of the Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk.

On 21 March 1984, she was preparing to present her paper An Ordinary Citizen’s Viee of Radioactive  Waste Management at the first public inquiry into the power plant. At about midday, following a break-in at her home, she was apparently abducted in her own car, which was seen driving erratically by many witnesses. A farmer promptly reported the car abandoned on the side of a lane that ran through his land just outside Shrewsbury. Continue reading

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How the ‘grooming’ of Jeremy Corbyn by an ex-spycop helped expose the entire scandal

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While the revived ‘Snooper’s Charter’ (Investigatory Powers Bill) will likely see the legitimation of mass surveillance by the UK’s intelligence and security services, the resumption of the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing acts as a timely reminder of the underlying political nature of policing. Indeed, you only need to glance at the Inquiry’s list of core participants to see that it reads like a Who’s Who of agitprop over the last two decades or more. Undercover policing targets included workers of all types as well as many political activists/groups – and even MPs. The undercover police officers who form part of the Inquiry are listed as core participants too – but only as coded numbers (even though their identities are already known). Prosecutions of the undercover police officers are still possible, as are legal challenges to the previous decision by the CPS not to prosecute. But one very prominent person – Jeremy Corbyn MP – is not listed as a participant at the Inquiry – which is surprising, given he was spied on by one of the undercover police officers listed and was arguably being ‘groomed’ by a former ‘spycop’ supervisor, whose indiscretion probably – and ironically – helped expose the entire spycop scandal. But Mr Corbyn has an ally at the Inquiry: Ken Livingstone MP – who is listed as a participant. So, in the weeks or months to come we may well see Mr Livingstone (and possibly Mr Corbyn too, if he is called to testify) in the same hearing as not only the officers who spied on the MPs, but also the undercover police officer who turned whistleblower and who will have the opportunity to elaborate further on what is detailed below…

A. Introduction

The Pitchford Inquiry has been rightly criticised for its narrow terms of reference. For example, the Inquiry will be restricted to the activities of undercover policing in England and Wales – yet some of the officers concerned operated elsewhere in the UK and with certain individuals outside of the UK too. Nor does it appear that the inquiry will examine the role of those who supervised the undercover police officers – and the authorisations that were given for their activities. Furthermore, the inquiry will not examine the activities of those undercover police officers who, after leaving the police, took up positions in private industry – as ‘intelligence consultants’ for constructions firms, or for private surveillance companies, or in academia.

The main thrust of the Inquiry will be to examine a policing culture that was allowed to ruin and compromise the lives of women with whom these undercover police officers befriended and had formed sexual relationships; to ruin the lives of workers, who simply wanted better working conditions; and to ruin the lives of political activists, who merely sought more justice in our societies.

In the meantime, there is a sub-narrative to the scandal that deserves our attention – if only for the political implications…

B. Jeremy Corbyn and the spycops (and MI5)

First, some background…

In the 1970s and 1980s undercover policing and infiltration of left-wing groups was largely organised by MI5 in co-operation with Special Branch. According to ex-F2 (MI5) staffer (then whistleblower) Annie Machon, F Branch regarded the following well-known individuals worth monitoring:

“John Len­non, Jack Straw MP, Ted Heath MP, Tam Dalyell MP, Gareth Peirce (soli­citor), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Mike Mans­field (bar­ris­ter), Geof­frey Robertson (bar­ris­ter), Patri­cia Hewitt MP, Har­riet Har­man MP,  Garry Bushell (journ­al­ist), Peter Man­del­son (European com­mis­sioner), Peter Hain MP, Clare Short MP, Mark Thomas (comedian), Mo Mow­lam (politi­cian), Arthur Scar­gill (NUM leader, who fam­ously had his own record­ing cat­egory: unaf­fili­ated sub­vers­ive), Neil Kin­nock (politi­cian), Bruce Kent (peace cam­paigner), Joan Rud­dock MP, Owen Oyston (busi­ness­man), Cherie Booth aka Blair, Tony Blair MP, David Steel (politi­cian), Teddy Taylor MP, Ron­nie Scott (jazz musi­cian), Robin Cook MP, John Prescott MP, Mark Steel (comedian), Jack Cun­ning­ham MP, Mohammed Al Fayed (busi­ness­man), Mick McGa­hey (former union leader), Ken Gill (former union leader), Michael Foot (politi­cian), Jack Jones (former union leader), Ray Bux­ton (former union leader), Hugh Scan­lon (former union leader), Har­old Wilson (politi­cian), James Callaghan (politi­cian), Richard Norton-Taylor (Guard­ian journalist)…. I also came across a file called: ‘Sub­ver­sion in con­tem­por­ary music’, which con­sisted of press clip­pings about Crass, then a well-known, self-styled ‘anarch­ist’ band; the Sex Pis­tols; and, rather sur­pris­ingly, UB40.”

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Bob Lambert: as then and is now

And then there were the ‘spycops’…

Mr Bob Lambert was one of the undercover police officers who had spied on environmental and animal rights activists (and who formed relationships with at least two women to advance his intelligence activities). At some point Lambert attempted to associate himself with Jeremy Corbyn MP, who had been placed under surveillance by Peter Francis. The latter was an undercover police officer assigned to Special Branch between 1990 and 2001, and who was subsequently deployed at the Special Demonstration Squad – his manager being none other than Lambert. Continue reading

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Sex, lies and the CPS: a forensic examination of spycops (and other) cover-ups

Alison Saunders, DPP

Alison Saunders, DPP

Law is not sacrosanct and its imperfections must always be overridden by a higher sense of justice. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the UK Government’s gatekeeper of which alleged crimes get to go to court and which do not. The CPS would argue that its legal advisers do their utmost to interpret the law the best they can. But politics invariably get in the way and this is manifestly clear with regard to certain high profile cases – that of Lord Janner, Julian Assange and now the infamous spycops/sex scandal. The latter saw the Metropolitan Police issue a written and televised apology to eight women who were victims of undercover policing. The CPS’s earlier decision not to prosecute the officers involved, or their supervisors, was a gross act of injustice – and we have covered this earlier, though the CPS ruling needs unpicking further, not only because there may be other women victims of abuse by these particular undercover officers, but also because there are many more – at least 1200 (this figure excludes Scotland and Northern Ireland) – undercover cops yet to be exposed. A forensic examination of the CPS ruling is given in section ‘B’ below.

In the meantime, here are just two more undercover operators who infiltrated political protest groups…

Paul Mercer:

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Mercer, was actively involved with environmental and animal rights campaigns in Nottingham, including Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill (NAIL). Mercer was involved in groups in Nottingham in the period 2002-2007. Mercer was publicly exposed for his role in spying on anti-arms trade campaigners, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) in 2007. His contract for the operation was finalised through a private security company – Global Open. More…

Mark Cassidy:

Mark Cassidy walked into the Colin Roach Centre in Hackney early in 1995. Within weeks he had thrown himself into virtually every area of the centre’s political life and quickly began writing for our internal bulletin and that quarterly magazine sold to the public. As the owner of a van he could also be relied upon to transport people and equipment to meetings and ensure they got home safely afterwards. Always polite and happy to help out he soon became well liked and respected. More…

A. Over 1200 spycops: the unanswered questions:

According to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) there were 3,466 undercover operations in England and Wales between October 2009 and September 2013 alone and that at the most recent count, 1,229 officers in 39 units were trained as undercover officers. Continue reading

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CPS intervened at every stage to ensure no spycop was prosecuted: the evidence

We previously reported how the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had withheld vital evidence from the trials of environmental protesters who had been infiltrated by ‘spycop’ Mark Kennedy, resulting in an attempt to pervert the course of justice. This disclosure takes on new significance, given that it was the CPS again that ensured undercover police officers who formed sexual and even marital relations with eight women ‘targets’ would not be prosecuted. The part the CPS played in almost every aspect of the spycops scandal amounts to nothing less that collusion. Below is the evidence of this collusion (as well as a copy of Mark Kennedy’s operational instructions).

See also Part 1 of this article on spycops and the CPS: “The spycops and their supervisors who remain accountable (fraud, abuse, rape…)”

[Note: The above video features three activists, targeted by Mark Kennedy, speaking at the Chaos Communication Camp in Germany earlier this year. ‘Lily’ was an activist mobilising for the 2005 G8 summit in Scotland, when she had a long term relationship with Kennedy (she co-wrote an article about the impact of this relationship for the Guardian). Jason Kirkpatrick was a Berlin-based anti-G8 activist, who Kennedy used as a springboard into German activism (more recently he has been researching Britain’s political secret police and is making a documentary, Spied Upon). Harry Halpin is a digital rights activist who was spied on by Kennedy in several countries.]

A. The background

First, a quote by Gordon Mills, a former senior spycop who was attached to the National Extremism & Tactical Coordination Unit. According to Mills “A section within the NPOIU – the ‘Confidential Intelligence Unit’, which controlled assets such as covert human intelligence sources (CHISs) had failed to properly manage a police undercover officer (UC) Mark Kennedy…”.

Kennedy’s boss was Anton Setchell, who was the National Co-ordinator for Domestic Extremism (NCDE). Setchell had oversight of three political policing units – Kennedy’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), the corporate advisory National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit, and the National Domestic Extremism Team (which included the unit that Mills worked for).

In other words, Setchell takes overall responsibility for all of Kennedy’s operational activities – his infiltration of the environmental protest groups, his role as agent provocateur, Kennedy’s personal relationship with women activists, etc. He must also take responsibility for how Kennedy disregarded his written intructions (see imge below – signed ‘Mark’).

Screenshot from 2015-11-22 18:03:48

Kennedy’s signed orders

Continue reading

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The spycops and their supervisors who remain accountable (fraud, abuse, rape…)

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Today, the Metropolitan Police issued a contrite apology to those women deceived by undercover police officers who had adopted false identities and formed sexual and marital relationships, purely to gain information about political activities. The women were cynically used, abused and basically raped. Nor can the police say what happened was an aberration: several of the spycops had relationships with activists and one officer had more than one relationship, while two of the officers fathered children. Hence, there was a pattern that suggests a deliberate strategy, approved from above. In time, the abused women took legal action that saw undisclosed compensation awarded to seven of the eight women, with the proviso that no further action would be taken against the police. But that proviso does not apply to anyone else – journalists, researchers, etc. Consequently, below, we name and provide the details of not only all the officers involved, who must certainly be held to account, but, most importantly, their supervisors too, who presumably gave approval to their subordinates’ activities. There is also the matter of a legal challenge against the CPS’ ruling not to prosecute the spycops…

(For Part 2 of this article (CPS intervened at every stage to ensure no spycop was prosecuted: the evidence) click here.)

Note: the sections on Bob Lambert and Belinda Harvey been updated and a new section on ‘Jacqui’ has been added.

To see today’s Metropolitan Police apology – click here.

Back in August, 2014, the Crown Prosecution Service ruled that there was insufficient evidence to bring against the undercover police officers who had formed relationships with the women. The judgement was flawed in many aspects. One aspect clearly stands out more than others: that of consent. Consensual sex can only truly be consensual if the persons participating are not doing so under pretence – e.g. adopting a false identity – in order to gain (in this case, information). That CPS ruling needs to be re-examined in every aspect and the cases reviewed and other cases – e.g. that of the supervisors – examined too.

One analysis of the CPS decision quotes from a legal expert: “I do think they [the police officers] should have been charged and prosecuted for these activities. The women would clearly not have consented to sex had they known the men were undercover police officers. I think there is a level of deception in these cases which raises them above the ‘I love you’ sort of deception [where someone pretends to in love to convince someone else to have sex with them].”

The question of consent and undercover policing is examined in detail by lawyer Ben Fitzpatrick. His conclusions – see below – suggest a legal challenge to the CPS ruling may well be required (perhaps by an NGO?):

  1. It is possible, particularly in the light of recent developments in the caselaw, that the undercover status of the officer affects the free choice of the complainant such as to negative consent as partially defined in s. 74 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
  2. It is doubtful whether the undercover status of the officer changes the ‘nature’ of the act such as to (i) vitiate consent for the purposes of the common law (relevant to pre-2003 Act undercover behaviour) or (ii) trigger the conclusive presumptions regarding lack of consent and lack of belief in consent for the purposes of s. 76 of the 2003 Act.
  3. It is possible that the undercover status of the officer involves a deception as to the purpose of the act, which could trigger the conclusive presumptions under s. 76 of the 2003 Act. This would not apply, of course, to behaviour which took place prior to the coming into force of the 2003 Act.
  4. It is possible that the undercover status of the officer involves a deception as to identity which would vitiate consent at common law.
  5. It is questionable, given the statutory language, whether the undercover status of the officer involves an impersonation of a person known personally to the complainant, such as to trigger the conclusive presumptions under s. 76 of the 2003 Act.

A. The undercover police officers (spycops):

The following 10 people were employed as undercover police officers, whose remit was basically to spy on political/environmental protesters, using any means possible. There may be many more individuals not yet identified (it is believed that more than 1200 police officers are involved in undercover operations in the UK). All those named below should be held accountable and subject to justice (regardless of any ‘agreement’ by the Pitchford Inquiry).

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Bob Lambert, right, posing as London Greenpeace activist

1. Mark Kennedy

Mark Kennedy’s undercover name was Mark Stone. He spent seven years undercover, from 2003 until his exposure in October 2010. He worked with groups such as Dissent!, Rising Tide, Saving Iceland, Workers’ Solidarity Movements, Rossport Solidarity, Climate Camp, Climate Justice Action and others. He worked undercover in Ireland, Germany, Spain, Denmark, France, the USA, Italy, and Iceland, amongst other places. His exposure led to demands in many of those countries for official information about his activities. Kennedy had a six year relationship with one of his ‘targets’.  He also had an eight month relationship with another ‘target’, whom he continued to befriend for another five years. A third ‘target’ saw a relationship that lasted three years; (See also Mark Kennedy: A mole in Tarnac (France & Euro-wide ops).)

2. Bob Robinson (Robert/Bob Lambert)

Lambert infiltrated London Greenpeace and the Animal Liberation Front from 1984-88. He had sexual relationships with four women while he infiltrated animal rights and environmental groups between 1984 and 1988. His relationship with one of his ‘targets’ lasted 18 months. He also had a relationship with another “target” that lasted four years, during which time Lambert fathered a child (for more on this, see Jacqui’s story, below.) Lambert was accused in parliament by Caroline Lucas MP of participating in an arson attack on a department store. Later Lambert was promoted to Head of Operations in the Special Demonstration Squad. The outing of Bob Lambert, MBE, took place after the former Detective Inspector had just spoken at an anti-racist conference in London. He was challenged by five members of London Greenpeace, who called on him to apologise for the undercover police infiltration of London Greenpeace, Reclaim The Streets and other campaign groups – an operation he took part in or supervised over two decades, whilst rising to the rank of Detective Inspector and taking charge of the Special Demonstrations Squad. Lambert helped in the conviction of two activists from the Animal Liberation Front, who had been charged with planting incendiary devices in branches of Debenhams in protest at the sale of fur in July1987. After leaving the police Lambert ran the Muslim Contact Unit, a Scotland Yard department. Later he worked as a lecturer at Exeter and St Andrews universities. He is currently a lecturer at London Metropolitan University.

3. Jim Sutton (Andrew James Boyling)

Boyling infiltrated Reclaim the Streets from 1995-2000. He formed a relationship with a “target” for 18 months, before he disappeared, then resurfaced a year later, admitting to the woman that he was a police officer. He had another relationship over nine years with an activist: they married and Sutton fathered two children. He and his ‘target’ divorced in 2009.

4. John Barker (John Dines)

Dines infiltrated a number of groups including London Greenpeace and squatting groups between 1987 and 1992. He had a two year relationship with one of his “targets”. (Incidentally his adopted name was coincidentally the name of one of those accused of being a member of the insurgent group, Angry Brigade.)

5. Lynn Watson

Based in Leeds, from 2003-08, Watson infiltrated numerous environmental, anti-capitalist and peace groups: Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp, UK Action Medics Collective, Drax Climate Camp, Dissent! and others.

6. Mark Cassidy (Mark Jenner)

Jenner infiltrated the Colin Roach Centre, the Building Workers Group, Hackney Community Defence Association and, allegedly, Anti-Fascist Action and Red Action between 1995 and 2000. He had a five-year relationship with a woman now known publicly as ‘Alison’. Note: Bob Lambert was his boss.

7. Simon Wellings

Wellings was exposed after five years with the group Globalise Resistance (2001-05) when he accidentally phoned an activist friend whilst discussing photos of and information on the group with officers at a police station.

8. Peter Daley/Pete Black (Peter Francis)

Francis infiltrated anti-racist and anti-road campaigns between 1993 and 1997 and slept with two activists during that time. He was in Special Branch before joining the Special Demonstration Squad, where he used the identity of a four-year old who had died of leukaemia as his cover. His real name is unknown, but he went to the press with stories of his time as an undercover officer in March 2010, before the exposure of Mark Kennedy in October.

9. Rod Richardson

Richardson infiltrated anti-capitalist and hunt saboteur groups, in particular working with groups protesting against political summits such as the G20. He went abroad to Sweden, France and Italy at various times.

10. Mark/Marco Jacobs

Jacobs operated from 2004 to 2009 and infiltrated anarchist, anti-militarist and migration campaigns. He travelled abroad to Germany and France (on a number of occasions with Mark Kennedy).

B. Undercover police supervisors

The undercover officers with whom the women had relationships were employed by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). Four of these officers worked within the MPS’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). Other officer worked within the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).

(Note: most of the following is courtesy of PowerBase.)

  • Detective Chief Inspector Richard May: described in newspaper articles as Mark Kennedy‘s boss while at the NPOIU. He is noted for confirming to French police that the NDEU had intelligence related to the Tarnac case, which is thought to have come from Kennedy’s attendance at a 2008 meeting of European anarchists in France. However, he also told police that the ‘source of this intelligence will never be revealed and no formal statements will be provided’.
  • ACC Anton Setchell was the National Coordinator Domestic Extremism, with rank of Assistant Chief Comissioner, answering to ACPO from July 2004 to November 2010. Setchell was on secondment from Thames Valley Police, where he had previously organised policing at the biotech lab being targeted by the SPEAK campaign. He subsequently became head of Global Security for the infrastructure and services company, Laing O’Rourke.
  • DCS Adrian Tudway had served as deputy to Anton Setchell from January 2010; in November 2010 he was appointed Setchell’s successor as National Coordinator Domestic Extremism, though at the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent. He would oversee the merger of the different units into the National Domestic Extremism Unit, remaining as its head until replaced by Greany. He was later seconded to the Home Office.
  • DCS Christopher Greany replaced Adrian Tudway as head of the National Domestic Extremism Unit in March 2012. In 2010 he was appointed head of counter terrorism for City of London Police and in 2011 led Operation Withern, which investigated crimes committed during the London Riots of 2011. DCS Greany oversaw the transformation of the NDEU into the NDEDIU, remaining as head of the latter. Towards the end of September 2014 he left NDEDIU and was promoted to Commander, heading up the National Police Coordination Centre.
  • Ronnie Liddle was ACPO ACC for Counter Terrorism, December 2012 – February 2014. Based at the Metropolitan Police, he was co-ordinator of ‘UK Counter Terrorism functions and operations’, part of his remit included ‘Responsibility for National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit, including business engagement’. However, it is noted that during this period he was actually seconded to the Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee within ACPO, which indicates that ACPO was still overseeing the NDEDIU, despite its transfer to the Metropolitan Police.
  • Melvyn Young: Deputy National Coordinator Domestic Extremism (NCDE), September 2004 to September 2009. Prior to this he had been with specialist operations & major crime at Thames Valley Police. From October 2009 he was Global Head Extremism and Risk for Novartis and their Deputy Head for Global Security in January 2012, remaining there until June 2013. It is of note that another NDET officer, Jim Sheldrake, also joined Novartis’ Issues and Risk Communications Team in April 2010. This was one month after the NDEU set up a sting, with the complicity of Novartis, that resulted in the jailing of SHAC activist Debbie Vincent, whereby a member of the unit, ‘James Adams’ posed as an executive of Novartis, meeting Ms Vincent in the company of Novartis’ Head of Global Security, Andrew Jackson.
  • Marc Vincent: Deputy Head of NDEU, Oct 2008-Sept 2012; since October 2014 he was Assistant Inspector with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. From January 2003 to January 2007, he was Head of Special Branch for Lancashire Police, before seconded to NDEU. He subsequently returned to Lancashire Constabulary as Head of Covert Policing and Authorising officer for undercover work. For three months in 2006 he was part of the national review of police forces planning, preparation and readiness to deal with terrorism and domestic extremism. In 2008-2012 he was involved in rolling out the PREVENT programe on a national level, and was the lead officer on piloting the CHANNEL Project for the Home Office.
  • Supt. Steven Pearl: a Cambridgeshire officer involved in the policing of protest around Huntingdon Life Sciences. In March 2004 he established the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit, based in Huntingdon. He remained as its head until forced to retire in 2010. He has since become a director of Agenda Risk Management, which vets applicants for jobs in the animal research industry.
  • According to another source DS Maria Smith was head of NPOIU in 2006.
  • Also: Chief Supt Mitchell (do not have first name) was the line manager for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit in 2001.

C. Today’s statement by the eight women (courtesy of ‘Police spies out of our lives’):

Note: One of the eight women, Kate Wilson, has not settled in the case and says that she discovered a GPS tracking device attached to her car earlier this year.

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In the apology issued today by Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, the Metropolitan Police finally conceded that “officers, acting undercover whilst seeking to infiltrate protest groups, entered into long-term intimate sexual relationships with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong” and that “these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma”

AC Hewitt issued this public apology on behalf of the Metropolitan Police as part of the settlement of seven out of our eight claims arising from intimate relationships we were deceived into by undercover police officers Bob Lambert, John Dines, Mark Jenner, Jim Boyling (all Special Demonstration Squad officers) and Mark Kennedy (of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit), all of whom infiltrated environmental and social justice campaigns.

The apology is the result of our four-year legal battle to bring to public attention these state sponsored, deceptive relationships and to prevent future abuses. We have worked together on this painful and deeply personal legal case in order to expose the serious and systemic abuse of power by undercover police officers and their managers. Although no amount of ‘sorry’, or financial compensation, can make up for what we and others have endured, we are pleased the police have been forced to acknowledge the abusive nature of these relationships and that they should never happen.

Our relationships, spanning a period of nearly 25 years, had remained hidden until we exposed them through a series of media reports starting late in 2010. By linking our cases together we have been able to evidence a clear pattern of abusive, discriminatory behaviour towards women which amounts to institutional sexism by the Metropolitan Police.

Five years ago it would have seemed inconceivable to the public that state employees would go to such lengths, but the scale of the abuse uncovered demonstrates that this was accepted practice for many years. Other cases arising from intimate relationships are still ongoing and we are aware of more relationships yet to be publicly exposed.

While the UK purports to be a democratic country, the level of deception perpetrated by state agents seeking to undermine movements for social change is more akin to that of the Stasi in East Germany. These professionally supported relationships – some of which bore children – lasted as long as nine years and have remained hidden from the public for decades. Indeed, the police still refuse to publicly acknowledge the harm caused to the children born of and into these relationships or even bring themselves to refer to them in their apology today.

One of the key reasons we brought the case was to ensure that such relationships would not happen again. As part of the settlement, the Metropolitan Police acknowledged that “sexual relationships between undercover police officers and members of the public should not happen”, that “these cases demonstrate that there have been failures of supervision and management” and they recognised “that this should never happen again and the necessary steps must be taken to ensure that it does not.” The police also recognise that “these relationships, the subsequent trauma and the secrecy around them left these women at risk of further abuse and deception by these officers after the deployment had ended.”

Alongside this comprehensive apology, the Metropolitan Police made substantial financial settlements to seven of us, meaning we are unable to take this matter forward to open court. However, one of us is able to continue her case and the rest of us will support her and continue the fight to obtain disclosure, and to have the legal framework governing undercover policing examined by the courts.

The apology from the Metropolitan Police is a clear admission of responsibility for what happened to us, and we will now be working hard together and with others to ensure that the Public Inquiry into undercover policing is robust and transparent. Secret political policing undermines social progress for justice and equality and should have no place in our society.

D. Individual statements released by the women

These quotations from the women in the case were released for the press conference on 20th November 2015. See also Additional cases following this section.

‘Alison’

I am known in the  public domain as ‘Alison’. I had a five year relationship with Mark Jenner who was known to me as Mark Cassidy. We lived together in what I  believed was a monogomous relationship for more  than four of these  years. I met him when he joined the Colin Roach Centre in Hackney where I was a member. The Colin Roach Centre worked to expose police  corruption, to promote trade unionism and to challenge racism and fascism. Mark and I attended relationship counselling for over a year before he disappeared in Spring 2000 because I wanted children and he did not. I later discovered he was married with children throughout this time. I loved him very deeply and have suffered significant psychological damage from the experience of suspecting and then proving he was an undercover police officer.

Five years of my life, documented in photographs and videos, are tainted by the presence of a person I never really knew. The experience has eroded my confidence in my own judgement and impacted negatively on my ability to trust new people. I have a strong sense of having been violated by this relationship which to date I have been unable to resolve. Since beginning the litigation, the Metropolitan Police has   maintained a position of neither confirming nor denying Mark Jenner’s identity which has aggravated the damage done to me. Answers and disclosure would help me piece together the missing parts of my life;   continued obfuscation and avoidance of the truth simply prolongs the pain. I hope the public inquiry, therefore, will be robust and transparent.

Helen Steel

I had a two year relationship with a man who called himself John Barker but who was in fact an undercover policeman called John Dines.  We met through London Greenpeace and became close friends over the next three years before starting a relationship and renting a flat together.  Our relationship seemed ideal and we made plans for the future and discussed starting a family.  Then John followed the SDS pattern of appearing to have a breakdown and disappearing abroad.

I was left distraught and I spent years searching for him.  In the course of that search I found he had been using the identity of a child who had died.  The discovery that someone I thought I knew so well didn’t actually exist has had a lasting impact on my life. I spent 19 years searching for the truth, while the police took active steps to conceal it from me.  It was only through Rosa that I found out the truth, her ex partner Jim Boyling had confirmed it.

I am glad that the Metropolitan Police have finally admitted that these undercover relationships are abusive and indefensible and I call on them to now come clean about political undercover policing.  Through our case alone we know that these relationships spanned a period of nearly 25 years, while the vast majority of undercover officers who have been exposed by campaigners are known to have had relationships while undercover.

The public is entitled to know the true extent of these and other human rights abuses committed by undercover political policing units.  To that end the police and the Public Inquiry should now release the cover names of those officers who spied on campaign groups so that those who came into contact with them can make sure the truth is heard by the Inquiry.

Kate Wilson

I’ve been active in environmental and social justice movements for over 20 years. From 2003-2005 I lived with a man calling himself Mark Stone. He not only became part of my world but also that of my parents and my brother’s family. After we separated he kept in close contact, travelling to see me even after I moved to Spain and then Germany. For 7 years I believed he was one of my closest friends and companions. In 2010 friends uncovered that he was, in fact, Mark Kennedy, a police infiltrator working for a unit that targetted political movements in the UK and  abroad. The personal implications of that discovery for my life’s  projects, and my sense of who I am and what I can believe, have been devastating, and I remain haunted by unanswered questions.

Even after four years of litigation, the police are still refusing to give us any disclosure. I recently made a DPA application for my police files: the response does not mention Mark or any of the 5 other police  spies I now know that I have known, or the GPS tracker that I found  under my car.  Was I targetted for my political beliefs and they are lying to cover it up?  Or am I simply “collateral intrusion” in a secret  operation against political dissent, that sidelined my life, my family, my body and myself, and did not even consider it worthy of a mention in an operational authorisation? The political implications of either of those possibilities are also devastating. I am not able to discuss what occurred during our mediation proces with the police. However I can say that my courtcase will continue, and I hope that through that process, through the public inquiry, and through the amazing work of activists and whistleblowers, that we will eventually get answers.

‘Lisa’

My name is given as “Lisa” and I was in a six year relationship with Mark Kennedy.  He was my closest friend, my partner and my confident for most of my  30’s. I believed him to be part of my  family. I  found out that he was an undercover officer whilst we were still  together, and it has had a profound  traumatic effect on me. I have had difficulty forming relationships ever since I discovered the truth and  it will continue to have an impact on my life for years to come.

This is  not simply about a man lying in a relationship, it was a deception  perpetrated, overseen and supervised by the state. He had a handler that  knew his every move. There were anonymous back-room faces who will  have  listened to our telephone conversations, read all of our intimate  text  messages, seen our holiday photos, may have even come along to  monitor  him from afar on our holidays. There were employers instructing  and  supporting his deception with fake I.D. and overtime paid.  I welcome the fact that The Metropolitain Police have admitted  responsibility for their actions, and have clearly stated that what  happened to us was wrong, but no amount of money or ‘sorry’ will make up  for the lack of answers about the extent to which I was spied upon in every aspect of my most personal and intimate life.

‘Naomi’

I had an eight month intense relationship with a man I knew as Mark Stone. I had been involved in social justice campaigning since I was a teenager and met Mark through a friendship network of people connected with those campaigns. During our time together we went travelling, went to my  brother’s wedding and connected over a shared belief in openness and  honesty.  When I ended the relationship, he cried in my arms. Our close friendship over the next five years was influenced by that relationship. That all ended when I received a call five years ago to tell me that  Mark Stone did not exist and was actually an undercover policeman called Mark Kennedy. He had been paid by the Metropolitan police for the seven years that I knew him to spy on me and everyone I loved. In the time since then I have struggled to reconcile my personal memories with everything I have learned about Mark Kennedy and the police force that controlled him.

I would never EVER have consented to this relationship if I knew who he was or what he was doing and why.  The fact that all eight of us are here today demonstrates that this institutionalised sexism and abuse has gone on for decades.

‘Rosa’

I was in a relationship for 9 years with a man who initially introduced himself to me as fellow activist, Jim Sutton. We moved in together. Months later I weathered his mental abuse when he claimed to be suffering a breakdown, I searched for him for a year and a half when he went missing, clung to my sanity when my tracking exposed that he did not exist whilst he emailed me riddles and telling me to speak to no one. Then he walked into my work. The new tales he told me – of being the partner I knew and slept next to every night, the misunderstanding of his deployment, that he was the only one, that our country doesn’t spy on peace or green movements, of being a turncoat and needing my help to escape the police – they were more believable than the truth. The unlikely truth was this: my life partner was fabricated by the state. He never existed. I was pregnant within two weeks of his reappearance and bore children by the actor, a random police officer, who had played my partner. A stranger planted in my political movement, one of many, trained to undermine both everything I stood for and my traumatised self. He used his professional skills of deception and manipulation to try to control my feelings and actions. He had me isolated from all my friends, comrades and associates, and I lived in an abusive relationship with him. I eventually escaped to a women’s refuge with my children.

Once they have you conceive by them, they permanently have a surveillance officer placed in your life, who can never be removed as he gains legal voting rights in your family. The operation never ends. Looking at what little we have uncovered of the 100 officers deployed, I believe there are many more families and children affected. I have been damaged and traumatised for ever by my relationship with Jim Boyling. He has fathered children with me who never asked to be tainted by the extreme levels of state abuse and manipulation.  Both he and his police handlers are responsible for generations of damage. The police have yet to extend this apology to my children nor even refer to them in the apology today. I am angry after all we have lived through.

Additional cases:

Belinda Harvey

Belinda met a man using the name Bob Robinson at a friend’s party in 1987.  They had an intense relationship lasting over 18 months, which led her to believe they would be together for ever.  However he announced he had to go on the run from the police, but he would send for her when it was safe.  She never heard from him again. In August 2012 she was contacted by Helen Steel to tell her that she had found out he was really an undercover police officer called Bob Lambert.

‘Ruth’

Ruth met a man in the mid 1990s presenting himself as Jim Sutton, an activist in Reclaim the Streets.  They had a deep and serious relationship lasting over 18 months.  Ruth was not aware until January 2011 that Jim Sutton was really Jim Boyling, an undercover police officer.  She has joined with the other eight women in working to expose the outrageous misconduct of the police, and even now, is still struggling to come to terms with the obscene level of intrusion into her personal life.

‘Jacqui’

A comprehensive and very detailed account of what happened with ‘Jacqui’ and Bob Lambert can be found here via an interview in the New Yorker magazine.

See also:

How the scandal of Scotland Yard’s secret spy unit emerged

Mark Kennedy: the spycop who disappeared into the cold

The curious case of the UK spycop, the (French) ‘Invisible Committee’ and the FBI

Spycops/CPS conspired to pervert course of justice via undisclosed evidence

Lisa Jones, girlfriend of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy: ‘I thought I knew him better than anyone’

Bob Lambert: the spycop who fathered a child with women activists

Helen Steel on her relationship with an undercover policeman: ‘I feel violated’

Police apologise to women who had relationships with undercover officers

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Posted in no category, Resistance, Surveillance | Tagged | 20 Comments

ISIS survives largely because Turkey allows it to: the evidence

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Kurdish (YPJ) frontline troops

The real frontline confronting ISIS is not US or French bombers (the latter currently targeting Raqqa, a city with 140,000 civilians, who are virtual prisoners of ISIS) but the Kurds of Iraq and northern Syria. Just over a week ago the combined Kurd forces, under the command of the Yezidis, liberated Sinjar from ISIS. For the Kurds, their war is not just about defeating ISIS, but about creating their own autonomous region – a region that would link all the Kurd cantons. This will not be easy, especially as the Iraq-based Kurds (Peshmerga) are allied with Iran and benefit from US support (nor are the Iraqi Kurds in any hurry to secede from Iraq). But the largest hurdle to an autonomous Kurdistan is Turkey, which not only has rekindled its war with the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party), but has done everything it can over the last 12 months or so to ensure Kurd victories against ISIS were minimised. So where is the evidence for this? It comes from a a range of sources, including the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (Columbia University) and leading commentators/analysts Nafeez Ahmed and David Graeber. See below…

A. Introduction

The Kurds of northern Syria, together with the Kurds of Turkey and Iraq, have been at war with ISIS since the latter rose up and declared their so-called caliphate. It was the Syrian Kurds and their Kurdish comrades in Turkey who helped rescue the Yezidis, after they had fled the ISIS onslaught to take refuge in the Sinjar mountains. It was the Syrian Kurds and their comrades in Turkey who liberated the city of Kobani from ISIS.

But the Kurds of northern Syria have not just been waging war. They have also been waging peace: creating new, democratic structures, declaring autonmous cantons; setting up schools, universities, hospitals. They have taken their inspiration from the Zapatistas of Mexico, who in their thousands retreated into the jungles of Chiapas and together with the Mayans created a new society, free from the oppression of the Mexican authorities.

In short, the northern Syrian Kurds have created and are living a social revolution. It is no wonder, therefore, that the authoritarian and neo-Islamist Erdogan Government of Turkey is doing everything it can to break the Kurds, including providing covert support to the Kurds’ main enemy, to ISIS.

In a recent article in the Guardian, Professor David Graeber of the London School of Economics stated how “Back in August, the YPG, fresh from their victories in Kobani and Gire Spi, were poised to seize Jarablus, the last Isis-held town on the Turkish border that the terror organisation had been using to resupply its capital in Raqqa with weapons, materials, and recruits – Isis supply lines pass directly through Turkey.” Graeber added: “Commentators predicted that with Jarablus gone, Raqqa would soon follow. Erdoğan reacted by declaring Jarablus a “red line”: if the Kurds attacked, his forces would intervene militarily – against the YPG. So Jarablus remains in terrorist hands to this day, under de facto Turkish military protection.”

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Kurds celebrating liberation of Kobani

B. Turkey’s support for ISIS

For well over a year the Turkish Government has been secretly supporting ISIS, but the US and NATO turn a blind eye to this because of Turkey’s geopolitical position. ISIS as an armed force – though not ISIS terrorists outside the Mid East region – would most likely have been defeated long ago had it not been for Turkey’s support.

According to journalist, Nafeez Ahmed: “Earlier this year, the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported that “more than 100,000 fake Turkish passports” had been given to ISIS. Erdogan’s government, the newspaper added, “has been accused of supporting the terrorist organization by turning a blind eye to its militants crossing the border and even buying its oil… Based on a 2014 report, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said that ISIS terrorists fighting in Syria claimed to have been treated in hospitals in Turkey.”

Dr Ahmed adds: “In January, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services (MIT) had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck “to the al-Qaeda terror organisation” in Syria. According to other ISIS suspects facing trial in Turkey, the Turkish national military intelligence organization (MIT) had begun smuggling arms, including NATO weapons to jihadist groups in Syria as early as 2011.” Also: “Turkey has also played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country. Last summer, an opposition politician estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in Turkey at about $800 million — that was over a year ago.”

Finally, Dr. Ahmed shows how consistent transfers of CIA-Gulf-Turkish arms supplies to ISIS have been fully documented through analysis of weapons serial numbers by the UK-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR), whose database on the illicit weapons trade is funded by the EU and Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Latest – see link in tweet below – is an article that reports on a group “involved in making arms deals on behalf of the Islamic State leaders in Syria, including buying FN-6 portable air defence systems and other weaponry, which were shipped to ISIL in Syria through Turkey… transferring money to Turkish bank accounts…

Other allegations re Turkey’s support for ISIS:

[Note: the following is compiled from a Report by Columbia University’s Program on Peace-building and Rights, which assigned a team of researchers in the United States, Europe, and Turkey to examine Turkish and international media, assessing the credibility of allegations made against Turkey. This report draws on Turkish sources (CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily News, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, and Radikal among others) as well as a variety of mainstream media – The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Sky News, etc.]

1. Turkey Provides Military Equipment to ISIS

• An ISIS commander told The Washington Post on August 12, 2014: “Most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies.” Continue reading

Posted in War | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 87 Comments

MI5, spycops, the media baron and the ‘counter-subversion’ think-tank

In a recent article by journalist Nafeez Ahmed on right-wing and far-right entryism into the counter-terrorism think-tank sub-culture, one reference immediately stood out. This reference was to the Institute for the Study of Conflict, a think tank that was very influential within the counter-terrorism community in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. During that period the ISC was closely linked to the MI5 divisional head responsible for organising the surveillance of the radical left – including barristers and Labour politicians who went on to become Government ministers (and a politician – Mr Corbyn – who may well become prime minister). The ISC was also responsible for several dirty tricks campaigns, including the publication of a magazine that specialised in smears against the left – a magazine, incidentally that was funded by a certain media mogul, who is still very much influential today, in our daily and world affairs. See below for more…

(Note: the above video on the plot to overthrow Harold Wilson features Brian Crozier – see below.)

A. Introduction

According to the article by Nafeez Ahmed, the ISC was “created jointly by the British and American intelligence services, specifically the CIA and the Foreign Office. The ISC’s point-man in the British intelligence establishment was Sir Peter Wilkinson, a former officer with the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War (an agency that was later subsumed into MI6), who was later appointed Coordinator of Intelligence and Security in the British Cabinet Office and Cabinet Office intelligence chief.”

Earlier, in 1968, Brian Crozier set up the Current Affairs Research Services Centre, and two years later wrote to Wilkinson to ask for his help in transforming the research unit into a fully-fledged Institute for the Study of Conflict (Wilkinson was to eventually become a member of ISC’s Council of Management and also edited an issue of ISC’s journal, ‘Conflict Studies’).

Crozier was regarded as an ‘expert’ on terrorism; another so-called ‘expert’ and member of the ISC was Richard Clutterbuck. Crozier provided advice to MI5, the Foreign Office and to the CIA. Notoriously, Crozier was identified as one of the cabal who promoted the idea of a mutiny by the British military of the Government (then under Harold Wilson).

Interestingly, among a tranche of documents leaked from the ISC to Time Out magazine in 1975 was a memo from John Whitehorn urging member companies of the CBI to increase their funding to five organisations working against “subversion” in British industry. ISC was one of the five organisations. Others included were the Economic League, Common Cause, Aims of Industry and Industrial Research and Information Services – all far-right organisations committed to countering trade unions.

Let’s explore more…

B. The MI5 connection

In the 1970s and 1980s undercover policing and infiltration of left-wing groups was largely organised by MI5 in co-operation with Special Branch. Charles Elwell was the head of MI5’s ‘F Division’, which specialised in domestic subversion, until 1979. Elwell also happened to be a senior figure within the Institute for the Study of Conflict. ‘F2’ Division was the section of MI5 that was later shown to be responsible for the surveillance of ‘left wing’ radicals, some of whom went on to become Labour MPs and Ministers in Government.

According to ex-F2 staffer (then whistleblower) Annie Machon, F Branch regarded the following well-known individuals worth monitoring:

John Len­non, Jack Straw MP, Ted Heath MP, Tam Dalyell MP, Gareth Peirce (soli­citor), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Mike Mans­field (bar­ris­ter), Geof­frey Robertson (bar­ris­ter), Patri­cia Hewitt MP, Har­riet Har­man MP,  Garry Bushell (journ­al­ist), Peter Man­del­son (European com­mis­sioner), Peter Hain MP, Clare Short MP, Mark Thomas (comedian), Mo Mow­lam (politi­cian), Arthur Scar­gill (NUM leader, who fam­ously had his own record­ing cat­egory: unaf­fili­ated sub­vers­ive), Neil Kin­nock (politi­cian), Bruce Kent (peace cam­paigner), Joan Rud­dock MP, Owen Oyston (busi­ness­man), Cherie Booth aka Blair, Tony Blair MP, David Steel (politi­cian), Teddy Taylor MP, Ron­nie Scott (jazz musi­cian), Robin Cook MP, John Prescott MP, Mark Steel (comedian), Jack Cun­ning­ham MP, Mohammed Al Fayed (busi­ness­man), Mick McGa­hey (former union leader), Ken Gill (former union leader), Michael Foot (politi­cian), Jack Jones (former union leader), Ray Bux­ton (former union leader), Hugh Scan­lon (former union leader), Har­old Wilson (politi­cian), James Callaghan (politi­cian), Richard Norton-Taylor (Guard­ian journalist)…. I also came across a file called: ‘Sub­ver­sion in con­tem­por­ary music’, which con­sisted of press clip­pings about Crass, then a well-known, self-styled ‘anarch­ist’ band; the Sex Pis­tols; and, rather sur­pris­ingly, UB40.”

Annie Machon confirms Elwell’s role in ISC smear campaigns:

She explains: “The ‘sub­ver­sion’ of cab­inet min­is­ters Har­riet Har­man and Patri­cia Hewitt was to have been lead­ing mem­bers of the National Coun­cil for Civil Liber­ties (NCCL — now Liberty), the very organ­isa­tion designed to pro­tect us from such unwar­ran­ted abuses of our liber­ties.  At one point David [Shayler, her MI5 colleague who was responsible for monitoring the left, including anarchists] came across a series of minutes on a file dat­ing from the early 1980s.  They were writ­ten by Charles Elwell, a pub­licly named and notori­ously para­noid former head of F2 ,who saw a red under every bed, and who had suc­cess­fully argued that mem­bers of the exec­ut­ive of the NCCL were record­able as ‘sus­pec­ted sym­path­iser: Com­mun­ist’, simply for being mem­bers of the exec­ut­ive.  He based this assump­tion on the fact that, as one or two lead­ing mem­bers of the NCCL had Com­mun­ist sym­path­ies, the organ­isa­tion was there­fore by defin­i­tion a Com­mun­ist front organisation.”

Elwell undoubtedly would have passed on information from F2 research to the ISC and from there to ‘Background Briefing’ (see below).

Machon also comments: “It [F2] jus­ti­fied its work against legit­im­ate non-subversive organ­isa­tions such as trade uni­ons, CND, the NCCL and the Green­ham Com­mon women by say­ing that it was not invest­ig­at­ing these organ­isa­tions or their mem­bers per se but was invest­ig­at­ing sub­vers­ive pen­et­ra­tion of these groups….MI5 could invest­ig­ate an indi­vidual — that means tap their phones, fol­low their move­ments, break into their houses, place a bug in their homes — simply for being a mem­ber of the Exec­ut­ive of the NCCL, without hav­ing to estab­lish any other con­nec­tions to com­mun­ism….”

[Currently, the Cameron Government claims that MPs will not be monitored under the Investogatory Powers Bill, if it becomes law. However, Ms. Machon reminds us that… “[NCCL heads] Har­riet Har­man and Patri­cia Hewitt learnt of the infringe­ment of their rights when former MI5 officer Cathy Mas­siter blew the whistle on the [Intelligence] ser­vices in 1984.  As a res­ult, they took their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and won because MI5 was not a leg­ally con­sti­tuted and demo­crat­ic­ally account­able organ­isa­tion, the min­imum stand­ard in a demo­cracy.  It was only as a res­ult of this rul­ing that Par­lia­ment finally put MI5 on a legal foot­ing for the first time and made it account­able to min­is­ters in the 1989 Secur­ity Ser­vice Act.”]

According to Guardian journalist Richard Norton-Taylor, Elwell also targeted Harman’s husband, Jack Dromey. “He opened a file on him during the late 1970s after the Grunwick dispute, in which Dromey, now Labour party treasurer, played a leading part. Other trade union leaders on whom Elwell and his MI5 team kept files included Jack Jones, the transport workers’ leader, and Hugh (later Lord) Scanlon, president of the engineers’ union, the AUEW. “Fact sheets” on the two trade union leaders were regularly distributed to 10 Downing Street and selected ministers. In 1977, Scanlon was prevented from becoming chairman of British Shipbuilding because MI5 advised that he should not see documents marked confidential or above.”

C. The spycops connection

Elwell’s ‘F2’ branch also undertook the sort of undercover work later associated with what are now dubbed ‘Spycops’. Anarchist groups were one target – these included the Direct Action Movement (later renamed Solidarity Federation) and Class War. Liaising with the undercover cop who was tasked with infiltrating Class War was the responsibility of David Shayler.

According to Machon: “Some years before David had joined F2, a Met­ro­pol­itan Police Spe­cial Duties Sec­tion (SDS) agent, code­named M2589, had pen­et­rated Class War.  Unlike the vast major­ity of agents recruited by MI5, he was not a mem­ber of an organ­isa­tion who had been ‘turned’ by the ser­vice.  He was a full-time police­man from Spe­cial Branch under deep cover.  For six days a week, he lived, ate and breathed the life of a class war­rior before return­ing to his nor­mal life with friends and fam­ily for a day. Whether Class War mer­ited this kind of resource intens­ive cov­er­age is open to debate.  I quote David: “When I met M2589 in Feb­ru­ary 1992, at a safe house in Lon­don, it was quite obvi­ous that this pecu­liar arrange­ment had affected the agent psy­cho­lo­gic­ally.  After around four years of pre­tend­ing to be an anarch­ist, he had clearly become one.  To use the ser­vice jar­gon, he had gone nat­ive.  He drank about six cans of Spe­cial Brew dur­ing the debrief, and regaled us with stor­ies about beat­ing up uni­formed officers as part of his ‘cover’.  Partly as a res­ult, he was ‘ter­min­ated’ after the 1992 Gen­eral Elec­tion.  Without his organ­isa­tional skills, Class War fell apart.”

There was also a link between the ISC and undercover policing: John Alderson, the director of the Bramshill Police College in 1972, asked ISC’s Peter Janke to help the college develop a course on terrorism and counter-subversion. This was signs of things to come re. think-tanks…

D. The media mogul & the smear campaigns

One of ISCs projects was ‘Background Briefing on Subversion’, a bulletin that was circulated privately to those on the right, including Tory MPs. ‘BB’ (as it became known) specialised in smears against well known charities, such as Oxfam and Shelter and NGOs such as the National Council for Civil Liberties. One of the publication’s early researchers was Paul Staines (aka blogger Guido Fawkes) who worked for the Committee for a Free Britain (which involved David Hart, Rupert Murdoch and Sir James Goldsmith), the Adam Smith Institute and the Libertarian Alliance. Other contributors included Crozier, who was also closely linked to the CIA.

Charles Elwell, after his retirement from MI5 in 1979, was appointed editor of ‘British Briefing’ (the successor to ‘Background Briefing’). Richard Norton-Taylor explains that BB “consisted of ill-founded claims about Labour and trade union activists, pressure groups, charities and writers. Among those it accused of helping the communist cause were Chris Mullin, Labour MP for Sunderland South. British Briefing’s targets included the housing charity Shelter, Lord Gifford QC, the leftwing barrister, and the playwright Howard Brenton.”

But what was possibly most revealing was the person who part funded ‘Background Briefing’ – namely Rupert Murdoch. According to an Australian report, ‘In his autobiography, [Brian] Crozier acknowledged his financial backers, including “Rupert,” subsequently identified as Murdoch by one of Crozier’s associates. In December 1990, the Guardian reported that Crozier’s publishing business, Sherwood Press, was bailed out by News International, Murdoch’s British holding company. News took a half-stake in the business and assumed liability for its debts, then said to total £90,000.’

From the Daily Telegraph: ‘In spite of everything, [David] Hart worked his way back into favour, maintaining his political profile by founding the Campaign for a Free Britain and issuing newsletters propounding his anti-Soviet views. With some help from Rupert Murdoch, he secretly financed a newsletter, British Briefing, edited by Charles Elwell, a former MI5 officer in charge of “counter-subversion”.’

Note: An anarchist paper, called ‘Black Flag’ was believed to have been the first to expose Murdoch’s funding of BB (via basic research at Companies House). Poetic justice? In December 1990, The Observer subsequently ran two stories on the smear campaigns, including how as a result of these revelations Murdoch would not be receiving an honorary knighthood. (P.S. Thanks to Peter Jukes for locating and rerinting the two Observer articles.)

Needless to say, once his connection with ‘Background Briefing’ was exposed, Murdoch promptly distanced himself. Hart – who was an adviser to Margaret Thatcher and who set up a scab union to defeat the miners during the 1984 strike – then took over the funding of the paper, which was renamed the equally innocuous ‘British Briefing’.

E. On to the present…

In 1977 the ISC published a report co-written by Caroline Cox on how leftwing “radical minorities” were subverting “capitalist, free market civilisation.” Cox went on to become Baroness Cox and a former deputy speaker of the House of Lords and also a special representative for the Foreign Office Freedom of Religion Panel. In 1987 she co-founded the Committee for a Free Britain – also, incidentally, funded by Ruper Murdoch.

According to Nafeez Ahmed, “In his book, Conservative Party Education Policies, 1976-1997, historian David Callaghan documents how in the 1980s, Cox and [Dr. John] Marks operated a network of neocon ideologues known as the Hillgate Group, which coordinated various publications to influence government policy. Their focus was hyping up the threat of Marxist, left wing or “radical” infiltration of British academia. Another Hillgate Group member, philosopher Roger Scruton, told Callaghan that these policy reports were in fact “quietly encouraged by 10 Downing Street to concoct an outside pressure group to influence policy.” Cox and Marks also campaigned against peace groups, which they labelled as “subversive” organisations exploiting their charitable status to promote pro-Soviet propaganda. “Key institutions, particularly educational institutions” were being “infected” by “institutionalised leftism,” they opined, especially in the media, schools,and universities, undermining the “moral legitimacy of British society”.

Sounds familiar?

For a time the ISC shared offices with first RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) and later the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies. In late 1989 the ISC merged with Paul Wilkinson’s Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism to form the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (RISCT), which was disolved in 2001.

There is probably no exact equivalent to ISC today, though no doubt Dr Ahmed would nominate their ‘spiritual successors’ as the Henry Jackson Society or the Centre for Social Cohesion, or even the Quillam Foundation.

What is not in doubt is that the ‘counter-subversion’ industry connects all sections of the ruling establishment – the military, the political establishment, the police, the intelligence community and certain sections of the media. This industry is expert at manufacturing consent (to borrow a phrase from Noam Chomsky) – though only the kind of consent that the establishment approves of. Step out of line and…

P.S. To see more articles on spycops, MI5, etc, just click on the relevant tags in the Tag Cloud on the right.

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GCHQ becomes Spectre as Snoopers Charter 2.0 is licenced to chill

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Inside GCHQ

Today (Wednesday) the new version of the “Snoopers’ Charter” was revealed in the guise of the draft Investigatory Powers bill. It is a bill rife with obfuscation, weasel words and deceit. But look beyond the soundbites, spin and headline pullers and the truth begins to emerge. This is not to a watered-down, ‘post-Snowden’ version that the Government tries to sell to the British public, but adheres as close as it can to the original intent of the Snoopers Charter – the colloquial name for the draft Communications Data Bill that stalled as a consequence of parliamentary opposition. The new bill seeks to provide an array of powers for the police and security services, to enable them to exploit fully the vast resources long developed by GCHQ – in collaboration with the NSA – in that agency’s zeal for totalitarian surveillance. In short the draft legislation enshrines decades of bulk communications collection into law. Thus, the spectre of GCHQ, watching everyone’s moves and activities day-by-day, may well loom large over all our lives for the forseeable future.

Below, using a variety of sources – mostly revelations by Edward Snowden via article by Ryan Gallagher in The Intercept – is a mapping of what the draft bill is really about…

Note: for a more forensic analysis of the draft bill, see “Investigatory Powers Bill: The Juicy Bits”

  1. Encryption:

Encryption will not be ‘banned’, as banking and other financial services depend on it. However, measures in the draft bill will require that tech firms and ISPs provide unencrypted communications to the police or spy agencies if requested through a warrant. These firms will not be able to comply with this requirement unless they provide encryption to their users that can be decrypted.

The new legislation will attempt to force companies outside the UK to adhere to this requirement, though even if this did not happen, according to one document  the NSA’s troves of data are searched by GCHQ for data on British citizens anyway. Also, what Theresa May fails to understand is that there are a myriad of tools and applications that are outside the reach of UK legislation – consequently, GCHQ will end up mostly monitoring stuff about shopping habits (that may be of use to the capitalist establishment).

Note, too, that British police already have the power to compel someone, on penalty of imprisonment, to disclose cryptographic keys under RIPA (i.e., to compel decryption on the order of intelligence or police authorities – with no judicial or ministerial warrant required). Continue reading

Posted in Intelligence, Surveillance | Tagged , | 8 Comments

As Grenfell Tower residents confront Housing Minister, more damning evidence is revealed

As angry Grenfell residents confronted Housing Minister Alok Sharma on BBC‘s Victoria Derbyshire show, an analysis by The Canary reveals that the guidance by the construction industry and government on cladding and insulation appears to be contradictory. Or at best, confusing and open to misinterpretation. And this might partly explain why the Grenfell Tower tragedy happened.

This analysis complements an earlier, comprehensive review of the evidence previously published by The Canary; and a subsequent update of that review.

Meanwhile, local authorities are now testing their cladding. And hospital and school buildings are also being examined. All this explains why Camden Council decided to evacuate 800 of its residents from four tower blocks; and why more than 17,000 care homes, private hospitals and hospices are going to carry out checks on the safety of their buildings.

To read more, click here.

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As Grenfell cladding scandal extends nationwide, more damning evidence emerges

In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, around 800 households have been evacuated from tower blocks in Camden, where possible cladding problems and fire risks have been identified. Meanwhile, hospital buildings across England are also being investigated for possible cladding problems and fire risks. As well as other high-rise buildings, including offices and schools. It also appears that Kensington and Chelsea Council considered a 2014 proposal to demolish the Grenfell Tower block by the same contractor who was later appointed to the refurbishment project. And a report provides evidence that politicians were warned of the dangers of external cladding as far back as 1999.

To read more, click here.

Posted in Corporate, Government, no category | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A comprehensive investigation of evidence suggests Grenfell tower fire was entirely avoidable

On 23 June, the police announced that they were considering charges of “manslaughter, as well as criminal offences and breaches of legislation and regulations” over the Grenfell Tower fire. And they issued a statement confirming that both the cladding and insulation installed at Grenfell have failed safety tests. Investigators are now trying to establish whether those materials were used illegally.

The Canary has been examining available and leaked documents relating to the Grenfell refurbishment. And the results are numbing.

To read more, click here.

Posted in Economy, Government | Tagged , | 1 Comment

As the Tories’ child refugee policy faces legal challenge, others opt for direct action

In Britain, legal action is underway to try and force the Tory government to accept more unaccompanied child refugees. But elsewhere in Europe, activists haven’t waited for government action. They’ve taken matters into their own hands. And the results are truly inspiring.

To read more, click here.

 

 

 

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When the Prime Minister has to flee the public, you know it’s time for her to go

The Grenfell Tower fire is likely to have caused more deaths than the 7/7 terrorist attack. And it is a tragedy that may well come to symbolise the years of Tory cutbacks and austerity measures. But it wasn’t just a lack of empathy that deterred Theresa May from meeting locals on the streets. It was guilt. And on 16 June, when the Prime Minister finally found the courage to visit an aid centre near the burnt out tower, the sheer anger of the residents could no longer be contained. Like a third world dictator, who instinctively knows their time is up, May was unceremoniously bundled by police into a car, to flee the scene. It is an image that no one will forget.

To read more, click here.

 

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Anxious to conceal truth, this government agrees to a massive multi-million payout to refugees

The Australian government likes its refugees out of sight and out of mind. So it built offshore facilities to detain them. And it contracted them out to private companies. But now, a landmark settlement means that hundreds of refugees will receive millions of Australian dollars in damages.

Australia’s governments built offshore detention facilities on Christmas Island (Australian territory), Nauru (a sovereign state), and Manus Island (part of Papua New Guinea (PNG)). Many of the refugees detained in those facilities have been there for years. Earlier this year, Australian lawyers began a class action on behalf of those detained (all men) on Manus. And this week, in a  landmark settlement, it was announced that 1,905 current and former refugees detained on the island will receive A$70m (£42m) in damages from the Australian government and its contractors. But it doesn’t stop there. Around 5,800 claims are currently being (or are expected to be) lodged by refugees and asylum seekers against the Australian government. And the total costs could well exceed the Manus payout.

To read more on the complexities of what is happening to Australia’s refugees, click here.

 

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Tory ‘coalition’ looking wobbly, as questions remain about DUP funding of UDA-linked projects

Conservative Party leader Theresa May’s judgement is now even more in doubt, as questions arise over the financial dealings by the ideological extremist Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) with paramilitary group the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

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